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 cooperatively 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. However, 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-brooding in the cooperatively breeding species may have favored reduced physiological costs of parental care more strongly compared to pair-breeding starlings. Reduced physiological costs of caring for young may thus represent a direct benefit that promotes cooperative breeding.
Oecologia – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera