Telomere length correlates with physiological and behavioural responses of a long-lived seabird to an ecologically-relevant challenge

Z Morgan Benowitz-Fredericks, Lindsay Lacey, Shannon Whelan, Alexis Will, Scott Hatch & Alexander Kitaysky
Determinants of individual variation in reallocation of limited resources towards self-maintenance versus reproduction are not well known. We tested the hypothesis that individual heterogeneity in long-term “somatic state” a) explains variation in endocrine and behavioural responses to environmental challenges, and b) is associated with variation in strategies for allocating to self-maintenance versus reproduction. We used relative telomere length as an indicator of somatic state and experimentally generated an abrupt short-term reduction of food availability (withdrawal...
1 citation reported since publication in 2022.
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