Parasite- and predator-induced maternal effects in the great tit (Parus major)

Basso, Alessandra; Coslovsky, Michael; Richner, Heinz (2014). Parasite- and predator-induced maternal effects in the great tit (Parus major). Behavioral Ecology, 25(5), pp. 1105-1114. Oxford University Press 10.1093/beheco/aru088

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Both predators and parasites can elicit behavioral and physiological responses in prey and hosts, respectively. These responses may involve the reallocation of resources and may thus limit each other. We investigated the effects of concurrent pre-laying exposure of great tit females (Parus major) to both a simulated predation risk and a nest-based ectoparasite, the hen flea (Ceratophyllus gallinae), on nestling growth and development. We manipulated perceived predation risk using models and vocalizations of sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus). At the start of incubation, we swapped whole clutches between treated and untreated nests to separate pre-laying maternal effects from posthatching effects. Since costs and benefits of maternal responses to parasites need to be assessed under parasite pressure, we infested half of the rearing nests with hen fleas. Parasites had negative effects on mass gain and wing growth, both via maternal effects and via direct exposure of nestlings, whereas maternal predation risk had no significant effect. The interaction between predator and parasite treatments was not significant and, thus, suggests the absence of a trade-off between the 2 stressors operating at the level of maternal effects. Alternatively, the complexity of the design, despite a relatively large sample size, may have limited the power for detection of this expected trade-off.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Evolutionary Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > CTU Bern

UniBE Contributor:

Coslovsky, Michael

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1045-2249

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2014 14:58

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 17:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/beheco/aru088

Uncontrolled Keywords:

growth, predation risk, resource allocation, stress, trade-off

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.57564

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/57564

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