Helpers compensate for age-related declines in parental care and offspring survival in a cooperatively breeding bird

Martijn Hammers, Sjouke Kingma, Lotte Van Boheemen, Alexandra Sparks, Terry Burke, Hannah Dugdale, David Richardson & Jan Komdeur
Offspring from elderly parents often have lower survival due to parental senescence. In cooperatively breeding species, where offspring care is shared between breeders and helpers, the alloparental care provided by helpers is predicted to mitigate the impact of parental senescence on offspring provisioning and, subsequently, offspring survival. We test this prediction using data from a long-term study on cooperatively breeding Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis). We find that the nestling-provisioning rate of female breeders declines with...
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