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Nestling cell-mediated immune response, body mass and hatching date as predictors of local recruitment in the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca



Nestling cell-mediated immune response, body mass and hatching date as predictors of local recruitment in the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca



Journal of Avian Biology ; 36(3): 251-260



Offspring body mass and hatching date have been proposed as useful correlates of post-fledging survival and recruitment probability in studies of avian populations. However, these links may be mediated by underlying physiological variables which are frequently not reported. One of these is nestling immune function, which call be measured with several field-friendly, protocols like the phytohemagglutin in (PHA) inoculation assay used to estimate cell-mediated immune response (CMI). Here we show in a population of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca subjected to a long-term Study in central Spain that nestling CMI as measured with PHA is dependent oil dose injected, body mass, hatching date and maternal moult state. Nestlings recruited during the first two or three years after hatching had a higher CM I but did not differ in mass or hatching date with respect to non-recruited nestlings. Nestling immunocompetence as measured with the PHA assay is a better predictor of local recruitment probability than mass or hatching date in our study Population, and should be considered in future studies of determinants of offspring survival chances and fitness in avian populations.

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Accession: 012346242

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DOI: 10.1111/j.0908-8857.2005.03413.x


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