Navigation Links
The importance of being helpful -- Cooperative cichlids boost their own reproductive success
Date:5/15/2009

Subordinate individuals living within a group of vertebrates sometimes assist a more dominant pair by helping to raise the dominant pair's offspring and this has been shown to occur among subordinate female cichlids. Reporting in the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Dik Heg and colleagues at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the Ohio State University, suggest that rather than engaging in an act of reciprocal altruism, these subordinate females actually benefit from the care-giving they offer as the more helpful subordinates are more likely to reproduce.

A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain why subordinate female cichlids (Neolamprologus pulcher) often help to raise the offspring of unrelated dominant females (a form of alloparental care). Studying small groups of unrelated individuals, Heg and colleagues found no evidence that the helping behaviour of the subordinates was an example of reciprocal altruism, even though opportunities for reciprocation among cichlids are high, as the females lay eggs about every second weekthere was no correlation between the amount of care that dominants provided for their subordinates' broods and subordinates' alloparental care for dominants' broods.

The results of the PLoS ONE study suggest that while reciprocal altruism doesn't occur, the subordinate cichlids did receive reciprocal benefits in exchange for the care they provided for the offspring of dominant pairsa behaviour that enhanced their own chances of successfully reproducing. More specifically, a subordinate's helping behaviour ensures she gains access to the breeding substrate, on which she lays her eggs.

Heg and colleagues show that subordinates may be prepared to increase their care "payments" in return for enhancements in their own current reproductive potential (which they call the "pay-to-reproduce" hypothesis). Finally, subordinates may adjust their level of help according to parentage, at least in females

The authors suggest that this finding may also apply to other species, such as the female yellow-bellied marmot, which also adjusts its social behaviour largely to get access to direct reproduction.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Walton
rwalton@plos.org
44-122-346-3333
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The importance of gene regulation for common human disease
2. UNCCD recognizes importance of satellites for combating desertification
3. The importance of mangrove conservation in tsunami prone regions
4. Senate resolution shines spotlight on the importance of soils
5. American College of Medical Genetics affirms importance of newborn screening dried blood spots
6. Body part by body part, Sumatran tigers are being sold into extinction
7. Corporations can profit from being environmentally friendly
8. Loneliness undermines health as well as mental well-being
9. Issues at intersection of climate change and health impact global well-being
10. Promising new drug being evaluated as possible treatment option for fragile X syndrome
11. Breastfeeding boost IQ in infants with helpful genetic variant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of ... Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell ... Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into ... data, the first application of deep learning to create ... cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. ... these and future publicly available resources created and shared ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... its scientific power by providing investigators access to a high-profile scientific advisory ... the scientific advisory board. “We are committed to offering superior services and ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... varying industries, including food and dairy, munitions, and pharmaceutical/biotech, recently introduced The Revolution ... ease of use. The improvement in technology comes on the heels of HOLLOWAY’s ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... When James Sherley, was notified earlier this year that his company ... Year 2017 by The Silicon Review , he was not surprised as others might ... value, but this recognition by Silicon Valley was particularly meaningful. Our selection ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , ... May 16, 2017 , ... ... Trademark Office (USPTO) for a wireless electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) acquisition and monitoring ... be integrated into clothing, or secured directly onto the skin, making them significantly ...
Breaking Biology Technology: