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Parasite treatment affects maternal investment in sons

Reed, T. E.; Daunt, F.; Hall, M. E; Phillips, R. A.; Wanless, S.; Cunningham, E.J. A.. 2008 Parasite treatment affects maternal investment in sons. Science, 321 (5896). 1681-1682. 10.1126/science.1159466

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Abstract/Summary

Parasitism can be a major constraint on host condition and an important selective force. Theoretical and empirical evidence shows that maternal condition affects relative investment in sons and daughters; however, the affect of parasitism on sex ratio in vertebrates is seldom considered. Here we demonstrate experimentally that parasitism constrains the ability of mothers to rear sons in a long lived seabird, the European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis. The effect contributes to the decline in offspring survival as the breeding season progresses and hence has important population-level consequences for this, and potentially other, seasonal breeders.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1126/science.1159466
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biodiversity
CEH Sections: Watt
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 14 Oct 2008 14:47
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3962

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