Document Detail

Carotenoid-Based Coloration, Condition, and Immune Responsiveness in the Nestlings of a Sexually Dimorphic Bird of Prey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22705486     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract In many birds, nestlings exhibit brightly colored traits that are pigmented by carotenoids. Carotenoids are diet limited and also serve important health-related physiological functions. The proximate mechanisms behind the expression of these carotenoid-pigmented traits are still poorly known, especially in nestlings with sexual size dimorphism. In these nestlings, intrabrood competition levels and growth strategies likely differ between sexes, and this may in turn influence carotenoid allocation rules. We used dietary carotenoid supplementation to test whether wild marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) nestlings were carotenoid limited and whether carotenoid allocation strategies varied between sexes, which differ in their size and growth strategies. When supplemented, nestlings used the supplemental carotenoids to increase their coloration independently of their sex. We showed that the condition dependence of the carotenoid level and the response to an immune challenge (phytohemagglutinin test) differed between sexes, possibly because sexual size dimorphism influences growth strategies and/or intrabrood competition levels and access to different types of food. In this species, which often feeds on mammals, a trade-off likely exists between food quantity (energy) and quality (carotenoid content). Finally, carotenoid-based coloration expressed in marsh harrier nestlings appeared to be indicative of immune responsiveness rather than condition, therefore potentially advertising to parents nestling quality or value rather than nutritional need.
Audrey Sternalski; François Mougeot; Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez; Vincent Bretagnolle
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physiological and biochemical zoology : PBZ     Volume:  85     ISSN:  1537-5293     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100883369     Medline TA:  Physiol Biochem Zool     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  364-375     Citation Subset:  -    
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain; 2Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 79360 Beauvoir-sur-Niort, France; 3Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 La Cañada de San Urbano, Almería, Spain; 4Departamento de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006, Madrid, Spain.
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