Nest cover and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites are linked to hatching success and telomere length in breeding Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)

Noreikiene, K., Öst, M., Seltmann, M.W., Boner, W. , Monaghan, P. and Jaatinen, K. (2017) Nest cover and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites are linked to hatching success and telomere length in breeding Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 95(9), pp. 695-703. (doi:10.1139/cjz-2016-0242)

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Abstract

Habitat-associated crypsis may affect perceived predation vulnerability, selecting for different predator avoidance strategies. Glucocorticoids could mediate the adjustment of escape responses to the extent of crypsis, introducing an overlooked source of variation in glucocorticoid-fitness relationships. However, prolonged exposure to elevated glucocorticoids may be costly leading to accelerated telomere loss and consequently senescence. Here, we examined how nest cover and immunoreactive faecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels (fGCM) are linked to hatching success and telomere length in breeding female eiders (Somateria mollissima Linnaeus, 1758). We hypothesized that the degree of nest crypsis, reflecting differences in perceived predation risk, would moderate the relationship between reproductive success and fGCM levels. We also expected that telomere length would be shorter in birds with higher glucocorticoid concentration. Results showed thatindividuals with high fGCM levels had higher hatching success in nests with low cover, while low fGCM levels were more successful in well-concealed nests.We found that shorter telomeres were associated with high fGCM in nesting sites offering little cover and with low fGCM in well-concealed ones.This study provides the first evidence of habitat-dependent moderation of the relationships between stress physiology, telomere length and hatching success.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant no. 266208 to KJ, grant no. 128039 to MÖ and grant no. 1265211 to KN via Juha Merilä), the Finnish Cultural Foundation (to KN and KJ), the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finalnd (to KJ via Alf Norkko), the Doctoral Programme in Wildlife Biology Research at the University of Helsinki (to KN), Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica (to KN and MWS), Otto A. Malm foundation (to KN), Oskar Öflund foundation (to KN), the Finnish Society for Sciences and Letters (to MWS), Foundation for Nature Conservation(to KN) and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland (to MÖ).
Keywords:Animal science and zoology, ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Monaghan, Professor Patricia and Boner, Dr Winifred
Authors: Noreikiene, K., Öst, M., Seltmann, M.W., Boner, W., Monaghan, P., and Jaatinen, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Canadian Journal of Zoology
Publisher:National Research Council of Canada
ISSN:0008-4301
ISSN (Online):1480-3283
Published Online:23 June 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Canadian Journal of Zoology 95(9):695-703
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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