Trade-offs between reproduction and self-maintenance (immune function and body mass) in a small seabird, the little auk

Izabela Kulaszewicz , Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas , Dariusz Jakubas


Breeding season is the most energetically and physiologically demanding phase in the avian annual cycle, challenging adults' physiology and survival. However, the timing and extent that self‐maintenance of breeding adults is compromised during the breeding season is poorly understood. We investigated the trade‐off between reproduction and self‐maintenance in relation to breeding phase (prelaying, incubation, chick rearing) and sex in a small Arctic seabird, the little auk Alle alle. To measure a bird's allocation of time for self‐maintenance, we examined size‐adjusted body mass and immunocompetence expressed by bacteria (Escherichia coli) killing capacity (BKC) of blood plasma, heterophils/lymphocyte ratio (H/L) and their numbers of particular leucocytes per 10 000 red blood cells (RBC). We found that size‐adjusted body mass decreased as the breeding season progressed. BKC, number of heterophils and H/L values were all was significantly higher at prelaying when compared to all other phases. Interestingly, we found that heavier individuals had higher BKC and number heterophils at the prelaying and chick rearing phases than light individuals. There were no differences by sex in any studied variables. Our results indicate that immunocompetence and body mass of breeding adults decreases over the course of breeding season. The efficiency of the immune system appears to be dependent on the bird's body reserves. Our results suggest that little auks allocation of resources into reproduction negatively affects their self‐maintenance.
Author Izabela Kulaszewicz (FB/DVEZ)
Izabela Kulaszewicz ,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas (FB/DVEZ)
Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Dariusz Jakubas (FB/DVEZ)
Dariusz Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
Journal seriesJournal of Avian Biology, ISSN 0908-8857, (A 50 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.50
ASJC Classification1103 Animal Science and Zoology; 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Languageen angielski
Not used for evaluationyes
Score (nominal)0
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 3.000; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 1.110; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.488 (2) - 2017=2.414 (5)
Citation count*
Additional fields
UwagiArtykuł został zgłoszony do parametryzacji za lata 2013-2016
Share Share

Get link to the record

* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
Are you sure?