Publication
Title
Long-lasting consequences of elevated yolk testosterone levels on female reproduction
Author
Abstract
Maternal yolk androgens in bird eggs represent an important pathway along which offspring phenotype is shaped. Most of the hormone-mediated maternal effects are highly important in the context of sibling competition. However, there is also increasing evidence for long-lasting effects far beyond the nestling period, and these effects may have important consequences on the reproductive success of the offspring. Here, we investigated the effects of experimentally elevated yolk testosterone concentrations on growth and reproduction in female canaries. Elevated yolk testosterone concentrations enhanced the post-natal growth rate, but not the asymptotic mass, and reduced the survival probability. The latter may be a consequence of the higher growth rate, which may have rendered females hatching from testosterone-treated eggs (T-females) more vulnerable to harsh environmental conditions. Adult T-females made a larger investment in their clutch by laying more but not heavier eggs than females hatching from control-treated eggs. Our results suggest that the observed long-lasting effect on clutch size relates to changes in the growth trajectory rather than being a direct consequence of testosterone, since studies manipulating early growth conditions obtained similar results. Clearly, further studies are now required in order to investigate the intriguing relationship between yolk testosterone, elevated growth rates, and clutch size.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Behavioral ecology and sociobiology. - Berlin
Publication
Berlin : 2009
ISSN
0340-5443
Volume/pages
63:6(2009), p. 809-816
ISI
000264550200004
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 01.04.2009
Last edited 01.08.2017
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