TITLE

Sharing of Potential Nest Sites by Etheostoma olmstedi Males Suggests Mutual Tolerance in an Alloparental Species

AUTHOR(S)
Stiver, Kelly A.; Wolff, Stephen H.; Alonzo, Suzanne H.
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
When reproductive competitors tolerate or cooperate with one another, they may gain particular benefits, such as collectively guarding resources or attracting mates. Shared resources may be those essential to reproduction, such as a breeding site or nest. Using the tessellated darter, a species where males but not females compete over potential nest sites, we examined site use and sharing under controlled conditions of differing competitor density. Sharing was observed even when competitor density was low and individuals could have each occupied a potential nest site without same-sex sharing. Males were more likely to share a nest site with one other when the difference in size between them was larger rather than smaller. There was no evidence that female sharing was dependent on their relative size. Fish were generally more likely to use and share larger sites, in accordance with the greater relative surface area they offered. We discuss how one or both sharing males may potentially benefit, and how male sharing of potential nest sites could relate to female mating preferences. Tessellated darter males are known to provide alloparental care for eggs but this occurs without any social contact between the alloparent and the genetic father of the young. Thus, the suggestion that they may also share sites and maintain social contact with reproductive competitors highlights the importance of increased focus on the potential complexity of reproductive systems.
ACCESSION #
87624231

 

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