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Adaptive Maternal Effects Shape Offspring Phenotype and Survival in Natal Environments

Bestion, E, Teyssier, A, Rangassamy, M, Calvez, O, Guillaume, O, Richard, M, Braem, A, Zajitschek, F, Zajitschek, S and Cote, J (2022) Adaptive Maternal Effects Shape Offspring Phenotype and Survival in Natal Environments. American Naturalist, 200 (6). pp. 773-789. ISSN 0003-0147

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Maternal effects can give newborns a head start in life by adjusting natal phenotypes to natal environments, yet their strength and adaptiveness are often difficult to investigate in natural populations. Here, we studied anticipatory maternal effects and their adaptiveness in common lizards in a seminatural experimental system. Specifically, we investigated how maternal environments (i.e., vegetation cover) and maternal phenotype (i.e., activity levels and body length) can shape offspring phenotype. We further studied whether such maternal effects influenced offspring survival in natal environments varying with respect to vegetation cover, conspecific density, and, consequently, maternal fitness. More active females from dense vegetation habitats produced bigger offspring than their less active counterparts, the contrary being true for sparse vegetation habitats. Moreover, females from dense vegetation habitats produced more active offspring and more active offspring survived better in dense vegetation habitats, resulting in greater maternal fitness through maternal effects. These results suggest adaptive anticipatory maternal effects, induced by vegetation structure and mediated by activity levels that may shape early-life prospects in natal environments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals; Lizards; Phenotype; Female; Maternal Inheritance; activity; common lizards; density-dependent effects; habitat quality; intergenerational plasticity; personality; Female; Animals; Maternal Inheritance; Phenotype; Lizards; 06 Biological Sciences; Ecology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: The University of Chicago Journals
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2023 10:06
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 10:15
DOI or Identification number: 10.1086/721873
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18341

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