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Predators and Cannibals Modulate Sex-Specific Plasticity in Life-History and Immune Traits

D. J. Mikolajewski, R. Stoks, J. Rolff and G. Joop
Functional Ecology
Vol. 22, No. 1 (Feb., 2008), pp. 114-120
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20142780
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Predators and Cannibals Modulate Sex-Specific Plasticity in Life-History and Immune Traits
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Abstract

1. In organisms with complex life cycles, optimality models predict age and size at transition to translate larval condition into adult fitness. Recent studies, however, revealed that only a proportion of fitness is explained by age and size at transition. Moreover, sexes differ in the linkage of larval condition and adult fitness. 2. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that immune traits may be partly decoupled from age and size at habitat transition and therefore contribute to the sex-specific linkage of larval condition and adult fitness. 3. We reared larvae of the damselfly Coenagrion puella under the threat of predators and cannibals. We then examined sex-specific patterns in two life-history traits as well as two immune traits and tested for independency of the plastic responses among life-history and immune traits. 4. Results revealed immune traits to be partly decoupled from life-history traits. Moreover, the sexes differed in the plasticity of life-history as well as immune traits. Our results give strong evidence that sex-specific translation of larval condition into adult fitness may be linked to immune traits as well as age and size at transition.

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