Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 225–231 | Cite as

Increased energy expenditure due to increased territorial defense in male lizards after phenotypic manipulation

  • Catherine A. Marler
  • Glenn Walsberg
  • Myra L. White
  • Michael Moore
  • C. A. Marler


Fitness tradeoffs are difficult to examine because many fitness variables are correlated and vary in the same direction. Phenotypic manipulation circumvents many of these difficulties, and here we used this technique to examine mechanisms for tradeoffs between increased aggression (territorial defense) and survivorship. The behavioral phenotype of male mountain spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi) was manipulated with testosterone to increase territorial defense, a sexually selected trait. We previously demonstrated that increased territorial defense results in a decrease in survival caused by a lower ratio of energy intake to energy expenditure. Here we measured energy consumption of increased territorial aggression using the doubly labeled water technique in the field and compared males with and without testosterone implants (Fig. 1). In a supplementary study we measured standard metabolic rate using captive lizards given similar testosterone implants to examine if an increase in energy expenditure was a result of only an increase in standard metabolic rate (Fig. 3). Our results indicated that a primary contribution to tradeoffs between increased territorial defense and survivorship could be made by a 31% increase in energy expenditure in the field that is not due to an increase in standard metabolic rate.

Key words

Testosterone Aggression Doubly labeled water Territoriality Metabolic rate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine A. Marler
    • 1
  • Glenn Walsberg
    • 1
  • Myra L. White
    • 1
  • Michael Moore
    • 1
  • C. A. Marler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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