The Coadaptation of Parental Supply and Offspring Demand

  title={The Coadaptation of Parental Supply and Offspring Demand},
  author={Mathias K{\"o}lliker and Edmund D. Brodie III and Allen J. Moore},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={506 - 516}
The evolution of parent‐offspring interactions for the provisioning of care is usually explained as the phenotypic outcome of resolved conflicting selection pressures. However, parental care and offspring solicitation are expected to have complex patterns of inheritance. Here we present a quantitative genetic model of parent‐offspring interactions that allows us to investigate the evolutionary maintenance of a state of resolved conflict. We show that offspring solicitation and parental… 
Parental antagonism and parent–offspring co-adaptation interact to shape family life
It is demonstrated that paternally inherited effects expressed in offspring influence both maternal care and maternal investment in future reproduction and that parent–offspring co-adaptation and parental antagonism are entangled key drivers in the evolution of family life that cannot be fully understood in isolation.
Flexible communication within bird families—The consequences of behavioral plasticity for parent–offspring coadaptation
Positive phenotypic covariation of offspring begging and parental provisioning is found, indicating that behavioral plasticity could be a main driver of parent–offspring coadaptation.
Antagonistic Parent-Offspring Co-Adaptation
This antagonistic parent-offspring co-adaptation does not require solicitation to be costly, allows for rapid divergence and evolutionary novelty and potentially explains the origin and diversification of the observed provisioning forms in family life.
On the coadaptation of offspring begging and parental supply—a within-individual approach across life stages
It is suggested that factors other than genes such as maternal effects may play a role in adjusting offspring begging to the levels of parental provisioning, and the degree of heritability of these behaviors showed a low to moderate non-significant heritability, similar to those previously reported in other bird species.
Parent-offspring conflict, sibling rivalry and coadaptation
Conflict arises in families because of a fundamental relatedness asymmetry. When parents are equally related to all offspring they would prefer to divide resources equitably among young. However,
Favored parent–offspring trait combinations? On the interplay of parental and offspring traits
The results suggest that an adjustment of the offspring’s phenotype to the post-hatching social environment is primarily beneficial for highly demanding offspring and that parents have the upper hand (but probably not full control) over provisioning.
Parent-Offspring Conflict and Coadaptation
How prenatal effects on offspring begging can link the two different approaches to parent-offspring conflict is shown, which shows that when offspring control provisioning, prenatal effects primarily serve the parent’s interests: Selection on parents drives coadaptation of parent and offspring traits.
Coadaptation of Offspring Begging and Parental Provisioning - An Evolutionary Ecological Perspective on Avian Family Life
A positive and significant phenotypic covariation between offspring begging and parental feeding is found when using the growth rate as a proxy and, to a lesser extent, in case of the parental feeding rate.
Using Experimental Evolution to Study Adaptations for Life within the Family
The results show that populations can adapt rapidly to a change in the extent of parental care and that experimental evolution can be used to study such adaptation.


  • J. Wolf, E. Brodie
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1998
This model provides a possible evolutionary explanation for the ubiquity of large genetic correlations between maternal and offspring traits, and suggests that this pattern of coinheritance may reflect functional relationships between these characters (i.e., functional integration).
Selection, Inheritance, and the Evolution of Parent‐Offspring Interactions
Very few studies have examined parent‐offspring interactions from a quantitative genetic perspective. We used a cross‐fostering design and measured genetic correlations and components of social
The genetic basis of family conflict resolution in mice
It is shown that there is positive coadaptation such that offspring obtain more resources from foster mothers of the same strain as their natural mother, irrespective of their father's strain.
The quantitative genetic basis of offspring solicitation and parental response in a passerine bird with biparental care
It is indicated that genetic covariation, its differential expression in the maternal and paternal lines and/or early environmental and parental effects need to be taken into account when predicting the phenotypic outcome of the conflict over investment between genes expressed in each parent and the offspring.
Intrafamilial conflict and parental investment: a synthesis.
It is concluded that it will often be impossible to deduce the extent of underlying conflict by establishing the amount of parental investment given relative to the ideal optimum for the parent.
Parental investment and family dynamics: interactions between theory and empirical tests
The importance of the underlying genetics and mating system in determining conflict resolution is illustrated, and the need for new models taking differences in the genetics and the co-evolution of the ESD and EDS mechanisms into account is pointed to.
Parent-Offspring Coadaptation and the Dual Genetic Control of Maternal Care
Evidence is found from two cross-foster experiments that variation in maternal care also stems from two distinct genetic sources: variation among offspring in their ability to elicit care and variation among parents in their response to offspring signals.
Ontogeny in the Family
These models demonstrate how the explicit consideration of the family environment can profoundly alter both the expression and evolutionary response to selection of behaviors involved in family interactions.
Models of parent-offspring conflict. IV. Suppression: Evolutionary retaliation by the parent
We develop quantitative‐genetic models for the evolution of multiple traits under maternal inheritance, in which traits are transmitted through non‐Mendelian as well as Mendelian mechanisms, and