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Xinxin Liang, Jiali Yu, Huan Wang, Zihui Zhang
The avian pectoralis muscle is responsible for the wing's downstroke, which provides birds with lift and thrust for flight. In the present study, architectural parameters were investigated through growth in the pigeon (Columba livia), an altricial bird species, from the ages of 4 days to 12 months, in order to assess the morphological changes and effects of increasing body mass. Muscle mass, fascicle length, and physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) increased with strong positive allometry. As an indicator of force production capacity, the PCSA increased 30-fold with the changes in body mass; it grew rapidly during the nesting period and post-fledging period into sexual maturity...
May 5, 2018: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Lisabertha L Clark, Rachael C Shaw
Hoarding or caching behaviour is a widely-used paradigm for examining a range of cognitive processes in birds, such as social cognition and spatial memory. However, much is still unknown about how caching develops in young birds, especially in the wild. Studying the ontogeny of caching in the wild will help researchers to identify the mechanisms that shape this advantageous foraging strategy. We examined the ontogeny of food caching behaviour in a wild New Zealand passerine, the North Island robin (Petroica longipes)...
June 2018: Behavioural Processes
Pablo Sánchez-Virosta, Silvia Espín, Sandra Ruiz, Juha-Pekka Salminen, Antonio J García-Fernández, Tapio Eeva
Arsenic (As) is a ubiquitous metalloid classified as one of the most hazardous substances, but information about its exposure and effects in free-living passerines is lacking. The aim of this study is to elucidate the effect of an As manipulation experiment on survival, growth and physiology of great tits (Parus major). Wild P. major nestlings inhabiting an unpolluted area were dosed with water, 0.2 or 1 μg g-1  d-1 of sodium arsenite (Control, Low and High As groups), whereas those living in a metal-polluted area were dosed with water (Smelter group)...
February 2018: Environmental Pollution
Loriane Mendez, Aurélien Prudor, Henri Weimerskirch
The early life stages represent a crucial period that can strongly influence population dynamics. We studied the development of foraging behaviour in the red-footed booby, a tropical seabird with an extensive post-fledging care period (3 to 6 months). Adults and juveniles were observed from shore and tracked at sea using GPS loggers over 3 consecutive 12-day periods. Juveniles initially made a majority of flights inland, likely to practice flying, and formed groups of up to 10 juveniles before making short trips at sea...
October 24, 2017: Scientific Reports
Pablo Salmón, Johan F Nilsson, Hannah Watson, Staffan Bensch, Caroline Isaksson
Urban environments pose novel challenges, as well as opportunities, for urban-dwelling wildlife. Although differences have been reported in several phenotypic traits (e.g. morphology, physiology and behaviour) between urban and rural populations, it is poorly understood whether this affects individual fitness. Telomere dynamics are posited as one possible mechanism underlying senescence and mortality. It was recently shown that telomere shortening is accelerated when growing up in an urban, compared with a rural, environment...
September 13, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
James J Gilroy
In Focus: Lok, T., Veldhoen, L., Overdijk, O., Tinbergen, J. M., & Piersma, T. (2017). An age-dependent fitness cost of migration? Old trans-Saharan migrating spoonbills breed later than those staying in Europe, and late breeders have lower recruitment. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86, 998-1009. In Focus: Grist, H., Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Burthe, S. J., Newell, M. A., Harris, M. P., & Reid, J. M. (2017). Reproductive performance of resident and migrant males, females and pairs in a partially migratory bird...
September 2017: Journal of Animal Ecology
Tamar Lok, Linde Veldhoen, Otto Overdijk, Joost M Tinbergen, Theunis Piersma
Migration is a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom. On the basis of the considerable variation that exists between and within species, and even within populations, we may be able to infer the (age- and sex-specific) ecological trade-offs and constraints moulding migration systems from assessments of fitness associated with migration and wintering in different areas. During three consecutive breeding seasons, we compared the reproductive performance (timing of breeding, breeding success, chick body condition and post-fledging survival) of Eurasian spoonbills Platalea leucorodia that breed at a single breeding site in The Netherlands, but migrate different distances (c...
September 2017: Journal of Animal Ecology
Dries Van de Loock, Diederik Strubbe, Liesbeth De Neve, Mwangi Githiru, Erik Matthysen, Luc Lens
For avian group living to be evolutionary stable, multiple fitness benefits are expected. Yet, the difficulty of tracking fledglings, and thus estimating their survival rates, limits our knowledge on how such benefits may manifest postfledging. We radio-tagged breeding females of the Afrotropical cooperatively breeding Placid greenbul (Phyllastrephus placidus) during nesting. Tracking these females after fledging permitted us to locate juvenile birds, their parents, and any helpers present and to build individual fledgling resighting datasets without incurring mortality costs or causing premature fledging due to handling or transmitter effects...
May 2017: Ecology and Evolution
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...
April 2017: 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
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