Increased aggression during pregnancy comes at a higher metabolic cost

Seebacher, F., Ward, A. J. W. and Wilson, R. S. (2013) Increased aggression during pregnancy comes at a higher metabolic cost. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216 5: 771-776. doi:10.1242/jeb.079756

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Author Seebacher, F.
Ward, A. J. W.
Wilson, R. S.
Title Increased aggression during pregnancy comes at a higher metabolic cost
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2013-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.079756
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 216
Issue 5
Start page 771
End page 776
Total pages 6
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Aggressive behaviour is linked to fitness, but it is metabolically costly. Changes in metabolic demand during the reproductive cycle could constrain activity and thereby modulate behavioural phenotypes. We predicted that increased metabolic demands in late pregnancy would lead to reduced aggression and a lower metabolic cost of behaviour in the mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki. Contrary to our prediction, females became more aggressive in late pregnancy, but metabolic scope (i.e. the metabolic energy available for activity and behaviour) decreased. Consequently, late-stage pregnant females spent significantly more of their available metabolic scope on aggressive behaviour. Hence, as pregnancy progressed, females showed increasingly risky behaviour by depleting metabolic resources available for activities other than fighting. We argue that the metabolic cost of behaviour, and possibly personality, is best expressed with reference to metabolic scope, rather than resting metabolic rates or concentrations of metabolites. This dependence on metabolic scope could render reproductive success sensitive to environmental changes.
Keyword Metabolic scope
Oxygen consumption
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 16 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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