Campus Units

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

4-2015

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Ornithology

Volume

156

Issue

2

First Page

525

Last Page

531

DOI

10.1007/s10336-015-1158-9

Abstract

Telomere length (TL) has been shown to be a potential predictor of survival in wild vertebrates, and, as a consequence, there is growing interest in understanding the causes of inter-individual variability in TL. In that context, developmental conditions deserve a specific attention because they are thought to be a major driver of telomere shortening. Because poor developmental conditions can accelerate telomere shortening and impair growth (resulting in a small adult size), a positive correlation between TL and body size is expected. However, and surprisingly, the relationship between body size and telomere length has rarely been described in wild vertebrates. Here, we specifically examined this question in hatch-year (HY) and after hatch-year (AHY) male wintering American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla). Although tarsus size was not related to TL, we found a significant positive correlation between bill size and TL in HY male Redstarts, therefore supporting the idea that determinants of some components of individual size are also important determinants of TL in young birds. Moreover, this positive relationship between bill size and TL was also found for AHY birds, suggesting that adult TL may be, at least partly, explained by the telomere dynamics that occurred during the developmental phase.

Comments

This article is from Journal of Ornithology 156 (2015); 525, doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1158-9.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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