Parental Investment and sexual immune dimorphism in cichlids ans syngnathids
I investigated how the interrelationship between parental investment and sexual immune dimorphism shape the evolution of parental care strategies within the cichlids and syngnathids. To understand why parental investment is displayed in such diversity in the animal kingdom, I assessed evolutionary and provisioning costs of parental investment in male pregnancy, biparental and maternal mouthbrooding. Additionally, to address the importance of parental investment, I tested for maternal effects transferred via mouthbrooding, focusing on the transferofimmunologicalinformation. Icouldidentifydifferentialallocationof resources between the two parental care strategies, mouthbrooding and male pregnancy, in both provisioning and evolutionary costs of parental care. Further, my data suggest that both parental care and mating system influence sexual dimorphism. I was not able to detect transfer of immunological information via mouthbrooding; rather, my data imply that stressed mothers are impeded in their resources that can be allocated to boost their offspring survival.