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Malaria-Infected Female Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) Do Not Pay the Cost of Late Breeding.

Kulma, Katarzyna; Low, Matthew; Bensch, Staffan LU and Qvarnström, Anna (2014) In PLoS ONE 9(1).
Abstract
Life-history theory predicts that the trade-off between parasite defense and other costly traits such as reproduction may be most evident when resources are scarce. The strength of selection that parasites inflict on their host may therefore vary across environmental conditions. Collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) breeding on the Swedish island Öland experience a seasonal decline in their preferred food resource, which opens the possibility to test the strength of life-history trade-offs across environmental conditions. We used nested-PCR and quantitative-PCR protocols to investigate the association of Haemosporidia infection with reproductive performance of collared flycatcher females in relation to a seasonal change in the... (More)
Life-history theory predicts that the trade-off between parasite defense and other costly traits such as reproduction may be most evident when resources are scarce. The strength of selection that parasites inflict on their host may therefore vary across environmental conditions. Collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) breeding on the Swedish island Öland experience a seasonal decline in their preferred food resource, which opens the possibility to test the strength of life-history trade-offs across environmental conditions. We used nested-PCR and quantitative-PCR protocols to investigate the association of Haemosporidia infection with reproductive performance of collared flycatcher females in relation to a seasonal change in the external environment. We show that despite no difference in mean onset of breeding, infected females produced relatively more of their fledglings late in the season. This pattern was also upheld when considering only the most common malaria lineage (hPHSIB1), however there was no apparent link between the reproductive output and the intensity of infection. Infected females produced heavier-than-average fledglings with higher-than-expected recruitment success late in the season. This reversal of the typical seasonal trend in reproductive output compensated them for lower fledging and recruitment rates compared to uninfected birds earlier in the season. Thus, despite different seasonal patterns of reproductive performance the overall number of recruits was the same for infected versus uninfected birds. A possible explanation for our results is that infected females breed in a different microhabitat where food availability is higher late in the season but also is the risk of infection. Thus, our results suggest that another trade-off than the one we aimed to test is more important for explaining variation in reproductive performance in this natural population: female flycatchers appear to face a trade-off between the risk of infection and reproductive success late in the season. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
9
issue
1
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • pmid:24465726
  • wos:000330288000027
  • scopus:84899839583
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0085822
project
Malaria in birds
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c2f3158c-0432-4736-88b9-8aaa8849d31a (old id 4290614)
date added to LUP
2014-02-28 13:32:02
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:05:42
@article{c2f3158c-0432-4736-88b9-8aaa8849d31a,
  abstract     = {Life-history theory predicts that the trade-off between parasite defense and other costly traits such as reproduction may be most evident when resources are scarce. The strength of selection that parasites inflict on their host may therefore vary across environmental conditions. Collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) breeding on the Swedish island Öland experience a seasonal decline in their preferred food resource, which opens the possibility to test the strength of life-history trade-offs across environmental conditions. We used nested-PCR and quantitative-PCR protocols to investigate the association of Haemosporidia infection with reproductive performance of collared flycatcher females in relation to a seasonal change in the external environment. We show that despite no difference in mean onset of breeding, infected females produced relatively more of their fledglings late in the season. This pattern was also upheld when considering only the most common malaria lineage (hPHSIB1), however there was no apparent link between the reproductive output and the intensity of infection. Infected females produced heavier-than-average fledglings with higher-than-expected recruitment success late in the season. This reversal of the typical seasonal trend in reproductive output compensated them for lower fledging and recruitment rates compared to uninfected birds earlier in the season. Thus, despite different seasonal patterns of reproductive performance the overall number of recruits was the same for infected versus uninfected birds. A possible explanation for our results is that infected females breed in a different microhabitat where food availability is higher late in the season but also is the risk of infection. Thus, our results suggest that another trade-off than the one we aimed to test is more important for explaining variation in reproductive performance in this natural population: female flycatchers appear to face a trade-off between the risk of infection and reproductive success late in the season.},
  articleno    = {e85822},
  author       = {Kulma, Katarzyna and Low, Matthew and Bensch, Staffan and Qvarnström, Anna},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Malaria-Infected Female Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis) Do Not Pay the Cost of Late Breeding.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085822},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2014},
}