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Genetic evidence for prevalence of alloparental care in a socially monogamous biparental cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika supports the "selfish shepherd effect" hypothesis.

Lee HJ, Heim V, Meyer A - Ecol Evol (2016)

Bottom Line: In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring.This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against.It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Chair in Zoology and Evolutionary BiologyDepartment of BiologyUniversity of Konstanz78457KonstanzGermany; Department of Biological ScienceCollege of Science and EngineeringSangji UniversityWonju220-702Korea.

ABSTRACT
Alloparental care - care for unrelated young - is rare in animals, and its ecological or evolutionary advantages or, alternative maladaptive nature, remain unclear. We investigate alloparental care in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from Lake Tanganyika that exhibits bi-parental care. In a genetic parentage analysis, we discovered a surprisingly high percentage of alloparental care represented by brood mixing, extra-pair paternity and extra-pair maternity in all broods that we investigated. The percentage of nondescendant juveniles of other parents, i.e., brood mixing, ranged from 5% to 57% (mean = 28%). The distribution of genetic parentage also suggests that this socially monogamous species has, in fact, polygamous mating system. The prevalence of genetically mixed broods can be best explained by two, not mutually exclusive hypotheses on farming-out and fostering behaviors. In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring. There was also a tendency for larger parents particularly mothers, more so than smaller parents, to care predominantly for their own offspring. Larger parents might be better at defending against cuckoldry and having foreign young dumped into their broods through farming-out behavior. This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against. It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species.

No MeSH data available.


Larger parents of Perissodus microlepis tend to have higher proportions of their own young than smaller parents, although this trend is statistically significant only for mothers (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049). Unfilled circles: genetic fathers; filled circles: genetic mothers.
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ece32089-fig-0002: Larger parents of Perissodus microlepis tend to have higher proportions of their own young than smaller parents, although this trend is statistically significant only for mothers (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049). Unfilled circles: genetic fathers; filled circles: genetic mothers.

Mentions: A significant positive correlation was detected between the female parents’ body size (SL) and proportion of her ‘descendant’, i.e., own, offspring (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049; Fig. 2), suggesting that the larger mothers of P. microlepis more often cared predominantly for their own offspring. This relationship was, however, not statistically significant for fathers (r = 0.54, n = 8, P = 0.164), in spite of the similar trend detected (Fig. 2).


Genetic evidence for prevalence of alloparental care in a socially monogamous biparental cichlid fish, Perissodus microlepis, from Lake Tanganyika supports the "selfish shepherd effect" hypothesis.

Lee HJ, Heim V, Meyer A - Ecol Evol (2016)

Larger parents of Perissodus microlepis tend to have higher proportions of their own young than smaller parents, although this trend is statistically significant only for mothers (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049). Unfilled circles: genetic fathers; filled circles: genetic mothers.
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4863010&req=5

ece32089-fig-0002: Larger parents of Perissodus microlepis tend to have higher proportions of their own young than smaller parents, although this trend is statistically significant only for mothers (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049). Unfilled circles: genetic fathers; filled circles: genetic mothers.
Mentions: A significant positive correlation was detected between the female parents’ body size (SL) and proportion of her ‘descendant’, i.e., own, offspring (r = 0.71, n = 8, P = 0.049; Fig. 2), suggesting that the larger mothers of P. microlepis more often cared predominantly for their own offspring. This relationship was, however, not statistically significant for fathers (r = 0.54, n = 8, P = 0.164), in spite of the similar trend detected (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring.This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against.It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Chair in Zoology and Evolutionary BiologyDepartment of BiologyUniversity of Konstanz78457KonstanzGermany; Department of Biological ScienceCollege of Science and EngineeringSangji UniversityWonju220-702Korea.

ABSTRACT
Alloparental care - care for unrelated young - is rare in animals, and its ecological or evolutionary advantages or, alternative maladaptive nature, remain unclear. We investigate alloparental care in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Perissodus microlepis from Lake Tanganyika that exhibits bi-parental care. In a genetic parentage analysis, we discovered a surprisingly high percentage of alloparental care represented by brood mixing, extra-pair paternity and extra-pair maternity in all broods that we investigated. The percentage of nondescendant juveniles of other parents, i.e., brood mixing, ranged from 5% to 57% (mean = 28%). The distribution of genetic parentage also suggests that this socially monogamous species has, in fact, polygamous mating system. The prevalence of genetically mixed broods can be best explained by two, not mutually exclusive hypotheses on farming-out and fostering behaviors. In the majority of broods, the sizes of the parents' own (descendant) offspring were significantly larger than those of the adopted (nondescendant) juveniles, supporting the 'selfish shepherd effect' hypothesis, i.e., that foster parents preferentially accept unrelated "smaller or not larger" young since this would tend to lower the predation risks for their own larger offspring. There was also a tendency for larger parents particularly mothers, more so than smaller parents, to care predominantly for their own offspring. Larger parents might be better at defending against cuckoldry and having foreign young dumped into their broods through farming-out behavior. This result might argue for maladaptive effects of allopatric care for the foster parents that only larger and possibly more experienced pairs can guard against. It needs to be determined why, apparently, the ability to recognize one's own young has not evolved in this species.

No MeSH data available.