Limits to sustained energy intake II. Inter-relationships between resting metabolic rate, life-history traits and morphology in Mus musculus

M S Johnson, S C Thomson, J R Speakman

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Abstract

Links between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and reproductive output have been previously sought at both inter- and intraspecific levels, but have only been found in some interspecific studies, We aimed to examine correlations between RMR measured both prior to breeding and at peak: lactation with litter size and litter mass in Mus musculus. By manipulating the litter size of some females at birth, we aimed to establish the direction of causality in any correlation between litter size and RMR. Correlations between maternal morphology and RMR, litter size and litter mass were also examined. Neither pre-breeding RMR nor mass-independent pre-breeding RMR was correlated with litter size or litter mass. RMR at peak lactation, however, was positively correlated with litter size and negatively correlated with mean pup mass. After correcting for the effects of body mass, residual peak lactation RMR was not correlated with litter size or litter mass. Body size was the major morphological variable influencing litter mass, offspring mass and asymptotic food intake. Mammary tissue mass was correlated with litter size when only the data for mice raising unmanipulated litters were used. RMR at peak lactation was significantly related to the principal component of morphology dominated by carcass mass, This study confirms the findings of previous intraspecific and some interspecific studies that found no correlation between RMR and reproductive output after the effects of body mass had been removed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1946
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume204
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • energetics
  • maximal metabolic rate
  • sustained metabolic rate
  • pregnancy
  • lactation
  • reproduction
  • mouse
  • REPRODUCTIVE ENERGETICS
  • INTRASPECIFIC VARIATION
  • PEROMYSCUS-MANICULATUS
  • TENRECIDAE MAMMALIA
  • LACTATING MICE
  • BODY SIZE
  • BIRDS
  • INSECTIVORA
  • BUDGETS
  • CONSTRAINTS

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