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Nutritional state - a survival kit for brooding pipefish fathers
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, Gothenburg, Sweden..
Univ Gothenburg, Dept Biol & Environm Sci, Gothenburg, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
2017 (English)In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4066, E-ISSN 1095-8312, Vol. 121, no 2, p. 312-318Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A parent's nutritional state may influence its ability to provide care to offspring and ability to handle infections. In the broad-nosed pipefish, Syngnathus typhle, males care for their offspring by brooding the developing embryos in a brood pouch, providing nutrients and oxygen, resembling a pregnancy. Here, we demonstrate that the nutritional state of pregnant males covaries with their own survival during a selective event. Brooding males surviving a Vibrio sp. infection were in a significantly better nutritional state, as estimated by their hepatosomatic index. Furthermore, a higher nutritional state of the brooding male correlated with a lower embryo mortality, while feeding treatment (low vs. high) had no effect on male survival, nutritional state or embryo mortality. Finally, males brooding heavier embryos also showed a lower embryo mortality. This may reflect a maternal effect (if large eggs result in higher embryo survival), a paternal effect (if higher provisioning of male care promotes both embryo growth and survival), or a combination thereof (males caring more for large embryos). The results demonstrate the importance of a good nutritional state for a caring parent when their immunity is challenged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 121, no 2, p. 312-318
Keywords [en]
brood reduction, condition, embryo mortality, immunity, parental care, Syngnathidae, Syngnathus typhle
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-330737DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blx002ISI: 000405207800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-330737DiVA, id: diva2:1147930
Funder
Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2017-10-09 Created: 2017-10-09 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved

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