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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
Jenny C Dunn, Jennifer E Stockdale, Emma L Bradford, Alexandra McCubbin, Antony J Morris, Philip V Grice, Simon J Goodman, Keith C Hamer
Studies of blood parasite infection in nestling birds rarely find a high prevalence of infection. This is likely due to a combination of short nestling periods (limiting the age at which nestlings can be sampled) and long parasite prepatent periods before gametocytes can be detected in peripheral blood. Here we examine rates of blood parasite infection in nestlings from three Columbid species in the UK. We use this system to address two key hypotheses in the epidemiology of avian haemoparasites: first, that nestlings in open nests have a higher prevalence of infection; and second, that nestlings sampled at 14 days old have a higher apparent infection rate than those sampled at 7 days old...
December 12, 2016: Parasitology
Charles J Henny, Elwood F Hill, Robert A Grove, Nathan D Chelgren, Patricia K Haggerty
This telemetry study is an extension of our 1997-2006 research on historical mercury contamination on snowy egrets (Egretta thula) up to ~ 20 days of age. Findings from initial studies at the mercury-contaminated Carson River colony at Lahontan Reservoir (LR) and a similar-sized reference (REF) colony on the Humboldt River included mercury-related physiological, biochemical, histopathological and reproductive effects up to ~20 days of age; with poor water years (2000-04), i.e., reduced prey availability, exacerbating effects...
January 2017: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Veli-Matti Pakanen, Markku Orell, Emma Vatka, Seppo Rytkönen, Juli Broggi
Correct reproductive timing is crucial for fitness. Breeding phenology even in similar species can differ due to different selective pressures on the timing of reproduction. These selection pressures define species' responses to warming springs. The temporal match-mismatch hypothesis suggests that timing of breeding in animals is selected to match with food availability (synchrony). Alternatively, time-dependent breeding success (the date hypothesis) can result from other seasonally deteriorating ecological conditions such as intra- or interspecific competition or predation...
2016: PloS One
Fabio Balotari-Chiebao, Alexandre Villers, Asko Ijäs, Otso Ovaskainen, Sari Repka, Toni Laaksonen
The presence of poorly sited wind farms raises concerns for wildlife, including birds of prey. Therefore, there is a need to extend the knowledge of the potential human-wildlife conflicts associated with wind energy. Here, we report on the movements and habitat use of post-fledging satellite-tagged white-tailed eagles in Finland, where wind-energy development is expected to increase in the near future. In particular, we examine the probability of a fledgling approaching a hypothetical turbine that is placed at different distances from the nest...
November 2016: Ambio
Rémi Fay, Christophe Barbraud, Karine Delord, Henri Weimerskirch
Variability in demographic traits between individuals within populations has profound implications for both evolutionary processes and population dynamics. Parental effects as a source of non-genetic inheritance are important processes to consider to understand the causes of individual variation. In iteroparous species, parental age is known to influence strongly reproductive success and offspring quality, but consequences on an offspring fitness component after independence are much less studied. Based on 37 years longitudinal monitoring of a long-lived seabird, the wandering albatross, we investigate delayed effects of parental age on offspring fitness components...
April 13, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
J Morgan Brown, Philip D Taylor
Using a broad-scale automated telemetry array, we explored post-fledging movements of blackpoll warblers breeding in Atlantic Canada. We sought to determine the full spatial scale of post-fledging dispersal, to assess support for three hypotheses for regional-scale post-fledging movement, and to determine whether learning influenced movement during this period. We demonstrated that both young and adults moved over distances more than 200 km prior to initiating migration. Adults moved southwest, crossing the Gulf of Maine (GOM), consistent with the commencement of migration hypothesis...
December 2015: Biology Letters
Dominique A Potvin, Scott A MacDougall-Shackleton
Over the past two decades, studies of songbird populations have detected decreases in the reproductive success of individuals living in urban areas. Anthropogenic noise is considered to be particularly detrimental, however the exact relationship between noise and reproductive success is still unclear because noise is often correlated with many other detrimental factors (e.g., predation, reduced territory quality). We used an experiment to specifically test the effects of urban noise on reproduction of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)...
September 9, 2015: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part A, Ecological Genetics and Physiology
Alizée Meillère, François Brischoux, Charline Parenteau, Frédéric Angelier
Consistent expanding urbanization dramatically transforms natural habitats and exposes organisms to novel environmental challenges, often leading to reduced species richness and diversity in cities. However, it remains unclear how individuals are affected by the urban environment and how they can or cannot adjust to the specific characteristics of urban life (e.g. food availability). In this study, we used an integrative multi-component approach to investigate the effects of urbanization on the nutritional status of house sparrows (Passer domesticus)...
2015: PloS One
Vasanth Sathiyakumar, Frank R Avilucea, Paul S Whiting, A Alex Jahangir, Hassan R Mir, William T Obremskey, Manish K Sethi
PURPOSE: Cardiovascular complications constitute morbidity and mortality for hip fracture patients. Relatively little data exist exploring risk factors for post-operative complications. Using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement (ACS-NSQIP) database, we identified significant risk factors associated with adverse cardiac events in hip fracture patients and provide recommendations for practising orthopaedists. METHODS: A cohort of 27,441 patients with hip fractures from 2006 to 2013 was identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes...
March 2016: International Orthopaedics
Marcus Celik Hansen, Line Nederby, Anne Roug, Palle Villesen, Eigil Kjeldsen, Charlotte Guldborg Nyvold, Peter Hokland
Sequencing the exome is quickly becoming the preferred method for discovering disease-inducing mutations. While obtaining data sets is a straightforward procedure, the subsequent analysis and interpretation of the data is a limiting step for clinical applications. Thus, while the initial mutation and variant calling can be performed by a bioinformatician or trained researcher, the output from robust packages such as MuTect and GATK is not directly informative for the general life scientists. In attempt to obviate this problem we have created complementary Wolfram scripts, which enable easy downstream annotation and selection, presented here in the perspective of hematological relevance...
2015: MethodsX
Janos C Hennicke, David J James, Henri Weimerskirch
In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments...
2015: PloS One
Matthew B Dugas
Maternal effects influence the phenotype of offspring through non-genetic mechanisms, and thus are important components of individual life-histories and act as drivers of and/or constraints on phenotypic evolution. A maternal effect common in egg-laying vertebrates is provisioning of the yolk with carotenoids, organic pigments that often color sexual ornaments and are hypothesized to play positive and substantial physiological roles. In a recent study, yolks of great tit (Parus major) eggs were directly supplemented with carotenoids, and the effects on offspring fitness proxies measured (Marri and Richner in Oecologia 176:371-377, 2014a)...
April 2015: Oecologia
Robin Cristofari, Emiliano Trucchi, Jason D Whittington, Stéphanie Vigetta, Hélène Gachot-Neveu, Nils Christian Stenseth, Yvon Le Maho, Céline Le Bohec
How genetic diversity is maintained in philopatric colonial systems remains unclear, and understanding the dynamic balance of philopatry and dispersal at all spatial scales is essential to the study of the evolution of coloniality. In the King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus, return rates of post-fledging chicks to their natal sub-colony are remarkably high. Empirical studies have shown that adults return year after year to their previous breeding territories within a radius of a few meters. Yet, little reliable data are available on intra- and inter-colonial dispersal in this species...
2015: PloS One
Gavin M Rishworth, Yann Tremblay, David B Green, Maëlle Connan, Pierre A Pistorius
During breeding, animal behaviour is particularly sensitive to environmental and food resource availability. Additionally, factors such as sex, body condition, and offspring developmental stage can influence behaviour. Amongst seabirds, behaviour is generally predictably affected by local foraging conditions and has therefore been suggested as a potentially useful proxy to indicate prey state. However, besides prey availability and distribution, a range of other variables also influence seabird behavior, and these need to be accounted for to increase the signal-to-noise ratio when assessing specific characteristics of the environment based on behavioural attributes...
2014: PloS One
M Suárez-Rodríguez, C Macías Garcia
Adaptation to human-modified environments such as cities is poised to be a major component of natural history in the foreseeable future. Birds have been shown to adapt their vocalizations, use of nesting places and activity rhythms to the urban environments, and we have previously reported that some species, including the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), use cellulose from smoked cigarette butts as lining material and thus reduce the number of ectoparasites in their nests, probably because the nicotine repels arthropods...
December 2014: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Michèle Wegmann, Beatrice Voegeli, Heinz Richner
After birth, an organism needs to invest both in somatic growth and in the development of efficient immune functions to counter the effects of pathogens, and hence an investment trade-off is predicted. To explore this trade-off, we simultaneously exposed nestling great tits (Parus major) to a common ectoparasite, while stimulating immune function. Using a 2 × 2 experimental design, we first infested half of the nests with hen fleas (Ceratophyllus gallinae) on day 3 post-hatch and later, on day 9-13 post-hatch, and then supplemented half of the nestlings within each nest with an immuno-enhancing amino acid (methionine)...
January 2015: Oecologia
Michelle A Labbe, David I King
Many species of mature forest-nesting birds ("forest birds") undergo a pronounced shift in habitat use during the post-fledging period and move from their forest nesting sites into areas of early-successional vegetation. Mortality is high during this period, thus understanding the resource requirements of post-fledging birds has implications for conservation. Efforts to identify predictors of abundance of forest birds in patches of early-successional habitats have so far been equivocal, yet these previous studies have primarily focused on contiguously forested landscapes and the potential for landscape-scale influences in more fragmented and modified landscapes is largely unknown...
2014: PloS One
Edward D Deveson, James D Woodman
The Australian plague locust Chortoicetes terminifera (Walker) exhibits facultative embryonic diapause during autumn. To approximate natural photoperiod changes during late summer and autumn, locust nymphs were reared under different total declines in laboratory photophase (-0.5, -0.75, -1.0, -1.25, -1.5, -1.75, -2 h each lowered in 15 min steps) in a 24 h photoperiod to quantify any effect on the subsequent production of diapause eggs. Induction of diapause eggs was significantly affected by accumulated photoperiod decline experienced by the parental generation throughout all development stages from mid-instar nymph to fledgling adult...
November 2014: Journal of Insect Physiology
Viviana Marri, Heinz Richner
Avian mothers can influence offspring phenotype through the deposition of different compounds into eggs, such as antibodies, hormones and antioxidants. The concentration of carotenoids in yolk is larger than in maternal plasma, suggesting an important role of these compounds for offspring development. Since carotenoids have to be acquired from the diet, they may be available in limiting amounts to the mothers. Here, we investigated the role of egg carotenoids for offspring growth by experimentally increasing the concentration of yolk lutein, the main carotenoid in great tit (Parus major) yolk...
October 2014: Oecologia
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