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Individual variation in parental tradeoffs between the number and size of offspring at the pre- and post-natal stages

Citation

Du, Bo et al. (2020), Individual variation in parental tradeoffs between the number and size of offspring at the pre- and post-natal stages, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1jwstqjrg

Abstract

Life-history theory predicts that parents refer to the resources they hold to determine their breeding strategy. In multi-brooded species, it is hypothesized that single-brooded parents produce larger clutches and raise offspring with a brood survival strategy, whilst multi-brooded parents only do this under good breeding conditions. Under poor conditions, they produce smaller clutches and raise offspring with a brood reduction strategy. We tested this hypothesis in the Brown-cheeked Laughing Thrush Trochalopteron henrici, which can breed twice a year on the Tibetan Plateau, by investigating the life-history traits and provisioning behaviours of single- and double-brooded parents. Single-brooded parents laid larger clutches of smaller eggs and produced more and larger fledglings than double-brooded parents in their first brood. Double-brooded parents produced smaller clutches of larger eggs but fledged larger nestlings in their first brood than in their second brood. As single-brooded parents only need to raise one brood a year, then producing and raising as many offspring as possible (i.e., the brood survival strategy in a large brood) can maximize their reproductive success. For double-brooded parents, producing and raising fewer offspring in the first brood (i.e., the brood survival strategy in a small brood) can ensure their nesting success during a short breeding cycle. Additionally, producing more offspring but raising larger nestlings in the second brood (i.e., the brood reduction strategy in a large brood) can select for offspring of higher quality within the brood. Our findings indicate that different tradeoffs between single- and double-brooded parents in egg-laying and nestling-raising may be an adaptation to the seasonal variation in environmental conditions.

Methods

This dataset had been collected in the filed. It has not been processed.