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Sample records for improved reproductive success

  1. Redefining reproductive success in songbirds: Moving beyond the nest success paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most commonly estimated parameters in studies of songbird ecology is reproductive success, as a measure of either individual fitness or population productivity. Traditionally, the “success” in reproductive success refers to whether, or how many, nestlings leave nests. Here, we advocate that “reproductive success” in songbirds be redefined as full-season productivity, or the number of young raised to independence from adult care in a breeding season. A growing body of evidence demonstrates interdependence between nest success and fledgling survival, and emphasizes that data from either life stage alone can produce misleading measures of individual fitness and population productivity. Nest success, therefore, is an insufficient measure of reproductive success, and songbird ecology needs to progress beyond this long-standing paradigm. Full-season productivity, an evolutionarily rational measure of reproductive success, provides the framework for appropriately addressing unresolved questions about the adaptive significance of many breeding behaviors and within which effective breeding-grounds conservation and management can be designed.

  2. Impact of supplementary feeding on reproductive success of white storks.

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    Roland Hilgartner

    Full Text Available European white stork (Ciconia ciconia populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany collected from 1990-2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1 reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2 pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3 reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats.

  3. Decomposing variation in male reproductive success: age-specific variances and covariances through extra-pair and within-pair reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebigre, Christophe; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2013-07-01

    Age-specific variances and covariances in reproductive success shape the total variance in lifetime reproductive success (LRS), age-specific opportunities for selection, and population demographic variance and effective size. Age-specific (co)variances in reproductive success achieved through different reproductive routes must therefore be quantified to predict population, phenotypic and evolutionary dynamics in age-structured populations. While numerous studies have quantified age-specific variation in mean reproductive success, age-specific variances and covariances in reproductive success, and the contributions of different reproductive routes to these (co)variances, have not been comprehensively quantified in natural populations. We applied 'additive' and 'independent' methods of variance decomposition to complete data describing apparent (social) and realised (genetic) age-specific reproductive success across 11 cohorts of socially monogamous but genetically polygynandrous song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). We thereby quantified age-specific (co)variances in male within-pair and extra-pair reproductive success (WPRS and EPRS) and the contributions of these (co)variances to the total variances in age-specific reproductive success and LRS. 'Additive' decomposition showed that within-age and among-age (co)variances in WPRS across males aged 2-4 years contributed most to the total variance in LRS. Age-specific (co)variances in EPRS contributed relatively little. However, extra-pair reproduction altered age-specific variances in reproductive success relative to the social mating system, and hence altered the relative contributions of age-specific reproductive success to the total variance in LRS. 'Independent' decomposition showed that the (co)variances in age-specific WPRS, EPRS and total reproductive success, and the resulting opportunities for selection, varied substantially across males that survived to each age. Furthermore, extra-pair reproduction increased

  4. Love Influences Reproductive Success in Humans

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    Sorokowski, Piotr; Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Butovskaya, Marina; Karwowski, Maciej; Groyecka, Agata; Wojciszke, Bogdan; Pawłowski, Bogusław

    2017-01-01

    As love seems to be universal, researchers have attempted to find its biological basis. However, no studies till date have shown its direct association with reproductive success, which is broadly known to be a good measure of fitness. Here, we show links between love, as defined by the Sternberg Triangular Theory of Love, and reproductive success among the Hadza—traditional hunter-gatherer population. We found that commitment and reproductive success were positively and consistently related in both sexes, with number of children showing negative and positive associations with intimacy and passion, respectively, only among women. Our study may shed new light on the meaning of love in humans' evolutionary past, especially in traditional hunter-gatherer societies in which individuals, not their parents, were responsible for partner choice. We suggest that passion and commitment may be the key factors that increase fitness, and therefore, that selection promoted love in human evolution. However, further studies in this area are recommended. PMID:29209243

  5. Increased reproductive success of women after prenatal undernutrition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Painter, Rebecca C.; Westendorp, Rudi G. J.; de Rooij, Susanne R.; Osmond, Clive; Barker, David J. P.; Roseboom, Tessa J.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine is associated with an increased risk of chronic degenerative disease. We now investigate whether prenatal famine exposure affected reproductive success. METHODS: We assessed reproductive success (number of children, number of twins, age at delivery,

  6. Genetic diversity and reproductive success in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, M; Setchell, J M; Prugnolle, F; Knapp, L A; Wickings, E J; Peignot, P; Hossaert-McKey, M

    2005-11-15

    Recent studies of wild animal populations have shown that estimators of neutral genetic diversity, such as mean heterozygosity, are often correlated with various fitness traits, such as survival, disease susceptibility, or reproductive success. We used two estimators of genetic diversity to explore the relationship between heterozygosity and reproductive success in male and female mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) living in a semifree ranging setting in Gabon. Because social rank is known to influence reproductive success in both sexes, we also examined the correlation between genetic diversity and social rank in females, and acquisition of alpha status in males, as well as length of alpha male tenure. We found that heterozygous individuals showed greater reproductive success, with both females and males producing more offspring. However, heterozygosity influenced reproductive success only in dominant males, not in subordinates. Neither the acquisition of alpha status in males, nor social rank in females, was significantly correlated with heterozygosity, although more heterozygous alpha males showed longer tenure than homozygous ones. We also tested whether the benefits of greater genetic diversity were due mainly to a genome-wide effect of inbreeding depression or to heterosis at one or a few loci. Multilocus effects best explained the correlation between heterozygosity and reproductive success and tenure, indicating the occurrence of inbreeding depression in this mandrill colony.

  7. Spring weather conditions influence breeding phenology and reproductive success in sympatric bat populations.

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    Linton, Danielle M; Macdonald, David W

    2018-04-10

    Climate is known to influence breeding phenology and reproductive success in temperate-zone bats, but long-term population level studies and interspecific comparisons are rare. Investigating the extent to which intrinsic (i.e. age), and extrinsic (i.e. spring weather conditions), factors influence such key demographic parameters as the proportion of females becoming pregnant, or completing lactation, each breeding season, is vital to understanding of bat population ecology and life-history traits. Using data from 12 breeding seasons (2006-2017), encompassing the reproductive histories of 623 Myotis daubentonii and 436 Myotis nattereri adult females, we compare rates of recruitment to the breeding population and show that these species differ in their relative sensitivity to environmental conditions and climatic variation, affecting annual reproductive success at the population level. We demonstrate that (1) spring weather conditions influence breeding phenology, with warm, dry and calm conditions leading to earlier parturition dates and advanced juvenile development, whilst cold, wet and windy weather delays birth timing and juvenile growth; (2) reproductive rates in first-year females are influenced by spring weather conditions in that breeding season and in the preceding breeding season when each cohort was born. Pregnancy and lactation rates were both higher when favourable spring foraging conditions were more prevalent; (3) reproductive success increases with age in both species, but at different rates; (4) reproductive rates were consistently higher, and showed less interannual variation, in second-year and older M. daubentonii (mean 91.55% ± 0.05 SD) than M. nattereri (mean 72.74% ± 0.15 SD); (5) estimates of reproductive success at the population level were highly correlated with the size of the juvenile cohort recorded each breeding season. Improving understanding of the influence of environmental conditions, especially extreme climatic

  8. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H.; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R.

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival ove...

  9. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saul J. Newman

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Kin and group interactions are important determinants of reproductive success in many species. Their optimization could, therefore, potentially improve the productivity and breeding success of managed populations used for agricultural and conservation purposes. Here we demonstrate this potential using a novel approach to measure and predict the effect of kin and group dynamics on reproductive output in a well-known species, the meerkat Suricata suricatta. Variation in social dynamics predicts 30% of the individual variation in reproductive success of this species in managed populations, and accurately forecasts reproductive output at least two years into the future. Optimization of social dynamics in captive meerkat populations doubles their projected reproductive output. These results demonstrate the utility of a quantitative approach to breeding programs informed by social and kinship dynamics. They suggest that this approach has great potential for improvements in the management of social endangered and agricultural species.

  10. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J.; Chandler, Jane N.; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  11. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J; Chandler, Jane N; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-05-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Reproductive success and failure: the role of winter body mass in reproductive allocation in Norwegian moose.

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    Milner, Jos M; van Beest, Floris M; Solberg, Erling J; Storaas, Torstein

    2013-08-01

    A life history strategy that favours somatic growth over reproduction is well known for long-lived iteroparous species, especially in unpredictable environments. Risk-sensitive female reproductive allocation can be achieved by a reduced reproductive effort at conception, or the subsequent adjustment of investment during gestation or lactation in response to unexpected environmental conditions or resource availability. We investigated the relative importance of reduced investment at conception compared with later in the reproductive cycle (i.e. prenatal, perinatal or neonatal mortality) in explaining reproductive failure in two high-density moose (Alces alces) populations in southern Norway. We followed 65 multiparous, global positioning system (GPS)-collared females throughout the reproductive cycle and focused on the role of maternal nutrition during gestation in determining reproductive success using a quasi-experimental approach to manipulate winter forage availability. Pregnancy rates in early winter were normal (≥0.8) in all years while spring calving rates ranged from 0.4 to 0.83, with prenatal mortality accounting for most of the difference. Further losses over summer reduced autumn recruitment rates to 0.23-0.69, despite negligible predation. Over-winter mass loss explained variation in both spring calving and autumn recruitment success better than absolute body mass in early or late winter. Although pregnancy was related to body mass in early winter, overall reproductive success was unrelated to pre-winter body condition. We therefore concluded that reproductive success was limited by winter nutritional conditions. However, we could not determine whether the observed reproductive allocation adjustment was a bet-hedging strategy to maximise reproduction without compromising survival or whether females were simply unable to invest more resources in their offspring.

  13. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

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    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  14. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitch D. Weegman

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch years (i.e., between cohorts. In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8% of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young only once in their lifetime and 15 (2% reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4 when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7 if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to

  15. The impact of parental investment on lifetime reproductive success in Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Robert F; Lynch, Emily C

    2017-01-01

    Demonstrating the impact that parents have on the fitness of their children is a crucial step towards understanding how parental investment has affected human evolution. Parents not only transfer genes to their children, they also influence their environments. By analyzing reproductive patterns within and between different categories of close relatives, this study provides insight into the genetic and environmental effects that parents have on the fitness of their offspring. We use data spanning over two centuries from an exceptionally accurate Icelandic genealogy, Íslendingabók, to analyze the relationship between the fertility rates of close relatives. Also, using genetic data, we determine narrow sense heritability estimates ( h 2 ) to further explore the genetic impact on lifetime reproductive success. Finally, we construct four simulations to model the expected contribution of genes and resources on reproductive success. The relationship between the reproduction of all full sibling pairs was significant and positive across all birth decades ( r  = 0.19) while the reproductive relationship between parents and offspring was often negative across many decades and undetectable overall ( r  = 0.00) (Fig. 1 and Table 1). Meanwhile, genetic data among 8,456 pairs of full siblings revealed a narrow sense heritability estimate ( h 2 ) of 0.00 for lifetime reproductive success. A resources model (following the rule that resources are transmitted from parents to children, distributed equally among siblings, and are the only factor affecting reproductive success) revealed a similar trend: a negative relationship between parent and offspring reproduction ( r  =  - 0.35) but a positive relationship among full siblings ( r  = 0.28). The relationship between parent and offspring lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and full sibling LRS was strongly and positively correlated across time ( r  = 0.799, p  investment has had an important impact on fitness. Overall

  16. Combining site occupancy, breeding population sizes and reproductive success to calculate time-averaged reproductive output of different habitat types: an application to Tricolored Blackbirds.

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    Marcel Holyoak

    Full Text Available In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005-2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent

  17. Lifetime reproductive success in the solitary endoparasitoid, Venturia canescens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harvey, J.A.; Harvey, I.F.; Thompson, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps have long been considered excellent organisms in studies examining the evolution of reproductive and life- history strategies. In examining the lifetime reproductive success of parasitoids in the laboratory, most investigations have provided the insects with excess hosts and food,

  18. A curvilinear effect of height on reproductive success in human males

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, G.; Pollet, T.V.; Verhulst, S.; Buunk, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    Human male height is associated with mate choice and intra-sexual competition, and therefore potentially with reproductive success. A literature review (n = 18) on the relationship between male height and reproductive success revealed a variety of relationships ranging from negative to curvilinear

  19. A curvilinear effect of height on reproductive success in human males

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, Gert; Pollet, Thomas V.; Verhulst, Simon; Buunk, Abraham P.

    Human male height is associated with mate choice and intra-sexual competition, and therefore potentially with reproductive success. A literature review (n = 18) on the relationship between male height and reproductive success revealed a variety of relationships ranging from negative to curvilinear

  20. The impact of parental investment on lifetime reproductive success in Iceland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert F. Lynch

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Demonstrating the impact that parents have on the fitness of their children is a crucial step towards understanding how parental investment has affected human evolution. Parents not only transfer genes to their children, they also influence their environments. By analyzing reproductive patterns within and between different categories of close relatives, this study provides insight into the genetic and environmental effects that parents have on the fitness of their offspring. Methods We use data spanning over two centuries from an exceptionally accurate Icelandic genealogy, Íslendingabók, to analyze the relationship between the fertility rates of close relatives. Also, using genetic data, we determine narrow sense heritability estimates (h2 to further explore the genetic impact on lifetime reproductive success. Finally, we construct four simulations to model the expected contribution of genes and resources on reproductive success. Results The relationship between the reproduction of all full sibling pairs was significant and positive across all birth decades (r = 0.19 while the reproductive relationship between parents and offspring was often negative across many decades and undetectable overall (r = 0.00 (Fig. 1 and Table 1. Meanwhile, genetic data among 8,456 pairs of full siblings revealed a narrow sense heritability estimate (h2 of 0.00 for lifetime reproductive success. A resources model (following the rule that resources are transmitted from parents to children, distributed equally among siblings, and are the only factor affecting reproductive success revealed a similar trend: a negative relationship between parent and offspring reproduction (r =  − 0.35 but a positive relationship among full siblings (r = 0.28. The relationship between parent and offspring lifetime reproductive success (LRS and full sibling LRS was strongly and positively correlated across time (r = 0.799, p < 0.001. Similarly, the LRS among

  1. Evaluation of a reproductive index to estimate grasshopper sparrow and eastern meadowlark reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Althoff, Donald P.; Gipson, P.S.; Pontius, J.S.; Japuntich, R.D.

    2009-01-01

    We compared an index of reproductive success based on breeding behavior to actual nest fates of grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and eastern meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) on 12 plots (4-ha). Concordance of results between the two methods was 58% for grasshopper sparrows and 42% for eastern meadowlarks on a plot-by-plot basis. The indirect method yielded higher estimates of reproductive activity than nest monitoring for the balance of the plots,. There was little evidence that brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism influenced the estimates of reproductive success using the indirect method. We concluded that nests and about-to-fledge nestlings were missed during searches on some plots. It may be appropriate to use an indirect method to more efficiently survey territories and/or plots for species with hard-to-find nests or when monitoring large areas. Use of a reproductive index may be appropriate and more time-efficient than nest searching and monitoring for comparing management effects such as burning, grazing, haying, military training, and other localized disturbances that are likely to affect reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows and eastern meadowlarks. However, nest monitoring may be necessary for more precise estimates of productivity necessary for long-term monitoring. Nest monitoring results are also likely to allow for direct comparisons to results from other studies because the index method requires intimate knowledge of the species being evaluated - a factor that could lead to reduced precision because the experience level of technicians relying only on behavioral cues from study-to-study is likely to vary considerably.

  2. Rock Sparrow Song Reflects Male Age and Reproductive Success

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Kempenaers, Bart; Matessi, Giuliano

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of mating signals is closely linked to sexual selection. Acoustic ornaments are often used as secondary sexual traits that signal the quality of the signaller. Here we show that song performance reflects age and reproductive success in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia...... nests. Older males could be distinguished from yearlings by singing at lower rate and higher amplitudes. Our findings suggest that song rate may be used as a signal of age and together with song pitch as a signal of reproductive success in this species. Alternatively, younger and less successful males...... success. Males with higher breeding success sang at a lower rate and with a higher maximum frequency. We found also that older males gained more extra-pair young and had a higher overall breeding success, although they also differed almost significantly by having a higher loss of paternity in their own...

  3. Genetic variation of male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae

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    Voordouw Maarten J

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For Anopheline mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria, genetic variation in male reproductive success can have important consequences for any control strategy based on the release of transgenic or sterile males. Methods A quantitative genetics approach was used to test whether there was a genetic component to variation in male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae. Swarms of full sibling brothers were mated with a fixed number of females and their reproductive success was measured as (1 proportion of ovipositing females, (2 proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae, (3 proportion of females that produced larvae, (4 number of eggs laid per female, (5 number of larvae per ovipositing female and (6 number of larvae per female. Results The proportion of ovipositing females (trait 1 and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae (trait 2 differed among full sib families, suggesting a genetic basis of mating success. In contrast, the other measures of male reproductive success showed little variation due to the full sib families, as their variation are probably mostly due to differences among females. While age at emergence and wing length of the males were also heritable, they were not associated with reproductive success. Larger females produced more eggs, but males did not prefer such partners. Conclusion The first study to quantify genetic variation for male reproductive success in A. gambiae found that while the initial stages of male reproduction (i.e. the proportion of ovipositing females and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae had a genetic basis, the overall reproductive success (i.e. the mean number of larvae per female did not.

  4. Role of lipids for the reproductive success of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatlebakk, M. K.; Graeve, M.; Niehoff, B.; Johnsen, G.; Søreide, J.

    2016-02-01

    Extensive energy storage is common among polar animals, and a range of reproductive strategies have evolved from pure capital breeders, relying on stored energy only, to 100% income breeders where freshly ingested food fuel reproduction. The Arctic calanoid copepod Calanus glacialis is primarily a grazer that accumulates large lipid stores during spring and summer. The breeding strategy to this relatively large and lipid-rich copepod is somewhere on the continuum from pure capital to 100% income breeder. To investigate the importance of stored lipids versus freshly ingested food for the reproductive success of this key copepod we conducted a combined laboratory and field study on a high-Arctic population of C. glacialis in Svalbard from January to May. Total lipids, lipid composition, gonad maturation, egg production and egg hatching success were carefully followed for starved and algal fed females in the laboratory and for females in situ. Lipid stores decreased significantly over time even when food was available, both in laboratory and in field, suggesting that the females largely depended on stored resources for reproduction no matter of the food availability. Lipid reduction was most rapid during gonad maturation prior to first egg production. Almost all fed females spawned compared to only half of the starved ones, and number of eggs and the egg hatching success were significantly improved for fed females. When food was scarce, females produced fewer but more lipid-rich eggs as opposed to more eggs with less lipids when food was abundant - a strategy not previously described for C. glacialis. The fatty acid composition appeared to be more important than the total lipid content for ensuring high egg hatching success, and the polyunsaturated fatty acids 20:5(n-3) and 22:6(n-3), as well as the saturated fatty acids 16:0 and 18:0 seemed to be particularly important. We conclude that C. glacialis is capable of capital breeding, but primarily rely on fresh food for

  5. Conspecific reproductive success and breeding habitat selection: Implications for the study of coloniality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danchin, E.; Boulinier, T.; Massot, M.

    1998-01-01

    Habitat selection is a crucial process in the life cycle of animals because it can affect most components of fitness. It has been proposed that some animals cue on the reproductive success of conspecifics to select breeding habitats. We tested this hypothesis with demographic and behavioral data from a 17-yr study of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a cliff-nesting seabird. As the hypothesis assumes, the Black-legged Kittiwake nesting environment was patchy, and the relative quality of the different patches (i.e., breeding cliffs) varied in time. The average reproductive success of the breeders of a given cliff was predictable from one year to the next, but this predictability faded after several years. The dynamic nature of cliff quality in the long term is partly explained by the autocorrelation of the prevalence of an ectoparasite that influences reproductive success. As predicted by the performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis, the reproductive success of current breeders on a given cliff was predictive of the reproductive success of new recruits on the cliff in the following year. Breeders tended to recruit to the previous year's most productive cliffs and to emigrate from the least productive ones. Consequently, the dynamics of breeder numbers on the cliffs were explained by local reproductive success on a year-to-year basis. Because, on average, young Black-legged Kittiwakes first breed when 4 yr old, such a relationship probably results from individual choices based on the assessment of previous-year local quality. When breeders changed breeding cliffs between years, they selected cliffs of per capita higher reproductive success. Furthermore, after accounting for the potential effects of age and sex as well as between-year variations, the effect of individual breeding performance on breeding dispersal was strongly influenced by the average reproductive success of other breeders on the same cliff. Individual breeding performance did

  6. A model for estimating the minimum number of offspring to sample in studies of reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Joseph H; Ward, Eric J; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2011-01-01

    Molecular parentage permits studies of selection and evolution in fecund species with cryptic mating systems, such as fish, amphibians, and insects. However, there exists no method for estimating the number of offspring that must be assigned parentage to achieve robust estimates of reproductive success when only a fraction of offspring can be sampled. We constructed a 2-stage model that first estimated the mean (μ) and variance (v) in reproductive success from published studies on salmonid fishes and then sampled offspring from reproductive success distributions simulated from the μ and v estimates. Results provided strong support for modeling salmonid reproductive success via the negative binomial distribution and suggested that few offspring samples are needed to reject the null hypothesis of uniform offspring production. However, the sampled reproductive success distributions deviated significantly (χ(2) goodness-of-fit test p value reproductive success distribution at rates often >0.05 and as high as 0.24, even when hundreds of offspring were assigned parentage. In general, reproductive success patterns were less accurate when offspring were sampled from cohorts with larger numbers of parents and greater variance in reproductive success. Our model can be reparameterized with data from other species and will aid researchers in planning reproductive success studies by providing explicit sampling targets required to accurately assess reproductive success.

  7. Wenatchee River steelhead reproductive success - Estimate the relative reproductive success of hatchery and wild steelhead in the Wenatchee River, WA

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project uses genetic parentage analysis to estimate the relative reproductive success of hatchery and wild steelhead spawning in the Wenatchee River, WA. The...

  8. Hormone levels predict individual differences in reproductive success in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Quetting, Michael; Hau, Michaela

    2011-08-22

    Hormones mediate major physiological and behavioural components of the reproductive phenotype of individuals. To understand basic evolutionary processes in the hormonal regulation of reproductive traits, we need to know whether, and during which reproductive phases, individual variation in hormone concentrations relates to fitness in natural populations. We related circulating concentrations of prolactin and corticosterone to parental behaviour and reproductive success during both the pre-breeding and the chick-rearing stages in both individuals of pairs of free-living house sparrows, Passer domesticus. Prolactin and baseline corticosterone concentrations in pre-breeding females, and prolactin concentrations in pre-breeding males, predicted total number of fledglings. When the strong effect of lay date on total fledgling number was corrected for, only pre-breeding baseline corticosterone, but not prolactin, was negatively correlated with the reproductive success of females. During the breeding season, nestling provisioning rates of both sexes were negatively correlated with stress-induced corticosterone levels. Lastly, individuals of both sexes with low baseline corticosterone before and high baseline corticosterone during breeding raised the most offspring, suggesting that either the plasticity of this trait contributes to reproductive success or that high parental effort leads to increased hormone concentrations. Thus hormone concentrations both before and during breeding, as well as their seasonal dynamics, predict reproductive success, suggesting that individual variation in absolute concentrations and in plasticity is functionally significant, and, if heritable, may be a target of selection.

  9. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared F Duquette

    Full Text Available Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69% variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old and could have produced multiple litters

  10. Variation in circulating testosterone during mating predicts reproductive success in a wild songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beate Apfelbeck

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Testosterone is an important sex hormone and mediates reproduction in male vertebrates. There is ample evidence that testosterone coordinates the expression of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits during reproduction and many of these traits are under sexual selection. However, only few studies so far have examined if individual variation in testosterone is correlated with reproductive success. Because socially monogamous bird species pass through different phases within a breeding cycle and each of these phases requires the expression of different behaviours, the relation between testosterone and reproductive success could vary with breeding stage. Here we investigate the link between reproductive success and testosterone in European stonechats – a socially monogamous songbird with biparental care. Previous studies found that territorial aggression in breeding stonechats depends on testosterone and that testosterone levels peak during the mating phase. Thus, high testosterone levels during mating may influence reproductive success by promoting territorial aggression and mate guarding. We found that males with two breeding attempts produced a similar number of fledglings as males with three breeding attempts. However, males with two breeding attempts expressed higher levels of testosterone than males with just one or those with three breeding attempts, regardless of whether testosterone was measured during the mating or the parental phase of the first brood. Furthermore, testosterone levels during mating, but not during parenting correlated with the total annual number of fledglings. Thus, individual variation in levels of plasma testosterone predicted reproductive success in stonechats.

  11. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  12. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garabedian, James E. [North Carolina State University

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  13. Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR): An Assessment of Success1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascoli, Mario; Mebane, Dorianne; Fazleabas, Asgerally T.

    2016-01-01

    The Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course has been held annually since 1998 at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The primary purpose of the course is to train young reproductive biologists in cutting-edge techniques that would strengthen their career opportunities. An initial evaluation of the FIR course was conducted by surveying the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2002. The findings of this survey were published in Biology of Reproduction in 2006, which highlighted the overall positive impact the course had on the training and upward career trajectory of the participants during the first 5 yr. The current study was designed to access the continued impact of FIR at the 10-yr mark by evaluating the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2008 using two different survey mechanisms. Based on these evaluations and feedback from the participants, it was evident that 1) FIR continues to have a significant positive impact on the careers of the participants, 2) the majority of the participants continue to be involved in research or administration related to the reproductive sciences, 3) nearly 90% of the attendees have been successful in obtaining funding for their research, and 4) most alumni have published at least five manuscripts in higher impact journals since they took the course. Therefore, it is evident that FIR participants are highly successful and continue to significantly impact the advances in the reproductive sciences worldwide. PMID:27335071

  14. Proteomic Changes Associated with Successive Reproductive Periods in Male Polychaetous Neanthes arenaceodentata

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli; Reish, Donald; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    The polychaetous annelid Neanthes acuminata complex has a widespread distribution, with the California population referred to as N. arenaceodentata. The reproductive pattern in this complex is unique, in that the female reproduces once and then dies, whereas the male can reproduce up to nine times. The male incubates the embryos until the larvae leave the male’s tube 21–28 days later and commences feeding. Reproductive success and protein expression patterns were measured over the nine reproductive periods. The percent success of the male in producing juveniles increased during the first three reproductive periods and then decreased, but the number of juveniles produced was similar through all nine periods. iTRAQ based quantitative proteomics were used to analyze the dynamics of protein expression patterns. The expression patterns of several proteins were found to be altered. The abundant expression of muscular and contractile proteins may have affected body weight and reproductive success. Sperm have never been observed; fertilization occurs within the parent’s tube. Proteins associated with sperm maturation and fertilization were identified, including ATPase, clathrin, peroxiredoxins and enolase, which may provide clues to the molecular mechanisms enabling males to reproduce multiple times.

  15. Proteomic Changes Associated with Successive Reproductive Periods in Male Polychaetous Neanthes arenaceodentata

    KAUST Repository

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli

    2015-09-04

    The polychaetous annelid Neanthes acuminata complex has a widespread distribution, with the California population referred to as N. arenaceodentata. The reproductive pattern in this complex is unique, in that the female reproduces once and then dies, whereas the male can reproduce up to nine times. The male incubates the embryos until the larvae leave the male’s tube 21–28 days later and commences feeding. Reproductive success and protein expression patterns were measured over the nine reproductive periods. The percent success of the male in producing juveniles increased during the first three reproductive periods and then decreased, but the number of juveniles produced was similar through all nine periods. iTRAQ based quantitative proteomics were used to analyze the dynamics of protein expression patterns. The expression patterns of several proteins were found to be altered. The abundant expression of muscular and contractile proteins may have affected body weight and reproductive success. Sperm have never been observed; fertilization occurs within the parent’s tube. Proteins associated with sperm maturation and fertilization were identified, including ATPase, clathrin, peroxiredoxins and enolase, which may provide clues to the molecular mechanisms enabling males to reproduce multiple times.

  16. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Milenkaya

    Full Text Available Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch, a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous

  17. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage) such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous interpretation of

  18. Reproductive success of Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida in eastern Spain in relation to water level variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz Lledó, Álvaro; Vidal Mateo, Javier; Urios Moliner, Vicente

    2018-01-01

    caused the loss of nests, eggs and nestlings, even when wetland water levels remained constant. The influence of the anchorage depth of the nest and the water level fluctuation rate were analyzed and did not provide statistically significant results. It was not possible to establish a clear pattern on these latter variables, so further studies are needed to obtain more significant results. We propose to undertake similar studies in wetlands where the water level can be regulated, with the range of nest anchorage depth on the emergent vegetation being between 30 and 60 cm, which could improve the reproductive success in this kind of habitats. As recommendation, in water level controlled wetlands (that use sluices), it should not vary more than ±6 cm in a short time (1-2 days) once the nests are established since it negatively affects their reproductive success.

  19. Reproductive success of Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida in eastern Spain in relation to water level variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Álvaro Ortiz Lledó

    2018-04-01

    climatic events, such as strong wind, rain or hail, also caused the loss of nests, eggs and nestlings, even when wetland water levels remained constant. The influence of the anchorage depth of the nest and the water level fluctuation rate were analyzed and did not provide statistically significant results. It was not possible to establish a clear pattern on these latter variables, so further studies are needed to obtain more significant results. We propose to undertake similar studies in wetlands where the water level can be regulated, with the range of nest anchorage depth on the emergent vegetation being between 30 and 60 cm, which could improve the reproductive success in this kind of habitats. As recommendation, in water level controlled wetlands (that use sluices, it should not vary more than ±6 cm in a short time (1–2 days once the nests are established since it negatively affects their reproductive success.

  20. Endocrine phenotype, reproductive success and survival in the great tit, Parus major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, J Q; Sharp, P; Quetting, M; Hau, M

    2013-09-01

    A central goal in evolutionary ecology is to characterize and identify selection patterns on the optimal phenotype in different environments. Physiological traits, such as hormonal responses, provide important mechanisms by which individuals can adapt to fluctuating environmental conditions. It is therefore expected that selection shapes hormonal traits, but the strength and the direction of selection on plastic hormonal signals are still under investigation. Here, we determined whether, and in which way, selection is acting on the hormones corticosterone and prolactin by characterizing endocrine phenotypes and their relationship with fitness in free-living great tits, Parus major. We quantified variation in circulating concentrations of baseline and stress-induced corticosterone and in prolactin during the prebreeding (March) and the breeding season (May) for two consecutive years, and correlated these with reproductive success (yearly fledgling number) and overwinter survival in female and male individuals. In both years, individuals with high baseline corticosterone concentrations in March had the highest yearly fledgling numbers; while in May, individuals with low baseline corticosterone had the highest yearly reproductive success. Likewise, individuals that displayed strong seasonal plasticity in baseline corticosterone concentrations (high in March and low in May) had the highest reproductive success in each year. Prolactin concentrations were not related to reproductive success, but were positively correlated to the proximity to lay. Between-year plasticity in stress-induced corticosterone concentrations of males was related to yearly variation in food abundance, but not to overall reproductive success. These findings suggest that seasonally alternating directional selection is operating on baseline corticosterone concentrations in both sexes. The observed between-year consistency in selection patterns indicates that a one-time hormone sample in a given

  1. Classical Markov Chains: A Unifying Framework for Understanding Avian Reproductive Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traditional methods for monitoring and analysis of avian nesting success have several important shortcomings, including 1) inability to handle multiple classes of nest failure, and 2) inability to provide estimates of annual reproductive success (because birds can, and typically ...

  2. Life-history constraints on the success of the many small eggs reproductive strategy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Ken Haste; Beyer, Jan; Pedersen, Martin

    2008-01-01

    The reproductive strategy of most fishes is to produce a large number of tiny eggs, leading to a huge difference between egg size and asymptotic body size. The viability of this strategy is examined by calculating the life-time reproductive success R0 as a function of the asymptotic body size....... A simple criterion for the optimality of producing small eggs is found, depending on the rate of predation relative to the specific rate of consumption. Secondly it is shown that the success of the reproductive strategy is increasing with asymptotic body size. Finally the existence of both upper and lower...

  3. Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darbandi, Sara; Darbandi, Mahsa; Khorram Khorshid, Hamid Reza; Sadeghi, Mohammad Reza

    2017-11-07

    Context • Depending on the cause of the infertility, nonsurgical or surgical treatments may be used to treat men and women with infertility. Despite improved outcomes due to medical advances, assisted reproductive technology (ART) for couples with infertility is sometimes unsuccessful. Success may be affected by the patient's social, psychological, and physical status. Objective • The study examined the effects of yoga-including asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (proper breathing), shavasana, and meditation-on male and female fertility and ART outcomes. Design • The research team performed a literature review, electronically searching for articles published between January 1978 and January 2016 in the PubMed, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases. Setting • The study took place at the Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center at the Avicenna Research Institute at the Academic Center for Education, Culture, and Research (Tehran, Iran). Participants • Participants were couples with infertility taking part in 87 reviewed studies. Intervention • Yoga was the intervention. Outcome Measures • The outcome measures comprised fertility factors in males and females, fertility rate, and ART success rate. Results • The reviewed studies showed that yoga can provide stress management for patients with infertility, with beneficial effects on fertility, helping couples give birth. They found that yoga also could reduce pain; decrease depression, anxiety, and stress; reduce the rate of assisted vaginal delivery; and improve fetal outcomes. Conclusions • Yoga can help couples overcome infertility and increase the ART success rate by improving the physiological and psychological states of both men and women.

  4. Local anthropogenic contamination affects the fecundity and reproductive success of an Arctic amphipod

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Lis; Fischer, Astrid; Strand, Jakob

    2010-01-01

    to clean site individuals. These results indicated a cost of living in highly contaminated environments in terms of reduced reproductive success. This study confirms the potential of the benthic amphipod O. pinguis as a bioindicator for assessments of reproductive effects of contaminants in the Arctic...

  5. Genetic analysis of male reproductive success in relation to density in the zebrafish, Danio rerio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan William C

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We used behavioural and genetic data to investigate the effects of density on male reproductive success in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. Based on previous measurements of aggression and courtship behaviour by territorial males, we predicted that they would sire more offspring than non-territorial males. Results Microsatellite analysis of paternity showed that at low densities territorial males had higher reproductive success than non-territorial males. However, at high density territorial males were no more successful than non-territorials and the sex difference in the opportunity for sexual selection, based on the parameter Imates, was low. Conclusion Male zebrafish exhibit two distinct mating tactics; territoriality and active pursuit of females. Male reproductive success is density dependent and the opportunity for sexual selection appears to be weak in this species.

  6. Problem-solving performance and reproductive success of great tits in urban and forest habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiszner, Bálint; Papp, Sándor; Pipoly, Ivett; Seress, Gábor; Vincze, Ernő; Liker, András; Bókony, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    Success in problem solving, a form of innovativeness, can help animals exploit their environments, and recent research suggests that it may correlate with reproductive success. Innovativeness has been proposed to be especially beneficial in urbanized habitats, as suggested by superior problem-solving performance of urban individuals in some species. If there is stronger selection for innovativeness in cities than in natural habitats, we expect problem-solving performance to have a greater positive effect on fitness in more urbanized habitats. We tested this idea in great tits (Parus major) breeding at two urban sites and two forests by measuring their problem-solving performance in an obstacle-removal task and a food-acquisition task. Urban pairs were significantly faster problem-solvers in both tasks. Solving speed in the obstacle-removal task was positively correlated with hatching success and the number of fledglings, whereas performance in the food-acquisition task did not correlate with reproductive success. These relationships did not differ between urban and forest habitats. Neophobia, sensitivity to human disturbance, and risk taking in the presence of a predator did not explain the relationships of problem-solving performance either with habitat type or with reproductive success. Our results suggest that the benefit of innovativeness in terms of reproductive success is similar in urban and natural habitats, implying that problem-solving skills may be enhanced in urban populations by some other benefits (e.g. increased survival) or reduced costs (e.g. more opportunities to gain practice with challenging tasks).

  7. Predator Exclosures Enhance Reproductive Success but Increase Adult Mortality of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen Barber

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus are listed as endangered throughout Canada and the United States Great Lakes region. Most attempts to increase their numbers have focused on enhancing reproductive success. Using 22 years of data collected by Parks Canada in Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada, we examined whether predator exclosures installed around Piping Plover nests increased nest success and hatching and fledging success when compared to nests without exclosures. Nests with exclosures were significantly more likely to hatch at least one egg than nests without exclosures, and they hatched a significantly greater number of young. The greater reproductive success observed in exclosed nests is likely due to the increased protection from predators that the exclosures conferred; significantly fewer exclosed nests were depredated than nonexclosed nests. However, significantly more exclosed than nonexclosed nests were abandoned by adults, and they had significantly greater adult mortality. Whether benefits of increased reproductive success from exclosures outweigh costs of increased abandonment and adult mortality remains unknown, but must be considered.

  8. Improved reproductive success in otters (Lutra lutra), grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Sweden in relation to concentrations of organochlorine contaminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roos, Anna M.; Bäcklin, Britt-Marie V.M.; Helander, Björn O.; Rigét, Frank F.; Eriksson, Ulla C.

    2012-01-01

    We studied indices of reproductive outcome in three aquatic species in relation to organochlorine concentrations during four decades. In female otters, the frequency of signs of reproduction increased after 1990. In grey seals, pregnancy rate increased 1990–2010 and uterine obstructions ceased after 1993. The frequency of uterine tumours was highest 1980–2000. The number of sea eagle nestlings per checked nest increased 1985–2000, while the frequency of desiccated eggs decreased. Organochlorine concentrations decreased at annual rates between 3.5 and 10.2%. The estimated mean concentration (mg/kg lw) for total-PCB decreased from 70 to 8 (otters), from 110 to 15 (seals) and from 955 to 275 (eagles). The corresponding concentrations for ΣDDT decreased from 3.4 to 0.2 (otters), from 192 to 2.8 (seals) and from 865 to 65 (eagles). This study adds evidence to support the hypothesis that PCBs and DDTs have had strong negative effects on the reproduction and population levels of these species. - Highlights: ► We compared trends of reproductive success in three aquatic top predators in Sweden. ► The study period covers four decades. ► Similar, increasing trends are seen from the end of the 1980s for otters, grey seals and sea eagles. ► Concentrations of total-PCB and DDTs have decreased in these species at similar rates. ► PCBs and DDTs have severely affected reproductive success in these species. - The reproductive success in otters, grey seals and white-tailed sea eagles has increased as the concentrations of PCBs and ΣDDT have decreased supporting a causative relationship.

  9. Failures (with some successes) of assisted reproduction and gamete donation programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Although the possibilities for the treatment of infertility have been improved tremendously, not every couple will be treated successfully. Crude overall pregnancy rates of 50-65% per patient can be achieved nowadays, irrespective of the type of profertility treatment applied first. IVF only accounts for about 20% of the pregnancies achieved. Dropout is an important reason for not reaching the estimated pregnancy rate. Even after failed IVF, spontaneous pregnancies do occur. Sperm and oocyte donation (OD) offer additional chances to subfertile couples. Severity of the male factor (in sperm donation) and young donor age (in OD) are important determinants of success. Analysis of assisted reproduction technology outcomes would benefit from more universally accepted definitions and deserves better statistical analysis. Long-term cumulative live birth rates of 80% may be expected if dropout can be limited. Milder stimulation, a patient-friendlier approach and better counseling may help to keep more patients in the program.

  10. Male rank affects reproductive success and offspring performance in bank voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruczek, Małgorzata; Zatorska, Magdalena

    2008-07-05

    Laboratory studies reveal that in several rodent species the females prefer dominant males as mating partners. Here we investigate the correlation between males' social rank and their reproductive success. Similar numbers of females mating with relatively more dominant or relatively more subordinate males produced a litter, and parturition took place 19-21 days after mating. Relatively more dominant males tended to sire more pups than did relatively more subordinates, but the mean number of offspring per litter did not differ significantly between the two groups. Significantly more pups fathered by relatively more dominant males survived to weaning than those sired by relatively more subordinate fathers. Dominance had a long-term effect on the reproductive activity of the offspring: their rate of sexual maturation was increased. In pups sired by a relatively more dominant father, the uteruses of females, and the testes and accessory sex glands of males, were significantly heavier than those of offspring born to relatively more subordinate males. Our results suggest that social rank is an important determinant of the reproductive success of bank vole males.

  11. Psychosocial needs of women and their partners after successful assisted reproduction treatment in Barcelona

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther Crespo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available It is assumed that pregnancy and parenthood after a period of infertility are unproblematic and gratifying. However, a review of the literature highlights the complexity of the psychological and social consequences of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting after successful treatment with assisted reproductive technology. These experiences, including those following the creation of new forms of non-genetic and/or social parenthood, require investigation in order to understand how women and their partners integrate their journey from infertility to pregnancy and parenthood after successful assisted reproductive treatment. This paper presents results derived from qualitative interviews with 30 pregnant women and 21 couples after assisted reproductive treatment (repeated rounds of individual interviews with the study participants conducted from July 2010 to April 2014 as part of a larger ethnographic study exploring the psychosocial needs of women and partners following assisted reproductive treatment in Barcelona’s. The transcribed text was coded into categories of either predetermined or emergent topics. Prior studies have found that couples who achieve pregnancy after infertility may experience higher levels of anxiety in relation to pregnancy. This anxiety can be linked with a higher risk of complications during pregnancy after assisted reproductive treatment compared with spontaneous conception. However, the evidence concerning adjustment to pregnancy and parenthood is inconclusive. This study highlights the necessity for participants to give meaning to these treatments, given the variability that exists in perceptions of infertility and pregnancy after successful assisted reproductive treatment.

  12. Applying nutrition and physiology to improve reproduction in dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, J E P; Bisinotto, R S; Ribeiro, E S; Lima, F S; Greco, L F; Staples, C R; Thatcher, W W

    2010-01-01

    The establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in lactating dairy cows is a complex biological event that is influenced by a multitude of factors, from the reproductive biology of the cow to managerial aspects of the dairy farm. It is often mentioned in the scientific literature that fertility in dairy cows has declined concurrent with major advances in milk production. Some of this decline is attributed to the negative genetic correlation between milk production and reproduction. In the United States, yearly production per cow has increased steadily at a rate of 1.3% in the last decade and it is likely that this trend will continue in the years to come. At this rate, the average cow in the United States will be producing over 14 tons of milk per year in 2050 and technologies will have to be developed to allow these cows to reproduce to maintain the sustainability of dairy production. Despite high production, it is not uncommon for dairy herds with rolling herd averages for milk yield above 11,000 kg to overcome the challenges of reproduction and obtain satisfactory reproductive performance. Among other things, those herds have been able to mitigate some of the mechanisms that suppress reproduction in dairy cows such as extended postpartum anovulatory period, poor estrous detection, low pregnancy per insemination and, to a lesser extent, the high pregnancy loss. The success of those farms comes from an integrated approach to fertility that includes adequate cow comfort, elaborated transition cow management and nutrition, aggressive postpartum health monitoring program with preventative and curative measures to mitigate the negative effects of diseases on reproduction, and a sound reproductive program that includes manipulation of the ovarian cycle to allow for increased insemination rate. More recently, introduction of fertility traits in selection programs have created new opportunities for improved reproduction without neglecting economically important production

  13. Social stress and reproductive success in the female Syrian hamster: endocrine and behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelini, Marie Odile Monier; Palme, Rupert; Otta, Emma

    2011-10-24

    In many mammal species, reproduction is not shared equally among the members of a social unit. Even though reproductive skew seems unlikely in females of solitary species, this phenomenon could result from environmental factors. Although solitary in the wild, captive Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) are generally housed in groups. We investigated whether social stress produces some degree of reproductive skew in this solitary species and whether female reproductive success varies as a function of social rank. To assess the physiological relationship between social stress and fertility, we monitored reproductive hormones and glucocorticoids of solitary and pair-housed females during pregnancy by means of recently established non-invasive methods for measuring hormone metabolites in the feces. The patterns of fecal progesterone, estrogen and glucocorticoid metabolites were similar to those found in blood and reported in the literature for pregnant hamsters. As expected, dominant females had higher breeding success than subordinate females. However the rate of reproductive failure was also very high among the singly housed females of our control group. The number of pups per litter, the average sex-ratio in each group, and the mean weight of pups did not differ significantly among groups. Glucocorticoid concentrations were unaffected by housing and social rank and the few differences between the endocrine profiles of singly- and pair-housed females are not sufficient to explain the observed difference in breeding success. It is likely that social isolation impairs reproduction in the same manner as subordination. Our findings suggest that social isolation of animals accustomed to group living was equally as disturbing as cohabitation with an unknown conspecific. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Common Loon Reproductive Success in Canada: the West is Best but Not for Long

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive success of Common Loons (Gavia immer is a powerful indicator of aquatic ecosystem health, especially in relation to mercury and acid precipitation. We examined relationships between Common Loon reproductive success and longitude, year, lake area, and pH across southern Canada using data collected from 1992 to 2010 by participants in Bird Studies Canada's Canadian Lakes Loon Survey. Our goal was to indirectly describe the health of lakes in southern Canada with respect to mercury and acid precipitation. The overall model-predicted number of six-week-old young per pair per year was 0.59 (95% confidence limits: 0.56-0.62. Six-week-old young per pair per year decreased by 0.19 from west-to-east (âˆ'127° to âˆ'52° longitude, decreased by 0.14 between 1992 and 2010, increased by 0.22 as lake area increased from 10 to 3000 ha, and increased by 0.43 as acidity decreased from pH 5 to 9. The relationships were likely linked to acid- and temperature-mediated exposure to methylmercury and/or acid-induced reductions in forage fish. The temporal decrease was unexpectedly steeper in southwestern than in southeastern Canada. Projections suggested that reproductive success across southern Canada may not drop below the demographic source-sink threshold until ~2016 (range: 2009-2029. Reproductive success on pH 6.0 lakes, however, may have passed below the source-sink threshold as early as ~2001 (1995-2009, whereas reproductive success on pH 8.0 lakes may not pass below the threshold until ~2034 (2019-2062. There were ~0.1 more six-week-old young per pair per year on 2500 ha lakes than on 20 ha lakes. Reproductive success crossed below the source-sink threshold on 20 ha lakes at pH 6.4 (5.8-7.1 and on 2500 ha lakes at pH 5.5 (4.1-6.6. Our results show that citizen science is powerful for monitoring ecosystem health and indirectly support further action to abate emissions of mercury and the harmful components of acid precipitation throughout North

  15. Local density regulates migratory songbird reproductive success through effects on double-brooding and nest predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodworth, Bradley K; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Newman, Amy E M; Norris, D Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the density-dependent processes that regulate animal populations is key to understanding, predicting, and conserving populations. In migratory birds, density-dependence is most often studied during the breeding season, yet we still lack a robust understanding of the reproductive traits through which density influences individual reproductive success. We used 27-yr of detailed, individual-level productivity data from an island-breeding population of Savannah sparrows Passerculus sandwichensis to evaluate effects of local and total annual population density on female reproductive success. Local density (number of neighbors within 50 m of a female's nest) had stronger effects on the number of young fledged than did total annual population density. Females nesting in areas of high local density were more likely to suffer nest predation and less likely to initiate and fledge a second clutch, which led to fewer young fledged in a season. Fledging fewer young subsequently decreased the likelihood of a female recruiting offspring into the breeding population in a subsequent year. Collectively, these results provide insight into the scale and reproductive mechanisms mediating density-dependent reproductive success and fitness in songbirds. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Effect of floral display on reproductive success in terrestrial orchids

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kindlmann, Pavel; Jersáková, Jana

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 41, - (2006), s. 47-60 ISSN 0015-5551 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB6141302; GA ČR(CZ) GA206/00/1124 Keywords : deceptivity * floral display * orchid * reproductive success * reward Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.033, year: 2005

  17. Low levels of copper reduce the reproductive success of a mobile invertebrate predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ka-Man; Johnston, Emma L

    2007-09-01

    Marine organisms that occur in urbanised bays can be exposed to low-level chronic pollution that results in sublethal changes to behavior or reproduction. The effects of low levels of copper on the reproductive success of a mobile invertebrate were assessed. Free living flatworms are common predators of bivalves and barnacles. Flatworms (Stylochus pygmaeus) were exposed to low levels of copper ranging from 0 to 25 microg L(-1) in the presence and absence of their barnacle prey (Balanus variegatus). Flatworms laid fewer egg batches when exposed to copper and the hatching success of the eggs was also reduced. Exposure to 25 microg L(-1) copper for 10 d reduced the reproductive success of flatworms by up to 80%. Results were consistent regardless of the presence or absence of prey (barnacles). Barnacles were only moderately affected by copper but exhibited major avoidance behavior (feeding inhibition) in the presence of flatworm predators. This is the first ecotoxicological study on marine flatworms. Experiments are required to quantify the effects of flatworm predator populations on sessile invertebrate community structure in the field.

  18. Voice and Handgrip Strength Predict Reproductive Success in a Group of Indigenous African Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Sorokowski, Piotr; Mberira, Mara; Bartels, Astrid; Gallup, Gordon G.

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of Darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of Darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis. PMID:22870251

  19. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Belén Maldonado

    Full Text Available Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae. We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator's impact on plant reproduction.

  20. Are hotshots always hot? A longitudinal study of hormones, behavior, and reproductive success in male marine iguanas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitousek, Maren N; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Nelson, Karin N; Wikelski, Martin

    2008-07-01

    Polygynous lek-mating systems are characterized by high reproductive skew, with a small number of males gaining a disproportionate share of copulations. In lekking species, where female choice drives male mating success and patterns of reproductive skew, female preferences for 'good genes' should lead to preferred males having high reproductive success in all years. Here we investigate whether these 'hotshot' males have steroid hormone patterns that are consistent over time (between two mating seasons), and whether hormone levels consistently predict display behavior. We test these questions in the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), a lekking vertebrate with high male reproductive skew. We found that male mating success and testosterone levels were not consistent across years. The most successful males showed an inverse relationship in copulation success between years. Similarly, territorial males that had high testosterone in one year had low levels in the next. Across years, testosterone was strongly associated with head-bob display, suggesting that this steroid plays a key role in mate attraction. These results suggest that female marine iguanas are not choosing the same 'hotshot' males in every year, but instead base their reproductive decisions on male behavioral traits that are hormonally mediated and variable across years. By using testosterone to regulate their costly display behaviors male marine iguanas appear to have a mechanism that allows them to adjust their reproductive effort depending on extrinsic and/or intrinsic factors.

  1. Improving embryo quality in assisted reproduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mantikou, E.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this thesis was to improve embryo quality in assisted reproductive technologies by gaining more insight into human preimplantation embryo development and by improving in vitro culture conditions. To do so, we investigated an intriguing feature of the human preimplantation embryo, i.e.

  2. "Nice guys finish last": influence of mate choice on reproductive success in Long-Evans rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winland, C; Bolton, J L; Ford, B; Jampana, S; Tinker, J; Frohardt, R J; Guarraci, F A; Zewail-Foote, M

    2012-02-01

    The present study was designed to determine if male physiology and male reproductive behavior predict reproductive success in Long-Evans rats. Mating behavior was observed in sexually naïve, naturally cycling female rats during behavioral estrous that were given the opportunity to mate with two males simultaneously. DNA analysis of offspring born following these mating encounters was used to identify the paternity of each pup. In order to assess the effect of mate choice during these mating encounters on reproductive success, one male rat in each pair was categorized as the preferred mate if the female spent more time (>50%) with him during the mating test of the present study. Furthermore, each male in the pairs was categorized as "attractive" or "non-attractive" by computing the number of females that preferred each male across many mating tests. Similar to results reported in Lovell et al. (2007), during 76% of these mating tests the same male rat in each pair was preferred by different female rats. Overall attractiveness of individual male rats predicted reproductive success in the present study. Interestingly, "attractive" males sired significantly FEWER pups than "non-attractive" males. Neither behavioral (e.g., latency to first sexual stimulation, number of sexual stimulations) nor physiological measures (e.g., body weight, urinary testosterone levels) of male rats predicted their reproductive success. In conclusion, the present results indicate that certain features of some males are more attractive to females, but attractive males are at a reproductive disadvantage (as measured by the number of pups sired). Although basal urinary testosterone levels did not differ between males that sired the majority of pups in a litter and males that sired few or none of the pups in a litter, aggression and/or other physiological measures of fertility (e.g., penile reflexes) may differ between males that are attractive to females and those that have a reproductive

  3. An evolutionary concept of polycystic ovarian disease: does evolution favour reproductive success over survival?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleicher, Norbert; Barad, David

    2006-05-01

    Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) is currently considered as possibly the most frequent cause of female infertility. It is also closely associated with syndrome XX, which, in turn, is closely linked with premature and excessive mortality. Considering these adverse effects on reproductive success and human survival, the evolutionary survival of PCOD, itself considered by many to be a genetically transmitted condition, would, on first glance, appear surprising, since evolution usually discriminates against both of these traits. However, an analysis of some recently reported characteristics of the condition calls for the reconsideration of PCOD as a condition which, from an evolutionary viewpoint, favours decreased reproductive success. Indeed, the reported observations that patients with PCOD will resume spontaneous ovulation with even relatively minor weight loss, and experience later menopause than controls, suggests exactly the opposite. Under an evolutionary concept, PCOD can thus be seen as a 'fertility storage condition' which in fact favours human reproductive success and allows the human species to maintain fertility even during adverse environmental circumstances, such as famines.

  4. Effects of nectar robbing on male and female reproductive success of a pollinator-dependent plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas-Nossa, Sandra V; Sánchez, José María; Navarro, Luis

    2016-02-01

    Nectar robbers affect host fitness in different ways and by different magnitudes, both directly and indirectly, and potentially constitute an important part of pollination interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nectar robbing on several variables that characterize the reproductive success of Lonicera etrusca, a pollinator-dependent plant with long, tubular flowers that produce abundant nectar. Using fluorescent powder dye as a proxy for pollen, the distance of pollen dispersal was compared for robbed and non-robbed flowers. Artificial nectar robbing treatments were applied to test its effects on four additional measures of reproductive success, namely the quantity of pollen exported, fruit set, seed/ovule ratio and seed weight. Nectar robbing was not found to have any significant negative consequences on female and male components of reproductive success as determined through the five variables that were measured. Although L. etrusca exhibits high levels of nectar robbing and nectar robbers are common floral visitors, no evidence was found of detrimental changes in the components of reproductive success. A combination of morphological and ecological mechanisms is proposed to explain how plants may compensate for the energetic loss caused by the nectar robbers. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Tributyltin impaired reproductive success in female zebrafish through disrupting oogenesis, reproductive behaviors and serotonin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Wei-Yang; Li, Ying-Wen; Chen, Qi-Liang; Liu, Zhi-Hao

    2018-07-01

    study demonstrated that TBT may impair the reproductive success of zebrafish females probably through disrupting oogenesis, disturbing reproductive behaviors and altering serotonin synthesis. The present study greatly extends our understanding on the reproductive toxicity of TBT on fish. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Low Lactobacilli abundance and polymicrobial diversity in the lower reproductive tract of female rhesus monkeys do not compromise their reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amaral, Wellington Z; Lubach, Gabriele R; Kapoor, Amita; Proctor, Alexandra; Phillips, Gregory J; Lyte, Mark; Coe, Christopher L

    2017-10-01

    The lower reproductive tract of nonhuman primates is colonized with a diverse microbiota, resembling bacterial vaginosis (BV), a gynecological condition associated with negative reproductive outcomes in women. Our 4 aims were to: (i) assess the prevalence of low Lactobacilli and a BV-like profile in female rhesus monkeys; (ii) quantify cytokines in their cervicovaginal fluid (CVF); (iii) examine the composition and structure of their mucosal microbiota with culture-independent sequencing methods; and (iv) evaluate the potential influence on reproductive success. CVF specimens were obtained from 27 female rhesus monkeys for Gram's staining, and to determine acidity (pH), and quantify proinflammatory cytokines. Based on Nugent's classification, 40% had a score of 7 or higher, which would be indicative of BV in women. Nugent scores were significantly correlated with the pH of the CVF. Interleukin-1ß was present at high concentrations, but not further elevated by high Nugent scores. Vaginal swabs were obtained from eight additional females to determine microbial diversity by rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. At the phylum level, the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio was low. The relative abundance of Lactobacilli was also low (between 3% and 17%), and 11 other genera were present at >1%. However, neither the microbial diversity in the community structure, nor high Nugent scores, was associated with reduced fecundity. Female monkeys provide an opportunity to understand how reproductive success can be sustained in the presence of a diverse polymicrobial community in the reproductive tract. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide-use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg layin...

  8. Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: Evidence from the late 20 century United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokela, Markus

    2009-09-01

    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53-56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants' increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings.

  9. Reproductive success of Cabralea canjerana (Meliaceae in Atlantic forest fragments, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edivani Villaron Franceschinelli

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In Brazil, the Atlantic forest remnants have high biological diversity and a high level of endemism, but very little is known about the reproductive success of native species. Cabralea canjerana is a common tree in the Montane Atlantic forest, and its reproduction is highly dependent on pollinators. In order to contribute with the particular knowledge on this species, we collected data in three fragmented and three continuous forest sites, where the effects of fragmentation on both mutualistic (pollination and antagonistic (seed predation interactions were analysed. We determined fruit production and weight of 25 trees per site. The number of seeds and the percentage of predated and aborted seeds were also accessed for seven fruits of 10 trees per site. Pollinator visitation frequencies to flowers were recorded in two forest fragments and in two sites of the continuous forest. Our data showed that plants of C. canjerana produced more fruits (z-value=-8.24; p<0.0001 and seeds per fruit (z-value=-6.58; p=0.002 in the continuous than in the fragmented sites. This was likely due to differences in pollination, because the number of pollinator visits was higher in the continuous forest than in the fragments. Seed abortion (z-value=4.08, p<0.001 and predation (z-value=3.72, p=0.0002, on the other hand, were higher in the fragmented than in the continuous sites. Then, mutualistic and antagonistic interactions were affected by fragmentation, decreasing the reproductive success of the study tree. This study was the first to show a decrease in the reproductive output in forest fragments in an Atlantic forest tree species. This decrease may threaten the population structure and viability of C. canjerana in forest fragments. Rev. Biol. Trop. 63 (2: 515-524. Epub 2015 June 01.

  10. Agonistic reciprocity is associated with reduced male reproductive success within haremic social networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon-Lane, Tessa K.; Pradhan, Devaleena S.; Willis, Madelyne C.; Grober, Matthew S.

    2015-01-01

    While individual variation in social behaviour is ubiquitous and causes social groups to differ in structure, how these structural differences affect fitness remains largely unknown. We used social network analysis of replicate bluebanded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) harems to identify the reproductive correlates of social network structure. In stable groups, we quantified agonistic behaviour, reproduction and steroid hormones, which can both affect and respond to social/reproductive cues. We identified distinct, optimal social structures associated with different reproductive measures. Male hatching success (HS) was negatively associated with agonistic reciprocity, a network structure that describes whether subordinates ‘reciprocated’ agonism received from dominants. Egg laying was associated with the individual network positions of the male and dominant female. Thus, males face a trade-off between promoting structures that facilitate egg laying versus HS. Whether this reproductive conflict is avoidable remains to be determined. We also identified different social and/or reproductive roles for 11-ketotestosterone, 17β-oestradiol and cortisol, suggesting that specific neuroendocrine mechanisms may underlie connections between network structure and fitness. This is one of the first investigations of the reproductive and neuroendocrine correlates of social behaviour and network structure in replicate, naturalistic social groups and supports network structure as an important target for natural selection. PMID:26156769

  11. Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in Willow Flycatchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theimer, Tad; Sogge, Mark K.; Cardinal, Suzanne N.; Durst, Scott L.; Paxton, Eben H.

    2018-01-01

    Changes in habitat quality, including those caused by extreme events like droughts and floods, could alter costs and benefits of territoriality and thereby the prevalence and reproductive consequences for individuals capable of breeding that do not do so (floaters). We studied floating behavior in a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus) in central Arizona during one year of extreme drought, one year of lake inundation, and three years of near average precipitation. In all years, most floaters were second year (SY) males, and most subsequently settled outside of the patch where they were detected in the floating year, suggesting that floaters did not “queue” at high-quality territories in order to achieve higher reproductive success in subsequent years. Instead, cohorts that floated in non-drought years had lower apparent survival and lower reproductive success compared to territorial birds. In the extreme drought year, however, the number of floaters was 1.5 times greater than in all other years combined, more females floated, and apparent survival and mean annual productivity in subsequent years was higher for males that floated in that year than for those that were territorial. Inundation of habitat due to rising reservoir levels did not result in an increase in floaters because many birds nested in inundated areas where trees projected above the water so that the relative amount of available habitat was not reduced to the extent habitat models predicted. Overall, our results indicate that the prevalence and reproductive and demographic consequences of floating can change under extreme climatic events like severe drought.

  12. Complete integration of technology for improved reproduction of auricular prostheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Jason; Hatamleh, Muhanad M

    2014-05-01

    The accurate reproduction of the form and surface details of missing body structures is an essential part of any successful prosthetic rehabilitation. It helps mask the prosthesis and gives confidence to the patient. This clinical report details the integration of multiple in-house digital technologies of laser scanning, rapid prototyping, and digital color scanning and formulating to improve the shape, texture, orientation, and color of auricular prostheses for 3 patients with missing unilateral ears. A structured light laser scanner was used to digitize the patient's nondefect ear. The digitized data were then manipulated in specialist software and mirrored to reflect the opposing side. A rapid prototyping machine was used to manufacture a 3-dimensional (3D) model of the soft tissue required. This 3D mirrored ear model allowed the accurate reproduction of missing soft tissue. A color spectrometer was used to accurately reproduce the skin tones digitally and physically. Copyright © 2014 Editorial Council for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The ART of mating: alternative reproductive tactics and mating success in a nest-guarding fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascolino, S; Benvenuto, C; Gubili, C; Sacchi, C; Boufana, B; Mariani, S

    2016-12-01

    Behavioural observations in the field of male Mediterranean damselfish Chromis chromis were combined with molecular analyses, using bi-parentally and maternally inherited markers, to investigate reproductive success patterns of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in terms of number of eggs sired and number of females contributing to each nest. Cuckoldry was observed in every nest sampled, with at least two and up to seven sneaker males per nest. The nesting male, however, always significantly fertilized the greater number of eggs (on average 49%) in each clutch, whereas each sneaker fertilized around 7% of the clutch. The average number of females whose eggs were fertilized by nesting males was 6·76 (range 2-13), while each sneaker on average fertilized the eggs of 1·74 (range 1-8) females. Using this sibship reconstruction, some of the factors involved in the regulation of the dynamic equilibrium of reproductive success were investigated between the two ARTs shown by C. chromis males. Results show that the sneakers' reproductive success was positively linked to egg clutch size; the density of individuals in the nesting area negatively affected the size of egg clutches; the rate of defence behaviours performed by nesting males negatively influenced the number of females contributing to each nest. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  14. Applying human rights to improve access to reproductive health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Dorothy; Cook, Rebecca J

    2012-10-01

    Universal access to reproductive health is a target of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5B, and along with MDG 5A to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, progress is currently too slow for most countries to achieve these targets by 2015. Critical to success are increased and sustainable numbers of skilled healthcare workers and financing of essential medicines by governments, who have made political commitments in United Nations forums to renew their efforts to reduce maternal mortality. National essential medicine lists are not reflective of medicines available free or at cost in facilities or in the community. The WHO Essential Medicines List indicates medicines required for maternal and newborn health including the full range of contraceptives and emergency contraception, but there is no consistent monitoring of implementation of national lists through procurement and supply even for basic essential drugs. Health advocates are using human rights mechanisms to ensure governments honor their legal commitments to ensure access to services essential for reproductive health. Maternal mortality is recognized as a human rights violation by the United Nations and constitutional and human rights are being used, and could be used more effectively, to improve maternity services and to ensure access to drugs essential for reproductive health. Copyright © 2012 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Food, reproductive success and multiple breeding in the Great Tit Parus major

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verboven, Nanette; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Verhulst, Simon

    2001-01-01

    We studied the reproductive success of facultatively double brooded Great Tits Parus major in relation to (seasonal) variation in abundance of their main food supply: caterpillars in Oak Quercus robur. Data were collected in two mixed woods (Vlieland and Hoge Veluwe, from 1985-1996). The caterpillar

  16. Female song rate and structure predict reproductive success in a socially monogamous bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dianne Heather Brunton

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Bird song is commonly regarded as a male trait that has evolved through sexual selection. However, recent research has prompted a re-evaluation of this view by demonstrating that female song is an ancestral and phylogenetically widespread trait. Species with female song provide opportunities to study selective pressures and mechanisms specific to females within the wider context of social competition. We investigated the relationship between reproductive success and female song performance in the New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura, a passerine resident year round in New Zealand temperate forests. We monitored breeding behavior and song over three years on Tiritiri Matangi Island. Female bellbirds contributed significantly more towards parental care than males (solely incubating young and provisioning chicks at more than twice the rate of males. Female song rate in the vicinity of the nest was higher than that of males during incubation and chick-rearing stages but similar during early-nesting and post-breeding stages. Using GLMs, we found that female song rates during both incubation and chick-rearing stages strongly predicted the number of fledged chicks. However, male song rate and male and female chick provisioning rates had no effect on fledging success. Two measures of female song complexity (number of syllable types and the number of transitions between different syllable types were also good predictors of breeding success (GLM on PC scores. In contrast, song duration, the total number of syllables, and the number of ‘stutter’ syllables per song were not correlated with fledging success. It is unclear why male song rate was not associated with reproductive success and we speculate that extra-pair paternity might play a role. While we have previously demonstrated that female bellbird song is important in intrasexual interactions, we clearly demonstrate here that female song predicts reproductive success. These results, with others

  17. Colony Development and Reproductive Success of Bumblebees in an Urban Gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chatura Vaidya

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Approximately 35% of all crop production is dependent on animal-mediated pollination. Many wild bee species are declining rapidly across North America and Europe, a potential consequence of land-use change driven by agricultural intensification and urbanization. In this study we assessed the impact of urbanization on the reproductive success and population growth rate of bumblebees in an urbanization gradient. We placed experimental nests in ten sites; all except one were community gardens, ranging from a 0–99% degree of urbanization. Reproductive success and colony size were positively correlated with cumulative weight gain of the nests (p < 0.05. We did not find an effect of urbanization on the population growth rate of the nests or on forager activity (p > 0.05. Growth rate was strongly negatively affected by the abundance of wax moth larvae (p < 0.05 and positively correlated with parasite diversity (p < 0.05 and the number of foragers entering the nest (p < 0.01. With this study we show that not only bottom-up but also top-down effects are equally important for pollinator population dynamics.

  18. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroder, S.L.; Pearsons, T.N. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA); Knudsen, C.M. (Oncorh Consulting, Olympia, WA)

    2006-05-01

    Reproductive success in wild- and first generation hatchery-origin spring Chinook males was examined by allowing the fish to compete for spawning opportunities in two sections of an observation stream. Behavioral observations were used to characterize the frequency of aggression and courting activities. Microsatellite DNA from each male and fry collected from the observation stream were used in pedigree analyses to estimate reproductive success. The coefficient of variation in male reproductive success equaled 116 and 86% in the two populations. No differences were detected in reproductive success due to hatchery or wild origin. Nor were any behavioral differences found between hatchery and wild males. Although statistical power was low due to intrinsic variation a great deal of overlap existed in the reproductive success values of hatchery and wild males. Significant disparities existed among the males on their ability to produce offspring. Males achieving high reproductive success mated with numerous females, were socially dominant, aggressive, and tended to stay in localized areas, courting and spawning with females that were adjacent to one another.

  19. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds (presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide‐use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg ...

  20. Local anthropogenic contamination affects the fecundity and reproductive success of an Arctic amphipod

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bach, L.; Fischer, A.; Strand, J.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigates whether adaptation to life in contaminated Arctic areas carries a cost for the populations in terms of reduced fecundity and reproductive success. The benthic amphipod, Orchomenella pinguis occurs in huge densities in both clean and contaminated sites. O. pinguis was

  1. Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology and assisted reproductive technology in the United States: a 2016 update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toner, James P; Coddington, Charles C; Doody, Kevin; Van Voorhis, Brad; Seifer, David B; Ball, G David; Luke, Barbara; Wantman, Ethan

    2016-09-01

    The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) was established within a few years of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the United States, and has not only reported on the evolution of infertility care, but also guided it toward improved success and safety. Moving beyond its initial role as a registry, SART has expanded its role to include quality assurance, data validation, practice and advertising guidelines, research, patient education and advocacy, and membership support. The success of ART in this country has greatly benefited from SART's role, as highlighted by a series of graphs. SART continues to set the standard and lead the way. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Do phytoseiid mites select the best prey species in terms of reproductive success?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Sabelis, M.W.; Jong, de M.; Alers, M.P.T.

    1990-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators prefer those prey species that are most rewarding in terms of reproductive success, which is dependent on prey quality and prey availability. To investigate which selection pressures may have moulded prey preference in an acarine system consisting of

  3. Estimating differential reproductive success from nests of related individuals, with application to a study of the Mottled Sculpin, Cottus bairdi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatrix Jones; Gary D. Grossman; Daniel C.I. Walsh; Brady A. Porter; John C. Avise; Anthony C. Flumera

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how variation in reproductive success is related to demography is a critical component in understanding the life history of an organism. Parentage analysis using molecular markers can be used to estimate the reproductive success of different groups of individuals in natural populations. Previous models have been developed for cases where offspring are...

  4. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire W Varian-Ramos

    Full Text Available Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive

  5. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  6. Reproduction in female yaks (Bos grunniens) and opportunities for improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zi, Xiang-Dong

    2003-03-01

    This paper reviews seasonal breeding, puberty, postpartum anestrus, embryonic loss and calf survival and their constraints in female yaks. Methods for improving fertility in postpartum yak cows are also considered. Yaks are seasonal breeders with mating and conception restricted in the warm season. Puberty generally occurs in the 2nd to the 4th warm season following birth, i.e. between 13 and 36 months of age. The cows usually have a long postpartum anestrus period; only a small proportion of the cows return to estrus in the 1st breeding season after calving, most come into estrus in the 2nd and 3rd years. Nutritional status is the most important determinant of reproduction in female yaks. Reproductive success is a direct result of the availability of pasture determined by climate, season, and management practices. Milking delays puberty by reducing milk intake (restricted suckling) and growth rate for the calf. Milking interferes with grazing and prolongs the duration of postpartum acyclicity in cows. Calves born early in the season have a longer suckling season than those born later in the season before the onset of winter. Thus, they can have their first cycle in the breeding season of the following year, while those born late in the season may not have their first estrus until 25 or 26 months of age. Cows calving early in the season are more likely to return to estrus in the year of calving because they have a longer period to recover from the demand on body reserves before the onset of winter. Inbreeding in smallholder yak farms is also discussed and minimizing inbreeding by exchanging bulls among different herds is suggested. Reproductive efficiency can be improved by nutritional supplementation during the winter, however, the most cost-effective and practical strategy for this needs to be determined. Early weaning or restricted suckling may shorten the duration of postpartum acyclicity, however, it is impractical due to reduced growth rates and increased

  7. Effects of individual quality, reproductive success and environmental variability on survival of a long-lived seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescroël, Amélie; Dugger, Katie M; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G

    2009-07-01

    1. Heterogeneity in individual quality (i.e. individuals having different performance levels that are consistent throughout life) can drive the demography of iteroparous species, but quality in the context of environmental variability has rarely been evaluated. 2. We investigated the demographic responses of a long-lived seabird, the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), to contrasting environmental conditions as a function of reproductive success, breeding quality (BQ) and experience. A continuous index of BQ (BQI) was developed to reflect an individual's ability, relative to others, to produce viable offspring. 3. First, we assessed the relative importance of costs of reproduction vs. heterogeneity in quality by comparing survival and reproductive probabilities among deferred, successful and unsuccessful breeders under 'demanding' conditions using multistate capture-mark-recapture modelling. Then, we quantified the influence of BQI on adult survival among experienced breeders vs. the whole study population under both 'normal' and 'demanding' conditions. 4. Higher survival rates were exhibited by successful (74-76%) compared to unsuccessful breeders (64%); the former also more frequently reproduced successfully at year t + 1. 5. From 1997 to 2006, adult survival ranged from 64-79%, with BQI accounting for 91% of variability in the entire study population, but only 17% in experienced breeders. The weakened relationship between BQI and survival in experienced breeders supports the theory that selection during the first reproductive event accounts for a more homogeneous pool of experienced breeders. 6. No significant effect of environmental covariates on survival was evident, suggesting that what appeared to be demanding conditions were within the range that could be buffered by this species. 7. For the first time in seabirds, a quadratic relationship between adult survival and BQI showed that adult survival is shaped by both heterogeneity in quality and reproductive

  8. Cell and genetic predictors of human blastocyst hatching success in assisted reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syrkasheva, Anastasiya G; Dolgushina, Nataliya V; Romanov, Andrey Yu; Burmenskaya, Olga V; Makarova, Nataliya P; Ibragimova, Espet O; Kalinina, Elena A; Sukhikh, Gennady T

    2017-10-01

    The aim was to identify cell and genetic predictors of human blastocyst hatching success in assisted reproduction programmes via a prospective case-control study. Blastocysts, donated by couples in assisted reproduction programmes were used. Hatching success assessment was performed after 144-146 h post-fertilization. The mRNA expression levels of cathepsin V (CTSV), GATA-binding protein 3 (GATA3) and human chorionic gonadotropin beta subunit 3, 5, 7 and 8 (CGB) genes were detected by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The odds ratio (OR) of hatching due to zona pellucida (ZP) thickness, oocyte and sperm quality, embryo quality and mRNA expression of CTSV, GATA3 and CGB genes in blastocysts was determined. From 62 blastocysts included in the study, 47 (75.8%) were unable to hatch spontaneously. The ZP thickening, and oocyte and sperm quality did not affect human blastocyst ability to hatch, except the combination of cytoplasmic and extracytoplasmic oocyte dysmorphisms (OR = 1.25; 95% confidence interval = 1.08, 1.45). Hatching-capable blastocysts had higher Gardner scale grade and mRNA expression of CTSV, GATA3 and CGB genes than hatching-incapable blastocysts. The human blastocyst hatching success depends on the blastocyst Gardner grade, but not on ZP and gamete quality. Blastocyst development was regulated by CTSV, GATA3 and CGB gene expression.

  9. The success factors of scaling-up Estonian sexual and reproductive health youth clinic network--from a grassroots initiative to a national programme 1991-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempers, Jari; Ketting, Evert; Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman; Raudsepp, Triin

    2015-01-08

    A growing number of middle-income countries are scaling up youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health pilot projects to national level programmes. Yet, there are few case studies on successful national level scale-up of such programmes. Estonia is an excellent example of scale-up of a small grassroots adolescent sexual and reproductive health initiative to a national programme, which most likely contributed to improved adolescent sexual and reproductive health outcomes. This study; (1) documents the scale-up process of the Estonian youth clinic network 1991-2013, and (2) analyses factors that contributed to the successful scale-up. This research provides policy makers and programme managers with new insights to success factors of the scale-up, that can be used to support planning, implementation and scale-up of adolescent sexual and reproductive health programmes in other countries. Information on the scale-up process and success factors were collected by conducting a literature review and interviewing key stakeholders. The findings were analysed using the WHO-ExpandNet framework, which provides a step-by-step process approach for design, implementation and assessment of the results of scaling-up health innovations. The scale-up was divided into two main phases: (1) planning the scale-up strategy 1991-1995 and (2) managing the scaling-up 1996-2013. The planning phase analysed innovation, user organizations (youth clinics), environment and resource team (a national NGO and international assistance). The managing phase examines strategic choices, advocacy, organization, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning and management of the scale-up. The main factors that contributed to the successful scale-up in Estonia were: (1) favourable social and political climate, (2) clear demonstrated need for the adolescent services, (3) a national professional organization that advocated, coordinated and represented the youth clinics, (4) enthusiasm

  10. Florivory and nectar-robbing perforations in flowers of pointleaf manzanita Arctostaphylos pungens (Ericaceae) and their effects on plant reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliyahu, Dorit; McCall, Andrew C; Lauck, Marina; Trakhtenbrot, Ana

    2015-12-01

    Damage to petals may have varying effects on the reproductive success of the plant. The variation may depend on the kind of damage to the corolla. Whether the damage is limited to the corolla, as is usually the case with nectar-robbing perforations, or extending to the reproductive parts of the flower, as in the case of florivory holes, might determine the extent of the effect on the plant's reproduction. We examined the various perforations in the flowers of Arctostaphylos pungens and correlated their presence with fruiting success. We found that though florivory holes were highly associated with damage to reproductive parts, fruiting success did not differ significantly between flowers with the two kinds of damage. Although nectar-robbing perforations were not associated with reduced number of fruit produced, they were significantly correlated with reduced number of fruit that contained seemingly viable seeds. The implications of our findings are discussed in the context of pollination and antagonism.

  11. Bateman's Principle in Cooperatively Breeding Vertebrates: The Effects of Non-breeding Alloparents on Variability in Female and Male Reproductive Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauber, Mark E; Lacey, Eileen A

    2005-11-01

    The sex-specific slopes of Bateman's gradients have important implications for understanding animal mating systems, including patterns of sexual selection and reproductive competition. Intersexual differences in the fitness benefits derived from mating with multiple partners are expected to yield distinct patterns of reproductive success for males and females, with variance in direct fitness predicted to be greater among males. These analyses assume that typically all adults are reproductive and that failure to produce offspring is non-adaptive. Among some species of cooperatively breeding birds and mammals, however, non-breeding adult alloparents are common and may comprise the majority of individuals in social groups. The presence of a large number of non-breeding adults, particularly when coupled with greater social suppression of reproduction among females, may alter the relative variance in direct fitness between the sexes, thereby generating an apparent contradiction to Bateman's Paradigm. To explore quantitatively the effects of non-breeding alloparents on variance in reproductive success, we used genetic estimates of parentage and reproductive success drawn from the literature to calculate the relative variability in direct fitness for females and males in alloparental and "other" societies of birds and mammals. Our analyses indicate that in mammals and, to a lesser extent, in birds, variability in direct fitness is greater among females in species characterized by the presence of non-breeding alloparents. These data suggest that social interactions, including social suppression of reproduction, are powerful determinants of individual direct fitness that may modify sex-specific patterns of reproductive variance from those described by Bateman.

  12. Exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during sexual development causes the feminization/demasculinization of the reproductive traits and a reduction in the reproductive success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Hua; Li, Yun; Wang, Wei; Wu, Peng; Ru, Shaoguo, E-mail: rusg@ouc.edu.cn

    2012-09-01

    Monocrotophos is a highly toxic organophosphorus pesticide that has been confirmed to be an endocrine‐disrupting chemical. To evaluate the influence of this pollutant on the reproductive system of male fish, we studied the sex steroid levels, reproductive traits, sex ratio, and reproductive success in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) exposed to 40% monocrotophos pesticide at the nominal concentrations of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L for 90 days from birth to adulthood in a semi‐static exposure system. Radioimmunoassay and western blot analyses demonstrated that the long‐term exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during the sexual development of male guppies caused a significant increase in 17β‐estradiol levels and consequently induced vitellogenin synthesis, suggesting the feminization of the males. Monocrotophos pesticide also caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which consequently inhibited testis growth and reduced the sperm count and the area and intensity of their sexually attractive orange spots, which collectively indicated the significant demasculinization of the male sexual characteristics. Furthermore, these changes in the sexual characteristics at the cellular and organ levels translated into ecologically important effects on the reproductive success at the individual level, as measured by a decrease in offspring production and survival rate. The present study provides the first evidence that monocrotophos pesticide can cause severe reproductive abnormalities in fish due to its endocrine‐disrupting action. -- Highlights: ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused an increase in 17β‐estradiol levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide induced vitellogenin synthesis of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a decrease in testosterone levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused demasculinization of male sexual characteristics. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a reduction in reproductive success of male

  13. Exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during sexual development causes the feminization/demasculinization of the reproductive traits and a reduction in the reproductive success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tian, Hua; Li, Yun; Wang, Wei; Wu, Peng; Ru, Shaoguo

    2012-01-01

    Monocrotophos is a highly toxic organophosphorus pesticide that has been confirmed to be an endocrine‐disrupting chemical. To evaluate the influence of this pollutant on the reproductive system of male fish, we studied the sex steroid levels, reproductive traits, sex ratio, and reproductive success in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) exposed to 40% monocrotophos pesticide at the nominal concentrations of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L for 90 days from birth to adulthood in a semi‐static exposure system. Radioimmunoassay and western blot analyses demonstrated that the long‐term exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during the sexual development of male guppies caused a significant increase in 17β‐estradiol levels and consequently induced vitellogenin synthesis, suggesting the feminization of the males. Monocrotophos pesticide also caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which consequently inhibited testis growth and reduced the sperm count and the area and intensity of their sexually attractive orange spots, which collectively indicated the significant demasculinization of the male sexual characteristics. Furthermore, these changes in the sexual characteristics at the cellular and organ levels translated into ecologically important effects on the reproductive success at the individual level, as measured by a decrease in offspring production and survival rate. The present study provides the first evidence that monocrotophos pesticide can cause severe reproductive abnormalities in fish due to its endocrine‐disrupting action. -- Highlights: ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused an increase in 17β‐estradiol levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide induced vitellogenin synthesis of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a decrease in testosterone levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused demasculinization of male sexual characteristics. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a reduction in reproductive success of male

  14. Frequency-dependence of mating success in Poeciliopsis monacha (Pisces, Cyprinodontiformes reproductive complex, Sonora, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lima Neuza Rejane Wille

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available A diversity of all-female fishes of the genus Poeciliopsis coexists with their sexual ancestor species in streams of western Mexico. All-females are hybrids that depend on the sperm of paternal species to reproduce. Rare-female advantage is one of several hypotheses that attempt to explain how the diversity of all-female biotypes is maintained within the Poeciliopsis reproductive complexes. According to this hypothesis, the uncommon all-female biotype has a mating advantage over the common ones and has been maintained by a dynamic equilibrium process. In the P. monacha reproductive complex at Arroyo de los Platanos the density of two all-female biotypes (P. 2monacha-lucida I and II varies across pools. The objective of this study was to analyse fecundity and mating success of females from this arroyo to test the hypothesis. Female mating success was inversely correlated to their density, supporting this hypothesis.

  15. Age-specific reproductive success in a long-lived bird: do older parents resist stress better?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelier, Frederic; Moe, Børge; Weimerskirch, Henri; Chastel, Olivier

    2007-11-01

    In many vertebrates, reproductive performance increases with advancing age but mechanisms involved in such a pattern remain poorly studied. One potential mechanism may be the hormonal stress response, which shifts energy investment away from reproduction and redirects it towards survival. In birds, this stress response is achieved through a release of corticosterone and is also accompanied by a decrease in circulating prolactin, a hormone involved widely in regulating parental cares. It has been predicted that, when the value of the current reproduction is high relative to the value of future reproduction and survival, as it is expected to be in older adults, the stress response should be attenuated to ensure that reproduction is not inhibited. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the corticosterone and prolactin responses of known-age (8-36 years old) incubating snow petrels (Pagadroma nivea) to a standardized capture/handling stress protocol. We also investigated whether an attenuation of the stress responses will correlate with a lower occurrence of egg neglect, a frequently observed behaviour in snow petrels. The probability of successfully fledging a chick increased from 6 years to 12 years before stabilizing after 12 years of age. Corticosterone response to stress was unaffected by age. Prolactin response to stress, however, was influenced clearly by age: in both sexes older breeders had higher stress-induced prolactin levels than younger ones. This was due to an increasing attenuation of the prolactin response to stress with advancing age in females, and in males this was due to a probably higher intrinsic capacity of older males to secrete prolactin. Moreover, higher stress-induced prolactin levels were correlated with a lower probability of neglecting the egg. In young breeders, the combination of a robust corticosterone increase with a lower ability to maintain prolactin secretion during acute stress is probably one of the functional causes of their

  16. Reproductive success in a natural population of male three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus: effects of nuptial colour, parasites and body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparkes, T C; Rush, V; Kopp, D A; Foster, S A

    2013-05-01

    The effects of nuptial colour, parasites and body size on reproductive success were examined in a natural population of three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus. Reproductive males were collected, with the contents of their nests, during the embryo-guarding stage from Lynne Lake (Cook Inlet, Alaska, U.S.A.), and nuptial colour, infection status and body size were recorded. Regression analysis revealed that male body size was the only predictor, of those measured, of reproductive success in nature. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  17. Steelhead Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success, 2008 Annul Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatch, Douglas R. [Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

    2009-04-02

    Iteroparity, the ability to repeat spawn, is a natural life history strategy that is expressed by some species from the family Salmonidae. Current rates of observed steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss iteroparity rates in the Columbia River Basin are severely depressed due to anthropogenic development which includes operation of the hydropower system and other habitat degradations. Artificial reconditioning, which is the process of culturing post-spawned fish (kelts) in a captive environment until they are able to reinitiate feeding, growth, and redevelop mature gonads, is evaluated in this study as method to restore depressed steelhead populations. To test the efficacy of steelhead kelt reconditioning as a management and recovery tool different scenarios were investigated ranging from very low intensity (collect and transport fish) to high intensity (collect and feed fish in captivity until rematuration). Examinations of gamete and progeny viability were performed for first-time spawners and reconditioned kelt steelhead. We have continued to examine reproductive success of reconditioned kelt steelhead in Omak Creek using microsatellite loci to perform parentage analysis on juvenile O. mykiss . The groundwork has also begun on developing a genetic analysis of the Yakima subbasin in order to determine steelhead kelt contribution by utilizing parentage analysis on a larger scale. A research and study plan has been developed cooperatively with the University of Idaho to determine the feasibility of steelhead kelt reconditioning program in the Snake River Basin. Analysis of management scenarios indicated that while no-term and short-term reconditioned kelts continue to perform well outmigrating to the ocean but returns from these groups have been low ranging from 0-12% during 2002-2008. Survival (56%) of fish in the long-term treatment in 2008 was the highest we have observed in this project. Analyzing the three different management scenarios within the Yakima River subbasin

  18. The impact of climatic variations on the reproductive success of Gentiana lutea L. in a Mediterranean mountain area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuena-Lombraña, Alba; Fois, Mauro; Fenu, Giuseppe; Cogoni, Donatella; Bacchetta, Gianluigi

    2018-03-01

    Increases in temperature have been predicted and reported for the Mediterranean mountain ranges due to global warming and this phenomenon is expected to have profound consequences on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We hereby present the case of Gentiana lutea L. subsp. lutea, a rhizomatous long-lived plant living in Central-Southern Europe, which is at the edge of its ecological and distributional range in Sardinia. Concretely, we analysed the reproductive success experienced during three phenological cycles (2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016) in four representative populations, with particular attention to the phenological cycle of 2014/2015, which has been recorded as one of the warmest periods of the last decades. The Smirnov-Grubbs test was used to evaluate differences in temperature and precipitation regimes among historical data and the analysed years, while the Kruskal-Wallis followed by the Wilcoxon test was used to measure differences between anthesis and reproductive performances among cycles and populations. In addition, generalised linear models were carried out to check relationships between climate variables and reproductive performance. Significant differences among climate variables and analysed cycles were highlighted, especially for maximum and mean temperatures. Such variations determined a non-flowering stage in two of the four analysed populations in 2014/2015 and significant differences of further five reproductive traits among cycles. These results confirmed that in current unstable climatic conditions, which are particularly evident in seasonal climates, reproductive success can be a sensitive and easily observable indicator of climatic anomalies. Considering the importance of this issue and the ease and cost-effectiveness of reproductive success monitoring, we argue that research in this sense can be a supporting tool for the enhancement of future crucial targets such as biodiversity conservation and the mitigation of global

  19. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    James E. Garabedian; Christopher E. Moorman; M. Nils Peterson; John C. Kilgo

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides...

  20. Oil collecting bees and Byrsonima cydoniifolia A. Juss. (Malpighiaceae interactions: the prevalence of long-distance cross pollination driving reproductive success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MORGANA S. SAZAN

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Oil-collecting bees are the natural pollinators of oil-flower plants, but little is known about the pollination process and the effectiveness of their pollination service to the reproductive success of their host plants. In species of Byrsonima the reproductive system have been described as auto-compatible or self-incompatible. We studied the reproductive system of Byrsonima cydoniifolia, the fructification by means of short, medium and long-distance cross pollinations, the morphology and floral biology and the pollination interactions with species of oil-collecting bees. By means of controlled pollinations we found self-incompatibility caused by abortion of most self-pollinated flowers and demonstrated that the prevailing cross pollination ensuring the reproductive success of B. cydoniifolia is the long-distance cross pollination and Centridini bees; Epicharis nigrita, particularly, are the pollinators promoting the gene flow between genetically distinct populations.

  1. Effects of two-age management and clearcutting on songbird density and reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery V. Nichols; Petra Bohall Wood

    1995-01-01

    We examined density and reproductive success of passerine species on 7 uncut forest stands and on 12 stands harvested 10-14 years ago on the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia (6 clearcut stands and 6 stands harvested using 2-age management). In 2-age management, stands resemble a shelterwood cut with 10-30 overstory trees/acre left uncut. Uncut periphery...

  2. Why do some women prefer submissive men? Hierarchically disparate couples reach higher reproductive success in European urban humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozifkova, Eva; Konvicka, Martin; Flegr, Jaroslav

    2014-01-01

    Equality between partners is considering a feature of the functional partnerships in westernized societies. However, the evolutionary consequences of how in-pair hierarchy influences reproduction are less known. Attraction of some high-ranking women towards low-ranking men represents a puzzle. Young urban adults (120 men, 171 women) filled out a questionnaire focused on their sexual preference for higher or lower ranking partners, their future in-pair hierarchy, and hierarchy between their parents. Human pairs with a hierarchic disparity between partners conceive more offspring than pairs of equally-ranking individuals, who, in turn, conceive more offspring than pairs of two dominating partners. Importantly, the higher reproductive success of hierarchically disparate pairs holds, regardless of which sex, male or female, is the dominant one. In addition, the subjects preferring hierarchy disparity in partnerships were with greater probability sexually aroused by such disparity, suggesting that both the partnership preference and the triggers of sexual arousal may reflect a mating strategy. These results challenge the frequently held belief in within-pair equality as a trademark of functional partnerships. It rather appears that existence of some disparity improves within-pair cohesion, facilitating both cooperation between partners and improving the pairs' ability to face societal challenges. The parallel existence of submissivity-dominance hierarchies within human sexes allows for the parallel existence of alternative reproductive strategies, and may form a background for the diversity of mating systems observed in human societies. Arousal of overemphasized dominance/submissiveness may explain sadomasochistic sex, still little understood from the evolutionary psychology point of view.

  3. Nectar robbing positively influences the reproductive success of Tecomella undulata (Bignoniaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Vineet Kumar; Barman, Chandan; Tandon, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    The net consequence of nectar robbing on reproductive success of plants is usually negative and the positive effect is rarely produced. We evaluated the influence of nectar robbing on the behaviour of pollinators and the reproductive success of Tecomella undulata (Bignoniaceae) in a natural population. Experimental pollinations showed that the trees were strictly self-incompatible. The three types of floral colour morphs of the tree viz. red, orange and yellow, lacked compatibility barriers. The pollinators (Pycnonotus cafer and Pycnonotus leucotis) and the robber (Nectarinia asiatica) showed equal preference for all the morphs, as they visited each morph with nearly equal frequency and flower-handling time. The sunbirds caused up to 60% nectar robbing, mostly (99%) by piercing through the corolla tube. Although nectar is replenished at regular intervals, insufficient amount of nectar compelled the pollinators to visit additional trees in bloom. Data of manual nectar robbing from the entire tree showed that the pollinators covered lower number of flowers per tree (5 flowers/tree) and more trees per bout (7 trees/bout) than the unrobbed ones (19 flowers/tree and 2 trees bout). The robbed trees set a significantly greater amount of fruits than the unrobbed trees. However, the number of seeds in a fruit did not differ significantly. The study shows that plant-pollinator-robber interaction may benefit the self-incompatible plant species under conditions that increases the visits of pollinators among the compatible conspecifics in a population.

  4. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  5. Pollination limitation to reproductive success in the Missouri evening primrose, Oenothera macrocarpa (Onagraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody-Weis, J M; Heywood, J S

    2001-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation may result in plant populations that are less attractive to pollinators and thus susceptible to reduced reproductive output due to pollination limitation. Pollination limitation was investigated in three Missouri populations of Oenothera macrocarpa, a hawk-moth-pollinated, perennial herb. The populations represented extremes in size and habitat quality. Following supplemental pollination, mean fertilization success (proportion of ovules fertilized) across populations increased from 24.3 to 44.8% and mean seed set (proportion of ovules that matured into seed) increased from 14.7 to 27.9%. These increases were statistically significant in two of the three populations. Failure to achieve 100% fertilization and seed set following supplementation indicates that other factors, in addition to pollination, were limiting to female reproductive success. Fruit set was pollination limited in only one population. Fruits matured with as few as one seed, suggesting that fruit set was not resource limited. The degree of pollination limitation was greatest in the most disturbed population. The population located in the highest-quality habitat was not significantly pollination limited. This suggests that pollination limitation is occurring, at least in part, because of reduced pollinator activity in degraded habitats.

  6. Plant fertilization: maximizing reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dresselhaus, Thomas; Sprunck, Stefanie

    2012-06-19

    Sperm competition does not occur in flowering plants as typically only a single pair of sperm cells is delivered for double fertilization. Two recent reports show that plants are capable of avoiding reproductive failure when defective sperm cells are released. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Effects of dietary uranium on reproductive endpoints--fecundity, survival, reproductive success--of the fish Danio rerio.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Olivier; Mottin, Elmina; Geffroy, Benjamin; Hinton, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to metal-contaminated water has been shown to result in a number of reproductive abnormalities in adult and larvae fish, such as failure of oocyte maturation and teratogenic effects. Recently, dietary uptake of metals by fish has been recognized as a critical route of exposure, however, the mechanisms of metal uptake and toxicity are poorly understood and in need of further investigation. The objectives of the present study are to quantify uranium (U dietary transfers from spiked artificial diets) in Danio rerio tissues and embryos, as well as establish its effect on reproduction and embryonic development. Uranium's environmental prominence is currently increasing because of new mining and milling activities. Uranium concentrations range from 0.02 µg/L in natural waters to 2 mg/L. The focus of this study was to examine the trophic transfer and effects of U following exposure modalities (dose, exposure duration 1 to 20 d). Two different isotopes were used to distinguish between chemical and radioactivity toxicity of U. Results showed that U trophic transfer was low (0.52%). Uranium tissue distributions showed that accumulation occurred in digestive organs (liver, digestive tract) following dietary exposure. High levels of U were measured in the gonads (female in particular, >20% of relative burden). High U accumulation levels in eggs indicated maternal transfer of the contaminant. Moreover, U trophic exposure led to a reduction in reproduction success as a function of U accumulated levels. High U exposure conditions strongly reduced the total number of eggs (50%) and their viability at 10 d (reduction of the clutch number, low quality of eggs). © 2010 SETAC.

  8. Quality of information about success rates provided on assisted reproductive technology clinic websites in Australia and New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarberg, Karin; Prentice, Tess; Purcell, Isabelle; Johnson, Louise

    2018-06-01

    Many factors influence the chance of having a baby with assisted reproductive technologies (ART). A 2016 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation concluded that ART clinics needed to improve the quality of information they provide about chance of ART success. To evaluate changes in the quality of information about success rates provided on the websites of ART clinics in Australia and New Zealand before and after the ACCC investigation. Desktop audits of websites of ART clinics in Australia and New Zealand were conducted in 2016 and 2017 and available information about success rates was scored using a matrix with eight variables and a possible range of scores of 0-9. Of the 54 clinic websites identified in 2016, 32 had unique information and were eligible to be audited. Of these, 29 were also eligible to be audited in 2017. While there was a slight improvement in the mean score from 2016 to 2017 (4.93-5.28), this was not statistically significantly different. Of the 29 clinics, 14 had the same score on both occasions, 10 had a higher and five a lower information quality score in 2017. To allow people who consider ART to make informed decisions about treatment they need comprehensive and accurate information about what treatment entails and what the likely outcomes are. As measured by a scoring matrix, most ART clinics had not improved the quality of the information about success rates following the ACCC investigation. © 2017 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

  9. Diet composition and provisioning rates of nestlings determine reproductive success in a subtropical seabird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Juliet S.; Jodice, Patrick G. R.; Satgé, Yvan G.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how both quality and quantity of prey affect the population dynamics of marine predators is a crucial step toward predicting the effects of environmental perturbations on population-level processes. The Junk Food Hypothesis, which posits that energetic content of prey species may influence reproductive capacity of marine top predators regardless of prey availability, has been proposed as a mechanism by which changes in prey populations could affect predator populations in high latitude systems; however, support for this hypothesis has been inconsistent across studies, and further data are needed to elucidate variation in the relative importance of prey quantity and quality, both among predator species and across ecological systems. We tested the relative importance of prey quantity and quality to nestling survival in the eastern brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis across 9 breeding colonies in the northern Gulf of Mexico that varied in underlying availability of a key prey resource, the Gulf menhaden Brevoortia patronus. Both feeding frequency and meal mass were significantly correlated to energy provisioning rates and nestling survival, while energy density of meals had little effect on either metric. Compared to previous results from cold-water systems, we found lower and less variable energy densities (4.4 kJ g-1, vs. 5.2 to 6.5 kJ g-1 in other studies) and lipid content (9% dry mass, vs. 16 to 23% in other studies) of common prey items. While Gulf menhaden was the most common prey species at all colonies, the proportion of menhaden fed to nestlings varied and was not strongly correlated to fledging success. We conclude that quantity rather than quality of prey, particularly small schooling fish, is the main driver of brown pelican reproductive success in this system, and that environmental perturbations affecting biomass, distribution, and abundance of forage fish could substantially affect brown pelican reproductive success.

  10. Behavior and reproductive success of Rock Sandpipers breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta, Alaska

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johnson, Matthew; Conklin, J.R.; Johnson, Branden; McCaffery, Brian J.; Haig, Susan M.; Walters, Jeffrey R.

    2009-01-01

    We studied Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) breeding behavior and monitored reproductive success from 1998 to 2005 on the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta, Alaska, USA. We banded 24 adults and monitored 45 nests. Annual return rate of adults ranged between 67 and 100%. Six pairs of Rock Sandpipers

  11. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success

  12. Avian reproductive physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, G.F.; Gibbons, Edward F.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Demarest, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Knowledge of the many physiological factors associated with egg production , fertility, incubation, and brooding in nondomestic birds is limited. Science knows even less about reproduction in most of the 238 endangered or threatened birds. This discussion uses studies of nondomestic and, when necessary, domestic birds to describe physiological control of reproduction. Studies of the few nondomestic avian species show large variation in physiological control of reproduction. Aviculturists, in order to successfully propagate an endangered bird, must understand the bird's reproductive peculiarities. First, investigators can do studies with carefully chosen surrogate species, but eventually they need to confirm the results in the target endangered bird. Studies of reproduction in nondomestic birds increased in the last decade. Still, scientists need to do more comparative studies to understand the mechanisms that control reproduction in birds. New technologies are making it possible to study reproductive physiology of nondomestic species in less limiting ways. These technologies include telemetry to collect information without inducing stress on captives (Howey et al., 1987; Klugman, 1987), new tests for most of the humoral factors associated with reproduction, and the skill to collect small samples and manipulate birds without disrupting the physiological mechanisms (Bercovitz et al., 1985). Managers are using knowledge from these studies to improve propagation in zoological parks, private and public propagation facilities, and research institutions. Researchers need to study the control of ovulation, egg formation, and oviposition in the species of nondomestic birds that lay very few eggs in a season, hold eggs in the oviduct for longer intervals, or differ in other ways from the more thoroughly studied domestic birds. Other techniques that would enhance propagation for nondomestlc birds include tissue culture of cloned embryonic cells, cryopreservation of embryos

  13. Male reproductive health and yoga

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pallav Sengupta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Now-a-days reproductive health problems along with infertility in male is very often observed. Various Assisted Reproductive Technologies have been introduced to solve the problem, but common people cannot afford the cost of such procedures. Various ayurvedic and other alternative medicines, along with regular yoga practice are proven to be not only effective to enhance the reproductive health in men to produce a successful pregnancy, but also to regulate sexual desire in men who practice celibacy. Yoga is reported to reduce stress and anxiety, improve autonomic functions by triggering neurohormonal mechanisms by the suppression of sympathetic activity, and even, today, several reports suggested regular yoga practice from childhood is beneficial for reproductive health. In this regard the present review is aimed to provide all the necessary information regarding the effectiveness of yoga practice to have a better reproductive health and to prevent infertility.

  14. Prolactin is related to individual differences in parental behavior and reproductive success in a biparental passerine, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

    Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Reproductive Success and Inbreeding Differ in Fragmented Populations of Pinus rzedowskii and Pinus ayacahuite var. veitchii, Two Endemic Mexican Pines under Threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paty Castilleja Sánchez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Seed production, quality, germination and seedling establishment are indicators of reproductive success in conifers. Monitoring of these parameters is essential to determine the viability of populations for the purposes of conservation. We analyze cone and seed traits as indicators of reproductive success in the endangered Rzedowski´s pine (Pinus rzedowskii (Madrigal et Caballero and near-threatened veitchii pine (Pinus ayacahuite var. veitchii (Shaw in west-central Michoacán, Mexico. These traits were systematically quantified and their variation assessed using Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs. We found that the reproductive success of Rzedowski’s pine seems to be critical, presenting low seed efficiency (17.10%, germination (5.0% and seedling establishment (27.7%, with high levels of inbreeding (0.79. In contrast, veitchii pine presents moderate seed efficiency (54.9%, high germination (71.5% and seedling establishment (84%–97% and low inbreeding (0.33. Reproductive indicators differed significantly among zones and populations for each species, where fragment sizes mainly affected seed production and efficiency. This result indicates that fragmentation has played a more important role in the reproductive success of Rzedowski’s pine than in veitchii pine, perhaps by limiting pollen flow among zones and populations and producing higher levels of inbreeding and lower seed efficiency in the former species. We propose a conservation strategy for these important pine species in order to increase their long-term genetic viability.

  16. The red-cockaded woodpecker on the Savannah River Site: Aspects of reproductive success.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnston, Peter A; Imm, Donald, W.; Jarvis, William L

    2004-12-31

    Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 5. Status and Trends of Populations. Pp 224-229. Abstract: The red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) population on the Savannah River Site has been closely monitored and studied over the last 17 years. In 1985, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station was given responsibility to study and manage this population in an effort to prevent its extirpation. In December 1985, there were only 4 individuals on the site: 1 pair and 2 solitary males. The population had increased to a total of 175 individuals in 42 active clusters in 2002. Although this represents a very successful recovery effort, there has been substantial annual variation in nesting survival from banding to fledging. Data were analyzed to more completely understand the factors affecting reproduction. No significant effects of age of the breeding male and female, years paired, number of helpers, habitat quality, number of nestings, and time of nest initiation were found when comparing reproductive success in 117 nesting attempts from 1999 to 2002. However, the number of neighboring groups had a direct effect on mortality rates, possibly demonstrating the importance of cluster spacing.

  17. Female song rates in response to simulated intruder are positively related to reproductive success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristal E Cain

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bird song is well studied in males as a sexually selected behavior. However, although song is also common among females, it is infrequently examined and poorly understood. Research suggests that song is often used as a resource defense behavior and is important in female-female competition for limited resources, e.g. mates and territories. If so, song should be positively related to fitness and related to other resource defense behaviors, but this possibility has rarely been explored. Here we examine fitness estimates in relation to spontaneous song rates and song rates in response to a simulated intruder (playback, in the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus, a cooperatively breeding songbird. We also determine how song rates relate to other territorial defense behaviors. Song rate in response to playback, but not spontaneous song rate, was positively related to nest success and the number of fledglings produced by successful females. Further, response song rate was also correlated with other territorial defense behaviors (latency to respond and flights. This evidence supports the hypothesis that female song may be used in the context of female-female competition to improve access to limited reproductive resources, and suggests that song may provide direct fitness benefits.

  18. The effect of female quality on male ejaculatory expenditure and reproductive success in a praying mantid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anuradhi Jayaweera

    Full Text Available Strategic ejaculation is a behavioural strategy shown by many animals as a response to sperm competition and/or as a potential mechanism of cryptic male choice. Males invest more mating resources when the risk of sperm competition increases or they invest more in high quality females to maximize their reproductive output. We tested this hypothesis in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata, where females are capable of multiply mating and body condition is an indicator of potential reproductive fitness. We predicted male mantids would ejaculate strategically by allocating more sperm to high quality females. To determine if and how males alter their ejaculate in response to mate quality, we manipulated female food quantity so that females were either in good condition with many eggs (i.e. high quality or poor condition with few eggs (i.e. low quality. Half of the females from each treatment were used in mating trials in which transferred sperm was counted before fertilisation occurred and the other half of females were used in mating trials where fertilisation occurred and ootheca mass and total eggs in the ootheca were recorded. Opposed to our predictions, the total number of sperm and the proportion of viable sperm transferred did not vary significantly between female treatments. Male reproductive success was entirely dependent on female quality/fecundity, rather than on the number of sperm transferred. These results suggest that female quality is not a major factor influencing postcopulatory male mating strategies in P. albofimbriata, and that sperm number has little effect on male reproductive success in a single mating scenario.

  19. Florivory and nectar-robbing perforations in flowers of pointleaf manzanita Arctostaphylos pungens (Ericaceae) and their effects on plant reproductive success

    OpenAIRE

    Eliyahu, Dorit; McCall, Andrew C.; Lauck, Marina; Trakhtenbrot, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Damage to petals may have varying effects on the reproductive success of the plant. The variation may depend on the kind of damage to the corolla. Whether the damage is limited to the corolla, as is usually the case with nectar-robbing perforations, or extending to the reproductive parts of the flower, as in the case of florivory holes, might determine the extent of the effect on the plant's reproduction. We examined the various perforations in the flowers of Arctostaphylos pungens and correl...

  20. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

    Full Text Available Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010-2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus. Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds.

  1. Reproductive success of Horned Lark and McCown's Longspur in relation to wind energy infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, Anika; Chalfoun, Anna D.

    2016-01-01

    Wind energy is a rapidly expanding industry with potential indirect effects to wildlife populations that are largely unexplored. In 2011 and 2012, we monitored 211 nests of 2 grassland songbirds, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at 3 wind farms and 2 undeveloped reference sites in Wyoming, USA. We evaluated several indices of reproductive investment and success: clutch size, size-adjusted nestling mass, daily nest survival rate, and number of fledglings. We compared reproductive success between wind farms and undeveloped sites and modeled reproductive success within wind farms as a function of wind energy infrastructure and habitat. Size-adjusted nestling mass of Horned Lark was weakly negatively related to turbine density. In 2011, nest survival of Horned Lark decreased 55% as turbine density increased from 10 to 39 within 2 km of the nest. In 2012, however, nest survival of Horned Lark was best predicted by the combination of vegetation height, distance to shrub edge, and turbine density, with survival increasing weakly with increasing vegetation height. McCown's Longspur nest survival was weakly positively related to vegetation density at the nest site when considered with the amount of grassland habitat in the neighborhood and turbine density within 1 km of the nest. Habitat and distance to infrastructure did not explain clutch size or number of fledglings for either species, or size-adjusted nestling mass for McCown's Longspur. Our results suggest that the influence of wind energy infrastructure varies temporally and by species, even among species using similar habitats. Turbine density was repeatedly the most informative measure of wind energy development. Turbine density could influence wildlife responses to wind energy production and may become increasingly important to consider as development continues in areas with high-quality wind resources.

  2. Application of video recording technology to improve husbandry and reproduction in the carmine bee-eater (Merops n. nubicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrie, Gina M; Sky, Christy; Schutz, Paul J; Quinones, Glorieli; Breeding, Shawnlei; Plasse, Chelle; Leighty, Katherine A; Bettinger, Tammie L

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating technology with research is becoming increasingly important to enhance animal welfare in zoological settings. Video technology is used in the management of avian populations to facilitate efficient information collection on aspects of avian reproduction that are impractical or impossible to obtain through direct observation. Disney's Animal Kingdom(®) maintains a successful breeding colony of Northern carmine bee-eaters. This African species is a cavity nester, making their nesting behavior difficult to study and manage in an ex situ setting. After initial research focused on developing a suitable nesting environment, our goal was to continue developing methods to improve reproductive success and increase likelihood of chicks fledging. We installed infrared bullet cameras in five nest boxes and connected them to a digital video recording system, with data recorded continuously through the breeding season. We then scored and summarized nesting behaviors. Using remote video methods of observation provided much insight into the behavior of the birds in the colony's nest boxes. We observed aggression between birds during the egg-laying period, and therefore immediately removed all of the eggs for artificial incubation which completely eliminated egg breakage. We also used observations of adult feeding behavior to refine chick hand-rearing diet and practices. Although many video recording configurations have been summarized and evaluated in various reviews, we found success with the digital video recorder and infrared cameras described here. Applying emerging technologies to cavity nesting avian species is a necessary addition to improving management in and sustainability of zoo avian populations. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Effect of local x-irradiation on mice reproduction in two successive generations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strel'nikova, N.K.; Lisenkova, L.N.

    1978-01-01

    For an experimental assessment of the biologic effectiveness of a single exposure to local irradiation exposure in simulating the conditions of exposure in X ray studies, an experiment was carried out on white mice. Mice of two successive generations were exposed to local X irradiation in the eye region. The radiation was found to bring about changes in the reproductive function (such as sterility, reduced litter size and fertility of females); these changes being dose-dependent in a nonlinear manner. The biologic effect of irradiation was greater in the second-generation mice

  4. Reproductive glycogenetics--a critical factor in pregnancy success and species hybridisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, C J P; Aplin, J D

    2009-03-01

    Hybridisation occurs rarely in nature and experiments using interspecific transfer of embryos generally result in implantation failure. Here we show that appropriate glycosylation of the apposing surfaces of endometrium and trophoblast probably is an important factor and may play a critical role in pregnancy success. Examination of closely related species shows that each has its own specific pattern of glycosylation, or glycotype, at the fetomaternal interface and that interacting surfaces appear to show complementarity, suggesting the existence of a glycocode. Studies on a camel/llama hybrid show that for successful implantation to occur, a hybrid must have a placental glycosylation pattern similar to that of the host species, suggesting that the glycocode and appropriate glycosylation may be critical factors in the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. This new field of reproductive glycogenetics is not only relevant to the development of new species but may also have important implications in the area of human fertility.

  5. Elephant reproduction: improvement of breeding efficiency and development of a breeding strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thitaram, C.

    2009-01-01

    The efficiency of reproduction of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) has become of major concern. Captive breeding programs worldwide have met with limited success and few ex situ elephant populations are self-sustaining. The low birth rate and high mortality cause the captive population to

  6. Applying ultrasonographic evaluation of antral follicle count to improve reproductive management in heifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultrasonography is a powerful technology that can be used to improve reproductive management in heifers. By counting the number of antral follicles observed on an ultrasound screen the practitioner can gather additional information when reproductive tract scoring, because the number of antral folli...

  7. Pollinators shift to nectar robbers when florivory occurs, with effects on reproductive success in Iris bulleyana (Iridaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Z-M; Jin, X-F; Wang, Q-F; Yang, C-F; Inouye, D W

    2017-09-01

    Studies have indicated that florivory and nectar robbing may reduce reproductive success of host plants. However, whether and how these effects might interact when plants are simultaneously attacked by both florivores and nectar robbers still needs further investigation. We used Iris bulleyana to detect the interactions among florivory, nectar robbing and pollination, and moreover, their effects on plant reproductive success. Field investigations and hand-pollination treatments were conducted on two experimental plots from a natural population, in which Experimental plot was protected from florivores and Control plot was not manipulated. The flower calyx was bitten by sawflies to consume the nectary, and three bumblebee species were pollinators. In addition, the short-tongued pollinator, Bombus friseanus, was the only robber when there was a hole made by a sawfly. The bumblebee had significantly shortened flower handling time when robbing, as compared to legitimate visits. Pollinator visitation and seed production decreased significantly in damaged flowers. However, seed production per flower after supplementary hand-pollination did not differ significantly between damaged and undamaged flowers. Compared to the Experimental plot, bumblebees visited fewer flowers per plant in a foraging bout in the Control plot. The flowers damaged by florivory allowed B. friseanus to shift to a nectar robber. Florivory and nectar robbing collectively decreased plant reproductive success by consuming nectar resources, which may reduce attractiveness to pollinators of the damaged flowers. However, the changes in pollinator behaviour might be beneficial to the plant by reducing the risk of geitonogamous mating. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  8. Comparing the Sexual Reproductive Success of Two Exotic Trees Invading Spanish Riparian Forests vs. a Native Reference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabra-Rivas, Isabel; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    A widely accepted hypothesis in invasion ecology is that invasive species have higher survival through the early stages of establishment than do non-invasive species. In this study we explore the hypothesis that the sexual reproductive success of the invasive trees Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and Robinia pseudoacacia L. is higher than that of the native Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., all three species coexisting within the riparian forests of Central Spain. We compared different stages of the early life cycle, namely seed rain, seed infestation by insects, seed removal by local fauna, seed germination under optimal conditions and seedling abundance between the two invasive trees and the native, in order to assess their sexual reproductive success. The exotic species did not differ from the native reference (all three species displaying high seed rain and undergoing seed losses up to 50% due to seed removal by the local fauna). Even if the exotic R. pseudoacacia showed a high percentage of empty and insect-parasited seeds along with a low seedling emergence and the exotic A. altissima was the species with more viable seeds and of higher germinability, no differences were found regarding these variables when comparing them with the native F. angustifolia. Unsuitable conditions might have hampered either seedling emergence and survival, as seedling abundance in the field was lower than expected in all species -especially in R. pseudoacacia-. Our results rather suggest that the sexual reproductive success was not higher in the exotic trees than in the native reference, but studies focusing on long-term recruitment would help to shed light on this issue.

  9. Reproductive failure of the red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) after exposure to an exogenous estrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGree, M.M.; Winkelman, D.L.; Vieira, N.K.M.; Vajda, A.M.

    2010-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been detected in surface waters worldwide and can lead to developmental and reproductive disruption in exposed fishes. In the US Great Plains, EDCs are impacting streams and rivers and may be causing adverse reproductive effects. To examine how estrogenic EDCs might affect reproductive success of plains fishes, we experimentally exposed male red shiners (Cyprinella lutrensis) to exogenous 17b-estradiol. We characterized the effects of estradiol on male gonadal histology and secondary sexual characteristics, determined whether exposure reduced reproductive success, and examined the effects of depuration. Adults were exposed to a mean concentration of 70 ng L-1 estradiol, a solvent control, or a water control for at least 83 days. Male exposure to estradiol resulted in elevated plasma vitellogenin concentrations, changes in spermatogenesis, reduced mating coloration and tubercles, altered mating behaviors, and reduced reproductive success with no viable progeny produced. Reproductive endpoints improved upon depuration (28 days). Exposure to estradiol had significant adverse effects on red shiners, indicating that wild populations may face developmental and reproductive difficulties if they are chronically exposed to estradiol.

  10. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  11. Advancing a conceptual model to improve maternal health quality: The Person-Centered Care Framework for Reproductive Health Equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudhinaraset, May; Afulani, Patience; Diamond-Smith, Nadia; Bhattacharyya, Sanghita; Donnay, France; Montagu, Dominic

    2017-11-06

    Background: Globally, substantial health inequities exist with regard to maternal, newborn and reproductive health. Lack of access to good quality care-across its many dimensions-is a key factor driving these inequities. Significant global efforts have been made towards improving the quality of care within facilities for maternal and reproductive health. However, one critically overlooked aspect of quality improvement activities is person-centered care. Main body: The objective of this paper is to review existing literature and theories related to person-centered reproductive health care to develop a framework for improving the quality of reproductive health, particularly in low and middle-income countries. This paper proposes the Person-Centered Care Framework for Reproductive Health Equity, which describes three levels of interdependent contexts for women's reproductive health: societal and community determinants of health equity, women's health-seeking behaviors, and the quality of care within the walls of the facility. It lays out eight domains of person-centered care for maternal and reproductive health. Conclusions: Person-centered care has been shown to improve outcomes; yet, there is no consensus on definitions and measures in the area of women's reproductive health care. The proposed Framework reviews essential aspects of person-centered reproductive health care.

  12. Impacts of habitat alterations and predispersal seed predation on the reproductive success of Great Basin forbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Johnson

    2008-01-01

    Sexual reproductive success in wild plant populations is dependent upon the ability to bank seed for when environmental conditions favor seedling recruitment. Seed production in many plant populations requires the pollination services of local bee populations. A loss in bee diversity as a result of exotic plant invasion or revegetation practices which do not adequately...

  13. Influence of Nest Box Color and Release Sites on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) Reproductive Success in a Commercial Almond Orchard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artz, Derek R; Allan, Matthew J; Wardell, Gordon I; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2014-12-01

    Intensively managed, commercial orchards offer resources for managed solitary bees within agricultural landscapes and provide a means to study bee dispersal patterns, spatial movement, nest establishment, and reproduction. In 2012, we studied the impact of 1) the color of nest boxes covaried with four nest box density treatments and 2) the number of bee release sites covaried with two nest box density treatments on the reproductive success of Osmia lignaria Say in a California almond orchard pollinated by a mixture of O. lignaria and Apis mellifera L. Nest box color influenced the number of nests, total cells, and cells with male and female brood. More nests and cells were produced in light blue nest boxes than in orange or yellow nest boxes. The covariate nest box density also had a significant effect on brood production. The number of release sites did not affect O. lignaria nesting and reproduction, but the number of cavities in nest boxes influenced reproduction. Overall, the color of nest boxes and their distribution, but not the number of release sites, can greatly affect O. lignaria nest establishment and reproductive success in a commercial almond orchard. The ability to locate nesting sites in a homogenous, large orchard landscape may also be facilitated by the higher frequency of nest boxes with low numbers of cavities, and by the ability to detect certain nest box colors that best contrast with the blooming trees. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  14. Comparing the Sexual Reproductive Success of Two Exotic Trees Invading Spanish Riparian Forests vs. a Native Reference.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Cabra-Rivas

    Full Text Available A widely accepted hypothesis in invasion ecology is that invasive species have higher survival through the early stages of establishment than do non-invasive species. In this study we explore the hypothesis that the sexual reproductive success of the invasive trees Ailanthus altissima (Mill. Swingle and Robinia pseudoacacia L. is higher than that of the native Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., all three species coexisting within the riparian forests of Central Spain. We compared different stages of the early life cycle, namely seed rain, seed infestation by insects, seed removal by local fauna, seed germination under optimal conditions and seedling abundance between the two invasive trees and the native, in order to assess their sexual reproductive success. The exotic species did not differ from the native reference (all three species displaying high seed rain and undergoing seed losses up to 50% due to seed removal by the local fauna. Even if the exotic R. pseudoacacia showed a high percentage of empty and insect-parasited seeds along with a low seedling emergence and the exotic A. altissima was the species with more viable seeds and of higher germinability, no differences were found regarding these variables when comparing them with the native F. angustifolia. Unsuitable conditions might have hampered either seedling emergence and survival, as seedling abundance in the field was lower than expected in all species -especially in R. pseudoacacia-. Our results rather suggest that the sexual reproductive success was not higher in the exotic trees than in the native reference, but studies focusing on long-term recruitment would help to shed light on this issue.

  15. Cedar River Chinook genotypes - Estimate relative reproductive success of hatchery and wild fall Chinook salmon in the Cedar River

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We are using genetic pedigree information to estimate the reproductive success of hatchery and wild fall-run Chinook salmon spawning in the Cedar River, Washington....

  16. Does temperature-mediated reproductive success drive the direction of species displacement in two invasive species of leafminer fly?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haihong Wang

    Full Text Available Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae are two highly invasive species of leafmining flies, which have become established as pests of horticultural crops throughout the world. In certain regions where both species have been introduced, L. sativae has displaced L. trifolii, whereas the opposite has occurred in other regions. These opposing outcomes suggest that neither species is an inherently superior competitor. The regions where these displacements have been observed (southern China, Japan and western USA are climatically different. We determined whether temperature differentially affects the reproductive success of these species and therefore if climatic differences could affect the outcome of interspecific interactions where these species are sympatric. The results of life table parameters indicate that both species can develop successfully at all tested temperatures (20, 25, 31, 33°C. L. sativae had consistently higher fecundities at all temperatures, but L. trifolii developed to reproductive age faster. Age-stage specific survival rates were higher for L. sativae at low temperatures, but these were higher for L. trifolii at higher temperatures. We then compared the net reproductive rates (R0 for both species in pure and mixed cultures maintained at the same four constant temperatures. Both species had significantly lower net reproductive rates in mixed species cultures compared with their respective pure species cultures, indicating that both species are subject to intense interspecific competition. Net reproductive rates were significantly greater for L. sativae than for L. trifolii in mixed species groups at the lower temperatures, whereas the opposite occurred at the higher temperature. Therefore, interactions between the species are temperature dependent and small differences could shift the competitive balance between the species. These temperature mediated effects may contribute to the current ongoing displacement

  17. Reproductive health services in Malawi: an evaluation of a quality improvement intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawlins, Barbara J; Kim, Young-Mi; Rozario, Aleisha M; Bazant, Eva; Rashidi, Tambudzai; Bandazi, Sheila N; Kachale, Fannie; Sanghvi, Harshad; Noh, Jin Won

    2013-01-01

    this study was to evaluate the impact of a quality improvement initiative in Malawi on reproductive health service quality and related outcomes. (1) post-only quasi-experimental design comparing observed service quality at intervention and comparison health facilities, and (2) a time-series analysis of service statistics. sixteen of Malawi's 23 district hospitals, half of which had implemented the Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) intervention for reproductive health at the time of the study. a total of 98 reproductive health-care providers (mostly nurse-midwives) and 139 patients seeking family planning (FP), antenatal care (ANC), labour and delivery (L&D), or postnatal care (PNC) services. health facility teams implemented a performance and quality improvement (PQI) intervention over a 3-year period. Following an external observational assessment of service quality at baseline, facility teams analysed performance gaps, designed and implemented interventions to address weaknesses, and conducted quarterly internal assessments to assess progress. Facilities qualified for national recognition by complying with at least 80% of reproductive health clinical standards during an external verification assessment. key measures include facility readiness to provide quality care, observed health-care provider adherence to clinical performance standards during service delivery, and trends in service utilisation. intervention facilities were more likely than comparison facilities to have the needed infrastructure, equipment, supplies, and systems in place to offer reproductive health services. Observed quality of care was significantly higher at intervention than comparison facilities for PNC and FP. Compared with other providers, those at intervention facilities scored significantly higher on client assessment and diagnosis in three service areas, on clinical management and procedures in two service areas, and on counselling in one service area. Service statistics

  18. Sperm competition, but not major histocompatibility divergence, drives differential fertilization success between alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Helou, L; Pitcher, T E; Heath, J W; Heath, D D

    2018-01-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection processes, including sperm competition and cryptic female choice (CFC), can operate based on major histocompatibility (MH) genes. We investigated sperm competition between male alternative reproductive tactics [jack (sneaker) and hooknose (guard)] of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Using a full factorial design, we examined in vitro competitive fertilization success of paired jack and hooknose males at three time points after sperm activation (0, 15 and 60 s) to test for male competition, CFC and time effects on male fertilization success. We also examined egg-mediated CFC at two MH genes by examining both the relationship between competitive fertilization success and MH divergence as well as inheritance patterns of MH alleles in resulting offspring. We found that jacks sired more offspring than hooknose males at 0 s post-activation; however, jack fertilization success declined over time post-activation, suggesting a trade-off between sperm speed and longevity. Enhanced fertilization success of jacks (presumably via higher sperm quality) may serve to increase sneaker tactic competitiveness relative to dominant hooknose males. We also found evidence of egg-mediated CFC (i.e. female × male interaction) influencing competitive fertilization success; however, CFC was not acting on the MH genes as we found no relationship between fertilization success and MH II β 1 or MH I α 1 divergence and we found no deviations from Mendelian inheritance of MH alleles in the offspring. Our study provides insight into evolutionary mechanisms influencing variation in male mating success within alternative reproductive tactics, thus underscoring different strategies that males can adopt to attain success. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Size does matter: adolescent build and male reproductive success in the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schooling, C Mary; Jiang, Chaoqiang; Zhang, Weisen; Lam, Tai Hing; Cheng, Kar Keung; Leung, Gabriel M

    2011-01-01

    Women usually report attributes of masculinity as attractive. These are attributes are metabolically expensive. We examined the trade off of a key attribute of masculinity, muscularity, proxied by recalled adolescence build, with lifetime reproductive success in the developing country setting of Southern China. We used poisson multivariable regression in 19,168 older (≥ 50 years) Chinese from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (phases 2 and 3) to examine the sex-stratified, adjusted associations of recalled adolescent relative weight (light (n = 6730), average (n = 9344), and heavy (n = 3094)) with number of offspring. Among men, recalled heavy adolescent weight compared with light was associated with an incident rate ratio for offspring of 1.08 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.13) adjusted for age. This estimate was unchanged by adjustment for life course socio-economic position. There was no such association in women. Male physical attractiveness, possibly representing levels of testosterone, was rewarded by lifetime reproductive success, despite potential costs. Socio-economic development may facilitate an inevitable move toward environmentally driven higher levels of testosterone with corresponding public health implications for any conditions or societal attributes driven by testosterone. Further investigation is warranted. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. High corticosterone, not high energy cost, correlates with reproductive success in the burrow-nesting ancient murrelet.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiko Shoji

    Full Text Available Theory and observations suggest that offspring abandonment in animals may occur when the costs to future reproductive output of current reproductive effort outweigh the fitness benefits of rearing the current brood. While hormonal cues (i.e. corticosterone or energy reserves are believed to be involved, few studies have directly focused on the proximate cues influencing behaviours directly related to reproductive success. To address this information gap, we determined the incubation metabolic rates and corticosterone (CORT levels of naturally fasting and freely incubating ancient murrelets (Synthliboramphus antiquus. Respiratory quotient (RQ increased with date, suggesting that incubating ancient murrelets shifted from strictly lipid-based metabolism towards more protein-based metabolism as incubation progressed. Birds that hatched only one nestling had higher levels of circulating CORT than those which hatched two, suggesting that birds which laid only a single egg found incubation more stressful than those which laid two. However, CORT levels and incubation shift lengths were not correlated, suggesting that birds that undertook prolonged incubation shifts did so only when their energy stores were not jeopardized.

  1. Metabolomics as a tool to identify biomarkers to predict and improve outcomes in reproductive medicine: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracewell-Milnes, Timothy; Saso, Srdjan; Abdalla, Hossam; Nikolau, Dimitrios; Norman-Taylor, Julian; Johnson, Mark; Holmes, Elaine; Thum, Meen-Yau

    2017-11-01

    Infertility is a complex disorder with significant medical, psychological and financial consequences for patients. With live-birth rates per cycle below 30% and a drive from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to encourage single embryo transfer, there is significant research in different areas aiming to improve success rates of fertility treatments. One such area is investigating the causes of infertility at a molecular level, and metabolomics techniques provide a platform for studying relevant biofluids in the reproductive tract. The aim of this systematic review is to examine the recent findings for the potential application of metabolomics to female reproduction, specifically to the metabolomics of follicular fluid (FF), embryo culture medium (ECM) and endometrial fluid. To our knowledge no other systematic review has investigated this topic. English peer-reviewed journals on PubMed, Science Direct, SciFinder, were systematically searched for studies investigating metabolomics and the female reproductive tract with no time restriction set for publications. Studies were assessed for quality using the risk of bias assessment and ROBIN-I. There were 21 studies that met the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. Metabolomic studies have been employed for the compositional analysis of various biofluids in the female reproductive tract, including FF, ECM, blastocoele fluid and endometrial fluid. There is some weak evidence that metabolomics technologies studying ECM might be able to predict the viability of individual embryos and implantation rate better than standard embryo morphology, However these data were not supported by randomized the controlled trials (RCTs) which showed no evidence that using metabolomics is able to improve the most important reproductive outcomes, such as clinical pregnancy and live-birth rates. This systematic review provides guidance for future metabolomic studies on biofluids of the female

  2. Improving reproductive health in rural China through participatory planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Joan; Liu, Yunguo; Fang, Jing

    2012-01-01

    China's new health reform initiative aims to provide quality accessible health care to all, including remote rural populations, by 2020. Public health insurance coverage for the rural poor has increased, but rural women have fared worse because of lower status and lack of voice in shaping the services they need. Use of prenatal care, safe delivery and reproductive tract infections (RTIs) services is inadequate and service seeking for health problems remains lower for men. We present findings from a study of gender and health equity in rural China from 2002 to 2008 and offer recommendations from over a decade of applied research on reproductive health in rural China. Three studies, conducted in poor counties between 1994 and 2008, identified problems in access and pilot tested interventions and mechanisms to increase women's participation in health planning. They were done in conjunction with a World Bank programme and the global Gender and Health Equity Network (GHEN). Reproductive health service-seeking improved and the study interventions increased local government commitment to providing such services through new health insurance mechanisms. Findings from the studies were summarised into recommendations on gender and health for inclusion in new health reform efforts.

  3. Invited review: Recommendations for reporting intervention studies on reproductive performance in dairy cattle: Improving design, analysis, and interpretation of research on reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lean, Ian J; Lucy, Matthew C; McNamara, John P; Bradford, Barry J; Block, Elliot; Thomson, Jennifer M; Morton, John M; Celi, Pietro; Rabiee, Ahmad R; Santos, José E P; Thatcher, William W; LeBlanc, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    Abundant evidence from the medical, veterinary, and animal science literature demonstrates that there is substantial room for improvement of the clarity, completeness, and accuracy of reporting of intervention studies. More rigorous reporting guidelines are needed to improve the quality of data available for use in comparisons of outcomes (or meta-analyses) of multiple studies. Because of the diversity of factors that affect reproduction and the complexity of interactions between these, a systematic approach is required to design, conduct, and analyze basic and applied studies of dairy cattle reproduction. Greater consistency, clarity, completeness, and correctness of design and reporting will improve the value of each report and allow for greater depth of evaluation in meta-analyses. Each of these benefits will improve understanding and application of current knowledge and better identify questions that require additional modeling or primary research. The proposed guidelines and checklist will aid in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of intervention studies. We propose an adaptation of the REFLECT (Reporting Guidelines for Randomized Controlled Trials for Livestock and Food Safety) statement to provide guidelines and a checklist specific to reporting intervention studies in dairy cattle reproduction. Furthermore, we provide recommendations that will assist investigators to produce studies with greater internal and external validity that can more often be included in systematic reviews and global meta-analyses. Such studies will also assist the development of models to describe the physiology of reproduction. Copyright © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Sexual conflict over care : antagonistic effects of clutch desertion on reproductive success of male and female penduline tits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Szentirmai, I.; Szekely, T.; Komdeur, J.

    A fundamental tenet of sexual conflict theory is that one sex may increase its reproductive success (RS) even if this harms the other sex. Several studies supported this principle by showing that males benefit from reduced paternal care whereas females suffer from it. By investigating penduline tits

  5. Reproductive success of bromadiolone-resistant rats in absence of anticoagulant pressure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heiberg, Ann-Charlotte; Leirs, Herwig; Siegismund, Hans Redlef

    2006-01-01

    Resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides in brown rats (Rattus norvegicus Berk.) is associated with pleiotropic effects, notably with an increased dietary vitamin K requirement. Owing to this disadvantage, resistance is believed to be selected against if anticoagulant selection is absent. In small...... experimental populations of wild brown rats, an investigation was carried out to establish whether tolerance to anticoagulant exposure changed over a period of 2 years. In the same populations, DNA microsatellite markers were used to infer parentage, and this made it possible to estimate reproductive success...... of sensitive and resistant rats and estimate effective population size, Ne. Even though there was evidence for a selection against resistant rats with high vitamin K requirement, anticoagulant tolerance was not seen to be significantly influenced in the absence of bromadiolone selection. As the population size...

  6. [Nurses as a support to improve the quality of life during assisted reproduction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castells-Ayuso, Paula; Berenguer-Labaig, Cristina; Sánchez-Martín, Pascual; Sánchez-Martín, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to measure how infertility and assisted reproduction treatments (including artificial insemination) could affect the quality of life, and to evaluate how nurses could be helpful in this process, by alleviating anxiety and increasing the quality of life. A cross-sectional observational study was conducted on 48 patients (26 cycles) in an Assisted Reproduction Unit from 2nd December 2013 to 30th April 2014. Socio-demographic data were obtained, with the quality of life being assessed using the FertiQoL questionnaire before and after the treatment, and the consultations with a nurse by telephone or e-mail of these patients were also analyzed. The study results show a decreased quality of life in these patients, which was worse in men and in couples who had no previous children. Patient-centered care improved quality of life and tolerability to the assisted reproduction treatment. Patients frequently telephoned the nurse to solve their doubts and problems. The present study suggests that nurses can play an important role in improving the quality of life of patients undergoing assisted reproduction treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. Successful Oocyte Cryopreservation in Reproductive-Aged Cancer Survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Druckenmiller, Sarah; Goldman, Kara N; Labella, Patty A; Fino, M Elizabeth; Bazzocchi, Antonia; Noyes, Nicole

    2016-03-01

    To demonstrate that oocyte cryopreservation is a feasible reproductive option for patients with cancer of childbearing age who require gonadotoxic therapies. This study is a university-based retrospective review of reproductive-aged cancer patient treatment cycles that included ovarian stimulation, transvaginal oocyte retrieval, oocyte cryopreservation, and, in some cases, subsequent oocyte thaw, in vitro fertilization, and embryo transfer. Outcome measures included ovarian stimulation response, number of oocytes retrieved, cryopreserved, and thawed, and pregnancy data. From 2005 to 2014, 176 reproductive-aged patients with cancer (median age 31 years, interquartile range 24-36) completed 182 oocyte cryopreservation cycles. Median time between consult request and oocyte retrieval was 12 days (interquartile range 10-14). Median peak stimulation estradiol was 1,446 pg/mL (interquartile range 730-2,687); 15 (interquartile range 9-23) oocytes were retrieved and 10 (interquartile range 5-18) metaphase II oocytes were cryopreserved per cycle. Ten patients (11 cycles) have returned to attempt pregnancy with their cryopreserved oocytes. Among thawed oocytes, the cryopreservation survival rate was 86% (confidence interval [CI] 78-94%). Nine of 11 thaw cycles resulted in embryos suitable for transfer. The embryo implantation rate was 27% (CI 8-46%) and the live birth rate was 44% (CI 12-77%) per embryo transfer. Chance for live birth with embryos created from cryopreserved oocytes was similar between the patients with cancer in this study and noncancer patients who underwent the same treatment at our center (44% [CI 12-77%] compared with 33% [CI 22-44%] per embryo transfer). Oocyte cryopreservation is now a feasible fertility preservation option for reproductive-aged patients with cancer who require gonadotoxic therapies.

  8. Linking sex differences in corticosterone with individual reproductive behaviour and hatch success in two species of uniparental shorebirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Darryl B; Chin, Eunice H; Burness, Gary; Gilchrist, H Grant; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I

    2013-09-01

    In birds, corticosterone (CORT) appears to facilitate reproductive activity because baseline and stress-induced CORT levels are elevated in breeding individuals compared with other times of the year. In particular, CORT is lower in the sex providing most of the parental care (i.e., incubation), which could be an important adaptation to tolerate stressors that result in abandoning reproduction. Therefore, one explanation for sex differences in CORT is that lower levels are favoured during the incubation/parental phase of reproduction. Using two species of uniparental shorebird - polyandrous red phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) and polygynous white-rumped sandpipers (Calidris fuscicollis) - we predicted that the incubating sex would have lower baseline and stress-induced CORT, and incubating individuals with lower CORT would more effectively defend nests against a simulated intrusion, would return more quickly afterwards, and would ultimately have higher hatch success. We found that phalaropes followed the predicted pattern: incubating individuals (males) had lower baseline and stress-induced CORT than females but for baseline CORT these differences existed prior to males commencing incubation. Incubating male phalaropes with lower baseline and stress-induced CORT returned to incubate more quickly after a disturbance and there was non-significant tendency for baseline CORT to be lower in successful nests. In sandpipers, we observed no sex differences and no significant relationships between individual CORT levels and nest defence behaviours or hatch success. Our results demonstrate that in phalaropes at least, selection favours lower baseline and stress-induced CORT during the nesting period. These results can explain sex differences in stress-induced levels of CORT, however sex differences in baseline CORT were present prior to incubation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Male dominance and reproductive success in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muniz, Laura; Perry, Susan; Manson, Joseph H; Gilkenson, Hannah; Gros-Louis, Julie; Vigilant, Linda

    2010-12-01

    Theory and a growing body of empirical evidence suggest that higher ranking males experience reproductive advantages in group-living mammals. White-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) exhibit an interesting social system for investigating the relationship between dominance and reproductive success (RS) because they live in multimale multifemale social groups, in which the alpha males can have extraordinarily long tenures (i.e. they coreside with daughters of reproductive age). Genetic paternity was determined from fecal samples for 120 infants born into three social groups of wild C. capucinus at Lomas Barbudal Biological Reserve, Costa Rica. Alpha males produced far more offspring than expected by chance, and significantly high Nonac's B indices (a measure of deviation from a random distribution of RS among potentially breeding individuals) were a feature of six out of eight male tenures. The likelihood of the alpha male siring a particular offspring was predicted by the kin relationship between the mother and the alpha male, as well as the total number of males and females in the group. The almost complete lack of father-daughter inbreeding [Muniz et al., 2006] constitutes an impediment to alpha male reproductive monopolization in this population, particularly toward the end of long alpha male tenures. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. Use of progesterone radioimmunoassay techniques for improving reproduction performances in dary cattles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benyoucef, M.T.; Benabdelaziz, A.; Khelili, R.

    1990-07-01

    This report deals with the first measurements of progesterone, by radioimmunoassay (P4-PIA) in blood samples, to assess fertility in livestock (cattle) in Algeria, by improvement of the level of reproduction management. For this purpose, the results obtained throughout first analysis of P4 on a sample of 15 bovines females, composed by 12 heifers and 3 cows confirm the efficiency of the techniques in improving dary cattle reproduction performances. Ovarian activity can be determined for cows at the moment of post partum and for heifers before breeding as well as, pregnancy confirmation on breeding heifers. It is interesting to extend the experiments using these techniques to a higher number of livestocks (breeds and species) and to develop new research subjects in this field

  11. Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer goat doe. JA Erasmus, AJ Fourie, JJ Venter. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for ...

  12. Use of herd management programmes to improve the reproductive performance of dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, S; Heuer, C; Morton, J; Brownlie, T

    2014-05-01

    There has been a long history of herd health and production management programmes in many dairy industries around the world, but evidence for the efficacy of such programmes is limited. In response to a perceived decline in fertility of dairy cows, a herd reproductive management programme (InCalf) was introduced in New Zealand in 2007. This programme uses a management cycle approach that includes an assessment of the current herd status, identification of areas for improvement, development of a plan, implementation of this plan and finally a review process. The programme uses facilitators who work with farmers either in a one-to-one manner or in a formalised group setting that involves a series of meetings over a 12-month period (the farmer action group). The hypothesis that involvement in a reproductive management programme would improve herd reproductive performance was tested using a herd-level controlled randomised study (the National Herd Fertility Study) involving herds in four geographic regions of New Zealand over 2 years. Within each region, herds were ranked on the basis of the 6-week in-calf rate (i.e. the proportion of the herd pregnant in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal breeding programme) in the year preceding commencement of the study and then randomly assigned to be involved in a farmer action group or left as untreated controls. The key outcome variable of the study was the 6-week in-calf rate. Pregnancy diagnosis was undertaken at 12 weeks after the start of the seasonal breeding programme, which allowed determination of conception dates and hence calculation of the 6-week in-calf rate. Additional measurements including heifer live weight and body condition score (pre-calving and pre-mating) were undertaken to test whether treatment resulted in measurable changes in some of the key determinants of herd reproductive performance. Involvement in the farmer action group of InCalf resulted in a 2 percentage point increase in the 6-week in-calf rate

  13. Biological control of vaginosis to improve reproductive health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Mastromarino

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The human vaginal microbiota plays an important role in the maintenance of a woman′s health, as well as of her partner′s and newborns′. When this predominantly Lactobacillus community is disrupted, decreased in abundance and replaced by different anaerobes, bacterial vaginosis (BV may occur. BV is associated with ascending infections and obstetrical complications, such as chorioamnionitis and preterm delivery, as well as with urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. In BV the overgrowth of anaerobes produces noxious substances like polyamines and other compounds that trigger the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL-1 β and IL-8. BV can profoundly affect, with different mechanisms, all the phases of a woman′s life in relation to reproduction, before pregnancy, during fertilization, through and at the end of pregnancy. BV can directly affect fertility, since an ascending dissemination of the involved species may lead to tubal factor infertility. Moreover, the increased risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases contributes to damage to reproductive health. Exogenous strains of lactobacilli have been suggested as a means of re-establishing a normal healthy vaginal flora. Carefully selected probiotic strains can eliminate BV and also exert an antiviral effect, thus reducing viral load and preventing foetal and neonatal infection. The administration of beneficial microorganisms (probiotics can aid recovery from infection and restore and maintain a healthy vaginal ecosystem, thus improving female health also in relation to reproductive health.

  14. Growth and male reproduction improvement of non-thermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma treatment on chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao Zhang, Jiao; Luong Huynh, Do; Chandimali, Nisansala; Kang, Tae Yoon; Kim, Nameun; Mok, Young Sun; Kwon, Taeho; Jeong, Dong Kee

    2018-05-01

    This study investigated whether plasma treatment of fertilized eggs before hatching could affect the growth and reproduction of chickens. Three point five-day-incubated fertilized eggs exposed to non-thermal dielectric barrier discharge plasma at 2.81 W of power for 2 min resulted in the highest growth in chickens. Plasma growth-promoting effect was regulated by the reactive oxygen species homeostasis and the improvement of energy metabolism via increasing serum hormones and adenosine triphosphate levels which were resulted from the regulation of genes involved in antioxidant defense, hormone biosynthesis and energetic metabolism. Interestingly, plasma-treated male chickens conspicuously grew faster than females. Further, aspects of male reproductive system (testosterone level and sperm quality) were improved by the plasma treatment but female reproduction (estradiol and progesterone levels, egg-laying rate and egg weight) had no significant changes. Unfortunately, offspring whose parents were the optimal plasma-treated chickens did not show any difference on growth characteristics and failed to inherit excellent growth features from their parents. Our results suggest a new method to improve the growth rate and male reproductive capacity in poultry but it is only effective in the plasma direct-treated generation.

  15. [Melatonin secretion in women of advanced reproductive age].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ermolenko, K S; Rapoport, S I; Solov'eva, A V

    2013-01-01

    The patient's age is a key factor determining success of in vitro fertilization. The ovarian reserve and oocyte quality are known to decrease with age. Much attention has been given recently to the role of epiphysis and its hormone, melatonin, in synchronization of daily and seasonal biorhythms in anti-stress protection and neuroregulation of reproductive processes. The aim of our work was to study melatonin levels in infertile women of reproductive age. We also measured sex hormones, anti-Mullerian hormone, FSH, and LH in blood and melatonin sulfate in urine at 8 points (RIA). Women of advanced reproductive age showed markedly reduced melatonin secretion due to functional disorders in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Results of the study suggest the necessity of prescription of exogenous melatonin to the patients included in assisted reproduction programs for the improvement of their efficacy.

  16. An Experimental Test of a Causal Link between Problem-Solving Performance and Reproductive Success in Wild Great Tits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laure Cauchard

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have uncovered relationships between measures of various cognitive performances and proxies of fitness such as reproductive success in non-human animals. However, to better understand the evolution of cognition in the wild, we still have to determine the causality of these relationships and the underlying mechanisms. The cognitive ability of an individual may directly influence its ability to raise many and/or high quality young through for example its provisioning ability. Conversely, large and/or high quality broods may lead to high parental motivation to solve problems related to their care. To answer this question, we manipulated reproductive success through brood size and measured subsequent problem-solving performance in wild great tit parents. Our results show that brood size manipulation did not affect the probability to solve the task. Moreover, solver pairs fledged more young than non-solver pairs independently of brood size treatment in one of the two experimental years and they showed higher nestling provisioning rate in both years. Overall, it shows that problem-solving performance was not driven by motivation and suggest that problem-solvers may achieve higher fledging success through higher provisioning rates. Our study constitutes a first key step toward a mechanistic understanding of the consequences of innovation ability for individual fitness in the wild.

  17. Genotypic variation influences reproductive success and thermal stress tolerance in the reef building coral, Acropora palmata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baums, I. B.; Devlin-Durante, M. K.; Polato, N. R.; Xu, D.; Giri, S.; Altman, N. S.; Ruiz, D.; Parkinson, J. E.; Boulay, J. N.

    2013-09-01

    The branching coral Acropora palmata is a foundation species of Caribbean reefs that has been decimated in recent decades by anthropogenic and natural stressors. Declines in population density and genotypic diversity likely reduce successful sexual reproduction in this self-incompatible hermaphrodite and might impede recovery. We investigated variation among genotypes in larval development under thermally stressful conditions. Six two-parent crosses and three four-parent batches were reared under three temperatures and sampled over time. Fertilization rates differed widely with two-parent crosses having lower fertilization rates (5-56 %, mean 22 % ± 22 SD) than batches (from 31 to 87 %, mean 59 % ± 28 SD). Parentage analysis of larvae in batch cultures showed differences in gamete compatibility among parents, coinciding with significant variation in both sperm morphology and egg size. While all larval batches developed more rapidly at increased water temperatures, rate of progression through developmental stages varied among batches, as did swimming speed. Together, these results indicate that loss of genotypic diversity exacerbates already severe limitations in sexual reproductive success of A. palmata. Nevertheless, surviving parental genotypes produce larvae that do vary in their phenotypic response to thermal stress, with implications for adaptation, larval dispersal and population connectivity in the face of warming sea surface temperatures.

  18. Sense and nonsense in metabolic control of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jill E; Klingerman, Candice M; Abdulhay, Amir

    2012-01-01

    An exciting synergistic interaction occurs among researchers working at the interface of reproductive biology and energy homeostasis. Reproductive biologists benefit from the theories, experimental designs, and methodologies used by experts on energy homeostasis while they bring context and meaning to the study of energy homeostasis. There is a growing recognition that identification of candidate genes for obesity is little more than meaningless reductionism unless those genes and their expression are placed in a developmental, environmental, and evolutionary context. Reproductive biology provides this context because metabolic energy is the most important factor that controls reproductive success and gonadal hormones affect energy intake, storage, and expenditure. Reproductive hormone secretion changes during development, and reproductive success is key to evolutionary adaptation, the process that most likely molded the mechanisms that control energy balance. It is likely that by viewing energy intake, storage, and expenditure in the context of reproductive success, we will gain insight into human obesity, eating disorders, diabetes, and other pathologies related to fuel homeostasis. This review emphasizes the metabolic hypothesis: a sensory system monitors the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels and orchestrates behavioral motivation to optimize reproductive success in environments where energy availability fluctuates or is unpredictable.

  19. Fellowship training and board certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambone, Joseph C; Segars, James H; Cedars, Marcelle; Schlaff, William D

    2015-07-01

    Reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) is one of the original officially recognized subspecialties in obstetrics and gynecology and among the earlier subspecialties in medicine. Recognized by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1972, fellowship programs are now 3 years in length following an obstetrics and gynecology residency. Originally focused on endocrine problems related to reproductive function, the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have recently become the larger part of training during REI fellowships. It is likely that the subspecialty of REI strengthens the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology and enhances the educational experience of residents in the field. The value of training and certification in REI is most evident in the remarkable and consistent improvement in the success of ART procedures, particularly in vitro fertilization. The requirement for documented research activity during REI fellowships is likely to stimulate a more rapid adoption (translation) of newer research findings into clinical care after training. Although mandatory reporting of outcomes has been proposed as a reason for this improvement the rapid translation of reproductive research into clinical practice is likely to be a major cause. Looking forward, REI training should emphasize and strengthen education and research into the endocrine, environmental, and genetic aspects of female and male reproduction to improve the reproductive health and fertility of all women. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Does a voucher program improve reproductive health service delivery and access in Kenya?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njuki, Rebecca; Abuya, Timothy; Kimani, James; Kanya, Lucy; Korongo, Allan; Mukanya, Collins; Bracke, Piet; Bellows, Ben; Warren, Charlotte E

    2015-05-23

    Current assessments on Output-Based Aid (OBA) programs have paid limited attention to the experiences and perceptions of the healthcare providers and facility managers. This study examines the knowledge, attitudes, and experiences of healthcare providers and facility managers in the Kenya reproductive health output-based approach voucher program. A total of 69 in-depth interviews with healthcare providers and facility managers in 30 voucher accredited facilities were conducted. The study hypothesized that a voucher program would be associated with improvements in reproductive health service provision. Data were transcribed and analyzed by adopting a thematic framework analysis approach. A combination of inductive and deductive analysis was conducted based on previous research and project documents. Facility managers and providers viewed the RH-OBA program as a feasible system for increasing service utilization and improving quality of care. Perceived benefits of the program included stimulation of competition between facilities and capital investment in most facilities. Awareness of family planning (FP) and gender-based violence (GBV) recovery services voucher, however, remained lower than the maternal health voucher service. Relations between the voucher management agency and accredited facilities as well as existing health systems challenges affect program functions. Public and private sector healthcare providers and facility managers perceive value in the voucher program as a healthcare financing model. They recognize that it has the potential to significantly increase demand for reproductive health services, improve quality of care and reduce inequities in the use of reproductive health services. To improve program functioning going forward, there is need to ensure the benefit package and criteria for beneficiary identification are well understood and that the public facilities are permitted greater autonomy to utilize revenue generated from the voucher program.

  1. DNA alterations and effects on growth and reproduction in Daphnia magna during chronic exposure to gamma radiation over three successive generations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parisot, Florian; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Plaire, Delphine; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Alonzo, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We exposed three successive generations of Daphnia magna to chronic gamma radiation. • We examined DNA alterations and effects on survival, growth and reproduction. • DNA alterations were accumulated over a generation and transmitted to the progeny. • Effects on survival and reproduction, and delay in growth increased over generations. - Abstract: This study examined chronic effects of external Cs-137 gamma radiation on Daphnia magna exposed over three successive generations (F0, F1 and F2) to environmentally relevant dose rates (ranging from 0.007 to 35.4 mGy h −1 ). Investigated endpoints included survival, growth, reproduction and DNA alterations quantified using random-amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Results demonstrated that radiation effects on survival, growth and reproduction increased in severity from generation F0 to generation F2. Mortality after 21 days at 35.4 mGy h −1 increased from 20% in F0 to 30% in F2. Growth was affected by a slight reduction in maximum length at 35.4 mGy h −1 in F0 and by reductions of 5 and 13% in growth rate, respectively, at 4.70 and 35.4 mGy h −1 in F2. Reproduction was affected by a reduction of 19% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h −1 in F0 and by a delay of 1.9 days in brood release as low as 0.070 mGy h −1 in F2. In parallel, DNA alterations became significant at decreasing dose rates over the course of F0 (from 4.70 mGy h −1 at hatching to 0.007 mGy h −1 after ∼21 days) and from F0 to F2 (0.070 mGy h −1 at hatching to 0.007 mGy h −1 after ∼21 days), demonstrating their rapid accumulation in F0 daphnids and their transmission to offspring generations. Transiently more efficient DNA repair leading to some recovery at the organism level was suggested in F1, with no effect on survival, a slight reduction of 12% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h −1 and DNA alterations significant at highest dose rates only. The study improved our understanding of

  2. DNA alterations and effects on growth and reproduction in Daphnia magna during chronic exposure to gamma radiation over three successive generations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parisot, Florian [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, St Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France); Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul [UMR 5805 EPOC – OASU, Station marine d’Arcachon, Université Bordeaux 1, Arcachon 33120 (France); Plaire, Delphine; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, St Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France); Alonzo, Frédéric, E-mail: frederic.alonzo@irsn.fr [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, St Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France)

    2015-06-15

    Highlights: • We exposed three successive generations of Daphnia magna to chronic gamma radiation. • We examined DNA alterations and effects on survival, growth and reproduction. • DNA alterations were accumulated over a generation and transmitted to the progeny. • Effects on survival and reproduction, and delay in growth increased over generations. - Abstract: This study examined chronic effects of external Cs-137 gamma radiation on Daphnia magna exposed over three successive generations (F0, F1 and F2) to environmentally relevant dose rates (ranging from 0.007 to 35.4 mGy h{sup −1}). Investigated endpoints included survival, growth, reproduction and DNA alterations quantified using random-amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Results demonstrated that radiation effects on survival, growth and reproduction increased in severity from generation F0 to generation F2. Mortality after 21 days at 35.4 mGy h{sup −1} increased from 20% in F0 to 30% in F2. Growth was affected by a slight reduction in maximum length at 35.4 mGy h{sup −1} in F0 and by reductions of 5 and 13% in growth rate, respectively, at 4.70 and 35.4 mGy h{sup −1} in F2. Reproduction was affected by a reduction of 19% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h{sup −1} in F0 and by a delay of 1.9 days in brood release as low as 0.070 mGy h{sup −1} in F2. In parallel, DNA alterations became significant at decreasing dose rates over the course of F0 (from 4.70 mGy h{sup −1} at hatching to 0.007 mGy h{sup −1} after ∼21 days) and from F0 to F2 (0.070 mGy h{sup −1} at hatching to 0.007 mGy h{sup −1} after ∼21 days), demonstrating their rapid accumulation in F0 daphnids and their transmission to offspring generations. Transiently more efficient DNA repair leading to some recovery at the organism level was suggested in F1, with no effect on survival, a slight reduction of 12% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h{sup −1} and DNA alterations significant at highest

  3. Evaluation of the effect of implanted depleted uranium on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, and sperm velocity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arfsten, Darryl P.; Schaeffer, David J.; Johnson, Eric W.; Robert Cunningham, J.; Still, Kenneth R.; Wilfong, Erin R.

    2006-01-01

    Depleted uranium (DU) projectiles have been used in battle in Iraq and the Balkans and will continue to be a significant armor-penetrating munition for the US military. As demonstrated in the Persian Gulf War, battle injury from DU projectiles and shrapnel is a possibility, and removal of embedded DU fragments from the body is not always practical because of their location in the body or their small size. Previous studies in rodents have demonstrated that implanted DU mobilizes and translocates to the gonads, and natural uranium may be toxic to spermatazoa and the male reproductive tract. In this study, the effects of implanted DU pellets on sperm concentration, motility, and male reproductive success were evaluated in adult (P1) Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with 0, 12, or 20, DU pellets of 1x2 mm or 12 or 20 tantalum (Ta) steel pellets of 1x2 mm. Twenty DU pellets of 1x2 mm (760 mg) implanted in a 500-g rat are equal to approximately 0.2 pound of DU in a 154-lb (70-kg) person. Urinary analysis found that male rats implanted with DU were excreting uranium at postimplantation days 27 and 117 with the amount dependent on dose. No deaths or evidence of toxicity occurred in P1 males over the 150-day postimplantation study period. When assessed at postimplantation day 150, the concentration, motion, and velocity of sperm isolated from DU-implanted animals were not significantly different from those of sham surgery controls. Velocity and motion of sperm isolated from rats treated with the positive control compound α-chlorohydrin were significantly reduced compared with sham surgery controls. There was no evidence of a detrimental effect of DU implantation on mating success at 30-45 days and 120-145 days postimplantation. The results of this study suggest that implantation of up to 20 DU pellets of 1x2 mm in rats for approximately 21% of their adult lifespan does not have an adverse impact on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, or sperm velocity

  4. Effects of pulp and paper mill effluents on reproductive success of largemouth bass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepúlveda, Maria S; Quinn, Brian P; Denslow, Nancy D; Holm, Stewart E; Gross, Timothy S

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of bleached and unbleached kraft mill effluent on reproductive success of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Bass were exposed to effluent concentrations (0, 10, 20, 40, or 80%) for 28 and 56 d. Parameters measured included hepatosomatic index (HSI) and gonadosomatic index (GSI) and plasma concentrations of 17beta-estradiol (E2), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), and vitellogenin (VTG). At the end of the 56-d period, bass were moved to hatchery ponds to evaluate spawning success. Spawning mats with eggs either were brought indoors for evaluation of fecundities, hatchabilities, and egg and fry size (measured at age 3 d), or were left in ponds and fry number and size recorded (average age of 14 d). Effluent exposure was verified by measuring resin acids (isopimaric, abietic. and dehydroabietic acids) in bile. Compared to controls, exposed bass had greater concentrations of resin acids in bile. In general, exposed females had lower concentrations of E2 and VTG (> or = 20% effluent), whereas males had lower concentrations of 11-KT (> or = 20% effluent) and increased E2 (> or = 20% effluent). The HSI values increased in females (> or = 10% effluent), and GSI values decreased in both sexes (> or = 40% effluent). Fecundity, egg size, and hatchability did not differ across treatments, but an increase in the frequency of fry abnormalities and a decrease in fry weights was observed at effluent exposures of 40% and higher. However, results from the pond study, revealed a significant reduction in fry growth and survival (> or = 10%). This decline may have been caused by an increased frequency of deformities, in conjunction with alterations of growth. These changes could have resulted from alterations in egg quality because of failure of parental reproductive systems, from acute embryo toxicity after translocation of contaminants from the mother to the developing embryo, or from both.

  5. Individual variability in reproductive success determines winners and losers under ocean acidification: a case study with sea urchins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Peter; Havenhand, Jon N; Gillings, Michael R; Williamson, Jane E

    2012-01-01

    Climate change will lead to intense selection on many organisms, particularly during susceptible early life stages. To date, most studies on the likely biotic effects of climate change have focused on the mean responses of pooled groups of animals. Consequently, the extent to which inter-individual variation mediates different selection responses has not been tested. Investigating this variation is important, since some individuals may be preadapted to future climate scenarios. We examined the effect of CO(2)-induced pH changes ("ocean acidification") in sperm swimming behaviour on the fertilization success of the Australasian sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma, focusing on the responses of separate individuals and pairs. Acidification significantly decreased the proportion of motile sperm but had no effect on sperm swimming speed. Subsequent fertilization experiments showed strong inter-individual variation in responses to ocean acidification, ranging from a 44% decrease to a 14% increase in fertilization success. This was partly explained by the significant relationship between decreases in percent sperm motility and fertilization success at ΔpH = 0.3, but not at ΔpH = 0.5. The effects of ocean acidification on reproductive success varied markedly between individuals. Our results suggest that some individuals will exhibit enhanced fertilization success in acidified oceans, supporting the concept of 'winners' and 'losers' of climate change at an individual level. If these differences are heritable it is likely that ocean acidification will lead to selection against susceptible phenotypes as well as to rapid fixation of alleles that allow reproduction under more acidic conditions. This selection may ameliorate the biotic effects of climate change if taxa have sufficient extant genetic variation upon which selection can act.

  6. Are pharmacological interventions between conception and birth effective in improving reproductive outcomes in North American swine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessels, J M; Khalaj, K; Kridli, R T; Edwards, A K; Bidarimath, M; Tayade, C

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this review is to evaluate the effectiveness of using pharmacological compounds on reproductive outcomes, particularly litter size, in North American swine. While the opportunity to improve reproduction in North American pigs exists, numerous hurdles need to be overcome in order to achieve measureable results. In the swine industry, the majority of piglet losses are incurred during pregnancy and around farrowing. Over the last 20 years, a reduction in losses has been achieved through genetic selection and nutritional management; however, these topics are the focus of other reviews. This review will evaluate attempts to improve litter size by reducing losses at various stages of the reproductive process, from the time of conception to the time of farrowing, using pharmacological compounds. Generally, these compounds are used to either alter physiological processes related to fertilization, embryonic attachment or uterine capacity, etc., or to facilitate management aspects of the breeding females such as inducing parturition. Although some of the pharmacological agents reviewed here show some positive effects on improving reproductive parameters, the inconsistent results and associated risks usually outweigh the benefits gained. Thus, at the present time, the use of pharmacological agents to enhance reproduction in North American swine may only be recommended for herds with low fertility and presents an avenue of research that could be further explored. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Factors influencing breeding success, ovarian cyclicity, and cub survival in zoo-managed tigers (Panthera tigris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Sarah P; Harris, Tara; Traylor-Holzer, Kathy; Beck, Karen Goodrowe

    2014-01-10

    Understanding factors that influence reproduction and offspring survival in zoo populations is critical for management of threatened and endangered species. Examination of long-term data (1989-2011) compiled from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium's zoo-managed tiger breeding program provides the basis for a more thorough understanding of reproduction and scientifically based decisions for effective population management in this endangered felid. Biological and management-related factors that could influence tiger breeding success and cub survival were evaluated using logistic mixed models. Breeding success improved with female age until approximately age five, then declined thereafter. Experienced female breeders had greater breeding success than inexperienced females. Litter size was most predictive of cub survival, with average-sized litters (3-4 cubs) experiencing the highest proportional survival. Management-related factors, such as whether the breeding institution had a recent tiger litter and whether both animals were already located at the same institution, also influenced breeding success and cub survival. These results highlight the importance of institutional husbandry experience and the need to retain knowledge through staff turnovers to achieve optimal reproductive success. Using fecal estrogen data, frequency of ovarian cyclicity and mean cycle length did not differ by female age or parity; thus, lack of cyclicity and/or increased cycle duration are not likely explanations for declining breeding success with age. These results provide valuable reproductive information that should improve scientific management of zoo-based tiger populations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Reproductive performance and weaning success in fur-chewing chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, María G; Cantarelli, Verónica I; Ruiz, Rubén D; Fiol de Cuneo, Marta; Ponzio, Marina F

    2014-09-01

    In captive chinchillas, one of the most challenging behavioral problems is the development of a stress-related abnormal repetitive behavior (ARB) known as "fur-chewing". We investigated whether there is a relationship between the severity of fur-chewing behavior and reproductive function in male and female chinchillas. Regardless of the severity of abnormal behavior, fur-chewing males did not show significant differences in seminal quality (sperm concentration, motility and viability; integrity of sperm membrane and acrosome) and the response to the process of semen collection (the number of stimuli needed to achieve ejaculation) when compared to those with normal behavior. Also, females showing normal or fur-chewing behavior presented similar reproductive performance in terms of number of litters per female per year and litter size. However, pup survival rate was lower (p=0.05) in fur-chewing females than in normal females. These results seem to be consistent with data suggesting non-significant effects of ARBs on reproductive performance. Copyright © 2014 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  9. Does cooperation increase helpers' later success as breeders? A test of the skills hypothesis in the cooperatively displaying lance-tailed manakin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DuVal, Emily H

    2013-07-01

    Experience improves individual performance in many tasks. Pre-breeding cooperation may provide important experience that improves later success as a breeder, offering one compelling explanation for why some individuals delay reproduction to help others breed (the 'skills hypothesis'). However, confounding effects of age, quality and alternative selective benefits have complicated rigorous tests of this hypothesis. Male lance-tailed manakins perform cooperative courtship displays involving partnerships between unrelated alpha and beta males, and alphas monopolize resulting copulations. Beta males therefore do not receive immediate direct or indirect fitness benefits, but may gain skills during cooperation that increase their later success as an alpha. To date, however, the effect of cooperative experience on later success as a breeder has never been tested in any cooperatively displaying taxon. The effects of prior cooperative experience on reproductive success of alpha lance-tailed manakins were analysed in a mixed model framework using 12 years of information on cooperative experience and annual and lifetime genetic reproductive success for 57 alpha males. Models included previously identified effects of age and alpha tenure. Individual-level random effects controlled for quality differences to test for an independent influence of beta experience on success. Males accumulated up to 5 years of beta experience before becoming alphas, but 42·1% of alphas had no prior beta experience. Betas became alphas later in life, and experienced significantly lower reproductive success in their final year as alpha than males that were never beta, but did not have higher lifetime success or longer alpha tenures. Differences in patterns of annual siring success were best explained by age-dependent patterns of reproductive improvement and senescence among alphas, not beta experience. Cooperative experience does not increase relative breeding success for male lance-tailed manakins

  10. Nutritional stress in Northern gannets during an unprecedented low reproductive success year: can extreme sea surface temperature event and dietary change be the cause?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franci, Cynthia D; Vézina, François; Grégoire, François; Rail, Jean-François; Verreault, Jonathan

    2015-03-01

    Reproductive success of seabirds is tightly associated with availability of their prey for which the spatiotemporal distribution may be influenced by sea surface temperature (SST) fluctuations. The objective of this study was to investigate whether Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) from the largest colony in North America (Bonaventure Island, Quebec, Canada) were in negative nutritional state during the unprecedented low reproductive success year of 2012, and whether this was associated with changes in SST anomalies and diet. The incubation period of gannets in 2012 was characterized by a significant decline, from early to late incubation, in plasma triglyceride levels that was associated with an increase in plasma corticosterone levels. However, no changes in plasma glycerol and β-hydroxybutyrate levels were noted. SST anomalies recorded in this area (south of the Gulf of St. Lawrence) during the breeding period were consistently higher in 2012 compared to the previous year (a better reproductive success year). Based on signatures of stable carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) isotopes in gannet red blood cells and in whole fish homogenates of three major preys (mackerel, herring, and capelin), a minor dietary shift was noted between those years and incubation periods. In light of these findings, it is suggested that the extreme warm-water perturbation event that prevailed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during summer 2012 was associated with a rapid deterioration of nutritional condition of Bonaventure Island gannets during the incubation. These suboptimal physiological changes likely contributed to the dramatic decline in reproductive success reported in this colony. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Reproductive behavior of the great hornbill (Buceros bicornis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowski, Corinne P; Bauman, Karen L; Asa, Cheryl S

    2015-01-01

    Great hornbills (Buceros bicornis) are a long-lived, monogamous species that forms strong pair-bonds, and mate compatibility is thought to be important for successful reproduction. Within AZA, great hornbills are listed as a red SSP. The population consists of a limited number of individuals that do not breed reliably, and improving reproduction is a top priority for the Coraciiformes TAG. To better understand mating behavior and evaluate mate compatibility, this study documented the behavior of pairs of great hornbills during and immediately after courtship. Using live observations, the study followed one female, an experienced and successful breeder, as she was paired with four successive males over 11 breeding seasons. Initially, males frequently vocalized, investigated the nest, and approached the female. As the female spent more time in the nest, these behaviors were replaced by regurgitation and food offering. The female was most often observed plastering and vocalizing. Behavioral differences between successful and unsuccessful pairs, possibly indicative of pair compatibility, included rates of approaching, billing, and biting. Numerous behaviors occurred more frequently during years that a chick hatched, including pseudoregurgitation, regurgitation, offering food items, and nest investigation. Males also spent more time in proximity to both the female and the nest during years that a chick hatched. Together, these results suggest that the amount of time pairs spend in proximity, the amount of time a male spends near the nest, and the frequency of certain behaviors may help evaluate compatibility and the likelihood of successful reproduction for pairs of great hornbills. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Fertility preservation in reproductive age women with cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, Peter

    2014-12-01

    Cancer may be detected at any age and could affect children, and reproductive age women as well. In recent years, cancer treatment has become less destructive and more specific. As a result, survival rates and quality of life following successful treatment have continuously improved. Cancer treatment typically involves surgery, chemo- or radiation therapy, or the combinations of these. These interventions often adversely affect the function of the reproductive organs. Chemo- and radiation therapy are known to be gonadotoxic. Survivors of oncologic therapy are typically rendered infertile primarily due to the loss of ovarian function. There are, however, several medical, surgical, and assisted reproductive technology options that could be and should be offered to those diagnosed with cancer and wish to maintain their fertility. Embryo cryopreservation has been available for decades and has been successfully applied for fertility preservation in women diagnosed with cancer. Recent advances in cryobiology have increased the efficacy of not just embryo but even oocyte and ovarian tissue freezing-thawing. Oocyte vitrification just like embryo cryopreservation requires the use of stimulation but does not require the patient to be in a stable relationship or accept the use of donor sperm. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation does not require stimulation and, following successful transplantation, provides the patient with the most eggs but is currently still considered experimental. This paper summarizes the various fertility-sparing medical, surgical and assisted reproductive technology options. It reviews the current status of embryo, oocyte, and ovarian tissue cryopreservation and discusses their risks and benefits.

  13. Different pollinator assemblages ensure reproductive success of Cleisostoma linearilobatum (Orchidaceae) in fragmented holy hill forest and traditional tea garden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiang; Liu, Qiang; Han, Jessie Yc; Gao, JiangYun

    2016-02-24

    Orchids are generally recognized to have specialist pollination systems and low fruit set is often thought to be characteristic of the family. In this study, we investigated the reproductive ecology of Cleisostoma linearilobatum, an epiphytic tropical orchid, in a holy hill forest fragment and a traditional tea garden in SW China using comparable methods. C. linearilobatum is self-compatible and dependent on insects for pollination. Fruit production in natural conditions was both pollinator- and resource-limited. However, the natural fruit set remained stable over multiple years at both sites. Pollination observations showed that C. linearilobatum has a generalized pollination system and seven insect species were observed as legitimate pollinators. Although the visit frequencies of different pollinators were different in the two sites, the pollinator assemblages ensured reproductive success of C. linearilobatum in both study sites over multiple years. The results partly explain why C. linearilobatum is so successful in the area, and also suggest that holy hill forest fragments and traditional tea gardens in Xishuangbanna are important in preserving orchids, especially those with generalist pollination.

  14. The effect of female height on reproductive success is negative in Western populations, but more variable in non-Western populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, G.; Verhulst, S.; Pollet, T.V.; Buunk, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: In this article we examine the association between female height and reproductive success in a US sample and present a review of previous studies on this association. We also outline possible biological explanations for our findings. Methods: We used data from a long-term study of 5,326

  15. Seasonal patterns in reproductive success of temperate-breeding birds: Experimental tests of the date and quality hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harriman, Vanessa B; Dawson, Russell D; Bortolotti, Lauren E; Clark, Robert G

    2017-04-01

    For organisms in seasonal environments, individuals that breed earlier in the season regularly attain higher fitness than their late-breeding counterparts. Two primary hypotheses have been proposed to explain these patterns: The quality hypothesis contends that early breeders are of better phenotypic quality or breed on higher quality territories, whereas the date hypothesis predicts that seasonally declining reproductive success is a response to a seasonal deterioration in environmental quality. In birds, food availability is thought to drive deteriorating environmental conditions, but few experimental studies have demonstrated its importance while also controlling for parental quality. We tested predictions of the date hypothesis in tree swallows ( Tachycineta bicolor ) over two breeding seasons and in two locations within their breeding range in Canada. Nests were paired by clutch initiation date to control for parental quality, and we delayed the hatching date of one nest within each pair. Subsequently, brood sizes were manipulated to mimic changes in per capita food abundance, and we examined the effects of manipulations, as well as indices of environmental and parental quality, on nestling quality, fledging success, and return rates. Reduced reproductive success of late-breeding individuals was causally related to a seasonal decline in environmental quality. Declining insect biomass and enlarged brood sizes resulted in nestlings that were lighter, in poorer body condition, structurally smaller, had shorter and slower growing flight feathers and were less likely to survive to fledge. Our results provide evidence for the importance of food resources in mediating seasonal declines in offspring quality and survival.

  16. Life under Climate Change Scenarios: Sea Urchins’ Cellular Mechanisms for Reproductive Success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desislava Bögner

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ocean Acidification (OA represents a major field of research and increased efforts are being made to elucidate its repercussions on biota. Species survival is ensured by successful reproduction, which may be threatened under detrimental environmental conditions, such as OA acting in synergy with other climate change related stressors. Achieving successful gametogenesis, fertilization, and the development of larvae into healthy juveniles and adults is crucial for the perpetuation of species and, thus, ecosystems’ functionality. The considerable vulnerability of the abovementioned developmental stages to the adverse conditions that future OA may impose has been shown in many species, including sea urchins which are commonly used due to the feasibility of their maintenance in captivity and the great amount of gametes that a mature adult is able to produce. In the present review, the latest knowledge about the impact of OA on various stages of the life cycle of sea urchins is summarized with remarks on the possible impact of other stressors. The cellular physiology of the gametes before, at fertilization and, at early development, is extensively described with a focus on the complex enzymatic machinery and the intracellular pH (pHi and Ca2+ homeostasis for their vulnerability when facing adverse conditions such as acidification, temperature variations, or hypoxia.

  17. Do abundance and proximity of the alien Impatiens glandulifera affect pollination and reproductive success of two sympatric co-flowering native species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Laure Jacquemart

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In invasion ecology, potential impacts of aliens on native flora are still under debate. Our aim was to determine the pollinator mediated effects of both proximity and abundance of an alien species on the reproductive success of natives. We chose the highly invasive Impatiens glandulifera and two native species: Epilobium angustifolium and Aconitum napellus ssp. lusitanicum. These species share characteristics allowing for pollination interactions: similar biotopes, overlapping flowering periods and same main pollinators. The effects of abundance (5, 25 and 100 individuals and proximity (0 and 15 m of the alien on visitation rate, insect behaviour, pollen deposition and reproductive success of both natives were investigated during 2 flowering seasons. We used centred visitation rates as they can be directly interpreted as a positive or negative effect of the invasive.Both abundance and proximity of the alien increased bumblebee visitation rates to both natives. On the other hand, abundance of the exotic species had a slight negative effect on honeybee visits to natives while its proximity had no effect. The behaviour of bumblebees changed as visitors left significantly more often the native plants for I. glandulifera when its abundance increased. As a consequence of this “inconstancy”, bees deposited considerable quantities of alien pollen on native stigmas. Nevertheless, this interspecific pollen transfer did not decrease seed set in natives. Self-compatibility and high attractiveness of both native species probably alleviate the risk of altered pollinator services and reproductive success due to the invader in natural populations.

  18. Determinants of fertility and reproductive success after hysteroscopic septoplasty for women with unexplained primary infertility: a prospective analysis of 88 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shokeir, Tarek; Abdelshaheed, Mahmoud; El-Shafie, Mohamed; Sherif, Lotfy; Badawy, Ahmed

    2011-03-01

    To evaluate prospectively the effect of hysteroscopic septoplasty as therapy for unexplained primary infertility in women with uterine septum as a sole cause for reproductive failure and to define the factors influencing reproductive success. In a prospective comparative study, we enrolled 103 infertile women with uterine septum as a sole cause for reproductive failure. They had had unexplained primary infertility >2 years and a follow-up >12 months. Uterine anomalies were diagnosed by means of hysterosalpingography (HSG) and 2D-transvaginal sonography (TVS) with intrauterine saline infusion. Hysteroscopic septoplasty was performed in the early follicular phase. Pregnancy rates (PR) according to patient and septum characteristics (septum size) were the main outcome measures. Follow-up was complete for 88 patients. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 36.1±2.1 years. Forty-two patients became pregnant (40.7%). The mean (±SD) delay in conception was 7.5±2.6 months. Nearly 80% of the pregnant women conceived spontaneously. Of 44 pregnancies in 42 women, 36 live newborns were delivered. The PR was significantly higher in women size larger than one-half of their uterine length the PR was significantly higher than those with septum size uterine septum as a sole cause for reproductive failure seems to depend on patient age, duration of infertility before septoplasty, and septum size. Women with a septum size larger than one-half of their uterine length have a higher chance of successful pregnancy after hysteroscopic septoplasty. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Corticosterone-mediated reproductive decisions: sex allocation, the cost of reproduction and maternal fitness

    OpenAIRE

    Love, Oliver P.

    2007-01-01

    Managing reproductive investment within the scope of an individual’s energetic condition is required to maximize fitness. To be successful, individuals must make the correct decisions about when to reproduce, when to abandon an attempt, how many resources to invest in current and future attempts and where those resources should be allocated. These reproductive decisions therefore involve complex life-history trade-offs between an individual’s condition and current reproduction, future reprodu...

  20. Effects of a group-based reproductive management extension programme on key management outcomes affecting reproductive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownlie, Tom S; Morton, John M; Heuer, Cord; McDougall, Scott

    2015-02-01

    A group-based reproductive management extension programme has been designed to help managers of dairy herds improve herd reproductive performance. The aims of this study were, firstly, to assess effects of participation by key decision makers (KDMs) in a farmer action group programme in 2009 and 2010 on six key management outcomes (KMOs) that affect reproductive performance over 2 years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), and secondly, to describe KDM intentions to change management behaviour(s) affecting each management outcome after participation in the programme. Seasonal calving dairy herds from four regions of New Zealand were enrolled in the study. Intentions to modify management behaviour were recorded using the formal written action plans developed during the extension programme. KMOs assessed were calving pattern of the herd, pre-calving heifer liveweight, pre-calving and premating body condition score (BCS), oestrus detection, anoestrus cow management and bull management. Participation was associated with improvements in heifer liveweight, more heifers calving in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal calving period, premating BCS and oestrus detection. No significant effects were observed on anoestrus cow management or bull management. KDMs with greater numbers of proposed actions had lower 6 week in-calf rates in the second study year than KDMs who proposed fewer actions. A more effective strategy to ensure more appropriate objectives is proposed. Strategies to help KDMs to implement proposed actions more successfully should be investigated to improve the programme further. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Population Dynamics and Cost-Benefit Analysis. An Attempt to Relate Population Dynamics via Lifetime Reproductive Success to Short-Term Decisions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tinbergen, J.M.; Balen, J.H. van; Drent, P.J.; Cavé, A.J.; Mertens, J.A.L.; Boer-Hazewinkel, J. den

    1987-01-01

    1. The aim of this article is to explore whether cost-benefit analysis of behaviour may help to understand the population dynamics of a species. The Great Tit is taken as an example. 2. The lifetime reproductive success in different populations of Great Tits amounts from 0.7 (Hoge Veluwe, Wytham) to

  2. Pluck or Luck: Does Trait Variation or Chance Drive Variation in Lifetime Reproductive Success?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Robin E; Ellner, Stephen P

    2018-04-01

    While there has been extensive interest in how intraspecific trait variation affects ecological processes, outcomes are highly variable even when individuals are identical: some are lucky, while others are not. Trait variation is therefore important only if it adds substantially to the variability produced by luck. We ask when trait variation has a substantial effect on variability in lifetime reproductive success (LRS), using two approaches: (1) we partition the variation in LRS into contributions from luck and trait variation and (2) we ask what can be inferred about an individual's traits and with what certainty, given their observed LRS. In theoretical stage- and size-structured models and two empirical case studies, we find that luck usually dominates the variance of LRS. Even when individuals differ substantially in ways that affect expected LRS, unless the effects of luck are substantially reduced (e.g., low variability in reproductive life span or annual fecundity), most variance in lifetime outcomes is due to luck, implying that departures from "null" models omitting trait variation will be hard to detect. Luck also obscures the relationship between realized LRS and individual traits. While trait variation may influence the fate of populations, luck often governs the lives of individuals.

  3. Bangladesh becomes "success story".

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    The State Minister for Health and Family of Bangladesh, Dr. Mohammed Amanullah, highlighted some of the successes being achieved by his country in lowering fertility and improving the lives of the people since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. Some of these successes include practical measures to eliminate violence against women; introduction of a quota for women in public sector employment; and launching of the Health and Population Sector Program to provide a one-stop, full range of essential reproductive health, family planning and child health services through an integrated delivery mechanism. Moreover, the Minister informed the Forum participants that their success is attributable to many factors which include support from the government, from non-governmental organizations, civil society, mass media, religious and other community leaders, intersectoral collaboration, microcredit and income-generation activities.

  4. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijayan K. Pillai

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between.This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women's reproductive health in developing countries. The empowerment strategy for improving reproductive health is theoretically situated on a number of background factors such as economic and social development.Cross-national socioeconomic and demographic data from a number of international organizations on 142 developing countries are used to test a model of reproductive rights and reproductive health.The findings suggest that both economic and democratic development have significant positive effects on levels of gender equality. The level of social development plays a prominent role in promoting reproductive rights. It is found that reproductive rights channel the influences of social structural factors and gender equality on reproductive health.

  5. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Vijayan K; Gupta, Rashmi

    2011-01-01

    Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between. This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women's reproductive health in developing countries. The empowerment strategy for improving reproductive health is theoretically situated on a number of background factors such as economic and social development. Cross-national socioeconomic and demographic data from a number of international organizations on 142 developing countries are used to test a model of reproductive rights and reproductive health. The findings suggest that both economic and democratic development have significant positive effects on levels of gender equality. The level of social development plays a prominent role in promoting reproductive rights. It is found that reproductive rights channel the influences of social structural factors and gender equality on reproductive health.

  6. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobral, Mar; Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock.

  7. Balanced intake of protein and carbohydrate maximizes lifetime reproductive success in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rho, Myung Suk; Lee, Kwang Pum

    2016-01-01

    Recent developments in insect gerontological and nutritional research have suggested that the dietary protein:carbohydrate (P:C) balance is a critical determinant of lifespan and reproduction in many insects. However, most studies investigating this important role of dietary P:C balance have been conducted using dipteran and orthopteran species. In this study, we used the mealworm beetles, Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), to test the effects of dietary P:C balance on lifespan and reproduction. Regardless of their reproductive status, both male and female beetles had the shortest lifespan at the protein-biased ratio of P:C 5:1. Mean lifespan was the longest at P:C 1:1 for males and at both P:C 1:1 and 1:5 for females. Mating significantly curtailed the lifespan of both males and females, indicating the survival cost of mating. Age-specific egg laying was significantly higher at P:C 1:1 than at the two imbalanced P:C ratios (1:5 or 5:1) at any given age throughout their lives, resulting in the highest lifetime reproductive success at P:C 1:1. When given a choice, beetles actively regulated their intake of protein and carbohydrate to a slightly carbohydrate-biased ratio (P:C 1:1.54-1:1.64 for males and P:C 1:1.3-1:1.36 for females). The self-selected P:C ratio was significantly higher for females than males, reflecting a higher protein requirement for egg production. Collectively, our results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting the key role played by dietary macronutrient balance in shaping lifespan and reproduction in insects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnelly, Lane F.

    2017-01-01

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success. (orig.)

  9. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donnelly, Lane F. [Texas Children' s Hospital, Department of Radiology, Houston, TX (United States)

    2017-06-15

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success. (orig.)

  10. Avoiding failure: tools for successful and sustainable quality-improvement projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lane F

    2017-06-01

    Involvement in successful and sustained quality improvement can be a very rewarding experience. However, it can be very difficult work. Up to 70% of attempted organizational change is not sustained. There are many reasons why quality-improvement projects might not be successful. In this article, the author reviews items associated with an increased or decreased likelihood of success. Such items have been categorized as structural issues, human issues and environmental context. This paper is intended to serve those embarking on quality-improvement projects as a resource to help position them for success.

  11. Canalization of body size matters for lifetime reproductive success of male predatory mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2014-04-01

    The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that highly fitness-relevant traits are canalized via past selection, resulting in low phenotypic plasticity and high robustness to environmental stress. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the level of phenotypic plasticity of male body size of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity) reflects the effects of body size variation on fitness, especially male lifetime reproductive success (LRS). We first generated small and standard-sized males of P. persimilis and N. californicus by rearing them to adulthood under limited and ample prey supply, respectively. Then, adult small and standard-sized males were provided with surplus virgin females throughout life to assess their mating and reproductive traits. Small male body size did not affect male longevity or the number of fertilized females but reduced male LRS of P. persimilis but not N. californicus . Proximately, the lower LRS of small than standard-sized P. persimilis males correlated with shorter mating durations, probably decreasing the amount of transferred sperm. Ultimately, we suggest that male body size is more strongly canalized in P. persimilis than N. californicus because deviation from standard body size has larger detrimental fitness effects in P. persimilis than N. californicus .

  12. Reduced reproductive success of hatchery coho salmon in the wild: insights into most likely mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thériault, Véronique; Moyer, Gregory R; Jackson, Laura S; Blouin, Michael S; Banks, Michael A

    2011-05-01

    Supplementation of wild salmonids with captive-bred fish is a common practice for both commercial and conservation purposes. However, evidence for lower fitness of captive-reared fish relative to wild fish has accumulated in recent years, diminishing the apparent effectiveness of supplementation as a management tool. To date, the mechanism(s) responsible for these fitness declines remain unknown. In this study, we showed with molecular parentage analysis that hatchery coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) had lower reproductive success than wild fish once they reproduced in the wild. This effect was more pronounced in males than in same-aged females. Hatchery spawned fish that were released as unfed fry (age 0), as well as hatchery fish raised for one year in the hatchery (released as smolts, age 1), both experienced lower lifetime reproductive success (RS) than wild fish. However, the subset of hatchery males that returned as 2-year olds (jacks) did not exhibit the same fitness decrease as males that returned as 3-year olds. Thus, we report three lines of evidence pointing to the absence of sexual selection in the hatchery as a contributing mechanism for fitness declines of hatchery fish in the wild: (i) hatchery fish released as unfed fry that survived to adulthood still had low RS relative to wild fish, (ii) age-3 male hatchery fish consistently showed a lower relative RS than female hatchery fish (suggesting a role for sexual selection), and (iii) age-2 jacks, which use a sneaker mating strategy, did not show the same declines as 3-year olds, which compete differently for females (again, implicating sexual selection). © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Canada Geese at the Hanford Site - Trends in Reproductive Success, Migration Patterns, and Contaminant Concentrations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, Mary Ann; Poston, Ted M.; Tiller, Brett L.; Stegen, Amanda; Hand, Kristine D.; Brandenberger, Jill M.

    2010-01-01

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has conducted several studies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate the status and condition of Canada geese on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. This report summarizes results of studies of Canada geese (Branta canadensis moffitti) at the Hanford Site dating back to the 1950s. Results include information on the nesting (reproductive) success of Canada geese using the Hanford Reach, review of the local and regional migration of this species using data from bird banding studies, and summary data describing monitoring and investigations of the accumulation of Hanford-derived and environmental contaminants by resident goose populations.

  14. Increase in male reproductive success and female reproductive investment in invasive populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume J M Laugier

    Full Text Available Reproductive strategy affects population dynamics and genetic parameters that can, in turn, affect evolutionary processes during the course of biological invasion. Life-history traits associated with reproductive strategy are therefore potentially good candidates for rapid evolutionary shifts during invasions. In a series of mating trials, we examined mixed groups of four males from invasive and native populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis mating freely during 48 hours with one female of either type. We recorded the identity of the first male to copulate and after the 48 h-period, we examined female fecundity and share of paternity, using molecular markers. We found that invasive populations have a different profile of male and female reproductive output. Males from invasive populations are more likely to mate first and gain a higher proportion of offspring with both invasive and native females. Females from invasive populations reproduce sooner, lay more eggs, and have offspring sired by a larger number of fathers than females from native populations. We found no evidence of direct inbreeding avoidance behaviour in both invasive and native females. This study highlights the importance of investigating evolutionary changes in reproductive strategy and associated traits during biological invasions.

  15. Effects of sewage effluent and ethynyl oestradiol upon molecular markers of oestrogenic exposure, maturation and reproductive success in the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus, Pallas)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, Craig D.; Brown, Elaine; Craft, John A.; Davies, Ian M.; Moffat, Colin F.; Pirie, David; Robertson, Fiona; Stagg, Ronald M.; Struthers, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Male fish in several UK estuaries are known to be exposed to oestrogenic contamination, and whilst a limited number of studies have shown that exposure to oestrogens can reduce the reproductive success of fish, the impact of environmentally relevant exposures is less clear. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate the effects of exposure to environmentally realistic concentrations of a sewage effluent and the synthetic oestrogen 17α-ethynyl oestradiol (EE 2 ) upon the reproductive success of a marine fish. Sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus) were exposed for 7 months to EE 2 or a sewage effluent containing known xeno-oestrogens (alkylphenol polyethoxylates) and bred using within treatment crosses. Nominal exposure concentrations were 6 ng l -1 EE 2 , 0.3 or 0.03% v/v sewage effluent. At the end of the breeding trials, expression of hepatic zona radiata protein (Zrp) and vitellogenin (Vtg) mRNA were determined using two recently developed cDNA probes. Exposure to 6 ng l -1 EE 2 induced Zrp and Vtg mRNA expression in male and female sand goby, impaired male maturation and reproductive behaviour, reduced female fecundity and reduced egg fertility. As a consequence, fertile egg production of the EE 2 -exposed population was reduced by 90%. Exposure to sewage effluent (0.3% v/v) increased adult mortality and female Zrp and Vtg mRNA expression, but did not induce male vitellogenesis. Exposure to EE 2 and 0.3% v/v sewage effluent impaired development of the male urogenital papilla. Fish exposed to 0.03% v/v sewage effluent produced more fertile eggs than those exposed to 0.3% effluent, or those receiving no effluent. It is concluded that male vitellogenesis in an oestrogenically exposed population may be accompanied by reduced reproductive success, but that it may not be indicative of altered reproductive output in a population exposed to an industrial sewage effluent

  16. Male reproductive competition in spawning aggregations of cod ( Gadus morhua , L.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bekkevold, Dorte; Hansen, Michael Møller; Loeschcke, V.

    2002-01-01

    Reproductive competition may lead to a large skew in reproductive success among individuals. Very few studies have analysed the paternity contribution of individual males in spawning aggregations of fish species with huge census population sizes. We quantified the variance in male reproductive...... success in spawning aggregations of cod under experimental conditions over an entire spawning season. Male reproductive success was estimated by microsatellite-based parentage analysis of offspring produced in six separate groups of spawning cod. In total, 1340 offspring and 102 spawnings distributed...... across a spawning season were analysed. Our results show that multiple males contributed sperm to most spawnings but that paternity frequencies were highly skewed among males, with larger males on average siring higher proportions of offspring. It was further indicated that male reproductive success...

  17. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock. PMID:27014509

  18. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mar Sobral

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii Do mutualists (pollinators and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock.

  19. Organochlorine contaminants and reproductive success of double-crested cormorants from Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Hines, R.K.; Gutreuter, S.; Stromborg, K.L.; Allen, P. David; Melancon, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995, nesting success of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) was measured at Cat Island, in southern Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA. Sample eggs at pipping and unhatched eggs were collected and analyzed for organochlorines (including total polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and DDE), hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity in embryos, and eggshell thickness. Of 1,570 eggs laid, 32% did not hatch and 0.4% had deformed embryos. Of 632 chicks monitored from hatching to 12 d of age, 9% were missing or found dead; no deformities were observed. The PCB concentrations in sample eggs from clutches with deformed embryos (mean = 10.2 μg/g wet weight) and dead embryos (11.4 μg/g) were not significantly higher than concentrations in sample eggs from nests where all eggs hatched (12.1 μg/g). A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE, dieldrin, and PCB concentrations in sibling eggs identified DDE and not dieldrin or PCBs as a significant risk factor. A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE and eggshell thickness implicated DDE and not eggshell thickness as a significant risk factor. Even though the insecticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s, we suggest that DDE concentrations in double-crested cormorant eggs in Green Bay are still having an effect on reproduction in this species.

  20. Factors for successful improvement of Swedish healthcare

    OpenAIRE

    Olsson, Jesper

    2005-01-01

    The Swedish OCM, developed by an Integrative Group Process, was found to be a valid model able to distinguish successful from unsuccessful organizations in terms of improvement. A majority of healthcare organizations applied the Internal Collaborative strategy which lacks the patient centered task alignment characterizing those organizations predicted to be successful by their relatively superior Swedish OCM score. Managers tend to overestimate the prospects of organizationa...

  1. Maternal risk of breeding failure remained low throughout the demographic transitions in fertility and age at first reproduction in Finland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianghua Liu

    Full Text Available Radical declines in fertility and postponement of first reproduction during the recent human demographic transitions have posed a challenge to interpreting human behaviour in evolutionary terms. This challenge has stemmed from insufficient evolutionary insight into individual reproductive decision-making and the rarity of datasets recording individual long-term reproductive success throughout the transitions. We use such data from about 2,000 Finnish mothers (first births: 1880s to 1970s to show that changes in the maternal risk of breeding failure (no offspring raised to adulthood underlay shifts in both fertility and first reproduction. With steady improvements in offspring survival, the expected fertility required to satisfy a low risk of breeding failure became lower and observed maternal fertility subsequently declined through an earlier age at last reproduction. Postponement of the age at first reproduction began when this risk approximated zero-even for mothers starting reproduction late. Interestingly, despite vastly differing fertility rates at different stages of the transitions, the number of offspring successfully raised to breeding per mother remained relatively constant over the period. Our results stress the importance of assessing the long-term success of reproductive strategies by including measures of offspring quality and suggest that avoidance of breeding failure may explain several key features of recent life-history shifts in industrialized societies.

  2. Maternal Risk of Breeding Failure Remained Low throughout the Demographic Transitions in Fertility and Age at First Reproduction in Finland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianghua; Rotkirch, Anna; Lummaa, Virpi

    2012-01-01

    Radical declines in fertility and postponement of first reproduction during the recent human demographic transitions have posed a challenge to interpreting human behaviour in evolutionary terms. This challenge has stemmed from insufficient evolutionary insight into individual reproductive decision-making and the rarity of datasets recording individual long-term reproductive success throughout the transitions. We use such data from about 2,000 Finnish mothers (first births: 1880s to 1970s) to show that changes in the maternal risk of breeding failure (no offspring raised to adulthood) underlay shifts in both fertility and first reproduction. With steady improvements in offspring survival, the expected fertility required to satisfy a low risk of breeding failure became lower and observed maternal fertility subsequently declined through an earlier age at last reproduction. Postponement of the age at first reproduction began when this risk approximated zero–even for mothers starting reproduction late. Interestingly, despite vastly differing fertility rates at different stages of the transitions, the number of offspring successfully raised to breeding per mother remained relatively constant over the period. Our results stress the importance of assessing the long-term success of reproductive strategies by including measures of offspring quality and suggest that avoidance of breeding failure may explain several key features of recent life-history shifts in industrialized societies. PMID:22529952

  3. Silk amino acids improve physical stamina and male reproductive function of mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Sunhee; Yeon, Seongho; Park, Dongsun; Oh, Jiyoung; Kang, Hyomin; Kim, Sunghyun; Joo, Seong Soo; Lim, Woo-Taek; Lee, Jeong-Yong; Choi, Kyung-Chul; Kim, Ki Yon; Kim, Seung Up; Kim, Jong-Choon; Kim, Yun-Bae

    2010-01-01

    The effects of a silk amino acid (SAA) preparation on the physical stamina and male reproductive function of mice were investigated. Eight-week-old male ICR mice (29-31 g) were orally administered SAA (50, 160 or 500 mg/kg) for 44 d during 30-min daily swimming exercise. The mice were subjected to a weight-loaded (5% of body weight) forced swimming on the 14th, 28th and 42nd day to determine maximum swimming time, and after a 2-d recovery period (treated with SAA without swimming exercise), parameters related to fatigue and reproductive function were analyzed from blood, muscles and reproductive organs. Repeated swimming exercise increased the maximum swimming time to some extent, in spite of a marked reduction in body weight gain, and SAA further enhanced the stamina in a dose-dependent manner. Forced swimming exercises increased blood parameters of tissue injury, but depleted blood glucose and tissue glycogen, which were substantially prevented by SAA treatment. In addition, SAA significantly reduced the muscular thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and blood corticosterone content increased by forced swimming. Swimming exercise decreased the blood testosterone level, which was recovered by SAA, leading to enhanced sperm counts. These combined results indicate that SAA not only enhances physical stamina by minimizing damage to tissues, including muscles, as well as preventing energy depletion caused by swimming stress, but also improves male reproductive function by increasing testosterone and sperm counts.

  4. Reproduction in females bufalinas: artificial insemination and assisted reproduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vale, William G.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive behavior in females bufalinas has been studied for the detection of estrus. A system that works through radio telemetry has been developed and proposed to replace the daily visual observation to determine the estrous phase with efficiency and precision. The method used is the fixation on the back of the female with a sensor that emits radio waves every time suffer a pressure exerted by the mountain. Waves have been captured by an antenna and sent to a computer system. The knowledge that has been developed on the management and use of reproductive biotechnologies of reproduction in buffalo, have enabled the technicians and breeders evaluate and indicate which procedures can be used successfully, and increase the application of the fixed-time artificial insemination during the year [es

  5. What is the most relevant standard of success in assisted reproduction? The next step to improving outcomes of IVF: consider the whole treatment.

    OpenAIRE

    Heijnen, E.M.; Macklon, Nick; Fauser, Bart

    2004-01-01

    textabstractChanging the way in which successful IVF treatment is defined offers a tool to improve efficacy while reducing costs and complications of treatment. Crucial to this paradigm shift is the move away from considering outcomes in terms of the single IVF cycle, and towards the started IVF treatment as a whole. We propose the most informative end-point of success in IVF to be the term singleton birth rate per started IVF treatment (or per given time period) in the overall context of pat...

  6. Utilization and success rates of unstimulated in vitro fertilization in the United States: an analysis of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, John David; DiMattina, Michael; Reh, Andrea; Botes, Awie; Celia, Gerard; Payson, Mark

    2013-08-01

    To examine the utilization and outcomes of natural cycle (unstimulated) IVF as reported to the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) in 2006 and 2007. Retrospective analysis. Dataset analysis from the SART Clinical Outcome Reporting System national database. All patients undergoing IVF as reported to SART in 2006 and 2007. None. Utilization of unstimulated IVF; description of patient demographics; and comparison of implantation and pregnancy rates between unstimulated and stimulated IVF cycles. During 2006 and 2007 a total of 795 unstimulated IVF cycles were initiated. Success rates were age dependent, with patients Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Improving quality of reproductive health care in Senegal through formative supervision: results from four districts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Siri; Moreira, Philippe; Ly, Moussa

    2007-11-29

    In Senegal, traditional supervision often focuses more on collection of service statistics than on evaluation of service quality. This approach yields limited information on quality of care and does little to improve providers' competence. In response to this challenge, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has implemented a program of formative supervision. This multifaceted, problem-solving approach collects data on quality of care, improves technical competence, and engages the community in improving reproductive health care. This study evaluated changes in service quality and community involvement after two rounds of supervision in 45 health facilities in four districts of Senegal. We used checklists to assess quality in four areas of service delivery: infrastructure, staff and services management, record-keeping, and technical competence. We also measured community involvement in improving service quality using the completion rates of action plans. The most notable improvement across regions was in infection prevention.Management of staff, services, and logistics also consistently improved across the four districts. Record-keeping skills showed variable but lower improvement by region. The completion rates of action plans suggest that communities are engaged in improving service quality in all four districts. Formative supervision can improve the quality of reproductive health services, especially in areas where there is on-site skill building and refresher training. This approach can also mobilize communities to participate in improving service quality.

  8. Improving quality of reproductive health care in Senegal through formative supervision: results from four districts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moreira Philippe

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Senegal, traditional supervision often focuses more on collection of service statistics than on evaluation of service quality. This approach yields limited information on quality of care and does little to improve providers' competence. In response to this challenge, Management Sciences for Health (MSH has implemented a program of formative supervision. This multifaceted, problem-solving approach collects data on quality of care, improves technical competence, and engages the community in improving reproductive health care. Methods This study evaluated changes in service quality and community involvement after two rounds of supervision in 45 health facilities in four districts of Senegal. We used checklists to assess quality in four areas of service delivery: infrastructure, staff and services management, record-keeping, and technical competence. We also measured community involvement in improving service quality using the completion rates of action plans. Results The most notable improvement across regions was in infection prevention. Management of staff, services, and logistics also consistently improved across the four districts. Record-keeping skills showed variable but lower improvement by region. The completion rates of action plans suggest that communities are engaged in improving service quality in all four districts. Conclusion Formative supervision can improve the quality of reproductive health services, especially in areas where there is on-site skill building and refresher training. This approach can also mobilize communities to participate in improving service quality.

  9. Canada Geese at the Hanford Site – Trends in Reproductive Success, Migration Patterns, and Contaminant Concentrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simmons, Mary Ann; Poston, Ted M.; Tiller, Brett L.; Stegen, Amanda; Hand, Kristine D.; Brandenberger, Jill M.

    2010-05-25

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has conducted several studies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate the status and condition of Canada geese on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. This report summarizes results of studies of Canada geese (Branta canadensis moffitti) at the Hanford Site dating back to the 1950s. Results include information on the nesting (reproductive) success of Canada geese using the Hanford Reach, review of the local and regional migration of this species using data from bird banding studies, and summary data describing monitoring and investigations of the accumulation of Hanford-derived and environmental contaminants by resident goose populations.

  10. Dispersal strategy of cyst nematodes (Heterodera arenaria) in the plant root zone of mobile dunes and consequences for emergence, survival and reproductive success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoel, C.D.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Root-feeding nematodes may play an important role in generating spatial and temporal variation in natural plant communities, but little is known about the performance of the nematodes in the plant root zone. We studied the emergence, survival and reproductive success of the cyst nematode Heterodera

  11. Dispersal strategy of cyst nematodes (Heterodera Arenaria) in the plant root zone of mobile dunes and consequences for emergence, survival and reproductive success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Stoel, C.D.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2006-01-01

    Root-feeding nematodes may play an important role in generating spatial and temporal variation in natural plant communities, but little is known about the performance of the nematodes in the plant root zone. We studied the emergence, survival and reproductive success of the cyst nematode Heterodera

  12. Injuries from non-retention in gillnet fisheries suppress reproductive maturation in escaped fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Matthew R; Swanson, Penny; Young, Graham

    2013-01-01

    Exploitation of fisheries resources has unintended consequences, not only in the bycatch and discard of non-target organisms, but also in damage to targeted fish that are injured by gear but not landed (non-retention). Delayed mortality due to non-retention represents lost reproductive potential in exploited stocks, while not contributing to harvest. Our study examined the physiological mechanisms by which delayed mortality occurs and the extent to which injuries related to disentanglement from commercial gear compromise reproductive success in spawning stocks of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). We found evidence for elevated stress in fish injured via non-retention in gillnet fisheries. Plasma cortisol levels correlated with the severity of disentanglement injury and were elevated in fish that developed infections related to disentanglement injuries. We also analyzed sex steroid concentrations in females (estradiol-17β and 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one) to determine whether non-retention impairs reproductive potential in escaped individuals. We demonstrate evidence for delayed or inhibited maturation in fish with disentanglement injuries. These findings have important implications for effective conservation and management of exploited fish stocks and suggest means to improve spawning success in such stocks if retention in commercial fisheries is improved and incidental mortality reduced.

  13. Injuries from non-retention in gillnet fisheries suppress reproductive maturation in escaped fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Baker

    Full Text Available Exploitation of fisheries resources has unintended consequences, not only in the bycatch and discard of non-target organisms, but also in damage to targeted fish that are injured by gear but not landed (non-retention. Delayed mortality due to non-retention represents lost reproductive potential in exploited stocks, while not contributing to harvest. Our study examined the physiological mechanisms by which delayed mortality occurs and the extent to which injuries related to disentanglement from commercial gear compromise reproductive success in spawning stocks of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.. We found evidence for elevated stress in fish injured via non-retention in gillnet fisheries. Plasma cortisol levels correlated with the severity of disentanglement injury and were elevated in fish that developed infections related to disentanglement injuries. We also analyzed sex steroid concentrations in females (estradiol-17β and 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one to determine whether non-retention impairs reproductive potential in escaped individuals. We demonstrate evidence for delayed or inhibited maturation in fish with disentanglement injuries. These findings have important implications for effective conservation and management of exploited fish stocks and suggest means to improve spawning success in such stocks if retention in commercial fisheries is improved and incidental mortality reduced.

  14. Reproduction rates under variable food conditions and starvation in Mnemiopsis leidyi: significance for the invasion success of a ctenophore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaspers, Cornelia; Møller, Lene Friis; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Europe. Furthermore, starved animals continue to produce eggs for up to 12 days after cessation of feeding with high overall hatching success of 65–90%. These life history traits allow M. leidyi to thrive and reproduce in environments with varying food conditions and give it a competitive advantage under...... on the reproduction of laboratory-reared and field-caught animals during starvation. Our results show that the half-saturation zooplankton prey concentration for egg production is reached at food levels of 12–23 µgC L−1, which is below the average summer food concentration encountered in invaded areas of northern...... unfavourable conditions. This may explain why recurrent population blooms are observed and sustained in localized areas in invaded northern Europe, where water exchange is limited and zooplankton food resources are quickly depleted by M. leidyi. We suggest that these reproductive life history traits are key...

  15. Effects of acute irradiation on reproductive success of the polychaete worm, Neanthes arenaceodentata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, F.L.; Anderson, S.L.

    1994-01-01

    Effects of acute irradiation on the reproductive success of a relatively low-fecundity species were investigated by exposing pairs of female and male polychaete worms (Neanthes arenaceodentata) to either no radiation (controls) or 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 10 or 50 Gy of acute irradiation (5 Gy min -1 ) at the time when oocytes were visible in the female. The broods from the pairs were sacrificed before hatching occurred, and information was obtained on the number in the brood, the number of normal and abnormal embryos, and the number of embryos that were living, dying and dead. Developing gametes of N. arenaceodentata appeared to be sensitive to acute irradiation. There was a significant reduction in the percentage of live embryos in the broods from pairs receiving doses as low as 0.5 Gy, which is lower than the lowest dose at which effects in invertebrates have been reported previously. This was most likely due to the induction of lethal mutations in the developing gametes, which affected the survival of embryos in early stages of life. Except for those pairs receiving 10 or 50 Gy, there was no evidence of decreased fertility or fecundity or of reduced fertilization success; the number of embryos in the broods from only these irradiated groups was significantly different from the controls. 32 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs

  16. Experience from a multi-country initiative to improve the monitoring of selected reproductive health indicators in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barreix, Maria; Tunçalp, Özge; Mutombo, Namuunda; Adegboyega, Ayotunde A; Say, Lale

    2017-05-01

    Universal access to sexual and reproductive health remains part of the unfinished business of global development in Africa. To achieve it, health interventions should be monitored using programmatic indicators. WHO's Strengthening Measurement of Reproductive Health Indicators in Africa initiative, implemented in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, aimed to improve national information systems for routine monitoring of reproductive health indicators. Participating countries developed action plans employing a two-pronged strategy: (1) revising, standardizing, and harmonizing existing reproductive health indicators captured through routine information-systems; and (2) building data-collection capacity through training and supervision at select pilot sites. Country teams evaluated existing and new indicators, and outlined barriers to strengthening routine measurement. Activities included updating abortion-care guidelines (spontaneous and induced abortions), providing training on laws surrounding induced abortions, and improving feedback mechanisms. The country teams updated monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and attempted to build recording/reporting capacity in selected pilot areas. Barriers to implementing the initiative that were encountered included restrictive induced-abortion laws, staff turn-over, and administrative delays, including low capacity among healthcare staff and competing priorities for staff time. The areas identified for further improvement were up-scaling programs to a national level, creating scorecards to record data, increasing collaborations with the private sector, conducting related costing exercises, and performing ex-post evaluations. © 2017 World Health Organization; licensed by Wiley on behalf of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

  17. Influence of thermal conditions on successful ide (Leuciscus idus L. artificial reproduction during spawning season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dariusz Kucharczyk

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Two forms of ide Leuciscus idus (L. spawners: wild-coloured and ornamental: yellow-coloured were kept at three various temperature regimes shortly before spawning at optimal temperature regimes (group 1, under natural temperature conditions (group 2 and in rapidly increasing temperature (group 3. The quality and quantity of collected semen, ovulation rate and survival rate of embryos to the eyed-egg-stage were recorded. The quality of semen from group 3 (where the temperature increased over the thermal spawning optimum was the worst (46 and 51% motility of spermatozoa for the wild-coloured and yellow form, respectively. The quantity of collected semen also was the lowest in the same groups (1.1 and 1.0 cm3 kg-1 for the wild-coloured and yellow form, respectively. Increasing the temperature to 16°C also caused a decreasing percentage of ovulated females (70% and 60% of ovulation for wild-coloured and yellow form, respectively and biological quality of eggs (48.9 and 47.8% embryo survival for wild-coloured and yellow form, respectively. Fluctuations of temperature at a level of 8-14°C (group 2 did not negatively affect spawning results, except for a longer latency time (over 44 hrs. The results suggest that the temperature regime shortly before controlled reproduction of ide plays an important role influencing reproductive success.

  18. Differential courtship activity and alterations of reproductive success of competing gupply males as an indicator for low concentrations of aquatic pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroeder, J.H.; Peters, K.

    1988-09-01

    Differential courtship activity of guppy males competing for the same females was used as a bioindicator for low concentrations of water-borne pollutants in a previous study. Patterns of male sexual activity were chosen because they determine reproductive success. The mean difference between courtship activities of two male competitors determines the relative fitness of the male in question. Accordingly, the decrease in mean differential courtship after exposure to aquatic contaminants was predicted to cause a corresponding change in the relative reproductive success. The present study completed the previous one by repeating the experiment with a 10% addition of wastewater drawn from the last clearing basin of a Munich purification plant this time using virgin (non-inseminated) females which were receptive to male courtship. The females subsequently were allowed to produce as many offspring as possible. The number of young guppies sired by individual male competitors could easily be traced by the use of sex-linked phenotypic color patterns as markers. The purpose of these two studies was to show that the quantification of sexual activities of male guppies is useful for monitoring environmental alterations which affect fitness characters.

  19. Veterinary management of snake reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Scott J

    2002-09-01

    The reptile veterinarian should approach the breeder with a comprehensive plan involving a review of proper husbandry, nutrition, record keeping, and a thorough prebreeding evaluation of the snakes. In addition, an evaluation of the reproductive strategy, assistance with confirming and monitoring gestation, and a review of potential reproductive complications will help to prepare the snake owner for a successful breeding season.

  20. Pollen gene flow, male reproductive success, and genetic correlations among offspring in a northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seed orchard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woeste, Keith

    2017-01-01

    Northern red oak is a high-value hardwood used for lumber, furniture and veneer. Intensively managed northern red oak seed orchards are required to obtain genetic gain for trait improvement. Data from conifer seed orchards and natural and managed stands of hardwood trees have shed light on the distance over which pollen can move, and underscore the need for managerial attention to seed orchard design, placement, and maintenance. We used eleven microsatellite markers to investigate pollen gene flow, female mate choice, and male reproductive success in a clonal seed orchard of northern red oak based on paternity analysis of seed orchard offspring in progeny tests. Nearly all (93%) offspring were sired by a male parent within the seed orchard. The mean number of male parents per year was 69.5, or 47.6% of all clones in the seed orchard. Female clones in the early phenology group had more offspring sired from extra-orchard pollen (13%) than clones in the intermediate (5%) and late (1%) phenology groups. Distance was the largest influence on pollination success, and pollination occurred most often by male trees in the same subline as the maternal tree. Males in the early phenology group sired more offspring overall in the progeny pool and more offspring per mother tree than males in the intermediate or late phenology groups. Average genetic correlations among all OP progeny ranged between 0.2557 and 0.3529 with a mean of 0.28±0.01. The importance of progeny test genotyping for northern red oak improvement likely is increasing with the demand for improved varieties. The current study demonstrated the feasibility of post hoc assembly of full-sib families for genetic analysis. PMID:28166543

  1. Differential fitness costs of reproduction between the sexes

    OpenAIRE

    Penn, Dustin J.; Smith, Ken R.

    2006-01-01

    Natural selection does not necessarily favor maximal reproduction because reproduction imposes fitness costs, reducing parental survival, and offspring quality. Here, we show that parents in a preindustrial population in North America incurred fitness costs from reproduction, and women incurred greater costs than men. We examined the survivorship and reproductive success (Darwinian fitness) of 21,684 couples married between 1860 and 1895 identified in the Utah Population Database. We found th...

  2. Reproductive ecology and egg production of the radiated tortoise ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We studied reproduction of wild Geochelone radiata at the Cap Sainte Marie Special Reserve in southwestern Madagascar to gain insight into life history traits related to reproductive success. Reproductive behaviour was observed over two nesting seasons and egg production was studied by radiographing telemetered ...

  3. What is the most relevant standard of success in assisted reproduction? The next step to improving outcomes of IVF : consider the whole treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijnen, EMEW; Macklon, NS; Fauser, BCJM

    Changing the way in which successful IVF treatment is defined offers a tool to improve efficacy while reducing costs and complications of treatment. Crucial to this paradigm shift is the move away from considering outcomes in terms of the single IVF cycle, and towards the started IVF treatment as a

  4. Contrasted patterns of age-specific reproduction in long-lived seabirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, M; Gaillard, J-M; Weimerskirch, H

    2009-01-22

    While the number of studies providing evidence of actuarial senescence is increasing, and covers a wide range of taxa, the process of reproductive senescence remains poorly understood. In fact, quite high reproductive output until the last years of life has been reported in several vertebrate species, so that whether or not reproductive senescence is widespread remains unknown. We compared age-specific changes of reproductive parameters between two closely related species of long-lived seabirds: the small-sized snow petrel Pagodroma nivea, and the medium-sized southern fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides. Both are sympatric in Antarctica. We used an exceptional dataset collected over more than 40 years to assess age-specific variations of both breeding probability and breeding success. We found contrasted age-specific reproductive patterns between the two species. Reproductive senescence clearly occurred from 21 years of age onwards in the southern fulmar, in both breeding probability and success, whereas we did not report any decline in the breeding success of the snow petrel, although a very late decrease in the proportion of breeders occurred at 34 years. Such a contrasted age-specific reproductive pattern was rather unexpected. Differences in life history including size or migratory behaviour are the most likely candidates to account for the difference we reported in reproductive senescence between these sympatric seabird species.

  5. Aspects of the Reproductive Biology of Stenanona Flagelliflora (Annonaceae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lara, L. X.; Castro, D. M. F.; Hernandez, A. R. A.; Villanueva, A. C.

    2016-01-01

    Stenanona flagelliflora was described in 2004. There are no studies on its biology. The goal of this study was to document some aspects of its reproductive biology. The particular objectives were to: i) describe the variation on vegetative and floral traits; ii) establish the composition of the community of floral visitors; iii) estimate the mating system and reproductive success; and, iv) establish the relationship between vegetative traits and reproductive success. The study was conducted within the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Veracruz, Mexico. We quantified several vegetative and floral traits; conducted observations and collected floral visitors; and determined the mating system and reproductive success. Stenanona flagelliflora has relatively few stamens and carpels, but a relatively high viability of pollen grains. The most abundant floral visitors were dipterans from the Phoridae Family. Mating system is between xenogamous and facultative xenogamous; thus, pollination depends upon pollen vectors. Fruit-set was relatively high; but seed-set was very low, because most monocarps did not contain seeds. Our results suggest that reproduction of S. flagelliflora is not limited by resource availability, but by pollinator frequency and effectiveness. To our knowledge, this is the first study on the reproductive biology of a species within the Stenanona genus. (author)

  6. Parturition effects on reproductive health in the gilt and sow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltoniemi, Oat; Björkman, S; Oliviero, C

    2016-10-01

    In this review, we address significant characteristics of parturition in the pig and their connection to post-partum reproductive health and fertility. We discuss the normal physiology and behaviour around parturition and the effect of the second phase (expulsion of foetuses) on the third phase of parturition (expulsion of foetal membranes). In addition, we intend to cover retained placenta, and the connection to post-partum uterine health and fertility in the contemporary prolific sow. We also explore factors that support successful parturition or can cause potential problems. Successful parturition in the pig includes the possibility to express adequate maternal behaviour, rapid expulsion of the piglets, complete expulsion of the placenta, neonatal activity and colostrum intake. Abnormal incidents during any phase of parturition can cause subsequent problems. Duration of the expulsion phase of foetuses can be used as a simple measure of whether parturition is considered successful. Prolonged parturition can impair health of the sow and piglet and fertility after weaning. New insights, such as adding more fibre to sow diets during pregnancy, and especially during the period prior to farrowing, may prevent constipation, increase water intake of the sow around parturition and increase milk intake and performance of piglets. Maternal characteristics, including maternal behaviour, ease of parturition, colostrum production and piglet quality parameters, may be utilized to improve success rate of reproductive management during farrowing and early lactation. Additionally, we share some of the recent developments in methods, including ultrasonography in evaluation of post-partum uterine health. In conclusion, successful farrowing is of the greatest importance for reproductive health of the sow and survival of the piglets. We suggest connections exist among prolonged farrowing and yield of colostrum, retained placenta, development of PDS, and impaired involution of the

  7. Evaluation of the Reproductive Success of Wild and Hatchery Steelhead in Hatchery and Natural and Hatchery Environments : Annual Report for 2008.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quinn, Thomas P.; Seamons, todd; Hauser, Lorenz; Naish, Kerry

    2008-12-05

    This report summarizes the field, laboratory, and analytical work from December 2007 through November 2008 on a research project that investigates interactions and comparative reproductive success of wild and hatchery origin steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout in Forks Creek, a tributary of the Willapa River in southwest Washington. First, we continued to successfully sample hatchery and wild (i.e., naturally spawned) adult and wild smolt steelhead at Forks Creek. Second, we revealed microsatellite genotype data for adults and smolts through brood year 2008. Finally, four formal scientific manuscripts were published in 2008 and two are in press, one is in revision and two are in preparations.

  8. Florally rich habitats reduce insect pollination and the reproductive success of isolated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tracie M; Cavers, Stephen; Ennos, Richard; Vanbergen, Adam J; Heard, Matthew S

    2017-08-01

    Landscape heterogeneity in floral communities has the potential to modify pollinator behavior. Pollinator foraging varies with the diversity, abundance, and spatial configuration of floral resources. However, the implications of this variation for pollen transfer and ultimately the reproductive success of insect pollinated plants remains unclear, especially for species which are rare or isolated in the landscape. We used a landscape-scale experiment, coupled with microsatellite genotyping, to explore how the floral richness of habitats affected pollinator behavior and pollination effectiveness. Small arrays of the partially self-compatible plant Californian poppy ( Eschscholzia californica) were introduced across a landscape gradient to simulate rare, spatially isolated populations. The effects on pollinator activity, outcrossing, and plant reproduction were measured. In florally rich habitats, we found reduced pollen movement between plants, leading to fewer long-distance pollination events, lower plant outcrossing, and a higher incidence of pollen limitation. This pattern indicates a potential reduction in per capita pollinator visitation, as suggested by the lower activity densities and richness of pollinators observed within florally rich habitats. In addition, seed production reduced by a factor of 1.8 in plants within florally rich habitats and progeny germination reduced by a factor of 1.2. We show this to be a consequence of self-fertilization within the partially self-compatible plant, E. californica . These findings indicate that locally rare plants are at a competitive disadvantage within florally rich habitats because neighboring plant species disrupt conspecific mating by co-opting pollinators. Ultimately, this Allee effect may play an important role in determining the long-term persistence of rarer plants in the landscape, both in terms of seed production and viability. Community context therefore requires consideration when designing and

  9. An experimental test for age-related improvements in reproductive performance in a frog that cares for its young

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugas, Matthew B.; Moore, Michael P.; Wamelink, Caitlin N.; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.; Martin, Ryan A.

    2015-10-01

    Reproductive performance often increases with age in long-lived iteroparous organisms, a pattern that can result from within-individual increases in effort and/or competence. In free-living populations, it is typically difficult to distinguish these mechanisms or to isolate particular features of reproduction-influencing outcomes. In captive Oophaga pumilio, a frog in which mothers provide extended offspring provisioning via trophic eggs, we experimentally manipulated the age at which females started breeding and then monitored them across repeated reproductive events. This experiment allowed us to decouple age and experience and isolate maternal care as the proximate source of any differences in performance. Younger first-time mothers produced larger broods than older first-time mothers, but did not rear more offspring to independence. Across repeated reproductive events, maternal age was unassociated with any metric of performance. At later reproductive events, however, mothers produced fewer metamorphs, and a lower proportion of individuals in their broods reached independence. These patterns suggest that performance does not improve with age or breeding experience in this frog, and that eventual declines in performance are driven by reproductive activity, not age per se. Broadly, age-specific patterns of reproductive performance may depend on the proximate mechanism by which parents influence offspring fitness and how sensitive these are to effort and competence.

  10. A Continuous Quality Improvement Airway Program Results in Sustained Increases in Intubation Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olvera, David J; Stuhlmiller, David F E; Wolfe, Allen; Swearingen, Charles F; Pennington, Troy; Davis, Daniel P

    2018-02-21

    Airway management is a critical skill for air medical providers, including the use of rapid sequence intubation (RSI) medications. Mediocre success rates and a high incidence of complications has challenged air medical providers to improve training and performance improvement efforts to improve clinical performance. The aim of this research was to describe the experience with a novel, integrated advanced airway management program across a large air medical company and explore the impact of the program on improvement in RSI success. The Helicopter Advanced Resuscitation Training (HeART) program was implemented across 160 bases in 2015. The HeART program includes a novel conceptual framework based on thorough understanding of physiology, critical thinking using a novel algorithm, difficult airway predictive tools, training in the optimal use of specific airway techniques and devices, and integrated performance improvement efforts to address opportunities for improvement. The C-MAC video/direct laryngoscope and high-fidelity human patient simulation laboratories were implemented during the study period. Chi-square test for trend was used to evaluate for improvements in airway management and RSI success (overall intubation success, first-attempt success, first-attempt success without desaturation) over the 25-month study period following HeART implementation. A total of 5,132 patients underwent RSI during the study period. Improvements in first-attempt intubation success (85% to 95%, p improving RSI intubation performance in a large air medical company.

  11. Lifetime number of mates interacts with female age to determine reproductive success in female guppies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan P Evans

    Full Text Available In many species, mating with multiple males confers benefits to females, but these benefits may be offset by the direct and indirect costs associated with elevated mating frequency. Although mating frequency (number of mating events is often positively associated with the degree of multiple mating (actual number of males mated, most studies have experimentally separated these effects when exploring their implications for female fitness. In this paper I describe an alternative approach using the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a livebearing freshwater fish in which females benefit directly and indirectly from mating with multiple males via consensual matings but incur direct and indirect costs of mating as a consequence of male sexual harassment. In the present study, females were experimentally assigned different numbers of mates throughout their lives in order to explore how elevated mating frequency and multiple mating combine to influence lifetime reproductive success (LRS and survival (i.e. direct components of female fitness. Under this mating design, survival and LRS were not significantly affected by mating treatment, but there was a significant interaction between brood size and reproductive cycle (a correlate of female age because females assigned to the high mating treatment produced significantly fewer offspring later in life compared to their low-mating counterparts. This negative effect of mating treatment later in life may be important in these relatively long-lived fishes, and this effect may be further exacerbated by the known cross-generational fitness costs of sexual harassment in guppies.

  12. Venous thromboembolism in assisted reproductive technologies: comparison between unsuccessful versus successful cycles in an Italian cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villani, Michela; Favuzzi, Giovanni; Totaro, Pasquale; Chinni, Elena; Vecchione, Gennaro; Vergura, Patrizia; Fischetti, Lucia; Margaglione, Maurizio; Grandone, Elvira

    2018-02-01

    Pregnancies after assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have been associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). On the contrary, the magnitude of this risk in unsuccessful ART cycles (not resulting in a clinical pregnancy) has not yet been clearly defined. In this study, we evaluated the incidence of VTE in unsuccessful cycles and compared it with that recorded in successful cycles in the same study population. From a cohort of 998 women consecutively referred by local Fertility Clinics to our Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis Unit (April 2002-July 2011), we identified and included women with at least one cycle of ovarian stimulation and a negative history for VTE. Overall, 661 women undergone 1518 unsuccessful and 318 successful cycles of ovarian stimulation, respectively, were analysed. VTE events occurred in 2/1518 (1.3‰) unsuccessful cycles compared with 3/318 (9.4‰) successful cycles, (Two-tailed Fisher exact test, p = 0.04, OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02-1.02). Both cases observed in unsuccessful cycles were isolated pulmonary embolism occurred after OHSS; no antithrombotic prophylaxis had been prescribed. At logistic regression analysis, the occurrence of successful cycle and BMI were significantly and independently associated with the occurrence of VTE with an OR of 13.94 (95% CI 1.41-137.45) and 1.23 (95% CI 1.01-1.49), respectively. VTE incidence is significantly lower in unsuccessful cycles as compared to that of successful ones. However, although rare, thrombotic risk during ovarian stimulation cannot be excluded and, when it occurs, can be life-threatening. Therefore, particular attention should be paid to these women, independently of ART outcome.

  13. Determinants of distribution, abundance and reproductive success ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... while local vegetation structure determines the abundance of locally established populations. The abundance of trees affects nest site availability and breeding success, based on observations at two oases. Blackbird nests were usually situated on pomegranate trees and olive trees. The Common Blackbird is a successful ...

  14. Women's career priority is associated with attitudes towards family planning and ethical acceptance of reproductive technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simoni, Michael K; Mu, Lin; Collins, Stephen C

    2017-10-01

    Do women who place high importance on career success have different perceptions of pregnancy planning, delayed reproduction, and the ethical acceptability of ART than women with less emphasis on their career? Career-focused women place more importance on pregnancy planning, have greater confidence in delayed childbearing, and are more ethically accepting of donor gamete ART than women who do not place as much importance on career success. Women in high-professional careers are more likely to delay childbearing while simultaneously possessing a stronger desire for motherhood. The underlying values which enable these competing desires have not been elucidated. This cross-sectional study utilized data from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (NSFB), a nationally representative telephone survey of US women aged 25-45. Funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the NSFB surveyed 4712 women from 2004 to 2007. In addition to demographic data, the NSFB obtained information about the reproductive history and personal values of participants. Weighted multivariate regression analysis was used to assess reproductive values in career-focused women. In total, 48.8% of women considered success in work very important, while 17.3% considered it somewhat or not important. Women who placed less value on career success were less likely to consider pregnancy planning important and were less optimistic about the success of delayed childbearing than their work-centric counterparts. Women less focused on their careers were also more likely to have serious ethical concerns about donor gametes, but less likely to have ethical concerns about IUI or IVF, when compared to career-focused women. Intention to bear children could not be evaluated in the setting of career intentions due to a lack of data on when the participant intended on pursuing motherhood. Political preferences on reproductive health were also not evaluated. The validity

  15. Broad-scale latitudinal variation in female reproductive success contributes to the maintenance of a geographic range boundary in bagworms (Lepidoptera: Psychidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Rhainds

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Geographic range limits and the factors structuring them are of great interest to biologists, in part because of concerns about how global change may shift range boundaries. However, scientists lack strong mechanistic understanding of the factors that set geographic range limits in empirical systems, especially in animals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Across dozens of populations spread over six degrees of latitude in the American Midwest, female mating success of the evergreen bagworm Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Lepidoptera: Psychidae declines from ∼100% to ∼0% near the edge of the species range. When coupled with additional latitudinal declines in fecundity and in egg and pupal survivorship, a spatial gradient of bagworm reproductive success emerges. This gradient is associated with a progressive decline in local abundance and an increased risk of local population extinction, up to a latitudinal threshold where extremely low female fitness meshes spatially with the species' geographic range boundary. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The reduction in fitness of female bagworms near the geographic range limit, which concords with the abundant centre hypothesis from biogeography, provides a concrete, empirical example of how an Allee effect (increased pre-reproductive mortality of females in sparsely populated areas may interact with other demographic factors to induce a geographic range limit.

  16. Domains associated with successful quality improvement in healthcare - a nationwide case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandrud, Aleidis Skard; Nyen, Bjørnar; Hjortdahl, Per; Sandvik, Leiv; Helljesen Haldorsen, Gro Sævil; Bergli, Maria; Nelson, Eugene C; Bretthauer, Michael

    2017-09-13

    There is a distinct difference between what we know and what we do in healthcare: a gap that is impairing the quality of the care and increasing the costs. Quality improvement efforts have been made worldwide by learning collaboratives, based on recognized continual improvement theory with limited scientific evidence. The present study of 132 quality improvement projects in Norway explores the conditions for improvement from the perspectives of the frontline healthcare professionals, and evaluates the effectiveness of the continual improvement method. An instrument with 25 questions was developed on prior focus group interviews with improvement project members who identified features that may promote or inhibit improvement. The questionnaire was sent to 189 improvement projects initiated by the Norwegian Medical Association, and responded by 70% (132) of the improvement teams. A sub study of their final reports by a validated instrument, made us able to identify the successful projects and compare their assessments with the assessments of the other projects. A factor analysis with Varimax rotation of the 25 questions identified five domains. A multivariate regression analysis was used to evaluate the association with successful quality improvements. Two of the five domains were associated with success: Measurement and Guidance (p = 0.011), and Professional environment (p = 0.015). The organizational leadership domain was not associated with successful quality improvements (p = 0.26). Our findings suggest that quality improvement projects with good guidance and focus on measurement for improvement have increased likelihood of success. The variables in these two domains are aligned with improvement theory and confirm the effectiveness of the continual improvement method provided by the learning collaborative. High performing professional environments successfully engaged in patient-centered quality improvement if they had access to: (a) knowledge of best

  17. Recent techniques for improving reproductive efficiency of livestock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, A.R.

    1994-01-01

    Radioimmunoassay (RIA) techniques for the measurement of reproductive hormones have been developed over the past two decades. These have contributed enormously to the understanding of reproductive physiology and to the application of fertility programmes in the field. For example, the measurement of progesterone in milk or blood of cows is a widely used technique to monitor ovarian function and to determine fertility parameters, e.g. for pregnancy diagnosis. RIA techniques have also found major application in detailed study of biochemical and physiological mechanisms controlling reproductive processes. For example, the RIA of the gonadotrophin hormones luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), oestradiol-17β, progesterone, prostaglandins and more recently inhibin has been a basis for understanding the control of ovarian function. The major biological and management constraints to optimal livestock fertility are ovarian and behavioural anoestrus, failure of pregnancy and suboptimal litter size. The physiological background of these problems is briefly reviewed together with techniques being developed to alleviate their effects. (author). 50 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  18. Redirecting reproductive immunology research toward pregnancy as a period of temporary immune tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleicher, Norbert; Kushnir, Vitaly A; Barad, David H

    2017-04-01

    Referring to two recent publications, we here propose that clinical reproductive immunology has for decades stagnated because reproductive medicine, including assisted reproduction (AR), has failed to accept embryo implantation as an immune system-driven process, dependent on establishment of maternal tolerance toward the implanting fetal semi-allograft (and complete allograft in cases of oocyte donation). Pregnancy represents a biologically unique period of temporary (to the period of gestation restricted) tolerance, otherwise only known in association with parasitic infections. Rather than investigating the immune pathways necessary to induce this rather unique state of tolerance toward the rapidly growing parasitic antigen load of the fetus, the field, instead, concentrated on irrelevant secondary immune phenomena (i.e., "immunological noise"). It, therefore, does not surprise that interesting recent research, offering new potential insights into maternal tolerance during pregnancy, was mostly published outside of the field of reproductive medicine. This research offers evidence for existence of inducible maternal tolerance pathways with the ability of improving maternal fecundity and, potentially, reducing such late pregnancy complications as premature labor and preeclampsia/eclampsia due to premature abatement of maternal tolerance. Increasing evidence also suggests that tolerance-inducing immune pathways are similar in successful pregnancy, successful organ transplantation and, likely also in the tolerance of "self" (i.e., prevention of autoimmunity). Identifying and isolating these pathways, therefore, may greatly benefit all three of these clinical areas, and research in reproductive immunology should be accordingly redirected.

  19. Assisted reproduction with gametes and embryos: what research is needed and fundable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidel, George E

    2016-01-01

    Principles for selecting future research projects include interests of investigators, fundability, potential applications, ethical considerations, being able to formulate testable hypotheses and choosing the best models, including selection of the most appropriate species. The following 10 areas of assisted reproduction seem especially appropriate for further research: efficacious capacitation of bovine spermatozoa in vitro; improved in vitro bovine oocyte maturation; decreasing variability and increasing efficacy of bovine superovulation; improved fertility of sexed semen; improving equine IVF; improving cryopreservation of rooster spermatozoa; understanding differences between males in success of sperm cryopreservation and reasons for success in competitive fertilisation; mechanisms of reprogramming somatic cell nuclei after nuclear transfer; regulation of differentiation of ovarian primordial follicles; and means by which spermatozoa maintain fertility during storage in the epididymis. Issues are species specific for several of these topics, in most cases because the biology is species specific.

  20. Honey and honey-based sugars partially affect reproductive trade-offs in parasitoids exhibiting different life-history and reproductive strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A; Essens, Tijl A; Las, Rutger A; van Veen, Cindy; Visser, Bertanne; Ellers, Jacintha; Heinen, Robin; Gols, Rieta

    2017-04-01

    Adult dietary regimes in insects may affect egg production, fecundity and ultimately fitness. This is especially relevant in parasitoid wasps where many species serve as important biological control agents of agricultural pests. Here, we tested the effect of honey and sugar diets on daily fecundity schedules, lifetime reproductive success and longevity in four species of parasitoid wasps when reared on their respective hosts. The parasitoid species were selected based on dichotomies in host usage strategies and reproductive traits. Gelis agilis and G. areator are idiobiont ecto-parasitoids that develop in non-growing hosts, feed on protein-rich host fluids to maximize reproduction as adults and produce small numbers of large eggs. Meteorus pulchricornis and Microplitis mediator are koinobiont endoparasitoids that develop inside the bodies of growing hosts, do not host-feed, and produce greater numbers of small eggs. Parasitoids were reared on diets of either pure honey (containing trace amounts of proteins), heated honey (with denatured proteins) and a honey-mimic containing sugars only. We hypothesized that the benefits of proteins in honey would enhance reproduction in the ectoparasitoids due to their high metabolic investment per egg, but not in the koinobionts. Pure honey diet resulted in higher lifetime fecundity in G. agilis compared with the honey-mimic, whereas in both koinobionts, reproductive success did not vary significantly with diet. Longevity was less affected by diet in all of the parasitoids, although there were variable trade-offs between host access and longevity in the four species. We argue that there are both trait-based and association-specific effects of supplementary nutrients in honey on reproductive investment and success in parasitoid wasps. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) used to assess a Beneficial Use Impairment in U.S. and Binational Great Lakes’ Areas of Concern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Christine M.; Custer, Thomas W.; Etterson, Matthew A.; Dummer, Paul; Goldberg, Diana R.; Franson, J. Christian

    2018-01-01

    During 2010-2014, tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) reproductive success was monitored at 68 sites across all 5 Great Lakes, including 58 sites located within Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) and 10 non-AOCs. Sample eggs were collected from tree swallow clutches and analyzed for contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and 34 other organic compounds. Contaminant data were available for 360 of the clutches monitored. Markov chain multistate modeling was used to assess the importance of 5 ecological variables and 11 of the dominant contaminants in explaining the pattern of egg and nestling failure rates. Four of 5 ecological variables (Female Age, Date within season, Year, and Site) were important explanatory variables. Of the 11 contaminants, only total dioxin and furan toxic equivalents (TEQs) explained a significant amount of the egg failure probabilities. Neither total PCBs nor PCB TEQs explained the variation in egg failure rates. In a separate analysis, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in nestling diet, used as a proxy for female diet during egg laying, was significantly correlated with the daily probability of egg failure. The 8 sites within AOCs which had poorer reproduction when compared to 10 non-AOC sites, the measure of impaired reproduction as defined by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, were associated with exposure to dioxins and furan TEQs, PAHs, or depredation. Only 2 sites had poorer reproduction than the poorest performing non-AOC. Using a classic (non-modeling) approach to estimating reproductive success, 82% of nests hatched at least 1 egg, and 75% of eggs laid, excluding those collected for contaminant analyses, hatched.

  2. When do we eat? Ingestive behavior, survival, and reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jill E; Wise, Justina D; Benton, Noah A; Brozek, Jeremy M; Keen-Rhinehart, Erin

    2013-09-01

    The neuroendocrinology of ingestive behavior is a topic central to human health, particularly in light of the prevalence of obesity, eating disorders, and diabetes. The study of food intake in laboratory rats and mice has yielded some useful hypotheses, but there are still many gaps in our knowledge. Ingestive behavior is more complex than the consummatory act of eating, and decisions about when and how much to eat usually take place in the context of potential mating partners, competitors, predators, and environmental fluctuations that are not present in the laboratory. We emphasize appetitive behaviors, actions that bring animals in contact with a goal object, precede consummatory behaviors, and provide a window into motivation. Appetitive ingestive behaviors are under the control of neural circuits and neuropeptide systems that control appetitive sex behaviors and differ from those that control consummatory ingestive behaviors. Decreases in the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels enhance the stimulatory effects of peripheral hormones on appetitive ingestive behavior and the inhibitory effects on appetitive sex behavior, putting a new twist on the notion of leptin, insulin, and ghrelin "resistance." The ratio of hormone concentrations to the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels may generate a critical signal that schedules conflicting behaviors, e.g., mate searching vs. foraging, food hoarding vs. courtship, and fat accumulation vs. parental care. In species representing every vertebrate taxa and even in some invertebrates, many putative "satiety" or "hunger" hormones function to schedule ingestive behavior in order to optimize reproductive success in environments where energy availability fluctuates. © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  4. The effects of patch shape and connectivity on nest site selection and reproductive success of the Indigo Bunting.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weldon, Aimee Jean

    2004-07-01

    Description – Ph.D Dissertation. North Carolina State University. Raleigh, North Carolina. 135 pp. Abatract - Habitat fragmentation and its associated effects have been blamed for the recent population declines of many Neotropical migratory bird species. Increased predation and parasitism resulting from edge-related effects have been implicated for poor nesting success in many studies, mostly of forest interior species. However, little attention has been devoted to disturbance-dependent birds. In this study, I examine how patch shape and connectivity in fragmented landscapes affects the reproductive success of disturbance-dependent bird species, specifically the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). I conducted my study in a landscape-scale experimental system of similar-area habitat patches that differed in connectivity and in shape. Shapes differed between edgy and rectangular forms, where edgy patches contained 50% more edge than rectangular patches. I tested whether edgy patches function as ecological traps for species with strong edge preferences, by leading them to select dangerous habitats. Indigo Buntings preferentially selected edgy patches over rectangular patches, but experienced significantly lower reproductive success in edgy patches early in the season. Although predation pressure intensified in rectangular patches late in the season, seasonal fecundity was still significantly lower in edgy patches, providing the first empirical evidence that edges can function as ecological traps for Indigo Buntings. A second objective of my study was to evaluate the efficacy of conservation corridors for disturbance-dependent bird species. Conservation corridors have become a popular strategy to preserve biodiversity and promote gene flow in fragmented landscapes, but corridors may also have negative consequences. I tested the hypothesis that corridors can increase nest predation risk in connected patches relative to unconnected patches. Nest predation rates

  5. Deciphering the Costs of Reproduction in Mango – Vegetative Growth Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capelli, Mathilde; Lauri, Pierre-Éric; Normand, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Irregular fruit production across successive years is a major issue that limits the profitability of most temperate and tropical fruit crops. It is particularly affected by the reciprocal relationships between vegetative and reproductive growth. The concept of the costs of reproduction is defined in terms of losses in the potential future reproductive success caused by current investment in reproduction. This concept, developed in ecology and evolutionary biology, could provide a methodological framework to analyze irregular bearing in fruit crops, especially in relation to the spatial scale at which studies are done. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct effects of reproduction during a growing cycle on reproduction during the following growing cycle and the indirect effects through vegetative growth between these two reproductive events, for four mango cultivars and during two growing cycles. Two spatial scales were considered: the growth unit (GU) and the scaffold branch. Costs of reproduction were detected between two successive reproductive events and between reproduction and vegetative growth. These costs were scale-dependent, generally detected at the GU scale and infrequently at the scaffold branch scale, suggesting partial branch autonomy with respect to processes underlying the effects of reproduction on vegetative growth. In contrast, the relationships between vegetative growth and reproduction were positive at the GU scale and at the scaffold branch scale in most cases, suggesting branch autonomy for the processes, mainly local, underlying flowering and fruiting. The negative effect of reproduction on vegetative growth prevailed over the positive effect of vegetative growth on the subsequent reproduction. The costs of reproduction were also cultivar-dependent. Those revealed at the GU scale were related to the bearing behavior of each cultivar. Our results put forward the crucial role of vegetative growth occurring between two

  6. Controlled reproduction of penaeid shrimp: a contribution to its improvement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alfaro Montoya, J.

    2001-01-01

    This dissertation deals with controlled reproduction of penaeid shrimp. New knowledge about natural reproductive activity of Penaeus occidentalis in Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica, is presented. Since in vitro fertilization of open thelycum shrimp proved unsuccessful, a hypothesis is given to

  7. Reproductive Science for High School Students: A Shared Curriculum Model to Enhance Student Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Megan; Cleveland, Charlotte; Gordon, Diana; Jones, Lynda; Zelinski, Mary; Winter, Patricia; Chang, Jeffrey; Senegar-Mitchell, Ericka; Coutifaris, Christos; Shuda, Jamie; Mainigi, Monica; Bartolomei, Marisa; Woodruff, Teresa K

    2016-07-01

    The lack of a national reproductive biology curriculum leads to critical knowledge gaps in today's high school students' comprehensive understanding of human biology. The Oncofertility Consortium developed curricula that address the basic and clinical aspects of reproductive biology. Launching this academy and creating easy-to-disseminate learning modules allowed other universities to implement similar programs across the country. The expansion of this informal, extracurricular academy on reproductive health from Northwestern University to the University of California, San Diego, Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of Pennsylvania magnifies the scope of scientific learning to students who might not otherwise be exposed to this important information. To assess the experience gained from this curriculum, we polled alumni from the four centers. Data were collected anonymously from de-identified users who elected to self-report on their experiences in their respective reproductive science academy. The alumni survey asked participants to report on their current academic standing, past experiences in the academy, and future academic and career goals. The results of this national survey suggest the national oncofertility academies had a lasting impact on participants and may have contributed to student persistence in scientific learning. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  8. Poverty alleviation aspects of successful improved household stoves programmes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-01-01

    Programmes to improve household wood and charcoal stove efficiencies have been launched throughout the developing world over the past 20 years. Their main driver has been to reduce environmental degradation resulting from the removal of trees for charcoal and fuel wood production. In addition, health benefits arise from the reduction or removal of smoke in people's homes. Unfortunately, many programmes have failed to establish sustainable improved stove production - primarily through lack of sufficient attention to consumer tastes and market dynamics. This project, carried out in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, has identified key success factors for sustainable stove production and supply by determining the poverty impacts of successful, commercially-based, improved household biomass stove programmes on producers, consumers and others associated with the household fuel and stove supply and end-use business. (author)

  9. Ovarian Stem Cell Nests in Reproduction and Ovarian Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Haifeng; Zheng, Tuochen; Li, Wei; Li, Xiaoyan; Fu, Xinxin; Huang, Yaoqi; Hu, Chuan; Li, Jia; Huang, Jian; Liu, Zhengyv; Zheng, Liping; Zheng, Yuehui

    2017-01-01

    The fixed primordial follicles pool theory, which monopolized reproductive medicine for more than one hundred years, has been broken by the discovery, successful isolation and establishment of ovarian stem cells. It has brought more hope than ever of increasing the size of primordial follicle pool, improving ovarian function and delaying ovarian consenescence. Traditional view holds that stem cell aging contributes to the senility of body and organs. However, in the process of ovarian aging, the main factor leading to the decline of the reproductive function is the aging and degradation of ovarian stem cell nests, rather than the senescence of ovarian germ cells themselves. Recent studies have found that the immune system and circulatory system are involved in the formation of ovarian germline stem cell niches, as well as regulating the proliferation and differentiation of ovarian germline stem cells through cellular and hormonal signals. Therefore, we can improve ovarian function and delay ovarian aging by improving the immune system and circulatory system, which will provide an updated program for the treatment of premature ovarian failure (POF) and infertility. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Quality of care in reproductive health programmes: monitoring and evaluation of quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwast, B E

    1998-12-01

    As 200 million women become pregnant every year, at least 30 million will develop life-threatening complications requiring emergency treatment at any level of society where they live. But it is a basic human right that pregnancy be made safe for all women as complications are mostly unpredictable. This requires reproductive health programmes which are responsive to women's and their families' needs and expectations on the one hand and enhancement of community participation, high quality obstetric services, and both provider collaboration and satisfaction on the other. Monitoring and evaluation of these facets need to be an integral part of any safe motherhood programme, not only to assess progress, but also to use this information for subsequent planning and implementation cycles of national programmes. Lessons learned from ten years' implementation of Safe Motherhood programmes indicate that process and outcome indicators are more feasible for short-term evaluation purposes than impact indicators, such as maternal mortality reduction. The former are described in this paper with relevant country examples. This is the third, and last, article in a series on quality of care in reproductive health programmes. The first (Kwast 1998a) contains an overview of concepts, assessments, barriers and improvements of quality of care. The second (Kwast 1998b) addresses education issues for quality improvement.

  11. Seasonal variation in male alternative reproductive tactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, M J; Amundsen, T; Utne-Palm, A C; Mobley, K B

    2016-12-01

    Genetic parentage analyses reveal considerable diversity in alternative reproductive behaviours (e.g. sneaking) in many taxa. However, little is known about whether these behaviours vary seasonally and between populations. Here, we investigate seasonal variation in male reproductive behaviours in a population of two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens) in Norway. Male two-spotted gobies guard nests, attract females and care for fertilized eggs. We collected clutches and nest-guarding males early and late in the breeding season in artificial nests and used microsatellite markers to reconstruct parentage from a subset of offspring from each nest. We hypothesized that mating, reproductive success and sneaking should be more prevalent early in the breeding season when competition for mates among males is predicted to be higher. However, parentage analyses revealed similar values of mating, reproductive success and high frequencies of successful sneaking early (30% of nests) and late (27% of nests) in the season. We also found that multiple females with eggs in the same nest were fertilized by one or more sneaker males, indicating that some males in this population engage in a satellite strategy. We contrast our results to previous work that demonstrates low levels of cuckoldry in a population in Sweden. Our results demonstrate marked stability in both the genetic mating system and male alternative reproductive tactics over the breeding season. However, sneaking rates may vary geographically within a species, likely due to local selection influencing ecological factors encountered at different locations. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. The generalist Inga subnuda subsp. luschnathiana (Fabaceae): negative effect of floral visitors on reproductive success?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avila, R; Pinheiro, M; Sazima, M

    2015-05-01

    Inga species are characterised by generalist or mixed pollination system. However, this feature does not enhance reproductive rates in species with very low fruit set under natural conditions. Some ecological and genetic factors are associated with this feature, and to test the effect of massive visits on pollination success in Inga subnuda subsp. luschnathiana, we studied the efficacy of polyads deposited on stigmas of flowers isolated from visitors and polyads exposed to visitors. The proportion of polyads fixed in stigmas decreased after exposure to visitors (24 h) in comparison to stigmas isolated from visitors (hummingbirds, bees, wasps, hawkmoths and bats), and fruit set was very low. Furthermore, nectar production, sugar composition and other floral biology traits were evaluated. Increased nectar production, sugar availability and sucrose dominance during the night indicates adaptation to nocturnal visitors and supports their role as main pollinators; although the brush-flower morphology, time of anthesis, nectar dynamics and chemical composition also allow daytime visitors. Thus the species is an important resource for a diverse group of floral visitors. We conclude that excess visits (diurnal and nocturnal) are responsible for the decrease in fixed polyads in stigmas of I. subnuda subsp. luschnathiana flowers, thus contributing, with others factors, to its low fruit set. Therefore, the generalist pollination system does not result in reproductive advantages because the low fruit set in natural conditions could be the result of a negative effect of visitors/pollinators. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  13. Evolution of reproductive life histories in island birds worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covas, Rita

    2012-04-22

    Island environments typically share characteristics such as impoverished biotas and less-seasonal climates, which should be conducive to specific adaptations by organisms. However, with the exception of morphological studies, broad-scale tests of patterns of adaptation on islands are rare. Here, I examine reproductive patterns in island birds worldwide. Reproductive life histories are influenced by latitude, which could affect the response to insularity; therefore, I additionally test this hypothesis. Island colonizers showed mostly bi-parental care, but there was a significant increase in cooperative breeding on islands. Additionally, I found support for previous suggestions of reduced fecundity, longer developmental periods and increased investment in young on islands. However, clutch size increased with latitude at a rate nearly five times faster on the mainland than on the islands revealing a substantially stronger effect of insularity at higher latitudes. Latitude and insularity may also interact to determine egg volume and incubation periods, but these effects were less clear. Analyses of reproductive success did not support an effect of reduced nest predation as a driver of reproductive change, but this requires further study. The effect of latitude detected here suggests that the evolutionary changes associated with insularity relate to environmental stability and improved adult survival.

  14. Advances in endoscopic surgery for small animal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katic, N; Dupré, G

    2016-09-01

    Although endoscopic surgery entered its "golden era" in the mid-1980s, it is still advancing at a tremendous pace. Novel surgical techniques and devices are continuously developed and applied, and new indications (and/or contraindications) for the use of endoscopic surgery are routinely reported in the literature and subjected to systematic assessments. Although endoscopic surgery (laparoscopy in particular) has already become established as the gold standard in human medicine, it has yet to be proven as a viable alternative to open surgery in the field of veterinary medicine. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery include better intra-operative visualization, reduced postoperative pain, reduced scar formation and increased postoperative mobility. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that the application of this will continue to expand. Small animal reproduction, a field within the broad discipline of veterinary medicine, has already recognized and begun to reap the benefits of endoscopic surgery. Herein, we retrospectively review the most recent successful novel applications of endoscopic surgery in the small animal reproduction system to provide small animal reproductive surgeons with important knowledge to help improve their own veterinarian medical practice. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  15. Successful survival, growth, and reproductive potential of quagga mussels in low calcium lake water: is there uncertainty of establishment risk?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clinton J. Davis

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The risk of quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis Andrusov 1897 establishment into water-bodies of the western US has expanded the geographic concern regarding the ecological and economic impacts this species will have in aquatic ecosystems. Thresholds based on calcium concentrations, an element critical for mussel growth and physiology, have been used as a primary predictor of quagga mussel establishment success to aid management decisions. We evaluated the invasion potential of quagga mussels in low calcium waters using laboratory experiments to compare the survival, growth and reproductive potential of adult mussels held for 90 days at low (9 and 12 ppm, moderate (15 to 32 ppm and high (72 ppm calcium water concentrations. In conjunction with adult experiments, veliger stage survival, growth and settlement were evaluated under similar low, moderate, and high calcium water treatments. Adult mussels survived, grew and showed reproductive potential in low calcium water (12 ppm. Veligers were also able to survive, grow and settle in low calcium water. Higher levels of natural seston biomass appeared to improve adult mussel life history performance in low calcium water. Survival curve analysis predicted that 99% adult mortality could occur in 15 ppm could have adults surviving more than a year. The results from these bioassays provide further evidence that quagga mussels have higher risk of establishment in low calcium lakes if habitats exist that have slightly elevated calcium. These results should help emphasize the vulnerability of water-body in the 12 to 15 ppm calcium range that could potentially be at risk of establishing sustainable quagga mussel populations. Furthermore, these results provide insights into the uncertainty of using a single parameter in assigning establishment risk given the complexity of variables in specific water-bodies that influence life history performance of introduced species.

  16. Successful survival, growth, and reproductive potential of quagga mussels in low calcium lake water: is there uncertainty of establishment risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Clinton J; Ruhmann, Emma K; Acharya, Kumud; Chandra, Sudeep; Jerde, Christopher L

    2015-01-01

    The risk of quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis Andrusov 1897) establishment into water-bodies of the western US has expanded the geographic concern regarding the ecological and economic impacts this species will have in aquatic ecosystems. Thresholds based on calcium concentrations, an element critical for mussel growth and physiology, have been used as a primary predictor of quagga mussel establishment success to aid management decisions. We evaluated the invasion potential of quagga mussels in low calcium waters using laboratory experiments to compare the survival, growth and reproductive potential of adult mussels held for 90 days at low (9 and 12 ppm), moderate (15 to 32 ppm) and high (72 ppm) calcium water concentrations. In conjunction with adult experiments, veliger stage survival, growth and settlement were evaluated under similar low, moderate, and high calcium water treatments. Adult mussels survived, grew and showed reproductive potential in low calcium water (12 ppm). Veligers were also able to survive, grow and settle in low calcium water. Higher levels of natural seston biomass appeared to improve adult mussel life history performance in low calcium water. Survival curve analysis predicted that 99% adult mortality could occur in 15 ppm could have adults surviving more than a year. The results from these bioassays provide further evidence that quagga mussels have higher risk of establishment in low calcium lakes if habitats exist that have slightly elevated calcium. These results should help emphasize the vulnerability of water-body in the 12 to 15 ppm calcium range that could potentially be at risk of establishing sustainable quagga mussel populations. Furthermore, these results provide insights into the uncertainty of using a single parameter in assigning establishment risk given the complexity of variables in specific water-bodies that influence life history performance of introduced species.

  17. Improvement of Adolescent Reproductive Health Understanding by Implementation of Educative, Collaborative, Participative, and Problem Based (ECPPB Learning Strategy in Buleleng District, Bali-Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desak Made Citrawathi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: One of potential public health issues in Indonesia is the problem of Adolescent Reproduction Health (ARH, particulary the behavior of having sex premaritaly and promiscuity, which is at risk of having unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted deseases such as HIV/AIDS. Increase in student’s knowledge, attitude, and skill by application of education of adolescent reproduction health (EARHis hopefully  will reduce the ARH problem.Method: This was experimental research with randomized pretest-posttest control group design. This research was conducted in Grade VIII of Junior High School with 72 research samples. Data were analysed by using Multivariate Analysis of Variances (Manova. Result: Data analysis showed that ECPPB learning strategy was better to improve students’ knowledge ARH, students’ attitude toward reproduction health, and students’ skill in ARH problem solving than students who were treated by using conventional teaching strategy in which the p = 0.0001(p < 0,05. The Partial Ata Squared (PTA was 87.4 %, which means the learning strategy was able to improve learning achievement as much as 87.4 %. The highest improvement of learning achievement by using ECPPBlearning strategy was on students’ skill in ARH problem solving (PES=80.9%. Improvement of health reproduction attitude was 63.2 %, and improvement of students’ knowledge about reproduction health was 25.1%. Conclusion: Based on the result of this study was suggested in order to students be given EARH was integrated on the subject of science in junior high school by using ECPPB strategy.

  18. Effect of ADA1 mother-fetus and wife-husband phenotypic differences on the ratio birth weight/placental weight in fertile women and on reproductive success in couples with RSA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gloria-Bottini, Fulvia; Nicotra, Maria; Amante, Ada; Ambrosi, Sara; Cozzoli, Eliana; Saccucci, Patrizia; Bottini, Egidio; Magrini, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    To study the effect Adenosine Deaminase locus 1 (ADA(1)) mother-fetus and wife-husband phenotypic differences on the ratio Birth Weight/Placental Weight (BW/PW) in fertile women and on reproductive success in couples with repeated spontaneous abortion (RSA). 209 couples with primary RSA and a consecutive series of 379 healthy puerperae with their newborn infants from the White Caucasian population of central Italy were studied. In primary RSA women reproductive success was indicated by the presence of at least one live-born infant within 5 years of follow up. Two way contingency tables were analyzed by chi-square. The proportion of primary RSA couples with at least a live-born infant shows the highest value in couples mother ADA(1)1/father carrier of ADA(1)*2 allele (55.2%) and the lowest value in reciprocal couples mother carrier of ADA(1)*2 allele /father ADA(1)1 (18.7%) (O.R. = 5.33; P = 0.023). The highest ratio BW/PW is observed in the class mother ADA(1)1/newborn carrier of ADA(1)*2 allele while the lowest ratio is observed in the reciprocal class mother carrier of ADA(1)*2 allele/ newborn ADA(1)1. Differences between mother and fetus in ADA(1) phenotype may influence the ratio BW/PW in healthy women and reproductive success in RSA women. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. État de la fertilité du taureau sur l'efficacité de reproduction du ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    25 avr. 2013 ... Conclusion and application: The present study is an object, which allows to improve technology on behavior of the reproduction of cows raised in Africa. It shows that the success of a companion ..... propulsion après la monte. Des aplombs normaux se caractérisant par un angle convenable des jarrets des.

  20. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hothem, R.L.; Crayon, J.J.; Law, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels-black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)-generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  1. Gene therapy and reproductive medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stribley, John M; Rehman, Khurram S; Niu, Hairong; Christman, Gregory M

    2002-04-01

    To review the literature on the principles of gene therapy and its potential application in reproductive medicine. Literature review. Gene therapy involves transfer of genetic material to target cells using a delivery system, or vector. Attention has primarily focused on viral vectors. Significant problems remain to be overcome including low efficacy of gene transfer, the transient expression of some vectors, safety issues with modified adenoviruses and retroviruses, and ethical concerns. If these issues can be resolved, gene therapy will be applicable to an increasing spectrum of single and multiple gene disorders, as the Human Genome Project data are analyzed, and the genetic component of human disease becomes better understood. Gynecologic gene therapy has advanced to human clinical trials for ovarian carcinoma, and shows potential for the treatment of uterine leiomyomata. Obstetric applications of gene therapy, including fetal gene therapy, remain more distant goals. Concerns about the safety of human gene therapy research are being actively addressed, and remarkable progress in improving DNA transfer has been made. The first treatment success for a genetic disease (severe combined immunodeficiency disease) has been achieved, and ongoing research efforts will eventually yield clinical applications in many spheres of reproductive medicine.

  2. Individual quality explains variation in reproductive success better than territory quality in a long-lived territorial raptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jabi Zabala

    Full Text Available Evolution by natural selection depends on the relationship between individual traits and fitness. Variation in individual fitness can result from habitat (territory quality and individual variation. Individual quality and specialization can have a deep impact on fitness, yet in most studies on territorial species the quality of territory and individuals are confused. We aimed to determine if variation in breeding success is better explained by territories, individual quality or a combination of both. We analysed the number of fledglings and the breeding quality index (the difference between the number of fledglings of an individual/breeding pair and the average number of fledglings of the monitored territories in the same year as part of a long term (16 years peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus monitoring program with identification of individuals. Using individual and territory identities as correlates of quality, we built Generalised Linear Models with Mixed effects, in which random factors depicted different hypotheses for sources of variation (territory/individual quality in the reproductive success of unique breeding pairs, males and females, and assessed their performance. Most evidence supported the hypothesis that variation in breeding success is explained by individual identity, particularly male identity, rather than territory. There is also some evidence for inter year variations in the breeding success of females and a territory effect in the case of males. We argue that, in territorial species, individual quality is a major source of variation in breeding success, often masked by territory. Future ecological and conservation studies on habitat use should consider and include the effect of individuals, in order to avoid misleading results.

  3. Nectar secretion dynamic links pollinator behavior to consequences for plant reproductive success in the ornithophilous mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, T J; Galetto, L; Silva, W R

    2014-09-01

    The mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus was studied as a model to link flower phenology and nectar secretion strategy to pollinator behaviour and the reproductive consequences for the plant. The bright-coloured flowers presented diurnal anthesis, opened asynchronously throughout the rainy season and produced copious dilute nectar as the main reward for pollinators. Most nectar was secreted just after flower opening, with little sugar replenishment after experimental removals. During the second day of anthesis in bagged flowers, the flowers quickly reabsorbed the offered nectar. Low values of nectar standing crop recorded in open flowers can be linked with high visitation rates by bird pollinators. Eight hummingbirds and two passerines were observed as potential pollinators. The most frequent flower visitors were the hummingbirds Eupetomena macroura and Colibri serrirostris, which actively defended flowering mistletoes. The spatial separation between anthers, stigma and nectar chamber promotes pollen deposition on flapping wings of hovering hummingbirds that usually probe many flowers per visit. Seed set did not differ between hand-, self- and cross-pollinated flowers, but these treatments set significantly more seeds than flowers naturally exposed to flower visitors. We suggest that the limitation observed in the reproductive success of this plant is not related to pollinator scarcity, but probably to the extreme frequency of visitation by territorial hummingbirds. We conclude that the costs and benefits of plant reproduction depend on the interaction strength between flowers and pollinators, and the assessment of nectar secretion dynamics, pollinator behaviour and plant breeding system allows clarification of the complexity of such associations. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  4. An empirical test of evolutionary theories for reproductive senescence and reproductive effort in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparkman, Amanda M; Arnold, Stevan J; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2007-04-07

    Evolutionary theory predicts that differential reproductive effort and rate of reproductive senescence will evolve under different rates of external mortality. We examine the evolutionary divergence of age-specific reproduction in two life-history ecotypes of the western terrestrial garter snake, Thamnophis elegans. We test for the signature of reproductive senescence (decreasing fecundity with age) and increasing reproductive effort with age (increasing reproductive productivity per gram female) in replicate populations of two life-history ecotypes: snakes that grow fast, mature young and have shorter lifespans, and snakes that grow slow, mature late and have long lives. The difference between life-history ecotypes is due to genetic divergence in growth rate. We find (i) reproductive success (live litter mass) increases with age in both ecotypes, but does so more rapidly in the fast-growth ecotype, (ii) reproductive failure increases with age in both ecotypes, but the proportion of reproductive failure to total reproductive output remains invariant, and (iii) reproductive effort remains constant in fast-growth individuals with age, but declines in slow-growth individuals. This illustration of increasing fecundity with age, even at the latest ages, deviates from standard expectations for reproductive senescence, as does the lack of increases in reproductive effort. We discuss our findings in light of recent theories regarding the phenomenon of increased reproduction throughout life in organisms with indeterminate growth and its potential to offset theoretical expectations for the ubiquity of senescence.

  5. Improving Success in Developmental Mathematics: An Interview with Paul Nolting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boylan, Hunter R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents an interview with Dr. Paul Nolting, a national expert in assessing individual math learning problems, developing effective student learning strategies, and assessing institutional variables that affect math success. Since his dissertation in 1986 on improving math success with study skills Dr. Nolting has consulted with over…

  6. The role of adiponectin in reproduction: from polycystic ovary syndrome to assisted reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalakis, Konstantinos G; Segars, James H

    2010-11-01

    To summarize the effects of the adipokine adiponectin on the reproductive endocrine system, from the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to the gonads and target tissues of the reproductive system. A Medline computer search was performed to identify relevant articles. Research institution. None. Adiponectin is a hormone secreted by adipose tissue that acts to reduce insulin resistance and atherogenic damage, but it also exerts actions in other tissues. Adiponectin mediates its actions in the periphery mainly via two receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. Adiponectin receptors are present in many reproductive tissues, including the central nervous system, ovaries, oviduct, endometrium, and testes. Adiponectin influences gonadotropin release, normal pregnancy, and assisted reproduction outcomes. Adiponectin, a beneficial adipokine, represents a major link between obesity and reproduction. Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with improved menstrual function and better outcomes in assisted reproductive cycles. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive health behaviors and status in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Charlotte; Abuya, Timothy; Obare, Francis; Sunday, Joseph; Njue, Rebecca; Askew, Ian; Bellows, Ben

    2011-03-23

    Alternatives to the traditional 'supply-side' approach to financing service delivery are being explored. These strategies are termed results-based finance, demand-side health financing or output-based aid which includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the user rather than the provider. Initial pilot assessments of reproductive health voucher programs suggest that, they can increase access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. However, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Population Council, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to generate evidence around the 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in Kenya. A quasi-experimental study will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving reproductive health behaviors, reproductive health status and reducing inequities at the population level; and assessing the effect of vouchers on increasing access to, and quality of, and reducing inequities in the use of selected reproductive health services. The study comprises of four populations: facilities, providers, women of reproductive health age using facilities and women and men who have been pregnant and/or used family planning within the previous 12 months. The study will be carried out in samples of health facilities - public, private and faith-based in: three districts; Kisumu, Kiambu, Kitui and two informal settlements in Nairobi which are accredited to provide maternal and newborn health and family planning services to women holding vouchers for the services; and compared with a matched sample of non-accredited facilities. Health facility assessments (HFA) will be conducted at two stages to track temporal changes in quality of care and utilization. Facility inventories, structured observations, and

  8. Automatic color preference correction for color reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukada, Masato; Funayama, Chisato; Tajima, Johji

    2000-12-01

    The reproduction of natural objects in color images has attracted a great deal of attention. Reproduction more pleasing colors of natural objects is one of the methods available to improve image quality. We developed an automatic color correction method to maintain preferred color reproduction for three significant categories: facial skin color, green grass and blue sky. In this method, a representative color in an object area to be corrected is automatically extracted from an input image, and a set of color correction parameters is selected depending on the representative color. The improvement in image quality for reproductions of natural image was more than 93 percent in subjective experiments. These results show the usefulness of our automatic color correction method for the reproduction of preferred colors.

  9. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 8: Experimental study of the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on reproductive success in mink

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halbrook, R.S.; Aulerich, R.J.; Bursian, S.J.; Lewis, L.

    1999-01-01

    As a component of an ecological risk assessment of Poplar Creek (located on the Oak Ridge Reservation [ORR]) and the Clinch River (a large river-reservoir system), fish from Poplar Creek, the Clinch River, and Atlantic Ocean were fed to ranch mink to evaluate reproductive success. Five diets, each composed of 75% fish and 25% normal ranch mink chow, were prepared. Two diets served as reference diets and contained 75% Atlantic Ocean fish or 75% Clinch River fish collected above the ORR. The fish portion of the remaining three diets contained 25, 50, and 75% fish collected from Poplar Creek and 50, 25, and 0% ocean fish, respectively. Five mink groups (eight females and two males each) were each fed one of the prepared diets for 196 days. Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations were determined in diets and various mink tissues, ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was determined in liver tissue, and reproductive success was evaluated. Concentrations of PCB were greatest in the diet composed of 75% Poplar Creek fish and in tissues from mink fed this diet and their offspring. There was a trend toward decreased adult female and kit weights and reduced mean litter size in mink fed diets containing 75% Poplar Creek fish; however, at 6 weeks of age, kit survival was similar among diet groups. Liver EROD activity significantly increased in adult female mink fed 50 and 75% Poplar Creek fish diets. Estimated dietary concentrations of PCBs were similar to or slightly lower than concentrations associated with adverse effects in experimentally dosed mink. Mercury (Hg) concentrations previously reported in these same mink were below that associated with adverse effects, and there was no indication of additive or synergistic effects from exposure to PCBs plus Hg. It is unlikely that population-level reproductive effects would be observed in mink consuming fish from Poplar Creek on the ORR

  10. A guide for evaluating the adequacy of oak advance reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivan L. Sander; Paul S. Johnson; Richard F. Watt

    1976-01-01

    Gives instructions for conducting an inventory of oak advance reproduction prior to final harvest cutting to evaluate the potential for successful oak reproduction in new stands. The potential for oak stump sprouting is also considered.

  11. Reproductive success and contaminant associations in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) used to assess a beneficial use impairment in U.S. and Binational Great Lakes’ Areas of Concern

    Science.gov (United States)

    During 2010-2014, tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) reproductive success was monitored at 68 sites across all 5 Great Lakes, including 58 sites located within Great Lakes Areas of concern (AOCs) and 10 non-AOCs. Sample eggs were collected from tree swallow clutches and analyzed ...

  12. Reproduction in the space environment: Part II. Concerns for human reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, R. T.; Santy, P. A.

    1990-01-01

    Long-duration space flight and eventual colonization of our solar system will require successful control of reproductive function and a thorough understanding of factors unique to space flight and their impact on gynecologic and obstetric parameters. Part II of this paper examines the specific environmental factors associated with space flight and the implications for human reproduction. Space environmental hazards discussed include radiation, alteration in atmospheric pressure and breathing gas partial pressures, prolonged toxicological exposure, and microgravity. The effects of countermeasures necessary to reduce cardiovascular deconditioning, calcium loss, muscle wasting, and neurovestibular problems are also considered. In addition, the impact of microgravity on male fertility and gamete quality is explored. Due to current constraints, human pregnancy is now contraindicated for space flight. However, a program to explore effective countermeasures to current constraints and develop the required health care delivery capability for extended-duration space flight is suggested. A program of Earth- and space-based research to provide further answers to reproductive questions is suggested.

  13. Does weight loss improve semen quality and reproductive hormones? results from a cohort of severely obese men

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernst Emil

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A high body mass index (BMI has been associated with reduced semen quality and male subfecundity, but no studies following obese men losing weight have yet been published. We examined semen quality and reproductive hormones among morbidly obese men and studied if weight loss improved the reproductive indicators. Methods In this pilot cohort study, 43 men with BMI > 33 kg/m2 were followed through a 14 week residential weight loss program. The participants provided semen samples and had blood samples drawn, filled in questionnaires, and had clinical examinations before and after the intervention. Conventional semen characteristics as well as sperm DNA integrity, analysed by the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA were obtained. Serum levels of testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG, luteinizing hormone (LH, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH, anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH and inhibin B (Inh-B were measured. Results Participants were from 20 to 59 years of age (median = 32 with BMI ranging from 33 to 61 kg/m2. At baseline, after adjustment for potential confounders, BMI was inversely associated with sperm concentration (p = 0.02, total sperm count (p = 0.02, sperm morphology (p = 0.04, and motile sperm (p = 0.005 as well as testosterone (p = 0.04 and Inh-B (p = 0.04 and positively associated to estradiol (p Conclusion This study found obesity to be associated with poor semen quality and altered reproductive hormonal profile. Weight loss may potentially lead to improvement in semen quality. Whether the improvement is a result of the reduction in body weight per se or improved lifestyles remains unknown.

  14. Reproductive effort of some annual and perennial plant species: impact of successional sequence, habitat conditions and plant size

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaukat, S.; Khan, M.A.; Zaidi, S.; Siddiqui, M.F.; Khan, N.; Zafar, H.

    2013-01-01

    The reproductive effort of some annual and perennial plant species was investigated with respect to successional sequence, habitat conditions and plant size. in the psammosere succession (dune succession), the reproductive effort (RE) of Cressa cretica and A triplex griffithii was significantly greater in the early stage compared to that in late succession. Likewise, in relation to lithosere succession, Sporobolus arabicus. Pluchea lanceolata and Vernonia cenerescens all showed high reproductive effort in early part of succession compared to that of late succession. The annuals (S. arabicus and P lance/ala) exhibited greater reproductive effort compared to the perennial species Vernonia cinerescens. Examination of the Impact of site differences on reproductive effort showed that four grasses including Selaria intermedia, Chioris harbata, Cenchrus hiflorus, and Eragroslis pilosa were found to have significantly (P<0.05) greater reproductive effort in site 1 (near cultivated field), compared to site 2 (a vacant lot), which had low nutrient level compared to site 1. The reproductive effort of Sonclius asper (a composite) did not exhibit significant difference between sites. The investigation of relationships between plant size (volume) and reproductive effort of Solanuin forskalii, Senna holosericea and Heliolropium ophioglossum showed positive correlations between plant size and reproductive effort. Solanum forskalii and Senna holosericca, in particular, exhibited a close association in this respect. It is concluded that: 1) RE is greater in early compared to late succession, 2) RE changes with the habitat and 3) there seems to be a direct relationship between RE and plant size. (author)

  15. Development of a male reproductive toxicity assay for evaluating the success of bioremediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schrock, E.J.; Bantle, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    The Eglin Air Force Base was contaminated with JP-4 over 10 years ago. The project goal was to develop and evaluate male reproductive toxicity testing procedures and endpoints using the gametes of the South African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with particular emphasis on assessing the toxicity of contaminated soil from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Reproductive toxicity tests were done to evaluate several different locations within the original spill area. Specific sites were selected based on their location to the spill site. The site was evaluated before and after remediation. Before remediation, the males were exposed to the JP-4 orally for 73 days, with the contaminant injected into the food source. After remediation, the males were directly exposed to the contaminated soil samples for 60 days. The endpoints measured in both studies were: change in body weight, organ to body weight ratios, sperm counts, number of malformed sperm, and sperm motility. In both the pre and post remediation studies, there were no significant effects on body weight or organ weight data at the p ≤ 0.05 level. However, there were effects seen in sperm count and morphology. The male reproductive toxicity assay under development has given useful information in initially determining the reproductive toxicity of JP-4. Significant effects were seen in both the pre and post remediation direct exposure tests, indicating that the direct exposure route may be the most promising for future testing

  16. Improving Our Odds: Success through Continuous Risk Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenhalgh, Phillip O.

    2009-01-01

    Launching a rocket, running a business, driving to work and even day-to-day living all involve some degree of risk. Risk is ever present yet not always recognized, adequately assessed and appropriately mitigated. Identification, assessment and mitigation of risk are elements of the risk management component of the "continuous improvement" way of life that has become a hallmark of successful and progressive enterprises. While the application of risk management techniques to provide continuous improvement may be detailed and extensive, the philosophy, ideals and tools can be beneficially applied to all situations. Experiences with the use of risk identification, assessment and mitigation techniques for complex systems and processes are described. System safety efforts and tools used to examine potential risks of the Ares I First Stage of NASA s new Constellation Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) presently being designed are noted as examples. Recommendations from lessons learned are provided for the application of risk management during the development of new systems as well as for the improvement of existing systems. Lessons learned and suggestions given are also examined for applicability to simple systems, uncomplicated processes and routine personal daily tasks. This paper informs the reader of varied uses of risk management efforts and techniques to identify, assess and mitigate risk for improvement of products, success of business, protection of people and enhancement of personal life.

  17. Reproductive cycles of deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asher, G W

    2011-04-01

    The cervids are a complex assemblage of taxa showing extreme diversity in morphology, physiology, ecology and geographical distribution. Reproductive strategies adopted by various species are also diverse, and include a range from highly seasonal to completely aseasonal birth patterns. The recent growth in knowledge on cervid reproduction is strongly biased towards the larger-bodied, gregarious mixed grazer-browser species that have adapted well to human management and commercialisation. These species tend to represent 'K-selected' climax species characterised by very productive annual breeding success, singleton births and long breeding life (10+ years). Conversely, we know relatively little about the reproductive patterns of the 'r-selected' smaller-bodied, solitary (and often highly territorial), forest-dwelling browser species, often characterised by great fecundity (twinning) and shorter breeding life (<10 years). This group includes many of the endangered cervid taxa. This review extends earlier reviews to include more recent work on cervid reproductive cycles, particularly in relation to environmental factors influencing gestation length. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Personality, immune response and reproductive success: an appraisal of the pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monceau, Karine; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Moreau, Jérôme; Lucas, Camille; Capoduro, Rémi; Motreuil, Sébastien; Moret, Yannick

    2017-07-01

    The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis is an extended concept of the life-history theory that includes behavioural traits. The studies challenging the POLS hypothesis often focus on the relationships between a single personality trait and a physiological and/or life-history trait. While pathogens represent a major selective pressure, few studies have been interested in testing relationships between behavioural syndrome, and several fitness components including immunity. The aim of this study was to address this question in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, a model species in immunity studies. The personality score was estimated from a multidimensional syndrome based of four repeatable behavioural traits. In a first experiment, we investigated its relationship with two measures of fitness (reproduction and survival) and three components of the innate immunity (haemocyte concentration, and levels of activity of the phenoloxidase including the total proenzyme and the naturally activated one) to challenge the POLS hypothesis in T. molitor. Overall, we found a relationship between behavioural syndrome and reproductive success in this species, thus supporting the POLS hypothesis. We also showed a sex-specific relationship between behavioural syndrome and basal immune parameters. In a second experiment, we tested whether this observed relationship with innate immunity could be confirmed in term of differential survival after challenging by entomopathogenic bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis. In this case, no significant relationship was evidenced. We recommend that future researchers on the POLS should control for differences in evolutionary trajectory between sexes and to pay attention to the choice of the proxy used, especially when looking at immune traits. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  19. Reproductive Liberty and Overpopulation: A Response

    OpenAIRE

    Stanley Warner

    2004-01-01

    This appraisal of Carol A. Kates' 'Reproductive Liberty and Overpopulation' challenges her call for world-wide population control measures - using compulsory methods if necessary - to save the world's environment. The most successful part of Kates' paper is her argument that reproductive rights are not indefeasible and nonnegotiable, but that like many rights, they are conditional and open to a balancing of individual freedom against collective community interests. But her advocacy of mandato...

  20. What drives continuous improvement project success in healthcare?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stelson, Paul; Hille, Joshua; Eseonu, Chinweike; Doolen, Toni

    2017-02-13

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a study of factors that affect continuous improvement (CI) project success in hospitals. Design/methodology/approach Quantitative regression analysis was performed on Likert scale survey responses. Qualitative thematic analysis was performed on open-ended survey responses and written reports on CI projects. Findings The paper identifies managerial and employee factors that affect project success. These factors include managerial support, communication, and affective commitment. Affective commitment is the extent to which employees perceive the change as being needed or necessary. Practical implications The results highlight how managerial decisions, approaches to communication - including communication before, during and after CI projects affect project success. The results also show that success depends on the way employees perceive proposed changes. This suggests the need for a more individualized approach to CI, lean, and broader change initiatives. Originality/value This research is the first to fuse project success and sustainability theory to CI projects, beyond Kaizen events, in healthcare environments. The research is particularly important at a time when healthcare organizations are required to make rapid changes with limited resources as they work toward outcome-based assessment and reimbursement rules.

  1. Constraints to improving reproductive efficiency of ruminant livestock in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buvanendran, V.

    1989-01-01

    Reproductive performance in ruminants is closely linked to efficiency of production measured either directly as the number of surplus animals available for sale, or indirectly as amount of produce harvested per animal. In developing countries, the major limiting factors to reproductive rate are biological, of which the most important is nutrition. Undernutrition has detrimental effects on age at first calving owing to delay in attaining the target weight at puberty. Reconception is also adversely affected in animals that suffer high loss of weight after parturition owing to undernutrition in early lactation. Genetic variation in mature body weight among breeds is important. Under conditions of feed stress in cattle, there is a negative relationship between mature weight and fertility owing to the high maintenance requirements of larger animals. The most important socioeconomic factor contributing to reproductive inefficiency is the fostering of large herds containing disproportionate sex groups, thus reducing feed availability. In small ruminants, although multiple births increase reproductive rate, the high mortality associated with twinning makes it undesirable in some situations. Opportunities for increasing reproductive rate in these species seem to be greater through decreasing parturition interval than through increasing litter size. (author). 28 refs, 1 fig., 5 tabs

  2. Lizard reproductive medicine and surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Richard S

    2002-09-01

    Lizards are a diverse group of some 4470 species, a wide variety of which are now kept in captivity. Interest in captive lizards continues to increase, wild populations seem to be declining in some areas, and herpetoculturists continue to succeed in breeding more species; consequently, veterinarians must understand basic lizard reproductive biology to successfully treat lizard patients with reproductive problems. Just obtaining First Filial Generation (F1) offspring is an accomplishment. But we must look down the road to maintain a species in captivity for succeeding generations, and a lineage may not continue if attention is not given to details of appropriate husbandry and proper reproductive pursuits. One study documents the senescence of lineages in parthenogenetic lizards in captivity apparently associated with husbandry problems [99].

  3. Successful reproduction of unmated Tropilaelaps mercedesae and its implication on mite population growth in Apis mellifera colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highly hygienic colonies are known to reduce the reproductive potential of Varroa destructor. For Tropilaelaps mercedesae, information on how bee behavior may influence the mite’s reproductive potential is currently unknown. In this study, we assessed the influence of recapping on the reproduction o...

  4. Corticosterone mediated costs of reproduction link current to future breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael; Williams, Tony D

    2013-11-01

    Life-history theory predicts that costs are associated with reproduction. One possible mediator of costs involves the secretion of glucocorticoid hormones, which in birds can be measured in feathers grown during the breeding period. Glucocorticoids mediate physiological responses to unpredictable environmental or other stressors, but they can also function as metabolic regulators during more predictable events such as reproduction. Here we show that corticosterone ("Cort") in feathers grown during the breeding season reflects reproductive effort in two Antarctic seabird species (giant petrels, Macronectes spp.). In females of both species, but not males, feather Cort ("fCort") was nearly 1.5-fold higher in successful than failed breeders (those that lost their eggs/chicks), suggesting a cost of successful reproduction, i.e., high fCort levels in females reflect the elevated plasma Cort levels required to support high metabolic demands of chick-rearing. Successful breeding also led to delayed moult prior to winter migration. The fCort levels and pre-migration moult score that we measured at the end of current breeding were predictive of subsequent reproductive effort in the following year. Birds with high fCort and a delayed initiation of moult were much more likely to defer breeding in the following year. Cort levels and the timing of moult thus provide a potential mechanism for the tradeoff between current and future reproduction. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to resource availability in field enclosures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Bosch, Jordi

    2010-02-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is used to pollinate alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., for seed production in the United States and Canada. It is difficult to reliably sustain commercial M. rotundata populations in the United States because of problems with disease, parasites, predators, and unexplained mortality. One possible explanation for early immature mortality is that, relative to floral availability, superfluous numbers of bees are released in alfalfa fields where resources quickly become limited. Our objective was to determine how M. rotundata density affects bee nesting, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success. Various numbers of bees were released into enclosures on an alfalfa field, but only 10-90% of released female bees established nests. Therefore, a "bee density index" was derived for each enclosure from the number of established females and number of open flowers over time. As the density index increased, significant reductions occurred in the number of pollinated flowers, number of nests, and number of cells produced per bee, as well as the percentage of cells that produced viable prepupae by summer's end and the percentage that produced adult bees. The percentage of cells resulting in early brood mortality (i.e., pollen balls) significantly increased as the density index increased. We conclude that bee nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success are compromised when bee densities are high relative to floral resource availability. Open field studies are needed to determine commercial bee densities that result in sustainable bee populations and adequate pollination for profitable alfalfa seed production.

  6. Reproductive success and chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination of resident great blue herons (Ardea herodias) from coastal British Columbia, Canada, 1977 to 2000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, M.L.; Elliott, J.E.; Butler, R.W.; Wilson, L.K.

    2003-01-01

    Human disturbance and loss of nesting habitat were more important factors than chlorinated hydrocarbons in changing heron reproductive success. - Over the period 1977-2000, eggs of Pacific great blue heron (Ardea herodias fannini) were collected from 23 colonies along the southern coast of British Columbia, Canada, and analyzed for persistent organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Concentrations of OC pesticides in eggs declined sharply in the late 1970s, after which there were minimal changes. The sums of PCB congeners were not reduced appreciably during the 1980s and 1990s, but Aroclor 1260 concentrations suggested a sharp decline in PCB contamination of eggs in the late 1970s, similar to that shown for OC pesticides. Eggs collected along or near the Fraser River delta showed higher levels of most pesticides compared to other monitored colonies. Although the delta lands support a long-standing agricultural economy, the primary factors influencing OC levels in the delta colonies were thought to be driven by estuarine processes. We suggest two possible influencing factors were: 1) a greater rate of bioaccumulation in the estuary due to the deposition of particulates collected over a vast area encompassed by the Fraser River watershed; or 2) a higher rate of biomagnification in the estuary due to species differences at lower trophic levels of the heron food chain. Eggs from urban colonies contained higher levels of PCBs. The congener pattern was not clearly different from that observed in less contaminated eggs from rural and pulp mill-influenced colonies, except that colonies in Vancouver had greater proportions of PCB-66, suggesting a local source of Aroclor 1242. Productivity in the coastal heron colonies was highly variable over the period of study, with 71% of recorded colony-wide reproductive failures occurring in colonies near pulp mills. However, the predominant factors influencing reproductive success were probably disturbance

  7. Pollen limitation and reduced reproductive success are associated with local genetic effects in Prunus virginiana, a widely distributed self-incompatible shrub.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez-Gonzalez, Adriana; Good, Sara V

    2014-03-01

    A vast quantity of empirical evidence suggests that insufficient quantity or quality of pollen may lead to a reduction in fruit set, in particular for self-incompatible species. This study uses an integrative approach that combines field research with marker gene analysis to understand the factors affecting reproductive success in a widely distributed self-incompatible species, Prunus virginiana (Rosaceae). Twelve patches of P. virginiana distributed within three populations that differed in degree of disturbance were examined. Two of the sites were small (7-35 km(2)) remnants of forest in an intensively used agricultural landscape, while the third was continuous (350 km(2)) and less disturbed. Field studies (natural and hand cross-pollinations) were combined with marker gene analyses (microsatellites and S-locus) in order to explore potential factors affecting pollen delivery and consequently reproductive success at landscape (between populations) and fine scales (within populations). Reductions in reproductive output were found in the two fragments compared with the continuous population, and suggest that pollen is an important factor limiting fruit production. Genetic analyses carried out in one of the fragments and in the continuous site suggest that even though S-allele diversity is high in both populations, the fragment exhibits an increase in biparental inbreeding and correlated paternity. The increase in biparental inbreeding in the fragment is potentially attributable to variation in the density of individuals and/or the spatial distribution of genotypes among populations, both of which could alter mating dynamics. By using a novel integrative approach, this study shows that even though P. virginiana is a widespread species, fragmented populations can experience significant reductions in fruit set and pollen limitation in the field. Deatiled examination of one fragmented population suggests that these linitations may be explained by an increase in

  8. Toxic plants: Effects on reproduction and fetal and embryonic development in livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reproductive success is dependent on a large number of carefully orchestrated biological events that must occur in a specifically timed sequence. The interference with one of more of these sequences or events may result in total reproductive failure or a more subtle reduction in reproductive potent...

  9. Fertility Clinic Success Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Defects ART and Autism 2013 Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report Recommend on Facebook Tweet ... Additional Information About ART in the United States. Fertility Clinic Tables Introduction to Fertility Clinic Tables [PDF - ...

  10. Does weight loss improve semen quality and reproductive hormones? Results from a cohort of severely obese men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Håkonsen, Linn Berger; Thulstrup, Ane Marie; Aggerholm, Anette Skærbech

    2011-01-01

    A high body mass index (BMI) has been associated with reduced semen quality and male subfecundity, but no studies following obese men losing weight have yet been published. We examined semen quality and reproductive hormones among morbidly obese men and studied if weight loss improved...

  11. Primary healthcare providers' views on improving sexual and reproductive healthcare for adolescents in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaruseviciene, L.; Orozco, M.; Ibarra, M.

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: To elicit the views of primary healthcare providers from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua on how adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) care in their communities can be improved. Methods: Overall, 126 healthcare providers (46 from Bolivia, 39 from Ecuador, and 41 from Nicarag...

  12. Improving Quality and Efficiency for Intussusception Management After Successful Enema Reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raval, Mehul V; Minneci, Peter C; Deans, Katherine J; Kurtovic, Kelli J; Dietrich, Ann; Bates, D Gregory; Rangel, Shawn J; Moss, R Lawrence; Kenney, Brian D

    2015-11-01

    The purpose of this project was to implement a protocol facilitating discharge from the emergency department (ED) after successful radiologic ileocolic intussusception reduction in a pediatric referral center. A multidisciplinary team identified drivers for successful quality improvement including educational brochures, a standardized radiologic report, an observation period in the ER with oral hydration challenges, and follow-up phone calls the day after discharge. Patient outcomes were tracked, and quarterly feedback was provided. Of 80 patients identified over a 24-month period, 34 (42.5%) did not qualify for discharge home due to need for surgical intervention (n = 9), specific radiologic findings (n = 11), need for additional intravenous hydration (n = 4), or other reasons (n = 7). Of 46 patients who qualified for discharge, 30 (65.2%) were successfully sent home from the ED. One patient returned with recurrent symptoms that required repeat enema reduction. Sixteen patients were observed and discharged within 23 hours. Adherence with discharge from the ED improved over time. Discharge from the ED was associated with cost savings and improved net margins at the hospital level for each encounter. A sustainable multidisciplinary quality improvement project to discharge intussusception patients from the ED after air-contrast enema reduction was successfully integrated in a high-volume referral center through education, standardized radiologic reporting, and protocoled follow-up. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  13. Towards ethically improved animal experimentation in the study of animal reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blache, D; Martin, G B; Maloney, S K

    2008-07-01

    The ethics of animal-based research is a continuing area of debate, but ethical research protocols do not prevent scientific progress. In this paper, we argue that our current knowledge of the factors that affect reproductive processes provides researchers with a solid foundation upon which they can conduct more ethical research and simultaneously produce data of higher quality. We support this argument by showing how a deep understanding of the genetics, nutrition and temperament of our experimental animals can improve compliance with two of the '3 Rs', reduction and refinement, simply by offering better control over the variance in our experimental model. The outcome is a better experimental design, on both ethical and scientific grounds.

  14. Dinosaur Reproduction and Parenting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, John R.

    Non-avian dinosaur reproductive and parenting behaviors were mostly similar to those of extant archosaurs. Non-avian dinosaurs were probably sexually dimorphic and some may have engaged in hierarchical rituals. Non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodontidae, Oviraptorosauria) had two active oviducts, each of which produced single eggs on a daily or greater time scale. The eggs of non-coelurosaurian dinosaurs (e.g. Ornithischia, Sauropoda) were incubated in soils, whereas the eggs of non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodon, Oviraptor) were incubated with a combination of soil and direct parental contact. Parental attention to the young was variable, ranging from protection from predators to possible parental feeding of nest-bound hatchlings. Semi-altricial hadrosaur hatchlings exited their respective nests near the time of their first linear doubling. Some reproductive behaviors, once thought exclusive to Aves, arose first in non-avian dinosaurs. The success of the Dinosauria may be related to reproductive strategies.

  15. Calm temperament improves reproductive performance of beef cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasimanickam, R; Asay, M; Schroeder, S; Kasimanickam, V; Gay, J M; Kastelic, J P; Hall, J B; Whittier, W D

    2014-12-01

    Profitability of a beef operation is determined by the proportion of cows attaining pregnancy early in the breeding season and those that are pregnant at the end of breeding season. Many factors, including temperament, contribute to those reproductive parameters. The objective of this study was to evaluate effects of temperament on reproductive performance of beef cows. In Experiment 1, Angus and Angus-cross beef cows (n = 1546) from eight locations were assigned a body condition score (BCS; 1 = emaciated; 9 = obese) and chute exit and gait score (1 = slow exit, walk; calm temperament; 2 = jump, trot or run; excitable temperament). Cows were grouped with bulls (1 : 25 to 1 : 30; with satisfactory breeding potential and free of venereal disease) for an 85-day breeding season. Pregnancy status and stage of gestation were determined (transrectal palpation) 35 days after the end of the breeding season. Controlling for BCS (p score interaction (p scores for body condition and chute exit and gait (as described in Experiment 1) and assigned to bulls (breeding sound and free of venereal disease; 1 : 25 to 1 : 30) for 85 days. Pregnancy status was determined by transrectal palpation at 2 and 6 months after the onset of the breeding season. Controlling for BCS (p reproductive performance than calmer cows. The modified two-point chute exit-gait scoring method was repeatable and identified cattle with an excitable temperament. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  16. Emerging issues and methodological advances in fisheries reproductive biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lowerre-Barbieri, Susan K.; Brown-Peterson, Nancy J.; Murua, Hilario

    2011-01-01

    Although incorporating detailed reproductive data into all stock assessments is not a practical goal, the need to understand how reproductive biology affects population productivity is being increasingly recognized.More research focused on reproductive biology—coupled with a shift towards...... a resilience perspective in fisheries science—is resulting in challenges to many long-held assumptions; the emergence of important new issues; and identification of the need to improve data and methods used in reproductive studies. Typically, data for reproductive studies are based on an assessment of gonadal...... while introducing improved and new histological techniques. In this introduction, we address the following needs: (1) to employ standardization, thereby improving our ability to conduct comparative studies; (2) to better understand patterns of gonadal development and spawning events over time; and (3...

  17. Reproductive success of rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri in a captive UK population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Mark S; Massei, Giovanna; Bell, Jennifer; Berry, Leslie; Haigh, Carol; Cowan, David P

    2009-11-01

    Rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri (Scop.) have recently become established in several European countries, with potential for significant negative economic and ecological impacts. However, in northern Europe the potential for reproductive output is largely unknown. In 2005 the authors established a captive outdoor colony in north-east England and examined breeding success over 2 years. In 2006 (19 pairs, 15 clutches) the average first clutch size was 3.6 (+/-0.3) eggs. Six clutches were infertile, and overall the colony produced 1.4 (+/-0.5) fertile eggs per pair. Eleven pairs produced a second clutch following removal of the first; seven were infertile, and overall productivity was 0.7 (+/-0.4) fertile eggs per pair. Unsuccessful pairs were rearranged or replaced. In 2007, overall productivity was 2.5 (+/-0.4) and 1.8 (+/-0.4) fertile eggs per pair for the first and second attempts respectively. For pairs that remained unchanged through 2006-2007, productivity was consistent between years and breeding attempts. Where food and nest sites were not limiting, clutch sizes in north-east England were similar to those in the native range, and consistent between first and second attempts. This has implications for the future expansion and management of the species. (c) Crown Copyright 2009. Reproduced with permission of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

  18. Reproductive Investment and Health Costs in Roma Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelena Čvorović

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we examine whether variation in reproductive investment affects the health of Roma women using a dataset collected through original anthropological fieldwork among Roma women in Serbia. Data were collected in 2014–2016 in several Roma semi-urban settlements in central Serbia. The sample consisted of 468 Roma women, averaging 44 years of age. We collected demographic data (age, school levels, socioeconomic status, risk behaviors (smoking and alcohol consumption, marital status, and reproductive history variables (the timing of reproduction, the intensity of reproduction, reproductive effort and investment after birth, in addition to self-reported health, height, and weight. Data analyses showed that somatic, short-term costs of reproduction were revealed in this population, while evolutionary, long-term costs were unobservable—contrariwise, Roma women in poor health contributed more to the gene pool of the next generation than their healthy counterparts. Our findings appear to be consistent with simple trade-off models that suggest inverse relationships between reproductive effort and health. Thus, personal sacrifice—poor health as an outcome—seems crucial for greater reproductive success.

  19. Improving student success using predictive models and data visualisations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanan Ayad

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The need to educate a competitive workforce is a global problem. In the US, for example, despite billions of dollars spent to improve the educational system, approximately 35% of students never finish high school. The drop rate among some demographic groups is as high as 50–60%. At the college level in the US only 30% of students graduate from 2-year colleges in 3 years or less and approximately 50% graduate from 4-year colleges in 5 years or less. A basic challenge in delivering global education, therefore, is improving student success. By student success we mean improving retention, completion and graduation rates. In this paper we describe a Student Success System (S3 that provides a holistic, analytical view of student academic progress.1 The core of S3 is a flexible predictive modelling engine that uses machine intelligence and statistical techniques to identify at-risk students pre-emptively. S3 also provides a set of advanced data visualisations for reaching diagnostic insights and a case management tool for managing interventions. S3's open modular architecture will also allow integration and plug-ins with both open and proprietary software. Powered by learning analytics, S3 is intended as an end-to-end solution for identifying at-risk students, understanding why they are at risk, designing interventions to mitigate that risk and finally closing the feedback look by tracking the efficacy of the applied intervention.

  20. Reproductive hacking. A male seminal protein acts through intact reproductive pathways in female Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubinstein, C Dustin; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through "hacking" a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones.

  1. case of natural queen succession in a captive colony of naked mole ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Naked mole-rats occur in large colonies where usually a single queen monopolizes reproduction. Queen succession occurs from within usually as a result of aggressive encounters with subordinate females that queue for reproductive succession following colony instability, which inevitably results in death of either the ...

  2. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations

    KAUST Repository

    Veilleux, Heather D; Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2017-01-01

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression (Fshr and Lhcgr) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus. In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  3. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veilleux, Heather D; Donelson, Jennifer M; Munday, Philip L

    2018-01-01

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus , step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression ( Fshr and Lhcgr ) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus . In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  4. Reproductive gene expression in a coral reef fish exposed to increasing temperature across generations

    KAUST Repository

    Veilleux, Heather D

    2017-12-07

    Reproduction in marine fish is generally tightly linked with water temperature. Consequently, when adults are exposed to projected future ocean temperatures, reproductive output of many species declines precipitously. Recent research has shown that in the common reef fish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, step-wise exposure to higher temperatures over two generations (parents: +1.5°C, offspring: +3.0°C) can improve reproductive output in the F2 generation compared to F2 fish that have experienced the same high temperatures over two generations (F1 parents: +3.0°C, F2 offspring: +3.0°C). To investigate how a step-wise increase in temperature between generations improved reproductive capacity, we tested the expression of well-known teleost reproductive genes in the brain and gonads of F2 fish using quantitative reverse transcription PCR and compared it among control (+0.0°C for two generations), developmental (+3.0°C in second generation only), step (+1.5°C in first generation and +3.0°C in second generation), and transgenerational (+3.0°C for two generations) treatments. We found that levels of gonadotropin receptor gene expression (Fshr and Lhcgr) in the testes were reduced in developmental and transgenerational temperature treatments, but were similar to control levels in the step treatment. This suggests Fshr and Lhcgr may be involved in regulating male reproductive capacity in A. polyacanthus. In addition, lower Fshb expression in the brain of females in all temperature treatments compared to control, suggests that Fshb expression, which is involved in vitellogenesis, is sensitive to high temperatures. Our results help elucidate key genes that facilitate successful reproduction in reef fishes when they experience a gradual increase in temperature across generations consistent with the trajectory of climate change.

  5. Life span and reproductive cost explain interspecific variation in the optimal onset of reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourocq, Emeline; Bize, Pierre; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Bradley, Russell; Charmantier, Anne; de la Cruz, Carlos; Drobniak, Szymon M; Espie, Richard H M; Herényi, Márton; Hötker, Hermann; Krüger, Oliver; Marzluff, John; Møller, Anders P; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Phillips, Richard A; Radford, Andrew N; Roulin, Alexandre; Török, János; Valencia, Juliana; van de Pol, Martijn; Warkentin, Ian G; Winney, Isabel S; Wood, Andrew G; Griesser, Michael

    2016-02-01

    Fitness can be profoundly influenced by the age at first reproduction (AFR), but to date the AFR-fitness relationship only has been investigated intraspecifically. Here, we investigated the relationship between AFR and average lifetime reproductive success (LRS) across 34 bird species. We assessed differences in the deviation of the Optimal AFR (i.e., the species-specific AFR associated with the highest LRS) from the age at sexual maturity, considering potential effects of life history as well as social and ecological factors. Most individuals adopted the species-specific Optimal AFR and both the mean and Optimal AFR of species correlated positively with life span. Interspecific deviations of the Optimal AFR were associated with indices reflecting a change in LRS or survival as a function of AFR: a delayed AFR was beneficial in species where early AFR was associated with a decrease in subsequent survival or reproductive output. Overall, our results suggest that a delayed onset of reproduction beyond maturity is an optimal strategy explained by a long life span and costs of early reproduction. By providing the first empirical confirmations of key predictions of life-history theory across species, this study contributes to a better understanding of life-history evolution. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. Serial binary interval ratios improve rhythm reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang eWu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Musical rhythm perception is a natural human ability that involves complex cognitive processes. Rhythm refers to the organization of events in time, and musical rhythms have an underlying hierarchical metrical structure. The metrical structure induces the feeling of a beat and the extent to which a rhythm induces the feeling of a beat is referred to as its metrical strength. Binary ratios are the most frequent interval ratio in musical rhythms. Rhythms with hierarchical binary ratios are better discriminated and reproduced than rhythms with hierarchical non-binary ratios. However, it remains unclear whether a superiority of serial binary over non-binary ratios in rhythm perception and reproduction exists. In addition, how different types of serial ratios influence the metrical strength of rhythms remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated serial binary vs. non-binary ratios in a reproduction task. Rhythms formed with exclusively binary (1:2:4:8, non-binary integer (1:3:5:6, and non-integer (1:2.3:5.3:6.4 ratios were examined within a constant meter. The results showed that the 1:2:4:8 rhythm type was more accurately reproduced than the 1:3:5:6 and 1:2.3:5.3:6.4 rhythm types, and the 1:2.3:5.3:6.4 rhythm type was more accurately reproduced than the 1:3:5:6 rhythm type. Further analyses showed that reproduction performance was better predicted by the distribution pattern of event occurrences within an inter-beat interval, than by the coincidence of events with beats, or the magnitude and complexity of interval ratios. Whereas rhythm theories and empirical data emphasize the role of the coincidence of events with beats in determining metrical strength and predicting rhythm performance, the present results suggest that rhythm processing may be better understood when the distribution pattern of event occurrences is taken into account. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlining musical rhythm perception.

  7. Serial binary interval ratios improve rhythm reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiang; Westanmo, Anders; Zhou, Liang; Pan, Junhao

    2013-01-01

    Musical rhythm perception is a natural human ability that involves complex cognitive processes. Rhythm refers to the organization of events in time, and musical rhythms have an underlying hierarchical metrical structure. The metrical structure induces the feeling of a beat and the extent to which a rhythm induces the feeling of a beat is referred to as its metrical strength. Binary ratios are the most frequent interval ratio in musical rhythms. Rhythms with hierarchical binary ratios are better discriminated and reproduced than rhythms with hierarchical non-binary ratios. However, it remains unclear whether a superiority of serial binary over non-binary ratios in rhythm perception and reproduction exists. In addition, how different types of serial ratios influence the metrical strength of rhythms remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated serial binary vs. non-binary ratios in a reproduction task. Rhythms formed with exclusively binary (1:2:4:8), non-binary integer (1:3:5:6), and non-integer (1:2.3:5.3:6.4) ratios were examined within a constant meter. The results showed that the 1:2:4:8 rhythm type was more accurately reproduced than the 1:3:5:6 and 1:2.3:5.3:6.4 rhythm types, and the 1:2.3:5.3:6.4 rhythm type was more accurately reproduced than the 1:3:5:6 rhythm type. Further analyses showed that reproduction performance was better predicted by the distribution pattern of event occurrences within an inter-beat interval, than by the coincidence of events with beats, or the magnitude and complexity of interval ratios. Whereas rhythm theories and empirical data emphasize the role of the coincidence of events with beats in determining metrical strength and predicting rhythm performance, the present results suggest that rhythm processing may be better understood when the distribution pattern of event occurrences is taken into account. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlining musical rhythm perception.

  8. Effect of ocean acidification on the nutritional quality of phytoplankton for copepod reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, M.; Cochlan, W. P.; Kimmerer, W.; Carpenter, E. J.

    2016-02-01

    Phytoplankton are the oceans' primary producers of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which provide marine organisms with nutrients needed for health and reproduction. It is hypothesized that future ocean acidification (OA) conditions could change the availability of phytoplankton PUFAs for ecologically significant predators such as copepods, affecting their reproductive success. Three species of phytoplankton (Rhodomonas salina, Skeletonema marinoi, Prorocentrum micans) were cultured under present-day (400ppm CO2, pH 8.1) and predicted future (1000ppm CO2, pH 7.8) oceanic conditions. For four days, female Acartia tonsa copepods were fed a phytoplankton mixture from either the present-day or predicted-future treatment. To assess changes in phytoplankton PUFA content, fatty acid profiles were analyzed via capillary gas chromatography. Copepod egg production (EP), hatching success (HS), and egg viability (EV) were determined to assess copepod reproductive success. Fatty acid analysis shows essential PUFAs comprise a smaller percentage of total fatty acids in phytoplankton cultured under high pCO2 (Rho 21.5%; Ske 14.1%; Pro 14.4%) compared to those cultured under present-day pCO2 (Rho 28.8%, Ske 32.7%, Pro 39.3%). Copepod reproduction data demonstrate that females fed phytoplankton cultured under high pCO2 have significantly lower EP (μ=14.3 eggs female-1), HS (μ=35.8%), and EV (μ=12.5%) compared to reproductive success of females fed phytoplankton cultured under present-day CO2 (EP μ=27.0 eggs female-1; HS μ=91.5%; EV μ=96.6%). This study demonstrates that OA can change the nutritional quality of primary producers, which can affect the reproductive success of fundamental secondary consumers.

  9. Reproductive biology of Amasonia obovata Gleason (Laminaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Schvinn,Thays de Assis; Miranda,Anderson Fernandes de; Silva,Celice Alexandre

    2014-01-01

    Floral mechanisms that ensure seed production via autogamy are more likely to occur in species growing in environments where pollination is scarce. Amasonia obovata was studied in the State of Mato Grosso-Brazil, from 2009 to 2012, to analyze the morphological and reproductive characteristics, aside from investigating the association of the reproductive success with the pollinator frequency and identity. The flowering and fruiting of A. obovata was concentrated in a period of five months duri...

  10. New Reproductive Conception Technologies: Bioethics and Controversies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Tamanini

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This article concerns some of the multiple ethical-bioethical and gender issues in the field of new reproductive and contraceptive technologies. The literature presented points to the plurality of possible situations and approaches in a multidimensional and controversial field. It presents some ethical-bioethical principals of biomedical action found in the study of heterosexual couples who use assisted reproduction. and of medical specialists in human reproduction in southern Brazil. It presents the ethical-bioethical presumptions that sanction medical behavior and the continuity of the so-called impregnation treatments, and analyzes the mechanisms used to raise the expectations of couples who lack confidence or success.

  11. The responses of cucumber plants subjected to different salinity or fertilizer concentrations and reproductive success of Tetranychus urticae mites on these plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodayari, Samira; Abedini, Fatemeh; Renault, David

    2018-05-01

    The plant stress hypothesis posits that a herbivore's reproductive success increases when it feeds on stressed plants, while the plant vigor hypothesis predicts that a herbivore preferentially feeds on more vigorous plants. We examined these opposing hypotheses by growing spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) on the leaves of stressed and healthy (vigorous) cucumber plants. Host plants were grown under controlled conditions at low, moderate, and high concentrations of NaCl (to induce salinity stress), at low, moderate, and high fertilizer concentrations (to support growth), and without these additions (control). The effects of these treatments were evaluated by measuring fresh and dry plant biomass, carotenoid and chlorophyll content, antioxidant enzyme activity, and concentrations of PO 4 3- , K + , and Na + in plant tissues. The addition of low concentrations of fertilizer increased dry mass, protein, and carotenoid content relative to controls, suggesting a beneficial effect on plants. The highest NaCl treatment (2560 mg L -1 ) resulted in increased Na + and protein content relative to control plants, as well as reduced PO 4 3- , K + , and chlorophyll levels and reduced catalase and ascorbate peroxidase enzyme activity levels. Analysis of life table data of T. urticae mites raised on leaves from the aforementioned plant groups showed the intrinsic rate of increase (r) for mites was 0.167 day -1 in control specimens, 0.125 day -1 for mites reared on plants treated with a moderate concentration of fertilizer (10 mL L -1 ), and was highest (0.241 day -1 ) on plants grown under moderate salinity conditions (1920 mg L -1 NaCl). Reproductive success of T. urticae did not differ on plants watered with a moderate concentration of NaCl or a high concentration of fertilizer. The moderately-stressed plants formed a favorable environment for the development and reproduction of spider mites, supporting the plant stress hypothesis.

  12. External and internal modulators of sheep reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blache, Dominique; Bickell, Samantha L

    2011-12-01

    Several factors such as season, genetics, social interaction and metabolic status control or modulate the reproductive capacity of sheep. In addition to these well-studied factors in sheep, the influence of emotional reactivity on the reproductive success of sheep has started to be investigated over the last two decades. In this paper, after briefly reviewing the impact of classical factors affecting reproduction in sheep, we define emotional reactivity and the expression of its inter-individual variability, named temperament. Then, following a description of the protocol to measure temperament in sheep and discussion on the heritability of temperament traits, we illustrate how this selection affects the reproductive biology of sheep. We will be mainly using results obtained from a unique flock of sheep selected for low or high emotional reactivity. In conclusion, we propose that energy partitioning could be one of the mechanisms by which selection for temperament in sheep affects the different steps of the reproductive cycle.

  13. Umbrella project for Bangladesh: strengthening NGO capacity and linkages to improve reproductive health service and information. RAS/98/P55.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    In Bangladesh, the UN Population Fund is working to strengthen nongovernmental organization (NGO) capacity and linkages to improve reproductive health services and information. Specifically, the aim is to strengthen the technical and human resource capacity of participating NGOs and the functional linkages between national NGOs and relevant government agencies to help harmonize and standardize the delivery of reproductive health information and services. This umbrella project collaborates with RHI-participating NGOs in a policy paper on adolescent reproductive health, and will maintain contact with the regional dimension project to collaborate its activities. Programs implemented by partner NGOs are being reviewed and monitored, and linkages among national NGOs and government agencies are being developed. The main activities of the project are enumerated.

  14. Reproduction and distribution of bald eagles in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota, 1973-1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grim, Leland H.; Kallemeyn, Larry W.

    1995-01-01

    The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is classified as a threatened species in Minnesota. In 1973, the National Park Service began monitoring the distribution and reproduction of bald eagles in and immediately adjacent to Voyageurs National Park to obtain data that park management could use to protect bald eagles from the effects of use of the park by visitors and from the expansion of park facilities. Thirty-seven breeding areas were identified during 1973-93. Annual productivity ranged from 0.00 to 1.42 fledglings/occupied nest and averaged 0.68 during the 21 breeding seasons. The annual number of breeding pairs tripled, the mean number of fledged eaglets increased 5 times, and reproductive success doubled during the study. However, in more than 15 of the breeding seasons, the mean productivity and the annual reproductive success in Voyageurs National Park were below the 1 fledgling/occupied nest and the 70% reproductive success that are representative of healthy bald eagle populations. We suspect that toxic substances, human disturbance, severe weather, and lack of food in early spring may have kept bald eagles in Voyageurs National Park from achieving a breeding success that was similar to that of conspecifics in the nearby Chippewa National Forest. The cumulative effect of these variables on reproduction and on habitat of bald eagles in Voyageurs National Park is unknown and should be determined.

  15. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Heather B.

    2014-01-01

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an evolutionarily conserved master system deeply involved in the central and local control of reproductive functions in both sexes. The tone of these lipid mediators—deeply modulated by the activity of biosynthetic and hydrolyzing machineries—regulates reproductive functions from gonadotropin discharge and steroid biosynthesis to the formation of high quality gametes and successful pregnancy. This review provides an overview on ECS and reproduction and focuses on the insights in the regulation of endocannabinoid production by steroids, in the regulation of male reproductive activity, and in placentation and parturition. Taken all together, evidences emerge that the activity of the ECS is crucial for procreation and may represent a target for the therapeutic exploitation of infertility. PMID:24550985

  16. Updates in Reproduction Coming from the Endocannabinoid System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaria Meccariello

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The endocannabinoid system (ECS is an evolutionarily conserved master system deeply involved in the central and local control of reproductive functions in both sexes. The tone of these lipid mediators—deeply modulated by the activity of biosynthetic and hydrolyzing machineries—regulates reproductive functions from gonadotropin discharge and steroid biosynthesis to the formation of high quality gametes and successful pregnancy. This review provides an overview on ECS and reproduction and focuses on the insights in the regulation of endocannabinoid production by steroids, in the regulation of male reproductive activity, and in placentation and parturition. Taken all together, evidences emerge that the activity of the ECS is crucial for procreation and may represent a target for the therapeutic exploitation of infertility.

  17. Gene expression changes in male accessory glands during ageing are accompanied by reproductive decline in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppik, Mareike; Fricke, Claudia

    2017-12-01

    Senescence is accompanied by loss of reproductive functions. Here, we studied reproductive ageing in Drosophila melanogaster males and asked whether the expected decline in male reproductive success is due to diminished functionality of the male accessory gland (AG). The male AG produces the majority of seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) transferred to the female at mating. SFPs induce female postmating changes and are key to male reproductive success. We measured age-dependent gene expression changes for five representative SFP genes in males from four different age groups ranging from 1 to 6 weeks after eclosion. Simultaneously, we also measured male reproductive success in postmating traits mediated by transfer of these five SFPs. We found a decreased in male SFP gene expression with advancing age and an accompanying decline in male postmating success. Hence, male reproductive senescence is associated with a decline in functionality of the male AG. While overall individual SFP genes decreased in expression, our results point towards the idea that the composition of an ejaculate might change with male age as the rate of change was variable for those five genes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Reproductive Life Planning: Raising the Questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Jessica E; Moos, Merry-K

    2018-04-01

    Introduction Unintended pregnancy has been a concerning public health problem for decades. As we begin to understand the complexities of pregnancy intention and how women experience these pregnancies, reproductive life planning offers a paradigm shift. Methods Reproductive life planning is a patient-centered approach that places a patient's reproductive preferences-whether concrete or ambivalent-at the forefront of her clinical care. Results This process grants women and men the opportunity to consider how reproduction fits within the context of their broader lives. Within a clinical encounter, reproductive life planning allows counseling and care to be tailored to patient preferences. Discussion Although there is great potential for positive public health impacts in unintended pregnancy, contraceptive use and improved preconception health, the true benefit lies within reinforcing reproductive empowerment. Despite recommendations for universal adoption, many questions remain regarding implementation, equity and outcomes.

  19. The impact of middle manager affective commitment on perceived improvement program implementation success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fryer, Ashley-Kay; Tucker, Anita L; Singer, Sara J

    Recent literature suggests that middle manager affective commitment (emotional attachment, identification, and involvement) to an improvement program may influence implementation success. However, less is known about the interplay between middle manager affective commitment and frontline worker commitment, another important driver of implementation success. We contribute to this research by surveying middle managers who directly manage frontline workers on nursing units. We assess how middle manager affective commitment is related to their perceptions of implementation success and whether their perceptions of frontline worker support mediate this relationship. We also test whether a set of organizational support factors foster middle manager affective commitment. We adapt survey measures of manager affective commitment to our research context of hospitals. We surveyed 67 nurse managers from 19 U.S. hospitals. We use hierarchical linear regression to assess relationships among middle manager affective commitment to their units' falls reduction program and their perceptions of three constructs related to the program: frontline worker support, organizational support, and implementation success. Middle manager affective commitment to their unit's falls reduction program is positively associated with their perception of implementation success. This relationship is mediated by their perception of frontline worker support for the falls program. Moreover, middle managers' affective commitment to their unit's falls program mediates the relationship between perceived organizational support for the program and perceived implementation success. We, through this research, offer an important contribution by providing empirical support of factors that may influence successful implementation of an improvement program: middle manager affective commitment, frontline worker support, and organizational support for an improvement program. Increasing levels of middle manager affective

  20. Effects of ovarian fluid and genetic differences on sperm performance and fertilization success of alternative reproductive tactics in Chinook salmon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, S J; Butts, I A E; Flannery, E W; Peters, K M; Heath, D D; Pitcher, T E

    2017-06-01

    In many species, sperm velocity affects variation in the outcome of male competitive fertilization success. In fishes, ovarian fluid (OF) released with the eggs can increase male sperm velocity and potentially facilitate cryptic female choice for males of specific phenotypes and/or genotypes. Therefore, to investigate the effect of OF on fertilization success, we measured sperm velocity and conducted in vitro competitive fertilizations with paired Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) males representing two alternative reproductive tactics, jacks (small sneaker males) and hooknoses (large guarding males), in the presence of river water alone and OF mixed with river water. To determine the effect of genetic differences on fertilization success, we genotyped fish at neutral (microsatellites) and functional [major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II ß1] markers. We found that when sperm were competed in river water, jacks sired significantly more offspring than hooknoses; however, in OF, there was no difference in paternity between the tactics. Sperm velocity was significantly correlated with paternity success in river water, but not in ovarian fluid. Paternity success in OF, but not in river water alone, was correlated with genetic relatedness between male and female, where males that were less related to the female attained greater paternity. We found no relationship between MHC II ß1 divergence between mates and paternity success in water or OF. Our results indicate that OF can influence the outcome of sperm competition in Chinook salmon, where OF provides both male tactics with fertilization opportunities, which may in part explain what maintains both tactics in nature. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Alternative reproductive tactics and the propensity of hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tynkkynen, K; Raatikainen, K J; Häkkilä, M; Haukilehto, E; Kotiaho, J S

    2009-12-01

    One explanation for hybridization between species is the fitness benefits it occasionally confers to the hybridizing individuals. This explanation is possible in species that have evolved alternative male reproductive tactics: individuals with inferior tactics might be more prone to hybridization provided it increases their reproductive success and fitness. Here we experimentally tested whether the propensity of hybridization in the wild depends on male reproductive tactic in Calopteryx splendens damselflies. Counter to our expectation, it was males adopting the superior reproductive tactic (territoriality) that had greatest propensity to hybridize than males adopting the inferior tactics (sneakers and floaters). Moreover, among the territorial males, the most ornamented males had greatest propensity to hybridize whereas the pattern was reversed in the sneaker males. Our results suggest that there is fluctuating selection on male mate discrimination against heterospecific females depending on both ornament size and the male's reproductive tactic.

  2. Addressing gender inequalities to improve the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of women living with HIV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Avni

    2015-01-01

    Globally, women constitute 50% of all persons living with HIV. Gender inequalities are a key driver of women's vulnerabilities to HIV. This paper looks at how these structural factors shape specific behaviours and outcomes related to the sexual and reproductive health of women living with HIV. There are several pathways by which gender inequalities shape the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of women living with HIV. First, gender norms that privilege men's control over women and violence against women inhibit women's ability to practice safer sex, make reproductive decisions based on their own fertility preferences and disclose their HIV status. Second, women's lack of property and inheritance rights and limited access to formal employment makes them disproportionately vulnerable to food insecurity and its consequences. This includes compromising their adherence to antiretroviral therapy and increasing their vulnerability to transactional sex. Third, with respect to stigma and discrimination, women are more likely to be blamed for bringing HIV into the family, as they are often tested before men. In several settings, healthcare providers violate the reproductive rights of women living with HIV in relation to family planning and in denying them care. Lastly, a number of countries have laws that criminalize HIV transmission, which specifically impact women living with HIV who may be reluctant to disclose because of fears of violence and other negative consequences. Addressing gender inequalities is central to improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes and more broadly the wellbeing of women living with HIV. Programmes that go beyond a narrow biomedical/clinical approach and address the social and structural context of women's lives can also maximize the benefits of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

  3. Bisphenol A in Reproduction: Epigenetic Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chianese, Rosanna; Troisi, Jacopo; Richards, Sean; Scafuro, Marika; Fasano, Silvia; Guida, Maurizio; Pierantoni, Riccardo; Meccariello, Rosaria

    2018-02-21

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical widely used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin to produce a multitude of consumer products, food and drink containers, and medical devices. BPA is similar to estradiol in structure and thus interferes in steroid signalling with different outcomes on reproductive health depending on doses, life stage, mode, and timing of exposure. In this respect, it has an emerging and controversial role as a "reproductive toxicant" capable of inducing short and long-term effects including the modulation of gene expression through epigenetic modification (i.e. methylation of CpG islands, histone modifications and production of non-coding RNA) with direct and trans-generational effects on exposed organisms and their offspring, respectively. This review provides an overview about BPA effects on reproductive health and aims to summarize the epigenetic effects of BPA in male and female reproduction. BPA exerts epigenetic effects in both male and female reproduction. In males, BPA affects spermatogenesis and sperm quality and possible trans-generational effects on the reproductive ability of the offspring. In females, BPA affects ovary, embryo development, and gamete quality for successful in vivo and in vitro fertilization (IVF). The exact mechanisms of BPA-mediated effects in reproduction are not fully understood; however, the environmental exposure to BPA - especially in fetal and neonatal period - deserves attention to preserve the reproductive ability in both sexes and to reduce the epigenetic risk for the offspring. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  4. Beam quality management by periodic reproduction of wavefront aberrations in end-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser amplifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin; Liu, Chong; Shen, Lifeng; Wang, Chunhua; Ye, Zhibin; Liu, Dong; Xiang, Zhen

    2016-04-18

    A method for beam quality management is presented in a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) using Nd:YVO4 as the gain medium by extra-cavity periodic reproduction of wavefront aberrations. The wavefront aberration evolution of the intra-cavity beams is investigated for both symmetrical and asymmetrical resonators. The wavefront aberration reproduction process is successfully realized outside the cavity in four-stage amplifiers. In the MOPA with a symmetrical oscillator, the laser power increases linearly and the beam quality hardly changes. In the MOPA with an asymmetrical oscillator, the beam quality is deteriorated after the odd-stage amplifier and is improved after the even-stage amplifier. The wavefront aberration reproduction during the extra-cavity beam propagation in the amplifiers is equivalent to that during the intra-cavity propagation. This solution helps to achieve the effective beam quality management in laser amplifier chains.

  5. The Cairo conference and the assertion of sexual and reproductive rights a basis for sexual and reproductive health

    OpenAIRE

    Galdos Silva, Susana; Movimiento Manuela Ramos. Lima, Perú. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Lima, Perú. Licenciada en educación, máster en salud pública, sexualidad y ciencias, MPH in Sexuality and Family Science.

    2014-01-01

    The article focuses on the International Conference on Population and Development held in El Cairo, Egypt, in 1994. The Conference addressed issues related to sexual and reproductive rights, actions to be adopted to improve the situation of young girls, the status of women, the situation of adolescents and gender equality as basic components to improve the sexual and reproductive health of the population. The concluding recommendations in this conference constitute the action program. This do...

  6. Early-acting inbreeding depression and reproductive success in the highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, S L; Hancock, J F

    1990-06-01

    Tetraploid Vaccinium corymbosum genotypes exhibit wide variability in seed set following self- and cross-pollinations. In this paper, a post-zygotic mechanism (seed abortion) under polygenic control is proposed as the basis for fertility differences in this species. A pollen chase experiment indicated that self-pollen tubes fertilize ovules, but are also 'outcompeted' by foreign male gametes in pollen mixtures. Matings among cultivars derived from a pedigree showed a linear decrease in seed number per fruit, and increase in seed abortion, with increasing relatedness among parents. Selfed (S1) progeny from self-fertile parents were largely self-sterile. At zygotic levels of inbreeding of F>0.3 there was little or no fertility, suggesting that an inbreeding threshold regulates reproductive success in V. corymbosum matings. Individuals below the threshold are facultative selfers, while those above it are obligate outcrossers. Inbreeding also caused a decrease in pollen viability, and reduced female fertility more rapidly than male fertility. These phenomena are discussed in terms of two models of genetic load: (1) mutational load - homozygosity for recessive embryolethal or sub-lethal mutations and (2) segregational load - loss of allelic interactions essential for embryonic vigor. Self-infertility in highbush blueberries is placed in the context of 'late-acting' self-incompatibility versus 'early-acting' inbreeding depression in angiosperms.

  7. Climate change has indirect effects on resource use and overlap among coexisting bird species with negative consequences for their reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auer, Sonya K; Martin, Thomas E

    2013-02-01

    Climate change can modify ecological interactions, but whether it can have cascading effects throughout ecological networks of multiple interacting species remains poorly studied. Climate-driven alterations in the intensity of plant-herbivore interactions may have particularly profound effects on the larger community because plants provide habitat for a wide diversity of organisms. Here we show that changes in vegetation over the last 21 years, due to climate effects on plant-herbivore interactions, have consequences for songbird nest site overlap and breeding success. Browsing-induced reductions in the availability of preferred nesting sites for two of three ground nesting songbirds led to increasing overlap in nest site characteristics among all three bird species with increasingly negative consequences for reproductive success over the long term. These results demonstrate that changes in the vegetation community from effects of climate change on plant-herbivore interactions can cause subtle shifts in ecological interactions that have critical demographic ramifications for other species in the larger community. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Climate change has indirect effects on resource use and overlap among coexisting bird species with negative consequences for their reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Auer, Sonya K.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change can modify ecological interactions, but whether it can have cascading effects throughout ecological networks of multiple interacting species remains poorly studied. Climate-driven alterations in the intensity of plant–herbivore interactions may have particularly profound effects on the larger community because plants provide habitat for a wide diversity of organisms. Here we show that changes in vegetation over the last 21 years, due to climate effects on plant–herbivore interactions, have consequences for songbird nest site overlap and breeding success. Browsing-induced reductions in the availability of preferred nesting sites for two of three ground nesting songbirds led to increasing overlap in nest site characteristics among all three bird species with increasingly negative consequences for reproductive success over the long term. These results demonstrate that changes in the vegetation community from effects of climate change on plant–herbivore interactions can cause subtle shifts in ecological interactions that have critical demographic ramifications for other species in the larger community.

  9. Effect of Delayed Insemination on Holstein Cows’ Reproductive Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaillard, Charlotte; Sehested, Jakob; Vestergaard, Mogens

    2016-01-01

    Holstein cows’ fertility has decreased in the last decade, creating a need for new management methods to improve the reproductive performance which in this case was defined by pregnancy rates and number of artificial inseminations (AI) per pregnancy. Previous studies showed that deliberately...... and number of insemination to pregnancy) of 62 Holstein cows involved in a 16 months extended lactation trial was recorded and compared with the reproductive performance of the previous and following 10 months lactation of the same cows. It was hypothesized that a late rebreeding (at eight months, 16 months...... delaying rebreeding until after peak lactation can improve reproductive performance compared with the traditional rebreeding in early lactation. The objective was to compare the reproductive performance of cows in consecutive lactations of different lengths. The reproductive performance (pregnancy rate...

  10. Culture and religious beliefs in relation to reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arousell, Jonna; Carlbom, Aje

    2016-04-01

    An increasing number of contemporary research publications acknowledge the influence of religion and culture on sexual and reproductive behavior and health-care utilization. It is currently hypothesized that religious influences can partly explain disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes. In this paper, we will pay particular attention to Muslims in sexual and reproductive health care. This review reveals that knowledge about devout Muslims' own experience of sexual and reproductive health-care matters is limited, thus providing weak evidence for modeling of efficient practical guidelines for sexual and reproductive health care directed at Muslim patients. Successful outcomes in sexual and reproductive health of Muslims require both researchers and practitioners to acknowledge religious heterogeneity and variability, and individuals' possibilities to negotiate Islamic edicts. Failure to do so could lead to inadequate health-care provision and, in the worst case, to suboptimal encounters between migrants with Muslim background and the health-care providers in the receiving country. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Exceptional longevity in female Rottweiler dogs is not encumbered by investment in reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kengeri, S S; Maras, A H; Suckow, C L; Chiang, E C; Waters, D J

    2013-12-01

    To better understand the potential trade-off between female reproductive investment and longevity in an emerging model of human healthspan, we studied pet dogs to determine whether intensity of reproduction (total number of offspring) encumbered the likelihood of exceptional longevity. This hypothesis was tested by collecting and analyzing lifetime medical histories, including complete reproductive histories, for a cohort of canine "centenarians"--exceptionally long-lived Rottweiler dogs that lived more than 30% longer than the breed's average life expectancy. Reproductive intensity (number of litters, total number of pups) and tempo of reproductive effort (age at first reproduction, mean interbirth interval, age at last reproduction) in 78 exceptionally long-lived female Rottweilers (>13 years old) were compared to a cohort of 97 female Rottweilers that had usual longevity (age at death 8.0-10.75 years). We found no evidence that a mother's physiological investment in offspring was associated with disadvantaged longevity. Instead, similar to some studies in women, our data showed an inverted U-shaped trend, suggesting that moderate investment in reproduction may promote longevity. Late reproductive success, a much-studied surrogate of maternal fitness in women, was not a strong predictor of longevity in this canine cohort. Instead, independent of reproductive investment, the duration of lifetime ovary exposure was significantly associated with highly successful aging. Our results from exceptionally long-lived pet dogs provide rationale for further investigative efforts to understand the ovary-sensitive biological factors that promote healthy longevity in women and pet dogs.

  12. The Tropilaelaps mites threat: Observations of their reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tropilaelaps spp. are more successful parasitic mites of Apis mellifera than Varroa destructor in Asia (Burgett et al., Bee World 64:25-28). We sought explanations to this success by assessing their fecundity on European bees in three short experiments using the mite transfer technique: 1) fecundity...

  13. Reproductive science as an essential component of conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, William V; Brown, Janine L; Comizzoli, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter we argue that reproductive science in its broadest sense has never been more important in terms of its value to conservation biology, which itself is a synthetic and multidisciplinary topic. Over recent years the place of reproductive science in wildlife conservation has developed massively across a wide and integrated range of cutting edge topics. We now have unprecedented insight into the way that environmental change affects basic reproductive functions such as ovulation, sperm production, pregnancy and embryo development through previously unsuspected influences such as epigenetic modulation of the genome. Environmental change in its broadest sense alters the quality of foodstuffs that all animals need for reproductive success, changes the synchrony between breeding seasons and reproductive events, perturbs gonadal and embryo development through the presence of pollutants in the environment and drives species to adapt their behaviour and phenotype. In this book we explore many aspects of reproductive science and present wide ranging and up to date accounts of the scientific and technological advances that are currently enabling reproductive science to support conservation biology.

  14. A novel quantitative approach to women's reproductive strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fritha H Milne

    Full Text Available The patterned way in which individuals allocate finite resources to various components of reproduction (e.g. mating effort, reproductive timing and parental investment is described as a reproductive strategy. As energy is limited, trade-offs between and within aspects of reproductive strategies are expected. The first aim of this study was to derive aspects of reproductive strategies using complete reproductive histories from 718 parous Western Australian women. Factor analysis using a subset of these participants resulted in six factors that represented 'short-term mating strategy', 'early onset of sexual activity', 'reproductive output', 'timing of childbearing', 'breastfeeding', and 'child spacing'. This factor structure was internally validated by replication using a second independent subset of the data. The second aim of this study examined trade-offs between aspects of reproductive strategies derived from aim one. Factor scores calculated for each woman were incorporated in generalised linear models and interaction terms were employed to examine the effect of mating behaviour on the relationships between reproductive timing, parental investment and overall reproductive success. Early sexual activity correlates with early reproductive onset for women displaying more long-term mating strategies. Women with more short-term mating strategies exhibit a trade-off between child quantity and child quality not observed in women with a long-term mating strategy. However, women with a short-term mating strategy who delay reproductive timing exhibit levels of parental investment (measured as breastfeeding duration per child similar to that of women with long-term mating strategies. Reproductive delay has fitness costs (fewer births for women displaying more short-term mating strategies. We provide empirical evidence that reproductive histories of contemporary women reflect aspects of reproductive strategies, and associations between these strategic

  15. A meta-analysis on uterine transplantation: Redefining the limits of reproductive surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Flávia Garcia Silva

    Full Text Available SUMMARY In September 2014, the first baby grown in a transplanted uterus was born, which represented an astonishing scientific progress that will mark the history of human reproduction. The recipient was a 32-year-old woman with Rokytanski syndrome who became pregnant after a successful embryo transfer and had an uneventful pregnancy, giving birth to a healthy newborn and marking the beginning of a new era. Patients who do not have a uterus or have a dysfunctional uterus now have the chance of dreaming with pregnancy and motherhood. Combining principles of solid organ transplantation and techniques of human reproduction, uterus transplantation is the first ephemeral transplant performed in order to promote reproductive potential of women and may be removed after successful pregnancy. Worldwide, 11 uterine transplantations were performed in patients. Of these, seven maintained their reproductive potential, with viable transplanted uteri and regular menstrual cycles.

  16. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive behaviors and RH status: Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rob, Ubaidur; Rahman, Moshiur; Bellows, Benjamin

    2011-04-22

    Cost of delivering reproductive health services to low-income populations will always require total or partial subsidization by the government and/or development partners. Broadly termed "Demand-Side Financing" or "Output-Based Aid", includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the service user rather than the service provider. Initial findings from the few assessments of reproductive health voucher-and-accreditation programs suggest that, if implemented well, these programs have great potential for achieving the policy objectives of increasing access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. At this point in time, however, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the various voucher programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Population Council-Nairobi, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to address the lack of evidence around the pros and cons of 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in five developing countries. In Bangladesh, the activities will be conducted in 11 accredited health facilities where Demand Side Financing program is being implemented and compared with populations drawn from areas served by similar non-accredited facilities. Facility inventories, client exit interviews and service provider interviews will be used to collect comparable data across each facility for assessing readiness and quality of care. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding about the program. A population-based survey will also be carried out in two types of locations: areas where vouchers are distributed and similar locations where vouchers are not distributed. This is a quasi-experimental study which will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving maternal health behaviors and status and reducing inequities at the

  17. Evaluation of the impact of the voucher and accreditation approach on improving reproductive behaviors and RH status: Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahman Moshiur

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cost of delivering reproductive health services to low-income populations will always require total or partial subsidization by the government and/or development partners. Broadly termed "Demand-Side Financing" or "Output-Based Aid", includes a range of interventions that channel government or donor subsidies to the service user rather than the service provider. Initial findings from the few assessments of reproductive health voucher-and-accreditation programs suggest that, if implemented well, these programs have great potential for achieving the policy objectives of increasing access and use, reducing inequities and enhancing program efficiency and service quality. At this point in time, however, there is a paucity of evidence describing how the various voucher programs function in different settings, for various reproductive health services. Methods/Design Population Council-Nairobi, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, intends to address the lack of evidence around the pros and cons of 'voucher and accreditation' approaches to improving the reproductive health of low income women in five developing countries. In Bangladesh, the activities will be conducted in 11 accredited health facilities where Demand Side Financing program is being implemented and compared with populations drawn from areas served by similar non-accredited facilities. Facility inventories, client exit interviews and service provider interviews will be used to collect comparable data across each facility for assessing readiness and quality of care. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders will be conducted to gain a deeper understanding about the program. A population-based survey will also be carried out in two types of locations: areas where vouchers are distributed and similar locations where vouchers are not distributed. Discussion This is a quasi-experimental study which will investigate the impact of the voucher approach on improving

  18. IDRC supports Shirkat Gah to improve women's reproductive rights ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2017-12-07

    Dec 7, 2017 ... The country faces a steep climb to meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goal target of lowering maternal deaths to below 70 for ... of family planning and reproductive health with primary care services, this project promoted ...

  19. Lectin-functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for reproductive improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Semen ejaculates contain heterogeneous sperm populations that can jeopardize male fertility. Recent development of nanotechnology in physiological systems may have applications in reproductive biology. Here, we used magnetic nanoparticles as a novel strategy for sperm purification to imp...

  20. Foliar Application of Arginine Improves Vegetative and Reproductive Characteristics of Bearing Pistachio Trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Tajabadipour

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Pistachio is one of the most important horticultural crops in Iran.  There is a unique role for amino acids in the plant response to stressful conditions, and special physiological role for Arginine (Arg compared to other amino acids.  The effects of this compound were investigated on vegetative and reproductive characters of bearing pistachio trees of ‘Ahmad-Aghaei’. The experiments were done as a factorial based on RCBD with four concentrations of Arg (0, 100, 200 and 300 µM and three spraying stages (post harvest, flower buds swollen and flowering. Based on the results, Arg improved the vegetative and reproductive characters. Arg increased length and diameter of shoot, leaf area, the number of floweringbuds, the number of nuts in cluster, fresh weight of cluster, nut splitting (% and ounce, and decreased flower buds abscission percent and blankness. Arg also significantly increased photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and b and total chlorophyll in bearing pistachio trees. The best concentration of Arg was 200 µM applied of the flowering stage, but the strongest effect on the number of nut in cluster, fresh weight of cluster and blankness were observed when spraying at the flower bud swollen stage.

  1. Low reproductive skew despite high male-biased operational sex ratio in a glass frog with paternal care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, Alexandra; Trenkwalder, Katharina; Ringler, Max; Hödl, Walter; Ringler, Eva

    2015-09-03

    Reproductive skew, the uneven distribution of reproductive success among individuals, is a common feature of many animal populations. Several scenarios have been proposed to favour either high or low levels of reproductive skew. Particularly a male-biased operational sex ratio and the asynchronous arrival of females is expected to cause high variation in reproductive success among males. Recently it has been suggested that the type of benefits provided by males (fixed vs. dilutable) could also strongly impact individual mating patterns, and thereby affecting reproductive skew. We tested this hypothesis in Hyalinobatrachium valerioi, a Neotropical glass frog with prolonged breeding and paternal care. We monitored and genetically sampled a natural population in southwestern Costa Rica during the breeding season in 2012 and performed parentage analysis of adult frogs and tadpoles to investigate individual mating frequencies, possible mating preferences, and estimate reproductive skew in males and females. We identified a polygamous mating system, where high proportions of males (69 %) and females (94 %) reproduced successfully. The variance in male mating success could largely be attributed to differences in time spent calling at the reproductive site, but not to body size or relatedness. Female H. valerioi were not choosy and mated indiscriminately with available males. Our findings support the hypothesis that dilutable male benefits - such as parental care - can favour female polyandry and maintain low levels of reproductive skew among males within a population, even in the presence of direct male-male competition and a highly male-biased operational sex ratio. We hypothesize that low male reproductive skew might be a general characteristic in prolonged breeders with paternal care.

  2. Cognitive ability is heritable and predicts the success of an alternative mating tactic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carl; Philips, André; Reichard, Martin

    2015-06-22

    The ability to attract mates, acquire resources for reproduction, and successfully outcompete rivals for fertilizations may make demands on cognitive traits--the mechanisms by which an animal acquires, processes, stores and acts upon information from its environment. Consequently, cognitive traits potentially undergo sexual selection in some mating systems. We investigated the role of cognitive traits on the reproductive performance of male rose bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus), a freshwater fish with a complex mating system and alternative mating tactics. We quantified the learning accuracy of males and females in a spatial learning task and scored them for learning accuracy. Males were subsequently allowed to play the roles of a guarder and a sneaker in competitive mating trials, with reproductive success measured using paternity analysis. We detected a significant interaction between male mating role and learning accuracy on reproductive success, with the best-performing males in maze trials showing greater reproductive success in a sneaker role than as a guarder. Using a cross-classified breeding design, learning accuracy was demonstrated to be heritable, with significant additive maternal and paternal effects. Our results imply that male cognitive traits may undergo intra-sexual selection. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Reproductive activity and welfare of rabbit does

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Castellini

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the relationships between reproductive performance and welfare of the rabbit does. In the last 10 years the profitability of rabbit farms has increased mainly due to improvements in management and genetic selection but several problems mainly related to animal welfare have also occurred. The mortality and rates of female replacement per year are very high and the replaced females often show poor body condition and low performance. The effect of kindling order, litter size, genetic strain, weaning age and reproduction rhythm on the reproductive performance and welfare of females and some mechanisms implicated in these effects are discussed. Modern rabbit does produce a lot of milk which have a high energetic value which leads to a mobilization of body fat which results in an energy deficit. In the current reproductive rhythms, there is an extensive overlap between lactation and gestation. The resulting energetic and hormonal antagonism reduces the fertility rate and lifespan of the doe. Strategies to improve the fertility, lifespan and welfare of does are discussed. An approach which combines various strategies seems to be required to meet these objectives. Since the factors involved in this productive system are fixed (genetic strain, environment the most powerful way to improve doe welfare is to choose a reproductive rhythm that is adapted to the physiology of the does.

  4. Heparin for assisted reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhtar, Muhammad A; Sur, Shyamaly; Raine-Fenning, Nick; Jayaprakasan, Kannamannadiar; Thornton, Jim G; Quenby, Siobhan

    2013-08-17

    Heparin as an adjunct in assisted reproduction (peri-implantation heparin) is given at or after egg collection or at embryo transfer during assisted reproduction. Heparin has been advocated to improve embryo implantation and clinical outcomes.  It has been proposed that heparin enhances the intra-uterine environment by improving decidualisation with an associated activation of growth factors and a cytokine expression profile in the endometrium that is favourable to pregnancy. To investigate whether the administration of heparin around the time of implantation (peri-implantation heparin) improves clinical outcomes in subfertile women undergoing assisted reproduction. A comprehensive and exhaustive search strategy was developed in consultation with the Trials Search Co-ordinator of the Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group (MDSG). The strategy was used in an attempt to identify all relevant studies regardless of language or publication status (published, unpublished, in press, and in progress). Relevant trials were identified from both electronic databases and other resources (last search 6 May 2013). All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included where peri-implantation heparin was given during assisted reproduction. Peri-implantation low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) during IVF/ICSI was given at or after egg collection or at embryo transfer in the included studies. Live birth rate was the primary outcome. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility and quality of trials and extracted relevant data. The quality of the evidence was evaluated using GRADE methods. Three RCTs (involving 386 women) were included in the review.Peri-implantation LMWH administration during assisted reproduction was associated with a significant improvement in live birth rate compared with placebo or no LMWH (odds ratio (OR) 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 2.90, three studies, 386 women, I(2) = 51%, very low quality evidence with high

  5. IPPF Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights. International Planned Parenthood Federation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, K; Helzner, J F

    1999-05-01

    For most of human existence and in most societies, women have been considered to be property and subject to men. Throughout history, with such notable exceptions as Queen Boadicea, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Elizabeth I of England, and Catherine the Great of Russia, women had little or no power until early in the 20th century when the women's suffrage movement was successful in the United States and in some European countries. As women have gained political rights, groups of women have sought sexual and reproductive rights, as exemplified by the feminist movement of the past few decades in the United States. Although marked strides toward achievement of reproductive choice have been taken in high-income countries, there remain major strictures to reproductive freedom for women in low-income countries. This area, which is replete with ethical and moral issues, has been addressed by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), which has worked to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women throughout the world. The IPPF Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights is a paradigm for both women's rights and human rights. Karen Newman is policy adviser with the IPPF and has codrafted the IPPF Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights together with two lawyers. She has held several positions within the IPPF, including medical researcher, press officer, and programme adviser in Europe, where she had responsibility for working with new family planning associations (FPAs) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. At present, she is working to increase the capacity of IPPF member FPAs to undertake human rights-based advocacy for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Judith F. Helzner is director of Sexual and Reproductive Health at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, Inc., where she has worked since 1987. She holds M.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Relations and Demography. Her previous employment

  6. Livestock reproduction in Latin America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    Proceedings of the Final Research Co-ordination Meeting of the FAO/IAEA/ARCAL III Regional Network for Improving the Reproductive Management of Meat- and Milk-Producing Livestock in Latin America with the Aid of Radioimmunoassay, organized by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture and held in Bogota, 19-23 September 1988. The general goals of this programme, which was part of the ARCAL (Arreglos Regionales Cooperativos para la promocion de la ciencia y la tecnologia nucleares en America Latina) project, were to characterize and improve the reproductive management of milk, meat and fibre producing livestock maintained under the diverse environmental and management conditions prevailing in the Latin America region. In particular, the programme addressed the efficacy of using radioimmunoassay methods of measuring reproductive performance based on breeding and production records, behaviour and clinical parameters. One of the major achievements of the programme was the establishment of viable RIA laboratories in each of the participant countries

  7. Programs to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the US: a review of the evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manlove J

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Jennifer Manlove, Heather Fish, Kristin Anderson Moore Child Trends, Bethesda, MD, USA Background: US adolescents have high rates of teen pregnancy, childbearing, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs, highlighting the need to identify and implement effective programs that will help improve teen sexual and reproductive health. Materials and methods: This review identified 103 random-assignment evaluations of 85 programs that incorporated intent-to-treat analyses and assessed impacts on pregnancy, childbearing, STIs, and their key determinants – sexual activity, number of sexual partners, condom use, and other contraceptive use – among teens. This review describes the evidence base for five broad program approaches, including abstinence education, comprehensive sex education, clinic-based programs, youth development programs, and parent–youth relationship programs. We also describe programs with impacts on key outcomes, including pregnancy/childbearing, STIs, and those that found impacts on both sexual activity and contraceptive use. Results: Our review identified 52 effective programs: 38 with consistent impacts on reproductive health outcomes, and 14 with mixed findings (across subpopulations, follow-ups, or multiple measures of a single outcome. We found that a variety of program approaches produced impacts on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Parent–youth relationship programs and clinic-based program evaluations more frequently showed impacts than other program approaches, although we also identified a number of abstinence-education, comprehensive sex education, and youth-development programs with impacts on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Overall, we identified nine program evaluations with impacts on teen pregnancies or births, five with impacts on reducing STIs, and 15 with impacts on both delaying/reducing sexual activity and increasing contraceptive use (including condom use. Conclusion: Future efforts should

  8. Rethinking reproductive "tourism" as reproductive "exile".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inhorn, Marcia C; Patrizio, Pasquale

    2009-09-01

    Whereas reproductive "tourism" implies leisure travel, reproductive "exile" bespeaks the numerous difficulties and constraints faced by infertile patients who are "forced" to travel globally for assisted reproduction. Given this reality, it is time to rethink the language of "reproductive tourism," replacing it with more accurate and patient-centered terms.

  9. The concentration of plasma metabolites varies throughout reproduction and affects offspring number in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gauthey, Zoé; Freychet, Marine; Manicki, Aurélie; Herman, Alexandre; Lepais, Olivier; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    In wild populations, measuring energy invested in the reproduction and disentangling investment in gametes versus investment in reproductive behavior (such as intrasexual competition or intersexual preference) remain challenging. In this study, we investigated the energy expenditure in brown trout reproductive behavior by using two proxies: variation in weight and variation of plasma metabolites involved in energy production, over the course of reproductive season in a semi natural experimental river. We estimated overall reproductive success using genetic assignment at the end of the reproductive season. Results show that triglycerides and free fatty acid concentrations vary negatively during reproduction, while amino-acids and glucose concentrations remain stable. Decrease in triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations during reproduction is not related to initial concentration levels or to weight variation. Both metabolite concentration variations and weight variations are correlated to the number of offspring produced, which could indicate that gametic and behavioral reproductive investments substantially contribute to reproductive success in wild brown trout. This study opens a path to further investigate variations in reproductive investment in wild populations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Copepod reproduction is unaffected by diatom aldehydes or lipid composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dutz, Jörg; Koski, Marja; Jonasdottir, Sigrun

    2008-01-01

    We investigated whether reduced reproductive success of copepods fed with diatoms was related to nutritional imbalances with regard to essential lipids or to the production of inhibitory aldehydes. In 10-d laboratory experiments, feeding, egg production, egg hatching success, and fecal pellet...

  11. The Use of Proteomics in Assisted Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosteria, Ioanna; Anagnostopoulos, Athanasios K; Kanaka-Gantenbein, Christina; Chrousos, George P; Tsangaris, George T

    2017-01-01

    Despite the explosive increase in the use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) over the last 30 years, their success rates remain suboptimal. Proteomics is a rapidly-evolving technology-driven science that has already been widely applied in the exploration of human reproduction and fertility, providing useful insights into its physiology and leading to the identification of numerous proteins that may be potential biomarkers and/or treatment targets of a successful ART pregnancy. Here we present a brief overview of the techniques used in proteomic analyses and attempt a comprehensive presentation of recent data from mass spectrometry-based proteomic studies in humans, regarding all components of ARTs, including the male and female gamete, the derived zygote and embryo, the endometrium and, finally, the ART offspring both pre- and postnatally. Copyright© 2017, International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. George J. Delinasios), All rights reserved.

  12. Sightings and successful reproduction of allochthonous reptiles in Calabria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio Sperone

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports information about the presence of three allochthonous reptiles species in Calabria: Testudo marginata, Trachemys scripta elegans and Chamaeleo chamaeleon. The first one was found in three sites located in the Catena Costiera Massif and in the Crati Valley (Northern Calabria. The slider turtle was found in seven different sites throughout all the region. It massively colonised the Angitola artificial lake: here, this turtle lives in natural conditions and its reproduction was confirmed by the presence of nests, eggs and hatchlings. C. chamaeleon is present in sandy coastal habitats near Palmi and Gioia Tauro (Southern Calabria. From a conservationistic point of view, serious damages to autochtonous species could be caused by the spreading of T. scripta elegans: this species has already determined the local extinction of Angitola’s Emys orbicularis populations.

  13. Grandparental effects on reproductive strategizing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes data from the household registers for two villages in the Nôbi region of central Japan in the late Edo period (1717-1869 to assess how grandparents may have affected reproductive strategizing in stem families. The particulars of the family system fostered a culturally favored set of reproductive goals, in particular, a daughter as eldest child, followed by a son (and heir, coupled with gender alternation in subsequent reproduction and overall gender balance. This reproductive strategy was generally followed during the stem phase of the domestic cycle, when one or both grandparents were present, especially when the family head was in the senior generation. By contrast, a son-first strategy was favored when childbearing began in the conjugal phase of the cycle. This suggests grandparental influence on the junior couple's reproductive decisions in favor of the cultural ideal. I find that the senior couple's decision to marry the heir early or late strongly affects the reproductive strategies followed by him after marriage. I show that when a grandmother is present at the onset of childbearing, especially if she is relatively young, the junior couple ends up with more offspring on average. A controlled analysis of infanticiding behavior is interpreted in terms of conjugal power and coalition formation. It appears that a grandmother gets her way only when she and her son gang up on the daughter-in-law, but such a coalition is likely only when her son dominates the conjugal relationship (which in turn reflects the grandmother's success in binding the son tightly to her emotionally and in delaying his marriage. Otherwise, the grandmother may be shut out from reproductive decision-making by the solidary conjugal coalition.

  14. Hochu-ekki-to Treatment Improves Reproductive and Immune Modulation in the Stress-Induced Rat Model of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Eunkuk; Choi, Chun Whan; Kim, Soo Jeong; Kim, Yong-In; Sin, Samkee; Chu, Jong-Phil; Heo, Jun Young

    2017-06-13

    The traditional herbal medicine, Hochu-ekki-to, has been shown to have preventive effects on viral infection and stress. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical effects of Hochu-ekki-to on two stress-related rat models of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control and treatment groups, the latter of which were subjected to stress induced by exposure to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or cold temperatures. After these stress inductions, rats were orally treated with dissolved Hochu-ekki-to once per day for 7 days. Rats subjected to the two different stressors exhibited upregulation of steroid hormone receptors (in ovaries) and reproductive hormones (in blood), and consequent stimulation of abnormal follicle development accompanied by elevation of Hsp 90 expression (in ovaries). Treatment with Hochu-ekki-to for 7 days after stress induction increased immune functions, reduced the stress-induced activation of Hsp 90, and normalized the levels of the tested steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones. Our findings suggest that stress stimulations may promote the activation of Hsp 90 via the dysregulation of steroid hormone receptors and reproductive hormones, but that post-stress treatment with Hochu-ekki-to improves reproductive and immune functions in the ovaries of stressed rats.

  15. Calibration aspects of binaural sound reproduction over insert earphones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Pablo F.; Markovic, Milos; Olesen, Søren Krarup

    2012-01-01

    Earphones are nowadays widely adopted for the reproduction of audio material in mobile multimedia and communication platforms, e.g. smartphones. Reproduction of high-quality spatial sound on such platforms can dramatically improve their applicability, and since two channels are always available...... in earphone-based reproduction, binaural reproduction can be applied directly. This paper is concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects relevant to the correct reproduction of binaural signals over insert earphones. To this purpose, a theoretical model originally developed to explain the acoustic...

  16. Polychlorinated biphenyls in adult black bass and yellow perch were not associated with their reproductive success in the upper Hudson River, New York, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maceina, Michael J; Sammons, Steven M

    2013-07-01

    Although production and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) ceased nearly 35 yr ago, questions still remain concerning the potential chronic effects these compounds may have on wild fish, including their reproductive success. In the upper Hudson River, New York, USA, fish were exposed to PCBs primarily from 2 manufacturing plants located approximately 320 km upstream of New York City, New York, from the 1940s to 1977. The authors collected yellow perch (Perca flavescens), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and largemouth bass (M. salmoides) using electrofishing, measured PCBs in these adults, and estimated abundance and size of their offspring at age 1 yr (age-1 fish). Fish were collected annually from 2004 to 2009 from 1 control site upstream of the PCB discharge sites and from 2 sites downstream from where PCBs were released. These sites (pools) are separated by a series of dams, locks, and canals. Muscle tissue wet weight PCB and lipid-based PCB concentrations in adults in the 2 PCB exposure pools averaged approximately 1 to 3 µg/g and 100 to 500 µg/g, respectively. Age-1 abundances were not related to adult PCB concentrations but were inversely related to river flow. Size of age-1 fish was slightly greater at the PCB-exposure sites. Levels of PCBs in yellow perch, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass in the upper Hudson River did not impair or reduce recruitment or reproductive success. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  17. Genetic parameter estimation of reproductive traits of Litopenaeus vannamei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jian; Kong, Jie; Cao, Baoxiang; Luo, Kun; Liu, Ning; Meng, Xianhong; Xu, Shengyu; Guo, Zhaojia; Chen, Guoliang; Luan, Sheng

    2017-02-01

    In this study, the heritability, repeatability, phenotypic correlation, and genetic correlation of the reproductive and growth traits of L. vannamei were investigated and estimated. Eight traits of 385 shrimps from forty-two families, including the number of eggs (EN), number of nauplii (NN), egg diameter (ED), spawning frequency (SF), spawning success (SS), female body weight (BW) and body length (BL) at insemination, and condition factor (K), were measured,. A total of 519 spawning records including multiple spawning and 91 no spawning records were collected. The genetic parameters were estimated using an animal model, a multinomial logit model (for SF), and a sire-dam and probit model (for SS). Because there were repeated records, permanent environmental effects were included in the models. The heritability estimates for BW, BL, EN, NN, ED, SF, SS, and K were 0.49 ± 0.14, 0.51 ± 0.14, 0.12 ± 0.08, 0, 0.01 ± 0.04, 0.06 ± 0.06, 0.18 ± 0.07, and 0.10 ± 0.06, respectively. The genetic correlation was 0.99 ± 0.01 between BW and BL, 0.90 ± 0.19 between BW and EN, 0.22 ± 0.97 between BW and ED, -0.77 ± 1.14 between EN and ED, and -0.27 ± 0.36 between BW and K. The heritability of EN estimated without a covariate was 0.12 ± 0.08, and the genetic correlation was 0.90 ± 0.19 between BW and EN, indicating that improving BW may be used in selection programs to genetically improve the reproductive output of L. vannamei during the breeding. For EN, the data were also analyzed using body weight as a covariate (EN-2). The heritability of EN-2 was 0.03 ± 0.05, indicating that it is difficult to improve the reproductive output by genetic improvement. Furthermore, excessive pursuit of this selection is often at the expense of growth speed. Therefore, the selection of high-performance spawners using BW and SS may be an important strategy to improve nauplii production.

  18. Current updates on laboratory techniques for the diagnosis of male reproductive failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suresh C Sikka

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of male reproductive failure leading to infertility, whether due to delayed parenthood, environmental issues, genetic factors, drugs, etc., is increasing throughout the world. The diagnosis and prognosis of male subfertility have become a challenge. While the basic semen assessment has been performed for many years, a number of studies question the value of the traditional semen characteristics. This is partly due to inadequate methods and standardization, limited knowledge of technical requirements for quality assurance, and an incomplete understanding of what clinical information a semen assessment can provide. Laboratories currently performing semen and endocrine assessment show great variability. The World Health Organization (WHO manual for the evaluation of semen has been the core of andrology and fertility evaluation that has helped in further development of this field over many years. These include the physical appearance of the ejaculate, assessments of sperm count, motility, vitality, morphology, and functional aspects of the sperm and semen sample. These tests also include male endocrine profile, biochemical evaluation of the semen, detection of antisperm antibodies in serum, the use of computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA, sperm DNA integrity, and its damage due to oxidative stress. Assisted reproductive techniques (e.g., IVF, ICSI have shown great success but are too expensive. Further development in this field with newer techniques and extensive training/instructions can improve accuracy and reduce variability, thus maintaining the quality and standards of such an evaluation. There is an urgent need to have standardized training centers and increased awareness in this area of men′s health for reproductive success.

  19. Evaluation of pre-breeding reproductive tract scoring as a predictor of long term reproductive performance in beef heifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, D E; Nielen, M; Jorritsma, R; Irons, P C; Thompson, P N

    2015-01-01

    In a 7-year longitudinal study 292 Bovelder beef cows in a restricted breeding system in South Africa were observed from 1 to 2 days before their first breeding season, when reproductive tract scoring (RTS, scored from 1 to 5) was performed, until weaning their 5th calves. The objective was to determine whether pre-breeding RTS in heifers is a valid tool to predict long-term reproductive performance. Outcomes measured were failure to show oestrus during the first 24 days of the first 50-day AI season (24-day anoestrus), failure to become pregnant during each yearly artificial insemination (AI) season (reproductive failure), number of days from the start of each AI season to calving, and number of years to reproductive failure. The effect of RTS on each outcome was adjusted for year of birth, pre-breeding age, BW and body condition score (BCS), and for 24-day anoestrus, bull, gestation length, previous days to calving and previous cow efficiency index, the latter two in the case of the 2nd to the 5th calving season. During their first breeding season, heifers with RTS 1 and 2 combined were more likely to be in anoestrus for the first 24 days (OR=3.0, 95% CI 1.5, 6.4, P=0.003), and were also more likely to fail to become pregnant even after adjusting for 24-day anoestrus (OR=2.1, 95% CI 1.1, 3.9, P=0.025), compared to those with RTS 4 and 5 combined. Animals with RTS 1 and 2 combined were at increased risk of early reproductive failure compared to those with RTS 4 and 5 combined (HR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0, 1.9, P=0.045) although RTS was not associated with calving rate or days to calving after the second calving season. Low RTS at a threshold of 1 had consistent specificity of ≥94% for both 24-day anoestrus and pregnancy failure, however its predictive value was lower in the age cohort with a higher prevalence of anoestrus. We conclude that RTS is a valid management tool for culling decisions intended to improve long-term reproductive success in a seasonal breeding system

  20. Interaction of environment and reproductive processes in cattle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thatcher, W.W.; Collier, R.J.; Beede, D.K.; Wilcox, C.J.

    1986-01-01

    Effects of environment on reproductive processes of female cattle are described. Variation in fertility responses is divided into environmental and genetic effects. Environmental effects are defined as all effects non-genetic, and emphasis is placed on the quantitation of various climatic measurements (e.g. maximum environmental temperature) associated with reproductive performance. Sensitivities of various reproductive events to thermal stress are defined and include such responses as: reproductive behaviour; hormonal balance related to both reproductive events and metabolic adaptations; alterations in uterine blood flow; embryonic death; conceptus development; placental function; and restoration of postpartum reproductive function. Also discussed are several management strategies to improve animal productivity, including environmental modification and the potential for genetic development of less heat-sensitive animals. (author)

  1. Breeding success of African penguins Spheniscus demersus at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The reproductive success of African penguins Spheniscus demersus at Dassen Island from 1994 to 2000 was variable, but much higher than previously reported figures for the species. Breeding success was positively related to the abundance of anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and sardine Sardinops sagax, and the high ...

  2. The success of assisted reproduction technologies in relation to composition of the total regulatory T cell (Treg) pool and different Treg subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossberger, V; Schober, L; Rehnitz, J; Schaier, M; Zeier, M; Meuer, S; Schmitt, E; Toth, B; Strowitzki, T; Steinborn, A

    2013-11-01

    Are there differences in composition of the total regulatory T cell (Treg) pool and distinct Treg subsets (naïve CD45RA(+)-Tregs, HLA-DR(-)- and HLA-DR(+)-memory Tregs) between successfully and non-successfully IVF/ICSI-treated women? Non-successfully IVF/ICSI-treated women have a decreased percentage of naïve CD45RA(+)-Tregs and an increased percentage of HLA-DR(-)-memory Tregs within the total Treg pool. Immunosuppressive Tregs play a significant role in human reproduction and studies have shown that their number and function are reduced in reproductive failure and complications of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia and preterm labor. However, no data exist concerning the importance of Tregs for a successful outcome following assisted reproduction technologies. Blood samples were obtained from 210 women undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment, where 14 patients were excluded due to biochemical pregnancy or missed abortion. Age control blood samples were collected from 20 neonates and 176 healthy female volunteers. The study was performed between October 2010 and March 2012. In this study, we determined prospectively the quantity and composition of the total CD4(+)CD127(low+/-)CD25(+)FoxP3(+)-Treg pool and three different Treg subsets (naïve CD45RA(+)-Tregs, HLA-DR(-)- and HLA-DR(+)-memory Tregs) in all women undergoing IVF/ICSI treatment. We examined whether there were differences between those who became pregnant (n = 36) and those who did not (n = 160). The blood samples were collected within 1 h before the embryo transfer and analyzed by six-color flow cytometry. In order to evaluate these results with regard to the normal age-related changes in composition of the total Treg pool, the same analysis was performed using samples of umbilical cord blood and from healthy female volunteers aged between 17 and 76 years. The composition of the total Treg pool was documented for successfully IVF/ICSI-treated women (n = 5) throughout their pregnancy and we assessed the

  3. Wildlife conservation and reproductive cloning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, William V; Pickard, Amanda R; Prather, Randall S

    2004-03-01

    Reproductive cloning, or the production of offspring by nuclear transfer, is often regarded as having potential for conserving endangered species of wildlife. Currently, however, low success rates for reproductive cloning limit the practical application of this technique to experimental use and proof of principle investigations. In this review, we consider how cloning may contribute to wildlife conservation strategies. The cloning of endangered mammals presents practical problems, many of which stem from the paucity of knowledge about their basic reproductive biology. However, situations may arise where resources could be targeted at recovering lost or under-represented genetic lines; these could then contribute to the future fitness of the population. Approaches of this type would be preferable to the indiscriminate generation of large numbers of identical individuals. Applying cloning technology to non-mammalian vertebrates may be more practical than attempting to use conventional reproductive technologies. As the scientific background to cloning technology was pioneered using amphibians, it may be possible to breed imminently threatened amphibians, or even restore extinct amphibian species, by the use of cloning. In this respect species with external embryonic development may have an advantage over mammals as developmental abnormalities associated with inappropriate embryonic reprogramming would not be relevant.

  4. Anopheline Reproductive Biology: Impacts on Vectorial Capacity and Potential Avenues for Malaria Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Sara N; Catteruccia, Flaminia

    2017-12-01

    Vectorial capacity is a mathematical approximation of the efficiency of vector-borne disease transmission, measured as the number of new infections disseminated per case per day by an insect vector. Multiple elements of mosquito biology govern their vectorial capacity, including survival, population densities, feeding preferences, and vector competence. Intriguingly, biological pathways essential to mosquito reproductive fitness directly or indirectly influence a number of these elements. Here, we explore this complex interaction, focusing on how the interplay between mating and blood feeding in female Anopheles not only shapes their reproductive success but also influences their ability to sustain Plasmodium parasite development. Central to malaria transmission, mosquito reproductive biology has recently become the focus of research strategies aimed at malaria control, and we discuss promising new methods based on the manipulation of key reproductive steps. In light of widespread resistance to all public health-approved insecticides targeting mosquito reproduction may prove crucial to the success of malaria-eradication campaigns. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  5. Parasite dispersal risk tolerance is mediated by its reproductive value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Maxcy P; Delaplane, Keith S

    2017-10-01

    Parasite dispersal theory draws heavily upon epidemiological SIR models in which host status (susceptible (S), infected (I), or recovered (R)) is used to study parasite dispersal evolution. In contrast to these extrinsically host-centric drivers, in this study we focus on an intrinsic driver, the parasite's reproductive value (predicted future offspring) as a regulator of the extent to which the individual will engage in risky dispersal behaviour. As a model system we use the honeybee Apis mellifera and its ectoparasite, the mite Varroa destructor . Mite reproduction happens exclusively inside cells of bee brood, and newly emerged fecund mites may parasitize either a homocolonial brood cell (low risk dispersal) or emigrate to a new bee colony via phoretic attachment to mature forager bees (high risk dispersal). In an empirical bioassay, prepartum mites (high reproductive value) and postpartum mites (low reproductive value) were offered a choice of newly emerged homocolonial worker bees (low risk), homocolonial pollen forager bees (high risk), or heterocolonial pollen foragers (high risk). A preference for newly emerged bees was earlier and more strongly sustained among prepartum mites. This suggests comparatively greater dispersal risk tolerance among postpartum mites with lower reproductive value. A dangerous bid for dispersal may be adaptive if the individual has already successfully reproduced and the rewards for successful dispersal are sufficiently large.

  6. Leading quality improvement in primary care: recommendations for success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hoof, Thomas J; Bisognano, Maureen; Reinertsen, James L; Meehan, Thomas P

    2012-09-01

    Leadership is increasingly recognized as a potential factor in the success of primary care quality improvement efforts, yet little is definitively known about which specific leadership behaviors are most important. Until more research is available, the authors suggest that primary care clinicians who are committed to developing their leadership skills should commit to a series of actions. These actions include embracing a theory of leadership, modeling the approach for others, focusing on the goal of improving patient outcomes, encouraging teamwork, utilizing available sources of power, and reflecting on one's approach in order to improve it. Primary care clinicians who commit themselves to such actions will be more effective leaders and will be more prepared as new research becomes available on this important factor. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Programs to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health in the US: a review of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manlove, Jennifer; Fish, Heather; Moore, Kristin Anderson

    2015-01-01

    US adolescents have high rates of teen pregnancy, childbearing, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), highlighting the need to identify and implement effective programs that will help improve teen sexual and reproductive health. This review identified 103 random-assignment evaluations of 85 programs that incorporated intent-to-treat analyses and assessed impacts on pregnancy, childbearing, STIs, and their key determinants - sexual activity, number of sexual partners, condom use, and other contraceptive use - among teens. This review describes the evidence base for five broad program approaches, including abstinence education, comprehensive sex education, clinic-based programs, youth development programs, and parent-youth relationship programs. We also describe programs with impacts on key outcomes, including pregnancy/childbearing, STIs, and those that found impacts on both sexual activity and contraceptive use. Our review identified 52 effective programs: 38 with consistent impacts on reproductive health outcomes, and 14 with mixed findings (across subpopulations, follow-ups, or multiple measures of a single outcome). We found that a variety of program approaches produced impacts on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Parent-youth relationship programs and clinic-based program evaluations more frequently showed impacts than other program approaches, although we also identified a number of abstinence-education, comprehensive sex education, and youth-development programs with impacts on sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Overall, we identified nine program evaluations with impacts on teen pregnancies or births, five with impacts on reducing STIs, and 15 with impacts on both delaying/reducing sexual activity and increasing contraceptive use (including condom use). Future efforts should conduct replications of existing program evaluations, identify implementation components linked to impacts, rigorously evaluate programs that appear promising, and

  8. Maternal health status correlates with nest success of leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea from Florida.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin R Perrault

    Full Text Available Of the seven sea turtle species, the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea exhibits the lowest and most variable nest success (i.e., hatching success and emergence success for reasons that remain largely unknown. In an attempt to identify or rule out causes of low reproductive success in this species, we established the largest sample size (n = 60-70 for most values of baseline blood parameters (protein electrophoresis, hematology, plasma biochemistry for this species to date. Hematologic, protein electrophoretic and biochemical values are important tools that can provide information regarding the physiological condition of an individual and population health as a whole. It has been proposed that the health of nesting individuals affects their reproductive output. In order to establish correlations with low reproductive success in leatherback sea turtles from Florida, we compared maternal health indices to hatching success and emergence success of their nests. As expected, hatching success (median = 57.4% and emergence success (median = 49.1% in Floridian leatherbacks were low during the study period (2007-2008 nesting seasons, a trend common in most nesting leatherback populations (average global hatching success = ∼50%. One protein electrophoretic value (gamma globulin protein and one hematologic value (red blood cell count significantly correlated with hatching success and emergence success. Several maternal biochemical parameters correlated with hatching success and/or emergence success including alkaline phosphatase activity, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, calcium:phosphorus ratio, carbon dioxide, cholesterol, creatinine, and phosphorus. Our results suggest that in leatherbacks, physiological parameters correlate with hatching success and emergence success of their nests. We conclude that long-term and comparative studies are needed to determine if certain individuals produce nests with lower

  9. Elevated Immune Gene Expression Is Associated with Poor Reproductive Success of Urban Blue Tits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Capilla-Lasheras

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Urban and forest habitats differ in many aspects that can lead to modifications of the immune system of wild animals. Altered parasite communities, pollution, and artificial light at night in cities have been associated with exacerbated inflammatory responses, with possibly negative fitness consequences, but few data are available from free-living animals. Here, we investigate how urbanization affects major immune pathways and experimentally test potentially contributing factors in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus from an urban and forest site. We first compared breeding adults by quantifying the mRNA transcript levels of proteins associated with anti-bacterial, anti-malarial (TLR4, LY86 and anti-helminthic (Type 2 transcription factor GATA3 immune responses. Adult urban and forest blue tits differed in gene expression, with significantly increased TLR4 and GATA3, but not LY86, in the city. We then experimentally tested whether these differences were environmentally induced by cross-fostering eggs between the sites and measuring mRNA transcripts in nestlings. The populations differed in reduced reproductive success, with a lower fledging success and lower fledgling weight recorded at the urban site. This mirrors the findings of our twin study reporting that the urban site was severely resource limited when compared to the forest. Because of low urban survival, robust gene expression data were only obtained from nestlings reared in the forest. Transcript levels in these nestlings showed no (TLR4, LY86, or weak (GATA3, differences according to their origin from forest or city nests, suggesting little genetic or maternal contribution to nestling immune transcript levels. Lastly, to investigate differences in parasite pressure between urban and forest sites, we measured the prevalence of malaria in adult and nestling blood. Prevalence was invariably high across environments and not associated with the transcript levels of the studied immune genes. Our

  10. The adaptive value of morphological, behavioural and life-history traits in reproductive female wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahler, Daniel R; MacNulty, Daniel R; Wayne, Robert K; vonHoldt, Bridgett; Smith, Douglas W

    2013-01-01

    Reproduction in social organisms is shaped by numerous morphological, behavioural and life-history traits such as body size, cooperative breeding and age of reproduction, respectively. Little is known, however, about the relative influence of these different types of traits on reproduction, particularly in the context of environmental conditions that determine their adaptive value. Here, we use 14 years of data from a long-term study of wolves (Canis lupus) in Yellowstone National Park, USA, to evaluate the relative effects of different traits and ecological factors on the reproductive performance (litter size and survival) of breeding females. At the individual level, litter size and survival improved with body mass and declined with age (c. 4-5 years). Grey-coloured females had more surviving pups than black females, which likely contributed to the maintenance of coat colour polymorphism in this system. The effect of pack size on reproductive performance was nonlinear as litter size peaked at eight wolves and then declined, and litter survival increased rapidly up to three wolves, beyond which it increased more gradually. At the population level, litter size and survival decreased with increasing wolf population size and canine distemper outbreaks. The relative influence of these different-level factors on wolf reproductive success followed individual > group > population. Body mass was the primary determinant of litter size, followed by pack size and population size. Body mass was also the main driver of litter survival, followed by pack size and disease. Reproductive gains because of larger body size and cooperative breeding may mitigate reproductive losses because of negative density dependence and disease. These findings highlight the adaptive value of large body size and sociality in promoting individual fitness in stochastic and competitive environments. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.

  11. A Novel Quantitative Approach to Women’s Reproductive Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milne, Fritha H.; Judge, Debra S.

    2012-01-01

    The patterned way in which individuals allocate finite resources to various components of reproduction (e.g. mating effort, reproductive timing and parental investment) is described as a reproductive strategy. As energy is limited, trade-offs between and within aspects of reproductive strategies are expected. The first aim of this study was to derive aspects of reproductive strategies using complete reproductive histories from 718 parous Western Australian women. Factor analysis using a subset of these participants resulted in six factors that represented ‘short-term mating strategy’, ‘early onset of sexual activity’, ‘reproductive output’, ‘timing of childbearing’, ‘breastfeeding’, and ‘child spacing’. This factor structure was internally validated by replication using a second independent subset of the data. The second aim of this study examined trade-offs between aspects of reproductive strategies derived from aim one. Factor scores calculated for each woman were incorporated in generalised linear models and interaction terms were employed to examine the effect of mating behaviour on the relationships between reproductive timing, parental investment and overall reproductive success. Early sexual activity correlates with early reproductive onset for women displaying more long-term mating strategies. Women with more short-term mating strategies exhibit a trade-off between child quantity and child quality not observed in women with a long-term mating strategy. However, women with a short-term mating strategy who delay reproductive timing exhibit levels of parental investment (measured as breastfeeding duration per child) similar to that of women with long-term mating strategies. Reproductive delay has fitness costs (fewer births) for women displaying more short-term mating strategies. We provide empirical evidence that reproductive histories of contemporary women reflect aspects of reproductive strategies, and associations between these

  12. Resveratrol Is Not as Effective as Physical Exercise for Improving Reproductive and Metabolic Functions in Rats with Dihydrotestosterone-Induced Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Benrick

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS is a reproductive and metabolic disorder associated with obesity and insulin resistance that often precedes the development of type-2 diabetes. Rats continuously exposed to dihydrotestosterone from prepuberty display typical reproductive and metabolic PCOS characteristics including anovulation, polycystic ovaries, insulin resistance, and obesity. Our aim was to investigate if resveratrol improves reproductive and metabolic functions in PCOS rats. The effect was compared to exercise. Control and PCOS rats were treated with vehicle or resveratrol (400 mg · kg−1 · day−1 for 5-6 weeks. Another group of PCOS rats received vehicle treatment and exercised for 5-6 weeks. Insulin sensitivity was determined by euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. The glucose infusion rate was lower in the PCOS-vehicle group compared to control-vehicle rats (P<0.05. Exercise increased insulin sensitivity compared with PCOS-vehicle rats (P<0.05, but resveratrol did not. Resveratrol treatment and exercise resulted in smaller adipocytes, upregulated estrogen-related receptor α gene expression in subcutaneous fat, and improved estrus cyclicity in the previously acyclic PCOS rats. Although resveratrol had positive effects on adiposity and cyclicity in a similar manner to exercise, resveratrol does not seem to be a good candidate for treating insulin resistance associated with PCOS because no improvement in insulin sensitivity was observed in PCOS rats on normal chow.

  13. Reproductive dormancy in boll-weevil from populations of the midwest of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paula, D P; Claudino, D; Timbó, R V; Miranda, J E; Bemquerer, M P; Ribeiro, A C J; Sujii, E R; Fontes, E M G; Pires, C S S

    2013-02-01

    The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis Boheman) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an introduced pest in Brazil, which in 30 yr has successfully expanded to various eco-regions and became the most important pest of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum, Malvaceae). Given the limited knowledge about the adaptive mechanisms that allowed successful establishment of the pest population in a tropical region, in this work we studied the potential of the Midwest population of boll weevils to enter a reproductive dormancy and identified the importance of the feeding source for induction of dormancy. We investigated morphological and physiological characters as indicators of the dormancy. We also investigated the occurrence of reproductive dormancy in boll weevils populations from cotton farms of the Midwestern region of Brazil during the cotton and noncotton seasons of 2009 and 2010. The studies revealed that boll weevils entered facultative reproductive dormancy; however, unlike what has been observed for boll weevils from temperate and subtropical regions, the hypertrophy of fat body and hexamerin levels did not straightly correlated to reproductive dormancy. The food source and field conditions during early adult development were decisive factor for the induction of reproductive dormancy. The incidence of reproductive dormancy increased progressively as the phenology of cotton plant advanced, reaching approximately 90% at the end of the crop season. During the noncotton season, the boll weevil was predominantly found in reproductive dormancy, especially females; however, there is evidence of use of multiple adaptive strategies to colonize the next harvest.

  14. The role of human rights litigation in improving access to reproductive health care and achieving reductions in maternal mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Jennifer Templeton; Lesyna, Katherine; Zaret, Anna

    2017-11-08

    Improving maternal health, reducing global maternal mortality, and working toward universal access to reproductive health care are global priorities for United Nations agencies, national governments, and civil society organizations. Human rights lawyers have joined this global movement, using international law and domestic constitutions to hold nations accountable for preventable maternal death and for failing to provide access to reproductive health care services. This article discusses three decisions in which international treaty bodies find the nations of Brazil and Peru responsible for violations of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also two domestic decisions alleging constitutional violations in India and Uganda. The authors analyze the impact of these decisions on access to maternal and other reproductive health services in Brazil, Peru, India, and Uganda and conclude that litigation is most effective when aligned with ongoing efforts by the public health community and civil society organizations. In filing these complaints and cases on behalf of individual women and their families, legal advocates highlight health system failures and challenge the historical structures and hierarchies that discriminate against and devalue women. These international and domestic decisions empower women and their communities and inspire nations and other stakeholders to commit to broader social, economic, and political change. Human rights litigation brings attention to existing public health campaigns and supports the development of local and global movements and coalitions to improve women's health.

  15. Interactive effects of prey and weather on golden eagle reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; McDonald, T.L.

    1997-01-01

    1. The reproduction of the golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos was studied in southwestern Idaho for 23 years, and the relationship between eagle reproduction and jackrabbit Lepus californicus abundance, weather factors, and their interactions, was modelled using general linear models. Backward elimination procedures were used to arrive at parsimonious models.2. The number of golden eagle pairs occupying nesting territories each year showed a significant decline through time that was unrelated to either annual rabbit abundance or winter severity. However, eagle hatching dates were significantly related to both winter severity and jackrabbit abundance. Eagles hatched earlier when jackrabbits were abundant, and they hatched later after severe winters.3. Jackrabbit abundance influenced the proportion of pairs that laid eggs, the proportion of pairs that were successful, mean brood size at fledging, and the number of young fledged per pair. Weather interacted with prey to influence eagle reproductive rates.4. Both jackrabbit abundance and winter severity were important in predicting the percentage of eagle pairs that laid eggs. Percentage laying was related positively to jackrabbit abundance and inversely related to winter severity.5. The variables most useful in predicting percentage of laying pairs successful were rabbit abundance and the number of extremely hot days during brood-rearing. The number of hot days and rabbit abundance were also significant in a model predicting eagle brood size at fledging. Both success and brood size were positively related to jackrabbit abundance and inversely related to the frequency of hot days in spring.6. Eagle reproduction was limited by rabbit abundance during approximately twothirds of the years studied. Weather influenced how severely eagle reproduction declined in those years.7. This study demonstrates that prey and weather can interact to limit a large raptor population's productivity. Smaller raptors could be affected more

  16. The Prodrug Approach: A Successful Tool for Improving Drug Solubility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Hartmann Jornada

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Prodrug design is a widely known molecular modification strategy that aims to optimize the physicochemical and pharmacological properties of drugs to improve their solubility and pharmacokinetic features and decrease their toxicity. A lack of solubility is one of the main obstacles to drug development. This review aims to describe recent advances in the improvement of solubility via the prodrug approach. The main chemical carriers and examples of successful strategies will be discussed, highlighting the advances of this field in the last ten years.

  17. Critical success factors simplified implementing the powerful drivers of dramatic business improvement

    CERN Document Server

    Howell, Marvin T

    2010-01-01

    Critical-to-success factors (CSFs) have become essential elements to strategic planning and no business can achieve consistent success without effectively adopting them. To take full advantage of CSFs, however, an organization must first understand what they are and how they can be used to drive organizational initiatives and processes. Critical Success Factors Simplified: Implementing the Powerful Drivers of Dramatic Business Improvement provides a concise manual on CSFs that will teach you how to identify and select the right CSFs, measure their impact, and adjust them as needed to reach your goals.

  18. Sow body condition at weaning and reproduction performance in organic piglet production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kongsted, Anne Grete; Hermansen, John Erik

    2009-01-01

    that it is possible to avoid poor body condition at weaning even with a lactation length of seven weeks or more. No main effect of backfat at weaning on reproduction performance was found, but the probability of a successful reproduction after weaning tended to decrease with decreasing backfat for first parity sows...

  19. Exposure of rainbow trout milt to mercury and cadmium alters sperm motility parameters and reproductive success

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dietrich, Grzegorz J.; Dietrich, Mariola; Kowalski, R.K.; Dobosz, Stefan; Karol, Halina; Demianowicz, Wieslaw; Glogowski, Jan

    2010-01-01

    In the current work, seminal plasma was used for the first time as an incubation medium for monitoring short-time exposure effects of sublethal concentrations of mercury and cadmium ions on rainbow trout sperm. Sperm motility parameters (CASA) and hatching rates were used as gamete quality markers. Additionally live/dead sperm viability test and comet assay of DNA fragmentation were performed. We demonstrated that computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA) may serve as a predictor of reproductive success, when milt contaminated with heavy metals is used. Results presented in this study demonstrate that mercury ions altered sperm motility characteristics at 1-10 mg Hg 2+ /l and 10 mg Cd 2+ /l and hatching rates at 10 mg Hg 2+ /l and 10 mg Cd 2+ /l after 4 h of exposure. Although mercury ions affected sperm motility parameters immediately after dilution with milt as well as at 4 h of exposure, no differences in sperm motility parameters were found between intact and mercury-treated milt after 24 h of exposure. Our results suggest that rainbow trout seminal plasma has a protective role against the toxic effects of mercury ions of rainbow trout sperm motility.

  20. Factors affecting reproductive performance of dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, D A; Thayne, W V; Dailey, R A

    1985-07-01

    We conducted two studies to determine how herd management practices and traits of individual cows affect performance of the herd and of the cow within a herd. Management practices, reproductive performance of the herd, and relationships between management and reproductive performance were characterized on 83 dairy farms with 7596 cows. Data included 21 management variables (e.g., facilities, herd health program, estrous detection program) and 8 performance variables obtained from Dairy Herd Improvement or unofficial records (e.g., size of herd, production, days open). Although varying among herds, annual average herd incidences of reproductive disorders and reproductive performance were similar to those reported. Managerial practices influenced incidences of retained placenta and uterine infection, days open of cows not bred and of all cows, services per conception, and percentages of herd open more than 100 days and culled for low production. Veterinarian was the most consistent variable influencing herd reproductive performance. Data also were collected from production and lifetime records of 2532 cows in 19 herds. Reproductive performance was affected by season of calving, production, maturity, and reproductive disorders. Several cows with extremely poor reproductive records were maintained.

  1. Outcomes and Recommendations of an Indian Expert Panel for Improved Practice in Controlled Ovarian Stimulation for Assisted Reproductive Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baiju Ahemmed

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To improve success of in vitro fertilization (IVF, assisted reproductive technology (ART experts addressed four questions. What is optimum oocytes number leading to highest live birth rate (LBR? Are cohort size and embryo quality correlated? Does gonadotropin type affect oocyte yield? Should “freeze-all” policy be adopted in cycles with progesterone >1.5 ng/mL on day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG administration? Methods. Electronic database search included ten studies on which panel gave opinions for improving current practice in controlled ovarian stimulation for ART. Results. Strong association existed between retrieved oocytes number (RON and LBRs. RON impacted likelihood of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS. Embryo euploidy decreased with age, not with cohort size. Progesterone > 1.5 ng/dL did not impair cycle outcomes in patients with high cohorts and showed disparate results on day of hCG administration. Conclusions. Ovarian stimulation should be designed to retrieve 10–15 oocytes/treatment. Accurate dosage, gonadotropin type, should be selected as per prediction markers of ovarian response. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH antagonist based protocols are advised to avoid OHSS. Cumulative pregnancy rate was most relevant pregnancy endpoint in ART. Cycles with serum progesterone ≥1.5 ng/dL on day of hCG administration should not adopt “freeze-all” policy. Further research is needed due to lack of data availability on progesterone threshold or index.

  2. Outcomes and Recommendations of an Indian Expert Panel for Improved Practice in Controlled Ovarian Stimulation for Assisted Reproductive Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahemmed, Baiju; Sundarapandian, Vani; Gutgutia, Rohit; Balasubramanyam, Sathya; Jagtap, Richa; Biliangady, Reeta; Gupta, Priti; Jadhav, Sachin; Satwik, Ruma; Thakor, Priti

    2017-01-01

    Purpose. To improve success of in vitro fertilization (IVF), assisted reproductive technology (ART) experts addressed four questions. What is optimum oocytes number leading to highest live birth rate (LBR)? Are cohort size and embryo quality correlated? Does gonadotropin type affect oocyte yield? Should “freeze-all” policy be adopted in cycles with progesterone >1.5 ng/mL on day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) administration? Methods. Electronic database search included ten studies on which panel gave opinions for improving current practice in controlled ovarian stimulation for ART. Results. Strong association existed between retrieved oocytes number (RON) and LBRs. RON impacted likelihood of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Embryo euploidy decreased with age, not with cohort size. Progesterone > 1.5 ng/dL did not impair cycle outcomes in patients with high cohorts and showed disparate results on day of hCG administration. Conclusions. Ovarian stimulation should be designed to retrieve 10–15 oocytes/treatment. Accurate dosage, gonadotropin type, should be selected as per prediction markers of ovarian response. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist based protocols are advised to avoid OHSS. Cumulative pregnancy rate was most relevant pregnancy endpoint in ART. Cycles with serum progesterone ≥1.5 ng/dL on day of hCG administration should not adopt “freeze-all” policy. Further research is needed due to lack of data availability on progesterone threshold or index. PMID:28246628

  3. Changing reproductive effort within a semelparous reproductive episode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, P William; Simons, Andrew M

    2014-08-01

    • Life-history theory predicts a trade-off between current and future reproduction for iteroparous organisms-as individuals age, the expected value of future reproduction declines, and thus reproductive effort is expected to be higher in later clutches than in earlier. In contrast, models explaining the evolution of semelparity treat semelparous reproduction as instantaneous, with no scope for intraindividual variation. However, semelparous reproduction is also extended, but over shorter time scales; whether there are similar age- or stage-specific changes in reproductive effort within a semelparous episode is unclear. In this study, we assessed whether semelparous individuals increase reproductive effort as residual reproductive value declines by comparing the reproductive phenotype of flowers at five different floral positions along a main inflorescence.• Using the herbaceous monocarp Lobelia inflata, we conducted a longitudinal study of 409 individuals including both laboratory and field populations over three seasons. We recorded six reproductive traits-including the length of three phenological intervals as well as fruit size, seed size, and seed number-for all plants across floral positions produced throughout the reproductive episode.• We found that while the rate of flower initiation did not change, flowers at distal (late) floral positions developed more quickly and contained larger seed than flowers at basal (early) floral positions did.• Our results were consistent with the hypothesis that, like iteroparous organisms, L. inflata increases reproductive effort in response to low residual reproductive value. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  4. Dominance and queen succession in captive colonies of the eusocial naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, F M; Faulkes, C G

    1997-07-22

    Naked mole-rat colonies exhibit a high reproductive skew, breeding being typically restricted to one female (the 'queen') and one to three males. Other colony members are reproductively suppressed, although this suppression can be reversed following the removal or death of the queen. We examined dominance and queen succession within captive colonies to investigate the relationship between urinary testosterone and cortisol, dominance rank and reproductive status; and to determine if behavioural and/or physiological parameters can be used as predictors of queen succession. Social structure was characterized by a linear dominance hierarchy before and after queen removal. Prior to queen removal, dominance rank was negatively correlated with body weight and urinary testosterone and cortisol titres in males and females. Queen removal results in social instability and aggression between high ranking individuals. Dominance rank appears to be a good predictor of reproductive status: queens are the highest ranking colony females and are succeeded by the next highest ranking females. The intense dominance-related aggression that accompanies reproductive succession in naked mole-rats provides empirical support for optimal skew theory.

  5. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah S French

    Full Text Available The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources. Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations.

  6. Effects of depleted uranium on the reproductive success and F1 generation survival of zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bourrachot, Stéphanie [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France); Brion, François [Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS), Unité d’évaluation des risques écotoxicologiques, BP2, 60550 Verneuil-en-Halatte (France); Pereira, Sandrine; Floriani, Magali; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalié, Isabelle [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France); Palluel, Olivier [Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS), Unité d’évaluation des risques écotoxicologiques, BP2, 60550 Verneuil-en-Halatte (France); Adam-Guillermin, Christelle, E-mail: christelle.adam-guillermin@irsn.fr [Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO, Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance 13115 (France)

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • The effect of depleted uranium on zebrafish reproduction was studied. • An inhibition of egg production and an increase of F1 embryo mortality were observed. • Decreased circulating concentration of vitellogenin was observed in females. • Increased DNA damages were observed in parent gonads and in embryos. • U environmental concentration impairs reproduction and genetic integrity of fish. - Abstract: Despite the well-characterized occurrence of uranium (U) in the aquatic environment, very little is known about the chronic exposure of fish to low levels of U and its potential effect on reproduction. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the effects of environmental concentrations of depleted U on the reproductive output of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and on survival and development of the F1 embryo-larvae following parental exposure to U. For that purpose, sexually mature male and female zebrafish were exposed to 20 and 250 μg/L of U for 14 days and allowed to reproduce in clean water during a further 14-day period. At all sampling times, whole-body vitellogenin concentrations and gonad histology were analyzed to investigate the effects of U exposure on these reproductive endpoints. In addition, accumulation of U in the gonads and its genotoxic effect on male and female gonad cells were quantified. The results showed that U strongly affected the capability of fish to reproduce and to generate viable individuals as evidenced by the inhibition of egg production and the increased rate of mortality of the F1 embryos. Interestingly, U exposure resulted in decreased circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in females. Increased concentrations of U were observed in gonads and eggs, which were most likely responsible for the genotoxic effects seen in fish gonads and in embryos exposed maternally to U. Altogether, these findings highlight the negative effect of environmentally relevant concentrations of U which alter the reproductive

  7. Effects of depleted uranium on the reproductive success and F1 generation survival of zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourrachot, Stéphanie; Brion, François; Pereira, Sandrine; Floriani, Magali; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalié, Isabelle; Palluel, Olivier; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • The effect of depleted uranium on zebrafish reproduction was studied. • An inhibition of egg production and an increase of F1 embryo mortality were observed. • Decreased circulating concentration of vitellogenin was observed in females. • Increased DNA damages were observed in parent gonads and in embryos. • U environmental concentration impairs reproduction and genetic integrity of fish. - Abstract: Despite the well-characterized occurrence of uranium (U) in the aquatic environment, very little is known about the chronic exposure of fish to low levels of U and its potential effect on reproduction. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the effects of environmental concentrations of depleted U on the reproductive output of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and on survival and development of the F1 embryo-larvae following parental exposure to U. For that purpose, sexually mature male and female zebrafish were exposed to 20 and 250 μg/L of U for 14 days and allowed to reproduce in clean water during a further 14-day period. At all sampling times, whole-body vitellogenin concentrations and gonad histology were analyzed to investigate the effects of U exposure on these reproductive endpoints. In addition, accumulation of U in the gonads and its genotoxic effect on male and female gonad cells were quantified. The results showed that U strongly affected the capability of fish to reproduce and to generate viable individuals as evidenced by the inhibition of egg production and the increased rate of mortality of the F1 embryos. Interestingly, U exposure resulted in decreased circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in females. Increased concentrations of U were observed in gonads and eggs, which were most likely responsible for the genotoxic effects seen in fish gonads and in embryos exposed maternally to U. Altogether, these findings highlight the negative effect of environmentally relevant concentrations of U which alter the reproductive

  8. Improving food and agricultural production. Thailand. Improving the reproductive performance of large and small ruminants in Thailand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vercoe, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    This document reports the activities of the expert during a three-week mission to Thailand to discuss work aimed at increasing the reproductive efficiency of cattle and buffaloes. In addition the expert assessed the potential for the introduction of hormonal assays to increase productivity in goats. Discussions focussed on the techniques used, the increase in understanding of the reproductive status of the cattle and buffaloes in the region, the impact of the findings on husbandry, breeding and management priorities, the usefulness of the progesterone test and on what additional research is required

  9. Effort variation regularization in sound field reproduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stefanakis, Nick; Jacobsen, Finn; Sarris, Ioannis

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, active control is used in order to reproduce a given sound field in an extended spatial region. A method is proposed which minimizes the reproduction error at a number of control positions with the reproduction sources holding a certain relation within their complex strengths......), and adaptive wave field synthesis (AWFS), both under free-field conditions and in reverberant rooms. It is shown that effort variation regularization overcomes the problems associated with small spaces and with a low ratio of direct to reverberant energy, improving thus the reproduction accuracy...

  10. A structural equation model to integrate changes in functional strategies during old-field succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vile, Denis; Shipley, Bill; Garnier, Eric

    2006-02-01

    From a functional perspective, changes in abundance, and ultimately species replacement, during succession are a consequence of integrated suites of traits conferring different relative ecological advantages as the environment changes over time. Here we use structural equations to model the interspecific relationships between these integrated functional traits using 34 herbaceous species from a Mediterranean old-field succession and thus quantify the notion of a plant strategy. We measured plant traits related to plant vegetative and reproductive size, leaf functioning, reproductive phenology, seed mass, and production on 15 individuals per species monitored during one growing season. The resulting structural equation model successfully accounts for the pattern of trait covariation during the first 45 years post-abandonment using just two forcing variables: time since site abandonment and seed mass; no association between time since field abandonment and seed mass was observed over these herbaceous stages of secondary succession. All other predicted traits values are determined by these two variables and the cause-effect linkage between them. Adding pre-reproductive vegetative mass as a third forcing variable noticeably increased the predictive power of the model. Increasing the time after abandonment favors species with increasing life span and pre-reproductive biomass and decreasing specific leaf area. Allometric coefficients relating vegetative and reproductive components of plant size were in accordance with allometry theory. The model confirmed the trade-off between seed mass and seed number. Maximum plant height and seed mass were major determinants of reproductive phenology. Our results show that beyond verbal conceptualization, plant ecological strategies can be quantified and modeled.

  11. Influence of asymmetrical mating patterns and male reproductive success on the maintenance of sexual polymorphism in Acer pictum subsp. mono (Aceraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Hui; Luo, Yi-Bo; Bai, Wei-Ning

    2012-08-01

    Populations of Acer species often contain more than three sex phenotypes with complex sexual polymorphism including duodichogamy, protandry and protogyny. We identified the mechanisms that maintain sexual polymorphism in Acer pictum subsp. mono, a temperate tree from northern China, by investigating maternal mating patterns and male reproductive success. We used paternity analyses to estimate rates of outcrossing and disassortative mating, as well as male outcrossed siring success, in a population of A. pictum subsp. mono with uneven sex phenotype ratios (duodichogamous 69.1%, protandrous 19.6%, protogynous 11.3%). We used a pollen-transfer model to investigate whether the unequal ratios of sex phenotypes could be explained by the observed patterns of mating. Most progeny resulted from outcrossing, particularly disassortative among the sex phenotypes. Although the duodichogamous phenotype showed a significant amount of intraphenotypic mating, the frequency did not exceed that of disassortative mating. We detected no significant differences in male outcrossed siring success among the sex phenotypes. The pollen-transfer model demonstrated that sex phenotype ratios could be maintained by the observed mating pattern in the population. Our results indicate that disassortative mating among the sex phenotypes can maintain sexual polymorphism in A. pictum subsp. mono and that ratios biased towards duodichogamy can result from frequent intraphenotypic mating in this phenotype. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): a case study in the development of reproductive technology in a marsupial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Stephen D; Holt, William V

    2014-01-01

    The successful development and application of an assisted breeding program in any animal relies primarily on a thorough understanding of the fundamental reproductive biology (anatomy, physiology and behaviour) of the species in question. Surely, the ultimate goal and greatest hallmark of such a program is the efficacious establishment of a series of reliable techniques that facilitate the reproductive and genetic management of fragmented populations, both in captivity and in the wild. Such an achievement is all the more challenging when the reproductive biology of that species is essentially rudimentary and without adequate reproductive models to compare to. Using the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) as a case study, this chapter provides some personal insights into the evolution of a concept that began as a small undergraduate student project but that subsequently evolved into the first-ever successful artificial insemination of a marsupial. Apart from this historical perspective, we also provide a brief review of the current reproductive biology of the koala, discuss technical elements of current assisted breeding technology of this species, its potential application to the wombat, and the future role it might play in helping to conserve wild koala populations. There is little doubt that the unique reproductive biology and tractability of the koala has in this case been a benefit rather than a hindrance to the success of artificial breeding in this species.

  13. Salt sensitivity in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): ions in reproductive tissues and yield components in contrasting genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotula, Lukasz; Khan, Hammad A; Quealy, John; Turner, Neil C; Vadez, Vincent; Siddique, Kadambot H M; Clode, Peta L; Colmer, Timothy D

    2015-08-01

    The reproductive phase in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is affected by salinity, but little is known about the underlying cause. We investigated whether high concentrations of Na(+) and Cl(-) in the reproductive structures influence reproductive processes. Chickpea genotypes contrasting in tolerance were subjected to 0, 35 or 50 mm NaCl applied to soil in pots. Flower production and abortion, pod number, percentage of empty pods, seed number and size were evaluated. The concentrations of Na(+) , K(+) and Cl(-) were measured in various plant tissues and, using X-ray microanalysis, in specific cells of developing reproductive structures. Genotypic variation in reproductive success measured as seed yield in saline conditions was associated with better maintenance of flower production and higher numbers of filled pods (and thus seed number), whereas seed size decreased in all genotypes. Despite the variation in reproductive success, the accumulation of Na(+) and Cl(-) in the early reproductive tissues of developing pods did not differ between a tolerant (Genesis836) and a sensitive (Rupali) genotype. Similarly, salinity tolerance was not associated with the accumulation of salt ions in leaves at the time of reproduction or in seeds at maturity. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. [Importance of reproductive biotechnology in cattle in Europe].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrenzycki, C; Stinshoff, H

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive biotechnology has manifold applications and includes a great innovation potential in livestock. Due to the global changes the new findings and techniques can aid to meet the future challenges. The use of biotechnology in animal production can guarantee enough high quality food for the whole population. Genetic resources of animals can be preserved via sperm and embryo banking. Early diagnosis of hereditary defects, generation of offspring with predetermined sex and the avoidance of animal transports for breeding employing shipment of frozen embryos will improve animal welfare. A special application is the use of animal models for human assisted reproductive technologies. Therefore, not only in Germany research related to the methodologies in reproductive biotechnology and their improvement need to be supported.

  15. The Strong Family Program: an innovative model to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and Elders with reproductive and sexual health community education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duley, P; Botfield, J R; Ritter, T; Wicks, J; Brassil, A

    2017-08-01

    Issue addressed Aboriginal youth in Australia often experience high rates of intimate partner violence (family violence) and poorer reproductive and sexual health than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. To address some of the disparities, the Strong Family Program was developed to deliver reproductive and sexual health education to Aboriginal communities in New South Wales. Methods Development of the program was based on an extensive consultation process with Aboriginal communities. It was implemented in three communities, with two groups from each hosting Aboriginal youth and Elders in a yarning circle within the culturally respectful frameworks of 'men and boys'' and 'women and girls'' business. An evaluation was conducted to measure reproductive and sexual health knowledge and attitude changes upon program completion, using pre- and post-program surveys and yarning (focus group discussions). Results Program participants comprised 48 females and 28 males. Overall, mean knowledge and attitude scores improved upon completion of the program (from 77% to 82% and from 4.15 to 4.32 out of 5, respectively). Among participants aged 20 years and under (the youngest participant was 13 years), there was an increase in knowledge (P=0.034); among participants aged over 20 years (the oldest participant was 78 years), there was an increase in positive attitudes (P=0.001). Participants perceived the information provided to be useful and relevant, with many reporting improved knowledge and attitudes around rights and respectful relationships. Conclusions Reproductive and sexual health education in Aboriginal communities should be based on community consultations and carried out within a culturally appropriate framework to promote greater success. Continued implementation of the Strong Family Program will promote increased understanding of respectful relationships and improved health outcomes for Aboriginal young people. So what? The Strong Family Program was based on an extensive

  16. Nutritional sub-fertility in the dairy cow: towards improved reproductive management through a better biological understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friggens, N C; Disenhaus, C; Petit, H V

    2010-07-01

    There has been a significant decline in the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in recent decades. Cows, take longer time to return to the oestrus after calving, have poorer conception rates, and show fewer signs of oestrus. Achieving good reproductive performance is an increasing challenge for the dairy producer. In this study we focus on understanding the overall biological phenomena associated with nutritional sub-fertility rather than the underlying multiplicity of physiological interactions (already described in a number of recent studies). These phenomena are important because they represent the natural adaptations of the animal for dealing with variations in the nutritional environment. They can also be used to monitor and modulate reproductive performance on-farm. There is an underlying trade-off between two aspects of reproduction: investment in the viability of the current calf and investment in future offspring. As the investment in, and viability of, the current calf is related to maternal milk production, we can expect that level of milk production per se has effects on subsequent reproductive performance (investment in future offspring). Lactating cows have a lower proportion of viable embryos, which are of poorer quality, than do non-lactating cows. The same applies to high- compared to medium-genetic merit cows. Another important biological property is the adaptive use of body reserves in support of reproduction. Orchestrated endocrine changes in pregnancy and lactation facilitate the deposition of body lipid during pregnancy and mobilisation in early lactation. When the cow fails to accumulate the reserves she needs to safeguard reproduction she delays committing to further reproductive investment. But how does the cow 'know' that she is failing in energy terms? We argue that the cow does this by 'monitoring' both the body fat mobilisation and body fatness. Excessive body fat mobilisation indicates that current conditions are worse than

  17. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation Report 4 of 7, 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroder, S.L. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA); Knudsen, C.M. (Oncorh Consulting, Olympia, WA); Watson, B.D. (Yakama Nation, Toppenish, WA)

    2004-05-01

    In September of 2003, twenty-nine hatchery and twenty-eight wild spring chinook adults were placed into the observation stream located at the Cle Elum Supplementation Research Facility. In, addition 20 precocious males, 7 hatchery and 13 wild, were simultaneously released into the structure. As in previous years, the fish had small amounts of fin material removed prior to being introduced into the stream so that microsatellite DNA based pedigree analyses could be performed on their subsequent progeny. The entire 127 m long by 7.9 m wide stream was made available to this group of fish. Continuous behavioral observations were made while the females prepared nests and spawned. Moreover, standard measurements of adult longevity, spawning participation, water velocity, redd sizes, gravel composition, water temperature and flow were taken. Fry produced from these fish started to emigrate from the stream in early January 2004. They were trapped and sub-sampled for later microsatellite DNA analyses. In mid May of 2004 fry emergence from the channel was complete and residual fish were captured by seine and electro-fishing so that the entire juvenile population could be proportionately sampled. Audiotape records of the behavior of wild and hatchery adults spawning in the observation stream in 2001 were transcribed into continuous ethograms. Courting, agonistic, and location data were extracted from these chronological records and analyzed to characterize the reproductive behavior of both hatchery and wild fish. In addition, a ''gold standard'' pedigree analysis was completed on the fry originating from the adults placed into the observation stream in 2001. Behavioral and morphological data collected on hatchery and wild males were linked to the results of the pedigree analysis to ascertain what factors affected their reproductive success (RS) or capacity to produce fry. Individual RS values were calculated for each male placed into the observation stream

  18. Female reproductive cycles of wild female felids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Janine L

    2011-04-01

    Many felid species are endangered because of destructive human activities. As a result, zoos are being tasked with sustaining genetically healthy populations in case of catastrophic extinctions. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few species, most felids do not reproduce well in captivity. The ability to track reproductive activity via hormones is key to developing successful ex situ breeding programs. Through the development of noninvasive fecal hormone monitoring techniques, a high degree of variability in estrous cycle characteristics has been found to exist across the taxon, including the type of ovulation. For example, although all felids have induced ovulations, the occurrence of spontaneous ovulations varies across species, and even between individuals within a species. Clouded leopards, fishing cats and margays frequently have spontaneous ovulations, whereas these are rarely observed in the cheetah, tigrina and ocelot. There are marked species differences in the impact of season on reproductive function, with some being exquisitely sensitive to photoperiod (e.g., Pallas' cat), some moderately affected (tiger, clouded leopard, snow leopard), and others that are not influenced at all (e.g., ocelot, tigrina, margay, lion, leopard, fishing cat). One of the greatest challenges remaining is overcoming the problems associated with highly variable ovarian responses to ovulation induction therapies used with assisted reproductive procedures, like artificial insemination (AI). Success is relatively high in the cheetah and ocelot, but few pregnancies have resulted after AI in clouded leopard, fishing cat and tiger. Current knowledge of the reproductive physiology of nondomestic felids, including aspects of the anatomy, behavior and ovarian cycles will be presented, and how the rapidly growing endocrine database is aiding ex situ management efforts. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding conception and fertility: a population-based survey among reproductive-age United States women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundsberg, Lisbet S; Pal, Lubna; Gariepy, Aileen M; Xu, Xiao; Chu, Micheline C; Illuzzi, Jessica L

    2014-03-01

    To assess overall knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to conception and fertility among reproductive-age women in the United States. Online survey of a cross-sectional sample of 1,000 women. United States, March 2013. Women aged 18-40 years. None. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding selected topics in reproductive health. Forty percent of women across all age groups expressed concerns about their ability to conceive. Yet one-third of women were unaware of adverse implications of sexually transmitted infections, obesity, or irregular menses for procreative success, and one-fifth were unaware of the effects of aging. Approximately 40% were unfamiliar with the ovulatory cycle. Overall, younger women (18-24 years) demonstrated less knowledge regarding conception, fertility, and ovulation, whereas older women tended to believe in common myths and misconceptions. Respondents in all age groups identified women's health care providers (75%) and Web sites (40%) as top sources of reproductive health-related information; however, engagement with providers on specific factors affecting fertility is sparse. Knowledge regarding ovulation, fertility, and conception is limited among this sample of reproductive-age US women. Future initiatives should prioritize improved provider engagement and accurate information dissemination in Web-based venues. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Nectar replenishment maintains the neutral effects of nectar robbing on female reproductive success of Salvia przewalskii (Lamiaceae), a plant pollinated and robbed by bumble bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhong-Ming; Jin, Xiao-Fang; Wang, Qing-Feng; Yang, Chun-Feng; Inouye, David W

    2017-04-01

    It has been suggested that the dynamics of nectar replenishment could differ for flowers after being nectar robbed or visited legitimately, but further experimental work is needed to investigate this hypothesis. This study aimed to assess the role of nectar replenishment in mediating the effects of nectar robbing on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction. Plant-robber-pollinator interactions in an alpine plant, Salvia przewalskii , were studied. It is pollinated by long-tongued Bombus religiosus and short-tongued B. friseanus , but robbed by B. friseanus . Nectar production rates for flowers after they were either robbed or legitimately visited were compared, and three levels of nectar robbing were created to detect the effects of nectar robbing on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction. Nectar replenishment did not differ between flowers that had been robbed or legitimately visited. Neither fruit set nor seed set was significantly affected by nectar robbing. In addition, nectar robbing did not significantly affect visitation rate, flowers visited within a plant per foraging bout, or flower handling time of the legitimate pollinators. However, a tendency for a decrease in relative abundance of the pollinator B. religiosus with an increase of nectar robbing was found. Nectar robbing did not affect female reproductive success because nectar replenishment ensures that pollinators maintain their visiting activity to nectar-robbed flowers. Nectar replenishment might be a defence mechanism against nectar robbing to enhance reproductive fitness by maintaining attractiveness to pollinators. Further studies are needed to reveal the potential for interference competition among bumble bees foraging as robbers and legitimate visitors, and to investigate variation of nectar robbing in communities with different bumble bee species composition. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For

  1. An individual reproduction model sensitive to milk yield and body condition in Holstein dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun-Lafleur, L; Cutullic, E; Faverdin, P; Delaby, L; Disenhaus, C

    2013-08-01

    To simulate the consequences of management in dairy herds, the use of individual-based herd models is very useful and has become common. Reproduction is a key driver of milk production and herd dynamics, whose influence has been magnified by the decrease in reproductive performance over the last decades. Moreover, feeding management influences milk yield (MY) and body reserves, which in turn influence reproductive performance. Therefore, our objective was to build an up-to-date animal reproduction model sensitive to both MY and body condition score (BCS). A dynamic and stochastic individual reproduction model was built mainly from data of a single recent long-term experiment. This model covers the whole reproductive process and is composed of a succession of discrete stochastic events, mainly calving, ovulations, conception and embryonic loss. Each reproductive step is sensitive to MY or BCS levels or changes. The model takes into account recent evolutions of reproductive performance, particularly concerning calving-to-first ovulation interval, cyclicity (normal cycle length, prevalence of prolonged luteal phase), oestrus expression and pregnancy (conception, early and late embryonic loss). A sensitivity analysis of the model to MY and BCS at calving was performed. The simulated performance was compared with observed data from the database used to build the model and from the bibliography to validate the model. Despite comprising a whole series of reproductive steps, the model made it possible to simulate realistic global reproduction outputs. It was able to well simulate the overall reproductive performance observed in farms in terms of both success rate (recalving rate) and reproduction delays (calving interval). This model has the purpose to be integrated in herd simulation models to usefully test the impact of management strategies on herd reproductive performance, and thus on calving patterns and culling rates.

  2. Effect of season on reproductive behaviors and fertilization success in cavies (Cavia aperea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hribal, Romy; Rübensam, Kathrin; Bernhardt, Sandra; Jewgenow, Katarina; Guenther, Anja

    2018-04-05

    Finding the optimal timing for breeding is crucial for small mammals to ensure survival and maximize lifetime reproductive success. Species living in temperate regions therefore often restrict breeding to seasons with favorable food and weather conditions. Although caviomorph rodents such as guinea pigs are described as non-seasonal breeders, a series of recent publications has shown seasonal adaptations in litter size, offspring birth mass and maternal investment. Here, we aim to test if seasonal patterns of litter size variation found in earlier studies, are mediated by seasonal differences in female estrus length, fertilization rate and mating behavior. The female estrus period was longer in fall compared to all other seasons (p < 0.001), frequently lasting 7-9 days while estrus in spring usually lasted less than 2 days. In fall, females mated later during estrus (p < 0.001), resulting in reduced fertilization rates (p < 0.001). Fertilization rate was well above 95% in summer while it dropped to less than 85% in fall and winter. While none of the male mating characteristics such as number and duration of copulations differed across seasons, the number of mating bouts was reduced in fall (p = 0.04). Finally, the developmental stages of flushed embryos were more diverse in spring and summer compared to fall and winter. These results suggest that seasonal differences in fertilization rate and quality of implanted embryos are mediated by female estrus length and timing and intensity of mating behavior. Together, these effects contribute to the observed differences in litter size across seasons. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Chilled frogs are hot: hibernation and reproduction of the Endangered mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Frank E.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Lemm, Jeffrey M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Clark, Rulon W.

    2015-01-01

    In the face of the sixth great extinction crisis, it is imperative to establish effective breeding protocols for amphibian conservation breeding programs. Captive efforts should not proceed by trial and error, nor should they jump prematurely to assisted reproduction techniques, which can be invasive, difficult, costly, and, at times, counterproductive. Instead, conservation practitioners should first look to nature for guidance, and replicate key conditions found in nature in the captive environment, according to the ecological and behavioral requirements of the species. We tested the effect of a natural hibernation regime on reproductive behaviors and body condition in the Endangered mountain yellow-legged frog Rana muscosa. Hibernation had a clear positive effect on reproductive behavior, manifesting in vocal advertisement signaling, female receptivity, amplexus, and oviposition. These behaviors are critical components of courtship that lead to successful reproduction. Our main finding was that captive R. muscosa require a hibernation period for successful reproduction, as only hibernated females produced eggs and only hibernated males successfully fertilized eggs. Although hibernation also resulted in a reduced body condition, the reduction appeared to be minimal with no associated mortality. The importance of hibernation for reproduction is not surprising, since it is a major component of the conditions that R. muscosa experiences in the wild. Other amphibian conservation breeding programs can also benefit from a scientific approach that tests the effect of natural ecological conditions on reproduction. This will ensure that captive colonies maximize their role in providing genetic reservoirs for assurance and reintroduction efforts.

  4. Spatial patterns in occupancy and reproduction of Golden Eagles during drought: Prospects for conservation in changing environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, David; Kolar, Patrick; Hunt, W. Grainger; Hunt, Teresa; Fuller, Mark R.; Bell, Douglas A.

    2018-01-01

    We used a broad-scale sampling design to investigate spatial patterns in occupancy and breeding success of territorial pairs of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in the Diablo Range, California, USA, during a period of exceptional drought (2014–2016). We surveyed 138 randomly selected sample sites over 4 occasions each year and identified 199 pairs of eagles, 100 of which were detected in focal sample sites. We then used dynamic multistate modeling to identify relationships between site occupancy and reproduction of Golden Eagles relative to spatial variability in landscape composition and drought conditions. We observed little variability among years in site occupancy (3-yr mean = 0.74), but the estimated annual probability of successful reproduction was relatively low during the study period and declined from 0.39 (± 0.08 SE) to 0.18 (± 0.07 SE). Probabilities of site occupancy and reproduction were substantially greater at sample sites that were occupied by successful breeders in the previous year, indicating the presence of sites that were consistently used by successfully reproducing eagles. We found strong evidence for nonrandom spatial distribution in both occupancy and reproduction: Sites with the greatest potential for occupancy were characterized by rugged terrain conditions with intermediate amounts of grassland interspersed with patches of oak woodland and coniferous forest, whereas successful reproduction was most strongly associated with the amount of precipitation that a site received during the nesting period. Our findings highlight the contribution of consistently occupied and productive breeding sites to overall productivity of the local breeding population, and show that both occupancy and reproduction at these sites were maintained even during a period of exceptional drought. Our approach to quantifying and mapping site quality should be especially useful for the spatial prioritization of compensation measures intended to help offset the

  5. Department of Defense Birth and Infant Health Registry: select reproductive health outcomes, 2003-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bukowinski, Anna T; Conlin, Ava Marie S; Gumbs, Gia R; Khodr, Zeina G; Chang, Richard N; Faix, Dennis J

    2017-11-01

    Established following a 1998 directive, the Department of Defense Birth and Infant Health Registry (Registry) team conducts surveillance of select reproductive health outcomes among military families. Data are compiled from the Military Health System Data Repository and Defense Manpower Data Center to define the Registry cohort and outcomes of interest. Outcomes are defined using ICD-9/ICD-10 and Current Procedural Terminology codes, and include: pregnancy outcomes (e.g., live births, losses), birth defects, preterm births, and male:female infant sex ratio. This report includes data from 2003-2014 on 1,304,406 infants among military families and 258,332 pregnancies among active duty women. Rates of common adverse infant and pregnancy outcomes were comparable to or lower than those in the general US population. These observations, along with prior Registry analyses, provide reassurance that military service is not independently associated with increased risks for select adverse reproductive health outcomes. The Registry's diverse research portfolio demonstrates its unique capabilities to answer a wide range of questions related to reproductive health. These data provide the military community with information to identify successes and areas for improvement in prevention and care.

  6. Helpers increase the reproductive potential of offspring in cooperative meerkats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, A.F; Young, A.J; Spong, G; Jordan, N.R; Clutton-Brock, T.H

    2006-01-01

    In both animal and human societies, individuals may forego personal reproduction and provide care to the offspring of others. Studies aimed at investigating the adaptive nature of such cooperative breeding systems in vertebrates typically calculate helper ‘fitness’ from relationships of helper numbers and offspring survival to independence. The aim of this study is to use observations and supplemental feeding experiments in cooperatively breeding meerkats, Suricata suricatta, to investigate whether helpers influence the long-term reproductive potential of offspring during adulthood. We show that helpers have a significant and positive influence on the probability that offspring gain direct reproductive success in their lifetimes. This effect arises because helpers both reduce the age at which offspring begin to reproduce as subordinates and increase the probability that they will compete successfully for alpha rank. Supplemental feeding experiments confirm the causality of these results. Our results suggest that one can neither discount the significance of helper effects when none is found nor necessarily estimate accurately the fitness benefit that helpers accrue, unless their effects on offspring are considered in the long term. PMID:17476771

  7. Do native brown trout and non-native brook trout interact reproductively?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucherousset, J.; Aymes, J. C.; Poulet, N.; Santoul, F.; Céréghino, R.

    2008-07-01

    Reproductive interactions between native and non-native species of fish have received little attention compared to other types of interactions such as predation or competition for food and habitat. We studied the reproductive interactions between non-native brook trout ( Salvelinus fontinalis) and native brown trout ( Salmo trutta) in a Pyrenees Mountain stream (SW France). We found evidence of significant interspecific interactions owing to consistent spatial and temporal overlap in redd localizations and spawning periods. We observed mixed spawning groups composed of the two species, interspecific subordinate males, and presence of natural hybrids (tiger trout). These reproductive interactions could be detrimental to the reproduction success of both species. Our study shows that non-native species might have detrimental effects on native species via subtle hybridization behavior.

  8. Assisted reproductive techniques for cattle breeding in developing countries: a critical appraisal of their value and limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Martinez, H

    2012-01-01

    Commercialization of animal biotechnologies, including those related to reproduction [also known as assisted reproductive techniques (ARTS)], is an increasing reality in developing countries, following the enormous flow of information around us and the increasing global commercial interests in areas where cattle production has its major assets. The present review discusses the achievements of various biotechnological tools for reproduction in cattle including semen handling for artificial insemination (AI), superovulation and embryo transfer (MOET), in vitro handling of oocytes and production of embryos, reproductive cloning and emerging technologies (sex selection, gene targeting and nuclear transfer for livestock transgenesis, genomics for marker-assisted selection, etc.). The application of these technologies for cattle breeding is critically discussed in relation to their impact in the improvement of the efficiency of dairy and beef production in developed and - particularly - in developing countries, which ultimately rule the possibilities of a competitive and sound production of food for human consumption. Despite the remarkable progress made and the punctual importance of some of the above-mentioned technologies, AI remains the most important assisted reproductive technology (ART) in developing countries. Any attempt to gain widespread of any other ART under the predominant economical conditions in developing countries ought to match the simplicity and the success of AI as a breeding tool. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  9. Impacts of climate change and environmental factors on reproduction and development in wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milligan, Stuart R.; Holt, William V.; Lloyd, Rhiannon

    2009-01-01

    The robustness of the growth of the human population in the face of environmental impacts is in contrast to the sensitivity of wildlife. There is a danger that the success of reproduction of humans provides a false sense of security for the public, media and politicians with respect to wildlife survival, the maintenance of viable ecosystems and the capacity for recovery of damaged ecosystems and endangered species. In reality, the success of humans to populate the planet has been dependent on the combination of the ability to reproduce successfully and to minimize loss of offspring through controlling and manipulating their own micro-environment. In contrast, reproduction in wildlife is threatened by environmental changes operating at many different physiological levels. PMID:19833643

  10. Sexual Experience Enhances Drosophila melanogaster Male Mating Behavior and Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Sehresh; Ruggles, Patrick H.; Abbott, Wiley K.; Carney, Ginger E.

    2014-01-01

    Competition for mates is a wide-spread phenomenon affecting individual reproductive success. The ability of animals to adjust their behaviors in response to changing social environment is important and well documented. Drosophila melanogaster males compete with one another for matings with females and modify their reproductive behaviors based on prior social interactions. However, it remains to be determined how male social experience that culminates in mating with a female impacts subsequent male reproductive behaviors and mating success. Here we show that sexual experience enhances future mating success. Previously mated D. melanogaster males adjust their courtship behaviors and out-compete sexually inexperienced males for copulations. Interestingly, courtship experience alone is not sufficient in providing this competitive advantage, indicating that copulation plays a role in reinforcing this social learning. We also show that females use their sense of hearing to preferentially mate with experienced males when given a choice. Our results demonstrate the ability of previously mated males to learn from their positive sexual experiences and adjust their behaviors to gain a mating advantage. These experienced-based changes in behavior reveal strategies that animals likely use to increase their fecundity in natural competitive environments. PMID:24805129

  11. Sexual experience enhances Drosophila melanogaster male mating behavior and success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sehresh Saleem

    Full Text Available Competition for mates is a wide-spread phenomenon affecting individual reproductive success. The ability of animals to adjust their behaviors in response to changing social environment is important and well documented. Drosophila melanogaster males compete with one another for matings with females and modify their reproductive behaviors based on prior social interactions. However, it remains to be determined how male social experience that culminates in mating with a female impacts subsequent male reproductive behaviors and mating success. Here we show that sexual experience enhances future mating success. Previously mated D. melanogaster males adjust their courtship behaviors and out-compete sexually inexperienced males for copulations. Interestingly, courtship experience alone is not sufficient in providing this competitive advantage, indicating that copulation plays a role in reinforcing this social learning. We also show that females use their sense of hearing to preferentially mate with experienced males when given a choice. Our results demonstrate the ability of previously mated males to learn from their positive sexual experiences and adjust their behaviors to gain a mating advantage. These experienced-based changes in behavior reveal strategies that animals likely use to increase their fecundity in natural competitive environments.

  12. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brents, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    Marijuana use among women is highly prevalent, but the societal conversation on marijuana rarely focuses on how marijuana affects female reproduction and endocrinology. This article reviews the current scientific literature regarding marijuana use and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis regulation, ovarian hormone production, the menstrual cycle, and fertility. Evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce female fertility by disrupting hypothalamic release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), leading to reduced estrogen and progesterone production and anovulatory menstrual cycles. Tolerance to these effects has been shown in rhesus monkeys, but the effects of chronic marijuana use on human female reproduction are largely unknown. Marijuana-induced analgesia, drug reinforcement properties, tolerance, and dependence are influenced by ovarian hormones, with estrogen generally increasing and progesterone decreasing sensitivity to marijuana. Carefully controlled regulation of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is required for successful reproduction, and the exogenous cannabinoids in marijuana may disrupt the delicate balance of the ECS in the female reproductive system.

  13. Synchronisation of ovulation for management of reproduction in dairy cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisinotto, R S; Ribeiro, E S; Santos, J E P

    2014-05-01

    Important developments have occurred in the last two decades, since the advent of the Ovsynch protocol, on the understanding and use of synchronisation programmes for management of reproduction in dairy herds. This better understanding of oestrus cycle control associated with suboptimal reproductive performance in dairy herds has led dairy producers to quickly adopt timed artificial insemination (AI) protocols. Recent surveys have documented that fixed-time AI has become an important component of management of reproduction in high-producing herds. Furthermore, timed AI protocols have also demonstrated benefits in pasture-based milk production systems because of the ability to increase insemination rate. In general, successful use of the Ovsynch protocol requires some fundamental physiological principles to be respected, including: induction of ovulation to synchronise follicle growth in the first 2 days of the programme such that a young antral follicle is recruited; maintenance of high concentrations of progesterone during the development of the ovulatory follicle, but also effectively lyse the corpus luteum to result in very low concentration of progesterone at AI; and having a healthy pre-ovulatory follicle of moderate diameter that is highly oestrogenic and responsive to gonadotropins to synchronously ovulate 12 to 18 h after insemination. Current methods oestrous and ovulation synchronisation are still not optimal and future improvements will likely require new technologies for hormone formulation and delivery such that additional interventions are minimised to maintain acceptance by producers.

  14. Reproduction in eastern screech-owls fed selenium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1996-01-01

    Raptors are occasionally exposed to excessive selenium from contaminated prey, but the effects of this exposure on reproduction are unknown. Therefore, we fed captive eastern screech-owls (Otus asio) diets containing 0, 4.4, or 13.2 ppm (wet wt) added selenium in the form of seleno-DL-methionine. Adult mass at sacrifice and reproductive success of birds receiving 13.2 ppm selenium were depressed (P biochemistries indicative of oxidative stress were affected (P < 0.05) in 5-day-old nestlings from parents fed 4.4 ppm selenium and included a 19% increase in glutathione peroxidase activity, a 43% increase in the ratio of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) to reduced glutathione (GSH), and a 17% increase in lipid peroxidation. Based on reproductive effects relative to dietary exposure, sensitivity of eastern screech-owls to selenium was similar to that of black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) but less than that of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

  15. A test of reproductive power in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boback, Scott M; Guyer, Craig

    2008-05-01

    Reproductive power is a contentious concept among ecologists, and the model has been criticized on theoretical and empirical grounds. Despite these criticisms, the model has successfully predicted the modal (optimal) size in three large taxonomic groups and the shape of the body size distribution in two of these groups. We tested the reproductive power model on snakes, a group that differs markedly in physiology, foraging ecology, and body shape from the endothermic groups upon which the model was derived. Using detailed field data from the published literature, snake-specific constants associated with reproductive power were determined using allometric relationships of energy invested annually in egg production and population productivity. The resultant model accurately predicted the mode and left side of the size distribution for snakes but failed to predict the right side of that distribution. If the model correctly describes what is possible in snakes, observed size diversity is limited, especially in the largest size classes.

  16. The effects of chronic radiation on reproductive success of the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, F.L.; Anderson, S.L.

    1988-12-01

    The effects of lifetime exposure to chronic irradiation on reproductive success were assessed for laboratory populations of the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata. Lifetime exposure was initiated upon the spawning of the P 1 female and was terminated upon spawning of the F 1 female. Groups of experimental worms received either no radiation (controls) or 0.19, 2.1, or 17 mGy/h. The total dose received by the worms was either background or approximately 0.55, 6.5, or 54 Gy, respectively. The broods from the F 1 mated pairs were sacrificed before hatching occurred, and information was obtained on brood size, on the number of normal and abnormal embryos, and on the number of embryos that were living, dying, and dead. The mean number of embryos in the broods from the F 1 females exposed to lifetime radiation of 0.19 and 2.1 mGy/h was not significantly different from the mean number of embryos from control females; however, the mean number of embryos was different from those F 1 females exposed to 17 mGy/h. There was a significant reduction in the number of live embryos in the broods from the F 1 mated pairs that were exposed to the lowest dose rate given, 0.19 mGy/h, as well as those exposed to 2.1 and 17 mGy/h. Also, increased percentages of abnormal embryos were determined in the broods of all the radiation-exposed groups. 39 refs., 10 figs., 15 tabs

  17. Association of weather and nest-site structure with reproductive success in California spotted owls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malcolm North; George Steger; Renee Denton; Gary Eberlein; Tom Munton; Ken Johnson

    2000-01-01

    Although the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) has been intensively studied, factors influencing its reproduction are not well understood. We examined a 9-year demographic study of 51-86 pairs of the California spotted owl (S. o. occidentalis), weather conditions, and forest structure at nest sites in oak (Quercus sp.) woodland and...

  18. Direct-to-consumer advertising of success rates for medically assisted reproduction: a review of national clinic websites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Jack; Vail, Andy; Roberts, Stephen A

    2017-01-12

    To establish how medically assisted reproduction (MAR) clinics report success rates on their websites. Websites of private and NHS clinics offering in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the UK. We identified clinics offering IVF using the Choose a Fertility Clinic facility on the website of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Of 81 clinics identified, a website could not be found for 2, leaving 79 for inclusion in the analysis. Outcome measures reported by clinic websites. The numerator and denominator included in the outcome measure were of interest. 53 (67%) websites reported their performance using 51 different outcome measures. It was most common to report pregnancy (83% of these clinics) or live birth rates (51%). 31 different ways of reporting pregnancy and 9 different ways of reporting live birth were identified. 11 (21%) reported multiple birth or pregnancy rates. 1 clinic provided information on adverse events. It was usual for clinics to present results without relevant contextual information such as sample size, reporting period, the characteristics of patients and particular details of treatments. Many combinations of numerator and denominator are available for the purpose of reporting success rates for MAR. The range of reporting options available to clinics is further increased by the possibility of presenting results for subgroups of patients and for different time periods. Given the status of these websites as advertisements to patients, the risk of selective reporting is considerable. Binding guidance is required to ensure consistent, informative reporting. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  19. Factors Associated with Effectiveness of Treatment and Reproductive Outcomes in Patients with Thin Endometrium Undergoing Estrogen Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Si-Miao Liu

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions: Thinner EMT before estrogen treatment requires longer treatment duration and predicts poorer treatment outcomes. The effectiveness of treatment depends on the duration of estrogen administration. Assisted reproductive outcomes of patients whose treatment is successful (i.e., achieves an EMT ≥8 mm are similar to those of controls. The quality of embryos transferred is an important predictor of assisted reproductive outcomes in patients treated successfully with exogenous estrogen.

  20. Application of failure mode and effect analysis in an assisted reproduction technology laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Intra, Giulia; Alteri, Alessandra; Corti, Laura; Rabellotti, Elisa; Papaleo, Enrico; Restelli, Liliana; Biondo, Stefania; Garancini, Maria Paola; Candiani, Massimo; Viganò, Paola

    2016-08-01

    Assisted reproduction technology laboratories have a very high degree of complexity. Mismatches of gametes or embryos can occur, with catastrophic consequences for patients. To minimize the risk of error, a multi-institutional working group applied failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) to each critical activity/step as a method of risk assessment. This analysis led to the identification of the potential failure modes, together with their causes and effects, using the risk priority number (RPN) scoring system. In total, 11 individual steps and 68 different potential failure modes were identified. The highest ranked failure modes, with an RPN score of 25, encompassed 17 failures and pertained to "patient mismatch" and "biological sample mismatch". The maximum reduction in risk, with RPN reduced from 25 to 5, was mostly related to the introduction of witnessing. The critical failure modes in sample processing were improved by 50% in the RPN by focusing on staff training. Three indicators of FMEA success, based on technical skill, competence and traceability, have been evaluated after FMEA implementation. Witnessing by a second human operator should be introduced in the laboratory to avoid sample mix-ups. These findings confirm that FMEA can effectively reduce errors in assisted reproduction technology laboratories. Copyright © 2016 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Reproduction and vegetative growth in the dioecious shrub Acer barbinerve in temperate forests of Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Zhang, Chunyu; Gadow, Klaus V; Cheng, Yanxia; Zhao, Xiuhai

    2015-06-01

    Trade-off in dioecious plant. The trade-off between reproduction, vegetative growth and maintenance is a major issue in the life history of an organism and a record of the process which is producing the largest possible number of living offspring by natural selection. Dioecious species afford an excellent opportunity for detecting such possible trade-offs in resource allocation. In this study, we selected the dioecious shrub Acer barbinerve to examine possible trade-offs between reproduction and vegetative growth in both genders at different modular levels during three successive years. Reproductive and vegetative biomass values were assessed during successive years to evaluate their intra-annual and inter-annual trade-offs. These trade-offs were examined at shoot, branch and shrub modular levels in Acer barbinerve shrubs. An intra-annual trade-off was detected at the shoot level for both genders in 2011 and 2012. Both males and females showed a negative correlation between reproduction and vegetative growth, but this was more prominent in males. For the females of the species, inter-annual trade-offs were only found at branch and shrub levels. Slightly negative correlations in females were detected between the reproduction in 2012 and the reproduction in the two previous years. The gender ratio was significantly male biased during the three successive years of our investigation. Females had higher mortality rates in the larger diameter classes, both in 2011 and 2012. This study revealed a clear trade-off between reproduction and vegetative growth in Acer barbinerve, but results varied between males and females. The degree of autonomy of the different modular levels may affect the ability to detect such trade-offs.

  2. Reproductive rights approach to reproductive health in developing countries

    OpenAIRE

    Pillai, Vijayan Kumara; Gupta, Rashmi

    2011-01-01

    Background: Research on reproductive health in developing countries focuses mostly on the role of economic development on various components of reproductive health. Cross-sectional and empirical research studies in particular on the effects of non-economic factors such as reproductive rights remain few and far between. Objective: This study investigates the influence of two components of an empowerment strategy, gender equality, and reproductive rights on women’s reproductive health in develo...

  3. Differences in Patterns of Reproductive Allocation between the Sexes in Nicrophorus orbicollis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ashlee N; Creighton, J Curtis; Belk, Mark C

    2015-01-01

    Organisms are selected to maximize lifetime reproductive success by balancing the costs of current reproduction with costs to future survival and fecundity. Males and females typically face different reproductive costs, which makes comparisons of their reproductive strategies difficult. Burying beetles provide a unique system that allows us to compare the costs of reproduction between the sexes because males and females are capable of raising offspring together or alone and carcass preparation and offspring care represent the majority of reproductive costs for both sexes. Because both sexes perform the same functions of carcass preparation and offspring care, we predict that they would experience similar costs and have similar life history patterns. In this study we assess the cost of reproduction in male Nicrophorus orbicollis and compare to patterns observed in females. We compare the reproductive strategies of single males and females that provided pre- and post-hatching parental care. There is a cost to reproduction for both males and females, but the sexes respond to these costs differently. Females match brood size with carcass size, and thus maximize the lifetime number of offspring on a given size carcass. Males cull proportionately more offspring on all carcass sizes, and thus have a lower lifetime number of offspring compared to females. Females exhibit an adaptive reproductive strategy based on resource availability, but male reproductive strategies are not adaptive in relation to resource availability.

  4. Improvements in Clinical Trials Information Will Improve the Reproductive Health and Fertility of Cancer Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauti, Angela; Gerstl, Brigitte; Chong, Serena; Chisholm, Orin; Anazodo, Antoinette

    2017-06-01

    There are a number of barriers that result in cancer patients not being referred for oncofertility care, which include knowledge about reproductive risks of antineoplastic agents. Without this information, clinicians do not always make recommendations for oncofertility care. The objective of this study was to describe the level of reproductive information and recommendations that clinicians have available in clinical trial protocols regarding oncofertility management and follow-up, and the information that patients may receive in clinical trials patient information sheets or consent forms. A literature review of the 71 antineoplastic drugs included in the 68 clinical trial protocols showed that 68% of the antineoplastic drugs had gonadotoxic animal data, 32% had gonadotoxic human data, 83% had teratogenic animal data, and 32% had teratogenic human data. When the clinical trial protocols were reviewed, only 22% of the protocols reported the teratogenic risks and 32% of the protocols reported the gonadotoxic risk. Only 56% of phase 3 protocols had gonadotoxic information and 13% of phase 3 protocols had teratogenic information. Nine percent of the protocols provided fertility preservation recommendations and 4% provided reproductive information in the follow-up and survivorship period. Twenty-six percent had a section in the clinical trials protocol, which identified oncofertility information easily. When gonadotoxic and teratogenic effects of treatment were known, they were not consistently included in the clinical trial protocols and the lack of data for new drugs was not reported. Very few protocols gave recommendations for oncofertility management and follow-up following the completion of cancer treatment. The research team proposes a number of recommendations that should be required for clinicians and pharmaceutical companies developing new trials.

  5. Can Male Fertility Be Improved Prior to Assisted Reproduction through The Control of Uncommonly Considered Factors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel M.Campagne

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Male factor infertility or subfertility is responsible for up to 50% of infertility cases. A considerablebody of recent studies indicates that lifestyle as well as environmental and psychological factorscan negatively affect male fertility, more than previously thought. These negative effects have beenshown in many cases to be reversible. This review aims to provide a rationale for early clinicalattention to these factors and presents a non-exhaustive evidence-based collection of primaryrelevant conditions and recommendations, specifically with a view to making first line diagnosticsand recommendations. The presently available evidence suggests that considering the high cost,success rates, and possible side effects of assisted reproduction techniques (ART, such as in vitrofertilization (IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, early efforts to improve malefertility appear to be an attainable and worthwhile primary goal.A series of searches was conducted of Medline, Cochrane and related databases from November14th, 2010 to January 26th, 2012 with the following keywords: male, fertility, infertility, spermdefects, IVF, ICSI, healthy habits, and lifestyle. Subsequent follow-up searches were performed forupcoming links. The total number of studies contemplated were 1265; of these, 296 studies werereviewed with criteria of relevance; the date of study or review; study sample size and study type;and publishing journal impact status. Data were abstracted based upon probable general clinicalrelevancy and use. Only a selection of the references has been reflected here because of spacelimitations. The main results obtained were evidence-supported indications as to the other causes ofmale infertility, their early detection, and treatment.

  6. Mimicking physiological O2 tension in the female reproductive tract improves Assisted Reproduction outcomes in pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Martínez, S; Sánchez-Hurtado, M A; Gutiérrez, H; Sánchez-Margallo, F M; Romar, R; Latorre, R; Coy, P; López-Albors, O

    2018-02-27

    Is O2 tension in the pig oviduct and uterus affected by the estrous cycle stage and the animal's age, and can the outcome of in vitro embryo development be improved by mimicking these physiological values? O2 tension within the pig reproductive organs is affected by the animal's age, and values close to those measured in vivo have a positive impact on embryo development and quality when used during IVF and embryo culture (EC). To obtain a healthy embryo in vitro, it is necessary to adopt a culture microenvironment that approximates physiological conditions. Despite advances in surgical procedures and sensitive probes that allow accurate assessment of in vivo O2 tension, few such studies have been conducted recently in mammals. In addition, no reference values of physiological O2 tension in the reproductive tract exist for large animal models such as pig, and the effect of O2 tension on ART outcomes is unknown. This study was conducted in pigs. We measured oviductal and uterine O2 tension (n = 29 and 13 respectively) and then examined how the use of the physiological values in pig IVF and EC affected pig ART output (n = 1447 oocytes). The oviductal and uterine O2 tension at the different stages of the estrous cycle was monitored using a laparo-endoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) assisted approach along with a flexible and thin miniaturized luminescent probe. Two groups of pigs, Large-white x Landrace breed, were used: for the first group, 16 pre-pubertal gilts (5 months old and 95 kg) were induced to ovulate with equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); in the second group 13 mature sows (24-48 months and 185 kg) were used. IVF and EC were performed at two different O2 tensions: Atmospheric O2 (20%) and the mean in vivo value measured (7%). At 18-20 hours post-insemination (hpi), a small sample of presumptive zygotes were fixed, stained, and examined under epifluorescence microscopy to assess the fertilization rates. At

  7. Variability in ejaculation rate and libido of boars during reproductive

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    You

    2015-08-29

    Aug 29, 2015 ... knowledge of the impact of sexual behaviour on the reproductive performance ... (bad microclimate, fattening conditions, exposure to stress, .... effect of the interval between two successful collections squared; β2(xijklm - xˉ):.

  8. Effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on goshawk reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murase, Kaori; Murase, Joe; Horie, Reiko; Endo, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Although the influence of nuclear accidents on the reproduction of top predators has not been investigated, it is important that we identify the effects of such accidents because humans are also top predators. We conducted field observation for 22 years and analysed the reproductive performance of the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis fujiyamae), a top avian predator in the North Kanto area of Japan, before and after the accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that occurred in 2011. The reproductive performance declined markedly compared with the pre-accident years and progressively decreased for the three post-accident study years. Moreover, it was suggested that these declines were primarily caused by an increase in the air dose rate of radio-active contaminants measured under the nests caused by the nuclear accidents, rather than by other factors. We consider the trends in the changes of the reproductive success rates and suggest that internal exposure may play an important role in the reproductive performance of the goshawk, as well as external exposure. PMID:25802117

  9. Optimizing equine assisted reproductive technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onstein, W.K.

    2018-01-01

    Application of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) is more common in the horse breeding industries, but there is still room for improvement. Embryo recovery rate after embryo flushing, embryo production rate after ovum pick-up (OPU) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), cryopreservation

  10. Male reproductive system and spermatophores production and storage in Histioteuthis bonnellii (Cephalopoda: Histioteuthidae): A look into deep-sea squids' reproductive strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuccu, Danila; Mereu, Marco; Agus, Blondine; Cau, Angelo; Culurgioni, Jacopo; Sabatini, Andrea; Jereb, Patrizia

    2014-09-01

    size indicate that in H. bonnellii males the allocation and storage of sperm start early in the individual life and extends in time, while animals continue to grow and produce spermatophores presumably more successful in attaching to female tissues. This pattern enlarges the time window available for reproduction and likely maximizes the percentage of mating success as the animals grow older and chances of mating events become comparatively lower, due to the basic low density of specimens in the deep-sea environment. Both aspects are potentially indicative of adaptation to the deep sea.

  11. A Comparison of Methods and Results in Recruiting White and Black Women into Reproductive Studies: The MMC-PSU Cooperative Center on Reproduction Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Stephanie; Legro, Richard S; Coney, PonJola

    2008-01-01

    Establishing a holistic approach for the enrollment of subjects into clinical trials that includes strategies for the recruitment of non-traditional and minority populations has been an elusive task. The existence of such a design, that is understood and embraced by investigators and the target communities, would streamline the current level of commitment of time, energy and resources. This is necessary to successfully encourage individual and community participation in research studies. The Center for Research in Reproduction at Meharry set out to recruit a large number of African American women volunteers of reproductive age into clinical trials. The experience, of recruiting volunteers from the African American community for clinical trials in the Meharry Medical College/Pennsylvania State University (MMC/PSU)'s Cooperative Center for Research in Reproduction at Meharry, is presented. PMID:18082470

  12. Psychological predictors of reproductive attitudes among medical students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popkov V.M.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The goal was to determine psychological predictors of reproductive attitudes among medical students. Material and Methods. The survey of 84 students (of the 3rd and the 5th year of medical faculty of Saratov State Medical University n.a. V. I. Razumovsky was carried out using a combination of methods (questionnaire, testing aimed to achieve the research goal. Results. Features of reproductive attitudes and reproductive intentions of students, as well as psychological characteristics of youth, such as personal maturity, belief in people and value orientations were studied. Psy- chological predictors of reproductive attitudes among medical students were determined. Conclusion. It was revealed that reproductive attitudes among students of the 5th year were higher than those of the 3rd year. There were gender differences in psychological predictors of reproductive attitudes among students. It was experimentally established that existence of faith in people, high level of personal maturity, high importance of personal values, altruistic values and values of acceptance of others had a positive impact on reproductive attitudes among young people. Based on the results of the study, recommendations were developed with the aim to improve reproductive attitudes and psychological readiness for parenting of medical students.

  13. Use of captive starlings to determine effects of pollutants on passerine reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grue, C.E.; Christian, C.L.; Lamb, D.W.; Kenaga, E.E.

    1981-01-01

    Three reproductive trials were conducted to develop techniques for propagation of captive starlings (Stumus vulgaris) which could determine the effects of environmental contaminants on passerine reproduction. Trials were conducted during the spring of 1979 in five adjacent 2.4 by 3 by 12-m outdoor wire pens containing four or ten pairs of starlings, a similar number of nest boxes, perches, water, commercial turkey starter, and alfalfa hay as nesting material. Nestling diets consisted of combinations of Nebraska Brand bird of prey diet, live or frozen mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) and crickets (Acheta domestica), or live earthworms (Pheretima sp.). Starlings reproduced successfully when the number of breeding pairs per pen was reduced from ten to four. The average clutch sizes for each pen (4.3 to 4.9) were similar to those reported for wild starlings. Hatching (60 to 90.4 percent) and fledging (0 to 100 percent) success varied among pens. The fledging success was greatest in the pens which received the most diverse nestling diets: Nebraska Brand diet plus frozen or live mealworms and crickets. Whether the insects were presented alive or frozen appeared to have little effect on the reproductive success. The starlings did not consume or carry earthworms to their young. The body weights of 20-day-old nestlings raised in captivity (X=73.9 g) were similar to those of starlings in the wild. The use of single pairs per pen may eliminate problems in presentation of nestling diets due to asynchrony in breeding between pairs and excessive interactions among individuals, which may interfere with parental care. The starling appears to be an excellent model for examining the effects of environmental contaminants on the reproduction of songbirds in captivity.

  14. Mycorrhizal symbiosis increases growth, reproduction and recruitment of Abutilon theophrasti Medic. in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Margot R; Koide, Roger T; Shumway, Durland L

    1993-05-01

    We examined in the field the effect of the vesicular-arbuscular (VA) mycorhizal symbiosis on the reproductive success of Abutilon theophrasti Medic., an early successional annual member of the Malvaceae. Mycorrhizal infection greatly enhanced vegetative growth, and flower, fruit and seed production, resulting in significantly greater recruitment the following year. In addition, the seeds produced by mycorrhizal plants were significantly larger and contained significantly more phosphorus than seeds from non-mycorrhizal plants, an effect which may improve offspring vigor. Infection by mycorrhizal fungi may thus contribute to the overall fitness of a host plant and strongly influence long-term plant population dynamics.

  15. Does a trade-off between current reproductive success and survival affect the honesty of male signalling in species with male parental care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, N B; Alonzo, S H

    2010-11-01

    Recent theory predicted that male advertisement will reliably signal investment in paternal care in species where offspring survival requires paternal care and males allocate resources between advertisement and care. However, the predicted relationship between care and advertisement depended on the marginal gains from investment in current reproductive traits. Life history theory suggests that these fitness gains are also subject to a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Here, we investigate whether male signalling remains a reliable indicator of parental care when males allocate resources between current advertisement, paternal care and survival to future reproduction. We find that advertisement is predicted to remain a reliable signal of male care but that advertisement may cease to reliably indicate male quality because low-quality males are predicted to invest in current reproduction, whereas higher-quality males are able to invest in both current reproduction and survival to future reproduction. © 2010 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  16. Reproductive acclimation to increased water temperature in a tropical reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Donelson

    Full Text Available Understanding the capacity of organisms to cope with projected global warming through acclimation and adaptation is critical to predicting their likely future persistence. While recent research has shown that developmental acclimation of metabolic attributes to ocean warming is possible, our understanding of the plasticity of key fitness-associated traits, such as reproductive performance, is lacking. We show that while the reproductive ability of a tropical reef fish is highly sensitive to increases in water temperature, reproductive capacity at +1.5°C above present-day was improved to match fish maintained at present-day temperatures when fish complete their development at the higher temperature. However, reproductive acclimation was not observed in fish reared at +3.0°C warmer than present-day, suggesting limitations to the acclimation possible within one generation. Surprisingly, the improvements seen in reproduction were not predicted by the oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance hypothesis. Specifically, pairs reared at +1.5°C, which showed the greatest capacity for reproductive acclimation, exhibited no acclimation of metabolic attributes. Conversely, pairs reared at +3.0°C, which exhibited acclimation in resting metabolic rate, demonstrated little capacity for reproductive acclimation. Our study suggests that understanding the acclimation capacity of reproductive performance will be critically important to predicting the impacts of climate change on biological systems.

  17. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pough, R H; Wilson, R E

    1976-01-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In laboratory experiments A. maculatum tolerated pHs from 6 to 10 and had greatest hatching success at pH 7 to 9. Ambystoma Jeffersonianum tolerated pH 4 to 8 and was most successful at pH 5 to 6. Mortality rose abruptly beyond the tolerance limits. The pH optimum shifted upward with increasing temperature for A. jeffersonianum and downward for A. maculatum. Judging from our laboratory studies, the acidity measured in breeding ponds should cause mortality in A. maculatum and permit normal development in A. jeffersonianum. In a four-year study of a large acidic vernal pond, 938 adult A. maculatum produced 486 metamorphosed juveniles (0.52 juvenile/adult), while 686 adult A. jeffersonianum produced 2157 juveniles (3.14 juveniles/adult). Because the effects of acid precipitation on the salamanders' breeding ponds are cumulative from year to year, profound changes in the salamander populations can be anticipated.

  18. Acid precipitation and reproductive success of Ambystoma salamanders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pough, F H; Wilson, R E

    1977-03-01

    The two species of mole salamander that occur in the Ithaca, New York, region (Ambystoma maculatum and A. jeffersonianum) breed in temporary ponds that are formed by accumulation of melted snow and spring rains. Water in many of these pools during the breeding season is acid; pH values as low as 3.5 have been measured. In laboratory experiments A. maculatum tolerated pHs from 6 to 10 and had greatest hatching success at pH 7 to 9. Ambystoma jeffersonianum tolerated pH 4 to 8 and was most successful at pH 5 to 6. Mortality rose abruptly beyond the tolerance limits. The pH optimum shifted upward with increasing temperature for A. jeffersonianum and downward for A. maculatum. Judging from our laboratory studies, the acidity measured in breeding ponds should cause mortality in A. maculatum and permit normal development in A. jeffersonianum. In a 4 yr study of a large, acidic vernal pond, 938 adult A. maculatum produced 486 metamorphosed juveniles (0.52 juvenile/adult), while 686 adult A. jeffersonianum produced 2157 juveniles (3.14 juveniles/adult). Because the effects of acid precipitation on the salamanders' breeding ponds are cumulative from year to year, profound changes in the salamander populations can be anticipated.

  19. Factors influencing reproductive performance of northern bobwhite in South Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, V.; Hostetler, J.A.; Hines, T.C.; Percival, H.F.; Oli, M.K.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive success is a critical component of individual fitness, and also an important determinant of growth rates of populations characterized by early maturity and high fecundity. We used radiotelemetry data collected during 2003-2008 to estimate reproductive parameters in a declining northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) population in South Florida, and to test hypotheses regarding factors influencing these parameters. The overall clutch size was 12.10 ?? 0.22, but females laid more eggs in their first clutch (12.43 ?? 0.24) than in subsequent clutches (10.19 ?? 0.53) within a nesting season. Daily nest survival was higher for first (0.966 ?? 0.003) than subsequent nests (0.936 ?? 0.011). Hatchability (proportion of laid eggs that hatched conditional upon nest survival to hatching) was 0.853 ?? 0.008, but was higher for nests incubated by females (0.873 ?? 0.009) than those incubated by males (0.798 ?? 0.018). The proportion of individuals attempting a second nest was 0.112 ?? 0.024 and 0.281 ?? 0.040 when the first nest was successful and failed, respectively. Hatchability was lower when the nesting habitat was burned the previous winter. We found no evidence that food strip density (a management practice to provide supplemental food) influenced any of the reproductive parameters. Mean summer temperature affected hatchability, nest survival, and proportion of nests incubated by males. Overall, the reproductive output in our study population was lower than that reported for most other bobwhite populations, indicating that low reproductive performance may have contributed to bobwhite population declines in our study site. These results suggest that current management practices, particularly those related to habitat and harvest management, need careful evaluation. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Physical characteristics and reproductive performance in Aedes (Diptera: Culicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Dieng

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Body size is a physical factor of crucial importance underlying important traits of the reproductive dynamics of both sexes in mosquitoes. Most studies on the influence of body size in mating success of dengue vectors addressed sperm transfer to females and did not consider egg production, a prerequisite for population maintenance; male body size impact on reproduction has attracted little research interest with respect to sterile insect technique. In experiments involving differently sized adults, we examined whether the body size of the mates is a source of variation in reproductive outcome in Aedes aegypti. In the absence of male partners, large females (LF showed better fecundity than small females (SF. In intraclass mating trials, egg production was much greater in largesized than smallsized pairs. There were comparable fecundities in large females mated with small males and large pairs. [SF•SM] and [SF•LM] pairs showed equivalent fecundity. Nonmating did not result in the production of viable eggs by either small or large females. We also observed that eggs produced by largesized females mated with small males had better hatching success than those from either small or large pairs. Mating between small females and large males resulted in poor egg viability.

  1. Reproduction of two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens, in captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Teles

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens, is a common fish species along rocky shores in northern European waters. It is a small (40-60 mm, semipelagic marine fish, forming loose shoals in association with microalgae vegetation and mussel beds growing on the rock surface. It is a short-lived species, with a life span of 1-2 years. Both sexes display courtship behaviour and have sexual ornamentation during the breeding season. Male ornaments consist of large dorsal fins with iridescent blue lines, and iridescent blue spots along the sides of the body. Females develop a conspicuous, bright orange belly at sexual maturity. Due to these characteristics this species could have a great interest for ornamental aquariums. In previous work the maintenance of G. flavescens at high temperatures (until 23°C was successful. The aim of this study was to test the reproduction in captivity of G. flavescens. Six replicates were used (18L aquariums at the temperature of 18°C. In each replicate, two males and four females were introduced to an aquarium, where the males chose between two nests and courted the females. During the 112 days of the experiment the females spawned five times but only three spawns had success. The eggs take approximately 8 days to become mature. On the three spawns have hatched 300, 361 and 510 larvae at a time. The larvae were kept in a separate container and fed with alive rotifers and survived a maximum of 21 days. The reproduction of the two-spotted goby in captivity is possible at 18°C, but it is necessary to improve the conditions to rearing the larvae.

  2. The interaction between reproductive cost and individual quality is mediated by oceanic conditions in a long-lived bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Alexandre; Paiva, Vitor H; Bolton, Mark; Jiguet, Frédéric; Bried, Joël

    2012-08-01

    Environmental variability, costs of reproduction, and heterogeneity in individual quality are three important sources of the temporal and interindividual variations in vital rates of wild populations. Based on an 18-year monitoring of an endangered, recently described, long-lived seabird, Monteiro's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma monteiroi), we designed multistate survival models to separate the effects of the reproductive cost (breeders vs. nonbreeders) and individual quality (successful vs. unsuccessful breeders) in relation to temporally variable demographic and oceanographic properties. The analysis revealed a gradient of individual quality from nonbreeders, to unsuccessful breeders, to successful breeders. The survival rates of unsuccessful breeders (0.90 +/- 0.023, mean +/- SE) tended to decrease in years of high average breeding success and were more sensitive to oceanographic variation than those of both (high-quality) successful breeders (0.97 +/- 0.015) and (low-quality) nonbreeders (0.83 +/- 0.028). Overall, our results indicate that reproductive costs act on individuals of intermediate quality and are mediated by environmental harshness.

  3. The novel POSEIDON stratification of 'Low prognosis patients in Assisted Reproductive Technology' and its proposed marker of successful outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humaidan, Peter; Alviggi, Carlo; Fischer, Robert; Esteves, Sandro C

    2016-01-01

    In reproductive medicine little progress has been achieved regarding the clinical management of patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or poor ovarian response (POR) to stimulation with exogenous gonadotropins -a frustrating experience for clinicians as well as patients. Despite the efforts to optimize the definition of this subgroup of patients, the existing POR criteria unfortunately comprise a heterogeneous population and, importantly, do not offer any recommendations for clinical handling. Recently, the POSEIDON group ( P atient- O riented S trategies E ncompassing I ndividualize D O ocyte N umber) proposed a new stratification of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or unexpected inappropriate ovarian response to exogenous gonadotropins. In brief, four subgroups have been suggested based on quantitative and qualitative parameters, namely, i. Age and the expected aneuploidy rate; ii. Ovarian biomarkers (i.e. antral follicle count [AFC] and anti-Müllerian hormone [AMH]), and iii. Ovarian response - provided a previous stimulation cycle was performed. The new classification introduces a more nuanced picture of the "low prognosis patient" in ART, using clinically relevant criteria to guide the physician to most optimally manage this group of patients. The POSEIDON group also introduced a new measure for successful ART treatment, namely, the ability to retrieve the number of oocytes needed for the specific patient to obtain at least one euploid embryo for transfer. This feature represents a pragmatic endpoint to clinicians and enables the development of prediction models aiming to reduce the time-to-pregnancy (TTP). Consequently, the POSEIDON stratification should not be applied for retrospective analyses having live birth rate (LBR) as endpoint. Such an approach would fail as the attribution of patients to each Poseidon group is related to specific requirements and could only be made prospectively. On the other hand

  4. Male Reproductive Toxicology: Environmental Exposures vs Reproductive Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Like the lecture this chapter begins with an overview of male reproductive biology and transitions into male reproductive toxicology. It ends with a brief discussion of the strengths and weaknesses in male reproductive toxicology and epidemiology today. This chapter is highly il...

  5. Condition-dependent chemosignals in reproductive behavior of lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, José; López, Pilar

    2015-02-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Chemosignals and Reproduction". Many lizards have diverse glands that produce chemosignals used in intraspecific communication and that can have reproductive consequences. For example, information in chemosignals of male lizards can be used in intrasexual competition to identify and assess the fighting potential or dominance status of rival males either indirectly through territorial scent-marks or during agonistic encounters. Moreover, females of several lizard species "prefer" to establish or spend more time on areas scent-marked by males with compounds signaling a better health or body condition or a higher genetic compatibility, which can have consequences for their mating success and inter-sexual selection processes. We review here recent studies that suggest that the information content of chemosignals of lizards may be reliable because several physiological and endocrine processes would regulate the proportions of chemical compounds available for gland secretions. Because chemosignals are produced by the organism or come from the diet, they should reflect physiological changes, such as different hormonal levels (e.g. testosterone or corticosterone) or different health states (e.g. parasitic infections, immune response), and reflect the quality of the diet of an individual. More importantly, some compounds that may function as chemosignals also have other important functions in the organism (e.g. as antioxidants or regulating the immune system), so there could be trade-offs between allocating these compounds to attending physiological needs or to produce costly sexual "chemical ornaments". All these factors may contribute to maintain chemosignals as condition-dependent sexual signals, which can inform conspecifics on the characteristics and state of the sender and allow making behavioral decisions with reproductive consequences. To understand the evolution of chemical secretions of lizards as sexual signals and their

  6. [Mexican National Consensus on Assisted Reproduction Treatment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kably Ambe, Alberto; López Ortiz, Carlos Salazar; Serviere Zaragoza, Claudio; Velázquez Cornejo, Gerardo; Pérez Peña, Efrain; Santos Haliscack, Roberto; Luna Rojas, Martha; Valerio, Emilio; Santana, Héctor; Gaviño Gaviño, Fernando

    2012-09-01

    It is estimated that 15% of couples living in industrialized countries are infertile, ie have failed to conceive, reproductive age, after 12 months ormore of regular intercourse without contraception. During the past decade has increased the demand for fertility treatments because they believe are moreeffective now. To unify the therapeutic approach and service to patients and set a precedent for a Mexican Official Standard respect and support for the legislation of these procedures. Consensus by technical experts group panel with the participation of 34 national centers accredited for use in assisted reproduction. He organized seven workshops with the following themes: 1) selection of patients for assisted reproduction treatment, 2) schemes controlled ovarian stimulation for assisted reproduction techniques of high complexity, 3) preparation and egg retrieval technique, 4) transferembryo; 5) luteal phase supplementation; 6) indications and techniques of cryopreservation and 7) informed consent. Each table had a coordinator who wrote and presented the findings to the full, it made a number of observations until they reached unanimity of criteria, which are reflected in this document. Patient selection for assisted reproduction techniques is the first step of the process. Proper selection lead to success, in the same way that a bad pick up for failure. In the case of egg donation the most important recommendation is that only one to two embryos transferred in order to reduce multiple pregnancy rates and maintaining high pregnancy rates.

  7. Effects of synthetic gestagens on fish reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeilinger, Jana; Steger-Hartmann, Thomas; Maser, Edmund; Goller, Stephan; Vonk, Richardus; Länge, Reinhard

    2009-12-01

    Although it is well known that estrogenic steroidal hormones are able to affect the sexual development and reproduction of fish at low concentrations, no data on environmental effects of the class of progestogenic hormones are available yet. Synthetic gestagens (progestins) are a component in oral contraceptives. Upon their use, a fraction of the progestins will be excreted via urine into the aquatic environment. On the basis of their pharmacological action in mammals, it is supposed that fish reproduction is the most sensitive endpoint for the progestin treatment. In order to test this assumption, the effects of two progestins currently marketed in contraceptive formulations, levonorgestrel (LNG) and drospirenone (DRSP), were investigated in adult fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) following an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 21-d fish reproduction screening assay draft protocol with additional end points. Levonorgestrel was tested at measured concentrations of 0.8, 3.3, and 29.6 ng/L, and DRSP at concentrations of 0.66, 6.5, and 70 microg/L. Both tested progestins caused an inhibition of reproduction. For LNG, this occurred at concentrations of >or=0.8 ng/L, no no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) could be defined. Higher concentrations resulted in masculinization of females with de novo synthesis of nuptial tubercles. Drospirenone treatment, however, affected the reproductive success of fathead minnow at concentrations of 6.5 microg/L and higher with a clear dose-response relationship and a NOEC of 0.66 microg/L, which is above environmentally relevant concentrations.

  8. The reproductive success of black rhinoceroses in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoliswa N. Nhleko

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis are endangered and the southern-central sub-species (Diceros bicornis minor is considered critically endangered. We assessed the reproductive lifehistories of black rhinoceroses in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park (HiP, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine whether this historically important donor sub-population was meeting regional reproductive targets. Detailed life-history information for known individuals (n = 79–120 was used to investigate reproductive parameters between 1998 and 2013. Mean age at sexual maturity was 12 years, which exceeded a target period of 7 years and 5 months. The mean inter-calving interval was 3 years and 8 months – 8 months longer than the recommended 3 years. The poor population performance of the HiP black rhinoceroses could be a result of poor habitat quality, poor animal condition, females losing their first calves, predation of calves or a negative social effect of annual live-harvesting of the population. However, we believe that the estimated ecological carrying capacity of black rhinoceroses at HiP (a figure used to ascertain whether the population can be harvested at all may be incorrect, leading to the poor reproductive performance. We recommend that the accuracy of the ecological carrying capacity estimate be assessed as a matter of urgency and that a moratorium be placed on the live-harvesting of individuals until the estimate has been refined. Conservation implications: Our results provide key data which can be used to refine black rhinoceros breeding targets in South Africa and the region more broadly

  9. Female reproductive disorders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crain, D Andrew; Janssen, Sarah J; Edwards, Thea M

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive disrupti......To evaluate the possible role of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive disorders emphasizing developmental plasticity and the complexity of endocrine-dependent ontogeny of reproductive organs. Declining conception rates and the high incidence of female reproductive...... disruptions warrant evaluation of the impact of EDCs on female reproductive health....

  10. Gene-environment interaction and male reproductive function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Jonatan; Bonde, Jens Peter; Giwercman, Yvonne L.; Rylander, Lars; Giwercman, Aleksander

    2010-01-01

    As genetic factors can hardly explain the changes taking place during short time spans, environmental and lifestyle-related factors have been suggested as the causes of time-related deterioration of male reproductive function. However, considering the strong heterogeneity of male fecundity between and within populations, genetic variants might be important determinants of the individual susceptibility to the adverse effects of environment or lifestyle. Although the possible mechanisms of such interplay in relation to the reproductive system are largely unknown, some recent studies have indicated that specific genotypes may confer a larger risk of male reproductive disorders following certain exposures. This paper presents a critical review of animal and human evidence on how genes may modify environmental effects on male reproductive function. Some examples have been found that support this mechanism, but the number of studies is still limited. This type of interaction studies may improve our understanding of normal physiology and help us to identify the risk factors to male reproductive malfunction. We also shortly discuss other aspects of gene-environment interaction specifically associated with the issue of reproduction, namely environmental and lifestyle factors as the cause of sperm DNA damage. It remains to be investigated to what extent such genetic changes, by natural conception or through the use of assisted reproductive techniques, are transmitted to the next generation, thereby causing increased morbidity in the offspring. PMID:20348940

  11. Reproductive Dynamics of Sterna hirundinacea Lesson, 1831 in Ilha dos Cardos, Santa Catarina, Brazil

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    Hélio Augusto Alves Fracasso

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we intend to describe the reproductive dynamics of Sterna hirundinacea in an island from South Brazil. We studied the reproductive biology of this species in its natural environment and provide data on their growth, survival, and reproductive success in Ilha dos Cardos, Santa Catarina, South Brazil. Samplings were carried out daily on the island throughout the reproductive seasons of 2003, 2005, and 2006 and the different stages of development of the chicks were characterized according to age, length of the beak, and plumage characteristics. We provide a basic equation Lm=167.91 (1-e-0.062t--0.23 to determine the approximate age of individuals using their body mass. The main cause of chick mortality on the island was natural (63.17% in 2003, 81.41% in 2005, and 79.96% in 2006, whereas predation contributed to mortality in a proportion of 38.83% in 2003, 18.59% in 2005, and 20.04% in 2006. The absence in the area of the chicks’ main predator, Kelp gull (Larus dominicanus, the large number of chicks that reached the final stages of development, and their reproductive success demonstrate that Ilha dos Cardos is an important breeding site for the species in southern Brazil.

  12. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  13. Differences in Patterns of Reproductive Allocation between the Sexes in Nicrophorus orbicollis.

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    Ashlee N Smith

    Full Text Available Organisms are selected to maximize lifetime reproductive success by balancing the costs of current reproduction with costs to future survival and fecundity. Males and females typically face different reproductive costs, which makes comparisons of their reproductive strategies difficult. Burying beetles provide a unique system that allows us to compare the costs of reproduction between the sexes because males and females are capable of raising offspring together or alone and carcass preparation and offspring care represent the majority of reproductive costs for both sexes. Because both sexes perform the same functions of carcass preparation and offspring care, we predict that they would experience similar costs and have similar life history patterns. In this study we assess the cost of reproduction in male Nicrophorus orbicollis and compare to patterns observed in females. We compare the reproductive strategies of single males and females that provided pre- and post-hatching parental care. There is a cost to reproduction for both males and females, but the sexes respond to these costs differently. Females match brood size with carcass size, and thus maximize the lifetime number of offspring on a given size carcass. Males cull proportionately more offspring on all carcass sizes, and thus have a lower lifetime number of offspring compared to females. Females exhibit an adaptive reproductive strategy based on resource availability, but male reproductive strategies are not adaptive in relation to resource availability.

  14. Pregnancy outcomes after assisted human reproduction.

    Scien