Synergistic effects of supplementation of dietary antioxidants during growth on adult phenotype in ring-necked pheasants, Phasianus colchicus

Orledge, Josephine M. and Blount, Jonathan D. and Hoodless, Andrew N. and Pike, Thomas W. and Royle, Nick J. (2012) Synergistic effects of supplementation of dietary antioxidants during growth on adult phenotype in ring-necked pheasants, Phasianus colchicus. Functional Ecology, 26 (1). pp. 254-264. ISSN 0269-8463

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2435.2011.01932.x

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

1. Oxidative stress may provide a proximate link between investment in growth and/or reproduction and investment in self-maintenance. Dietary antioxidants, such as carotenoids and vitamin E, provide potentially important roles in regulating these trade-offs. Recent work suggests that carotenoids may have synergistic effects in combination with non-pigmentary antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E) on the expression of sexually selected traits in adulthood. However, these studies involved the supplementation of antioxidants to adults so did not take account of early life-history effects. 2. Here, we test the independent and combined roles of supplementation of carotenoids and vitamin E during early growth in regulating the expression of traits in adulthood, in ring-necked pheasants, Phasianus colchicus. Individuals supplemented with a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E were larger at adulthood than individuals receiving other treatment diets (including vitamin E or carotenoids alone), but there were no differences in ornament expression, immune function, the swelling response to phytohaemagglutinin or levels of oxidative damage. 3. This shows that there are synergistic early life-history effects of these dietary antioxidants on body size at adulthood and suggest that the allocation of limited antioxidant resources are prioritized towards traits that increase competitive ability rather than sexual attractiveness in this strongly sexually selected species.

Additional Information:1. Oxidative stress may provide a proximate link between investment in growth and/or reproduction and investment in self-maintenance. Dietary antioxidants, such as carotenoids and vitamin E, provide potentially important roles in regulating these trade-offs. Recent work suggests that carotenoids may have synergistic effects in combination with non-pigmentary antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E) on the expression of sexually selected traits in adulthood. However, these studies involved the supplementation of antioxidants to adults so did not take account of early life-history effects. 2. Here, we test the independent and combined roles of supplementation of carotenoids and vitamin E during early growth in regulating the expression of traits in adulthood, in ring-necked pheasants, Phasianus colchicus. Individuals supplemented with a combination of carotenoids and vitamin E were larger at adulthood than individuals receiving other treatment diets (including vitamin E or carotenoids alone), but there were no differences in ornament expression, immune function, the swelling response to phytohaemagglutinin or levels of oxidative damage. 3. This shows that there are synergistic early life-history effects of these dietary antioxidants on body size at adulthood and suggest that the allocation of limited antioxidant resources are prioritized towards traits that increase competitive ability rather than sexual attractiveness in this strongly sexually selected species.
Keywords:vitamin E, sexual selection, oxidative stress, carotenoids
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:7234
Deposited On:10 Jan 2013 14:27

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