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Takes good care of the offspring because is the father or is the father because takes good care of the offspring? co-evolution between paternal effort and traits that bias paternity

Grant number: 14/21790-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2015
Effective date (End): May 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Glauco Machado
Grantee:Gustavo Requena Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


One fundamental question in behavioral ecology is how the costly male parental care may have evolved and been maintained by natural selection, despite female promiscuity. Theoretical advances based on widely accepted hypotheses of parental investment, life-history, and sexual selection predict that males unable to adjust their parental behavior in response to variation in the expected paternity should have been penalized over the evolutionary time. Empirical results, however, fail to consistently support male behavioral adjustment in parental care in response to cues denoting changes in the female promiscuity level. Taking into account the natural variation regarding the costs of parental care across species, we propose that male parental effort may have, in fact, modulated paternity, in a process mediated by sexual selection. Therefore, we will establish a new research program based on a theoretical approach in order to contrast these two alternative hypotheses. We will formalize mathematically our hypothesis, incorporating biological realism from species with paternal care into models of game theory (sperm competition games) and quantitative genetic (models of interacting phenotypes). Therefore, this project aims to build a new theoretical framework to investigate the coevolution of paternal effort and male reproductive success that conceptually reverses the evolutionary relationship between two variables commonly used in behavioral ecology. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
REQUENA, GUSTAVO S.; ALONZO, SUZANNE H.. Sperm competition games when males invest in paternal care. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, v. 284, n. 1860, . (14/21790-2)
QUESADA-HIDALGO, ROSANNETTE; SOLANO-BRENES, DIEGO; REQUENA, GUSTAVO S.; MACHADO, GLAUCO. The good fathers: efficiency of male care and the protective role of foster parents in a Neotropical arachnid. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, v. 150, p. 147-155, . (15/10448-4, 14/21790-2)
NOLAZCO, SERGIO; REQUENA, GUSTAVO S.. Flexible compensation of uniparental care in an arachnid species: things are not always what they seem. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, v. 143, p. 67-81, . (14/21790-2)

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