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dc.contributor.advisorSmiseth, Per
dc.contributor.advisorCunningham, Emma
dc.contributor.authorPilakouta, Natalie
dc.date.accessioned2018-03-13T10:18:25Z
dc.date.available2018-03-13T10:18:25Z
dc.date.issued2017-07-07
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/28781
dc.description.abstractThere are three social dimensions within a family: parent-parent interactions, parent-offspring interactions, and offspring-offspring interactions. All of these interactions are subject to evolutionary conflict, which occurs whenever interacting individuals have divergent evolutionary interests. Family interactions and family conflict are often influenced by phenotypic and genotypic traits of the parents and the offspring. An important phenotypic trait is body size, which can affect fecundity, mating success, and fighting ability. An important genotypic trait is inbreeding status (i.e., whether an individual is outbred or inbred), which can influence its overall quality or condition. In this thesis, I investigate the independent and interactive effects of inbreeding and parental body size on family interactions in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. I first show that the body size of the two parents influences the resolution of sexual conflict over the amount of parental care (Chapter 2) and over the consumption of a shared resource (Chapter 3). Here, the shared resource refers to the carcass from which both the parents and the offspring feed over the course of the breeding attempt. I then show that females that won or lost a fighting contest provide more care to their offspring compared to beetles with no fighting experience (Chapter 4). This indicates that female burying beetles make parental investment decisions based on their experience with a contest (which is independent of body size) rather than the outcome of that contest (which is dependent on body size):. In the second half of my thesis, I examine whether family interactions also influence and are influenced by inbreeding depression (Chapters 5–8). I find that a female's mating preference for an outbred versus an inbred male is conditional on her own inbreeding status: inbred females preferentially mate with outbred males, whereas outbred females are equally likely to mate with an outbred or an inbred male (Chapter 5). Even though sibling competition does not appear to have an effect on the offspring's inbreeding depression (Chapter 6), the presence of the mother during larval development can reduce the severity of inbreeding depression (Chapter 7), and this effect depends on the mother's body size (Chapter 8). In Chapter 9, I discuss the broader implications of these findings for evolutionary biology, ecology, and conservation biology.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Richardson J, Smiseth PT (2015) State-dependent cooperation in burying beetles: parents adjust their contribution towards care based on both their own and their partner’s size. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28:1965-1974.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Richardson J, Smiseth PT (2015) If you eat, I eat: resolution of sexual conflict over consumption from a shared resource. Animal Behaviour 111:175–180.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Halford C, Rácz R, Smiseth PT (2016) Effects of prior contest experience and contest outcome on female reproductive decisions and offspring fitness. American Naturalist 188:319–328.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Smiseth PT (2017) Female mating preferences for outbred versus inbred males are conditional upon the female's own inbreeding status. Animal Behavior 123:369–374.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Sieber D, Smiseth PT (2016) Sibling competition does not exacerbate inbreeding depression in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29:704-710.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Jamieson S, Moorad JA, Smiseth PT (2015) Parental care buffers against inbreeding depression in burying beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112:8031-8035.en
dc.relation.hasversionPilakouta N, Smiseth PT (2016). Maternal effects alter the severity of inbreeding depression in the offspring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283:20161023.en
dc.subjectevolutionary biologyen
dc.subjectanimal behaviouren
dc.subjectburying beetleen
dc.subjectinbreedingen
dc.subjectparental careen
dc.titleBody size, inbreeding, and family interactions in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloidesen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen
dc.rights.embargodate2100-12-31en
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted Accessen


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