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Data from: Age-specific patterns of maternal investment in common gull egg yolk

Citation

Urvik, Janek et al. (2018), Data from: Age-specific patterns of maternal investment in common gull egg yolk, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dc8dp2j

Abstract

While the general patterns of age-specific changes in reproductive success are quite well established in long-lived animals, we still do not know if allocation patterns of maternally-transmitted compounds are related to maternal age. We measured yolk testosterone, carotenoids and vitamins A and E levels in a population of known-aged common gulls (Larus canus) and found an age-specific pattern in yolk lutein and vitamin A concentrations. Middle-aged mothers allocated more of these substances to yolk compared to young and old mothers. These results can be explained through differences in age-specific foraging, absorption, or deposition patterns of carotenoids and vitamins into yolk. If these molecules play a role in antioxidant defense and immune modulation, our results suggest a possible physiological pathway behind the age-specific changes in reproductive success of long-lived birds in the wild.

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