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Nicola Saino, Roberto Ambrosini, Manuela Caprioli, Andrea Romano, Maria Romano, Diego Rubolini, Chiara Scandolara, Felix Liechti
1.Life of many organisms flows as a sequence of annual cycles. Timing of cyclical events is shaped by natural selection also via the domino effects that any life-history stage has on the stages that follow. Such 'carry-over effects' have major consequences for evolutionary, ecological and demographic processes, but the causes that generate their individual-level variation, including the effect of sex, are poorly understood. 2.We used light-level geolocators to study carry-over effects on the year-round life-cycle of the long-distance migratory barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) and sex-dependent variation in their strength...
December 21, 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
Roberto Ambra, Fausta Natella, Sabrina Lucchetti, Valentina Forte, Gianni Pastore
Fatty acids and bioactive lipophilic and hydrophilic compounds (tocopherols, β-carotene, lutein, squalene, total polyphenols and secoiridoids) in monocultivar Italian extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) samples produced from the Leccino cultivar and six other yet uncharacterised cultivars (Rustica, Carpinetana, Dritta, Gentile di Chieti and Intosso) were analysed, also taking into account the effect of the type of decanter used for the oil extraction. Significant differences among cultivars were found for α-tocopherol and squalene, but not for carotenoids...
December 8, 2016: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Diana P Machado, Elder A Miranda, Mariana C Dessi, Camila P Sabadini, Marco A Del Lama
Samples from 861 colonies of 12 Partamona species from 125 Brazilian localities were analysed for a SCAR marker specific to the B chromosomes of P. helleri. We identified the SCAR marker in 6 of the 12 species analysed, including 2 (P. gregaria and P. chapadicola) from the pearsoni clade. This is the first report on the presence of this marker in Partamona species that are not included in the cupira clade, which indicates that the B chromosomes probably are more widespread in this genus than previously thought...
2016: Cytogenetic and Genome Research
Markéta Potůčková, Lucie Červená, Lucie Kupková, Zuzana Lhotáková, Petr Lukeš, Jan Hanuš, Jan Novotný, Jana Albrechtová
Laboratory spectroscopy in visible and infrared regions is an important tool for studies dealing with plant ecophysiology and early recognition of plant stress due to changing environmental conditions. Leaf optical properties are typically acquired with a spectroradiometer coupled with an integration sphere (IS) in a laboratory or with a contact probe (CP), which has the advantage of operating flexibility and the provision of repetitive in-situ reflectance measurements. Experiments comparing reflectance spectra measured with different devices and device settings are rarely reported in literature...
October 28, 2016: Sensors
Elder Assis Miranda, Henrique Batalha-Filho, Carlos Congrains, Antônio Freire Carvalho, Kátia Maria Ferreira, Marco Antonio Del Lama
The South America encompasses the highest levels of biodiversity found anywhere in the world and its rich biota is distributed among many different biogeographical regions. However, many regions of South America are still poorly studied, including its xeric environments, such as the threatened Caatinga and Cerrado phytogeographical domains. In particular, the effects of Quaternary climatic events on the demography of endemic species from xeric habitats are poorly understood. The present study uses an integrative approach to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Partamona rustica, an endemic stingless bee from dry forest diagonal in Brazil, in a spatial-temporal framework...
2016: PloS One
Andrea Romano, Barbara De Giorgio, Marco Parolini, Chiara Favero, Cristina Daniela Possenti, Simona Iodice, Manuela Caprioli, Diego Rubolini, Roberto Ambrosini, Luca Gianfranceschi, Nicola Saino, Valentina Bollati
The consequences of exposure to particulate matter (PM) have been thoroughly investigated in humans and other model species, but there is a dearth of studies of the effects of PM on physiology and life-history traits of non-human organisms living in natural or semi-natural environments. Besides toxicological relevance, PM has been recently suggested to exert epigenetic effects by altering DNA methylation patterns. Here, we investigated for the first time the association between the exposure to free-air PM10 and DNA methylation at two loci ('poly-Q exon' and '5'-UTR') of the Clock gene in blood cells of the nestlings of a synanthropic passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)...
January 2017: Environmental Pollution
Andrea Romano, Alessandra Costanzo, Diego Rubolini, Nicola Saino, Anders Pape Møller
Sexual selection arises from competition among individuals for access to mates, resulting in the evolution of conspicuous sexually selected traits, especially when inter-sexual competition is mediated by mate choice. Different sexual selection regimes may occur among populations/subspecies within the same species. This is particularly the case when mate choice is based on multiple sexually selected traits. However, empirical evidence supporting this hypothesis at the among-populations level is scarce. We conducted a meta-analysis of the intensity of sexual selection on the largest database to date for a single species, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), relying on quantitative estimates of sexual selection...
September 12, 2016: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Magdalena Ruiz-Rodríguez, Anders Pape Møller, Timothy A Mousseau, Juan J Soler
Microorganisms have shaped the evolution of a variety of defense mechanisms against pathogenic infections. Radioactivity modifies bacterial communities and, therefore, bird hosts breeding in contaminated areas are expected to adapt to the new bacterial environment. We tested this hypothesis in populations of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) from a gradient of background radiation levels at Chernobyl and uncontaminated controls from Denmark. Investment in defenses against keratinolytic bacteria was measured from feather structure (i...
October 2016: Die Naturwissenschaften
M R Wilkins, H Karaardıç, Y Vortman, T L Parchman, T Albrecht, A Petrželková, L Özkan, P L Pap, J K Hubbard, A K Hund, R J Safran
Sexual selection plays a key role in the diversification of numerous animal clades and may accelerate trait divergence during speciation. However, much of our understanding of this process comes from phylogenetic comparative studies, which rely on surrogate measures such as dimorphism that may not represent selection in wild populations. In this study, we assess sexual selection pressures for multiple male visual signals across four barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) populations. Our sample encompassed 2400 linear km and two described subspecies: European H...
December 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
G C Zeidan, G Boehs
This study investigated the effects of tributyltin (TBT) on the morphology of the genital system of the gastropod Stramonita rustica in southern Bahia, Brazil. For this, 330 specimens were collected during the summer of 2014 at eight sampling points to ascertain whether male sex organs had developed in addition to the complete female genital tract in females (= imposex). The analyses were made under a stereoscopic microscope. Imposex and their associated indexes, and the sterile females, exhibited the highest rates in harbors and shipyards areas...
August 15, 2016: Brazilian Journal of Biology, Revista Brasleira de Biologia
Douglas R Warrick, Tyson L Hedrick, Andrew A Biewener, Kristen E Crandell, Bret W Tobalske
While prior studies of swallow manoeuvering have focused on slow-speed flight and obstacle avoidance in still air, swallows survive by foraging at high speeds in windy environments. Recent advances in field-portable, high-speed video systems, coupled with precise anemometry, permit measures of high-speed aerial performance of birds in a natural state. We undertook the present study to test: (i) the manner in which barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) may exploit wind dynamics and ground effect while foraging and (ii) the relative importance of flapping versus gliding for accomplishing high-speed manoeuvers...
September 26, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Rebecca J Safran, Yoni Vortman, Brittany R Jenkins, Joanna K Hubbard, Matthew R Wilkins, Rachel J Bradley, Arnon Lotem
Previous studies have shown that sexual signals can rapidly diverge among closely related species. However, we lack experimental studies to demonstrate that differences in trait-associated reproductive performance maintain sexual trait differences between closely related populations, in support for a role of sexual selection in speciation. Populations of Northern Hemisphere distributed barn swallows Hirundo rustica are closely related, yet differ in two plumage-based traits: ventral color and length of the outermost tail feathers (streamers)...
September 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Jaroslav L Stehlík, Harry Brailovsky
Nine new species of the genus Arhaphe Herrich-Schaeffer, 1850 are described: A. ferruginea sp. nov. from Mexico (Guerrero), A. flavoantennata sp. nov. from Costa Rica (Guanacaste Province), Honduras (Intibuca Department) and Nicaragua (Granada Province), A. hirsuta sp. nov. from Mexico (Oaxaca), A. kmenti sp. nov. from Mexico (Guanajuato, Michoacán), A. longula sp. nov. from Mexico (Guerrero), A. magna sp. nov. from Mexico (Colima), A. myrmicoides sp. nov. from Mexico (Guerrero, Nayarit), A. oaxacana sp. nov...
March 24, 2016: Zootaxa
R J Safran, E S C Scordato, M R Wilkins, J K Hubbard, B R Jenkins, T Albrecht, S M Flaxman, H Karaardıç, Y Vortman, A Lotem, P Nosil, P Pap, S Shen, S-F Chan, T L Parchman, N C Kane
Population divergence in geographic isolation is due to a combination of factors. Natural and sexual selection may be important in shaping patterns of population differentiation, a pattern referred to as 'isolation by adaptation' (IBA). IBA can be complementary to the well-known pattern of 'isolation by distance' (IBD), in which the divergence of closely related populations (via any evolutionary process) is associated with geographic isolation. The barn swallow Hirundo rustica complex comprises six closely related subspecies, where divergent sexual selection is associated with phenotypic differentiation among allopatric populations...
August 2016: Molecular Ecology
Iris I Levin, David M Zonana, Bailey K Fosdick, Se Jin Song, Rob Knight, Rebecca J Safran
Theory predicts that social interactions are dynamically linked to phenotype. Yet because social interactions are difficult to quantify, little is known about the precise details on how interactivity is linked to phenotype. Here, we deployed proximity loggers on North American barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) to examine intercorrelations among social interactions, morphology and features of the phenotype that are sensitive to the social context: stress-induced corticosterone (CORT) and gut microbial diversity...
June 2016: Biology Letters
Jean Forster, John Poupart, Kristine Rhodes, Melanie Peterson-Hickey, Genelle Lamont, Joanne D'Silva, Darin Erickson
In 2013, it was estimated that the prevalence of cigarette smoking among American Indians was 36.5%, the highest of all racial/ethnic groups in the continental United States (1). Among American Indians, considerable cultural and geographic variation in cigarette smoking exists. Smoking prevalence among American Indians is lowest in the Southwest and highest in the Upper Midwest/Northern Plains (2). Little information is available about tobacco use among urban American Indians, who might not have ever lived on a reservation or be enrolled in or affiliated with a tribe...
June 3, 2016: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Vanda Artifon, Ítalo Braga Castro, Gilberto Fillmann
A spatiotemporal evaluation of butyltin contamination was performed between 2010 and 2012 along Todos os Santos Bay (Northeast Brazil) using surface sediments, bivalve tissues (Anomalocardia brasiliana and Mytella guyanensis), and imposex occurrence (Stramonita rustica). The spatial study detected high tributyltin (TBT) levels (maximum values of 262 ng Sn g (-1) - 21,833 ng Sn g(-1) of total organic carbon - for surface sediments and 421 ng Sn g(-1) for bivalve tissues) in the innermost part of the bay...
August 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Annegret Grimm, Brigitte M Weiß, Lars Kulik, Jean-Baptiste Mihoub, Roger Mundry, Ulrich Köppen, Tomas Brueckmann, Ruth Thomsen, Anja Widdig
Following over 20 years of research on the climatic effects on biodiversity we now have strong evidence that climate change affects phenology, fitness, and distribution ranges of different taxa, including birds. Bird phenology likely responds to changes in local weather. It is also affected by climatic year-to-year variations on larger scales. Although such scale-related effects are common in ecology, most studies analyzing the effects of climate change were accomplished using climatic information on a single spatial scale...
December 2015: Ecology and Evolution
Andrea Romano, Alessandra Costanzo, Manuela Caprioli, Marco Parolini, Roberto Ambrosini, Diego Rubolini, Nicola Saino
Sex allocation theory predicts that parents are selected to bias their progeny sex ratio (SR) toward the sex that will benefit the most from parental quality. Because parental quality may differentially affect survival of sons and daughters, a pivotal test of the adaptive value of SR adjustment is whether parents overproduce offspring of the sex that accrues larger fitness advantages from high parental quality. However, this crucial test of the long-term fitness consequences of sex allocation decisions has seldom been performed...
May 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Mario Xavier Ruiz-González, Gábor Árpád Czirják, Pierre Genevaux, Anders Pape Møller, Timothy Alexander Mousseau, Philipp Heeb
Ionizing radiation has been shown to produce negative effects on organisms, although little is known about its ecological and evolutionary effects. As a study model, we isolated bacteria associated with feathers from barn swallows Hirundo rustica from three study areas around Chernobyl differing in background ionizing radiation levels and one control study site in Denmark. Each bacterial community was exposed to four different γ radiation doses ranging from 0.46 to 3.96 kGy to test whether chronic exposure to radiation had selected for resistant bacterial strains...
March 15, 2016: Scientific Reports
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