Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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    How to escape from insect egg parasitoids : a review of potential factors explaining parasitoid absence across the Insecta
    Fatouros, N.E. ; Cusumano, A. ; Bin, F. ; Polaszek, A. ; Lenteren, J.C. van - \ 2020
    Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 287 (2020)1931. - ISSN 0962-8452 - 1 p.
    egg deposition - egg protection - herbivory - hymenoptera - oviposition site - parental care

    The egg is the first life stage directly exposed to the environment in oviparous animals, including many vertebrates and most arthropods. Eggs are vulnerable and prone to mortality risks. In arthropods, one of the most common egg mortality factors is attack from parasitoids. Yet, parasitoids that attack the egg stage are absent in more than half of all insect (sub)orders. In this review, we explore possible causes explaining why eggs of some insect taxa are not parasitized. Many insect (sub)orders that are not attacked by egg parasitoids lack herbivorous species, with some notable exceptions. Factors we consider to have led to escape from egg parasitism are parental egg care, rapid egg development, small egg size, hiding eggs, by e.g. placing them into the soil, applying egg coatings or having thick chorions preventing egg penetration, eusociality, and egg cannibalism. A quantitative network analysis of host-parasitoid associations shows that the five most-speciose genera of egg parasitoids display patterns of specificity with respect to certain insect orders, especially Lepidoptera and Hemiptera, largely including herbivorous species that deposit their eggs on plants. Finally, we discuss the many counteradaptations that particularly herbivorous species have developed to lower the risk of attack by egg parasitoids.

    Nest attentiveness drives nest predation in arctic sandpipers
    Meyer, Nicolas ; Bollache, Loïc ; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François Xavier ; Moreau, Jérôme ; Afonso, Eve ; Angerbjörn, Anders ; Bêty, Joël ; Ehrich, Dorothée ; Gilg, Vladimir ; Giroux, Marie Andrée ; Hansen, Jannik ; Lanctot, Richard B. ; Lang, Johannes ; Lecomte, Nicolas ; McKinnon, Laura ; Reneerkens, Jeroen ; Saalfeld, Sarah T. ; Sabard, Brigitte ; Schmidt, Niels M. ; Sittler, Benoît ; Smith, Paul ; Sokolov, Aleksandr ; Sokolov, Vasiliy ; Sokolova, Natalia ; Bemmelen, Rob van; Gilg, Olivier - \ 2020
    Oikos 129 (2020)10. - ISSN 0030-1299 - p. 1481 - 1492.
    Arctic shorebirds - breeding behaviour - incubation recesses - incubation strategy - nest survival - parental care

    Most birds incubate their eggs to allow embryo development. This behaviour limits the ability of adults to perform other activities. Hence, incubating adults trade off incubation and nest protection with foraging to meet their own needs. Parents can either cooperate to sustain this tradeoff or incubate alone. The main cause of reproductive failure at this reproductive stage is predation and adults reduce this risk by keeping the nest location secret. Arctic sandpipers are interesting biological models to investigate parental care evolution as they may use several parental care strategies. The three main incubation strategies include both parents sharing incubation duties (‘biparental’), one parent incubating alone (‘uniparental’), or a flexible strategy with both uniparental and biparental incubation within a population (‘mixed’). By monitoring the incubation behaviour in 714 nests of seven sandpiper species across 12 arctic sites, we studied the relationship between incubation strategy and nest predation. First, we described how the frequency of incubation recesses (NR), their mean duration (MDR), and the daily total duration of recesses (TDR) vary among strategies. Then, we examined how the relationship between the daily predation rate and these components of incubation behaviour varies across strategies using two complementary survival analysis. For uniparental and biparental species, the daily predation rate increased with the daily total duration of recesses and with the mean duration of recesses. In contrast, daily predation rate increased with the daily number of recesses for biparental species only. These patterns may be attributed to two independent mechanisms: cryptic incubating adults are more difficult to locate than unattended nests and adults departing the nest or feeding close to the nest can draw predators’ attention. Our results demonstrate that incubation behaviour as mediated by incubation strategy has important consequences for sandpipers’ reproductive success.

    Alternation of nest visits varies with experimentally manipulated workload in brood-provisioning great tits
    Baldan, Davide ; Curk, Teja ; Hinde, Camilla A. ; Lessells, Catherine M. - \ 2019
    Animal Behaviour 156 (2019). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 139 - 146.
    cooperation - negotiation - parental care - Parus major - sexual conflict - turn taking

    In species with biparental care, the amount of care devoted to offspring is affected by the negotiation rules that the parents adopt. Recently, turn taking in provisioning visits has been proposed as a negotiation rule by which parents respond to their partner's behaviour, which results in a perfect alternation of the nest visits by the parents. Empirical evidence suggests that parents do not strictly alternate their visits, and, so far, this imperfect alternation has received no experimental investigation. In this study, we tested whether alternation of nest visits might be subject to time constraints affecting the ability of parents to strictly take turns. We manipulated the workload of 15 great tit, Parus major, pairs using a short-term brood size manipulation. Parental nest visits alternated more in reduced than control and enlarged broods. To understand whether this variability could be caused by changes in turn taking, we explored the rate and regularity of the parents' intervisit intervals. Treatment differences in alternation were still present when controlling for the rate and regularity of the visits by each of the two parents, suggesting that workload also affected alternation via the temporal sequence of the intervals (e.g. via turn taking). Our results show that alternation of nest visits varies in response to workload and is not merely a by-product of variation in visit rate or regularity.

    Variation in foraging strategies over a large spatial scale reduces parent–offspring conflict in Manx shearwaters
    Wischnewski, Saskia ; Arneill, Gavin E. ; Bennison, Ashley W. ; Dillane, Eileen ; Poupart, Timothée A. ; Hinde, Camilla A. ; Jessopp, Mark J. ; Quinn, John L. - \ 2019
    Animal Behaviour 151 (2019). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 165 - 176.
    dual foraging - Mid-Altlantic Ridge - parental care - parent–offspring conflict - Procellariiformes - spatial ecology - trade-off - tubenoses

    Parental care can lead to a conflict of interest between parents and offspring. For central place foragers, conflict is expected to be particularly intensive in species that feed on relatively inaccessible, distant food resources. Some pelagic seabirds use distinct foraging strategies when provisioning young versus self-feeding: short trips near the colony versus long trips far away. Limited empirical evidence suggests that the strategy used by parents depends on their own state and that of their young, suggesting that dynamic optimization may help reduce conflict. Tests of this hypothesis, however, are scarce. Using a combination of GPS tracking and nest monitoring, we examined whether foraging strategy choice by Manx shearwaters, Puffinus puffinus, is explained by the body condition of parents and offspring before trip departure, and whether choice affects condition upon return. When chick body condition was poor prior to departure, subsequent foraging trips by adults were significantly shorter and faster, and chick condition upon return improved. When chick condition was good prior to departure, the reverse happened. There was no evidence that adult condition affected subsequent trip choice, but adults returning from slow, long-duration trips were in comparatively better condition. Thus, although the trips that were good for offspring were different to those that were favourable for adults, trip choice was only dependent on chick condition, which may explain why there was no evidence for a trade-off between adult and chick condition during individual trips. Our results suggest that spatiotemporal variation in foraging strategies is driven by the conflicting needs of parents and offspring, but that the parents can reduce the conflict, resulting in no detectable trade-off under these conditions. This link between parental care and space use is likely to be widespread in central place foragers but remains largely unexplored in most systems.

    Compensatory and additive helper effects in the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis)
    Boheemen, Lotte A. van; Hammers, Martijn ; Kingma, Sjouke A. ; Richardson, David S. ; Burke, Terry ; Komdeur, Jan ; Dugdale, Hannah L. - \ 2019
    Ecology and Evolution 9 (2019)5. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 2986 - 2995.
    additive care - compensatory care - cooperative breeding - investment strategies - load-lightening - parental care - Seychelles warbler

    In cooperatively breeding species, care provided by helpers may affect the dominant breeders’ investment trade-offs between current and future reproduction. By negatively compensating for such additional care, breeders can reduce costs of reproduction and improve their own chances of survival. Alternatively, helper care can be additive to that of dominants, increasing the fledging fitness of the current brood. However, the influence helpers have on brood care may be affected by group size and territory quality. Therefore, the impact of helping needs to be disentangled from other factors determining offspring investment before conclusive inferences about the effect of help on additive and compensatory care can be made. We used 20 years of provisioning data to investigate the effect of helping on provisioning rates in the facultative cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler Acrocephalus sechellensis. Our extensive dataset allowed us to statistically disentangle the effects of helper presence, living in larger groups and different food availability. We show compensatory and additive care (i.e., partial compensation) in response to helper provisioning. Helpers lightened the provisioning load of the dominant male and female and increased total provisioning to nestlings. This was irrespective of group size or territory quality (food availability). Moreover, our results illustrate sex-specific variation in parental care over the course of the breeding event. We discriminate between temporal variation, group size, and territory quality processes affecting cooperative care and as such, gain further insight into the importance of these factors to the evolutionary maintenance of helping behavior.

    Data from: Simulated moult reduces flight performance but overlap with breeding does not affect breeding success in a long-distance migrant
    Mizumo Tomotani, Barbara ; Muijres, F.T. ; Koelman, Julia ; Casagrande, Stefania ; Visser, Marcel E. - \ 2017
    trade-off - pied flycatcher - high-speed camera - parental care - PIT-TAG - oxidative stress - plumage - Ficedula hypoleuca
    1. Long-distance migrants are time-constrained as they need to incorporate many annual cycle stages within a year. Migratory passerines moult in the short interval between breeding and migration. To widen this interval, moult may start while still breeding, but this results in flying with moulting wings when food provisioning. 2. We experimentally simulated wing gaps in breeding male pied flycatchers by plucking 2 primary feathers from both wings. We quantified the nest visitations of both parents, proportion of high-quality food brought to the nestlings and adults and nestlings condition. Differences in oxidative damage caused by a possible reduction in flight efficiency were measured in amounts of ROMs and OXY in the blood. We also measured how flight performance was affected with recordings of the male`s escape flight using high-speed cameras. Finally, we collected data on adult survival, clutch size and laying date in the following year. 3. “Plucked” males travelled a 5% shorter distance per wingbeat, showing that our treatment reduced flight performance. In line with this, “plucked” males visited their nests less often. Females of “plucked” males, however, visited the nest more often than controls, and fully compensated their partner’s reduced visitation rate. As a result, there were no differences between treatments in food quality brought to the nest, adult or chick mass or number of successfully fledged chicks. Males did not differ in their oxidative damage or local survival to the following year. In contrast, females paired with plucked males tended to return less often to breed in the next year in comparison to controls, but this difference was not significant. For the birds that did return there were no effects on breeding. 5. Our results reveal that wing gaps in male pied flycatchers reduce their flight performance, but when it occurs during breeding they prioritise their future reproduction by reducing parental care. As a result, there is no apparent detriment to their condition during breeding. Because non-moulting females are able to compensate their partner’s reduced care, there is also no immediate costs to the offspring, but females may pay the cost suffering from a reduced survival.
    Genetic consequences of breaking migratory traditions in barnacle geese Branta leucopsis
    Jonker, R.M. ; Kraus, R.H.S. ; Zhang, Q. ; Hooft, W.F. van; Larsson, K. ; Jeugd, H.P. van der; Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Wieren, S.E. van; Loonen, M.J.J.E. ; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Ydenberg, R.C. ; Groenen, M.A.M. ; Prins, H.H.T. - \ 2013
    Molecular Ecology 22 (2013)23. - ISSN 0962-1083 - p. 5835 - 5847.
    parental care - canada geese - evolution - bird - population - differentiation - direction - connectivity - relatedness - inheritance
    Cultural transmission of migratory traditions enables species to deal with their environment based on experiences from earlier generations. Also, it allows a more adequate and rapid response to rapidly changing environments. When individuals break with their migratory traditions new population structures can emerge that may affect gene flow. Recently, the migratory traditions of the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis changed, and new populations differing in migratory distance emerged. Here, we investigate the population genetic structure of the Barnacle Goose to evaluate the consequences of altered migratory traditions. We used a set of 358 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) markers to genotype 418 individuals from breeding populations in Greenland, Spitsbergen, Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands, the latter two being newly emerged populations. We used Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components, FST , linkage disequilibrium and a comparison of gene flow models using migrate-n to show that there is significant population structure, but that relatively many pairs of SNPs are in linkage disequilibrium, suggesting recent admixture between these populations. Despite the assumed traditions of migration within populations we also show that genetic exchange occurs between all populations. The newly established non-migratory population in the Netherlands is characterized by high emigration into other populations which suggests more exploratory behaviour, possibly as a result of shortened parental care. These results suggest that migratory traditions in populations are subject to change in geese and that such changes have population genetic consequences. We argue that the emergence of non-migration likely resulted from developmental plasticity.
    Amazon poison frogs (Ranitomeya amazonica) use different phytotelm characteristics to determine their suitablility for egg and tadpole deposition
    Poelman, E.H. ; Wijngaarden, R.P.A. van; Raaijmakers, C.E. - \ 2013
    Evolutionary Ecology 27 (2013)4. - ISSN 0269-7653 - p. 661 - 674.
    dendrobates-ventrimaculatus - parental care - intraguild predation - habitat selection - oviposition-site - cannibalism - competition - strategies - anura - size
    Parents have to assess the multivariate characteristics of their reproductive sites to maximize their reproductive success through offspring performance. In addition, they may provide care to ensure optimal performance of their offspring. In poison frogs it has been identified that ecological characteristics of reproductive sites may underlie transitions in the involvement of parental sexes in care for offspring. To elucidate the ecological factors that may drive these transitions, it is important to understand which characteristics poison frogs use to assess the quality of their reproductive site. We studied the use of small water bodies in leaf axils of bromeliads, phytotelmata, for egg and tadpole deposition by Amazon poison frogs (Ranitomeya amazonica). We compared phytotelm quality characteristics for preferred egg and tadpole deposition sites and used two choice tests with plastic cups to study the causal relationship with tadpole deposition for the identified characteristics. The differences among quality characteristics of deposition sites were largest among bromeliad species, and for egg or tadpole deposition different bromeliad species were preferred. However, males were also selective in the leaf axils within a bromeliad species that they used for egg or tadpole deposition. Eggs were deposited in small, resource limited water bodies that were close to the forest floor. Tadpoles were deposited in leaf axils holding resource-rich phytotelmata with larger water volumes. Preference of detritus containing water over clear water in choice tests confirmed that Amazon poison frogs assess quality of their tadpole deposition sites on food availability. We conclude that preference for large water volume and resource rich phytotelmata plays an important role in determining male involvement in parental care and speculate that distribution of preferred resources may bring about selection on female involvement in parental care.
    A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae)
    Brown, J.L. ; Twomey, E. ; Amézquita, A. ; Souza, M.B. ; Caldwell, J.P. ; Lötters, S. ; May, R. ; Melo-Sampaio, P.R. ; Mejía-Vargas, D. ; Perez-Peña, P. ; Pepper, M. ; Poelman, E.H. ; Sanchez-Rodriguez, M. ; Summers, K. - \ 2011
    Zootaxa 3083 (2011). - ISSN 1175-5326 - p. 1 - 120.
    mitochondrial-dna sequences - estimating bayes factors - parental care - phylogenetic-relationships - thermodynamic integration - genetic-divergence - tambopata region - biparental care - amazonian peru - evolution
    The Neotropical poison frog genus Ranitomeya is revised, resulting in one new genus, one new species, five synonymies and one species classified as nomen dubium. We present an expanded molecular phylogeny that contains 235 terminals, 104 of which are new to this study. Notable additions to this phylogeny include seven of the 12 species in the minuta group, 15 Ranitomeya amazonica, 20 R. lamasi, two R. sirensis, 30 R. ventrimaculata and seven R. uakarii. Previous researchers have long recognized two distinct, reciprocally monophyletic species groups contained within Ranitomeya, sensu Grant et al. 2006: the ventrimaculata group, which is distributed throughout much of the Amazon, and the minuta group of the northern Andes and Central America. We restrict Ranitomeya to the former group and erect a new genus, Andinobates Twomey, Brown, Amézquita & Mejía-Vargas gen. nov., for members of the minuta group. Other major taxonomic results of the current revision include the following: (i) A new species, Ranitomeya toraro Brown, Caldwell, Twomey, Melo-Sampaio & Souza sp. nov., is described from western Brazil. This species has long been referred to as R. ventrimaculata but new morphological and phylogenetic data place it sister to R. defleri. (ii) Examination of the holotype of R. ventrimaculata revealed that this specimen is in fact a member of what is currently referred to as R. duellmani, therefore, Dendrobates duellmani Schulte 1999 is considered herein a junior synonym of D. ventrimaculatus Shreve 1935 (= R. ventrimaculata). (iii) For the frogs that were being called R. ventrimaculata prior to this revision, the oldest available and therefore applicable name is R. variabilis. Whereas previous definitions of R. variabilis were restricted to spotted highland frogs near Tarapoto, Peru, our data suggest that this color morph is conspecific with lowland striped counterparts. Therefore, the definition of R. variabilis is greatly expanded to include most frogs which were (prior to this revision) referred to as R. ventrimaculata. (iv) Phylogenetic and bioacoustic evidence support the retention of R. amazonica as a valid species related to R. variabilis as defined in this paper. Based on phylogenetic data, R. amazonica appears to be distributed throughout much of the lower Amazon, as far east as French Guiana and the Amazon Delta and as far west as Iquitos, Peru. (v) Behavioral and morphological data, as well as phylogenetic data which includes topotypic material of R. sirensis and numerous samples of R. lamasi, suggest that the names sirensis, lamasi and biolat are applicable to a single, widespread species that displays considerable morphological variation throughout its range. The oldest available name for this group is sirensis Aichinger; therefore, we expand the definition of R. sirensis. (vi) Ranitomeya ignea and R. intermedia, elevated to the species status in a previous revision, are placed as junior synonyms of R. reticulata and R. imitator, respectively. (vii) Ranitomeya rubrocephala is designated as nomen dubium. In addition to taxonomic changes, this revision includes the following: (i) Explicit definitions of species groups that are consistent with our proposed taxonomy. (ii) A comprehensive dichotomous key for identification of ‘small’ aposematic poison frogs of South and Central America. (iii) Detailed distribution maps of all Ranitomeya species, including unpublished localities for most species. In some cases, these records result in substantial range extensions (e.g., R. uakarii, R. fantastica). (iv) Tadpole descriptions for R. amazonica, R. flavovittata, R. imitator, R. toraro sp. nov., R. uakarii and R. variabilis; plus a summary of tadpole morphological data for Andinobates and Ranitomeya species. (v) A summary of call data on most members of Andinobates and Ranitomeya, including call data of several species that have not been published before. (vi) A discussion on the continued impacts of the pet trade on poison frogs (vii) A discussion on several cases of potential Müllerian mimicry within the genus Ranitomeya. We also give opinions regarding the current debate on recent taxonomic changes and the use of the name Ranitomeya.
    Life-history strategies in freshwater macroinvertebrates
    Verberk, W.C.E.P. ; Siepel, H. ; Esselink, H. - \ 2008
    Freshwater Biology 53 (2008)9. - ISSN 0046-5070 - p. 1722 - 1738.
    developed ecological theory - upper rhone river - species traits - habitat templet - aquatic insects - parental care - communities - oligochaeta - evolution - future
    1. Explaining spatial and temporal differences in species assemblages is a central aim of ecology. It requires a sound understanding of the causal mechanisms underlying the relationship of species with their environment. A species trait is widely acknowledged to be the key that links pattern and process, although the enormous variety of traits hampers generalization about which combination of traits are adaptive in a particular environment. 2. In three steps, we used species traits to match species and environment, and chose lentic freshwater ecosystems to illustrate our approach. We first identified key environmental factors and selected the species traits that enable the organism to deal with them. Secondly, we investigated how investments in these traits are related (e.g. through trade-offs). Thirdly, we outlined 13 life-history strategies, based on biological species traits, their interrelations known from life-history theory and their functional implications. 3. Species traits and environmental conditions are connected through life-history strategies, with different strategies representing different solutions to particular ecological problems. In addition, strategies may present an integrated response to the environment as they are based on many different traits and their interrelationships. The presence and abundance of (species exhibiting) different life-history strategies in a location may therefore give direct information about how a particular environment is experienced by the species present. 4. Life-history strategies can be used to (i) explain differences in species assemblages either between locations or in different periods; (ii) compare waterbodies separated by large geographical distances, which may comprise different regional species pools or span species distribution areas and (iii) reduce often very complex, biodiverse assemblages into a few meaningful, easily interpretable relationships.
    Interannual differences in the relative timing of southward migration of male and female western sandpipers (Calidris mauri)
    Ydenberg, R.C. ; Niehaus, A.C. ; Lank, D.B. - \ 2005
    Naturwissenschaften 92 (2005)7. - ISSN 0028-1042 - p. 332 - 335.
    sexual selection - british-columbia - arrival times - parental care - chronology - evolution - ratio
    In the shorebird subfamily Calidridinae, one of the parents shortens parental care and initiates southward migration before the other. We estimated the difference in passage date between male and female western sandpipers (Calidris mauri) at their first major stopover on the southward migration from breeding areas in Alaska, in 18 years between 1978 and 2000. Overall, adult females preceded adult males by 1.22 days. A novel finding was that among juveniles, which migrate approximately a month later than adults, females preceded males by similar magnitude (1.14 days). There was wide variation among years, however, and males actually preceded females in years with late hatch. We relate these findings to hypotheses for female-first southward migration in sandpipers.
    Condition and coalition formation by brood-rearing common eider females
    Ost, M. ; Ydenberg, R.C. ; Kilpi, M. ; Lindstrom, K. - \ 2003
    Behavioral Ecology 14 (2003)3. - ISSN 1045-2249 - p. 311 - 317.
    somateria-mollissima - reproductive skew - creching behavior - parental care - gull predation - size - amalgamation - cooperation - waterfowl - adoption
    Partner choice is important in nature, and partnerships or coalitions within which reproduction is shared are the subject of growing interest. However, little attention has been given to questions of which individuals are suitable partners and why. Common eider (Somateria mollissima) females sometimes pool their broods and share brood-rearing duties, and body condition affects care decisions. We constructed a model in which females, based on their body condition and the structure of the joint brood, assess the fitness consequences of joining a coalition versus tending for young alone. We tested the model's predictions by comparing data on the condition of females in enduring and transient coalitions. Our model showed that the range of acceptable brood arrays in a female coalition decreases with increasing condition of the female, so females tending alone should be in better condition than multifemale tenders. This prediction is in agreement with previous data. The model also predicts that females in good condition should join coalitions with females in poor condition and not with other females in good condition. This prediction was also supported by data: in enduring two-female coalitions, the positive correlation between the better female's condition and the difference in condition between the two females was stronger than would be expected by random grouping of females. In contrast, in transient coalitions of females, this correlation did not differ from the correlation expected under random grouping. Model assumptions seem to fit with eider natural history, and the model may prove to be a useful way to study brood amalgamation behavior of waterfowl in general.
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