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Julianna M A Jenkins, Frank R Thompson, John Faaborg
Habitat selection is a fundamental component of community ecology, population ecology, and evolutionary biology and can be especially important to species with complex annual habitat requirements, such as migratory birds. Resource preferences on the breeding grounds may change during the postfledging period for migrant songbirds, however, the degree to which selection changes, timing of change, and whether all or only a few species alter their resource use is unclear. We compared resource selection for nest sites and resource selection by postfledging juvenile ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) and Acadian flycatchers (Empidonax virescens) followed with radio telemetry in Missouri mature forest fragments from 2012-2015...
2017: PloS One
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
Samuel Rodríguez, Arie J van Noordwijk, Elena Álvarez, Emilio Barba
Survival of juveniles during the postfledging period can be markedly low, which may have major consequences on avian population dynamics. Knowing which factors operating during the nesting phase affect postfledging survival is crucial to understand avian breeding strategies. We aimed to obtain a robust set of predictors of postfledging local survival using the great tit (Parus major) as a model species. We used mark-recapture models to analyze the effect of hatching date, temperatures experienced during the nestling period, fledging size and body mass on first-year postfledging survival probability of great tit juveniles...
July 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Emerson Keith Bowers, Scott K Sakaluk, Charles F Thompson
The injection of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and sampling of blood are widely used in studies of wild vertebrates to assess components of immune and endocrine function and health state and to obtain genetic material. Despite the pervasive use of these techniques in the life sciences, their potential effects on survival are rarely considered. For example, whether injection of the immunogen PHA into body parts critical for locomotion (e.g., the prepatagium, or wing web, in birds) affects survival has not been tested...
May 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Erik J Blomberg, James S Sedinger, Daniel Gibson, Peter S Coates, Michael L Casazza
Prebreeding survival is an important life history component that affects both parental fitness and population persistence. In birds, prebreeding can be separated into pre- and postfledging periods; carryover effects from the prefledging period may influence postfledging survival. We investigated effects of body condition at fledging, and climatic variation, on postfledging survival of radio-marked greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Great Basin Desert of the western United States. We hypothesized that body condition would influence postfledging survival as a carryover effect from the prefledging period, and we predicted that climatic variation may mediate this carryover effect or, alternatively, would act directly on survival during the postfledging period...
December 2014: Ecology and Evolution
Carlos Ponce, Carolina Bravo, Juan Carlos Alonso
Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain...
July 2014: Ecology and Evolution
Martin U Grüebler, Fränzi Korner-Nievergelt, Beat Naef-Daenzer
In migrant birds, survival estimates for the different life-history stages between fledging and first breeding are scarce. First-year survival is shown to be strongly reduced compared with annual survival of adult birds. However, it remains unclear whether the main bottleneck in juvenile long-distant migrants occurs in the postfledging period within the breeding ranges or en route. Quantifying survival rates during different life-history stages and during different periods of the migration cycle is crucial to understand forces driving the evolution of optimal life histories in migrant birds...
March 2014: Ecology and Evolution
E Keith Bowers, Scott K Sakaluk, Charles F Thompson
In altricial birds, siblings raised within a nest usually leave the nest within hours of each other, despite often differing considerably in age. The youngest members of the brood are typically underdeveloped at this time and less likely than their older siblings to survive outside the nest, yet they risk abandonment if they do not fledge with their older siblings. Nest leaving is usually initiated by the older offspring, which may delay this process to provide more time for their younger siblings to mature, increasing the younger siblings' postfledging survival and their own inclusive fitness...
June 2013: American Naturalist
Kristen E Dybala, John M Eadie, Thomas Gardali, Nathaniel E Seavy, Mark P Herzog
Few studies have quantitatively projected changes in demography in response to climate change, yet doing so can provide important insights into the processes that may lead to population declines and changes in species distributions. Using a long-term mark-recapture data set, we examined the influence of multiple direct and indirect effects of weather on adult and juvenile survival for a population of Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in California. We found evidence for a positive, direct effect of winter temperature on adult survival, and a positive, indirect effect of prior rainy season precipitation on juvenile survival, which was consistent with an effect of precipitation on food availability during the breeding season...
September 2013: Global Change Biology
Joshua T Ackerman, Collin A Eagles-Smith, Mark P Herzog
Toxicological risk of methylmercury exposure to juvenile birds is complex due to the highly transient nature of mercury concentrations as chicks age. We examined total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in blood, liver, kidney, muscle, and feathers of 111 Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri), 69 black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and 43 American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) chicks as they aged from hatching through postfledging at wetlands that had either low or high mercury contamination in San Francisco Bay, California...
June 15, 2011: Environmental Science & Technology
Erik Matthysen, Thijs Van Overveld, Tom Van de Casteele, Frank Adriaensen
Dispersal behaviour in territorial species is typically assumed to be independent of parental behaviour except for the possible role of parental eviction from the natal territory. Great tits defend exclusive territories at the onset of breeding but after fledging undertake substantial excursions with dependent offspring, sometimes covering distances equivalent to ten or more breeding territories and even moving across open spaces into neighbouring woodlots. We show that postfledging family movements are significantly associated with subsequent dispersal directions of recruits by comparing observed angles of movement with a simulated distribution taking into account the patchy nature of the landscape...
March 2010: Oecologia
Cyril Eraud, Anne Jacquet, Bruno Faivre
If immune functions confer obvious benefits to hosts, life-history theory assumes that they also induce costs, leading to trade-offs between immunity and other fitness components. However, whether substantial fitness costs are associated with immune systems in the wild is debatable, as numerous factors may influence the costs and benefits associated with immune activation. Here, we explore the survival cost of immune deployment in postfledging birds. We injected Eurasian collared dove nestlings (Streptopelia decaocto) with antigens from Escherichia coli, and examined whether this immune challenge affected survival after fledging...
April 2009: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Evan M Adams, Peter C Frederick, Iske L V Larkin, Louis J Guillette
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a globally distributed neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, and teratogen, and its effects on birds are poorly understood, especially within an environmentally relevant exposure range. In an effort to understand the potential causal relationship between MeHg exposure and endocrine development, we established four dietary exposure groups (0 [control], 0.05, 0.1, and 0.3 mg/kg wet wt/d of MeHg) of postfledging white ibises (Eudocimus albus) in a divided, free-flight aviary that spanned the estimated range of environmental exposure for this species...
May 2009: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Joshua T Ackerman, Collin A Eagles-Smith, John Y Takekawa, Samuel A Iverson
We examined factors influencing mercury concentrations in 90 fledgling Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri) and evaluated whether mercury influenced postfledging survival in San Francisco Bay, California. Mercury concentrations (+/- SE) in chicks 21-29 days old (just before fledging) were 0.33 +/- 0.01 microg g(-1) ww for blood and 6.44 +/- 0.28 microg g(-1) fw for breast feathers. Colony site had an overriding influence on fledgling contamination, however hatching date and age also affected blood, but not feather, mercury concentrations...
November 2008: Ecotoxicology
Marie-Line Gentes, Anne McNabb, Cheryl Waldner, Judit E G Smits
The oil sands of Alberta, Canada are one of the world's largest reserves of crude oil. Oil sands mining companies are now investigating the ecological impacts of reclamation strategies in which wetlands are used for the bioremediation of waste materials. To examine the endocrine disrupting potential of chemicals in Oil Sands Process Materials (OSPM), thyroid hormone concentrations were measured in plasma and thyroid glands of nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) from wetlands partly filled with mine tailings...
August 2007: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Emily C Wagner, Tony D Williams
The relationship between egg size and offspring phenotype is critical to our understanding of the selective pressures acting on the key reproductive life-history traits of egg size and number. Yet there is surprisingly little empirical evidence to support a strong, positive relationship between egg size and offspring quality (i.e., offspring growth, condition, and survival) in birds, in part because of confounding effects of parental quality and the lack of experimental techniques for directly manipulating avian egg size independently of maternal condition...
May 2007: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
W L Reed, M E Clark, P G Parker, S A Raouf, N Arguedas, D S Monk, E Snajdr, V Nolan, E D Ketterson
Understanding physiological and behavioral mechanisms underlying the diversity of observed life-history strategies is challenging because of difficulties in obtaining long-term measures of fitness and in relating fitness to these mechanisms. We evaluated effects of experimentally elevated testosterone on male fitness in a population of dark-eyed juncos studied over nine breeding seasons using a demographic modeling approach. Elevated levels of testosterone decreased survival rates but increased success of producing extra-pair offspring...
May 2006: American Naturalist
Amber E Budden, Steven R Beissinger
Life history theory predicts phenotypic trade-offs between the number and quality of offspring produced. Intraspecific variation in egg mass is common in birds and increased egg size can have positive effects on offspring fitness. However, evidence of a trade-off with clutch size is limited. We analyzed variation in mass of 5,743 Green-rumped parrotlet (Forpus passerinus) eggs laid over 15 years to evaluate the potential for facultative adjustment of egg mass and factors governing variation. Heavier eggs had an increased probability of both hatching and fledging but egg mass did not affect postfledging recruitment...
June 2005: Oecologia
E Matthysen, T Van de Casteele, F Adriaensen
We studied dispersal movements by sibling pairs of great tits, Parus major, and blue tits, P. caeruleus, in a patchy environment, in order to test whether siblings are more similar in dispersal than expected by chance. Because of possible common environmental effects due to the heterogeneity and finiteness of the study area, we compared the similarity among siblings with the similarity between each sibling and an unrelated bird that fledged in the same patch and year, as close to the siblings' nest as possible...
March 2005: Oecologia
Ken Yoda, Hiroyoshi Kohno, Yasuhiko Naito
How do birds acquire flight skills after fledging? This issue is important, as it is closely related to variation in the duration of offspring care, the causes of which remain unknown. In this study, we raised hatchling brown boobies, Sula leucogaster, and attached an acceleration data logger to each bird at fledging to record its movements. This allowed us to quantify precisely the time spent flapping, gliding and resting. The duration of foraging trips and proportion of time spent gliding during flight increased with the number of days since fledging, whereas the proportion of time spent in flight decreased...
May 7, 2004: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
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