Environmental conditions shape the temporal pattern of investment in reproduction and survival

Marasco, V., Boner, W. , Griffiths, K., Heidinger, B. and Monaghan, P. (2018) Environmental conditions shape the temporal pattern of investment in reproduction and survival. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 285(1870), 20172442. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.2442) (PMID:29298939)

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Abstract

The relationship between environmental stress exposure and ageing is likely to vary with stressor severity, life-history stage and the time scale over which effects are measured. Such factors could influence whether stress exposure accelerates or slows the ageing process, but their interactions have not previously been experimentally investigated. We found that experimental exposure of zebra finches to mildly challenging environmental circumstances from young to old adulthood, which increased exposure to stress hormones, reduced breeding performance during early adulthood, but had positive effects when individuals were bred in old adulthood. This difference was not due to selective mortality, because the effects were evident within individuals, and no evidence of habituation in the response to the stressor was found. The more stressful environment had no effects on survival during young or old adulthood, but substantially improved survival during middle age. Changes in the effects at different ages could be due to the duration and nature of the challenging exposure, or to variation in coping capacity or strategy with age. These results show that living under challenging environmental circumstances can influence ageing trajectories in terms of both reproductive performance and longevity. Our results provide experimental support for the emerging idea that stress exposure needs to be optimized rather than minimized to obtain the best health outcomes. [Abstract copyright: © 2018 The Author(s).]

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router. ** History: received 01-11-2017; accepted 29-11-2017.
Keywords:environmental stress, glucocorticoids, hormesis, reproduction, survival
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marasco, Dr Valeria and Monaghan, Professor Patricia and Boner, Dr Winifred and Griffiths, Mrs Katharine
Authors: Marasco, V., Boner, W., Griffiths, K., Heidinger, B., and Monaghan, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:03 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 285(1870):20172442
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
545091ECOTELO - The ecological significance of telomere dynamics:environments, individuals and inheritancePatricia MonaghanEuropean Research Council (ERC)20100317/FP7-268926RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED