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Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Year Degree Awarded
Ethan D. Clotfelter
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Nutrition
The carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis states that diet-derived carotenoids are tradedoff among competing physiological demands, but this statement is rarely tested in ornamented females. The following dissertation tests the carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis in reverse sexually dimorphic convict cichlids (Amantitlania siquia) using carotenoidsupplemented diet treatments and a field-based study of carotenoid intake. Spectral, microscopic, and chemical analysis determined how females allocated the pigments to tissues and how those decisions affected their ventral patch coloration. The results presented in the current study show that carotenoids enhance offspring growth and survival, lower oxidative stress, and reduce the time to clear a parasite. The two final chapters suggest that carotenoid limitation and absorption may not explain carotenoid allocation dynamics in A. siquia. The final chapter proposes an alternative to the carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis as a mechanism to explain the relationship among color, parasites, and oxidative stress.
Brown, Alexandria Christine, "Honesty and Carotenoids in a Pigmented Female Fish" (2014). Doctoral Dissertations. 34.