Does juvenile helping enhance breeder reproductive success?
- 53 Downloads
Helping-at-the-nest has been studied in a number of avian species. In many cases helping appears to enhance the reproductive success of the breeders. Because assistance is often provided to kin, this help also indirectly affects the success of the helper. In our study we examined the ways in which juvenile moorhens (Gallinula chloropus) assist their parents. We also conducted a removal experiment to determine whether the help provided increases reproductive success independently of parental and territory quality. Juvenile moorhens assist their parents by feeding younger sibs and by territory and predator defense. However, the results of our removal experiment suggest that this help has little effect on reproductive success (Table 2). Thus the helping effect originally reported in this population may be confounded by parental and territory quality.
KeywordsReproductive Success Avian Species Removal Experiment Territory Quality Predator Defense
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Balda RP, Brown JL (1977) Observations on the behaviour of Hall's babbler. Emu 77:111–114Google Scholar
- Brown JL, Brown ER (1981) Kin selection and individual selection in babblers. In: Alexander RD, Tinkle DW (eds) Natural selection and social behavior: Recent research and new theory, Chiron Press, New York, pp 244–256Google Scholar
- Brown JL, Brown ER, Brown SD, Dow DD (1982) Helpers: Effects of experimental removal on reproductive success. Science 215:421–422Google Scholar
- Eden SF (1987) When do helpers help? Food availability and helping in the moorhen, Gallinula chloropus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 21:191–195Google Scholar
- Eden SF, Horn AG, Leonard ML (1989) Food provisioning lowers interclutch interval in moorhens. Ibis (in press)Google Scholar
- Gibbons DW (1985) Cooperation, conflict and manipulation in the moorhen, Gallinula chloropus. PhD thesis, University of CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Gibbons DW (1987) Juvenile helping in the moorhen, Gallinula chloropus. Anim Behav 35:170–181Google Scholar
- Gibbons DW (1989) Seasonal reproductive success of the moorhen Gallinula chloropus: the importance of male weight. Ibis 131:57–68Google Scholar
- Hunter LA (1985) The effects of helpers in cooperatively breeding purple gallinules. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 18:147–153Google Scholar
- Jamieson IG (1986) The functional approach to behaviour: Is it useful? Am Nat 127:195–208Google Scholar
- Koenig WD, Mumme RL (1987) Population ecology of the cooperatively breeding acorn woodpecker. Monogr Pop Biol, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJGoogle Scholar
- Petrie M (1983) Female moorhens compete for small fat males. Science 220:413–415Google Scholar
- Rabenold KN (1984) Cooperative enhancement of reproductive success in tropical wren societies. Ecology 63:871–885Google Scholar
- Rabenold KN (1985) Cooperation in breeding by nonreproductive wrens: Kinship, reciprocity, and demography. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 17:1–17Google Scholar
- Reyer H-U (1980) Flexible helper structure as an ecological adaptation in the pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis rudis L.). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 6:219–227Google Scholar
- Rowley I (1965) The life history of the superb blue wren, Malurus cyaneus. Emu 64:251–297Google Scholar
- Wood NA (1974) Breeding behaviour and biology of the moorhen. Br Birds 67:104–157Google Scholar
- Zahavi A (1974) Communal nesting by the Arabian babbler. Ibis 116:84–87Google Scholar
- Zar JH (1984) Biostatistical Analysis. Prentice-Hall Inc. New JerseyGoogle Scholar