The oxidative costs of parental care in cooperative and pair-breeding African starlings

The oxidative costs of parental care in cooperative and pair-breeding African starlings The cost of parental care has long been thought to favor the evolution of cooperative breeding, because breeders can provide reduced parental care when aided by alloparents. Oxidative stress—the imbalance between reactive oxygen species and neutralizing antioxidants—has been proposed to mediate the cost of parental care, though results from empirical studies remain equivocal. We measured changes in oxidative status during reproduction in cooperatively breeding superb starlings (Lamprotornis superbus) to gain insight into the relationships among breeding status, parental care, and oxidative stress. We also compared the oxidative cost of reproduction in the cooperatively breeding superb starling to that in a sympatric non-cooperatively breeding species, the greater blue-eared glossy starling (L. chalybaeus), to determine whether coopera- tively breeding individuals face reduced oxidative costs of parental care relative to non-cooperatively breeding individuals. Breeders and alloparents of the cooperative species did not differ in oxidative status throughout a breeding attempt. How - ever, individuals of the non-cooperative species incurred an increase in reactive oxygen metabolites proportionally to an individual’s workload during offspring care. These findings suggest that non-cooperative starlings experience an oxidative cost of parental care, whereas cooperatively breeding starlings do not. It is possible that high nest predation risk and multi- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

The oxidative costs of parental care in cooperative and pair-breeding African starlings

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00442-018-4178-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The cost of parental care has long been thought to favor the evolution of cooperative breeding, because breeders can provide reduced parental care when aided by alloparents. Oxidative stress—the imbalance between reactive oxygen species and neutralizing antioxidants—has been proposed to mediate the cost of parental care, though results from empirical studies remain equivocal. We measured changes in oxidative status during reproduction in cooperatively breeding superb starlings (Lamprotornis superbus) to gain insight into the relationships among breeding status, parental care, and oxidative stress. We also compared the oxidative cost of reproduction in the cooperatively breeding superb starling to that in a sympatric non-cooperatively breeding species, the greater blue-eared glossy starling (L. chalybaeus), to determine whether coopera- tively breeding individuals face reduced oxidative costs of parental care relative to non-cooperatively breeding individuals. Breeders and alloparents of the cooperative species did not differ in oxidative status throughout a breeding attempt. How - ever, individuals of the non-cooperative species incurred an increase in reactive oxygen metabolites proportionally to an individual’s workload during offspring care. These findings suggest that non-cooperative starlings experience an oxidative cost of parental care, whereas cooperatively breeding starlings do not. It is possible that high nest predation risk and multi-

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2018

References

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