Population sex ratio influences parental care in plovers

The ratio of adult males and females is an important demographic trait in wild populations. In plovers, closely related populations express strikingly different adult sex ratios, according to researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and colleagues. This variation is mainly driven by sex differences in the survival of juveniles. Families in populations with biased adult sex ratios were predominantly tended by a single parent (typically the father), whereas in balanced populations, generally both parents take care of the young—suggesting that parental cooperation breaks down under an unbalanced sex ratio. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)