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Data from: Adaptation to monogamy influences parental care but not mating behavior in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides

Citation

Schrader, Matthew; Keller, Madolin; Lucey, Garrett (2021), Data from: Adaptation to monogamy influences parental care but not mating behavior in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ngf1vhhr0

Abstract

The mating system is expected to have an important influence on the evolution of mating and parenting behaviors. Although many studies have used experimental evolution to examine how mating behaviors evolve under different mating systems, this approach has seldom been used to study the evolution of parental care. We used experimental evolution to test whether adaptation to different mating systems involves changes in mating and parenting behaviors in populations of the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. We maintained populations under monogamy or promiscuity for six generations. This manipulation had an immediate impact on reproductive performance and adult survival. Compared to monogamy, promiscuity reduced brood size and adult (particularly male) survival during breeding. After six generations of experimental evolution, there was no divergence between monogamous and promiscuous populations in mating behaviors. However, we found that parents from the promiscuous populations (especially males) displayed less care than parents from the monogamous populations. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that male care will increase with the certainty of paternity. However, it appears that this change is not associated with a concurrent change in mating behaviors.