Present address: A. Dubiec, Institute for Ornithology, Polish Academy of Sciences Nadwiślańska 108, 80-680 Gdańsk, Poland.
Cell-mediated immunity predicts the probability of local recruitment in nestling blue tits
Article first published online: 11 MAY 2005
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 962–966, July 2005
How to Cite
CICHOŃ, M. and DUBIEC, A. (2005), Cell-mediated immunity predicts the probability of local recruitment in nestling blue tits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 18: 962–966. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00910.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAY 2005
- Article first published online: 11 MAY 2005
- Received 1 December 2004; revised 21 January 2005; accepted 25 January 2005
- brood size manipulation;
- fledging success;
- immune response;
- local recruitment;
We investigated whether the variation in T-cell-mediated immune function of blue tit nestlings affected their fledgling success and the probability of local survival. We studied the relationship between immune function and survival under two rearing conditions: control, unmanipulated, and experimentally enlarged broods. Brood enlargement had negative effects on nestling immune response. Immune response was positively related to fledgling success and it predicted the probability of local recruitment. However, the relationship between immune response and the probability of recruitment was significantly positive only among control broods and nonsignificant among enlarged broods. The effect of immune response on the recruitment probability was not affected by variation in body mass. Our study suggests that selection for immune responsiveness seems to be weak or even absent under unfavourable rearing conditions as simulated by brood size enlargement. Therefore, year-to-year environmental variation and environmental heterogeneity may constrain evolution towards higher immune responsiveness.