Nutritional Ecology, Foraging Strategies and Food Selection

  • David Costantini


Nutrition influences many aspects of animal life history, behaviour and physiology. Food is a source of various classes of chemicals that influence the antioxidant defences and the cell resistance to oxidative stress of animals. Not only food quality but also the investment in foraging strategies can expose animals to variable degrees of oxidative challenges and antioxidant rewards. For these reasons, the link between diet and oxidative stress has been the focus of numerous ecological studies in the last decades. In this chapter, I examine the role that oxidative stress and hormesis have played in the evolution of foraging strategies, food selection and general nutritional ecology. I then discuss how the maternal strategies of nutrient or antioxidant allocation may shape the phenotype of offspring and influence their evolutionary fitness. Finally, I examine the links among hormesis, starvation-induced stress and essentiality of nutrients.


Caloric Restriction Dietary Antioxidant Barn Swallow Oxidative Stress Resistance Oxidative Balance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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