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Received 29 January 2003 Accepted 14 April 2003

Summary: Received 29 January 2003
Accepted 14 April 2003
Published online 4 July 2003
Reproductive effort reduces long-term immune
function in breeding tree swallows
(Tachycineta bicolor)
Daniel R. Ardia1*
, Karel A. Schat2
and David W. Winkler1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-2701, USA
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401,
We examined whether strategies of reproductive allocation may reduce long-term immunocompetence
through the effects of manipulated effort on secondary or acquired immunity. We tested whether increased
reproductive effort leads to reduced immune function and survival by manipulating brood size in tree
swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and exposing breeding females to a primary and secondary exposure of
sheep red blood cells to elicit a humoral immune response. Females raising enlarged broods produced
fewer secondary antibodies than did females raising control or reduced broods. Most importantly, individ-


Source: Ardia, Dan - Department of Biology, Franklin and Marshall College


Collections: Biology and Medicine