Document Detail

Experimental litter size reduction reveals costs of gestation and delayed effects on offspring in a viviparous lizard.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21715409     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Experimental studies have often been employed to study costs of reproduction, but rarely to study costs of gestation. Disentangling the relative importance of each stage of the reproductive cycle should help to assess the costs and benefits of different reproductive strategies. To that end, we experimentally reduced litter size during gestation in a viviparous lizard. We measured physiological and behavioural parameters during gestation and shortly after parturition, as well as survival and growth of females and their offspring. This study showed four major results. First, the experimental litter size reduction did not significantly affect the cellular immune response, the metabolism and the survival of adult females. Second, females with reduced litter size decreased their basking time. Third, these females also had an increased postpartum body condition. As postpartum body condition is positively related to future reproduction, this result indicates a gestation cost. Fourth, even though offspring from experimentally reduced litters had similar weight and size at birth as other offspring, their growth rate after birth was significantly increased. This shows the existence of a maternal effect during gestation with delayed consequences. This experimental study demonstrates that there are some costs to gestation, but it also suggests that some classical trade-offs associated with reproduction may not be explained by gestation costs.
Josefa Bleu; Manuel Massot; Claudy Haussy; Sandrine Meylan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-06-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  279     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-12-23     Completed Date:  2012-04-19     Revised Date:  2013-06-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  489-98     Citation Subset:  IM    
CNRS, UPMC, ENS-UMR 7625, Laboratoire Ecologie et Evolution, 7 Quai Saint Bernard, 75005 Paris, France.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Body Composition
Energy Metabolism
Litter Size*
Lizards / growth & development,  physiology*
Oviducts / surgery
Population Dynamics
Viviparity, Nonmammalian*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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