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Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction

Hanssen, S A; Hasselquist, Dennis LU ; Folstad, I and Erikstad, K E (2005) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 272(1567). p.1039-1046
Abstract
Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) by creating clutches of three and six eggs (natural range 3-6 eggs). The common eider is a long-lived sea-duck where females do not eat during the incubation period. Mass loss increased and immune function... (More)
Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) by creating clutches of three and six eggs (natural range 3-6 eggs). The common eider is a long-lived sea-duck where females do not eat during the incubation period. Mass loss increased and immune function (lymphocyte levels and specific antibody response to the non-pathogenic antigens diphtheria and tetanus toxoid) was reduced in females incubating large clutches. The increased incubation effort among females assigned to large incubation demand did not lead to adverse effects on current reproduction or return rate in the next breeding season. However, large incubation demand resulted in long-term fitness costs through reduced fecundity the year after manipulation. Our data show that in eiders, a long-lived species, the cost of high incubation demand is paid in the currency of reduced future fecundity, possibly mediated by reduced immune function. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
272
issue
1567
pages
1039 - 1046
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:16024362
  • wos:000230203900008
  • scopus:21744444108
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2005.3057
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3af963d4-1e1a-4b97-bb79-0b5d433ae174 (old id 145240)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 14:26:13
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:27:27
@article{3af963d4-1e1a-4b97-bb79-0b5d433ae174,
  abstract     = {Life-history theory predicts that increased current reproductive effort should lead to a fitness cost. This cost of reproduction may be observed as reduced survival or future reproduction, and may be caused by temporal suppression of immune function in stressed or hard-working individuals. In birds, consideration of the costs of incubating eggs has largely been neglected in favour of the costs of brood rearing. We manipulated incubation demand in two breeding seasons (2000 and 2001) in female common eiders (Somateria mollissima) by creating clutches of three and six eggs (natural range 3-6 eggs). The common eider is a long-lived sea-duck where females do not eat during the incubation period. Mass loss increased and immune function (lymphocyte levels and specific antibody response to the non-pathogenic antigens diphtheria and tetanus toxoid) was reduced in females incubating large clutches. The increased incubation effort among females assigned to large incubation demand did not lead to adverse effects on current reproduction or return rate in the next breeding season. However, large incubation demand resulted in long-term fitness costs through reduced fecundity the year after manipulation. Our data show that in eiders, a long-lived species, the cost of high incubation demand is paid in the currency of reduced future fecundity, possibly mediated by reduced immune function.},
  author       = {Hanssen, S A and Hasselquist, Dennis and Folstad, I and Erikstad, K E},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1567},
  pages        = {1039--1046},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Cost of reproduction in a long-lived bird: incubation effort reduces immune function and future reproduction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2005.3057},
  volume       = {272},
  year         = {2005},
}