Adaptive parental effects and how to estimate them: A comment to Bonduriansky and Crean

Engqvist, Leif Martin; Reinhold, Klaus (2018). Adaptive parental effects and how to estimate them: A comment to Bonduriansky and Crean. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(3), pp. 457-459. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/2041-210X.12906

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To fully understand the evolution of adaptive parental effects we need to reliably estimate their magnitude. Recently, we (Engqvist & Reinhold, 2016, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 7, 1482) highlighted some important problems when estimating the magnitude of anticipatory parental effects in the so‐called match/mismatch experiments. As the signature of such parental effects is a statistical interaction between parental environment and offspring environment, it will be difficult to disentangle these effects from other effects depending on a combination of parental and offspring environment, such as context‐dependent silver‐spoon (= condition‐transfer) effects. In a recent article, Bonduriansky and Crean (2017, Methods in Ecology and Evolution) suggested to manipulate environmental quality on a continuous scale and using a geometric framework as a way out of this dilemma. Here, we highlight and discuss the benefits and potential drawbacks of the suggested method. We conclude that using this approach, one may extract more detailed information but unfortunately, it will not resolve the interpretive ambiguity inherent in this experimental design.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Behavioural Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Engqvist, Leif Martin


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)








Joachim Gerhard Frommen

Date Deposited:

06 May 2019 18:49

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 07:24

Publisher DOI:





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