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Maternal predation risk increases offspring’s exploration but does not affect schooling behavior

Citation

Cattelan, Silvia et al. (2020), Maternal predation risk increases offspring’s exploration but does not affect schooling behavior, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cnp5hqc1g

Abstract

The environment that parents experience can influence their reproductive output and their offspring’s fitness via parental effects. Perceived predation risk can affect both parent and offspring phenotype, but it remains unclear to what extent offspring behavioral traits are affected when the mother is exposed to predation risk. This is particularly unclear in live-bearing species where maternal effects could occur during embryogenesis. Here, using a half-sib design to control for paternal effects, we experimentally exposed females of a live-bearing fish, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), to visual predator cues and conspecific alarm cues during their gestation. Females exposed to predation risk cues increased their anti-predator behaviors throughout the entire treatment. Offspring of mothers exposed to the predation stimuli exhibited more pronounced exploratory behavior, but did not show any significant differences in their schooling behavior, compared to controls. Thus, while maternally perceived risk affected offspring’s exploration during early stages of life, offspring’s schooling behavior could be influenced more by direct environmental experience, rather than via maternal cues. Our results suggest a rather limited role in predator-induced maternal effects on the behavior of juvenile guppies.

Funding

L’Oréal-Unesco

Università degli Studi di Padova, Award: PRAT-CPDA120105-2012

Università degli Studi di Padova, Award: BIRD-175144-2017

Università degli Studi di Padova, Award: PRAT-CPDA153859-2015

Swedish Research Council, Award: 2018-04076

L’Oréal-Unesco

Swedish Research Council, Award: 2018-04076