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Data from: Condition-dependent trade-off between weapon size and immunity in males of the European earwig

Citation

Körner, Maximilian; Vogelweith, Fanny; Foitzik, Susanne; Meunier, Joël (2018), Data from: Condition-dependent trade-off between weapon size and immunity in males of the European earwig, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q03d6

Abstract

Investigating the expression of trade-offs between key life-history functions is central to our understanding of how these functions evolved and are maintained. However, detecting trade-offs can be challenging due to variation in resource availability, which masks trade-offs at the population level. Here, we investigated in the European earwig Forficula auricularia whether (1) weapon size trades off with three key immune parameters – hemocyte concentration, phenoloxidase and prophenoloxidase activity - and whether (2) expression and strength of these trade-offs depend on male body condition (body size) and/or change after an immune challenge. Our results partially confirmed condition dependent trade-offs between weapon size and immunity in male earwigs. Specifically, we found that after an immune challenge, weapon size trades off with hemocyte concentrations in low-condition, but not in good-condition males. Contrastingly, weapon size was independent of pre-challenge hemocyte concentration. We also found no trade-off between weapon size and phenoloxidase activity, independent of body condition and immune challenge. Overall, our study reveals that trade-offs with sexual traits may weaken or disappear in good-condition individuals. Given the importance of weapon size for male reproductive success, our results highlight how low-condition individuals may employ alternative life-history investment strategies to cope with resource limitation.

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