Energy Allocation
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Christian Simon Willisch ◽  
Peter Neuhaus

AbstractTrade-offs between reproductive effort and subsequent growth in males are not well explored, despite their relevance in questions of individual energy allocation. Regarding the growth of sexual secondary characters in polygynous breeding male mammals, indeed, no conclusive studies exist. We investigated in male Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) the relationship between their behavioral reproductive effort, current horn size, and subsequent horn growth. While controlling for age, no evidence was found for male behavioral reproductive effort during the rut being affected by their horn size. On the other hand, reproductive effort significantly decreased age-specific horn growth during the following summer. Our study provides evidence that growth of secondary sexual characters is traded against behavioral investments in reproduction in a male mammal. It bears important implications for the understanding of energy allocation between various life-history components and the evolutionary ecology of secondary sexual characters.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (9) ◽  
pp. 211099
Clare Andrews ◽  
Erica Zuidersma ◽  
Simon Verhulst ◽  
Daniel Nettle ◽  
Melissa Bateson

Birds exposed to food insecurity—defined as temporally variable access to food—respond adaptively by storing more energy. To do this, they may reduce energy allocation to other functions such as somatic maintenance and repair. To investigate this trade-off, we exposed juvenile European starlings ( Sturnus vulgaris , n = 69) to 19 weeks of either uninterrupted food availability or a regime where food was unpredictably unavailable for a 5-h period on 5 days each week. Our measures of energy storage were mass and fat scores. Our measures of somatic maintenance were the growth rate of a plucked feather, and erythrocyte telomere length (TL), measured by analysis of the terminal restriction fragment. The insecure birds were heavier than the controls, by an amount that varied over time. They also had higher fat scores. We found no evidence that they consumed more food overall, though our food consumption data were incomplete. Plucked feathers regrew more slowly in the insecure birds. TL was reduced in the insecure birds, specifically, in the longer percentiles of the within-individual TL distribution. We conclude that increased energy storage in response to food insecurity is achieved at the expense of investment in somatic maintenance and repair.

2021 ◽  
Bertanne Visser ◽  
Cécile Le Lann ◽  
Caroline M. Nieberding ◽  
Mark Lammers ◽  
Daniel A. Hahn ◽  

Ruther et al (2021) evaluated fatty acid synthesis in several parasitic wasp species to test if the general finding that lipogenesis in parasitoids is lacking is upheld (Visser et al 2010 PNAS). As proposed by Visser & Ellers (2008), parasitoids can readily assimilate the triglyceride stores produced by their host. When large triglyceride stores are carried over from larval feeding into adulthood (i.e., up to 30 to 40% of the parasitoid’s dry body weight; Visser et al., 2018, 2021), de novo lipid synthesis from adult feeding is either unnecessary or too costly to maintain, leading to trait loss (Ellers et al., 2012). To test the hypothesis that many parasitoids do not synthesize substantial quantities of fat stores as adults, a previous study used feeding experiments on a wide taxonomic range of insects, including parasitoid wasps, parasitoid flies, a parasitoid beetle, and 65 non-parasitoid species (Visser et al., 2010 and references therein). What is striking is that when compared to non-parasitoid insects, 24 out of 29 evolutionarily distinct parasitoid lineages (Coleoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera; Visser et al., 2010) did not accumulate significant lipid quantities in adulthood even when fed surplus carbohydrates. When little to no lipids are synthesized de novo by adult parasitoid wasps, this can lead to significant constraints on energy allocation toward key adult functions, such as maintenance, dispersal, and reproduction (Jervis et al., 2008). To our minds, the most important question is ‘why don’t parasitoids accumulate substantial quantities of fat as adults like other insects do, and what does this mean for their life histories?’

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (16) ◽  
pp. 8468
Deung-Dae Park ◽  
Bernd M. Gahr ◽  
Julia Krause ◽  
Wolfgang Rottbauer ◽  
Tanja Zeller ◽  

In the human heart, the energy supplied by the production of ATP is predominately accomplished by ß-oxidation in mitochondria, using fatty acids (FAs) as the primary fuel. Long-chain acylcarnitines (LCACs) are intermediate forms of FA transport that are essential for FA delivery from the cytosol into mitochondria. Here, we analyzed the impact of the LCACs C18 and C18:1 on mitochondrial function and, subsequently, on heart functionality in the in vivo vertebrate model system of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Since LCACs are formed and metabolized in mitochondria, we assessed mitochondrial morphology, structure and density in C18- and C18:1-treated zebrafish and found no mitochondrial alterations compared to control-treated (short-chain acylcarnitine, C3) zebrafish embryos. However, mitochondrial function and subsequently ATP production was severely impaired in C18- and C18:1-treated zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, we found that C18 and C18:1 treatment of zebrafish embryos led to significantly impaired cardiac contractile function, accompanied by reduced heart rate and diminished atrial and ventricular fractional shortening, without interfering with cardiomyocyte differentiation, specification and growth. In summary, our findings provide insights into the direct role of long-chain acylcarnitines on vertebrate heart function by interfering with regular mitochondrial function and thereby energy allocation in cardiomyocytes.

2021 ◽  
Vol 288 (1955) ◽  
pp. 20211154
Sinead Collins ◽  
C. Elisa Schaum

Phytoplankton exist in genetically diverse populations, but are often studied as single lineages (single strains), so that interpreting single-lineage studies relies critically on understanding how microbial growth differs with social milieu, defined as the presence or absence of conspecifics. The properties of lineages grown alone often fail to predict the growth of these same lineages in the presence of conspecifics, and this discrepancy points towards an opportunity to improve our understanding of the factors that affect lineage growth rates. We demonstrate that different lineages of a marine picoplankter modulate their maximum lineage growth rate in response to the presence of non-self conspecifics, even when resource competition is effectively absent. This explains why growth rates of lineages in isolation do not reliably predict their growth rates in mixed culture, or the lineage composition of assemblages under conditions of rapid growth. The diversity of growth strategies observed here are consistent with lineage-specific energy allocation that depends on social milieu. Since lineage growth is only one of many traits determining fitness in natural assemblages, we hypothesize that intraspecific variation in growth strategies should be common, with more strategies possible in ameliorated environments that support higher maximum growth rates, such as high CO 2 for many marine picoplankton.

2021 ◽  
Rosane Oliveira Costa ◽  
Augusto Florisvaldo Batisteli ◽  
Renata Vilar Almeida ◽  
Wagner Antônio Chiba de Castro ◽  
Evaldo Luiz Gaeta Espindola ◽  

Abstract Invasive species can affect ecosystems functioning by forming dense monospecific stands and outcompeting native plants. However, the performance of the invader depends on its plastic responses to abiotic attributes of invaded communities. Understanding the interplay between intraspecific competition and environmental conditions is important to elucidate the domain and aggressive potential of invasive species. Here, we assessed the performance of the invasive Hedychium coronarium in two levels of intraspecific competition created through rhizome density under full light and partial shade. We tested the influence of light, density and their interaction on ramet length and number of ramets during the first three months after planting (phase 1) and after 22 months (phase 2), and on rhizome dry weight and the ramet/rhizome biomass ratio in phase 2. In both phases, ramets were longer under shade and the number of ramets was higher under low rhizome density indicating lower intraspecific competition. In phase 2, there was a negative effect of rhizome density on ramet length, but it was restricted to shade, probably due to the aggravation of competition for light. Rhizome dry weight was greater under shade conditions and it was not affected by rhizome density, and ramet/rhizome ratio did not differ between treatments. Our results supported a large phenotypic plasticity of H. coronarium ramets, which allowed similar performances despite variations in environmental conditions and population densities. We suggest that this mechanism of energy allocation enhances the success of this invasive plant in varied habitats, such as open and closed, forested sites.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Bruno Simmen ◽  
Luca Morino ◽  
Stéphane Blanc ◽  
Cécile Garcia

AbstractLife history, brain size and energy expenditure scale with body mass in mammals but there is little conclusive evidence for a correlated evolution between life history and energy expenditure (either basal/resting or daily) independent of body mass. We addressed this question by examining the relationship between primate free-living daily energy expenditure (DEE) measured by doubly labeled water method (n = 18 species), life history variables (maximum lifespan, gestation and lactation duration, interbirth interval, litter mass, age at first reproduction), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and brain size. We also analyzed whether the hypometabolic primates of Madagascar (lemurs) make distinct energy allocation tradeoffs compared to other primates (monkeys and apes) with different life history traits and ecological constraints. None of the life-history traits correlated with DEE after controlling for body mass and phylogeny. In contrast, a regression model showed that DEE increased with increasing RMR and decreasing reproductive output (i.e., litter mass/interbirth interval) independent of body mass. Despite their low RMR and smaller brains, lemurs had an average DEE remarkably similar to that of haplorhines. The data suggest that lemurs have evolved energy strategies that maximize energy investment to survive in the unusually harsh and unpredictable environments of Madagascar at the expense of reproduction.

Apidologie ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vincent A Ricigliano ◽  
Kate E Ihle ◽  
Steven T Williams

AbstractWe tested the influence of genetic variation on responses to natural and artificial diets in Varroa-resistant Pol-line and Russian honey bee stocks. Newly emerged workers from six colonies per stock were fed pollen, spirulina (blue-green microalgae), and sucrose-only diets in 144 total cages. Diet type had a strong effect on sugar intake, body weight, fat body lipid content, and vitellogenin (vg) expression. Spirulina consumption was approximately half that of pollen, but led to higher head weights, equivalent thorax weights and vg levels, and marginally reduced fat body lipids. Bee stock and colony had a significant impact on nutritional response. Despite equivalent diet intakes, Pol-line bees accumulated higher lipid levels and consumed less sugar overall than Russian bees. Furthermore, pollen-fed bees sourced from Pol-line colonies had significantly higher vg levels. These differences in nutrient and energy allocation may reflect life history-related physiological tradeoffs. Our results suggest that genotype-dependent nutritional responses are present in honey bees, with promising implications for breeding efforts and tailored approaches to diet and health in a changing global climate.

Hao Qin ◽  
Chenglong Wang ◽  
Wenxi Tian ◽  
Suizheng Qiu ◽  
Guanghui Su

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Stephanie K. Adamczak ◽  
Rachel R. Holser ◽  
Daniel P. Costa ◽  
Elizabeth J. Berens McCabe ◽  
Randall S. Wells

Marine mammal body composition has been an important tool that is used as a proxy for the health and condition of individuals within a population. Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) body composition is influenced by variations in blubber thickness resulting from changes in temperature, prey availability, health, and life-history traits. We examined how environmental, ontogenetic, and reproductive variables influenced the body composition of common bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay using data collected from a long-term monitoring project by the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program (SDRP). We found that both sea surface temperature (SST) and catch per unit effort (CPUE), used as a proxy for prey availability, influenced body composition. There was a high degree of seasonality in body composition, with higher values occurring in winter when SST and CPUE were both low. Ontogeny also greatly influenced body composition, as younger dolphins typically had thicker blubber than mature individuals. Interestingly, young females allocated more energy to allometric growth than deposition of blubber for body composition when compared to young males. However, as females matured and their growth slowed, they invested more in body composition. We found no significant difference in body composition of females of varying reproductive states, providing further evidence of their status as true income breeders. Our work highlights that changes in body composition result from fluctuations in environmental variables and that energy allocation to body composition changes with ontogeny.

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