Document Detail

Sex allocation in yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) depends on nutritional constraints on production of large last eggs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20007178     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Male and female offspring can differ in their susceptibility to pre-natal (e.g. egg quality) and post-natal (e.g. sib-sib competition) conditions, and parents can therefore increase their individual fitness by adjusting these maternal effects according to offspring sex. In birds, egg mass and laying/hatching order are the main determinants of offspring viability, but these effects can act differently on each sex. In a previous study, relatively large last-laid (c-)eggs of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) were more likely to carry a female embryo. This suggests compensatory allocation of maternal resources to daughters from c-eggs, which suffer reduced viability. In the present study, we supplemented yellow-legged gulls with food during the laying period to experimentally test whether their nutritional conditions were responsible for the observed covariation between c-egg sex and mass. As predicted, food supplementation enhanced female c-eggs' mass more than that of male c-eggs. Thus, this experiment indicates that mothers strategically allocated their resources to c-eggs, possibly in order to compensate for the larger susceptibility of daughters to hatching (and laying) order. The results also suggested that mothers decided on resource allocation depending on the sex of already ovulated c-eggs, rather than ovulating ova of either sex depending on food availability.
Nicola Saino; Maria Romano; Manuela Caprioli; Roberto Ambrosini; Diego Rubolini; Mauro Fasola
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2009-12-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  277     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2010 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-12     Completed Date:  2010-06-17     Revised Date:  2013-05-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1203-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, I-20133 Milano, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Charadriiformes / physiology*
Clutch Size / physiology*
Ovum / physiology*
Sex Ratio*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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