Reduced investment in immune function in invasion-front populations of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia

Llewellyn, David, Thompson, Michael B., Brown, Gregory P., Phillips, Benjamin L., and Shine, Richard (2012) Reduced investment in immune function in invasion-front populations of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia. Biological Invasions, 14 (5). pp. 999-1008.

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In an invasive species, selection for increased rates of dispersal at the expanding range front may favor the evolution of reduced investment into any trait that does not contribute to more rapid dispersal. Thus, populations at the invasion front may exhibit reduced investment into the immune system. To test this prediction, cane toads (Rhinella marina) from parents collected from populations across the toads' invasion history in tropical Australia were raised in a standard environment. When their immune systems were challenged by injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide, the toads' metabolic rates rose by up to 40%. The magnitude of elevation in metabolic rate was lower in toads derived from the invasion front than in those from long-established populations. Our results support the hypothesis that an animal's investment in immune defenses can be modified by selective forces that arise in the course of a biological invasion.

Item ID: 20148
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Bufo marinus, immunocompetence, invasive species, life-history trade-offs, lipopolysaccharide, metabolic rate
ISSN: 1573-1464
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 05:41
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
Downloads: Total: 1
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