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Corticosterone levels in host and parasite nestlings: Is brood parasitism a hormonal stressor?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22366505     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Parasite chicks from non-evictor species usually try to monopolize host parental care, thereby increasing considerably the level of food competition in the nest. Here, we propose that brood parasitism is an important stressor for host and parasite nestlings and explore this hypothesis in the non-evictor great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and its main hosts, the same-sized black-billed magpie (Pica pica) and the larger carrion crow (Corvus corone). We experimentally created 3-nestling broods of different brood compositions (only cuckoo chicks, only host chicks, or cuckoo and host chicks together) and measured baseline corticosterone levels of nestlings along their developmental period (early, middle and late). We found that brood parasitism increased corticosterone levels in magpie nestlings in the mid and late nestling period compared to those raised in unparasitized nests. Interestingly, carrion crow nestlings from parasitized nests only increased their corticosterone levels in the mid nestling period, when the competition for food with the cuckoo nestling was highest. Our results suggest that brood parasitism could be a potential physiological stressor for host nestlings, especially during the developmental stages where food requirements are highest. Conversely, cuckoo nestlings could be physiologically adapted to high competition levels since they did not show significant differences in corticosterone levels in relation to brood composition.
Authors:
Juan Diego Ibáñez-Álamo; Liesbeth De Neve; María Roldán; Juan Rodríguez; Colette Trouvé; Olivier Chastel; Manuel Soler
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-2-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Hormones and behavior     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1095-6867     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-2-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0217764     Medline TA:  Horm Behav     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Animal, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.
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