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Data from: Asynchronous hatching in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus quadripunctatus, maxmises parental fitness

Citation

Takata, Mamoru et al. (2014), Data from: Asynchronous hatching in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus quadripunctatus, maxmises parental fitness, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f3s8n

Abstract

Life history theory predicts that natural selection favours parents who balance investment across offspring to maximize fitness. Theoretical studies have shown that the optimal level of parental investment from the offspring's perspective exceeds that of its parents, and the disparity between the two generates evolutionary conflict for the allocation of parental investment. In various species, the offspring hatch asynchronously. The age hierarchy of the offspring usually establishes competitive asymmetries within the brood and determines the allocation of parental investment among offspring. However, it is not clear whether the allocation of parental investment determined by hatching pattern is optimal for parent or offspring. Here, we manipulated the hatching pattern of the burying beetle Nicrophorus quadripunctatus to demonstrate the influence of hatching pattern on the allocation of parental investment. We found that the total weight of a brood was largest in the group that mimicked the natural hatching pattern, with the offspring skewed towards early hatchers. This increases parental fitness. However, hatching patterns with more later hatchers had heavier individual offspring weights, which increases offspring fitness, but this hatching pattern is not observed in the wild. Thus, our study suggests that the natural hatching pattern optimizes parental fitness, rather than offspring fitness.

Usage Notes

Location

Japan