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Strong species differences in life-history do not predict oxidative stress physiology or sensitivity to an environmental oxidant

Cite this dataset

Tüzün, Nedim; Debecker, Sara; Stoks, Robby (2020). Strong species differences in life-history do not predict oxidative stress physiology or sensitivity to an environmental oxidant [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. Species typically align along a fast-slow life-history continuum, yet it is not clear to what extent oxidative stress physiology can be integrated with this continuum to form a ‘pace-of-life syndrome’, especially so in invertebrates. This is important, given the assumed role of oxidative stress in mediating life-history trade-offs, and the prediction that species with a faster pace should be more vulnerable to oxidative stress. 2. We tested whether a species’ life-history pace, here represented by its growth rate, can predict species-level differentiation in physiology and sensitivity to oxidative stress. Therefore, we exposed four species of Ischnura damselflies that strongly align along a fast-slow life-history continuum to different levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We measured an extended set of physiological traits linked to the pace-of-life: standard metabolic rate (SMR), oxidative stress physiology (antioxidant enzymes and oxidative damage), and defence/condition traits (investment in immune function, energy storage, and structural defence). 3. Despite strong species differences in growth rate and physiology, growth rate did not predict species-level differentiation in physiology. Hence there was no support for the integration of metabolic rate, oxidative stress physiology or defence/condition traits into a species-level syndrome. 4. UV exposure affected nearly all traits: it reduced growth rate and increased metabolic rate, affected all oxidative stress physiology traits and increased the two defence traits (immune function, and melanin content). Nevertheless, the pace-of-life based on growth rate did not predict sensitivity to UV. Instead, the observed pattern of investment in structural UV defence (melanin) might have reduced the need for enzymatic antioxidant defence, this way potentially decoupling the covariation between the life-history pace and oxidative stress physiology. 5. The absence of an integrated axis of life-history and physiological variation indicates no major constraints for the evolution of these traits among the studied damselfly species. Our study highlights that ecological differences between species may decouple covariation between species’ life-history pace and their physiology, as well as their sensitivity to environmental stressors. 30-Mar-2020


Research Foundation - Flanders, Award: G.0704.13

Research Foundation - Flanders, Award: G.0956.19

KU Leuven, Award: C16/17/002