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Maternal effects reduce oxidative stress in female nestlings under high parasite load

Greet De Coster (UGent) , Liesbeth De Neve (UGent) , Simon Verhulst and Luc Lens (UGent)
(2012) JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY. 43(2). p.177-185
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Abstract
Mothers can adjust the phenotype of their offspring to the local environment through a modification of their egg investment and/or nestling provisioning. However, offspring health may be severely impaired if the conditions experienced by nestlings do not match with those anticipated by the mother. If maternal effects differentially affect the sexes or if one sex is more strongly affected by an environmental stressor, fitness benefits may also differ between male and female offspring. Here, we study maternal effects in male and female great tit Parus major nestlings by means of an ectoparasite treatment before egg-laying combined with a partial cross-foster experiment between broods of infested and uninfested nests. Nestlings that were raised in their own nest experienced the same conditions before and after cross-fostering (either in parasite infested or uninfested nests), while cross-fostered ones experienced different conditions (either changing from infested to uninfested or the other way around). We measured effects on nestling plasma levels of oxidative stress [reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) and total antioxidant capacity (OXY)], body condition (body size and mass) and post-fledging survival. Daughters, but not sons, from matching conditions showed the lowest ROM and high OXY levels when exposed to parasites, while there was no effect of parasite exposure in any of both sexes in case of a mismatch. In contrast, body condition and post-fledging survival were not (or only slightly) affected by any of the experimental treatments. Results of this study show that maternal effects can affect oxidative stress levels of nestlings in a sex-specific way and that the outcome depends on the exposure to environmental stressors, such as parasites.
Keywords
TITS PARUS-MAJOR, GULL LARUS-FUSCUS, GREAT TITS, LIFE-HISTORY, IMMUNE-RESPONSE, PASSERINE BIRD, TRADE-OFFS, SEX-RATIO, ECTOPARASITE, EGGS

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Coster, Greet, Liesbeth De Neve, Simon Verhulst, and Luc Lens. 2012. “Maternal Effects Reduce Oxidative Stress in Female Nestlings Under High Parasite Load.” Journal of Avian Biology 43 (2): 177–185.
APA
De Coster, G., De Neve, L., Verhulst, S., & Lens, L. (2012). Maternal effects reduce oxidative stress in female nestlings under high parasite load. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY, 43(2), 177–185.
Vancouver
1.
De Coster G, De Neve L, Verhulst S, Lens L. Maternal effects reduce oxidative stress in female nestlings under high parasite load. JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY. 2012;43(2):177–85.
MLA
De Coster, Greet et al. “Maternal Effects Reduce Oxidative Stress in Female Nestlings Under High Parasite Load.” JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY 43.2 (2012): 177–185. Print.
@article{2129991,
  abstract     = {Mothers can adjust the phenotype of their offspring to the local environment through a modification of their egg investment and/or nestling provisioning. However, offspring health may be severely impaired if the conditions experienced by nestlings do not match with those anticipated by the mother. If maternal effects differentially affect the sexes or if one sex is more strongly affected by an environmental stressor, fitness benefits may also differ between male and female offspring. Here, we study maternal effects in male and female great tit Parus major nestlings by means of an ectoparasite treatment before egg-laying combined with a partial cross-foster experiment between broods of infested and uninfested nests. Nestlings that were raised in their own nest experienced the same conditions before and after cross-fostering (either in parasite infested or uninfested nests), while cross-fostered ones experienced different conditions (either changing from infested to uninfested or the other way around). We measured effects on nestling plasma levels of oxidative stress [reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) and total antioxidant capacity (OXY)], body condition (body size and mass) and post-fledging survival. Daughters, but not sons, from matching conditions showed the lowest ROM and high OXY levels when exposed to parasites, while there was no effect of parasite exposure in any of both sexes in case of a mismatch. In contrast, body condition and post-fledging survival were not (or only slightly) affected by any of the experimental treatments. Results of this study show that maternal effects can affect oxidative stress levels of nestlings in a sex-specific way and that the outcome depends on the exposure to environmental stressors, such as parasites.},
  author       = {De Coster, Greet and De Neve, Liesbeth and Verhulst, Simon and Lens, Luc},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF AVIAN BIOLOGY},
  keywords     = {TITS PARUS-MAJOR,GULL LARUS-FUSCUS,GREAT TITS,LIFE-HISTORY,IMMUNE-RESPONSE,PASSERINE BIRD,TRADE-OFFS,SEX-RATIO,ECTOPARASITE,EGGS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {177--185},
  title        = {Maternal effects reduce oxidative stress in female nestlings under high parasite load},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-048X.2012.05551.x},
  volume       = {43},
  year         = {2012},
}

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