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Oxidative Stress Does Not Influence Carotenoid Mobilization and Plumage Pigmentation

Caroline Isaksson and Staffan Andersson
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 275, No. 1632 (Feb. 7, 2008), pp. 309-314
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25249505
Page Count: 6
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Oxidative Stress Does Not Influence Carotenoid Mobilization and Plumage Pigmentation
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Abstract

Oxidative stress has been suggested to create a link between 'good genes' and carotenoid coloration via an allocation conflict between external pigmentation and internal antioxidant functions. However, although carotenoid displays have been extensively investigated, there are no experimental tests of the antioxidant efficiency of carotenoids in vivo. We induced oxidative stress in a small passerine (the great tit, Parus major) under both carotenoid deprivation and supplementation, and investigated the effect on carotenoid mobilization (i.e. plasma) and allocation (i.e. deposition in feather incorporation and liver storage). We found no effects of the stressor on either mobilization or allocation of carotenoids. These results reject the previously suggested superior role of carotenoid's function as antioxidant in vivo with important implications for signal content and honesty.

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