Electronic supplementary material: Details of species included in the meta-analysis (Table S1), flow diagram of the inclusion process for published articles in the analysis (Fig. S1), a funnel plot testing for publishing bias (Fig. S2), and all associated references. from Evolutionary implications of interspecific variation in a maternal effect: a meta-analysis of yolk testosterone response to competition

Competition between conspecifics during the breeding season can result in behavioural and physiological programming of offspring via maternal effects. For birds, in which maternal effects are best studied, it has been claimed that exposure to increased competition causes greater deposition of testosterone into egg yolks, which creates faster growing, more aggressive offspring; such traits are thought to be beneficial for high-competition environments. Nevertheless, not all species show a positive relationship between competitive interactions and yolk testosterone, and an explanation for this interspecific variation is lacking. We here test if the magnitude and direction of maternal testosterone allocated to eggs in response to competition can be explained by life-history traits while accounting for phylogenetic relationships. We performed a meta-analysis relating effect size of yolk testosterone response to competition with species coloniality, nest type, parental effort and mating type. We found that effect size was moderated by coloniality and nest type; colonial species and those with open nests allocate less testosterone to eggs when in more competitive environments. Applying a life-history perspective helps contextualize studies showing little or negative responses of yolk testosterone to competition and improves our understanding of how variation in this maternal effect may have evolved.