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1.
J Exp Biol ; 222(Pt 4)2019 02 15.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30659082

RESUMEN

Early-life stress can suppress immune function, but it is unclear whether transgenerational stress exposure modulates the immune consequences of early stress. In populations where, historically, the immune system is frequently activated, e.g. persistent stressors that cause injury, it may be maladaptive to suppress immune function after early-life stress. Thus, the relationship between early-life stress and immune function may vary with population-level historical stressor exposure. We collected gravid fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) from populations that naturally differ in long-term exposure to invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta). We manipulated early-life stress in the resulting offspring via weekly exposure to fire ants, application of the stress-relevant hormone corticosterone or control treatment from 2 to 43 weeks of age. We quantified adult immune function in these offspring with baseline and antigen-induced hemagglutination and plasma bacterial killing ability. Early-life corticosterone exposure suppressed baseline hemagglutination in offspring of lizards from populations not exposed to fire ants but enhanced hemagglutination in those from populations that were exposed to fire ants. This enhancement may prepare lizards for high rates of wounding, toxin exposure and infection associated with fire ant attack. Adult bacterial killing ability and hemagglutination were not affected by early-life exposure to fire ants, but the latter was higher in offspring of lizards from invaded sites. A population's history of persistent stress may thus alter individual long-term immunological responses to early-life stressors. Further consideration of historical stressor exposure (type and duration) may be important to better understand how early-life stressors affect adult physiology.


Asunto(s)
Hormigas , Corticosterona/administración & dosificación , Glucocorticoides/administración & dosificación , Inmunidad Innata , Lagartos/inmunología , Conducta Predatoria , Animales , Femenino , Especies Introducidas , Sudeste de Estados Unidos , Estrés Fisiológico , Tennessee
2.
Oecologia ; 186(2): 347-355, 2018 02.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29189938

RESUMEN

Environmental changes, such as the introduction of non-native species, can impose novel selective pressures. This can result in changes in fitness-relevant traits within an individual's lifetime or across multiple generations. We investigated the effects of early life versus trans-generational exposure to a predatory invasive insect stressor, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), on the morphology and survival of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). We captured gravid lizards from high-stress populations with long histories of invasion by fire ants and from uninvaded sites. Resulting hatchlings were exposed weekly to one of the three treatments until they reached maturity (42 weeks): (1) sub-lethal attack by fire ants; (2) topical application of the stress-relevant hormone, corticosterone (CORT), to mimic the stress of fire ant attack; or (3) control handling. Exposure to post-natal early life stress (fire ants or CORT) did not interact with a population's evolutionary history of stress to affect morphology or survival and early life stress did not affect these fitness-relevant traits. However, morphology and survival were associated with the lizards' evolutionary history of exposure to fire ants. Offspring of lizards from fire ant invaded sites had longer and faster growing hind-limbs, gained body length and lost condition more slowly in the first 16 weeks, and had lower in-lab survival to 42 weeks, compared to lizards from uninvaded sites. These results suggest that a population's history of stress/invasion caused by fire ants during ca. 38 generations may be more important in driving survival-relevant traits than are the early life experiences of an organism.


Asunto(s)
Hormigas , Lagartos , Animales , Evolución Biológica , Corticosterona , Estrés Psicológico
3.
Physiol Biochem Zool ; 90(3): 328-337, 2017.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28384419

RESUMEN

Invasive species represent a substantial threat to native species worldwide. Research on the impacts of invasive species on wild living vertebrates has focused primarily on population-level effects. The sublethal, individual-level effects of invaders may be equally important but are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of invasive fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on the physiological stress response of a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) within two experimental contexts: directly exposing lizards to a fire ant attack and housing lizards with fire ants in seminatural field enclosures. Lizards directly exposed to brief attack by fire ants had elevated concentrations of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT), suggesting that these encounters can be physiologically stressful. However, lizards exposed for longer periods to fire ants in field enclosures had lower concentrations of CORT. This may indicate that the combined effects of confinement and fire ant exposure have pushed lizards into allostatic overload. However, lizards from fire ant enclosures appeared to have intact negative feedback controls of the stress response, evidenced by functioning adrenocorticotropic hormone responsiveness and lack of suppression of innate immunity (plasma bactericidal capacity). We review previous studies examining the stress response of wild vertebrates to various anthropogenic stressors and discuss how these-in combination with our results-underscore the importance of considering context (the length, frequency, magnitude, and types of threat) when assessing these impacts.


Asunto(s)
Hormigas/fisiología , Lagartos/fisiología , Estrés Fisiológico/fisiología , Animales , Corticosterona , Ecosistema , Femenino , Especies Introducidas , Masculino , Estados Unidos
4.
Horm Behav ; 87: 115-121, 2017 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27864050

RESUMEN

Exposure to stressors can affect an organism's physiology and behavior as well as that of its descendants (e.g. through maternal effects, epigenetics, and/or selection). We examined the relative influence of early life vs. transgenerational stress exposure on adult stress physiology in a species that has populations with and without ancestral exposure to an invasive predator. We raised offspring of eastern fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) from sites historically invaded (high stress) or uninvaded (low stress) by predatory fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) and determined how this different transgenerational exposure to stress interacted with the effects of early life stress exposure to influence the physiological stress response in adulthood. Offspring from these high- and low-stress populations were exposed weekly to either sub-lethal attack by fire ants (an ecologically relevant stressor), topical treatment with a physiologically-appropriate dose of the stress-relevant hormone, corticosterone (CORT), or a control treatment from 2 to 43weeks of age. Several months after treatments ended, we quantified plasma CORT concentrations at baseline and following restraint, exposure to fire ants, and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) injection. Exposure to fire ants or CORT during early life did not affect lizard stress physiology in adulthood. However, offspring of lizards from populations that had experienced multiple generations of fire ant-invasion exhibited more robust adult CORT responses to restraint and ACTH-injection compared to offspring from uninvaded populations. Together, these results indicate that transgenerational stress history may be at least as important, if not more important, than early life stress in affecting adult physiological stress responses.


Asunto(s)
Hormigas/fisiología , Lagartos , Exposición Materna/efectos adversos , Herencia Materna/fisiología , Estrés Fisiológico/fisiología , Estrés Psicológico , Envejecimiento/fisiología , Envejecimiento/psicología , Animales , Hormigas/patogenicidad , Corticosterona/sangre , Femenino , Cadena Alimentaria , Lagartos/sangre , Lagartos/parasitología , Lagartos/fisiología , Estrés Psicológico/sangre , Estrés Psicológico/psicología
5.
Oecologia ; 181(3): 749-56, 2016 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27000944

RESUMEN

As species become increasingly exposed to novel challenges, it is critical to understand how evolutionary (i.e., generational) and plastic (i.e., within lifetime) responses work together to determine a species' fate or predict its distribution. The introduction of non-native species imposes novel pressures on the native species that they encounter. Understanding how native species exposed to toxic or distasteful invaders change their feeding behavior can provide insight into their ability to cope with these novel threats as well as broader questions about the evolution of this behavior. We demonstrated that native eastern fence lizards do not avoid consuming invasive fire ants following repeated exposure to this toxic prey. Rather fence lizards increased their consumption of these ants following exposure on three different temporal scales. Lizards ate more fire ants when they were exposed to this toxic prey over successive days. Lizards consumed more fire ants if they had been exposed to fire ants as juveniles 6 months earlier. Finally, lizards from populations exposed to fire ants over multiple generations consumed more fire ants than those from fire ant-free areas. These results suggest that the potentially lethal consumption of fire ants may carry benefits resulting in selection for this behavior, and learning that persists long after initial exposure. Future research on the response of native predators to venomous prey over multiple temporal scales will be valuable in determining the long-term effects of invasion by these novel threats.


Asunto(s)
Hormigas , Lagartos , Animales , Evolución Biológica , Conducta Alimentaria
6.
Environ Epigenet ; 2(2): dvw008, 2016 Apr.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29492288

RESUMEN

Epigenetic mechanisms may be important for a native species' response to rapid environmental change. Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta Santschi, 1916) were recently introduced to areas occupied by the Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus Bosc & Daudin, 1801). Behavioral, morphological and physiological phenotypes of the Eastern Fence Lizard have changed following invasion, creating a natural biological system to investigate environmentally induced epigenetic changes. We tested for variation in DNA methylation patterns in Eastern Fence Lizard populations associated with different histories of invasion by Red Imported Fire Ants. At methylation sensitive amplified fragment length polymorphism loci, we detected a higher diversity of methylation in Eastern Fence Lizard populations from Fire Ant uninvaded versus invaded sites, and uninvaded sites had higher methylation. Our results suggest that invasive species may alter methylation frequencies and the pattern of methylation among native individuals. While our data indicate a high level of intrinsic variability in DNA methylation, DNA methylation at some genomic loci may underlie observed phenotypic changes in Eastern Fence Lizard populations in response to invasion of Red Imported Fire Ants. This process may be important in facilitating adaptation of native species to novel pressures imposed by a rapidly changing environment.

7.
J Hered ; 105(2): 226-36, 2014.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24381182

RESUMEN

Hybridization can be an important evolutionary force by generating new species and influencing evolution of parental species in multiple ways, including introgression and the consequences of hybrid vigor. Determining the ecological processes underlying evolution in hybrid zones is difficult however because it requires examining changes in both genotypic frequencies over time and corresponding ecological information, data that are rarely collected together. Here, we describe genetic and ecological aspects of a hybrid zone between the Eastern Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, and the Florida Scrub Lizard, Sceloporus woodi, occurring over at least 23 generations. The hybrid zone, discovered greater than 35 years ago using morphological characters, originally consisted of nearly even proportions of parental species and hybrids. Now, using genetic markers (species-diagnostic mtDNA sites and 6 nDNA microsatellite loci across a total of n = 117 individuals), we confirm not only that hybridization occurred but also that subsequent backcrossing has resulted in highly introgressed hybrids, with many hybrids containing mitochondrial DNA from one species on a nuclear DNA background of the other. Ecological aspects explaining these shifts in genetic composition include female mate choice, changes in habitat associated with secondary succession, and, most strongly, a hierarchy of male territorial advantage-ecological mechanisms likely to be involved in the emergence and disappearance of many animal hybrid zones. Our results suggest that genetic assimilation is not a significant threat to either species and that rather transient hybrid zones such as this may serve to increase genetic diversity and are candidates for causing genetic discordance in phylogeographic analyses.


Asunto(s)
Agresión , Evolución Molecular , Hibridación Genética , Lagartos/genética , Preferencia en el Apareamiento Animal , Animales , ADN Mitocondrial/genética , ADN Mitocondrial/aislamiento & purificación , Ecosistema , Femenino , Frecuencia de los Genes , Sitios Genéticos , Marcadores Genéticos , Variación Genética , Genotipo , Lagartos/clasificación , Masculino , Repeticiones de Microsatélite , Filogeografía , Especificidad de la Especie
8.
Integr Zool ; 9(3): 360-71, 2014 Jun.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24148228

RESUMEN

Geographic variation in life-history traits among populations of wide-ranging species is influenced by both spatial and temporal aspects of the environment. Rarely, however, are the effects of both aspects examined concurrently. We collected gravid female lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) from northern (Indiana), central (Mississippi) and southern (Florida) populations, spanning nearly the full latitudinal range of the species, to examine among population differences in strategies of reproductive energy allocation. Adult females from the southern population were smaller, and produced fewer and smaller eggs in their first clutches than did females from the more northern populations. Southern females were more likely to produce a second clutch, and second clutches were smaller than first clutches for females from the 2 northern populations. Together these trends eliminated population differences in overall reproductive output after accounting for body size. The trend for greater reproductive energy to be allocated to first clutches at higher latitudes, and to later clutches at lower latitudes is corroborated by published data from field studies on multiple populations. Distributing reproductive effort by producing more clutches of smaller eggs may be an adaptive response to the long season available for egg incubation and lizard activity in sub-tropical southern environments. In contrast, allocating greater resources to early reproduction may enhance maternal fitness in the relatively short activity seasons that characterize more northern sites.


Asunto(s)
Lagartos/fisiología , Estaciones del Año , Animales , Tamaño de la Nidada , Femenino , Florida , Indiana , Mississippi , Fenotipo , Reproducción
9.
J Anim Ecol ; 79(1): 137-47, 2010 Jan.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19682141

RESUMEN

1. We investigated agonistic behaviour and associated characteristics of Sceloporus woodi (Florida scrub lizard), Sceloporus undulatus (Eastern fence lizard) and their hybrids using staged territorial encounters. 2. These Sceloporus hybrids exhibit transgressive aggression and transgressive head-girth relative to the parental species and the transgressive aggression was specifically associated with an advantage in agonistic encounters. Our results suggest a hybrid advantage in natural habitats when defending and invading territories against either parental species. 3. We further analysed general advantages in agonistic encounters across the entire three-group system to elucidate characteristics that may be advantageous under specific circumstances. Individuals with larger body size (SVL) and greater aggression had an overall advantage in agonistic encounters; however, smaller individuals could win when slightly more aggressive and fatter, and less aggressive individuals could win when slightly larger, especially with greater head-girth. 4. The extreme hybrid phenotypes likely occurred through transgressive segregation, which has been implicated as a process through which homoploid, hybrid speciation can occur. Some form of ecological divergence is necessary, however, to impede parental gene flow. Our data suggest that ecological divergence could manifest in territorial species through transgressive aggression.


Asunto(s)
Agresión/fisiología , Conducta Animal/fisiología , Hibridación Genética , Lagartos/genética , Lagartos/fisiología , Animales , Femenino , Masculino , Especificidad de la Especie
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