Parents face a trade-off between using resources in their offspring and using resources to increase their chances of survival so they can have more offspring. The best distribution of resources depends on age. More experienced parents get better food, so they can pass more on to their offspring. However, resources are needed to combat “wear and tear”, so less can be transferred in old age.
This increase-decrease in the pattern of progeny secretion is observed in many mammals, birds, and insects. Scientists from Bristol, along with colleagues from Exeter and Oxford, have found this pattern in important disease-carrying insects. tsetse to fly. Tsetse flies give birth to live babies, almost as big as their mothers.
Together with colleagues from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the team spent their entire lives studying Tsetse’s mother in the lab. Now the team has done a mathematical modelpublished in a journal Proceedings of the Royal Society Bwhich shows how the pattern can be explained by changes mother’s experience as they get older.
Tsetse live off blood, which is rich but hard to get. Insects have to fly far to find the animal and avoid its protective equipment, such as wagging its tail. Tsetse are probably better at foraging through experience, but the energy they need to fly increases when their wings wear out. Tsetse mothers have evolved to respond to these effects when passing fat on to their offspring.
“We expect parents to have developed optimal resource allocation models to maximize them reproductive success“said lead author Dr Antoine Barrot, a researcher at the University of Bristol and now a lecturer at Intertryp in Sirad, France.” Our work takes into account age-related factors such as feeding ability, energy expenditure and mortality. “
Dr Shined English from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol and team leader added: “Our model is the first to predict an initial increase and subsequent decrease with age allocation of resources by parents to their offspring.”
The mathematical model is applied to all animals that have more than one offspring throughout his life.
It predicts what strategic choices people will make depending on their environment. Some species will allocate almost everything for each reproduction, while others will increase their resources and breed less frequently. Explaining this diversity is the goal of the project.
“We hope this theory will inspire future tests with data from long-term studies of wild populations such as red deer, bison or terns. This will allow scientists to come up with a general theory of parental investment in their lives,” said Dr Barro.
The team is developing a model to include parasites that transmit tsetse. It is hoped that a better understanding of these important insects will be used to reduce the transmission of diseases such as sleeping sickness to humans and animals.
The inclusion of the influence of age on energy dynamics predicts nonlinear patterns of maternal distribution in iterative animals, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1098 / rspb.2021.1884. rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or… .1098 / rspb.2021.1884
University of Bristol
Citation: Why parents in the prime of life produce the best offspring (2022, February 15) obtained February 15, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-parents-prime-offspring.html
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