Silver spoon effects of hatching order in an asynchronous hatching bird

Zitan Song, Yuqi Zou, Canshi Hu, Yuanxing Ye, Chao Wang, Baoping Qing, Jan Komdeur, Changqing Ding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The silver spoon hypothesis proposes that individuals which develop under favorable conditions will gain fitness benefits throughout their lifetime. Hatching order may create a considerable size hierarchy within a brood and lead to earlier-hatched nestlings having a competitive advantage over their siblings, which has been illustrated in some studies. However, there have been few explorations into the effect on subsequent generations. Here, using a 15-year-long study, we investigated the long-term fitness consequences of hatching order in the endangered crested ibis, Nipponia nippon, a species with complete hatching asynchrony. In this study, we found strong support for silver spoon effects acting on hatching order. Compared with later-hatched nestlings, first-hatched nestlings begin reproduction at an earlier age, have higher adult survival rates, possess a longer breeding life span, and achieve higher lifetime reproductive success. Interestingly, we found carry-over effects of hatching order into the next generation. Nestlings which hatched earlier and became breeders in turn also produced nestlings with larger tarsus and better body condition. Additionally, we found a positive correlation among life-history traits in crested ibis. Individuals which started reproduction at a younger age were shown to possess a longer breeding life span, and the annual brood size increased with an individual's breeding life span. This suggests that the earlier-hatched nestlings are of better quality and the silver spoon effects of hatching order cover all life-history stages and next generation effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-517
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019

Keywords

  • silver spoon effect
  • hatching order
  • long-term fitness consequence
  • life history
  • individual quality
  • crested ibis
  • REPRODUCTIVE TRADE-OFFS
  • LIFE-HISTORY TRAITS
  • LONG-LIVED BIRD
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-CONDITIONS
  • FITNESS CONSEQUENCES
  • OFFSPRING PHENOTYPE
  • INDIVIDUAL QUALITY
  • NATURAL-SELECTION
  • 1ST REPRODUCTION
  • BROOD REDUCTION

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