Effects of costs and benefits of brood care on filial cannibalism in the sand goby

Kai Lindström*

*Korresponderande författare för detta arbete

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

57 Citeringar (Scopus)


This study tested experimentally whether clutch size and the cost of care affect filial cannibalism in the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus. Evolutionary models of filial Cannibalism suggest that egg eating has evolved as a way for the male parent to prolong his breeding season. These models assume that eggs function as an alternative energy source for the constrained parent. I manipulated clutch size by allowing males to mate with either one or two females, representing a small and a large clutch, respectively. The addition of a small male shore crab, a common egg predator, increased the cost of care. I quantified fat reserves as a measure of the condition of guarding males. Males who did not build nests had lower fat reserves than males who built nests, suggesting that males with low energy reserves do not start breeding. Males with small clutches lost their nest to the crab more often than males with large clutches. Neither filial cannibalism nor the amount of eggs eaten were affected by the treatments. Males who consumed eggs had a higher fat percentage than males who did not eat eggs. The result that males with small clutches lost their nests to the crabs supports the idea that eggs are defended only if the benefit from continued care will outweigh the cost and that males therefore are sensitive to the trade-off between present and future reproductive success.

Sidor (från-till)101-106
Antal sidor6
TidskriftBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
StatusPublicerad - feb. 1998
Externt publiceradJa
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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