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Giving offspring a head start in life: field and experimental evidence for selection on maternal basking behaviour in lizards

Citation

Wapstra, E and Uller, T and While, GM and Olsson, M and Shine, R, Giving offspring a head start in life: field and experimental evidence for selection on maternal basking behaviour in lizards, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23, (3) pp. 651-657. ISSN 1010-061X (2010) [Refereed Article]


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The definitive published version is available online at: http://interscience.wiley.com

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01924.x

Abstract

The timing of birth is often correlated with offspring fitness in animals, but experimental studies that disentangle direct effects of parturition date and indirect effects mediated via variation in female traits are rare. In viviparous ectotherms, parturition date is largely driven by female thermal conditions, particularly maternal basking strategies. Our field and laboratory studies of a viviparous lizard (Niveoscincus ocellatus) show that earlier-born offspring are more likely to survive through their first winter and are larger following that winter, than are later-born conspecifics. Thus, the association between parturition date and offspring fitness is causal, rather than reflecting an underlying correlation between parturition date and maternal attributes. Survival selection on offspring confers a significant advantage for increased maternal basking in this species, mediated through fitness advantages of earlier parturition. We discuss the roles of environmentally imposed con- straints and parent�offspring conflict in the evolution of maternal effects on parturition date.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:basking behaviour � birth date � female strategies � offspring growth � offspring survival � parent�offspring conflict � selection � squamate reptile � viviparity
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
Author:While, GM (Dr Geoff While)
ID Code:63296
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2010-04-27
Last Modified:2012-09-10
Downloads:0

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