Oxidative status and fitness components in the Seychelles warbler

Janske van de Crommenacker, Martijn Hammers, Jildou van der Woude, Marina Louter, Peter Santema, David S. Richardson, Jan Komdeur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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1. Oxidative damage, caused by reactive oxygen species during aerobic respiration, is thought to be an important mediator of life-history trade-offs. To mitigate oxidative damage, antioxidant defence mechanisms are deployed, often at the cost of resource allocation to other body functions. Both reduced resource allocation to body functions and direct oxidative damage may decrease individual fitness, through reducing survival and/or reproductive output.

2. The oxidative costs of reproduction have gained much attention recently, but few studies have investigated the long-term consequences of oxidative damage on survival and (future) reproductive output under natural conditions.

3. Using a wild population of the cooperatively breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis), we tested the prediction that high levels of reactive oxygen species, or high antioxidant investments to avoid oxidative damage, have fitness consequences because they reduce survival and/or reproductive output.

4. We found that individuals with higher circulating non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity had a lower probability of surviving until the next year. However, neither current reproductive output, nor future reproductive output in the surviving individuals, was associated with circulating non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity or oxidative damage.

5. The negative relationship between antioxidant capacity and survival that we observed concurs with the findings of an extensive comparative study on birds, however the mechanisms underlying this association remain to be resolved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210–1219
Number of pages10
JournalFunctional Ecology
Issue number6
Early online date8 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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