Title
Nestling rearing is antioxidant demanding in female barn swallows (**Hirundo rustica**) Nestling rearing is antioxidant demanding in female barn swallows (**Hirundo rustica**)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Berlin ,
Subject
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Die Naturwissenschaften / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften [München] - Berlin
Volume/pages
101(2014) :7 , p. 541-548
ISSN
0028-1042
ISI
000338998900003
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Reproduction is a demanding activity, since organisms must produce and, in some cases, protect and provision their progeny. Hence, a central tenet of life-history theory predicts that parents have to trade parental care against body maintenance. One physiological cost thought to be particularly important as a modulator of such trade-offs is oxidative stress. However, evidence in favour of the hypothesis of an oxidative cost of reproduction is contradictory. In this study, we manipulated the brood size of wild barn swallows Hirundo rustica soon after hatching of their nestlings to test whether an increase in nestling rearing effort translates into an increased oxidative damage and a decreased antioxidant protection at the end of the nestling rearing period. We found that, while plasma oxidative damage was unaffected by brood size enlargement, females rearing enlarged broods showed a decrease in plasma non-enzymatic antioxidants during the nestling rearing period. This was not the case among females rearing reduced broods and among males assigned to either treatment. Moreover, individuals with higher plasma oxidative damage soon after the brood size manipulation had lower plasma non-enzymatic antioxidants at the end of the nestling rearing period, suggesting that non-enzymatic antioxidants were depleted to buffer the negative effects of high oxidative damage. Our findings point to antioxidant depletion as a potential mechanism mediating the cost of reproduction among female birds.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/a13687/c1c8099.pdf
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