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The Effects of a Trade-Off Between Foraging and Brood Defense On Parental Behaviour in the Convict Cichlid Fish, Cichlasoma Nigrofasciatum

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Parental convict cichlids, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum, responded to the presence of a potential brood predator by decreasing net energy gains (food intake decreased and energy expenditure increased) while increasing parental effort (large allocation of time to brood defense). These behaviours are important factors in the life-history trade-off between current and future reproductive investments. The allocation of energy into defense behaviours and elevated activity levels, combined with a voluntary reduction of food consumption, represent an investment in the current brood which could (in nature) reduce future reproduction. Contrary to parental investment theory predictions, consistent increases in parental effort with brood age were not evident.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Biology, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, Canada E0A 3C0


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