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Data from: Effects of developmental conditions on growth, stress, and telomeres in black-legged kittiwake chicks

Citation

Young, Rebecca C. et al. (2017), Data from: Effects of developmental conditions on growth, stress, and telomeres in black-legged kittiwake chicks, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n82r2

Abstract

Early-life conditions can drive ageing patterns and life history strategies throughout the lifespan. Certain social, genetic, and nutritional developmental conditions are more likely to produce high-quality offspring: those with good likelihood of recruitment and productivity. Here we call such conditions “favored states” and explore their relationship with physiological variables during development in a long-lived seabird, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). Two favored states were experimentally generated by manipulation of food availability and brood size, while hatching order and sex were also explored as naturally generating favored states. Thus, the favored states we explored were high food availability, lower levels of sibling competition, hatching first, and male sex. We tested the effects of favored developmental conditions on growth, stress, telomere length (a molecular marker associated with lifespan), and nestling survival. Generation of favored states through manipulation of both the nutritional and social environments furthered our understanding of their relative contributions to development and phenotype: increased food availability led to larger body size, reduced stress, and higher antioxidant status, while lower sibling competition (social environment) led to lower telomere loss and longer telomere lengths in fledglings. Telomere length predicted nestling survival, and wing growth was also positively correlated with telomere length, supporting the idea that telomeres may indicate individual quality, mediated by favored states.

Usage Notes

Location

Gulf of Alaska