Oxidative damage and plasma antioxidant capacity in relation to body size, age, male sexual traits and female reproductive performance in the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)

Gábor Markó, David Costantini, Gábor Michl, János Török

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of oxidative stress is a potential tool for studying the functional interactions among life history traits, sexual traits and physiological status in animals. In this study, we investigated relationships between measures of plasma oxidative status and male sexual traits, female reproductive investment and three other life history traits, in a wild population of collared flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis). Flycatcher males with a larger white forehead patch had higher level of plasma antioxidant capacity. For females, clutch size was not associated with plasma oxidative status, but egg size was positively correlated with antioxidant capacity. The relationship between age and levels of plasma oxidative damage remains controversial in this species: young female flycatchers showed higher levels of hydroperoxides compared to antioxidants, whereas age did not predict oxidative status of males. Males had higher levels of oxidative damage than females, although the concentration of antioxidant compounds was similar between the sexes. Females that mated with more ornamented males had higher plasma antioxidant capacity. Our results suggest that, for males and females, greater investment in sexual signal and reproduction, respectively, does not reduce the capacity for self-maintenance or avoidance of oxidative stress. Finally, our data support indirectly the occurrence of assortative mating in our species, since females with higher plasma antioxidant capacity mated with more ornamented males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Volume181
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 7 2011

Keywords

  • Antioxidants
  • Free radicals
  • Life history
  • Oxidative stress
  • Trade off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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