séminaire du PEV – vendredi 18 octobre 2013

Mothers control how offspring deal with parasites

Heinz Richner, Evolutionary Ecology Lab, University of Bern, Bern, Suisse

vendredi 18 octobre à 11 heures, amphi Monge



Exposure to ectoparasites during growth and development can permanently modify the morphological, physiological and behavioral phenotype of individuals and entail fitness consequences throughout adult life. Mothers may alleviate the impact of ectoparasites employing strategies that can counteract these developmental impairments, for example by the allocation of antioxidants, hormones and immunoglobulins. Such maternal effects can be targeted directly at the parasite to limit host exploitation and parasite reproductive success, or else compensate for the parasite-imposed damage on offspring. Furthermore, a parasite-induced change in the allocation of maternal substances can entail trade-offs both for mothers and offspring. Experimental field studies on the great tit and its ectoparasites will be used to illustrate the maternal options, strategies and trade-offs.