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Condition-dependent trade-offs between sexual traits, body condition and immunity: the effect of novel habitats

Iglesias-Carrasco, Maider; Head, Megan L.; Jennions, Michael D.; Cabido, Carlos

Description

Background The optimal allocation of resources to sexual signals and other life history traits is usually dependent on an individual’s condition, while variation in the expression of sexual traits across environments depends on the combined effects of local adaptation, mean condition, and phenotypic responses to environment-specific cues that affect resource allocation. A clear contrast can often be drawn between natural habitats and novel habitats, such as forest plantations...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorIglesias-Carrasco, Maider
dc.contributor.authorHead, Megan L.
dc.contributor.authorJennions, Michael D.
dc.contributor.authorCabido, Carlos
dc.date.accessioned2016-06-21T23:49:34Z
dc.date.available2016-06-21T23:49:34Z
dc.identifier.citationBMC Evolutionary Biology
dc.identifier.issn1471-2148
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/104497
dc.description.abstractBackground The optimal allocation of resources to sexual signals and other life history traits is usually dependent on an individual’s condition, while variation in the expression of sexual traits across environments depends on the combined effects of local adaptation, mean condition, and phenotypic responses to environment-specific cues that affect resource allocation. A clear contrast can often be drawn between natural habitats and novel habitats, such as forest plantations and urban areas. In some species, males seem to change their sexual signals in these novel environments, but why this occurs and how it affects signal reliability is still poorly understood. Results The relative size of sexual traits and level of immune responses were significantly lower for male palmate newts Lissotriton helveticus caught in pine and eucalyptus plantations compared to those caught in native forests, but there was no habitat-dependent difference in body condition (n = 18 sites, 382 males). The reliability with which sexual traits signalled body condition and immune responses was the same in all three habitats. Finally, we conducted a mesocosm experiment in which males were maintained in pine, eucalypt or oak infused water for 21 days. Males in plantation-like water (pine or eucalypt) showed significantly lower immune responses but no change in body condition. This matches the pattern seen for field-caught males. Unlike field-caught males, however, there was no relationship between water type and relative sexual trait size. Conclusions Pine and eucalyptus plantations are likely to be detrimental to male palmate newt because they are associated with reduced immune function and smaller sexual traits. This could be because ecological aspects of these novel habitats, such as high water turbidity or changes in male-male competition, drive selection for reduced investment into sexual traits. However, it is more probable that there are differences in the ease of acquisition, hence optimal allocation, of resources among habitats. Our mesocosm experiment also provides some evidence that water toxicity is a causal factor. Our findings offer insights into how plantations affect amphibian life histories, and how novel habitats might generate long-term selection for new resource allocation strategies in native species.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by the Basque Government, Aquitaine-Euskadi Euroregion and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture with a pre-doctoral grant to M. I-C (grant number FPU12/04148).
dc.format10 pages
dc.publisherBioMed Central
dc.rights© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
dc.subjectNovel habitats
dc.subjectLissotriton helveticus
dc.subjectSexual selection
dc.subjectPHA
dc.subjectResource allocation
dc.titleCondition-dependent trade-offs between sexual traits, body condition and immunity: the effect of novel habitats
dc.typeJournal article
dc.language.rfc3066en
local.identifier.citationvolume16
dcterms.dateAccepted2016-06-09
dc.date.issued2016-06-21
local.identifier.ariespublicationu6048437xPUB654
local.identifier.ariespublicationU3488905xPUB20408
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.biomedcentral.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationHead, Megan L., Division of Evolution, Ecology & Genetics, CMBE Research School of Biology, The Australian National University
local.contributor.affiliationJennions, Michael D., Division of Evolution, Ecology & Genetics, CMBE Research School of Biology, The Australian National University
local.identifier.essn1471-2148
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage135
local.identifier.doi10.1186/s12862-016-0706-0
dc.date.updated2016-06-21T06:03:07Z
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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