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Conservation Physiology

Floriana Lai, Cathrine E Fagernes, Fredrik Jutfelt, Göran E Nilsson
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cow068.][This corrects the article DOI: 10.1093/conphys/cow068.].
2017: Conservation Physiology
Ciera M McCoy, Craig M Lind, Terence M Farrell
In the past decade, snake fungal disease (SFD) has been identified as an emerging threat to snake populations throughout the eastern USA. Snake fungal disease is caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. Little is known regarding the environmental or physiological variables that affect host vulnerability and O. ophiodiicola virulence in wild snake populations. Understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that correlate with infection severity is a key first step in understanding host-pathogen dynamics...
2017: Conservation Physiology
John B Iverson, Randal S Stahl, Carol Furcolow, Fred Kraus
Concentrations of the biomarker pentosidine have been shown to be useful measures of age for a number of avian and mammalian species. However, no study has examined its usefulness as an age marker in a long-lived ectotherm despite the fact that such a marker could prove useful in understanding age distributions of populations subject to conservation programmes. Therefore, we evaluated pentosidine concentrations in the interdigital webbing of 117 female yellow mud turtles (Kinosternon flavescens) at a 35 year study site in western Nebraska where nearly all turtles are of known age...
2017: Conservation Physiology
Jamilynn B Poletto, Dennis E Cocherell, Sarah E Baird, Trinh X Nguyen, Valentina Cabrera-Stagno, Anthony P Farrell, Nann A Fangue
Understanding how the current warming trends affect fish populations is crucial for effective conservation and management. To help define suitable thermal habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon, the thermal performance of juvenile Chinook salmon acclimated to either 15 or 19°C was tested across a range of environmentally relevant acute temperature changes (from 12 to 26°C). Swim tunnel respirometers were used to measure routine oxygen uptake as a measure of routine metabolic rate (RMR) and oxygen uptake when swimming maximally as a measure of maximal metabolic rate (MMR) at each test temperature...
2017: Conservation Physiology
Manrico Sebastiano, Marcel Eens, Frederic Angelier, Kévin Pineau, Olivier Chastel, David Costantini
Herpesvirus outbreaks are common in natural animal populations, but little is known about factors that favour the infection and its consequences for the organism. In this study, we examined the pathophysiological consequences of a disease probably attributable to herpesvirus infection for several markers of immune function, corticosterone, telomere length and inflammation. In addition, we assessed whether any markers used in this study might be associated with the occurrence of visible clinical signs of the disease and its impact on short-term survival perspectives...
2017: Conservation Physiology
Steven J Cooke, Kevin R Hultine, Jodie L Rummer, Craig E Franklin
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Conservation Physiology
Ee Phin Wong, Lisa Yon, Rebecca Purcell, Susan L Walker, Nasharuddin Othman, Salman Saaban, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz
The use of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCMs) has facilitated the development of non-invasive methods to study physiological conditions of endangered wildlife populations. One limitation is that fGCM concentrations are known to change over time and to vary according to different environmental conditions. The aim of this study was to perform a controlled dung decay experiment to understand the impact of time (since defecation) and two common environmental variables (exposure to water and direct sunlight) on fGCM concentrations of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Julie Strand, Mette M Ragborg, Hanne S Pedersen, Torsten N Kristensen, Cino Pertoldi, Henrik Callesen
The aim of this study was to establish and validate a reliable and efficient protocol for the recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal spermatozoa used for in vitro fertilization, using bulls of two different age classes. Testicles from 26 (37-51 weeks old, group 1) and 19 (52-115 weeks old, group 2) Danish Holstein bulls were collected after slaughter and stored at 5°C. After 0, 24 or 48 h, epididymides were isolated and spermatozoa collected. Assessments included spermatozoal motility, viability and morphology before and after cryopreservation and in vitro embryo production...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Floriana Lai, Cathrine E Fagernes, Fredrik Jutfelt, Göran E Nilsson
Change in the activity of the main inhibitory receptor, GABAA, has been suggested to be a general mechanism behind the behavioural alterations reported in ocean acidification studies on fish. It has been proposed that regulatory acid-base mechanisms in response to high CO2 alter the neuronal Cl(-) and HCO3(-) gradients that are important for GABAA receptor function. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of gene expression of GABAA receptor subunits and of genes involved in GABAergic transmission in the brain of fish exposed to near-future CO2...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Kelly D Hannan, Jennifer D Jeffrey, Caleb T Hasler, Cory D Suski
Freshwater systems are at risk owing to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and one of the possible reasons for these elevations is the deployment of non-physical fish barriers to prevent invasive fish movements. Carbon dioxide barriers have the potential to create short, chronic and intermittent exposures of CO2 for surrounding freshwater biota. Although intermittent exposures to a stressor may be more ecologically relevant, the majority of laboratory tests use chronic or short-term time periods to determine how organisms will respond to an environmental stressor...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Laura E Vossen, Fredrik Jutfelt, Arianna Cocco, Per-Ove Thörnqvist, Svante Winberg
Ocean acidification, the decrease in ocean pH caused by anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide, can cause behavioural disturbances in marine teleost species. We investigated whether AB-strain zebrafish (Danio rerio) show similar behavioural disturbances in the presence of elevated CO2, because this model species could open up a toolbox to investigate the physiological and neurological mechanisms of CO2 exposure. We found no effect of elevated CO2 (~1600 μatm) on the behaviour of zebrafish in the open field test, indicating that zebrafish are largely insensitive to this elevated CO2 level...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Mark I McCormick, Bridie J M Allan
Invasive lionfish represent an unprecedented problem in the Caribbean basin, where they are causing major changes to foodwebs and habitats through their generalized predation on fishes and invertebrates. To ascertain what makes the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) such a formidable predator, we examined the reaction of a native damselfish prey, the whitetail damsel (Pomacentrus chrysurus), to a repeatable startle stimulus once they had been forewarned of the sight or smell of lionfish. Fast-start responses were compared with prey forewarned of a predatory rockcod (Cephalopholis microprion), a corallivorous butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifasctiatus) and experimental controls...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Zachery R R Wells, Laura H McDonnell, Lauren J Chapman, Dylan J Fraser
As climate warming threatens the persistence of many species and populations, it is important to forecast their responses to warming thermal regimes. Climate warming often traps populations in smaller habitat fragments, not only changing biotic parameters, but potentially decreasing adaptive potential by decreasing genetic variability. We examined the ability of six genetically distinct and different-sized populations of a cold-water fish (brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis) to tolerate acute thermal warming and whether this tolerance could be altered by hybridizing populations...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Emmanuelle Chrétien, Lauren J Chapman
Key to predicting the response of fishes to climate change is quantifying how close fish are to their critical thermal limits in nature and their ability to adjust their thermal sensitivity to maintain performance. Here, we evaluated the effects of body size and habitat on aerobic scope (AS) and thermal tolerance of Nile perch Lates niloticus (L.), a fish of great economic and food security importance in East Africa, using respirometry and critical thermal maximum (CTmax) trials. Juvenile Nile perch from distinct habitats (high or low dissolved oxygen concentrations) of Lake Nabugabo, Uganda were exposed for 4...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Alina L Evans, Navinder J Singh, Boris Fuchs, Stéphane Blanc, Andrea Friebe, Timothy G Laske, Ole Frobert, Jon E Swenson, Jon M Arnemo
Human disturbance can affect animal life history and even population dynamics. However, the consequences of these disturbances are difficult to measure. This is especially true for hibernating animals, which are highly vulnerable to disturbance, because hibernation is a process of major physiological changes, involving conservation of energy during a resource-depleted time of year. During the winters of 2011-15, we captured 15 subadult brown bears (Ursus arctos) and recorded their body temperatures (n = 11) and heart rates (n = 10) before, during and after capture using biologgers...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Juliet S Lamb, Kathleen M O'Reilly, Patrick G R Jodice
The effects of acute environmental stressors on reproduction in wildlife are often difficult to measure because of the labour and disturbance involved in collecting accurate reproductive data. Stress hormones represent a promising option for assessing the effects of environmental perturbations on altricial young; however, it is necessary first to establish how stress levels are affected by environmental conditions during development and whether elevated stress results in reduced survival and recruitment rates...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Carolyn R Wheeler, Ashleigh J Novak, Gail S Wippelhauser, James A Sulikowski
The Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) is a long-lived, anadromous fish species ranging from Labrador, CA to Florida, USA. In the Saco River, located in the Gulf of Maine, this species was not present during a survey study ending in 1982, but was found inhabiting the estuary in 2007. Although the reason for the return of this sturgeon to this river system remains unknown, research on basic life-history information is necessary to facilitate the conservation of this federally protected species...
2016: Conservation Physiology
A M Carlsson, G Mastromonaco, E Vandervalk, S Kutz
Stress hormones (glucocorticoids), incorporated into hair/fur and faeces, have been proposed as biomarkers of overall health in wildlife. Although such biomarkers may be helpful for wildlife conservation and management, their use has rarely been validated. There is a paucity of studies examining the variation of stress hormones in mammals and how they relate to other health measures, such as parasitism. Parasites are ubiquitous in wildlife and can influence the fitness of individual animals and populations...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Christine E Verhille, Karl K English, Dennis E Cocherell, Anthony P Farrell, Nann A Fangue
Transformation of earth's ecosystems by anthropogenic climate change is predicted for the 21st century. In many regions, the associated increase in environmental temperatures and reduced precipitation will have direct effects on the physiological performance of terrestrial and aquatic ectotherms and have already threatened fish biodiversity and important fisheries. The threat of elevated environmental temperatures is particularly salient for members of the Oncorhynchus genus living in California, which is the southern limit of their range...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Pablo A Cortes, Hans Puschel, Paz Acuña, José L Bartheld, Francisco Bozinovic
Biological invasions are recognized as an important biotic component of global change that threatens the composition, structure and functioning of ecosystems, resulting in loss of biodiversity and displacement of native species. Although ecological characteristics facilitating the establishment and spread of non-native species are widely recognized, little is known about organismal attributes underlying invasion success. In this study, we tested the effect of thermal acclimation on thermal tolerance and locomotor performance in the invasive Xenopus laevis and the Chilean native Calyptocephalella gayi...
2016: Conservation Physiology
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