Survival costs of reproduction in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus): a role for blood parasites?

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T1 - Survival costs of reproduction in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus): a role for blood parasites?

AU - Stjernman, Martin

AU - Råberg, Lars

AU - Nilsson, Jan-Åke

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - One of the central tenets in life-history theory is that there is a trade-off between current and future reproduction (i.e. a cost of reproduction). The mechanism for this cost of reproduction is, however, largely unknown. One hypothesis is that the high workload during reproduction compromises resistance to parasites and that the resulting increase in parasitaemia has negative effects on the prospects of future survival. Although empirical evidence for a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance exists, the causal relationships between reproductive effort, parasite resistance and future reproduction are still unclear. We use a path analytical approach to investigate whether a change in parasite resistance (as measured by intensities of infections by the blood parasite Haemoproteus) after manipulation of reproductive effort, translates into altered survival in female blue tits. Our results show a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance, although evident only in first-year breeders. Moreover, we found survival costs of reproduction in first-year breeders. These costs were, however, not mediated by the blood parasite studied.

AB - One of the central tenets in life-history theory is that there is a trade-off between current and future reproduction (i.e. a cost of reproduction). The mechanism for this cost of reproduction is, however, largely unknown. One hypothesis is that the high workload during reproduction compromises resistance to parasites and that the resulting increase in parasitaemia has negative effects on the prospects of future survival. Although empirical evidence for a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance exists, the causal relationships between reproductive effort, parasite resistance and future reproduction are still unclear. We use a path analytical approach to investigate whether a change in parasite resistance (as measured by intensities of infections by the blood parasite Haemoproteus) after manipulation of reproductive effort, translates into altered survival in female blue tits. Our results show a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance, although evident only in first-year breeders. Moreover, we found survival costs of reproduction in first-year breeders. These costs were, however, not mediated by the blood parasite studied.

U2 - 10.1098/rspb.2004.2883

DO - 10.1098/rspb.2004.2883

M3 - Article

VL - 271

SP - 2387

EP - 2394

JO - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

T2 - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

JF - Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences

SN - 1471-2954

IS - 1555

ER -