No evidence for kin recognition in a passerine bird

Autoři: Martina Lattore aff001;  Shinichi Nakagawa aff002;  Terry Burke aff003;  Mireia Plaza aff004;  Julia Schroeder aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Life Science, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot, United Kingdom aff001;  Evolution & Ecology Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia aff002;  Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom aff003;  Department of Evolutionary Ecology, National Museum of Natural Sciencie-CSIC, Madrid, Spain aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Theory predicts that individuals behave altruistically towards their relatives. Hence, some form of kin recognition is useful for individuals to optimize their behavior. In species that display bi-parental care and are subject to extra-pair matings, kin recognition theoretically can allow cuckolded fathers to reduce their parental investment, and thus optimize their fitness. Whether this is possible remains unclear in birds. This study investigates whether males provide differential parental care depending on relatedness, as a proxy to recognizing chicks in their nest as kin or not. We cross-fostered House sparrow (Passer domesticus) chicks after hatching, and then expected that fathers would show a decrease in their parental efforts when tending to a clutch of unrelated offspring. House sparrow males are able to adjust their parental care to the identity of their partner, making them an ideal study species. However, there was no significant effect of relatedness on provisioning rates. This suggests that sparrows may not be capable of kin recognition, or at least do not display kin discrimination despite its apparent evolutionary advantage.

Klíčová slova:

Altruistic behavior – Animal migration – Behavior – Bird genetics – Birds – Fathers – Islands – Nesting habits


1. Hepper P. Kin recognition. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press; 1991.

2. Mateo J, Johnston R. Kin recognition and the “armpit effect”: evidence of self-referent phenotype matching. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 2000; 267(1444): 695–700. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1058 10821615

3. Mateo J. Kin-recognition abilities and nepotism as a function of sociality. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 2002; 269(1492): 721–727. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2001.1947 11934364

4. Clark R. Kin recognition in rattlesnakes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 2004; 271.

5. Gerlach G, Lysiak N. Kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in zebrafish, Danio rerio, is based on phenotype matching. Animal Behaviour. 2006; 71(6): 1371–1377.

6. Koenig W, Dickinson J. Cooperative breeding in vertebrates. 1st ed. Cambridge University Press; 2016.

7. Hamilton W. The genetical evolution of social behaviour. I. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 1964; 7(1): 1–16. doi: 10.1016/0022-5193(64)90038-4 5875341

8. Penn D, Frommen J. Kin recognition: an overview of conceptual issues, mechanisms and evolutionary theory. Animal Behaviour: Evolution and Mechanisms. 2010: 55–85.

9. Fisher R. The genetical theory of natural selection. 1st ed. Oxford: The Clarendon Press; 1930.

10. Gardner A, West S, Wild G. The genetical theory of kin selection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2011; 24(5): 1020–1043. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02236.x 21371156

11. Holmes W, Sherman P. Kin Recognition in Animals: The Prevalence of Nepotism among Animals Raises Basic Questions about How and Why They Distinguish Relatives from Unrelated Individuals. American Scientist. 1983; 71(1): 46–55.

12. Hartley I, Davies N, Hatchwell B, Desrochers A, Nebel D, Burke T. The polygynandrous mating system of the alpine accentor, Prunella collaris. II. Multiple paternity and parental effort. Animal Behaviour. 1995; 49(3): 789–803.

13. Kempenaers B, Sheldon B. Why do male birds not discriminate between their own and extra-pair offspring?. Animal Behaviour. 1996; 51(5): 1165–1173.

14. Schroeder J, Cleasby I, Dugdale H, Nakagawa S, Burke T. Social and genetic benefits of parental investment suggest sex differences in selection pressures. Journal of Avian Biology. 2012; 44(2): 133–140.

15. Grafen A. Opportunity cost, benefit and degree of relatedness. Animal Behaviour. 1980;28: 967–68.

16. Trivers R. Parental investment and sexual selection. Harvard University; 1972.

17. Sharp S, McGowan A, Wood M, Hatchwell B. Learned kin recognition cues in a social bird. Nature. 2005; 434(7037): 1127–1130. doi: 10.1038/nature03522 15858573

18. Burke T, Davies N, Bruford M, Hatchwell B. Parental care and mating behaviour of polyandrous dunnocks Prunella modularis related to paternity by DNA fingerprinting. Nature. 1989; 338(6212): 249–251.

19. Boncoraglio G, Saino N. Barn swallow chicks beg more loudly when broodmates are unrelated. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2007; 21(1): 256–262. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01441.x 18021204

20. Krause E, Kruger O, Kohlmeier P, Caspers B. Olfactory kin recognition in a songbird. Biology Letters. 2012; 8(3): 327–329. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.1093 22219391

21. Ockendon N, Griffith S, Burke T. Extrapair paternity in an insular population of house sparrows after the experimental introduction of individuals from the mainland. Behavioral Ecology. 2009; 20(2): 305–312.

22. Hsu Y, Schroeder J, Winney I, Burke T, Nakagawa S. Costly infidelity: low lifetime fitness of extra-pair offspring in a passerine bird. Evolution. 2014; 68(10): 2873–2884. doi: 10.1111/evo.12475 24931726

23. Schroeder J, Hsu Y, Winney I, Simons M, Nakagawa S, Burke T. Predictably Philandering Females Prompt Poor Paternal Provisioning. The American Naturalist. 2016; 188(2): 219–230. doi: 10.1086/687243 27420786

24. Schroeder J, Dugdale H, Nakagawa S, Sparks A, Burke T. Social genetic effects (IGE) and genetic intra- and intersexual genetic correlation contribute to the total heritable variance in parental care. 2019; doi: 10.32942/

25. Westneat D, and Stewart I. Extra-Pair Paternity in Birds: Causes, Correlates, and Conflict. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 2003; 34: 365–396.

26. Nakagawa S, Gillespie D, Hatchwell B, Burke T. Predictable males and unpredictable females: sex difference in repeatability of parental care in a wild bird population. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 2007; 20(5): 1674–1681. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01403.x 17714284

27. Schroeder J, Nakagawa S, Rees M, Mannarelli M, Burke T. Reduced fitness in progeny from old parents in a natural population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2015; 112(13): 4021–4025.

28. Westneat D, Bókony V, Burke T, Chastel O, Jensen H, Kvalnes T, et al. Multiple aspects of plasticity in clutch size vary among populations of a globally distributed songbird. Journal of Animal Ecology. 2014; 83: 876–887. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12191 24286484

29. Winney I, Nakagawa S, Hsu Y, Burke T, Schroeder J. Troubleshooting the potential pitfalls of cross-fostering. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 2015; 6(5): 584–592.

30. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing; 2018.

31. van de Pol M, Wright J. A simple method for distinguishing within- versus between-subject effects using mixed models. Animal Behaviour. 2009; 77(3): 753–758.

32. Amo L, Tomás G, Parejo D, Avilés J. Are Female Starlings Able to Recognize the Scent of Their Offspring?. PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(10).

33. Whittingham L, Dunn P. Survival of extrapair and within-pair young in tree swallows. Behavioral Ecology. 2001; 12(4): 496–500.

34. Beecher M, Beecher I, Hahn S. Parent-offspring recognition in bank swallows (Riparia riparia): II. Development and acoustic basis. Animal Behaviour. 1981; 29(1): 95–101.

35. Van Elsacker L, Frans Verheyen R, Pinxten R. Timing of Offspring Recognition in Adult Starlings. Behaviour. 1988; 107(1–2): 122–130.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
Nejčtenější tento týden