Begging and feeding responses vary with relatedness and sex of provisioners in a cooperative breeder.

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From: Animal Behaviour(Vol. 185)
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 470 words

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Keywords begging; cooperative breeding; feeding responses; helpers; parent--offspring interactions; sociable weaver Highlights * We investigated breeders and helpers' feeding responses to offspring begging. * Breeding males, but not females, fed faster after experiencing more begging calls. * Feeding by helpers of different sex and relatedness did not vary with begging. * Second-order related helpers experienced more begging calls than other provisioners. Begging behaviour can provide information on offspring hunger levels and be used by parents to adjust food provisioning efforts. In cooperative breeders, helpers also provide care by feeding the young. However, how helpers of different sex and relatedness to the offspring respond to begging behaviour has rarely been studied in cooperatively breeding species, which limits our understanding of the indirect and/or direct benefits that helpers may obtain by responding to offspring demand. Here, we used a cooperatively breeding bird, the sociable weaver, Philetairus socius, to investigate how nest intervisit intervals of breeders and different types of helpers, distinguished by sex and relatedness, varied with acoustic begging. Moreover, we tested whether these different classes of provisioners experienced distinct levels of begging. Our results show that only breeding males, but not breeding females or helpers of any sex and relatedness to the nestlings, returned faster to the nest to feed after experiencing more begging calls. When contrasted directly, we confirmed a statistically supported difference in responses to begging between male and female breeders. Surprisingly, second-order relatives experienced more begging calls than the other classes of more related helpers and breeders. These results show that we might find differences in how provisioners respond to begging levels when classifying group members according to their potential fitness gains. In sociable weavers, the benefits and costs of adjusting feeding efforts to begging seem to differ with sex and life history stage. Experimental and more detailed investigations on begging--feeding interactions are necessary to understand the origin and prevalence of these differences across cooperatively breeding systems. Author Affiliation: (a) CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Campus de Vairão, Universidade do Porto, Vairão, Portugal (b) Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal (c) BIOPOLIS Program in Genomics, Biodiversity and Land Planning, CIBIO, Campus de Vairão, Vairão, Portugal (d) CEFE, CNRS, Univ Montpellier, EPHE, IRD, Montpellier, France (e) Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST-NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (f) Institut des Neurosciences Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Saclay, CNRS (UMR 9197), Saclay, France (g) Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 7 August 2021; Revised 29 October 2021; Accepted 22 November 2021 (miscellaneous) MS number 21-00472 Byline: Rita Fortuna [ritafortuna@cibio.up.pt] (a,b,c,d,*), Pietro B. D'Amelio (d,e), Claire Doutrelant (d,e), André C. Ferreira (a,c,d), Clothilde Lecq (d,f), Liliana R. Silva (a,c), Rita Covas (a,c,e), Fanny Rybak (f), Matthieu Paquet (g)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A695208884