Meeting Abstract

45-6  Friday, Jan. 5 09:30 - 09:45  Carry-over Effects of Early-life Food Availability on Stress Physiology and Survival: A Supplementation Experiment in a Winter Breeding Passerine FREEMAN, NE*; NORRIS, DR; STRICKLAND, D; NEWMAN, AEM; University of Guelph, Ontario; University of Guelph, Ontario; Retired Chief Park Naturalist, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario; University of Guelph, Ontario nfreeman@uoguelph.ca

Environmental conditions during early-life play a vital role in the development of an individual’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis but how these conditions carry-over to influence stress physiology, behavior and survival in natural systems is poorly understood. We examined the hypothesis that food quantity in early-life influences short and long-term HPA axis activity and survival by quantifying feather corticosterone, body condition, and fledging date in young grey jays (Perisoreus canadensis). In 2017, 10 pairs of breeding adults were supplemented with high protein and high fat food throughout the nestling period while 9 pairs were un-supplemented controls. Individuals from supplemented territories were in better condition at 14 d and left the nest, on average, 6 d earlier. We will also present rates of survival and data on HPA axis activity during the nestling and fledgling stages using feather corticosterone analysis of tail feathers collected from independent juveniles at ~200 d of age. Our preliminary study highlights the vital role ecophysiological factors during development, such as food availability, play in mediating stress physiology and survival.