Habitat-specific effects of a food supplementation experiment on immunocompetence in Eurasian magpie Pica pica nestlings

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:L. de Neve, Soler, J. J., Ruiz-Rodriguez, M., Martin-Galvez, D., Perez-Contreras, T., Soler, M.
Date Published:October
Type of Article:Article
ISBN Number:0019-1019
Accession Number:ZOOREC:ZOOR14406036320

Parasite pressure and nutrition are two of the most important factors affecting the trade-off between nestling growth and immune development. During development, energy and nutrients are often limited, and nestlings should only dedicate differentially more valuable resources to their immune system when the associated benefits are high (i.e. in situations of an increased risk of parasitism). In this study, we manipulated nutritional condition of Eurasian Magpie Pica pica nestlings by providing a food supplement. Additionally, the study area was subdivided into two categories of habitat (irrigated and arid) based on the presence of irrigation canals. Nestling diet composition was more varied in the irrigated compared with in the arid habitat. In addition, nestlings of the irrigated habitat showed a significantly higher infestation of both ectoparasites and blood parasites and a significantly higher cell-mediated immunity, but lower tarsus length compared with nestlings of the arid habitat. Food supplementation to nestlings did not affect tarsus length, but increased nestling cell-mediated immunity in the arid habitat only. Based on the recent demonstrated trade-off between growth and immunocompetence in nestlings, we suggest that differences between habitats in nestling diet and parasite prevalence may have caused different priority rules in the allocation of resources between both fitness traits.

URL:<Go to ISI>://ZOOREC:ZOOR14406036320
Groups audience: 
File attachments: 
Thu, 2008-09-11 15:07 -- Yokb
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith