Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host

Krüger O (2011)
Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 278(1719): 2777-2783.

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Abstract / Bemerkung
In coevolutionary arms races, like between cuckoos and their hosts, it is easy to understand why the host is under selection favouring anti-parasitism behaviour, such as egg rejection, which can lead to parasites evolving remarkable adaptations to 'trick' their host, such as mimetic eggs. But what about cases where the cuckoo egg is not mimetic and where the host does not act against it? Classically, such apparently non-adaptive behaviour is put down to evolutionary lag: given enough time, egg mimicry and parasite avoidance strategies will evolve. An alternative is that absence of egg mimicry and of anti-parasite behaviour is stable. Such stability is at first sight highly paradoxical. I show, using both field and experimental data to parametrize a simulation model, that the absence of defence behaviour by Cape bulbuls (Pycnonotus capensis) against parasitic eggs of the Jacobin cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is optimal behaviour. The cuckoo has evolved massive eggs (double the size of bulbul eggs) with thick shells, making it very hard or impossible for the host to eject the cuckoo egg. The host could still avoid brood parasitism by nest desertion. However, higher predation and parasitism risks later in the season makes desertion more costly than accepting the cuckoo egg, a strategy aided by the fact that many cuckoo eggs are incorrectly timed, so do not hatch in time and hence do not reduce host fitness to zero. Selection will therefore prevent the continuation of any coevolutionary arms race. Non-mimetic eggs and absence of defence strategies against cuckoo eggs will be the stable, if at first sight paradoxical, result.
Stichworte
arms race; coevolution; egg acceptance; behaviour; optimal; brood parasitism
Erscheinungsjahr
2011
Zeitschriftentitel
Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
Band
278
Ausgabe
1719
Seite(n)
2777-2783
ISSN
0962-8452
eISSN
1471-2954
Page URI
https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/record/2326396

Zitieren

Krüger O. Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences. 2011;278(1719):2777-2783.
Krüger, O. (2011). Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 278(1719), 2777-2783. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2629
Krüger, O. (2011). Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 278, 2777-2783.
Krüger, O., 2011. Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 278(1719), p 2777-2783.
O. Krüger, “Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host”, Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, vol. 278, 2011, pp. 2777-2783.
Krüger, O.: Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences. 278, 2777-2783 (2011).
Krüger, Oliver. “Brood parasitism selects for no defence in a cuckoo host”. Proceedings of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 278.1719 (2011): 2777-2783.

7 Zitationen in Europe PMC

Daten bereitgestellt von Europe PubMed Central.

Keeping eggs warm: thermal and developmental advantages for parasitic cuckoos of laying unusually thick-shelled eggs.
Yang C, Huang Q, Wang L, Du WG, Liang W, Møller AP., Naturwissenschaften 105(1-2), 2018
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Samaš P, Rutila J, Honza M, Kysučan M, Grim T., Proc Biol Sci 285(1889), 2018
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Chicks of the great spotted cuckoo may turn brood parasitism into mutualism by producing a foul-smelling secretion that repels predators.
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Brood parasite eggs enhance egg survivorship in a multiply parasitized host.
Gloag R, Fiorini VD, Reboreda JC, Kacelnik A., Proc Biol Sci 279(1734), 2012
PMID: 22158956

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