Recovery from Discrete Wound Severities in Side-Blotched Lizards (Uta stansburiana): Implications for Energy Budget, Locomotor Performance, and Oxidative Stress

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Comparative Physiology B



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Award Number

NSF, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) 1350070


NSF, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)

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Wounding events (predation attempts, competitive combat) result in injuries and/or infections that induce integrated immune responses for the recovery process. Despite the survival benefits of immunity in this context, the costs incurred may require investment to be diverted from traits contributing to immediate and/or future survival, such as locomotor performance and oxidative status. Yet, whether trait constraints manifest likely depends on wound severity and the implications for energy budget. For this study, food intake, body mass, sprint speed, and oxidative indices (reactive oxygen metabolites, antioxidant capacity) were monitored in male side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) healing from cutaneous wounds of discrete sizes (control, small, large). Results indicate that larger wounds induced faster healing, reduced food consumption, and led to greater oxidative stress over time. Granted wounding did not differentially affect body mass or sprint speed overall, small wounded lizards with greater wound area healed had faster sprint speeds while large-wounded lizards with greater wound area healed had slower sprint speeds. During recovery from either wound severity, however, healing and sprint performance did not correspond with food consumption, body mass loss, nor oxidative status. These findings provide support that energy budget, locomotor performance, and oxidative status of a reptile are linked to wound recovery to an extent, albeit dependent on wound severity.

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