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1.
Testosterone has been proposed to serve as the mediator that controls the relative effort that an individual male bird will devote to mating effort versus parental effort. Here, we demonstrate a testosterone-influenced trade-off between parental and mating efforts in male house finches. Male house finches with experimentally elevated testosterone fed nestlings at a significantly lower rate, but sang at a higher rate than males without manipulated testosterone levels. Females mated to testosterone-implanted males fed nestlings at a significantly higher rate than females mated to males without testosterone implants, resulting in similar feeding rates for both treated and untreated pairs. The effects of testosterone on male house finches, however, were not as dramatic as the effects of testosterone observed in some other socially monogamous species of birds. Because extra-pair copulations are uncommon in house finches and males provide substantial amounts of parental care, these more modest effects may be due to differences in how the allocation of reproductive effort affects the costs and benefits of different reproductive behaviors. Received: 6 June 2000 / Accepted: 17 July 2000  相似文献
2.
Many bird species have patches of colour in their plumage, contrasting with their basic coloration, which are used to display and signal status to conspecifics. These are called ’badges of status’, because they are believed to be low-cost signals of social status. For a signalling system to be evolutionarily stable, cheating must be controlled. The conventional view is that there is frequent testing, which uncovers cheats. Recently, the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis (ICHH) suggested that signals may be dependent on testosterone for their development, with a cost being imposed through immune suppression. We report experiments on house sparrows (Passer domesticus) which show that testosterone significantly influences the size of the bib (a ’badge of status’). The ultimate effect of the testosterone manipulation was to impair antibody production, as predicted by the ICHH. However, testosterone manipulations also changed the levels of the ’stress hormone’ corticosterone. The level of corticosterone was also related to the degree of immunosuppression. After controlling for the effect of corticosterone, testosterone enhanced the birds’ ability to produce antibodies, counter to the ICHH. The hypothesis therefore must be modified. We suggest that testosterone has a dual effect: it leads to immunosuppression through a mechanism involving corticosterone but, conversely, leads to increased immunocompetence probably via dominance influencing access to resources. Received: 5 March 1999 / Received in revised form: 1 October 1999 / Accepted: 16 October 1999  相似文献
3.
Previous studies have suggested that testosterone (T) profiles of male birds reflect a trade-off between mate attraction behaviours (requiring high T levels) and parental care activities (requiring low T levels). In this study, we experimentally elevated T levels of monogamous males in the facultatively polygynous European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), and compared mate attraction and paternal behaviour of T-treated males with those of controls (C-males). T-males significantly reduced their participation in incubation and fed nestlings significantly less often than C-males. Females paired to T-treated males did not compensate for their mate’s lower paternal effort. The observed reduction in a male’s investment in incubating the eggs was accompanied by an increased investment in typical female-attracting behaviours: T-males spent a significantly higher proportion of their time singing to attract additional females. They also occupied more additional nestboxes than C-males, although the differences just failed to be significant, and carried significantly more green nesting materials into an additional nestbox (a behaviour previously shown to serve a courtship function). T-males also behaved significantly more aggressively than C-males. During the nestling period, the frequency of mate-attracting behaviours by T-treated and control males no longer differed significantly. Despite the reduced paternal effort by T-males and the lack of compensation behaviour by females, hatching and breeding success did not differ significantly between T- and C-pairs. Received: 7 February 2000 / Revised: 10 August 2000 / Accepted: 3 September 2000  相似文献
4.
In birds, many aspects of male socio-sexual and parental behavior are influenced by androgens, most notably testosterone (T). We report the effects of subcutaneous T-implants in male barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) on male and female parental behavior and on seasonal reproductive success. Males were assigned to one of three experimental groups: (i) implanted with a T-filled Silastic tube; (ii) implanted with an empty Silastic tube; and (iii) not implanted. T-implanted males provided a smaller proportion of feedings (number of feedings by the male/total number of feedings by both parents) and fed nestlings less frequently (number of feedings/h) than males of the other two groups. Females paired to T-implanted males fed nestlings significantly more often than females paired with unimplanted males. Females almost fully compensated for their mates' shortfall, and this resulted in similar combined feeding efforts among treatments. Reproductive success in their first broods or during the entire breeding season was unaffected by T- treatment. These results confirm earlier reports of the suppressive effects of T on male parental behavior. However, they are inconsistent with current ESS models that predict partial compensation as the optimal response by one individual to reduction of parental effort by its mate in monogamous, biparental systems.  相似文献
5.
In males of socially monogamous birds, plasma testosterone (T) typically declines to low levels during the parental phase. Studies on multiple-brooded species indicate that high T may be incompatible with high-quality paternal care. The length of the breeding season may affect the costs and benefits of high T and its effect on paternal care. We studied the effect of experimentally elevated T on paternal care in a single-brooded species with a short breeding season, the Lapland longspur (Calcarius lapponicus). We monitored T levels and parental behavior in 16 males with subcutaneous T implants, 14 males with empty implants, and 14 unimplanted males. We videotaped nests when nestlings were 2–3 days old and again at 4–5 days. T males with 2- to 3-day-old young visited nests and fed young less often than control males, and the mates of the T males compensated with elevated visits and feedings. However, when nestlings were 4–5 days old, T males visited their nests at normal rates – though feeding movements remained below normal – and T females visited and fed at normal rates. Nestling mass and nest success were similar in both groups. Overall, high T suppresses paternal care in Lapland longspur males. The partial improvement of paternal care when nestlings are older, despite high T, may be related to the short 6-week breeding season of this arctic species, and the consequently reduced benefits of sexual behavior late in the breeding season. Received: 2 February 1998 / Accepted after revision: 2 November 1998  相似文献
6.
Fitness tradeoffs are difficult to examine because many fitness variables are correlated and vary in the same direction. Phenotypic manipulation circumvents many of these difficulties, and here we used this technique to examine mechanisms for tradeoffs between increased aggression (territorial defense) and survivorship. The behavioral phenotype of male mountain spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) was manipulated with testosterone to increase territorial defense, a sexually selected trait. We previously demonstrated that increased territorial defense results in a decrease in survival caused by a lower ratio of energy intake to energy expenditure. Here we measured energy consumption of increased territorial aggression using the doubly labeled water technique in the field and compared males with and without testosterone implants (Fig. 1). In a supplementary study we measured standard metabolic rate using captive lizards given similar testosterone implants to examine if an increase in energy expenditure was a result of only an increase in standard metabolic rate (Fig. 3). Our results indicated that a primary contribution to tradeoffs between increased territorial defense and survivorship could be made by a 31% increase in energy expenditure in the field that is not due to an increase in standard metabolic rate.  相似文献
7.
Egg composition, which is under maternal control, can have a profound effect on offspring fitness. The presence of maternal testosterone and carotenoids in avian egg yolk, for example, is thought to enhance the development and competitive ability of the offspring and protect the hatching and growing chick against oxidative stress. Egg quality often differs between females and such variation can be due to differences in maternal social environment, e.g. breeding density. However, this is confounded by the possibility that the quality of individuals breeding in high- or low-density areas may vary. We tested if maternal social environment influences egg composition in a colonial seabird, the lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus). To control for confounding effects of female quality, we experimentally manipulated maternal social environment during egg formation. We increased the frequency of intra-specific interactions (i.e. aggressive encounters with conspecifics other than nest mates) in which the females were involved, by placing an elevated platform in their territory. Females that took part in more intra-specific interactions produced a heavier last egg, but the yolk testosterone concentration in eggs laid by control and experimental females did not differ. Differences in yolk testosterone concentration in relation to embryo sex were found neither in the control nor in the experimental group. In contrast, within the control group, eggs with a male embryo contained more carotenoids than eggs with a female embryo. Moreover, experimental females that had been involved in more intra-specific interactions produced female eggs with higher carotenoid levels compared to female eggs of control birds. An experimental increase in carotenoid levels was not observed in eggs containing a male embryo. Our results suggest that intra-specific interactions experienced by female birds during egg formation can influence conditions for embryonic development.Communicated by J. Graves  相似文献
8.
For males of socially polygynous avian species like the spotless starling, there may exist a trade-off between investing in paternal care and controlling several nests. To determine how the intensity of paternal care affects reproductive success per brood sired or expressed as the total number of young raised in all nests controlled by the same male, it is necessary to manipulate paternal care. Testosterone (T) has been shown to depress the tendency for males to care for their young, and induces them to acquire more mates. The effects of paternal care on reproductive success were studied by treating certain male starlings with exogenous T and others with the antiandrogen cyproterone acetate (CA), and comparing the parental behavior of T- and CA-males throughout the breeding season with that of controls. CA-males fed their chicks more during the first week after hatching than T-males, with controls feeding at intermediate rates, both on a per nest basis and as total effort for all nests controlled by the same male. Paternal feeding rates during the first week of chick life had a significant positive effect on the number of fledged young. The hormone treatment significantly affected the number of chicks raised per nest, CA-males having a higher breeding success per nest than T-males, and controls showing intermediate levels of success. There was no significant effect of treatment on total reproductive success attained by males throughout the season. In the polygonous spotless starling, the intensity of paternal care of young affects reproductive success per nest positively but not on a seasonal basis. Received: 6 February 1999 / Received in revised form: 30 June 1999 / Accepted: 11 July 1999  相似文献
9.
Is avian humoral immunocompetence suppressed by testosterone?   总被引:2,自引:2,他引:0  
A key issue in sexual selection theory is how a correlation between male secondary sexual characters and male genetic quality can be maintained. The immunocompetence-handicap hypothesis proposes that testosterone-dependent male characters remain honest signals because of the immunosuppressive effect of elevated steroid hormone levels. The hypothesis requires that physiological levels of testosterone depress immune system function. We quantified testosterone titers and humoral immunocompetence of captive male and female red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) at three points in the annual cycle (autumn, prebreeding, and breeding). We also conducted an implant experiment on the males to assess the effects of prolonged, above-normal testosterone titers on humoral immune responses. Humoral immunocompetence was measured as secondary antibody production to a non-pathogenic protein antigen, keyhole limpet hemocyanin, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay we developed for A. phoeniceus. Secondary antibody responses of individuals were highly repeatable between sampling periods. Neither physiological nor above-normal levels of plasma testosterone suppressed secondary antibody production. In paired tests of the same individuals between prebreeding and breeding, and between breeding and implant, plasma testosterone increased significantly but secondary antibody responses were unaffected. We are confident in these results because with 80% power, an 11–14% difference in antibody titers would have been detected. There was no relationship between plasma testosterone levels and humoral immunocompetence in free-ranging males tested at the peak of breeding. These results cast doubt on a key assumption of the immunocompetence-handicap hypothesis. Received: 13 April 1998 / Accepted after revision: 7 October 1998  相似文献
10.
Migratory stonechats (Saxicola torquata) spend the winter in the northern Negev desert in Israel. After arrival in October most birds defend territories throughout the winter either as heterosexual pairs or as single birds. In this population we examined: (1) aggressive behaviour of pairs; (2) the functional significance of pair territoriality; and (3) hormonal correlates of territorial behaviour. Pairs were aggressive towards both conspecific intruders and stonechat dummies, particularly in autumn when territories were established. Males were more aggressive than females and aggression was primarily intrasexual. More frequent than intraspecific interactions were interspecific encounters, with 94% involving the local mourning wheatear (Oenanthe lugens). With one exception these encounters consisted of attacks of mourning wheatears against stonechats, mainly males. Two functions of winter territoriality of migrant pairs are proposed: (a) a reduction of individual defense costs associated with the maintenance of a territory; (b) an increase of the net vigilance to reduce the risk of attacks by competitors or predators. The levels of testosterone (males and females) and estradiol (females only) were close to or below the lower detection limit of the assay throughout the winter. Therefore, high levels of gonadal steroids are not required for pair formation and aggression in the non-reproductive context. The results indicate that both the function and the proximate control mechanisms of territoriality during the non-breeding season in winter are different from those during the breeding season in spring.  相似文献
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