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Accelerated Ageing: A Cost of Reproduction in the Carabid Beetle Notiophilus biguttatus F.
G. Ernsting and J. A. Isaaks
Vol. 5, No. 2, New Directions in Physiological Ecology (1991), pp. 299-303
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389268
Page Count: 5
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Many studies have shown reduced survival in association with reproductive activities even when conditions are virtually optimal. The present study investigates this `survival cost of reproduction' in the predacious carabid beetle Notiophilus biguttatus F. by varying prey supply and temperature. Both egg production and metabolic rate were shown to increase with food intake rate. A decrease in rates of egg production and metabolism achieved either by food limitation or by temperature reduction resulted in more or less the same increase in survival probability. By changing food supply level during the course of an experiment, it was found that the consequences of egg production, metabolic rate and/or nutrition on survival are lasting. The results are compared with two hypotheses for the cause of the survival cost, viz. the hypothesis that egg production accelerates ageing (implying lasting consequences) and the hypothesis that egg production is attended with a risk (which, if survived, has no lasting consequences).
Functional Ecology © 1991 British Ecological Society