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There is accumulating evidence that individuals leave their natal area and select a breeding habitat non-randomly by relying upon information about their natal and future breeding environments. This variation in dispersal is not only based on external information (condition dependence) but also depends upon the internal state of individuals (phenotype(More)
Environmental factors including stressors, health status and social context significantly affect carotenoid-based coloration. For instance, stressors may induce the diversion of carotenoids from pigmentation pathways, potentially explaining why stressed animals often exhibit reduced coloration. However, we recently showed that high blood corticosterone(More)
Corticosterone is an important hormone of the stress response that regulates physiological processes and modifies animal behavior. While it positively acts on locomotor activity, it may negatively affect reproduction and social activity. This suggests that corticosterone may promote behaviors that increase survival at the cost of reproduction. In this(More)
Relationships between hormones and behaviour can be explored by altering endogenous hormone levels, often through implantation of silastic tubing or osmotic pumps filled with a hormone or its agonists or antagonists. However, organisms in sensitive life-history stages (such as pregnancy) may be adversely affected by the surgical procedures associated with(More)
Under chronic stress, carotenoid-based colouration has often been shown to fade. However, the ecological and physiological mechanisms that govern colouration still remain largely unknown. Colour changes may be directly induced by the stressor (for example through reduced carotenoid intake) or due to the activation of the physiological stress response (PSR,(More)
A challenge to ecologists and evolutionary biologists is predicting organismal responses to the anticipated changes to global ecosystems through climate change. Most evidence suggests that short-term global change may involve increasing occurrences of extreme events, therefore the immediate response of individuals will be determined by physiological(More)
Many animals exhibit dramatic responses when subjected to a stressor. A classic marker of the stress response is an increase in plasma glucocorticoids, but this constitutes only one step in the cascade from experience of a stressor to wider organismal changes, including behavior. The behavioral sensitivity to glucocorticoids would determine the consequences(More)
Mating is crucial for females that reproduce exclusively sexually and should influence their investment into reproduction. Although reproductive adjustments in response to mate quality have been tested in a wide range of species, the effect of exposure to males and mating per se has seldom been studied. Compensatory mechanisms against the absence of mating(More)
Stressful events typically induce glucocorticoid production that suppresses unnecessary physiological and behavioural functions. The glucocorticoid production also temporally activates alternative behavioural and physiological pathways. These responses are generally adaptive changes to avoid the negative effects of stressors. However, under low food(More)
To elucidate the developmental aspects of the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD), an understanding of the sex-specific ontogeny of body size is critical. Here, we evaluate the relative importance of genetic and environmental determinants of SSD in juvenile common lizards (Lacerta vivipara). We examined the prenatal and post-natal effects of(More)