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Adrenocortical stress responses influence an invasive vertebrate's fitness in an extreme environment

Jessop, Tim S., Letnic, Mike, Webb, Jonathan K. and Dempster, Tim 2013, Adrenocortical stress responses influence an invasive vertebrate's fitness in an extreme environment, Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences, vol. 280, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1444.

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Title Adrenocortical stress responses influence an invasive vertebrate's fitness in an extreme environment
Author(s) Jessop, Tim S.ORCID iD for Jessop, Tim S. orcid.org/0000-0002-7712-4373
Letnic, Mike
Webb, Jonathan K.
Dempster, Tim
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences
Volume number 280
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0962-8452
1471-2954
Keyword(s) extreme environments
survival
glucocorticoid hormones
acute stress response
adaptive phenotypic performance
fitness
Summary Continued range expansion into physiologically challenging environments requires invasive species to maintain adaptive phenotypic performance. The adrenocortical stress response, governed in part by glucocorticoid hormones, influences physiological and behavioural responses of vertebrates to environmental stressors. However, any adaptive role of this response in invasive populations that are expanding into extreme environments is currently unclear. We experimentally manipulated the adrenocortical stress response of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) to investigate its effect on phenotypic performance and fitness at the species' range front in the Tanami Desert, Australia. Here, toads are vulnerable to overheating and dehydration during the annual hot-dry season and display elevated plasma corticosterone levels indicative of severe environmental stress. By comparing unmanipulated control toads with toads whose adrenocortical stress response was manipulated to increase acute physiological stress responsiveness, we found that control toads had significantly reduced daily evaporative water loss and higher survival relative to the experimental animals. The adrenocortical stress response hence appears essential in facilitating complex phenotypic performance and setting fitness trajectories of individuals from invasive species during range expansion.
Language eng
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2013.1444
Field of Research 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
060603 Animal Physiology - Systems
060801 Animal Behaviour
06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2013, Royal Society Publishing
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081787

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.