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Cost of reproduction, T-lymphocyte mediated immunocompetence and health status in female and nestling Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Pap, P.L., Márkus R.

Editorial: Journal of Avian Biology, 34, p.428-434, 2003.


We investigate the trade-off between reproductive effort, health status and T-lymphocyte acquired immunity in female and nestling barn swallows Hirundo rustica using a brood size manipulation experiment. Maternal and total feeding effort increased with experimental brood size. Parents did not fully compensate for the increased food demand of the enlarged broods and as a consequence the per capita feeding rate of nestlings decreased with increasing experimental brood size. Body mass and a measure of T-cell mediated immunity in 12 days old nestlings also decreased with increasing experimental brood size. Different leucocyte concentrations and the heterophile/lymphocyte ratio – an index of stress – of nestlings did not change in relation to experimental brood size, suggesting that within brood competition did not affect stress to nestlings. The brood size manipulation had a significant effect on maternal T-cell mediated immunity, measured by the phytohemagglutinin skin test, but not on maternal body mass, haematocrit or differential or total white blood cell counts. Our results seem to support the prediction that under mild work stress females respond first by reducing the energetically expensive acquired immunity. Different leucocyte types and the heterophile/lymphocyte ratio appear less sensitive to parental workload.

Cuvinte cheie: stress immune bird