Oxidative costs of cooperation in cooperatively breeding Damaraland mole-rats

Rute Mendonça, Philippe Vullioud, Nathan Katlein, Armelle Vallat, Gaetan Glauser, Nigel Bennett & Fabrice Helfenstein
Within cooperatively breeding societies, individuals adjust cooperative contributions to maximise indirect fitness and minimize direct fitness costs. Yet, little is known about the physiological costs of cooperation, which may be detrimental to direct fitness. Oxidative stress, the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (by-products of energy production) and antioxidant protection, may represent such a cost when cooperative behaviours are energetically demanding. Oxidative stress can lead to the accumulation of cellular damage, compromising survival and reproduction, thus...
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