The economics of nestmate killing in avian brood parasites: a provisions trade-off

@article{Gloag2012TheEO,
  title={The economics of nestmate killing in avian brood parasites: a provisions trade-off},
  author={Rosalyn S Gloag and Diego Tom{\'a}s Tuero and Vanina Dafne Fiorini and Juan Carlos Reboreda and Alex Kacelnik},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology},
  year={2012},
  volume={23},
  pages={132-140}
}
Some brood parasites kill all their host’s offspring shortly after hatching, whereas others are tolerant and are reared in mixed host–parasite broods. This difference may arise because nestling parasites face a "provisions trade-off," whereby the presence of host nestlings can increase or decrease a parasite’s food intake depending on whether host young cause parents to supply more extra food than they consume. We model this trade-off and show that the optimal nestmate number from a parasite’s… 

Figures from this paper

The Evolution of Nest Sharing and Nest Mate Killing Strategies in Brood Parasites

TLDR
The possibility that one of the key factors for the evolution of nest mate acceptance versus direct killing was the virulence of the parasitic chick in relation to host nestling and the ability to manipulate provisioning by the host parents is explored.

Niche construction through a Goldilocks principle maximizes fitness for a nest-sharing brood parasite

TLDR
It is suggested that, in the obligate brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), chicks use a niche construction strategy and reduce larger, more competitive host broods to maximize the parasites' survival to fledging.

Obligate Brood Parasitism on Neotropical Birds

TLDR
A compendium of the characteristics and behaviors of brood-parasitic species that can help understanding on how natural selection can shape the interactions between species is presented.

Decision-making at the time of parasitism: cowbirds prefer to peck eggs with weaker shells.

TLDR
It is indicated that female cowbirds can discriminate eggs through the strength of the shell, and by choosing the weaker egg to peck, they increase the probability of puncturing.

Nest environment modulates begging behavior of a generalist brood parasite

In young birds, the intensity of the begging signal varies according to the chick’s internal condition (i.e., hunger or nutritional state) but may be additionally modulated by the external conditions

A siblicidal origin for avian brood parasitism?

TLDR
Understanding the kin structure between parasites and hosts in conspecific parasitism, and measuring the costs paid by parasitic young due to mismatched incubation, provisioning, and social behaviours by heterospecific foster parents, should provide novel insights into the opportunities and constraints of the evolution of avian brood parasitism.

Parasite Adaptations During the Nestling and Fledgling Stages

TLDR
It is shown that whereas some adaptations are well-supported and indisputable, other traits require a closer scrutiny taking into account the parasite’s evolutionary history before concluding that they are true adaptations for brood parasitism.

Great Spotted Cuckoo Nestlings but not Magpie Nestlings Starve in Experimental Age‐Matched Broods

TLDR
It is shown that great spotted cuckoo chicks starved in 20.2 per cent of the parasitized magpie nests even in absence of size asymmetries, which is the first record of non-evictor brood parasitic nestlings starving without being smaller than their host nestmates in a frequently used host species.

Tricking Parents: A Review of Mechanisms and Signals of Host Manipulation by Brood-Parasitic Young

TLDR
This work reviews the literature pertaining to host manipulation by parasitic young, focusing on four non-mutually exclusive mechanisms and the function and evolution of the signals involved, with the aim to summarize and discuss putative adaptations for stimulating parental feeding and escaping host discrimination.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 63 REFERENCES

Host life history strategies and the evolution of chick-killing by brood parasitic offspring

TLDR
A game-theoretical model is used to account for variation in the harm that nestling brood parasites do to their companions in the nest and predicts that 3 different types of evolutionarily stable strategies can exist.

Low virulence of brood parasitic chicks: adaptation or constraint?

TLDR
Critics show that studies such as Kilner (2005) are important because they foster more research in an area so far neglected in the study of parasitic chicks, and it is necessary to consider not only trade-offs between costs and benefits of particular chick behaviours but also physical and other constraints on the evolution of chick-killing strategies.

How selfish is a cowbird nestling?

  • R. Kilner
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Animal Behaviour
  • 2003
TLDR
It is suggested that cowbirds, and other host-tolerant brood parasites, could benefit from the presence of host nestlings through the assistance that host chicks offer in soliciting a higher provisioning rate, and that such benefits might outweigh the costs of having competition for food at each nest visit.

Escalation of a coevolutionary arms race through host rejection of brood parasitic young

TLDR
It is shown that the breach of host egg defences by cuckoos creates a new stage in the coevolutionary cycle and is suggested that it has selected for the evolution of nestling mimicry in bronze-cuckoos.

Brood Parasitic Cowbird Nestlings Use Host Young to Procure Resources

TLDR
It is shown that the tolerance of host nestlings by the parasitic brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater is adaptive, and the cowbird's unexpected altruism toward host offspring simply promotes its selfish interests in exploiting host parents.

Hatching asynchrony, nestling competition, and the cost of interspecific brood parasitism

TLDR
Although hatching asynchrony is an important cause of the reduction of host broods in parasitized clutches, competitive features of cowbird nestlings remain necessary to explain the full extent of hosts' reproductive costs caused by interspecific brood parasitism.

Begging and cowbirds: brood parasites make hosts scream louder

TLDR
Begging loudness increased with brood parasitism and nest predation among the most suitable host species, and begging loudness positively covaried with parasitism rate in Passerines.

GROWTH STRATEGIES OF PASSERINE BIRDS ARE RELATED TO BROOD PARASITISM BY THE BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (MOLOTHRUS ATER)

TLDR
It is shown that sibling competition caused by brood parasites can have strong effects on the evolution of host growth strategies and that the development of developmental traits can take place very rapidly.
...