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Do gravid females become selfish? Female allocation of energy during gestation


Itonaga, K and Jones, SM and Wapstra, E, Do gravid females become selfish? Female allocation of energy during gestation, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 85, (3) pp. 231-242. ISSN 1522-2152 (2012) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The University of Chicago.

DOI: doi:10.1086/665567


Net energy availability depends on plasma corticosterone concentrations, food availability, and their interaction. Limited net energy availability requires energy trade-offs between self-maintenance and reproduction. This is important in matrotrophic viviparous animals because they provide large amounts of energy for embryos, as well as self-maintenance, for the extended period of time during gestation. In addition, gravid females may transmit environmental information to the embryos in order to adjust offspring phenotype. We investigated effects of variation in maternal plasma corticosterone concentration and maternal food availability (2 2 factorial design) during gestation on offspring phenotype in a matrotrophic viviparous lizard (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii). Subsequently, we tested preadaptation of offspring phenotype to their postnatal environment by measuring risk-averse behavior and growth rate using reciprocal transplant experiments. We found that maternal net energy availability affected postpartum maternal body condition, offspring snout-vent length, offspring mass, offspring performance ability, and offspring fat reserves. Females treated with corticosterone allocated large amounts of energy to their own body condition, and their embryos allocated more energy to energy reserves than somatic growth. Further, offspring from females in high plasma corticosterone concentration showed compensatory growth. These findings suggest that while females may be selfish when gestation conditions are stressful, the embryos may adjust their phenotype to cope with the postnatal environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiology - systems
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Itonaga, K (Mr Keisuke Itonaga)
UTAS Author:Jones, SM (Professor Susan Jones)
UTAS Author:Wapstra, E (Professor Erik Wapstra)
ID Code:70811
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2011-07-04
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:379 View Download Statistics

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