Trade-offs between reproductive coloration and innate immunity in a natural population of female Sagebrush lizards, Sceloporus graciosus

Mayté Ruiz, Danfeng Wang, Beth A. Reinke, Gregory E. Demas, Emília Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trade-offs between immune function and reproduction are common to many organisms. Nevertheless, high energetic resources may eliminate the need for these trade-offs. In this study, we consider the effects of food availability on these trade-offs in a wild population of female sagebrush lizards (Sceloporus graciosus) during the breeding season. We manipulated food availability by supplementing some lizards but not others. We measured female orange side coloration as an indicator of reproductive state and calculated the bacterial killing capability of collected plasma exposed to Escherichia coli ex vivo as a measure of innate immunity. We found that female lizards show a natural trade-off between reproductive effort and immune function; females under high reproductive investment had lower innate immunity than those at a later reproductive state. We did not detect this trade-off with food supplementation. We show that trade-offs depend on the energetic state of the animal, illustrating that trade-offs between immune function and reproduction can be context-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalHerpetological Journal
Volume21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Context-dependent
  • Energetics
  • Life history
  • Resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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