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Corlatti, L; Bethaz, S; von Hardenberg, A; Bassano, B; Palme, R; Lovari, S.
(2012): Hormones, parasites and male mating tactics in Alpine chamois: identifying the mechanisms of life history trade-offs
ANIM BEHAV. 2012; 84(4): 1061-1070. FullText FullText_BOKU

Alternative mating tactics (AMTs) may show different trade-offs between current reproduction and survival; however, the proximate mechanisms underlying this pattern remain unclear. Among them, the relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance mediated by hormonal secretion has received increasing attention. We monitored 19 marked adult male chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra, within the Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy) between the pre- and postrut 2011, to investigate the trade-off between mating effort and parasites associated with AMTs, and the underlying physiological mechanism. Territorial males sharply increased mating effort, faecal androgen and cortisol metabolites, and parasite levels during the rut, whereas nonterritorial ones displayed a similar pattern only for androgen metabolite levels. During the rut, territorial males invested more in rutting activities, while having higher levels of hormone metabolites and greater faecal counts of parasites than nonterritorial males. Before and after the rut, differences between male types (territorial and nonterritorial males) were smaller. Our analysis suggests that a trade-off between mating effort and parasitism exists, and that the proximate mechanism underlying this pattern may be found in the secretion of androgen metabolites. The greater investment in rutting activities, which territorial males make, suggests potentially high mating benefits. However, mating benefits could be counterbalanced by greater risk of injuries, consumption of fat reserves and higher hormone levels, which might favour the suppression of immunological defence and the subsequent decrease in parasite resistance. (C) 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Corlatti Luca

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Alpine chamois
alternative mating tactics
faecal hormone metabolite
reproductive behaviour
Rupicapra rupicapra

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