PATERNAL CARE: DIRECT AND INDIRECT GENETIC EFFECTS OF FATHERS ON OFFSPRING PERFORMANCE
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2012
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 66, Issue 11, pages 3570–3581, November 2012
How to Cite
Head, M. L., Berry, L. K., Royle, N. J. and Moore, A. J. (2012), PATERNAL CARE: DIRECT AND INDIRECT GENETIC EFFECTS OF FATHERS ON OFFSPRING PERFORMANCE. Evolution, 66: 3570–3581. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01699.x
- Issue published online: 25 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JUN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 MAY 2012 09:34PM EST
- Received December 2, 2011 Accepted May 2, 2012 Data Archived: Dryad doi:10.5061/dryad.8906j
- indirect genetic effects;
- maternal effects;
- parental effects;
- paternal care;
- quantitative genetics
Knowledge of how genetic effects arising from parental care influence the evolution of offspring traits comes almost exclusively from studies of maternal care. However, males provide care in some taxa, and often this care differs from females in quality or quantity. If variation in paternal care is genetically based then, like maternal care and maternal effects, paternal effects may have important consequences for the evolution of offspring traits via indirect genetic effects (IGEs). IGEs and direct–indirect genetic covariances associated with parental care can contribute substantially to total heritability and influence predictions about how traits respond to selection. It is unknown, however, if the magnitude and sign of parental effects arising from fathers are the same as those arising from mothers. We used a reciprocal cross-fostering experiment to quantify environmental and genetic effects of paternal care on offspring performance in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides. We found that IGEs were substantial and direct–indirect genetic covariances were negative. Combined, these patterns led to low total heritabilities for offspring performance traits. Thus, under paternal care, offspring performance traits are unlikely to evolve in response to selection, and variation in these traits will be maintained in the population despite potentially strong selection on these traits. These patterns are similar to those generated by maternal care, indicating that the genetic effects of care on offspring performance are independent of the caregiver's sex.