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Sample records for reduces reproductive success

  1. Invasive fire ants reduce reproductive success and alter the reproductive strategies of a native vertebrate insectivore.

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    Russell A Ligon

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Introduced organisms can alter ecosystems by disrupting natural ecological relationships. For example, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta have disrupted native arthropod communities throughout much of their introduced range. By competing for many of the same food resources as insectivorous vertebrates, fire ants also have the potential to disrupt vertebrate communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To explore the effects of fire ants on a native insectivorous vertebrate, we compared the reproductive success and strategies of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis inhabiting territories with different abundances of fire ants. We also created experimental dyads of adjacent territories comprised of one territory with artificially reduced fire ant abundance (treated and one territory that was unmanipulated (control. We found that more bluebird young fledged from treated territories than from adjacent control territories. Fire ant abundance also explained significant variation in two measures of reproductive success across the study population: number of fledglings and hatching success of second clutches. Furthermore, the likelihood of bluebird parents re-nesting in the same territory was negatively influenced by the abundance of foraging fire ants, and parents nesting in territories with experimentally reduced abundances of fire ants produced male-biased broods relative to pairs in adjacent control territories. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Introduced fire ants altered both the reproductive success (number of fledglings, hatching success and strategies (decision to renest, offspring sex-ratio of eastern bluebirds. These results illustrate the negative effects that invasive species can have on native biota, including species from taxonomically distant groups.

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

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    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

  3. Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates.

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    Amat, María E; Silvertown, Jonathan; Vargas, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem.

  4. Post-ejection nest-desertion of common cuckoo hosts : a second defense mechanism or avoiding reduced reproductive success?

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    Moskat, Csaba; Rosendaal, Erik C.; Boers, Myra; Zoelei, Aniko; Ban, Miklos; Komdeur, Jan; Soler, M.

    2011-01-01

    Hosts of the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), an avian brood parasite, develop antiparasite defense mechanisms to increase their reproductive success. Ejection of the parasite egg and desertion of the parasitized nest are the most typical adaptations in response to brood parasitism, but nest deserti

  5. How to measure reproductive success?

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    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2003-01-01

    To date there have been few empirical comparisons between alternative methods for measuring reproductive success (RS). We consider the pros and cons of alternative measures of RS to provide guidance for the design of field studies in human behavioral ecology. We compare cross-sectional measures that count offspring alive at the time of the interview and retrospective measures that require data on offspring age at death or censoring. We consider analyses that include adult women (yielding age-specific estimates of RS) as well as analyses restricted to postreproductive women (yielding data on lifetime RS). These methods are applied to reproductive data for the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites.

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    Matsuura, Kenji; Vargo, Edward L; Kawatsu, Kazutaka; Labadie, Paul E; Nakano, Hiroko; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2009-03-27

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction may involve important tradeoffs because asexual reproduction can double an individual's contribution to the gene pool but reduces diversity. Moreover, in social insects the maintenance of genetic diversity among workers may be important for colony growth and survival. We identified a previously unknown termite breeding system in which both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction are conditionally used. Queens produce their replacements asexually but use normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. These findings show how eusociality can lead to extraordinary reproductive systems and provide important insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sex.

  7. Alternative reproductive tactics and reproductive success in male Carollia perspicillata (Seba's short-tailed bat).

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    Fasel, N; Saladin, V; Richner, H

    2016-11-01

    The use of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) is widespread in animals. Males of some species may change tactics depending on age, body condition and social environment. Many bat species are polygynous where a fraction of males only have access to fertile females. For polygynous bats, knowledge of the reproductive success of males using different ARTs is scarce, and it remains unclear how age of males is related to switching decisions between social statuses. We studied a large captive population of Carollia perspicillata, where males are either harem holders, bachelors or peripheral males. Using a multistate procedure, we modelled the age-related switches in reproductive tactics and in survival probability. From the model, we calculated the reproductive success and the frequencies of males displaying different reproductive tactics. As in mammals, the switch between social statuses is often related to age, we predicted that the transition probability of bachelor and peripheral males to harem status would increase with age. We show, however, that social status transition towards a harem holding position was not related to age. Reproductive success changed with age and social status. Harem males had a significantly higher reproductive success than bachelor males except between a short period from 3.8 to 4.4 years of age where success was similar, and a significantly higher reproductive success than peripheral males between 2.6 and 4.4 years of age. Harem males showed a clear decrease in the probability of maintaining social status with age, which suggests that senescence reduces resource holding potential.

  8. Captive Ancestry Upwardly Biases Estimates of Relative Reproductive Success.

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    Willoughby, Janna R; Christie, Mark R

    2017-07-01

    Supplementation programs, which release captive-born individuals into the wild, are commonly used to demographically bolster declining populations. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs, the reproductive success of captive-born individuals released into the wild is often compared to the reproductive success of wild-born individuals in the recipient population (relative reproductive success, RRS). However, if there are heritable reductions in fitness associated with captive breeding, gene flow from captive-born individuals into the wild population can reduce the fitness of the wild population. Here, we show that when captive ancestry in the wild population reduces mean population fitness, estimates of RRS are upwardly biased, meaning that the relative fitness of captive-born individuals is over-estimated. Furthermore, the magnitude of this bias increases with the length of time that a supplementation program has been releasing captive-born individuals. This phenomenon has long-term conservation impacts since management decisions regarding the design of a supplementation program and the number of individuals to release can be based, at least in part, on RRS estimates. Therefore, we urge caution in the interpretation of relative fitness measures when the captive ancestry of the wild population cannot be precisely measured. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

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    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success.

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

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    Althoff, D.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.

  11. Evaluation of a Reproductive Index to Estimate Grasshopper Sparrow and Eastern Meadowlark Reproductive Success

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    D. Althoff

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Reducing multiple births in assisted reproduction technology.

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    Bhattacharya, Siladitya; Kamath, Mohan S

    2014-02-01

    Multiple pregnancy, a complication of assisted reproduction technology, is associated with poorer maternal and perinatal outcomes. The primary reason behind this is the strategy of replacing more than one embryo during an assisted reproduction technology cycle to maximise pregnancy rates. The solution to this problem is to reduce the number of embryos transferred during in-vitro fertilisation. The transition from triple- to double-embryo transfer, which decreased the risk of triplets without compromising pregnancy rates, was easily implemented. The adoption of a single embryo transfer policy has been slow because of concerns about impaired pregnancy rates in a fresh assisted reproduction technology cycle. Widespread availability of effective cryopreservation programmes means that elective single embryo transfer, along with subsequent frozen embryo transfers, could provide a way forward. Any such strategy will need to consider couples' preferences and existing funding policies, both of which have a profound influence on decision making around embryo transfer.

  13. Habitat fragmentation and reproductive success: a structural equation modelling approach.

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    Le Tortorec, Eric; Helle, Samuli; Käyhkö, Niina; Suorsa, Petri; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2013-09-01

    1. There is great interest on the effects of habitat fragmentation, whereby habitat is lost and the spatial configuration of remaining habitat patches is altered, on individual breeding performance. However, we still lack consensus of how this important process affects reproductive success, and whether its effects are mainly due to reduced fecundity or nestling survival. 2. The main reason for this may be the way that habitat fragmentation has been previously modelled. Studies have treated habitat loss and altered spatial configuration as two independent processes instead of as one hierarchical and interdependent process, and therefore have not been able to consider the relative direct and indirect effects of habitat loss and altered spatial configuration. 3. We investigated how habitat (i.e. old forest) fragmentation, caused by intense forest harvesting at the territory and landscape scales, is associated with the number of fledged offspring of an area-sensitive passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the complex hierarchical associations between habitat loss and altered spatial configuration on the number of fledged offspring, by controlling for individual condition and weather conditions during incubation. 4. Against generally held expectations, treecreeper reproductive success did not show a significant association with habitat fragmentation measured at the territory scale. Instead, our analyses suggested that an increasing amount of habitat at the landscape scale caused a significant increase in nest predation rates, leading to reduced reproductive success. This effect operated directly on nest predation rates, instead of acting indirectly through altered spatial configuration. 5. Because habitat amount and configuration are inherently strongly collinear, particularly when multiple scales are considered, our study demonstrates the usefulness of a SEM approach for hierarchical partitioning

  14. 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...

  15. Increased reproductive success of women after prenatal undernutrition

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    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, childlessness) of men and women born around the time of the Dutch famine of 1944–1945 in the Wilhelmina Gasthuis, Amsterdam, whose birth records have been kept. RESULTS Women who were exposed to the Dutch famine of 1944–1945 in utero are more reproductively successful than women who were not exposed to famine during their fetal development; they have more offspring, have more twins, are less likely to remain childless and start reproducing at a younger age. The increased reproductive success of these women is unlikely to be explained by genes which favor fertility and are passed from mothers to their daughters. In utero exposure to famine did not affect the reproductive success of males. CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that poor nutrition during fetal development, followed by improved nutrition after birth can give rise to a female phenotype characterized by greater reproductive success. PMID:18658159

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

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    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...

  17. Life-history theory, fertility and reproductive success in humans.

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    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2002-03-22

    According to life-history theory, any organism that maximizes fitness will face a trade-off between female fertility and offspring survivorship. This trade-off has been demonstrated in a variety of species, but explicit tests in humans have found a positive linear relationship between fitness and fertility. The failure to demonstrate a maximum beyond which additional births cease to enhance fitness is potentially at odds with the view that human fertility behaviour is currently adaptive. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first clear evidence for the predicted nonlinear relationship between female fertility and reproductive success in a human population, the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. The predicted maximum reproductive success of 4.1+/-0.3 surviving offspring was attained at a fertility of 10.5 births. Eighty-three per cent of the women achieved a lifetime fertility level (7-13 births) for which the predicted mean reproductive success was within the confidence limits (3.4 to 4.8) for reproductive success at the optimal fertility level. Child mortality, rather than fertility, was the primary determinant of fitness. Since the Dogon people are farmers, our results do not support the assumptions that: (i) contemporary foragers behave more adaptively than agriculturalists, and (ii) that adaptive fertility behaviour ceased with the Neolithic revolution some 9000 years ago. We also present a new method that avoids common biases in measures of reproductive success.

  18. Is female attractiveness related to final reproductive success?

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    Pawlowski, Boguslaw; Boothroyd, Lynda G; Perrett, David I; Kluska, Sylwia

    2008-06-01

    In order to test the assumption that female attractiveness relates to reproductive success, photographs of 47 rural Polish women taken in their youth were rated for attractiveness, and BMI at age 18 was recorded; these measures of attractiveness were then compared with their subsequent life histories. Facial attractiveness did not relate to number of children or grandchildren. It also did not relate to age of marriage or husband's education. It did relate to number of marriages and husband's height. BMI at age 18 did not relate significantly to any of the outcome variables. These results suggest that although more attractive women may have married higher quality (taller) husbands and may in ancestral population have achieved greater reproductive success this way, there is no evidence in a modern, European Catholic society for their having greater reproductive success.

  19. Rock sparrow song reflects male age and reproductive success.

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    Nemeth, Erwin; Kempenaers, Bart; Matessi, Giuliano; Brumm, Henrik

    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). In an Alpine population in south-east France, we recorded the songs of males and assessed their genetic breeding success by microsatellite analysis. In addition to temporal and spectral song features, we also analysed for the first time whether the sound pressure level of bird song reflects reproductive 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 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 might try to compensate their inferior status by increased song rates and lower pitch. Independent of age and quality, high-amplitude songs correlated with paternity loss in the own nest, suggesting that in this species song amplitude is not an indicator of male quality but high-intensity songs may be rather a response to unfaithful social mates.

  20. The relationship between sex change and reproductive success in a protandric marine gastropod

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    Brante, Antonio; Quiñones, Adriana; Silva, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Protandric species switch sex during their lifetime. According to theory, the time (body size) at which sex change occurs is determined by the reproductive success of individuals affected by social interactions as well as by post-copulatory factors. Experimental evidence is biased to few social systems making the exploration of general patterns difficult. We used the protandric marine gastropod Crepidula coquimbensis that partakes in intrabrood sibling cannibalism to test the following hypotheses: 1. Male-male competition for access to females and sibling cannibalism determine male reproductive success; 2. Males with greater access to females and with higher reproductive success will have reduced growth rates and will delay sex change. Artificial aggregations with different social structures were constructed and male reproductive success was estimated by paternity analysis. The results supported our expectations showing that male competitive ability for access to the female, time spent by males in the copulatory position, and sibling cannibalism affect reproductive success and influence time to sex change, with less successful males hastening sex change. Also, males that spent more time in the copulatory position had reduced growth rates. Comparing these results with those reported for other sequential hermaphrodites provides evidence supporting general patterns of sex change in nature. PMID:27385040

  1. Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans.

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    Rickard, Ian J; Holopainen, Jari; Helama, Samuli; Helle, Samuli; Russell, Andrew F; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-12-01

    Environmental conditions in early life can profoundly affect individual development and have consequences for reproductive success. Limited food availability may be one of the reasons for this, but direct evidence linking variation in early-life nutrition to reproductive performance in adulthood in natural populations is sparse. We combined historical agricultural data with detailed demographic church records to investigate the effect of food availability around the time of birth on the reproductive success of 927 men and women born in 18th-century Finland. Our study population exhibits natural mortality and fertility rates typical of many preindustrial societies, and individuals experienced differing access to resources due to social stratification. We found that among both men and women born into landless families (i.e., with low access to resources), marital prospects, probability of reproduction, and offspring viability were all positively related to local crop yield during the birth year. Such effects were generally absent among those born into landowning families. Among landless individuals born when yields of the two main crops, rye and barley, were both below median, only 50% of adult males and 55% of adult females gained any reproductive success in their lifetime, whereas 97% and 95% of those born when both yields were above the median did so. Our results suggest that maternal investment in offspring in prenatal or early postnatal life may have profound implications for the evolutionary fitness of human offspring, particularly among those for which resources are more limiting. Our study adds support to the idea that early nutrition can limit reproductive success in natural animal populations, and provides the most direct evidence to date that this process applies to humans.

  2. Limitations to reproductive success in the dioecious tree Rhamnus davurica.

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    Juan Wang

    Full Text Available The reproductive success of a female plant in a dioecious species may be affected by pollen limitation and resource limitation. This study presents evidence that the reproductive success of the dioecious understorey tree species, Rhamnus davurica, is affected by the distance to the nearest male. The sex ratios were female-biased, although showing fluctuations in the three years of conducting the study. The mortality rate of females was higher than that of males indicating a trade-off between reproduction and survival. Altogether 49 females, designated as "focal females", were randomly selected for monitoring their reproductive status between April and October in 2010. But successful reproduction (meaning that the flowering female trees had fruit in the fruiting season was observed only in 28 females in 2011 and 16 females in 2012. The method of path analysis was applied to determine the effect of topography, local competition and proximity to the nearest male on the fruit set of the females. In the three years of the study, elevation, competition and female size had no significant effect on the fruit set. The distance to the nearest male, however, had a significant effect on fruit set. Number of fruits and fruit set were decreased with increasing distance to the nearest male. It was possible to estimate maximum fruit set, based on the comparatively large dataset. The number of fruits and the fruit set are exponentially related to the distance to the nearest male and the relationships are described by an exponential model. The results of this study support the importance of pollen limitation on the reproductive success in Rhamnus davurica.

  3. Rock Sparrow Song Reflects Male Age and Reproductive Success

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    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). In an Alp...

  4. 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.

  5. Rock Sparrow Song Reflects Male Age and Reproductive Success

    OpenAIRE

    Erwin Nemeth; Bart Kempenaers; Giuliano Matessi; Henrik Brumm

    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). In an Alpine population in south-east France, we recorded the songs of males and assessed their genetic breeding success by microsatellite analysis. In addition to temporal and spectral song features, we also ...

  6. Why do good hunters have higher reproductive success?

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    Smith, Eric Alden

    2004-12-01

    Anecdotal evidence from many hunter-gatherer societies suggests that successful hunters experience higher prestige and greater reproductive success. Detailed quantitative data on these patterns are now available for five widely dispersed cases (Ache, Hadza, !Kung, Lamalera, and Meriam) and indicate that better hunters exhibit higher age-corrected reproductive success than other men in their social group. Leading explanations to account for this pattern are: (1) direct provisioning of hunters' wives and offspring, (2) dyadic reciprocity, (3) indirect reciprocity, (4) costly signaling, and (5) phenotypic correlation. I examine the qualitative and quantitative evidence bearing on these explanations and conclude that although none can be definitively rejected, extensive and apparently unconditional sharing of large game somewhat weakens the first three explanations. The costly signaling explanation has support in some cases, although the exact nature of the benefits gained from mating or allying with or deferring to better hunters needs further study.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Rock sparrow song reflects male age and reproductive success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erwin Nemeth

    Full Text Available 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. In an Alpine population in south-east France, we recorded the songs of males and assessed their genetic breeding success by microsatellite analysis. In addition to temporal and spectral song features, we also analysed for the first time whether the sound pressure level of bird song reflects reproductive 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 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 might try to compensate their inferior status by increased song rates and lower pitch. Independent of age and quality, high-amplitude songs correlated with paternity loss in the own nest, suggesting that in this species song amplitude is not an indicator of male quality but high-intensity songs may be rather a response to unfaithful social mates.

  11. 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 collecte

  12. 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

  13. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics.

  14. Determinants of reproductive success in female adders, Vipera berus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Thomas; Shine, Richard

    1992-10-01

    Female lifetime reproductive success in a small population of individually-marked adders in southern Sweden was studied over a period of seven years. Reproductive characteristics varied little from year to year and were consistent through time in individual females. Most females mature at four years of age and reproduce every two years. The total number of offspring produced by a female depends on her adult body size (and thus, litter size) and longevity (and thus, number of litters per lifetime). Adult body size in females is influenced mainly by subadult growth rates. Offspring size depends on maternal body size and a tradeoff between offspring size and offspring number. Maternal age does not affect litter sizes and offspring sizes except through ontogenetic changes in maternal body size.Survival of females after parturition is low because of the high energy costs of reproduction, compounded by low feeding rates of gravid females because of their sedentary behaviour at this time. About one-half of females produce only a single litter during their lifetimes, although some females live to produce four or five litters. On a proximate basis, rates of energy accumulation for growth (in subadults) and reproduction (in adults) may be the most important determinants of fitness in female adders.

  15. Reproductive success of herring gulls breeding on Lake Superior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shutt, J.L. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Hull, Quebec (Canada)

    1994-12-31

    Herring gulls breed in the vicinity of three pulp mills located on the north shore of Lake Superior. The impacts of exposure to effluents produced by these mills on various aspects of the reproductive biology of this species have been monitored since 1992. Reproductive success at these sites has been either zero or below the level necessary to maintain a stable population. Levels of dioxins and furans in the eggs and tissues of herring gulls did not show any consistent trends between the exposed and control sites and were generally low. Additionally, TCDD TEQs calculated for the same colonies, with the inclusion of several non ortho-substituted PCBs, were well below levels thought to result in reproductive impairment of herring gulls. However, plasma and liver concentrations of retinol were depressed and variable at several colonies, indicating potential diet differences between the study sites. Further determination of food types consumed at the control and exposed sites revealed that fish, the traditional diet of this species, was a small or insignificant component of the diet. Food type was also correlated with contaminant burden and reproductive output. Previously collected data as well as current results will be discussed.

  16. Assessing relative abundance and reproductive success of shrubsteppe raptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, Robert N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.

    1998-01-01

    From 1991-1994, we quantified relative abundance and reproductive success of the Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Burrowing Owl (Speotytoc unicularia), and Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) on the shrubsteppe plateaus (benchlands) in and near the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho. To assess relative abundance, we searched randomly selected plots using four sampling methods: point counts, line transects, and quadrats of two sizes. On a persampling-effort basis, transects were slightly more effective than point counts and quadrats for locating raptor nests (3.4 pairs detected/100 h of effort vs. 2.2-3.1 pairs). Random sampling using quadrats failed to detect a Short-eared Owl population increase from 1993 to 1994. To evaluate nesting success, we tried to determine reproductive outcome for all nesting attempts located during random, historical, and incidental nest searches. We compared nesting success estimates based on all nesting attempts, on attempts found during incubation, and the Mayfield model. Most pairs used to evaluate success were pairs found incidentally. Visits to historical nesting areas yielded the highest number of pairs per sampling effort (14.6/100 h), but reoccupancy rates for most species decreased through time. Estimates based on all attempts had the highest sample sizes but probably overestimated success for all species except the Ferruginous Hawk. Estimates of success based on nesting attempts found during incubation had the lowest sample sizes. All three methods yielded biased nesting snccess estimates for the Northern Harrier and Short-eared Owl. The estimate based on pairs found during incubation probably provided the least biased estimate for the Burrowing Owl. Assessments of nesting success were hindered by difficulties in confirming egg laying and nesting success for all species except the Ferruginous hawk.

  17. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Yamane

    Full Text Available Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  18. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  19. The cost of dominance: suppressing subordinate reproduction affects the reproductive success of dominant female banded mongooses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, M B V; Nichols, H J; Gilchrist, J S; Cant, M A; Hodge, S J

    2012-02-07

    Social species show considerable variation in the extent to which dominant females suppress subordinate reproduction. Much of this variation may be influenced by the cost of active suppression to dominants, who may be selected to balance the need to maximize the resources available for their own offspring against the costs of interfering with subordinate reproduction. To date, the cost of reproductive suppression has received little attention, despite its potential to influence the outcome of conflict over the distribution of reproduction in social species. Here, we investigate possible costs of reproductive suppression in banded mongooses, where dominant females evict subordinates from their groups, thereby inducing subordinate abortion. We show that evicting subordinate females is associated with substantial costs to dominant females: pups born to females who evicted subordinates while pregnant were lighter than those born after undisturbed gestations; pups whose dependent period was disrupted by an eviction attained a lower weight at independence; and the proportion of a litter that survived to independence was reduced if there was an eviction during the dependent period. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study indicating a possible cost to dominants in attempting to suppress subordinate breeding, and we argue that much of the variation in reproductive skew both within and between social species may be influenced by adaptive variation in the effort invested in suppression by dominants.

  20. Targeting reproductive health to reduce poverty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    An article highlighting the comment made by Dr. Joe Kasonde regarding the reduction of poverty by uplifting the reproductive health. Better health services had been the focus of poverty reduction and improvement of economic status especially in the Central and Eastern Europe following the decline in their Gross Domestic Product in 1989. As a result, a drop in maternal nutritional status, increase in maternal morbidity and the number of sexually transmitted diseases (STD)-infected mothers were reported. Socioeconomic progress was proposed to be achieved by targeting the reproductive health of the population. In Central Asian republics, a high incidence of nutrition anemia and deprivation was noted that would most likely bring about economic hardship. Reports reveal a rise in the number of maternal mortality due to the high cost of health services as a result of economic crisis, while other mothers prefer abortion. Statistics showed 95% of maternal mortality between the 1989 and 1996 was caused by unsafe abortion. An increase in the number of persons infected with syphilis and other STDs reported in 1995 was induced by poverty. A strategy was proposed to reverse the economic situation through the promotion of better reproductive health services.

  1. Maternal investment and reproductive success in Chinese water deer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Christiane MAUGET; Robert MAUGET

    2009-01-01

    Among cervids, maternal investment, estimated as the amount of resources and care allocated to the offspring, was expected to be related to species body size. Therefore, maternal investment in a herd of captive Chinese water deer Hydropotes inermis, a relatively small species of cervid, was investigated over 3 years. Except during the lactation period, reproductive females spent about 2-fold more time resting than feeding. During lactation, the amount of time spent feeding increased highly (25.3 min/h during lactation vs 17.3 min/h during the gestation period). Females spent less than 30% of time in communal behaviours with offspring. They did not reject alien fawns during this care period. Frequency and duration of suckling events decreased exponentially from the second week onwards. More than 10% of suckling bouts were non-filial. Prenatal investment leads to a mean litter mass (about 12% of maternal mass) higher than in most cervid species. Postnatal investment in fawns represents a daily mass gain of ca. 85 g/d during the first 2 weeks, without any sexual difference. Female production, timing and synchrony of births and survival of fawns characterized reproductive success. Seventy percent of mature females gave birth, with a mean of 1.9 offspring per female. The sex ratio was even. Births were synchronous, 80% of births occurring in 25 days. In this herd, 0.74 fawn per female was successfully weaned and 0.56 fawn per female survived through their first year. Based on these results we conclude that reproductive strategy of Chinese water deer was efficient and characterized by mother-offspring relationships typical of hiders and high levels of pre- and postnatal investments. This strategy seems typical of small species of cervids without marked sexual dimorphism.[Current Zoology 55(2):102-110,2009].

  2. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nystrand, M; Dowling, D K

    2014-11-07

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring.

  3. Late snowmelt delays plant development and results in lower reproductive success in the High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Elisabeth J; Dullinger, Stefan; Semenchuk, Philipp

    2011-01-01

    In tundra areas where the growing season is short, any delay in the start of summer may have a considerable effect on plant development, growth and reproductive success. Climate models suggest long-term changes in winter precipitation in the Arctic, which may lead to deeper snow cover and a resultant delay in date of snow melt. In this paper, we investigated the role of snow depth and melt out date on the phenological development and reproductive success of vascular plants in Adventdalen, Svalbard (78° 10'N, 16° 06'E). Effects of natural variations in snow accumulation were demonstrated using two vegetation types (snow depth: meadow 21 cm, heath 32 cm), and fences were used to experimentally increase snow depth by over 1m. Phenological delay was greatest directly after snowmelt in the earlier phenological phases, and had the largest effect on the early development of those species which normally green-up early (i.e. Dryas, Papaver, Salix, Saxifraga). Compressed growing seasons and length of the reproductive period led to a reduced reproductive success in some of the study species. There were fewer flowers, fewer plots with dispersing seeds, and lower germination rates. This can have consequences for plant establishment and community composition in the long-term.

  4. Effects of Population Size on Reproductive Success of the Endangered and Endemic Species Primula merrilliana

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jian-Wen Shao; Xiao-Ping Zhang; Zhong-Xing Zhang; Guo-Ping Zhu

    2008-01-01

    The reproductive ability related to the population size of the endangered and endemic species Primula merrilliana Schltr.was investigated.In 26 populations observed,only four contain more than 500 flowering individuals,whereas most of them(53.8%) consist of less than 100 flowering individuals.Though the ratio of pin and thrum plants keeps its balance at 1:1 for all populations,the frequency of pin and thrum flowers was significantly biased in most small populations.Population size strongly affected reproductive success; plants in small populations produced significantly fewer flowers and fruits per plant and fewer seeds per fruit,and therefore fewer seeds per plant.The floral density was another important factor that influenced the reproductive success of P.merrilliana,because four main reproductive success parameters (fruits per plant,seeds per fruit,seeds per plant,and the proportion of flowers setting fruit) were all positively correlated with floral density.The size of plants and the number of leaves per plant (measure of habitat quality) were not influenced by the variation of population size,suggesting that the reduced fecundity in small populations may not be a consequence of lower habitat quality,inbreeding depression and pollen limitation as a result of less attractiveness in small populations are therefore likely explanations for these patterns.

  5. Breeding experience, alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success in a captive colony of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. Pairs of extreme avian personalities have highest reproductive success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Both, C; Dingemanse, NJ; Drent, PJ; Tinbergen, JM; Drent, Piet J.

    2005-01-01

    1. Intraspecific variation in reproductive decisions is generally considered as a reaction to environmental circumstances. We show that variation in reproductive parameters also covaries with intraspecific variation in personality. 2. During 4 years, we studied reproductive parameters in a natural p

  9. Pairs of extreme avian personalities have highest reproductive success

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Both, C.; Dingemanse, N.J.; Drent, P.J.; Tinbergen, J.M.

    2005-01-01

    1. Intraspecific variation in reproductive decisions is generally considered as a reaction to environmental circumstances. We show that variation in reproductive parameters also covaries with intraspecific variation in personality. 2. During 4 years, we studied reproductive parameters in a natural p

  10. Parasitism, immune response and reproductive success in the house martin Delichonurbica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lope, F; Møller, A P; de la Cruz, C

    1998-04-01

    Parasites often exert strong selection pressures on their hosts that have evolved anti-parasite defences to counter the negative effects of parasites. We studied the relationship between intensity of parasitism, one aspect of host immune response, and host reproductive success, using the house martin bug Oeciacushirundinis and its house martin Delichonurbica host as a model system. Experimental manipulation of parasite load of nests during laying of the first clutch altered the intensity of parasitism. Parasites reduced the reproductive success of their hosts measured in terms of body condition and survival of nestlings. Host immune response, measured as the concentration of gammaglobulins and total plasma proteins, was positively associated with parasite reproduction, estimated as the number of juvenile parasites, but was only weakly related to the intensity of adult parasites. The concentration of gammaglobulins was negatively related to nestling body mass, implying a trade-off between immune function and body condition. Parasite reproduction thus exerts a cost on hosts by increasing the immune response.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  12. 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

  13. Complex courtship displays facilitate male reproductive success and plasticity in signaling across variable environments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dustin J.WILGERS; Eileen A.HEBETS

    2011-01-01

    Effective signal transmission is essential for communication.In environments where signal transmission is highly variable,signalers may utilize complex signals,which incorporate multiple components and modalities,to maintain effective communication.Male Rabidosa rabida wolf spiders produce complex courtship signals,consisting of both visual and seismic components.We test the hypothesis that the complex signaling of R.rabida contributes to male reproductive success in variable signaling environments.We first examine the condition-dependence of foreleg ornamentation(a presumed visual signal)and seismic signal components and find that both may provide potentially redundant information on foraging history.Next,we assessed reproductive success across manipulated signaling environments that varied in the effectiveness of visual and/or seismic signal transmission.in environmenis where only one signal could be successfully transmitted(e.g.,visual or seismic),pairs were still able to successfully copulate.Additionally,we found that males altered their courtship display depending on the current signaling environment.Specifically,males reduced their use of a visual display component in signaling environments where visual signal transmission was ablated.Incorporating signals in multiple modalities not only enables R.rabida males to maintain copulation success across variable signaiing environments,but it also enables males to adjust their composite courtship display to current signaling conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    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 the year of

  16. 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 ...

  17. Analyses of Sexual Reproductive Success in Transgenic and/or Mutant Plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cristiane P. G. Calixto; Gustavo H. Goldman; Maria Helena S. Goldman

    2009-01-01

    The pistil, the female reproductive organ of plants, is a key player in the success of sexual plant reproduction. Ultimately, the production of fruits and seeds depends on the proper pistil development and function. Therefore, the identification and characterization of pistil expressed genes is essential for a better understanding and manipulation of the plant reproduction process. For studying the function of pistil expressed genes, transgenic and/or mutant plants for the genes of interest are used. The present article provides a review of methods already exploited to analyze sexual reproductive success. We Intend to sup ply useful information and to guide future experiments in thestudy of genes affecting pistil development and function.

  18. Interactions and trade-offs among physiological determinants of performance and reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Ignacio T; Hopkins, William A

    2009-10-01

    How an animal performs in its natural environment ultimately plays a key role in its reproductive success. While a number of studies have investigated how selection acts on performance-related traits, far fewer studies have examined the mechanisms responsible for variation in performance. Among mechanisms, variable morphology has received the most attention. Although physiological traits have received less attention, they are intrinsically related to performance and ultimately to reproductive success. We present a framework whereby investigators can link some basic physiological functions with organismal performance and ultimately with reproductive success. We propose that performance and ultimately reproductive success are strongly influenced by hormones, immune functions, and energetics. We further argue that no physiological function can be considered in isolation and thus our model emphasizes interactions and trade-offs both within each physiological function as well as among them. Some of the most commonly studied trade-offs are between reproduction and immune functions, with energetics as one of the key common currencies for these trade-offs. From an evolutionary perspective, the largest gaps in our knowledge lie in how these interactions and trade-offs influence reproductive success. We believe that a full understanding of how hormones, immune functions, and energetics influence performance traits related to reproduction and, ultimately, lifetime reproductive success requires recognition of the complex relationships, interactions, and trade-offs among these processes.

  19. 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).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  20. Yes we can! Successful examples of disallowing 'conscientious objection' in reproductive health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiala, Christian; Gemzell Danielsson, Kristina; Heikinheimo, Oskari; Guðmundsson, Jens A; Arthur, Joyce

    2016-06-01

    Reproductive health care is the only field in medicine where health care professionals (HCPs) are allowed to limit a patient's access to a legal medical treatment - usually abortion or contraception - by citing their 'freedom of conscience.' However, the authors' position is that 'conscientious objection' ('CO') in reproductive health care should be called dishonourable disobedience because it violates medical ethics and the right to lawful health care, and should therefore be disallowed. Three countries - Sweden, Finland, and Iceland - do not generally permit HCPs in the public health care system to refuse to perform a legal medical service for reasons of 'CO' when the service is part of their professional duties. The purpose of investigating the laws and experiences of these countries was to show that disallowing 'CO' is workable and beneficial. It facilitates good access to reproductive health services because it reduces barriers and delays. Other benefits include the prioritisation of evidence-based medicine, rational arguments, and democratic laws over faith-based refusals. Most notably, disallowing 'CO' protects women's basic human rights, avoiding both discrimination and harms to health. Finally, holding HCPs accountable for their professional obligations to patients does not result in negative impacts. Almost all HCPs and medical students in Sweden, Finland, and Iceland who object to abortion or contraception are able to find work in another field of medicine. The key to successfully disallowing 'CO' is a country's strong prior acceptance of women's civil rights, including their right to health care.

  1. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Saul J; Eyre, Simon; Kimble, Catherine H; Arcos-Burgos, Mauricio; Hogg, Carolyn; Easteal, Simon

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Reproductive success in the Lusitanian toadfish: Influence of calling activity, male quality and experimental design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, M Clara P; Conti, Carlotta; Sousa-Santos, Carla; Novais, Bruno; Gouveia, Maria D; Vicente, Joana R; Modesto, Teresa; Gonçalves, Amparo; Fonseca, Paulo J

    2016-03-01

    Acoustic signals are sexual ornaments with an established role on mate choice in several taxa, but not in fish. Recent studies have suggested that fish vocal activity may signal male quality and influence male's reproductive success but experimental evidence is lacking. Here we made two experiments to test the hypothesis that vocal activity is essential for male breeding success in a highly vocal fish, the Lusitanian toadfish. We first compared the reproduction success between muted and vocal males. In a second experiment we related male reproduction success with acoustic activity and male quality, including biometric, condition and physiological features. As a proxy for reproductive success we tallied both total number and number of sired eggs, which were correlated. Muting experiments showed that successful mating was dependent on vocalizing. In addition, the number of eggs was positively associated with the male's maximum calling rate. In the second experiment male's reproductive success was positively associated with male condition and negatively related with circulating androgen levels and relative gonad mass, but was not associated with vocal activity. Differences in results may be related with nest design which could have influenced mate choice costs and intra-sexual competition. In the muting experiment nests had a small opening that restrained the large nest-holder but allowed smaller fish, such as females, to pass while in the second experiment fish could move freely. These experiments suggest that a combination of factors, including vocal activity, influence reproductive success in this highly vocal species.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Are tetraploids more successful? Floral signals, reproductive success and floral isolation in mixed-ploidy populations of a terrestrial orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Karin; Schiestl, Florian P

    2015-02-01

    Polyploidization, the doubling of chromosome sets, is common in angiosperms and has a range of evolutionary consequences. Newly formed polyploid lineages are reproductively isolated from their diploid progenitors due to triploid sterility, but also prone to extinction because compatible mating partners are rare. Models have suggested that assortative mating and increased reproductive fitness play a key role in the successful establishment and persistence of polyploids. However, little is known about these factors in natural mixed-ploidy populations. This study investigated floral traits that can affect pollinator attraction and efficiency, as well as reproductive success in diploid and tetraploid Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae) plants in two natural, mixed-ploidy populations. Ploidy levels were determined using flow cytometry, and flowering phenology and herbivory were also assessed. Reproductive success was determined by counting fruits and viable seeds of marked plants. Pollinator-mediated floral isolation was measured using experimental arrays, with pollen flow tracked by means of staining pollinia with histological dye. Tetraploids had larger floral displays and different floral scent bouquets than diploids, but cytotypes differed only slightly in floral colour. Significant floral isolation was found between the two cytotypes. Flowering phenology of the two cytotypes greatly overlapped, and herbivory did not differ between cytotypes or was lower in tetraploids. In addition, tetraploids had higher reproductive success compared with diploids. The results suggest that floral isolation and increased reproductive success of polyploids may help to explain their successful persistence in mixed-ploidy populations. These factors might even initiate transformation of populations from pure diploid to pure tetraploid. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  6. 1961 reproductive success in North American geese: Winter appraisals of productivity

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In the summer of 1961, reproductive success among North American geese was seldom better than "fair", and in some cases was decidedly poor. Nesting conditions...

  7. Factors affecting reproductive success of the California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in San Francisco Bay

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — We assessed the reproductive success of the California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus), an endangered species restricted to San Francisco Bay, and the...

  8. 1962 reproductive success in North American geese: Winter appraisals of productivity

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An occasional year of poor reproductive success is no novelty among Arctic-nesting birds. Conservationists have become reconciled to this fact, although they still...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Floral visual signal increases reproductive success in a sexually deceptive orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakosy, Demetra; Streinzer, Martin; Paulus, Hannes F; Spaethe, Johannes

    2012-12-01

    Sexually deceptive orchids mimic signals emitted by female insects in order to attract mate-searching males. Specific attraction of the targeted pollinator is achieved by sex pheromone mimicry, which constitutes the major attraction channel. In close vicinity of the flower, visual signals may enhance attraction, as was shown recently in the sexually deceptive orchid Ophrys heldreichii. Here, we conducted an in situ manipulation experiment in two populations of O. heldreichii on Crete to investigate whether the presence/absence of the conspicuous pink perianth affects reproductive success in two natural orchid populations. We estimated reproductive success of three treatment groups (with intact, removed and artificial perianth) throughout the flowering period as pollinaria removal (male reproductive success) and massulae deposition (female reproductive success). Reproductive success was significantly increased by the presence of a strong visual signal-the conspicuous perianth-in one study population, however, not in the second, most likely due to the low pollinator abundance in the latter population. This study provides further evidence that the coloured perianth in O. heldreichii is adaptive and thus adds to the olfactory signal to maximise pollinator attraction and reproductive success.

  11. Parental provisioning behaviour plays a key role in linking personality with reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutzel, A; Dingemanse, N J; Araya-Ajoy, Y G; Kempenaers, B

    2013-08-07

    Repeatable behavioural traits ('personality') have been shown to covary with fitness, but it remains poorly understood how such behaviour-fitness relationships come about. We applied a multivariate approach to reveal the mechanistic pathways by which variation in exploratory and aggressive behaviour is translated into variation in reproductive success in a natural population of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus. Using path analysis, we demonstrate a key role for provisioning behaviour in mediating the link between personality and reproductive success (number of fledged offspring). Aggressive males fed their nestlings at lower rates than less aggressive individuals. At the same time, their low parental investment was associated with increased female effort, thereby positively affecting fledgling production. Whereas male exploratory behaviour was unrelated to provisioning behaviour and reproductive success, fast-exploring females fed their offspring at higher rates and initiated breeding earlier, thus increasing reproductive success. Our findings provide strong support for specific mechanistic pathways linking components of behavioural syndromes to reproductive success. Importantly, relationships between behavioural phenotypes and reproductive success were obscured when considering simple bivariate relationships, underlining the importance of adopting multivariate views and statistical tools as path analysis to the study of behavioural evolution.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Zebrafish reproduction: revisiting in vitro fertilization to increase sperm cryopreservation success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hagedorn

    Full Text Available Although conventional cryopreservation is a proven method for long-term, safe storage of genetic material, protocols used by the zebrafish community are not standardized and yield inconsistent results, thereby putting the security of many genotypes in individual laboratories and stock centers at risk. An important challenge for a successful zebrafish sperm cryopreservation program is the large variability in the post-thaw in vitro fertilization success (0 to 80%. But how much of this variability was due to the reproductive traits of the in vitro fertilization process, and not due to the cryopreservation process? These experiments only assessed the in vitro process with fresh sperm, but yielded the basic metrics needed for successful in vitro fertilization using cryopreserved sperm, as well. We analyzed the reproductive traits for zebrafish males with a strict body condition range. It did not correlate with sperm volume, or motility (P>0.05, but it did correlate with sperm concentration. Younger males produced more concentrated sperm (P0.05, but pooling eggs reduced it by approximately 30 to 50% (P<0.05. This reduction in fertilization success was due not to the pooling of the females' eggs, but to the type of tools used to handle the eggs. Recommendations to enhance the in vitro process for zebrafish include: 1 using males of a body condition closer to 1.5 for maximal sperm concentration; 2 minimizing sperm wastage by using a working sperm concentration of 10(6 motile cells/ml for in vitro fertilization; and 3 never using metal or sharp-edged tools to handle eggs prior to fertilization.

  15. Atrazine reduces reproduction in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillitt, D.E.; Papoulias, D.M.; Whyte, J.J.; Richter, C.A.

    2010-01-01

    Atrazine, the widely used herbicide, has shown to affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis in certain vertebrate species, but few studies have examined reproductive effects of this chemical on fish. Our study was designed to evaluate a population endpoint (egg production) in conjunction with histological (e.g., gonad development) and biochemical (e.g., hormone production) phenotypes associated with atrazine exposure in fathead minnows. Adult virgin breeding groups of 1 male and 2 females were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0, 0.5, 5.0, and 50 ??g/L of atrazine in a flow-through diluter for 14 or 30 days. Total egg production was lower (19-39%) in all atrazine-exposed groups as compared to the controls. The decreases in cumulative egg production of atrazine treated fish were significant by 17-20 days of exposure. Reductions in egg production in atrazine treatment groups were most attributable to reduced numbers of spawning events with increased atrazine exposure concentrations. Gonad abnormalities were observed in both male and female fish of atrazine-exposed fish. Our results also indicate that atrazine reduces egg production through alteration of final maturation of oocytes. The reproductive effects observed in this study warrant further investigation and evaluation of the potential risks posed by atrazine, particularly feral populations of fish from streams in agricultural areas with high use of this herbicide. ?? 2010.

  16. Combined food and predator effects on songbird nest survival and annual reproductive success: results from a bi-factorial experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanette, Liana; Clinchy, Michael; Smith, James N M

    2006-04-01

    Food and predators have traditionally been viewed as mutually exclusive alternatives when considering factors affecting animal populations. This has led to long controversies such as whether annual reproductive success in songbirds is primarily a function of food-restricted production or predator-induced loss. Recent studies on both birds and mammals suggest many of these controversies may be resolved by considering the combined effects of food and predators. We conducted a 2x2 manipulative food addition plus natural predator reduction experiment on song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) over three consecutive breeding seasons. Food and predators together affected partial clutch or brood loss, nest survival (total clutch or brood loss) and annual reproductive success. When combined, our two treatments reduced partial losses by more than expected if the effects of food and predators were independent and additive. Food and predators also interacted in their effects on nest survival since food addition significantly reduced the rate of nest predation. While annual reproductive success was highly correlated with nest predation (r2=0.71) the strength of this relationship was reinforced by the indirect effects of food addition on nest predation. A stepwise multiple regression showed that the residual variation in annual reproductive success was explained by food effects on the total number of eggs laid over the season and the combined effects of food and predators on partial losses noted above. We conclude that annual reproductive success in song sparrows is a function of both food-restricted production and predator-induced loss and indirect food and predator effects on both clutch and brood loss. We highlight the parallels between our results and those from a comparable bi-factorial experiment on mammals because we suspect combined food and predator effects are likely the norm in both birds and mammals.

  17. Effects of forest fragmentation on male and female reproductive success in Cestrum parqui (Solanaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Ramiro; Galetto, Leonardo

    2004-03-01

    In this paper we evaluate the effects of forest fragmentation on male (pollen removal, pollen load, and pollen tubes) and female reproductive success (fruit- and seed-set) of Cestrum parqui, a self-incompatible, pollination-specialist plant species. We also measure focal individual conspecific density to account for possible density-related effects that could influence the response variables. We calculate an index which incorporates male and female fitness and gives an integrated assessment of overall reproductive success. Forest fragmentation strongly affected the amount of pollen grains on stigmas and number of pollen tubes as well as seed-set, decreasing from continuous forest to small forest fragments, whereas focal individual conspecific density failed to explain any of the variability for the studied variables. Declines in overall reproductive success (i.e. male and female) in small forest fragments are ascribed to decreases in both the quality and quantity of pollination. Self-incompatibility coupled with a specialist pollination system may be particularly important traits determining the negative fragmentation effects observed in C. parqui. Logarithmic regression models described the behaviour of the variables along the fragmentation size gradient, allowing us to detect a threshold below which the effects of fragmentation begin to negatively affect reproductive success in C. parqui. Our results emphasize the importance of evaluating both components of the total plant fitness, as well as including simultaneously several aspects of pollination and reproduction processes when assessing the effects of forest fragmentation on plant reproductive success.

  18. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Reproductive Success is Influenced by Krill (Euphausia superba) Density and Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyboth, Elisa; Groch, Karina R; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Reid, Keith; Flores, Paulo A C; Secchi, Eduardo R

    2016-01-01

    The reproductive success of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) depends on body condition and, therefore, on foraging success. This, in turn, might be affected by climatically driven change in the abundance of the species main prey, krill (Euphausia superba), on the feeding grounds. Annual data on southern right whale number of calves were obtained from aerial surveys carried out between 1997 and 2013 in southern Brazil, where the species concentrate during their breeding season. The number of calves recorded each year varied from 7 to 43 ( = 21.11 ± 11.88). Using cross-correlation analysis we examined the response of the species to climate anomalies and krill densities. Significant correlations were found with krill densities (r = 0.69, p = 0.002, lag 0 years), Oceanic Niño Index (r = -0.65, p = 0.03, lag 6 years), Antarctic Oscillation (r = 0.76, p = 0.01, lag 7 years) and Antarctic sea ice area (r = -0.68, p = 0.002, lag 0 years). Our results suggest that global climate indices influence southern right whale breeding success in southern Brazil by determining variation in food (krill) availability for the species. Therefore, increased frequency of years with reduced krill abundance, due to global warming, is likely to reduce the current rate of recovery of southern right whales from historical overexploitation.

  19. 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.

  20. Atrazine reduces reproduction in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoulias, Diana M; Tillitt, Donald E; Talykina, Melaniya G; Whyte, Jeffrey J; Richter, Catherine A

    2014-09-01

    Atrazine is an effective broadleaf herbicide and the second most heavily used herbicide in the United States. Effects along the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis in a number of vertebrate taxa have been demonstrated. Seasonally elevated concentrations of atrazine in surface waters may adversely affect fishes, but only a few studies have examined reproductive effects of this chemical. The present study was designed to evaluate a population endpoint (egg production) in conjunction with histological (reproductive stage, gonad pathology) and biochemical (aromatase activity, sex hormone production) phenotypes associated with atrazine exposure in Japanese medaka. Adult virgin breeding groups of one male and four females were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0, 0.5, 5.0, and 50 μg/L (0, 2.3, 23.2, 231 nM) of atrazine in a flow-through diluter for 14 or 38 days. Total egg production was lower (36-42%) in all atrazine-exposed groups as compared to the controls. The decreases in cumulative egg production of atrazine-treated fish were significant by exposure day 24. Reductions in total egg production in atrazine treatment groups were most attributable to a reduced number of eggs ovulated by females in atrazine-treated tanks. Additionally, males exposed to atrazine had a greater number of abnormal germ cells. There was no effect of atrazine on gonadosomatic index, aromatase protein, or whole body 17 β-estradiol or testosterone. Our results suggest that atrazine reduces egg production through alteration of final maturation of oocytes. The reduced egg production observed in this study was very similar to our previously reported results for fathead minnow. This study provides further information with which to evaluate atrazine's risk to fish populations.

  1. Atrazine reduces reproduction in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papoulias, Diana M.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Talykina, Melaniya G.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Richter, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    Atrazine is an effective broadleaf herbicide and the second most heavily used herbicide in the United States. Effects along the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonad axis in a number of vertebrate taxa have been demonstrated. Seasonally elevated concentrations of atrazine in surface waters may adversely affect fishes, but only a few studies have examined reproductive effects of this chemical. The present study was designed to evaluate a population endpoint (egg production) in conjunction with histological (reproductive stage, gonad pathology) and biochemical (aromatase activity, sex hormone production) phenotypes associated with atrazine exposure in Japanese medaka. Adult virgin breeding groups of one male and four females were exposed to nominal concentrations of 0, 0.5, 5.0, and 50 μg/L (0, 2.3, 23.2, 231 nM) of atrazine in a flow-through diluter for 14 or 38 days. Total egg production was lower (36–42%) in all atrazine-exposed groups as compared to the controls. The decreases in cumulative egg production of atrazine-treated fish were significant by exposure day 24. Reductions in total egg production in atrazine treatment groups were most attributable to a reduced number of eggs ovulated by females in atrazine-treated tanks. Additionally, males exposed to atrazine had a greater number of abnormal germ cells. There was no effect of atrazine on gonadosomatic index, aromatase protein, or whole body 17 β-estradiol or testosterone. Our results suggest that atrazine reduces egg production through alteration of final maturation of oocytes. The reduced egg production observed in this study was very similar to our previously reported results for fathead minnow. This study provides further information with which to evaluate atrazine's risk to fish populations.

  2. Men's status and reproductive success in 33 nonindustrial societies: Effects of subsistence, marriage system, and reproductive strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Rueden, Christopher R; Jaeggi, Adrian V

    2016-09-27

    Social status motivates much of human behavior. However, status may have been a relatively weak target of selection for much of human evolution if ancestral foragers tended to be more egalitarian. We test the "egalitarianism hypothesis" that status has a significantly smaller effect on reproductive success (RS) in foragers compared with nonforagers. We also test between alternative male reproductive strategies, in particular whether reproductive benefits of status are due to lower offspring mortality (parental investment) or increased fertility (mating effort). We performed a phylogenetic multilevel metaanalysis of 288 statistical associations between measures of male status (physical formidability, hunting ability, material wealth, political influence) and RS (mating success, wife quality, fertility, offspring mortality, and number of surviving offspring) from 46 studies in 33 nonindustrial societies. We found a significant overall effect of status on RS (r = 0.19), though this effect was significantly lower than for nonhuman primates (r = 0.80). There was substantial variation due to marriage system and measure of RS, in particular status associated with offspring mortality only in polygynous societies (r = -0.08), and with wife quality only in monogamous societies (r = 0.15). However, the effects of status on RS did not differ significantly by status measure or subsistence type: foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture. These results suggest that traits that facilitate status acquisition were not subject to substantially greater selection with domestication of plants and animals, and are part of reproductive strategies that enhance fertility more than offspring well-being.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. An association between male homosexuality and reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dewar, Colin S

    2003-02-01

    The existence of homosexuality in humans poses a problem for evolutionary theory. Exclusive male homosexuality has a catastrophic effect on reproduction and yet inherited factors appear to contribute to it. Previous attempts to resolve this conundrum are inconsistent with aspects of evolutionary theory. Additional limitations are as follows. Until recently, accounts of homosexuality have paid little attention to the probable existence of adaptive bisexuality in ancestral populations, from which further variations in sexual orientation may have evolved. Secondly, previous explanations have concentrated on the ancestral environment of two to three million years ago as the determinant of modern sexuality, when more recent influences are likely to have had considerable impact. I argue in favour of a longitudinal rather than cross-sectional model of the ancestral environment. Thirdly, they have often ignored the possibility of variable phenotypic expression, whereby those individuals with a genetic propensity for homosexuality exhibit different and adaptive qualities on most other occasions. It has been demonstrated in previous studies that homosexual men have superior linguistic skills compared to heterosexual men. This may be the result of an adaptive feminising effect on the male brain and apply to many practising heterosexuals. Other adaptations to the recent ancestral environment may include enhanced empathy, fine motor skills and impulse control. By drawing together these contributing factors an evolutionary basis for homosexuality can be demonstrated.

  6. Baculum morphology predicts reproductive success of male house mice under sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockley, Paula; Ramm, Steven A; Sherborne, Amy L; Thom, Michael D F; Paterson, Steve; Hurst, Jane L

    2013-06-26

    Diversity in penile morphology is characterised by extraordinary variation in the size and shape of the baculum (penis bone) found in many mammals. Although functionally enigmatic, diversity in baculum form is hypothesised to result from sexual selection. According to this hypothesis, the baculum should influence the outcome of reproductive competition among males within promiscuous mating systems. However, a test of this key prediction is currently lacking. Here we show that baculum size explains significant variation in the reproductive success of male house mice under competitive conditions. After controlling for body size and other reproductive traits, the width (but not length) of the house mouse baculum predicts both the mean number of offspring sired per litter and total number of offspring sired. By providing the first evidence linking baculum morphology to male reproductive success, our results support the hypothesis that evolutionary diversity in baculum form is driven by sexual selection.

  7. Within-season increase in parental investment in a long-lived bird species: investment shifts to maximize successful reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, N A; Griesser, M

    2015-01-01

    In nest-building species predation of nest contents is a main cause of reproductive failure and parents have to trade off reproductive investment against antipredatory behaviours. While this trade-off is modified by lifespan (short-lived species prioritize current reproduction; long-lived species prioritize future reproduction), it may vary within a breeding season, but this idea has only been tested in short-lived species. Yet, life history theory does not make any prediction how long-lived species should trade off current against future reproductive investment within a season. Here, we investigated this trade-off through predator-exposure experiments in a long-lived bird species, the brown thornbill. We exposed breeding pairs that had no prior within-season reproductive success to the models of a nest predator and a predator of adults during their first or second breeding attempt. Overall, parents reduced their feeding rate in the presence of a predator, but parents feeding second broods were more risk sensitive and almost ceased feeding when exposed to both types of predators. However, during second breeding attempts, parents had larger clutches and a higher feeding rate in the absence of predators than during first breeding attempts and approached both types of predators closer when mobbing. Our results suggest that the trade-off between reproductive investment and risk-taking can change in a long-lived species within a breeding season depending on both prior nest predation and renesting opportunities. These patterns correspond to those in short-lived species, raising the question of whether a within-season shift in reproductive investment trade-offs is independent of lifespan. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Impact of gene polymorphisms of gonadotropins and their receptors on human reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casarini, Livio; Santi, Daniele; Marino, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Gonadotropins and their receptors' genes carry several single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in endocrine genotypes modulating reproductive parameters, diseases, and lifespan leading to important implications for reproductive success and potential relevance during human evolution. Here we illustrate common genotypes of the gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors' genes and their clinical implications in phenotypes relevant for reproduction such as ovarian cycle length, age of menopause, testosterone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We then discuss their possible role in human reproduction and adaptation to the environment. Gonadotropins and their receptors' variants are differently distributed among human populations. Some hints suggest that they may be the result of natural selection that occurred in ancient times, increasing the individual chance of successful mating, pregnancy, and effective post-natal parental cares. The gender-related differences in the regulation of the reproductive endocrine systems imply that many of these genotypes may lead to sex-dependent effects, increasing the chance of mating and reproductive success in one sex at the expenses of the other sex. Also, we suggest that sexual conflicts within the FSH and LH-choriogonadotropin receptor genes contributed to maintain genotypes linked to subfertility among humans. Because the distribution of polymorphic markers results in a defined geographical pattern due to human migrations rather than natural selection, these polymorphisms may have had only a weak impact on reproductive success. On the contrary, such genotypes could acquire relevant consequences in the modern, developed societies in which parenthood attempts often occur at a later age, during a short, suboptimal reproductive window, making clinical fertility treatments necessary.

  9. Delayed mating reduces reproductive output of female European grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Vila, L M; Rodríguez-Molina, M C; Stockel, J

    2002-06-01

    Virgin females of Lobesia botrana Denis & Schiffermüller were mated at ages of 1, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 16 days and the effect of mating delay on reproductive output assessed. Delayed mating did not affect female mating success but fertilization was reduced in 16-day-old females. Increased mating delays substantially affected daily oviposition pattern and resulted in a significant reduction of both fecundity and fertility, so that mean number of viable eggs laid decreased from 150 to 22 in 1- and 16-day-old mated females, respectively. Heavier females were more constrained than lighter ones by mating delays and female reproductive efficiency (no. viable eggs/female body weight) was also significantly reduced. Female longevity significantly increased and oviposition period gradually declined with mating delay. The number of viable eggs was positively correlated with both female weight and oviposition period; female longevity and female weight were also significantly correlated. However, the significance of these correlations declined with increased mating delay. Results overall indicated that mating delay drastically reduces female L. botrana reproductive output. The implications of delayed mating of females are discussed from an ecological perspective in relation to L. botrana control using mating disruption.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A generalist brood parasite modifies use of a host in response to reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louder, Matthew I M; Schelsky, Wendy M; Albores, Amber N; Hoover, Jeffrey P

    2015-09-07

    Avian obligate brood parasites, which rely solely on hosts to raise their young, should choose the highest quality hosts to maximize reproductive output. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are extreme host generalists, yet female cowbirds could use information based on past reproductive outcomes to make egg-laying decisions thus minimizing fitness costs associated with parasitizing low-quality hosts. We use a long-term (21 years) nest-box study of a single host, the prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea), to show that local cowbird reproductive success, but not host reproductive success, was positively correlated with the probability of parasitism the following year. Experimental manipulations of cowbird success corroborated that female cowbirds make future decisions about which hosts to use based on information pertaining to past cowbird success, both within and between years. The within-year pattern, in particular, points to local cowbird females selecting hosts based on past reproductive outcomes. This, coupled with high site fidelity of female cowbirds between years, points to information use, rather than cowbird natal returns alone, increasing parasitism rates on highly productive sites between years.

  15. Effects of extreme weather on reproductive success in a temperate-breeding songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pipoly, Ivett; Bókony, Veronika; Seress, Gábor; Szabó, Krisztián; Liker, András

    2013-01-01

    The frequency of extreme meteorological events such as heat waves and rainstorms is predicted to increase with climate change. However, there is still little information about how extreme weather influences reproduction in animals. It may not only affect breeding success but might also alter offspring sex ratio if males and females are differentially sensitive to meteorological conditions during development. We investigated the relationship between meteorological conditions and reproductive success over 6 years in a house sparrow population in central Europe. We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (success was unrelated to weather variables. However, the frequency of extremely hot days had a negative effect on fledglings' body mass and tarsus length, although both of these traits were positively related to average temperature. Additionally, fledglings' body mass increased with the length of period without rainfall before fledging. Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables. The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success. Our results indicate that meteorological conditions have complex effects on breeding success, as the effects of extreme weather can differ between different aspects of reproduction and also from the effects of overall meteorological conditions.

  16. "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

  17. Successful triplet pregnancy in an African with pure gonadal dysgenesis: A plus for assisted reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Aziken

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Gonadal dysgenesis represents a congenital developmental disorder of the reproductive system, with its main gynaecologic manifestations being amenorrhea and infertility. We present a unique case of pure gonadal dysgenesis in an ‘about to be’ married lady resident in a society where high premium and success in marriage is dependent on childbirth. With astute evaluation and counseling, assisted reproductive technology (ART was safely and successfully used in this case with eventual triplet pregnancy and delivery. Our index experience shows that situations with compromised fertility the availability and access to ART aids effective treatment planning and births a re-invigorated hope for family life.

  18. Successful triplet pregnancy in an African with pure gonadal dysgenesis:A plus for assisted reproduction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Aziken M; Osaikhuwuomwan J; Osemwenkha A; Iribhogbe O; Orhue A

    2015-01-01

    Gonadal dysgenesis represents a congenital developmental disorder of the reproductive system, with its main gynaecologic manifestations being amenorrhea and infertility. We present a unique case of pure gonadal dysgenesis in an ‘about to be’ married lady resident in a society where high premium and success in marriage is dependent on childbirth. With astute evaluation and counseling, assisted reproductive technology (ART) was safely and successfully used in this case with eventual triplet pregnancy and delivery. Our index experience shows that situations with compromised fertility the availability and access to ART aids effective treatment planning and births a re-invigorated hope for family life.

  19. The potential impacts of migratory difficulty, including warmer waters and altered flow conditions, on the reproductive success of salmonid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenkes, Miriam; Shiels, Holly A; Fitzpatrick, John L; Nudds, Robert L

    2016-03-01

    Climate change and urbanisation of watercourses affect water temperatures and current flow velocities in river systems on a global scale. This represents a particularly critical issue for migratory fish species with complex life histories that use rivers to reproduce. Salmonids are migratory keystone species that provide substantial economical value to ecosystems and human societies. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the effects of environmental stressors on their reproductive success is critical in order to ensure their continued abundance during future climatic change. Salmonids are capital breeders, relying entirely on endogenous energy stores to fuel return migration to their natal spawning sites and reproduction upon arrival. Metabolic rates and cost of transport en-route increase with temperature and at extreme temperatures, swimming is increasingly fuelled anaerobically, resulting in an oxygen debt and reduced capacity to recover from exhaustive exercise. Thermally challenged salmonids also produce less viable gametes, which themselves are affected by water temperature after release. Passage through hydrological barriers and temperature changes both affect energy expenditure. As a result, important energetic tradeoffs emerge between extra energy used during migration and that available for other facets of the reproductive cycle, such as reproductive competition and gamete production. However, studies identifying these tradeoffs are extremely sparse. This review focuses on the specific locomotor responses of salmonids to thermal and hydrological challenges, identifying gaps in our knowledge and highlighting the potential implications for key aspects of their reproduction.

  20. Colony life history and lifetime reproductive success of red harvester ant colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Krista K; Pilko, Anna; Heer, Jeffrey; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-05-01

    1. We estimate colony reproductive success, in numbers of offspring colonies arising from a colony's daughter queens, of colonies of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. 2. A measure of lifetime reproductive success is essential to understand the relation of ecological factors, phenotype and fitness in a natural population. This was possible for the first time in a natural population of ant colonies using data from long-term study of a population of colonies in south-eastern Arizona, for which ages of all colonies are known from census data collected since 1985. 3. Parentage analyses of microsatellite data from 5 highly polymorphic loci were used to assign offspring colonies to maternal parent colonies in a population of about 265 colonies, ages 1-28 years, sampled in 2010. 4. The estimated population growth rate Ro was 1.69 and generation time was 7.8 years. There was considerable variation among colonies in reproductive success: of 199 possible parent colonies, only 49 (˜ 25%) had offspring colonies on the site. The mean number of offspring colonies per maternal parent colony was 2.94 and ranged from 1 to 8. A parent was identified for the queen of 146 of 247 offspring colonies. There was no evidence for reproductive senescence; fecundity was about the same throughout the 25-30 year lifespan of a colony. 5. There were no trends in the distance or direction of the dispersal of an offspring relative to its maternal parent colony. There was no relationship between the number of gynes produced by a colony in 1 year and the number of offspring colonies subsequently founded by its daughter reproductive females. The results provide the first estimate of a life table for a population of ant colonies and the first estimate of the female component of colony lifetime reproductive success. 6. The results suggest that commonly used measures of reproductive output may not be correlated with realized reproductive success. This is the starting point for future

  1. Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugas, Matthew B; Yeager, Justin; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are currently experiencing the most severe declines in biodiversity of any vertebrate, and their requirements for successful reproduction are poorly understood. Here, we show that supplementing the diet of prey items (fruit flies) with carotenoids has strong positive effects on the reproduction of captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio), substantially increasing the number of metamorphs produced by pairs. This improved reproduction most likely arose via increases in the quality of both the fertilized eggs from which tadpoles develop and trophic eggs that are fed to tadpoles by mothers. Frogs in this colony had previously been diagnosed with a Vitamin A deficiency, and this supplementation may have resolved this issue. These results support growing evidence of the importance of carotenoids in vertebrate reproduction and highlight the nuanced ways in which nutrition constrains captive populations.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Survival and reproductive success of black ducks fed methyl mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, M.T.; Stendell, R.C.

    1978-01-01

    A diet containing 3 ppm mercury was fed to black ducks (Anas rubripes) for periods of 28 weeks during two consecutive breeding seasons. Clutch size, egg production, number of eggs incubated, hatchability and survival of ducklings were lower during both years in hens fed mercury. Reduced hatchability and poor duckling survival were the most harmful effects. During 2 years, 13 pairs of breeders fed mercury produced only 16 ducklings that survived 1 week compared with 73 ducklings from 13 pairs of controls. Mercury residues in eggs, embryos and ducklings averaged about 30% lower during the second breeding season compared with first year results. Third eggs laid by treated hens contained a mean of 6?14 and 3?86 ppm mercury during the first and second years. Whole embryos that failed to hatch contained means of 9?62 and 6?08 ppm mercury during the first and second years. Brains of dead ducklings contained between 3?25 and 6?98 ppm mercury and exhibited lesions characteristic of mercury poisoning. Relative tissue mercury levels for treated adult breeders were: feathers > liver > kidney > breast muscle > brain. Mercury levels in males and females did not differ.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, K H; Beyer, J E; Pedersen, M; Andersen, N G; Gislason, H

    2008-06-01

    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 R(0) 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 limits on the allowed asymptotic sizes is demonstrated. A metabolic upper limit to asymptotic body size for all higher animals is derived.

  6. 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...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

    that, for both males and females, surprisingly few individuals contributed to the next generation with numerous offspring, and most breeders contributed with none or a single offspring. The expected higher reproductive success and consequent increase in proportional numbers of sensitive rats...

  9. Height and reproductive success : How a Gambian population compares with the west.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca

    2006-12-01

    In Western societies, height is positively correlated with reproductive success (RS) for men but negatively correlated with RS for women. These relationships have been attributed to sexual selection: women prefer tall men, and men prefer short women. It is this success in the marriage market which leads to higher RS for tall men and short women. We have already shown that the relationship between height and RS for women is quite different in a non-Western context. In a subsistence farming community in rural Gambia, height is positively correlated with reproductive success for women, largely owing to the higher survival of the children of tall women. Here, the relationship between height and reproductive success is analyzed for men in the same community. For these Gambian men, there is no significant relationship between height and the number of children they produce, although tall men do contract more marriages than shorter men. We conclude that environmental context needs to be taken into account when analyzing human reproductive behavior.

  10. Supergene Gp-9 is associated polyandry and male reproductive success in fire ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supergenes are groups of loci inherited together to facilitate the co-segregation of adaptive variation. We demonstrate that facultative polyandry and male reproductive success have a simple genetic basis in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta and depend solely on male genotype within the Gp-9 supergene...

  11. Secondary forest succession following reproduction cutting on the Upper Coastal Plain of southeastern Arkansas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael D. Cain; Michael G. Shelton

    2001-01-01

    To contribute to an understanding of forest management on secondary forest succession, we conducted vegetation surveys in a chronosequence of pine stands ranging in age from 1 to 59 years. Adjacent areas were compared at 1, 7, 12, and 17 years following two reproduction cutting methods (clearcuts or pine seed-tree cuts); a 59-year-old pine stand that...

  12. Resource availability, breeding site selection, and reproductive success of red-winged blackbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Andrew M; McCarty, John P

    1997-12-01

    Red-winged blackbirds are polygynous and show strong breeding site preferences, but it is unclear which environmental factors regulate their reproductive success and are ultimately responsible for shaping their patterns of habitat selection and their mating system. We evaluated the effect of variation in insect emergence rates on the reproductive success of male and female redwings nesting on replicate ponds. The number of male and female redwings that settled on a pond varied two- to three-fold among ponds, but was not related to insect emergence rates. Insect emergence rates had a positive effect on the number of nestlings successfully fledged by females, the number of nestlings fledged from male territories, and on the mass of nestlings at fledging. Typha stem density also varied widely among ponds, and was positively related to male and female settling density and mass of nestlings at fledging, but not to the number of nestlings fledged by females or males. We conclude that alternative breeding sites differ in their ability to support redwing reproduction, and that the availability of emerging odonates is an important environmental factor influencing the reproductive success of both male and female red-winged blackbirds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Emily C.

    2017-01-01

    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 full

  14. Conflict and cooperation over sex: the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success in dunnocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Eduardo S A; Santos, Luana L S; Lagisz, Malgorzata; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2015-11-01

    Conflict and cooperation within and between the sexes are among the driving forces that lead to the evolution of mating systems. Among mating strategies, female genetic polyandry and male reproductive cooperation pose challenging evolutionary questions regarding the maintenance of systems where one sex suffers from reduced fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success of females and males in a population of the dunnock, Prunella modularis. We show that female multiple mating ameliorates the negative effects of inbreeding. We, however, found little evidence that females engage in extra-group (pair) mating with less related or more heterozygous males. Breeding in socially polyandrous groups reduced the amount of paternity lost to extra-group males, such that, on average, cobreeding and monogamous males fledged a similar number of young. Importantly, c. 30% of cobreeding male dyads were related, suggesting they could gain indirect fitness benefits. Taken together, cobreeding males achieve equivalent reproductive success to monogamous counterparts under most circumstances. Our study has revealed unexpected complexities in the variable mating system of dunnocks in New Zealand. Our results differ from the well-known Cambridge dunnock study and can help our understanding of the evolution and maintenance of various breeding systems in the animal kingdom.

  15. Voice and handgrip strength predict reproductive success in a group of indigenous African females.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Atkinson

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Pairing and reproductive success in two sympatric species of Hyalella (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Dogielinotidae) from southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva Castiglioni, Daniela; Bond-Buckup, Georgina

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed at characterizing pairing and reproductive success in relation to male and female sizes of the sympatric freshwater gammarideans Hyalella pleoacuta and H. castroi from southern Brazil. These amphipods exhibit precopulatory mate guarding, in which a male will carry a potential mate beneath its ventral surface, guarding the female for several days until it molts and lays its eggs. The specimens were collected monthly with nets, from November 2003 to July 2004 in two trout aquaculture ponds at Sítio Vale das Trutas locality, São José dos Ausentes County, southern Brazil. The precopulatory pairs and ovigerous females were identified and separated in the field. In the laboratory, they were measured (cephalothorax length in mm), using a micrometer eyepiece in a stereoscopic microscope. Pairing success was estimated from the proportion of mating males and females related to their respective non-pairing individuals by size classes. Reproductive success was estimated from egg production. The mean cephalothorax length of paired males was larger than that of the unpaired males. For females, however, body size not affect pairing success for either species, because mean cephalothorax length of paired females did not differ significantly from unpaired females. Paired and unpaired males of both species of Hyalella were larger than the females. Positive assortative mating by size was observed in both species; i.e., larger males tended to pair with larger females. Male pairing success increased sharply with size. In both species, reproductive success in males increased with body size; however, the females of intermediate size classes showed greater reproductive success. This result supports the hypothesis that loading constraints play a part in structuring size-assortative pairing in these species.

  17. Determinants and patterns of reproductive success in the greater horseshoe bat during a population recovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen L Ward

    Full Text Available An individual's reproductive success will depend on traits that increase access to mates, as well as the number of mates available. In most well-studied mammals, males are the larger sex, and body size often increases success in intra-sexual contests and thus paternity. In comparison, the determinants of male success in species with reversed sexual size dimorphism (RSD are less well understood. Greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum exhibit RSD and females appear to exert mate choice when they visit and copulate with males in their underground territories. Here we assessed putative determinants of reproductive success in a colony of greater horseshoe bats during a 19-year period of rapid population growth. We genotyped 1080 bats with up to 40 microsatellite loci and assigned maternity to 99.5% of pups, and paternity to 76.8% of pups. We found that in spite of RSD, paternity success correlated positively with male size, and, consistent with our previous findings, also with age. Female reproductive success, which has not previously been studied in this population, was also age-related and correlated positively with individual heterozygosity, but not with body size. Remarkable male reproductive skew was detected that initially increased steadily with population size, possibly coinciding with the saturation of suitable territories, but then levelled off suggesting an upper limit to a male's number of partners. Our results illustrate that RSD can occur alongside intense male sexual competition, that male breeding success is density-dependent, and that male and female greater horseshoe bats are subject to different selective pressures.

  18. Invasion of an exotic forb impacts reproductive success and site fidelity of a migratory songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Yvette Katina; McKelvey, Kevin Scot; Six, Diana Lee

    2006-08-01

    Although exotic plant invasions threaten natural systems worldwide, we know little about the specific ecological impacts of invaders, including the magnitude of effects and underlying mechanisms. Exotic plants are likely to impact higher trophic levels when they overrun native plant communities, affecting habitat quality for breeding songbirds by altering food availability and/or nest predation levels. We studied chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) breeding in savannas that were either dominated by native vegetation or invaded by spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), an exotic forb that substantially reduces diversity and abundance of native herbaceous plant species. Chipping sparrows primarily nest in trees but forage on the ground, consuming seeds and arthropods. We found that predation rates did not differ between nests at knapweed and native sites. However, initiation of first nests was delayed at knapweed versus native sites, an effect frequently associated with low food availability. Our seasonal fecundity model indicated that breeding delays could translate to diminished fecundity, including dramatic declines in the incidence of double brooding. Site fidelity of breeding adults was also substantially reduced in knapweed compared to native habitats, as measured by return rates and shifts in territory locations between years. Declines in reproductive success and site fidelity were greater for yearling versus older birds, and knapweed invasion appeared to exacerbate differences between age classes. In addition, grasshoppers, which represent an important prey resource, were substantially reduced in knapweed versus native habitats. Our results strongly suggest that knapweed invasion can impact chipping sparrow populations by reducing food availability. Food chain effects may be an important mechanism by which strong plant invaders impact songbirds and other consumers.

  19. Linking biomarkers to reproductive success of caged fathead minnows in streams with increasing urbanization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crago, J.; Corsi, S.R.; Weber, D.; Bannerman, R.; Klaper, R.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive and oxidative stress biomarkers have been recommended as tools to assess the health of aquatic organisms. Though validated in the laboratory, there are few studies that tie a change in gene expression to adverse reproductive or population outcomes in the field. This paper looked at 17 streams with varying degrees of urbanization to assess the use of biomarkers associated with reproduction or stress in predicting reproductive success of fathead minnows. In addition, the relationship between biomarkers and water quality measures in streams with varying degrees of urbanization was examined. Liver vitellogenin mRNA was correlated with reproduction within a period of 11. d prior to sampling irrespective of habitat, but its correlation with egg output declined at 12. d and beyond indicating its usefulness as a short-term biomarker but its limits as a biomarker of total reproductive output. Stress biomarkers such as glutathione S-transferase may be better correlated with factors affecting reproduction over a longer term. There was a significant correlation between GST mRNA and a variety of anthropogenic pollutants. There was also an inverse correlation between glutathione S-transferase and the amount of the watershed designated as wetland. Egg production over the 21-d was negatively correlated with the amount of urbanization and positively correlated to wetland habitats. This study supports the development of multiple biomarkers linking oxidative stress and other non-reproductive endpoints to changes in aquatic habitats will be useful for predicting the health of fish populations and identifying the environmental factors that may need mitigation for sustainable population management. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Jenny; Koper, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of extreme weather on reproductive success in a temperate-breeding songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivett Pipoly

    Full Text Available The frequency of extreme meteorological events such as heat waves and rainstorms is predicted to increase with climate change. However, there is still little information about how extreme weather influences reproduction in animals. It may not only affect breeding success but might also alter offspring sex ratio if males and females are differentially sensitive to meteorological conditions during development. We investigated the relationship between meteorological conditions and reproductive success over 6 years in a house sparrow population in central Europe. We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods. Fledging success was unrelated to weather variables. However, the frequency of extremely hot days had a negative effect on fledglings' body mass and tarsus length, although both of these traits were positively related to average temperature. Additionally, fledglings' body mass increased with the length of period without rainfall before fledging. Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables. The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success. Our results indicate that meteorological conditions have complex effects on breeding success, as the effects of extreme weather can differ between different aspects of reproduction and also from the effects of overall meteorological conditions.

  4. 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...

  5. Parasite removal improves reproductive success of female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse E H Patterson

    Full Text Available In order to evaluate potential reproductive costs associated with parasitism, we experimentally removed ectoparasites from reproductive female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. Body mass and overwinter survival of mothers, days to juvenile emergence, juvenile survival from birth to emergence, and body mass of juveniles at emergence were all compared to those of untreated (control animals. Ectoparasite removal did not affect the body mass of mothers throughout the lactation period and overwinter survival of mothers did not differ between treatments and controls. Likewise, there was no effect of treatment on the number of days to juvenile emergence. However, treated mothers raised offspring that were significantly heavier (11% than controls at emergence. Juveniles from treated mothers were also 24% more likely to survive from birth to emergence. Our results indicate that ectoparasites impose costs on the reproductive success of female red squirrels and that ectoparasites have the potential to influence red squirrel life-histories and population dynamics.

  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. Some effects of mastectomy on reproductive success in the guinea-pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peaker, M; Taylor, E

    1990-07-01

    Virgin guinea-pigs were mastectomized in two stages between 11 and 18 weeks of age and then mated, starting 19 weeks after final surgery. In the subsequent first pregnancy, the incidence of still-births and neonatal deaths was significantly higher in the mastectomized animals (6 out of 12 mothers (50%) and 14 out of 49 young (29%) compared with intact guinea-pigs (1 out of 15 mothers (7%) and 1 out of 58 young (2%)). There was no significant effect of mastectomy on litter size and weight or on gestation period. The still-born were not significantly different in weight from those born alive. A significant relation was found between maternal weight changes in the period 20 to 5 days before parturition and the occurrence of still-births and neonatal deaths; still-births were associated with a period of reduced weight gain. No effect of mastectomy on the length of the oestrous cycle was apparent but a significant increase in the incidence of non-pregnancy was found. The results provide further evidence that mastectomy influences reproductive success in the guinea-pig and suggest that parturition is a key process affected.

  8. Mhc-linked survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of great tits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepil, Irem; Lachish, Shelly; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes are frequently used as a model for adaptive genetic diversity. Although associations between Mhc and disease resistance are frequently documented, little is known about the fitness consequences of Mhc variation in wild populations. Further, most work to date has involved testing associations between Mhc genotypes and fitness components. However, the functional diversity of the Mhc, and hence the mechanism by which selection on Mhc acts, depends on how genotypes map to the functional properties of Mhc molecules. Here, we test three hypotheses that relate Mhc diversity to fitness: (i) the maximal diversity hypothesis, (ii) the optimal diversity hypothesis and (iii) effect of specific Mhc types. We combine mark-recapture methods with analysis of long-term breeding data to investigate the effects of Mhc class I functional diversity (Mhc supertypes) on individual fitness in a wild great tit (Parus major) population. We found that the presence of three different Mhc supertypes was associated with three different components of individual fitness: survival, annual recruitment and lifetime reproductive success (LRS). Great tits possessing Mhc supertype 3 experienced higher survival rates than those that did not, whereas individuals with Mhc supertype 6 experienced higher LRS and were more likely to recruit offspring each year. Conversely, great tits that possessed Mhc supertype 5 had reduced LRS. We found no evidence for a selective advantage of Mhc diversity, in terms of either maximal or optimal supertype diversity. Our results support the suggestion that specific Mhc types are an important determinant of individual fitness.

  9. Troop Takeover and Reproductive Success of Wild Male Japanese Macaques on Yakushima Island (Macaca fuscata yakui

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sachiko Hayakawa

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Troop takeover is common in one-male primate groups, but there are few reports in multimale groups. Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata form multimale groups and males commonly join troops at the bottom rank. On Yakushima island, however, where group size is relatively small, entrance into groups at the alpha position is also observed. This paper reports on the general features of troop takeover, on the predictors of takeover events, and on the reproductive success of takeover males. Troop takeovers occurred only in the mating season; nontroop males (NTMs did not cooperate with each other; former alpha males were rarely expelled from the troop; new alpha males did not commit infanticide; new alpha male tenure in the group was usually less than two years. Logistic regression analysis showed that the number of NTMs associating with a troop predicted the occurrence of troop takeover. Paternity discrimination revealed that 33.3% (3/9 of takeover males succeeded in siring offspring. Contrary to this low success rate, binary logistic regression analysis revealed that the takeover males can expect higher reproductive success compared to troop males. Entering a troop and out-competing the alpha male is one of many available strategies to attain reproductive success in male Japanese macaques.

  10. Polygyny, reproductive success and child health in rural Ethiopia: why marry a married man?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Mace, Ruth

    2007-03-01

    This study examines the reproductive success of men and women in rural Ethiopia as a function of their marital status, specifically by comparing polygamously and monogamously married individuals. In line with predictions from evolutionary theory, polygamy is beneficial to male reproductive success (i.e. producing larger numbers of surviving offspring). The success of polygamously married females depends on wife rank: the first wives of polygamous husbands do better than monogamously married women and much better than second or third wives. These effects are mirrored in child nutritional status: the children of second and third wives have lower weight for height. Due to potential, largely unmeasurable differences in marriageability (quality) between individuals, it was not possible to support a model of either resource-holding polygyny combined with female choice or female coercion into unwanted marriages. First wives of polygamously married men marry at a younger age and attract a higher brideprice, suggesting that both the males and females in the marriage are likely to be of higher quality (due to wealth, family status or some other factor such as beauty). Unions that end up monogamous are likely to be between slightly lower quality individuals; and second and third wives, who marry at the oldest ages and attract the lowest brideprice, may be 'making the best of a bad job'. The relatively long gap between first and second marriages may mean that first wives of highly marriageable males can enjoy considerable reproductive success before their husbands marry again.

  11. Voluntary exercise at the expense of reproductive success in Djungarian hamsters ( Phodopus sungorus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petri, Ines; Scherbarth, Frank; Steinlechner, Stephan

    2010-09-01

    Energy demands of gestation and lactation represent a severe challenge for small mammals. Therefore, additional energetic burdens may compromise successful breeding. In small rodents, food restriction, cold exposure (also in combination) and wheel running to obtain food have been shown to diminish reproductive outcome. Although exhibited responses such as lower incidence of pregnancy, extended lactation periods and maternal infanticide were species dependent, their common function is to adjust energetic costs to the metabolic state reflecting the trade-off between maternal investment and self-maintenance. In the present study, we sought to examine whether voluntary exercise affects reproduction in Djungarian hamsters ( Phodopus sungorus), which are known for their high motivation to run in a wheel. Voluntary exercise resulted in two different effects on reproduction; in addition to increased infanticide and cannibalism, which was evident across all experiments, the results of one experiment provided evidence that free access to a running wheel may prevent successful pregnancy. It seems likely that the impact of voluntary wheel running on reproduction was associated with a reduction of internal energy resources evoked by extensive exercise. Since the hamsters were neither food-restricted nor forced to run in the present study, an energetic deficit as reason for infanticide in exercising dams would emphasise the particularly high motivation to run in a wheel.

  12. Pollinator diversity and reproductive success of Epipactis helleborine (L. Crantz (Orchidaceae in anthropogenic and natural habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnieszka Rewicz

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production. However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Methods Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside and natural (forest habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Results Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators’ mouth-parts, chewing (39%, sponging (34% and chewing-sucking (20% pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55% and chewing mouth-parts (32% dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively

  13. Physique Correlates with Reproductive Success in an Archival Sample of Delinquent Youth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy E. C. Genovese

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available This study examines predictions from evolutionary psychology about relationships between physique and reproductive success using longitudinal data on 200 delinquent youth from Sheldon's (1949 somatotype research. Number of children (offspring count in 1979 was used as the measure of reproductive success. Nonparametric bootstrap correlations and confidence intervals were calculated between offspring count and 11 measures of physique (endomorphy, mesomorphy, ectomorphy, andromorphy, gynomorphy, primary structural integration, secondary structural integration, general strength, hand strength, height, and weight. There were noteworthy correlations with mesomorphy, andromorphy, gynomorphy, primary structural integration, secondary structural integration, general strength, and hand strength, all in the directions predicted by evolutionary psychology. While no prediction was made for endomorphy, ectomorphy, or weight; height was expected to be correlated with offspring count, but this study did not find support for this relationship.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. The role of weather in mediating the effect of mercury exposure on reproductive success in tree swallows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinger, Kelly K; Cristol, Daniel A

    2011-08-01

    Mercury is a heavy metal that has contaminated countless ecosystems throughout the world. A large body of literature has documented reproductive, physiological, and behavioral impairments associated with mercury exposure in laboratory settings, but whether and how such effects are manifest in free-living populations remains poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding success at a site with high mercury exposure varied with ambient temperature or precipitation at various points in the breeding cycle. Tree swallows nesting along the South River had significantly elevated blood total mercury (mean ± SE: 3.03 ± 0.15 μg/g) compared to swallows breeding on reference sites (mean ± SE: 0.16 ± 0.005 μg/g). These high levels of mercury were associated with reduced hatching and fledging success, and contaminated birds produced approximately one less fledgling per nest than their reference counterparts. The magnitude of this difference was weather-dependent: unusually high ambient temperatures encountered early in the nestling period were associated with reduced reproductive output in contaminated, but not in reference, birds. In contrast, little effect of mercury on success of nestlings was observed when temperatures were cooler, and precipitation also had no detectable interaction with mercury. These results provide insight into mechanisms underlying reproductive effects of mercury. In addition, these findings underscore the importance of considering variable environmental conditions when assessing effects of contaminants on free-living wildlife. In particular, projections about the effects of global climate change on ecotoxicological impacts must take into account the kinds of weather-mediated effect demonstrated here.

  16. Male and female reproductive success in natural and anthropogenic populations of Malaxis monophyllos (L. Sw. (Orchidaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jermakowicz Edyta

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the presented study, male and female reproductive success was analyzed in relation to the population size, floral display and pollinators’ availability in natural and anthropogenic populations of the orchid Malaxis monophyllos (L. Sw. Our results indicated significant differences between all investigated populations in parameters of floral display, including heights and number of flowers per inflorescence, as well the number of flowering individuals and their spatial structure. Additionally, populations differed both in male (pollinia removal and female (fruit set reproductive success, but only the fruit set clearly differentiated anthropogenic and natural populations. Despite the average flower number per plant being significantly higher in two of the anthropogenic populations, it was not related to the fruits set, which was significantly lower there. Moreover, our preliminary study concerning the potential pollinators of M. monophyllos showed a higher contribution of flies in natural habitats than in anthropogenic ones. Thus, we can suspect that the main factors influencing the level of female reproductive success in M. monophyllos populations are abundance of effective pollinators, as well as flower visitors, which may have resulted in a different level of pollen discounting in populations. Therefore, further studies concerning breeding system and pollination as important forces that shape demographic processes in M. monophyllos populations are necessary. Our results also indicate that suitable conservation methods in M. monophyllos should always include the preservation of potential pollinators, especially in these new, secondary habitats.

  17. 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.

  18. Retrospective investigation of captive red wolf reproductive success in relation to age and inbreeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockyear, K M; Waddell, W T; Goodrowe, K L; MacDonald, S E

    2009-05-01

    The critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been subject to a strictly managed captive breeding program for three decades. A retrospective demographic analysis of the captive population was performed based on data from the red wolf studbook. Data analyses revealed a decrease in the effective population size relative to the total population size, and changes in age structure and inbreeding coefficients over time. To varying degrees, the probability of successful breeding and litter sizes declined in association with increasing dam age and sire inbreeding coefficients. Neonate survival also declined with increasing dam age. Recent changes in strategies regarding breed-pair recommendations have resulted in moderate increases in reproductive success.

  19. Variation in Floral Sex Allocation and Reproductive Success in Sequentially Flowering Inflorescence of Corydalis remota var. lineariloba (Fumariaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yan-Fei Zeng; Wei-Ning Bai; Yu Zhou; Da-Yong Zhang

    2009-01-01

    In hermaphroditic plants, female reproductive success often varies among different positions within an inflorescence.However, few studies have evaluated the relative importance of underlying causes such as pollen limitation, resource limitation or architectural effect, and few have compared male allocation. During a 2-year investigation, we found that female reproductive success of an acropetally flowering species, Corydalis remota Fisch. ex Maxim. var. Iineariloba Maxim. was significantly lower in the upper late developing flowers when compared with the lower early flowers. Supplementation with outcross pollen did not improve female reproductive success of the upper flowers, while removal of the lower developing fruits significantly increased female reproductive success of the upper flowers in both years, evidencing resource limitation of the upper flowers. Female production in upper flowers was greatly improved by simultaneous pollen supplementation of the upper flowers and removal of the lower fruits, suggesting that, when resources are abundant, pollen may limit the female reproductive success of the upper flowers. The less seed mass in the upper flowers didn't increase in all treatments due to architecture. In the upper flowers, ovule production was significantly lower and the pollen : ovule ratio was significantly higher. These results suggest that male-biased sex allocation in the upper flowers may lead to increased male reproductive success, whereas the lower flowers have higher female reproductive success.

  20. Male traits, mating tactics and reproductive success in the buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanctot, Richard B.; Weatherhead, Patrick J.; Kempenaers, Bart; Scribner, Kim T.

    1998-01-01

    arctic breeding range leads to low lek stability, which in turn hinders mate selection mechanisms mediated by male dominance and female choice; and (2) males are not constrained by morphological markings that indicate status or sex. Both characteristics may reduce the reproductive benefits associated with males adopting one mating tactic and result in a sort of scramble competition in which males switch between tactics as local conditions change.

  1. Male traits, mating tactics and reproductive success in the buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanctot; Weatherhead; Kempenaers; Scribner

    1998-08-01

    arctic breeding range leads to low lek stability, which in turn hinders mate selection mechanisms mediated by male dominance and female choice; and (2) males are not constrained by morphological markings that indicate status or sex. Both characteristics may reduce the reproductive benefits associated with males adopting one mating tactic and result in a sort of scramble competition in which males switch between tactics as local conditions change.Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

  2. [The sexual behavior, chemosignals and reproductive success in the male mice during activation of nonspecific immune response].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moshkin, M P; Kondratiuk, E Iu; Gerlinskaia, L A

    2009-01-01

    Hypothesis of reproductive compensation (Gowaty et al., 2007) suggests that constraining of free mating preference leads to reduction of the viability of progenies, which could be, partially, compensated by higher fecundity of the constrained parents. We consider infection as one of natural causes constraining female mating choice, because infection or immune response to infection can modulate male sexual demonstrations. Here we studied influence of LPS (bacterial endotoxin, activating non-specific immune response) on chemical attractiveness, sexual behavior and reproductive success in the outbreed male mice mated with the non-treated females. Single or repeated LPS administrations lead to increase of scent attractiveness of the male urine and soiled bedding for the non-estrus females. Injection of LPS (dose 50 mkg/kg) did not suppress the male sexual behavior. Time from pairing to successful mating correlates positively with the body mass of 16 day embryo. Embryos development, assessed by their body mass, was reduced in the females mated with the LPS-treated males. Higher level of plasma progesterone found in the females mated with the LPS-treated males, and shift of successful mating to the later time did not compensate reduction of embryo mass. At the same time the females mated with the LPS-treated males showed lower embryo lost in comparison with the females mated with the control males.

  3. Longevity and reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) fed different natural diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, James D; Neumann, Peter; Hepburn, Randall; Elzen, Patti J

    2002-10-01

    The longevity and reproductive success of newly emerged, unfed adult Aethina tumida Murray assigned different diets (control = unfed; honey-pollen; honey; pollen; empty brood comb; bee brood; fresh Kei apples; and rotten Kei apples) were determined. Longevity in honey-fed small hive beetle adults (average maximum: 167 d) was significantly higher than on other diets. Small hive beetles fed empty brood comb lived significantly longer (average maximum: 49.8 d) than unfed beetles (average maximum: 9.6 d). Small hive beetle offspring were produced on honey-pollen, pollen, bee brood, fresh Kei apples, and rotten Kei apples but not on honey alone, empty brood comb, or in control treatments. The highest reproductive success occurred in pollen fed adults (1773.8 +/- 294.4 larvae per three mating pairs of adults). The data also show that A. tumida can reproduce on fruits alone, indicating that they are facultative parasites. The pupation success and sex ratio of small hive beetle offspring were also analyzed. Larvae fed pollen, honey-pollen, or brood had significantly higher pupation success rates of 0.64, 0.73, and 0.65 respectively than on the other diets. Sex ratios of emerging adults fed diets of pollen or brood as larvae were significantly skewed toward females. Because small hive beetle longevity and overall reproductive success was highest on foodstuffs located in honey bee colonies, A. tumida are efficient at causing large-scale damage to colonies of honey bees resulting in economic injury for the beekeeper. Practical considerations for the control of A. tumida are briefly discussed.

  4. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success.

  5. Genetic covariance between components of male reproductive success: within-pair vs. extra-pair paternity in song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, J M; Arcese, P; Losdat, S

    2014-10-01

    The evolutionary trajectories of reproductive systems, including both male and female multiple mating and hence polygyny and polyandry, are expected to depend on the additive genetic variances and covariances in and among components of male reproductive success achieved through different reproductive tactics. However, genetic covariances among key components of male reproductive success have not been estimated in wild populations. We used comprehensive paternity data from socially monogamous but genetically polygynandrous song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to estimate additive genetic variance and covariance in the total number of offspring a male sired per year outside his social pairings (i.e. his total extra-pair reproductive success achieved through multiple mating) and his liability to sire offspring produced by his socially paired female (i.e. his success in defending within-pair paternity). Both components of male fitness showed nonzero additive genetic variance, and the estimated genetic covariance was positive, implying that males with high additive genetic value for extra-pair reproduction also have high additive genetic propensity to sire their socially paired female's offspring. There was consequently no evidence of a genetic or phenotypic trade-off between male within-pair paternity success and extra-pair reproductive success. Such positive genetic covariance might be expected to facilitate ongoing evolution of polygyny and could also shape the ongoing evolution of polyandry through indirect selection. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  6. Successful Pregnancy Following Assisted Reproduction in Woman With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Hypertension: A Case Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Macedo, José Fernando; de Macedo, Gustavo Capinzaiki; Campos, Luciana Aparecida; Baltatu, Ovidiu Constantin

    2015-09-01

    Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have a poor prognosis of pregnancy, since it is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity, including spontaneous miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal death and pre-term delivery. We report a case with successful pregnancy in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and hypertension. A 39-year-old nulliparous woman presented with systemic lupus erythematosus with antinuclear and antiphospholipid antibodies, hypertension and recurrent pregnancy loss presented for assisted reproduction. The patient responded well to enoxaparin and prednisone during both assisted reproduction and prenatal treatment. This case report indicates that prescription of immunosuppressant and blood thinners can be safely recommended throughout the whole prenatal period in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Enoxaparin and prednisone may be prescribed concurrently during pregnancy.

  7. Reproductive success and nest attentiveness of mallard ducks Anas platyrhynchos fed aroclor 1254

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, T.W.; Heinz, G.H.

    1980-01-01

    A dietary dosage of 25 ppm Aroclor 1254 fed to 9 mo. old mallards Anas platyrhynchos for at least 1 mo. before egg-laying had no detrimental effect on reproductive success or nest attentiveness when hens were allowed to incubate their own eggs. The treatment caused no effect on number of hens laying, date of 1st egg laid or clutch size. Fertility of eggs was greater among Aroclor-treated birds (87.7%) than among controls (73.2%). Aroclor may have stimulated males to come into reproductive condition sooner than controls. Hatching of fertile eggs and survival of ducklings to 3 wk of age were similar in treated and control groups. The number of times off the nest per day and total time off the nest per day were the same for control and Aroclor-treated hens in days 14-17 of incubation.

  8. Reproductive success and nest attentiveness of mallard ducks fed Aroclor 1254

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, T.W.; Heinz, G.H.

    1980-01-01

    A dietary dosage of 25 ppm Aroclor 1254 fed to nine-month-old mallards Anas platyrhynchos for at least a month before egg-laying had no detrimental effect on reproductive success or nest attentiveness when hens were allowed to incubate their own eggs. The treatment caused no effect on number of hens laying, date of first egg laid or clutch size. Fertility of eggs was greater among Aroclor-treated birds (87?7%) than among controls (73?2%). Aroclor may have stimulated males to come into reproductive condition sooner than controls. Hatching of fertile eggs and survival of ducklings to 3 weeks of age were similar in treated and control groups. The number of times off the nest per day and total time off the nest per day were the same for control and Aroclor-treated hens in days 14?17 of incubation.

  9. Projected near-future levels of temperature and pCO2 reduce coral fertilization success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Albright

    Full Text Available Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2 are projected to contribute to a 1.1-6.4°C rise in global average surface temperatures and a 0.14-0.35 reduction in the average pH of the global surface ocean by 2100. If realized, these changes are expected to have negative consequences for reef-building corals including increased frequency and severity of coral bleaching and reduced rates of calcification and reef accretion. Much less is known regarding the independent and combined effects of temperature and pCO2 on critical early life history processes such as fertilization. Here we show that increases in temperature (+3°C and pCO2 (+400 µatm projected for this century negatively impact fertilization success of a common Indo-Pacific coral species, Acropora tenuis. While maximum fertilization did not differ among treatments, the sperm concentration required to obtain 50% of maximum fertilization increased 6- to 8- fold with the addition of a single factor (temperature or CO2 and nearly 50- fold when both factors interact. Our results indicate that near-future changes in temperature and pCO2 narrow the range of sperm concentrations that are capable of yielding high fertilization success in A. tenuis. Increased sperm limitation, in conjunction with adult population decline, may have severe consequences for coral reproductive success. Impaired sexual reproduction will further challenge corals by inhibiting population recovery and adaptation potential.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) thermal ecology and reproductive success along a rainfall cline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieg, Annette E; Gambone, Megan M; Wallace, Bryan P; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2015-05-01

    Desert resource environments (e.g. microclimates, food) are tied to limited, highly localized rainfall regimes which generate microgeographic variation in the life histories of inhabitants. Typically, enhanced growth rates, reproduction and survivorship are observed in response to increased resource availability in a variety of desert plants and short-lived animals. We examined the thermal ecology and reproduction of US federally threatened Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), long-lived and large-bodied ectotherms, at opposite ends of a 250-m elevation-related rainfall cline within Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA. Biophysical operative environments in both the upper-elevation, "Cima," and the lower-elevation, "Pumphouse," plots corresponded with daily and seasonal patterns of incident solar radiation. Cima received 22% more rainfall and contained greater perennial vegetative cover, which conferred 5°C-cooler daytime shaded temperatures. In a monitored average rainfall year, Cima tortoises had longer potential activity periods by up to several hours and greater ephemeral forage. Enhanced resource availability in Cima was associated with larger-bodied females producing larger eggs, while still producing the same number of eggs as Pumphouse females. However, reproductive success was lower in Cima because 90% of eggs were depredated versus 11% in Pumphouse, indicating that predatory interactions produced counter-gradient variation in reproductive success across the rainfall cline. Land-use impacts on deserts (e.g. solar energy generation) are increasing rapidly, and conservation strategies designed to protect and recover threatened desert inhabitants, such as desert tortoises, should incorporate these strong ecosystem-level responses to regional resource variation in assessments of habitat for prospective development and mitigation efforts.

  13. 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....

  14. Sexual and Asexual Reproduction of Salix sitchensis and the Influence of Beaver (Castor canadensis) Herbivory on Reproductive Success

    OpenAIRE

    Travis G. Gerwing; Alyssa M. Allen Gerwing; Rapaport, Eric; Alström-Rapaport, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    The influence of beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) herbivory on Salix reproduction, specifically the stimulation of asexual reproduction via browsed stem fragments, is relatively unknown. This study aimed to determine if beaver herbivory stimulates asexual reproduction of riparian willows and results in mature populations dominated by clones. The survival of seedlings and asexual propagules produced by beaver browse in populations of the riparian willow Salix sitchensis (Sanson in Bongard) were...

  15. Impact of fertility transmission and other sociodemographic factors on reproductive success and coalescent trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandenburg, Jean-Tristan; Austerlitz, Frédéric; Toupance, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    Summary Fertility transmission (FT) is a phenomenon with a cultural and/or genetic basis, whereby a positive correlation exists between the number of offspring of an individual and that of his/her parents. Theoretical studies using a haploid individual-based model have shown that FT increases the variance and intergenerational correlation in reproductive success and results in an imbalance in the coalescent tree of sampled genes. This phenomenon has been documented in several demographic studies conducted on the correlation in fertility between generations, or through the reconstruction of the genealogical trees of mitochondrial DNA sequences. However, as mtDNA is a single locus, potentially subject to other forces (e.g. natural selection), it is of interest to extend the theory of FT to nuclear loci. We show that because random mating between individuals leads to a mixing of their fertility profiles, FT in these cases will have less influence on the variance and intergenerational correlation of reproductive success. This, in turn, results in less impact on the shape of the coalescent trees. Nevertheless, in the presence of FT, high heterogeneity in reproductive success and homogamy for family size will increase the imbalance in the coalescent tree. Thus, FT should be easier to detect when occurring in conjunction with these other factors. We also show the utility of analysing different kinds of loci (X-linked, Y-linked, mitochondrial and autosomal) to assess whether FT is matrilineal, patrilineal or biparental. Finally, we demonstrate that the shape of the coalescent tree depends upon population size, in contrast to the classical Kingman's model.

  16. 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.

  17. It takes two to tango: reproductive skew and social correlates of male mating success in a lek-breeding bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryder, Thomas B; Parker, Patricia G; Blake, John G; Loiselle, Bette A

    2009-07-01

    Variance in reproductive success among individuals is a defining characteristic of many social vertebrates. Yet, our understanding of which male attributes contribute to reproductive success is still fragmentary in most cases. Male-male reproductive coalitions, where males jointly display to attract females, are of particular interest to evolutionary biologists because one male appears to forego reproduction to assist the social partner. By examining the relationship between social behaviour and reproductive success, we can elucidate the proximate function of coalitions in the context of mate choice. Here, we use data from a 4-year study of wire-tailed manakins (Pipra filicauda) to provide molecular estimates of reproductive skew and to test the hypothesis that male-male social interactions, in the context of coordinated displays, positively influence a male's reproductive success. More specifically, we quantify male-male social interactions using network metrics and predict that greater connectivity will result in higher relative reproductive success. Our data show that four out of six leks studied had significant reproductive skew, with success apportioned to very few individuals in each lek. Metrics of male social affiliations derived from our network analysis, especially male connectivity, measured as the number of males with whom the focal male has extended interactions, were strong predictors of the number of offspring sired. Thus, network connectivity is associated with male fitness in wire-tailed manakins. This pattern may be the result of shared cues used by both sexes to assess male quality, or the result of strict female choice for coordinated display behaviour.

  18. Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvergne, Alexandra; Jokela, Markus; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-06-29

    The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences of personality differences in nonhuman animals has recently undergone a surge of interest, our understanding of whether and how personality influences reproductive decisions in humans has remained limited and informed primarily by modern societies with low mortality-fertility schedules. Taking an evolutionary approach, we use data from a contemporary polygynous high-fertility human population living in rural Senegal to investigate whether personality dimensions are associated with key life-history traits in humans, i.e., quantity and quality of offspring. We show that personality dimensions predict reproductive success differently in men and women in such societies and, in women, are associated with a trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. In women, neuroticism positively predicts the number of children, both between and within polygynous families. Furthermore, within the low social class, offspring quality (i.e., child nutritional status) decreases with a woman's neuroticism, indicating a reproductive trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. Consistent with this, maximal fitness is achieved by women at an intermediate neuroticism level. In men, extraversion was found to be a strong predictor of high social class and polygyny, with extraverted men producing more offspring than their introverted counterparts. These results have implications for the consideration of alternative adaptive hypotheses in the current debate on the maintenance of personality differences and the role of individual factors in fertility patterns in contemporary humans.

  19. 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

  20. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineet Kumar Singh

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring.

  3. Costs and benefits of competitive traits in females: aggression, maternal care and reproductive success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristal E Cain

    Full Text Available Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis, over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression.

  4. Costs and benefits of competitive traits in females: aggression, maternal care and reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, Kristal E; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression.

  5. Effects of individual and population parameters on reproductive success in three sexually deceptive orchid species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandewoestijne, S; Róis, A S; Caperta, A; Baguette, M; Tyteca, D

    2009-05-01

    Reproductive success (RS) in orchids in general, and in non-rewarding species specifically, is extremely low. RS is pollinator and pollination limited in food deceptive orchids, but this has rarely been studied in sexually deceptive orchid species. Here, we tested the effects of several individual (plant height, inflorescence size, nearest neighbour distance and flower position) and population (patch geometry, population density and size) parameters on RS in three sexually deceptive Ophrys (Orchidaceae) species. Inter-specific differences were observed in RS of flowers situated in the upper versus the lower part of the inflorescence, likely due to species-specific pollinator behaviour. For all three species examined, RS increased with increasing plant height, inflorescence size and nearest neighbour distance. RS generally increased with decreasing population density and increasing patch elongation. Given these results, we postulate that pollinator availability, rather than pollinator learning, is the most limiting factor in successful reproduction for sexually deceptive orchids. Our results also suggest that olfactory 'display' (i.e. versus optical display), in terms of inflorescence size (and co-varying plant height), plays a key role in individual RS of sexually deceptive orchids. In this regard, several hypotheses are suggested and discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Susannah S; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R

    2011-03-16

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Warming modulates the effects of the endocrine disruptor progestin levonorgestrel on the zebrafish fitness, ovary maturation kinetics and reproduction success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, P G; Rodrigues, D; Madureira, T V; Oliveira, N; Rocha, M J; Rocha, E

    2017-10-01

    Interactive effects between multiple stressors, namely climate drivers (e.g., temperature) and chemical pollution (e.g., endocrine disruptors) are poorly studied. Here, it was for the first time evaluated the combinatory effects of temperature and a synthetic progestin, levonorgestrel (LNG), on the fitness and reproductive-related endpoints of zebrafish (Danio rerio). A multi-factorial design was implemented by manipulating both temperature [setting as baseline an ambient temperature of 27 °C, against warming (+3 °C)] and LNG levels (10 ngL(-1) and 1000 ngL(-1)). Groups of males and females were exposed sub-acutely, for 21-days. Increased temperature caused an overall decrease in the females' gonadosomatic index (GSI), during the pre-reproduction phase, LNG did not affect GSI. In addition, fecundity (number of ovulated eggs) was negatively affected by both temperature and LNG, being the effect of the latter more intense. Fish exposed to the highest LNG concentration (at both temperatures) did not reproduce, but also in those exposed to the lowest dose of progestin at a higher temperature, a complete reproductive failure occurred. These results reflect what was observed in the stereological analysis of the ovary maturation stages prior to reproduction. Accordingly, the higher the LNG concentration, the lower the degree of maturation of the ovary. This was exacerbated by the higher temperature. As to embryonated eggs, they hatched significantly faster at higher temperatures, but exposure to 10 ngL(-1) of LNG (at 27 °C) reduced significantly the hatching rate, comparing to control. Further, the recrudescence of the ovary 48 h after spawning seems to be not affected by both stressors. Our data suggest that in a future scenario of global warming and synthetic hormones exposure, the reproduction of fish species, such as the zebrafish, can be endangered, which can put at risk their success, and consequently affect the structure and functioning of associated

  11. 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

    2006-11-01

    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

  12. Facultative Apomixis in Garcinia atroviridis (Clusiaceae) and Effects of Different Pollination Regimes on Reproductive Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pangsuban, Sasithorn; Bamroongrugsa, Noparat; Kanchanapoom, Kamnoon; Nualsri, Charassri

    2009-12-01

    Various aspects of the reproductive success of Garcinia atroviridis Griff. were studied. Controlled pollination experiments were carried out in an orchard located in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, from February to July 2003. Floral longevity, stigma receptivity, and pollen viability were examined before carrying out the experiments. Three pollination treatments were compared: open pollination, manual pollination with bags, and bags without pollination (apogamy). Although there was no significant difference in the initial fruit set, bagged and manual pollination produced a significantly greater fruit drop rate than apogamy or natural pollination at one week after the flowers had been pollinated. On the other hand, the apogamy treatment had a greater fruit drop rate than natural and manual pollination treatments before fruit maturation. In addition, unpollinated bagged flowers bore fewer and smaller fruit than naturally and manually cross-pollinated flowers. Although the fruits from unpollinated flowers were capable of asexual seed formation, they produced fewer seeds and had poorer seed quality (defined as average fresh weight and germination rate) than those from the other treatments. The occurrence of asexual and sexual reproduction was also studied using Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and by comparing the patterns of bands produced from DNA extracted from the offspring of the naturally cross-pollinated fruits. On average, 58% of the offspring had a genetic constitution identical to that of the maternal parent (ranging from 36% to 87%), indicating that some offspring were produced without prior fertilisation. However, the remainder showed polymorphism, demonstrating the occurrence of sexual reproduction. These findings indicate that facultative apomixis occurred in the study population. However, a residual sexuality was important for fruit production, fruit size, normal seed set and seed quality.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Vacuoles in sperm head are not associated with head morphology, DNA damage and reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Adriana; Boni, Raffaele; Leo, Rita; Nacchia, Giuseppina; Liguori, Francesca; Casale, Sofia; Bonassisa, Paolo; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-02-01

    In this retrospective study of 873 men enrolled for assisted reproduction techniques, relationships between sperm quality parameters, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME), DNA damage and live birth rate were evaluated. The presence of vacuoles in the sperm heads was detected by MSOME. Either chromatin decondensation or DNA fragmentation was used to study DNA damage. Results show that age significantly affected some of the examined parameters. In particular, sperm concentration was positively correlated (R = 0.088; P = 0.01) and chromatin decondensation was negatively correlated (R = -0.102; P = 0.003) with age. Furthermore, live birth rate was significantly lower in men aged 40 years or older (P fragmentation and live birth rate. Considering sperm heads in relation to the shape (normal/abnormal) and vacuoles (presence/absence), no significant variations in the occurrence of vacuoles in either normal or abnormal heads were found. These data suggest that vacuoles are physiological features that do not alter sperm functionality, and it seems that MSOME is not necessary for increasing the success of assisted reproduction techniques.

  18. The plot thickens: does low density affect visitation and reproductive success in a perennial herb, and are these effects altered in the presence of a co-flowering species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Tracy S

    2008-07-01

    Plants may experience reduced reproductive success at low densities, due to lower numbers of pollinator visits or reduced visit quality. Co-occurring plant species that share pollinators have the potential to facilitate pollination by either increasing numbers of pollinator visits or increasing the quality of visits, but also have the potential to reduce plant reproductive success through competition for pollination. I used a field experiment with a common distylous perennial (Piriqueta caroliniana) in the presence and absence of a co-flowering species (Coreopsis leavenworthii) in plots with one of four different distances between conspecific plants. I found strong negative effects of increasing interplant distance (related to conspecific density) on several components of P. caroliniana reproductive success: pollinator visits to plants per plot visit, visits received by individual plants, conspecific pollen grains on stigmas, outcross pollen grains on stigmas, and probability of fruit production. Although P. caroliniana and C. leavenworthii share pollinators, the co-flowering species did not affect visitation, pollen receipt or reproductive effort in P. caroliniana. Pollinators moved very infrequently between species in this experiment, so floral constancy might explain the lack of effect of the co-flowering species on P. caroliniana reproductive success at low densities. In co-occurring self-incompatible plants with floral rewards, reproductive success at low density may depend more on conspecific densities than on the presence of other species.

  19. Male reproductive success and its behavioural correlates in a polygynous mammal, the Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pörschmann, Ulrich; Trillmich, Fritz; Mueller, Birte; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2010-06-01

    Sexual selection theory predicts competitive males and choosy females. Nevertheless, since molecular marker-based studies, paternity outside the expected mating patterns has increasingly been described. Even in highly polygynous systems, where paternity is expected to be strongly skewed towards large, dominant males, alternative mating tactics have been suggested. We examined reproductive success in the polygynous Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki). Semiaquatic territoriality allows females to move freely and may lower the degree of polygyny otherwise suggested by both territorial behaviour and strong sexual dimorphism. We assigned paternities with 22 microsatellites and analysed how male reproductive success was related to size, dominance status, intra-sexual agonistic behaviour, proximity to females, and attendance in the colony. Male behaviour was consistent across two seasons for all parameters under consideration. Attendance was by far the most important determinant of paternal success. Skew in reproductive success towards large, dominant males was weak and dominance status played no role. This appears to be caused by an extremely long reproductive season lasting five or more months, making it difficult for any male to monopolize receptive females. Females seem to choose displaying males that were present in the colony for a long time rather than dominance per se. Sexual dimorphism in Galápagos sea lions may thus be more influenced by selection for fasting than fighting ability. Our data provide further evidence for alternative mating tactics, as several males gained relatively high reproductive success despite short attendance and hardly any involvement in agonistic interactions.

  20. reproduction

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    slow, yet no other field in medicine has integrated new knowledge ... Many countries have introduced tight ethical regulation ... and research, such as human reproductive cloning." Howover ... human pregnancy and birth after embryo donation.

  1. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  2. Double decomposition: decomposing the variance in subcomponents of male extra-pair reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losdat, Sylvain; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2015-09-01

    1. Extra-pair reproductive success (EPRS) is a key component of male fitness in socially monogamous systems and could cause selection on female extra-pair reproduction if extra-pair offspring (EPO) inherit high value for EPRS from their successful extra-pair fathers. However, EPRS is itself a composite trait that can be fully decomposed into subcomponents of variation, each of which can be further decomposed into genetic and environmental variances. However, such decompositions have not been implemented in wild populations, impeding evolutionary inference. 2. We first show that EPRS can be decomposed into the product of three life-history subcomponents: the number of broods available to a focal male to sire EPO, the male's probability of siring an EPO in an available brood and the number of offspring in available broods. This decomposition of EPRS facilitates estimation from field data because all subcomponents can be quantified from paternity data without need to quantify extra-pair matings. Our decomposition also highlights that the number of available broods, and hence population structure and demography, might contribute substantially to variance in male EPRS and fitness. 3. We then used 20 years of complete genetic paternity and pedigree data from wild song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to partition variance in each of the three subcomponents of EPRS, and thereby estimate their additive genetic variance and heritability conditioned on effects of male coefficient of inbreeding, age and social status. 4. All three subcomponents of EPRS showed some degree of within-male repeatability, reflecting combined permanent environmental and genetic effects. Number of available broods and offspring per brood showed low additive genetic variances. The estimated additive genetic variance in extra-pair siring probability was larger, although the 95% credible interval still converged towards zero. Siring probability also showed inbreeding depression and increased with male age

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Reproductive success of kittiwakes and murres in sequential stages of the nesting period: Relationships with diet and oceanography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Heather M.; Drummond, Brie A.; Benson, Anna-Marie; Paredes, Rosana

    2014-11-01

    Reproductive success is one of the most easily-measured and widely studied demographic parameters of colonial nesting seabirds. Nevertheless, factors affecting the sequential stages (egg laying, incubation, chick-rearing) of reproductive success are less understood. We investigated the separate sequential stages of reproductive success in piscivorous black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) using a 36-year dataset (1975-2010) on the major Pribilof Islands (St. Paul and St. George), which have recently had contrasting population trajectories. Our objectives were to evaluate how the proportion of successful nests varied among stages, and to quantify factors influencing the probability of nest success at each stage in each island. We modeled the probability of nest success at each stage using General Linear Mixed Models incorporating broad-scale and local climate variables, and diet as covariates as well as other measures of reproduction such as timing of breeding and reproductive output in the previous year and previous stage. For both species we found: (1) Success in previous stages of the breeding cycle and success in the prior year better explained overall success than any environmental variables. Phenology was also an important predictor of laying success for kittiwakes. (2) Fledging success was lower when chick diets contained oceanic fish found farther from the colonies and small invertebrates, rather than coastal fish species. (3) Differences in reproductive variables at St. Paul and St. George islands did not correspond to population trends between the two islands. Our results highlight the potential importance of adult condition and annual survival to kittiwake and murre productivity and ultimately, populations. Adult condition carrying over from the previous year ultimately seems to drive annual breeding success in a cascade effect. Furthermore, condition and survival appear to be important contributors to population

  6. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-22

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters.

  7. Breeding phenology and reproductive success of the Brandt's Cormorant at three nearshore colonies in central California, 1997-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Nathan M.; McChesney, Gerard; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.; Carter, Harry R.; Golightly, Richard T.

    2008-01-01

    Brandt's Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) breeding effort, phenology and success were studied in 1997-2001 at three colonies spanning approximately 200 km of the central California coast: Point Reyes (PR); Devil's Slide Rock and Mainland (DS); and Castle-Hurricane Colony Complex (CH). Breeding effort was reduced at all three colonies in the 1998 El Niño event. Mean clutch initiation dates differed significantly among colonies, with cormorants at the southernmost colony (CH) laying earliest, and those at the northernmost colony (PR) laying latest. Productivity at individual colonies varied greatly among years (range 0.7-2.5 fledglings per pair). Overall colony means were lowest (1.6 fledglings/pair) during the 1998 El Niño event and highest (2.5 fledglings/pair) in the 1999 La Niña event. Productivity at CH (1.7 fledglings/pair) was significantly lower than at PR (2.2 fledglings/pair), and interannual variation was greatest at CH. Late-nesting birds laid fewer eggs, hatched fewer chicks, and fledged fewer chicks per pair than early-nesters. The rapid rate of growth at some nearshore colonies in central California suggests immigration from elsewhere, most likely the large offshore colony at the South Farallon Islands. Variation in timing of breeding and reproductive success among colonies demonstrates a value in maintaining multiple study locations when assessing Brandt's Cormorant population parameters in the California Current System.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neuza Rejane Wille Lima

    2002-06-01

    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.Uma diversidade de fêmeas unissexuadas do gênero Poeciliopsis coexiste com seus ancestrais sexuados em riachos do oeste mexicano. Fêmeas unissexuadas são híbridos que dependem do esperma da espécie parental paternal para se reproduzir. Várias hipóteses, incluindo a vantagem da fêmea rara, procuram explicar como a diversidade do biótipos unissexuados é mantida nos complexos reprodutivos de Poeciliopsis. A hipótese propõem que os biótipos unissexuados menos frequentes tenham vantagem de cruzamento sobre os biótipos mais frequentes e que existe um equilíbrio dinâmico regulando tal processo. No complexo reprodutivo de P. monacha localizado no Arroyo de los Platanos, a densidade de dois biótipos unissexuados (P. 2monacha-lucida I e II variam entre as piscinas formadas. O objetivo do presente estudo foi analisar a fecundidade e o sucesso de cruzamento das fêmea deste riacho para testar a hipótese. O sucesso de cruzamento das fêmeas foi inversamente correlacionado a sua densidade, dando suporte a hipótese levantada.

  9. 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

    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......The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi is characterized by high growth rates and a large reproductive capacity. However, reproductive dynamics are not yet well understood. Here, we present laboratory data on food-dependent egg production in M. leidyi and egg hatching time and success. Further, we report...... 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...

  10. Reproductive success depends on the quality of helpers in the endangered, cooperative El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klauke, Nadine; Segelbacher, Gernot; Schaefer, H M

    2013-04-01

    In cooperative species, helping behaviour and reproductive success can be correlated, but understanding this correlation is often impaired by the difficulty to correctly infer causation. While helpers can incur costs by participating in brood care, it is yet unclear if their help depends on their individual quality. We address these questions in the previously unknown cooperative breeding system of the endangered El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi). Specifically, we ask (i) whether breeders benefit directly from helpers by an enhanced reproductive success and if so, (ii) whether the amount of this potential benefit is regulated by the quality of contributing group members. Groups consist of a dominant breeding pair accompanied by helpers, but cooperation is not obligate. Microsatellite heterozygosity was used to assess individual quality; its suitability as indicator of quality was reflected in the positive relationship between offspring heterozygosity and recruitment into the population. The reproductive success of breeding pairs depended on helper (genetic) quality and the number of helpers. This relationship occurred on two different levels: clutch size and fledging success, indicating (i) that females profit from high-quality helpers and probably adjust clutch size accordingly and (ii) that the helpers increase fledging success. Congruently, we found that offspring body condition is positively affected by helper quality, which is most probably explained by the increased feeding rates when helpers are present. We suggest a causal link between cooperation and reproductive success in this frugivorous, endangered parakeet. Further, helper (genetic) quality can be a relevant factor for determining reproductive fitness in cooperative species, particularly in small and bottlenecked populations.

  11. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  12. Thyroid function and reproductive success in rodents exposed to perchlorate via food and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip N; Severt, Scott A; Jackson, J W Andrew; Anderson, Todd A

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine if exposure to perchlorate via food items would have effects on mammals similar to those caused by exposure through drinking water at approximately equivalent doses. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were used to assess the potential toxicity of perchlorate-contaminated food items. Voles and mice were divided randomly into three treatment groups--perchlorate-contaminated food (PCF), perchlorate-contaminated water (PCW), and control groups--such that each treatment group contained equal numbers of males and females. Rodents in PCF treatment groups were fed chow formulated with soybean plant matter that had been grown with perchlorate-contaminated irrigation water. Individuals in the control and PCF groups were provided distilled/deionized drinking water, whereas the PCW group received drinking water containing sodium perchlorate. Only slight differences among treatment groups were observed in a variety of endpoints, including reproductive success, tissue perchlorate concentrations, thyroid hormone concentrations, and thyroid histology. However, trends observed in the present study suggest that perchlorate exposure via water may result in slightly greater effects than exposure to perchlorate via food. These data and recent reports of perchlorate in a wide variety of food items indicate that exposure via food intake is an important consideration when examining cumulative risk among humans, livestock, and wildlife.

  13. Male heterozygosity predicts territory size, song structure and reproductive success in a cooperatively breeding bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seddon, Nathalie; Amos, William; Mulder, Raoul A; Tobias, Joseph A

    2004-09-01

    Recent studies of non-social animals have shown that sexually selected traits signal at least one measure of genetic quality: heterozygosity. To determine whether similar cues reveal group quality in more complex social systems, we examined the relationship between territory size, song structure and heterozygosity in the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), a group-living bird endemic to Madagascar. Using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci, we found that heterozygosity predicted both the size of territories and the structure of songs used to defend them: more heterozygous groups had larger territories, and more heterozygous males used longer, lower-pitched trills in their songs. Heterozygosity was linked to territory size and song structure in males, but not in females, implying that these traits are sexually selected by female choice and/or male-male competition. To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct evidence in any animal that territory size is related to genetic diversity. We also found a positive association between seasonal reproductive success and heterozygosity, suggesting that this heritable characteristic is a reliable indicator of group quality and fitness. Given that heterozygosity predicts song structure in males, and can therefore be determined by listening to acoustic cues, we identify a mechanism by which social animals may assess rival groups, prospective partners and group mates, information of potential importance in guiding decisions related to conflict, breeding and dispersal.

  14. Effects of mercury exposure on the reproductive success of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Cristol, Daniel A

    2008-02-01

    An experimental tree swallow population was established in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River, Virginia, USA to assess the accumulation and effects of mercury contamination on birds that eat emergent aquatic insects. One tributary, the South River, was contaminated with mercury before 1950. Reproductive success of swallows nesting within 50 m of this river was compared to that of three uncontaminated reference tributaries in 2005 and 2006. Female swallows on the contaminated stretch of river had significantly elevated blood and feather total mercury (blood: 3.56 +/- 2.41 ppm ww vs. 0.17 +/- 0.15 ppm reference; feather: 13.55 +/- 6.94 ppm vs. 2.34 +/- 0.87 ppm reference), possibly the highest ever reported for an insectivorous songbird. Insects collected by the swallows to be fed to nestlings averaged 0.97 +/- 1.11 ppm dw total mercury, significantly higher than on reference sites. Swallows in the contaminated area produced fewer fledglings than those in reference areas. The effect of mercury contamination on productivity was detectable only for young females in the contaminated area that were breeding for the first time in 2006, a segment of the population that may already have been stressed by inexperience. Tree swallows served as practical and effective biomonitors for mercury levels and effects and have great potential as proxy biomonitors for more logistically challenging birds such as loons or eagles.

  15. Coexistence of Two Congeneric Praying Mantids: A 7-Year Field Study of Reproductive Success and Failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Robert K; Hurd, Lawrence E

    2016-02-01

    Two species of Asian praying mantids, Tenodera angustipennis (Saussure) and Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Saussure), which have become common to old fields in the northeastern United States, share a common resource base that raises the question of how they can coexist in the same habitat. We studied the reproductive output measured by numbers of oothecae of naturally established populations of these two species in an old field during 7 yr (2009–2015) of secondary succession. During the initial herbaceous vegetation-dominated stage, T. angustipennis oothecae were more abundant than those of its congener, but numbers steadily declined, until it had nearly disappeared by 2014. In contrast, numbers of T. a. sinensis oothecae increased from 2007 until 2014, and then sharply declined in 2015. The steady increase in abundance of this species throughout most of the successional development during the study may be owing to greater diversity of plant species used for oviposition. We believe that the most likely reasons for the continuous decline in T. angustipennis were a combination of intraguild predation by the larger T. a. sinensis, and egg parasitism by the wasp Podagrion mantis, which is not able to parasitize oothecae of T. a. sinensis. The later decline in T. a. sinensis may reflect the fact that the site had become dominated by trees, and neither of these species is typically found in forest habitats.

  16. Exposure of rainbow trout milt to mercury and cadmium alters sperm motility parameters and reproductive success

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dietrich, Grzegorz J., E-mail: dietrich@pan.olsztyn.pl [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland); Dietrich, Mariola; Kowalski, R.K. [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland); Dobosz, Stefan [Department of Salmonid Research, Inland Fisheries Institute, Rutki 83-330 Zukowo (Poland); Karol, Halina; Demianowicz, Wieslaw; Glogowski, Jan [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland)

    2010-05-10

    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{sup 2+}/l and 10 mg Cd{sup 2+}/l and hatching rates at 10 mg Hg{sup 2+}/l and 10 mg Cd{sup 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.

  17. Intrauterine Exposure to Paracetamol and Aniline Impairs Female Reproductive Development by Reducing Follicle Reserves and Fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Jacob Bak; Mazaud-Guittot, Severine; Danneskiold-Samsøe, Niels Banhos; Chalmey, Clementine; Jensen, Benjamin; Nørregård, Mette Marie; Hansen, Cecilie Hurup; Styrishave, Bjarne; Svingen, Terje; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Koch, Holger Martin; Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter; Jégou, Bernard; Kristiansen, Karsten; Kristensen, David Møbjerg

    2016-03-01

    Studies report that fetal exposure to paracetamol/acetaminophen by maternal consumption can interfere with male reproductive development. Moreover, recent biomonitoring data report widespread presence of paracetamol in German and Danish populations, suggesting exposure via secondary (nonpharmaceutical) sources, such as metabolic conversion from the ubiquitous industrial compound aniline. In this study, we investigated the extent to which paracetamol and aniline can interfere with female reproductive development. Intrauterine exposure to paracetamol by gavage of pregnant dams resulted in shortening of the anogenital distance in adult offspring, suggesting that fetal hormone signaling had been disturbed. Female offspring of paracetamol-exposed mothers had ovaries with diminished follicle reserve and reduced fertility. Fetal gonads of exposed animals had also reduced gonocyte numbers, suggesting that the reduced follicle count in adults could be due to early disruption of germ cell development. However, ex vivo cultures of ovaries from 12.5 days post coitum fetuses showed no decrease in proliferation or expression following exposure to paracetamol. This suggests that the effect of paracetamol occurs prior to this developmental stage. Accordingly, using embryonic stem cells as a proxy for primordial germ cells we show that paracetamol is an inhibitor of cellular proliferation, but without cytotoxic effects. Collectively, our data show that intrauterine exposure to paracetamol at levels commonly observed in pregnant women, as well as its precursor aniline, may block primordial germ cell proliferation, ultimately leading to reduced follicle reserves and compromised reproductive capacity later in life.

  18. 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.

  19. Plant functional traits mediate reproductive phenology and success in response to experimental warming and snow addition in Tibet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorji, Tsechoe; Totland, Orjan; Moe, Stein R; Hopping, Kelly A; Pan, Jianbin; Klein, Julia A

    2013-02-01

    Global climate change is predicted to have large impacts on the phenology and reproduction of alpine plants, which will have important implications for plant demography and community interactions, trophic dynamics, ecosystem energy balance, and human livelihoods. In this article we report results of a 3-year, fully factorial experimental study exploring how warming, snow addition, and their combination affect reproductive phenology, effort, and success of four alpine plant species belonging to three different life forms in a semiarid, alpine meadow ecosystem on the central Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicate that warming and snow addition change reproductive phenology and success, but responses are not uniform across species. Moreover, traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and life history (early vs. late flowering), mediate plant phenology, and reproductive responses to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we found that warming delayed the reproductive phenology and decreased number of inflorescences of Kobresia pygmaea C. B. Clarke, a shallow-rooted, early-flowering plant, which may be mainly constrained by upper-soil moisture availability. Because K. pygmaea is the dominant species in the alpine meadow ecosystem, these results may have important implications for ecosystem dynamics and for pastoralists and wildlife in the region.

  20. Benefits of a ball and chain: simple environmental enrichments improve welfare and reproductive success in farmed American mink (Neovison vison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca K Meagher

    Full Text Available Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: 'late E'. Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male, and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites. E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness ('late E' females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm, effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type ('Demis', similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a. and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  1. Changes in tree reproductive traits reduce functional diversity in a fragmented Atlantic forest landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Coe Girão

    Full Text Available Functional diversity has been postulated to be critical for the maintenance of ecosystem functioning, but the way it can be disrupted by human-related disturbances remains poorly investigated. Here we test the hypothesis that habitat fragmentation changes the relative contribution of tree species within categories of reproductive traits (frequency of traits and reduces the functional diversity of tree assemblages. The study was carried out in an old and severely fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. We used published information and field observations to obtain the frequency of tree species and individuals within 50 categories of reproductive traits (distributed in four major classes: pollination systems, floral biology, sexual systems, and reproductive systems in 10 fragments and 10 tracts of forest interior (control plots. As hypothesized, populations in fragments and control plots differed substantially in the representation of the four major classes of reproductive traits (more than 50% of the categories investigated. The most conspicuous differences were the lack of three pollination systems in fragments--pollination by birds, flies and non-flying mammals--and that fragments had a higher frequency of both species and individuals pollinated by generalist vectors. Hermaphroditic species predominate in both habitats, although their relative abundances were higher in fragments. On the contrary, self-incompatible species were underrepresented in fragments. Moreover, fragments showed lower functional diversity (H' scores for pollination systems (-30.3%, floral types (-23.6%, and floral sizes (-20.8% in comparison to control plots. In contrast to the overwhelming effect of fragmentation, patch and landscape metrics such as patch size and forest cover played a minor role on the frequency of traits. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation promotes a marked shift in the relative abundance of tree reproductive traits and

  2. Species diversity reduces invasion success in pathogen-regulated communities

    OpenAIRE

    Turnbull, L. A.; Levine, J.M.; Fergus, A J F; Petermann, J.S.

    2010-01-01

    The loss of natural enemies is thought to explain why certain invasive species are so spectacularly successful in their introduced range. However, if losing natural enemies leads to unregulated population growth, this implies that native species are themselves normally subject to natural enemy regulation. One possible widespread mechanism of natural enemy regulation is negative soil feedbacks, in which resident species growing on home soils are disadvantaged because of a build-up of species-s...

  3. Pollen flow and effects of population structure on selfing rates and female and male reproductive success in fragmented Magnolia stellata populations

    OpenAIRE

    Setsuko, Suzuki; Nagamitsu, Teruyoshi; Tomaru, Nobuhiro

    2013-01-01

    Background Fragmentation of plant populations may affect mating patterns and female and male reproductive success. To improve understanding of fragmentation effects on plant reproduction, we investigated the pollen flow patterns in six adjacent local populations of Magnolia stellata, an insect-pollinated, threatened tree species in Japan, and assessed effects of maternal plant (genet) size, local genet density, population size and neighboring population size on female reproductive success (se...

  4. Protracted treatment with corticosterone reduces breeding success in a long-lived bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Bethany F; Daunt, Francis; Monaghan, Pat; Wanless, Sarah; Butler, Adam; Heidinger, Britt J; Newell, Mark; Dawson, Alistair

    2015-01-01

    Determining the physiological mechanisms underpinning life-history decisions is essential for understanding the constraints under which life-history strategies can evolve. In long-lived species, where the residual reproductive value of breeders is high, adult survival is a key contributor to lifetime reproductive success. We therefore expect that when adult survival is compromised during reproduction, mechanisms will evolve to redirect resources away from reproduction, with implications for reproductive hormones, adult body mass, nest attendance behaviour and breeding success. We investigated whether manipulating corticosterone, to simulate exposure to an environmental stressor, affected the secretion of prolactin and breeding success in the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla. We used implanted Alzet® osmotic pumps to administer corticosterone to incubating kittiwakes at a constant rate over a period of approximately 8days. Manipulated birds were compared with sham implanted birds and control birds, which had no implants. There was no significant difference in the body mass of captured individuals at the time of implantation and implant removal. Corticosterone-implanted males showed lower nest attendance during the chick rearing period compared to sham-implanted males; the opposite pattern was found in females. Corticosterone treated birds showed a marginally significant reduction in breeding success compared to sham-implanted individuals, with all failures occurring at least 1week after implant removal. However, prolactin concentrations at implant removal were not significantly different from initial values. We were unable to measure the profile of change in corticosterone during the experiment. However, our results suggest a delayed effect of elevated corticosterone on breeding success rather than an immediate suppression of prolactin concentrations causing premature failure.

  5. Chromosomal aberrations, reproductive success, life span, and mortality in irradiated Neanthes arenaceodentata (polychaeta)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, S.L.; Harrison, F.L.; Chan, G.; Moore, D.H. II

    1987-10-01

    The polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata ws used in experiments to determine possible relationships between short-term genotoxicity tests and reproductive and lethal consequences of exposure to ionizing radiation. Groups of juvenile N. arenaceodentata received one of four different radiation doses (2, 4, 8, and 16 Gy) to determine dose-effect estimates for chromosomal aberration induction, and groups of both adult and juveniles received one of seven different radiation doses (1, 4, 8.4, 46, 102, 500, and 1000 Gy) to determine dose-effect estimates for reproduction, mortality, and life span. Effects on reproduction and genetic material were observed at the lowest doses and in the same range; detrimental reproductive effects were observed at 1 to 4 Gy, and the frequency of chromosomal aberrations were significantly increased at 2 Gy. Only high doses resulted in acute mortality (>500 Gy) and decreased life span (>100 Gy). Dose-effect estimates for chromosomal aberration induction were dependant on radiation dose and on the stage of the cell cycle at the time of irradiation. Dose-effect estimates for reproduction were dependant on dose and the potential for repopulation of gonadal tissue. Such knowledge is required because factors, such as cell-cycle effects, may modify dose-effect estimates. It is concluded that short-term genotoxicity tests can be predictive of detrimental reproductive effects in those model systems for which basic cell kinetics and reproductive parameters are well known. 4 refs., 11 figs., 13 tabs.

  6. Potential influences of climate and nest structure on spotted owl reproductive success: a biophysical approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockweit, Jeremy T; Franklin, Alan B; Bakken, George S; Gutiérrez, R J

    2012-01-01

    Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (h(c)) of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests), at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of h(c) in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (~36 °C) to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ~26 °C) under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season.

  7. Potential influences of climate and nest structure on spotted owl reproductive success: a biophysical approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy T Rockweit

    Full Text Available Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (h(c of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests, at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of h(c in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (~36 °C to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ~26 °C under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season.

  8. The effects of chronic radiation on reproductive success of the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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 P1 female and was terminated upon spawning of the F1 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 F1 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 F1 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 F1 females exposed to 17 mGy/h. There was a significant reduction in the number of live embryos in the broods from the F1 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.

  9. Impacts of Water Level Fluctuations on Kokanee Reproduction in Flathead Lake; Effects of Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dam on Reproductive Success, 1983 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Decker-Hess, Janet; McMullin, Steve L.

    1983-11-01

    Domrose (1968) found live eggs and fry only in shoreline spawning areas wetted by groundwater seeps. Impacts of the operation of Kerr Dam on lakeshore spawning have not been quantified. Recent studies have revealed that operation of Hungry Horse Dam severely impacted successful kokanee spawning and incubation in the Flathead River above Flathead Lake (Graham et al. 1980, McMullin and Graham 1981, Fraley and Graham 1982 and Fraley and McMullin 1983). Flows from Hungry Horse Dam to enhance kokanee reproduction in the river system have been voluntarily met by the Bureau of Reclamation since 1981. In lakeshore spawning areas in other Pacific Northwest systems, spawning habitat for kokanee and sockeye salmon was characterized by seepage or groundwater flow where suitable substrate composition existed (Foerster 1968). Spawning primarily occurred in shallower depths (<6 m) where gravels were cleaned by wave action (Hassemer and Rieman 1979 and 1980, Stober et al. 1979a). Seasonal drawdown of reservoirs can adversely affect survival of incubating kokanee eggs and fry spawned in shallow shoreline areas. Jeppon (1955 and 1960) and Whitt (1957) estimated 10-75 percent kokanee egg loss in shoreline areas of Pend Oreille Lake, Idaho after regulation of the upper three meters occurred in 1952. After 20 years of operation, Bowler (1979) found Pend Oreille shoreline spawning to occur in fewer areas with generally lower numbers of adults. In studies on Priest Lake, Idaho, Bjornn (1957) attributed frozen eggs and stranded fry to winter fluctuations of the upper three meters of the lake. Eggs and fry frozen during winter drawdown accounted for a 90 percent loss to shoreline spawning kokanee in Donner Lake, California (Kimsey 1951). Stober et al. (1979a) determined irrigation drawdown of Banks Lake, Washington reduced shoreline survival during five of the seven years the system was studied. The goal of this phase of the study was to evaluate and document effects of the operation of Kerr Dam

  10. Dynamics of animal movement in an ecological context: dragonfly wing damage reduces flight performance and predation success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combes, S A; Crall, J D; Mukherjee, S

    2010-06-23

    Much of our understanding of the control and dynamics of animal movement derives from controlled laboratory experiments. While many aspects of animal movement can be probed only in these settings, a more complete understanding of animal locomotion may be gained by linking experiments on relatively simple motions in the laboratory to studies of more complex behaviours in natural settings. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we examined the effects of wing damage on dragonfly flight performance in both a laboratory drop-escape response and the more natural context of aerial predation. The laboratory experiment shows that hindwing area loss reduces vertical acceleration and average flight velocity, and the predation experiment demonstrates that this type of wing damage results in a significant decline in capture success. Taken together, these results suggest that wing damage may take a serious toll on wild dragonflies, potentially reducing both reproductive success and survival.

  11. Effects of forest fragmentation on phenological patterns and reproductive success of the tropical dry forest tree Ceiba aesculifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrerías-Diego, Yvonne; Quesada, Mauricio; Stoner, Kathryn E; Lobo, Jorge A

    2006-08-01

    Spatial isolation caused by forest fragmentation and temporal isolation caused by asynchronous flowering of plants have been proposed as important factors that affect the reproduction ofplant populations. In a 4-year study, we determined the effects of forest fragmentation and spatial isolation on flowering phenology and reproductive success of the tropical tree Ceiba aesculifolia ([Kunth] Britton & Rose). We conducted our study in the dry forest of Mexico and compared populations in two habitat conditions based on density and environmental conditions: (1) disturbed habitat (four populations of reproductive individuals/ha surrounded by agriculturalfields or pastures) and (2) undisturbed habitat (three populations of groups of >6 reproductive individuals/ha surrounded by undisturbed mature forest). We compared the following variables within these populations over 4 years: flowering overlap, proportion of individuals with flowers and fruit, total flower production, total fruit production, fruit set, seed production, and seed abortion. Little overlap in flowering occurred among the populations in the two habitat conditions. The flowering period of trees in the disturbed habitat initiated between 15 to 20 days before the flowering period of trees in the undisturbed habitat during 3 years. Flowering of trees in the undisturbed habitat peaked at the end of the flowering period of the trees in the disturbed habitat. The proportion of trees that flowered was greater in the undisturbed habitat. Nevertheless, total flower production was greater in the disturbed habitat and these differences were maintained across 3 years. The proportion of individuals that produced fruit did not differ across habitat conditions but did differ across years. Total fruit production was greater in the disturbed habitat, but fruit set and seed production were the same across years and between habitat conditions. Seed abortion varied over years between habitats. We concluded that forest

  12. Genomic testing interacts with reproductive surplus in reducing genetic lag and increasing economic net return

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjortø, Line; Ettema, Jehan Frans; Kargo, Morten

    2015-01-01

    , especially if genomic tests are used in combination with sexed semen or a high management level for reproductive performance, because both factors provide the opportunity for generating a reproductive surplus in the herd. In this study, sexed semen is used in combination with beef semen to produce high-value...... simulates the parity distribution of the dams of heifer calves. The ADAM program estimates genetic merit per year in a herd under different strategies for use of sexed semen and genomic tests. The annual net return per slot was calculated as the sum of operational return and value of genetic lag minus costs......Until now, genomic information has mainly been used to improve the accuracy of genomic breeding values for breeding animals at a population level. However, we hypothesize that the use of information from genotyped females also opens up the possibility of reducing genetic lag in a dairy herd...

  13. Failure to fix nitrogen by non-reproductive symbiotic rhizobia triggers host sanctions that reduce fitness of their reproductive clonemates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oono, Ryoko; Anderson, Carolyn G; Denison, R Ford

    2011-09-07

    The legume-rhizobia symbiosis is a classical mutualism where fixed carbon and nitrogen are exchanged between the species. Nonetheless, the plant carbon that fuels nitrogen (N(2)) fixation could be diverted to rhizobial reproduction by 'cheaters'--rhizobial strains that fix less N(2) but potentially gain the benefit of fixation by other rhizobia. Host sanctions can decrease the relative fitness of less-beneficial reproductive bacteroids and prevent cheaters from breaking down the mutualism. However, in certain legume species, only undifferentiated rhizobia reproduce, while only terminally differentiated rhizobial bacteroids fix nitrogen. Sanctions were, therefore, tested in two legume species that host non-reproductive bacteroids. We demonstrate that even legume species that host non-reproductive bacteroids, specifically pea and alfalfa, can severely sanction undifferentiated rhizobia when bacteroids within the same nodule fail to fix N(2). Hence, host sanctions by a diverse set of legumes play a role in maintaining N(2) fixation.

  14. Overt and covert competition in a promiscuous mammal: the importance of weaponry and testes size to male reproductive success.

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    Male contests for access to receptive females are thought to have selected for the larger male body size and conspicuous weaponry frequently observed in mammalian species. However, when females copulate with multiple males within an oestrus, male reproductive success is a function of both pre- and postcopulatory strategies. The relative importance of these overt and covert forms of sexual competition has rarely been assessed in wild populations. The Soay sheep mating system is characterized b...

  15. Adult nutrition and butterfly fitness: effects of diet quality on reproductive output, egg composition, and egg hatching success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoffmann Klaus H

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the Lepidoptera it was historically believed that adult butterflies rely primarily on larval-derived nutrients for reproduction and somatic maintenance. However, recent studies highlight the complex interactions between storage reserves and adult income, and that the latter may contribute significantly to reproduction. Effects of adult diet were commonly assessed by determining the number and/or size of the eggs produced, whilst its consequences for egg composition and offspring viability were largely neglected (as is generally true for insects. We here specifically focus on these latter issues by using the fruit-feeding tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, which is highly dependent on adult-derived carbohydrates for reproduction. Results Adult diet of female B. anynana had pronounced effects on fecundity, egg composition and egg hatching success, with butterflies feeding on the complex nutrition of banana fruit performing best. Adding vitamins and minerals to a sucrose-based diet increased fecundity, but not offspring viability. All other groups (plain sucrose solution, sucrose solution enriched with lipids or yeast had a substantially lower fecundity and egg hatching success compared to the banana group. Differences were particularly pronounced later in life, presumably indicating the depletion of essential nutrients in sucrose-fed females. Effects of adult diet on egg composition were not straightforward, indicating complex interactions among specific compounds. There was some evidence that total egg energy and water content were related to hatching success, while egg protein, lipid, glycogen and free carbohydrate content did not seem to limit successful development. Conclusion The patterns shown here exemplify the complexity of reproductive resource allocation in B. anynana, and the need to consider egg composition and offspring viability when trying to estimate the effects of adult nutrition on fitness in this

  16. Abundance, Species Richness, and Reproductive Success of Tidal Marsh Birds at China Camp State Park, Marin County, California

    OpenAIRE

    Wood, Julian K.; Liu, Leonard; Nur, Nadav; Herzog, Mark; Warnock, Nils

    2012-01-01

    Extensive habitat loss and degradation have resulted in decreases in populations of tidal marsh breeding birds in the San Francisco Estuary in the past 150 years. We conducted point count surveys and nest monitoring in tidal marsh habitat at China Camp State Park from 1996 through 2007 to assess bird abundance, species richness and reproductive success over time. We found overall species richness at China Camp to be significantly lower than that of other San Pablo Bay tidal marshes, but also ...

  17. 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

  18. Benefits of a Ball and Chain: Simple Environmental Enrichments Improve Welfare and Reproductive Success in Farmed American Mink (Neovison vison)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meagher, Rebecca K.; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L. M.; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H.; Hansen, Steffen W.; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J.

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: ‘late E’). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness (‘late E’ females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type (‘Demis’), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  19. Nest success and reproductive ecology of the Texas Botteri’s Sparrow (Peucaea botterii texana) in exotic and native grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Katherine S.; McCarthy, Erin M.; Woodin, Marc C.; Withers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Very little information is available for Peucaea botterii texana (Texas Botteri's Sparrow) and nothing is known about its nesting ecology, in part due to its cryptic behavior and nesting strategies. Our goal was to examine the nesting ecology of Texas Botteri's Sparrows and compare reproductive success between exotic and native grasslands. We searched for and monitored nests in 2004 and 2005 on the King Ranch in southern Texas. We found no relationship in reproductive effort, nest characteristics, and plant species richness around the nest between grassland types. Vegetation surrounding Texas Botteri's Sparrow nests was significantly taller and denser in native grasslands than in exotic grasslands. Further research on nesting ecology for the Texas Botteri's Sparrow is necessary to determine its habitat needs and its role as an indicator of grassland quality.

  20. Male function for ensuring pollination and reproductive success in Berberis lycium Royle: A novel mechanism

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Supriya Sharma; Verma Susheel

    2016-03-01

    In Berberis lycium anthers on alternate stamens dehisce, thus prolonging the male function so that pollination is affected and reproduction is ensured. The large pollen sac of each bithecous anther after the appearance of longitudinal dehiscence slit moves away from the filament while remaining attached at the tip of the connective and then orients in such a way that pollen-laden surface faces the stigma. No pollen is available to receptive stigma as pollen grains remain stuck to the anther sac. They do not get dispersed even by wind. Pollination and consequently reproduction is ensured through the intervention of insect, which does not affect pollen transfer to the stigma directly but by touching the base of the staminal filament while foraging nectar secreted by nectaries at the base of corolla, thus leading to staminal movement. This makes the dehisced anthers stick to the stigma and deposit pollen there.

  1. Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population

    OpenAIRE

    Alvergne, A.; JOKELA, M; Lummaa, V

    2010-01-01

    The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences of personality differences in nonhuman animals has recently undergone a surge of interest, our understanding of whether and how personality influences reproductive decisions in humans has remained limited and informed primarily by modern societies with low mortality–fertility schedules. Taking an evolutionary approach, we use data from a...

  2. Effects of experimentally sustained elevated testosterone on incubation behaviour and reproductive success in female great tits (Parus major).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Berber; Lens, Luc; Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; van Oers, Kees; Darras, Veerle M; Eens, Marcel; Pinxten, Rianne; Komdeur, Jan; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2016-05-01

    In many seasonally breeding birds, female and male testosterone (T) levels peak at the start of the breeding season, coinciding with pair bonding and nesting activities. Shortly after the onset of egg laying, T levels slowly decline to baseline levels in both sexes, but more rapidly so in females. During this period, T in males may still function to facilitate territorial behaviour, mate guarding and extra pair copulations, either via short lasting peaks or elevated basal levels of the hormone. In some species, however, males become insensitive to increased T after the onset of egg laying. It has been postulated that in these species bi-parental care is essential for offspring survival, as T is known to inhibit paternal care. However, only very few studies have analysed this for females. As females are heavily involved in parental care, they too might become insensitive to T after egg laying. Alternatively, because territorial defence, mate guarding and extra pair copulations are expected to be less important for females than for males, they may not have had the need to evolve a mechanism to become insensitive to T during the period of maternal care, because their natural T levels are never elevated during this part of the breeding season anyway. We tested these alternative hypotheses in female great tits (Parus major). Male great tits have previously been shown to be insensitive to T after egg laying with regard to nestling feeding behaviour (but not song rate). When females had started nest building, we experimentally elevated their T levels up to the nestling feeding phase, and measured incubation behaviour (only females incubate) and reproductive success. T did not significantly affect nest building or egg laying behaviour, although egg laying tended to be delayed in T females. Females with experimentally enhanced T maintained lower temperature during incubation but did not spend less time incubating. This might explain the reduced hatching success of their

  3. 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.

  4. CA, OR- Pesticide investigation: Avian reproductive success on agricultural lease lands within the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Pesticide exposure and reproductive success were monitored in 2 avian species to evaluate the effectiveness of pesticide use restrictions at Klamath Basin National...

  5. 4-Vinylcyclohexene diepoxide reduces fertility in female Siberian hamsters when treated during their reproductively active and quiescent states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosa, Kristen A; Mukai, Motoko; Place, Ned J

    2015-01-01

    The industrial compound 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) destroys ovarian follicles and reduces fertility in rodents, but to date VCD has not been tested in species that experience seasonal anestrus. To determine if VCD destroys follicles when administered during reproductive quiescence, Siberian hamsters were treated with VCD (240mg/kg i.p. daily for 10 days) during short days, and outcomes were compared with reproductively active females that were maintained and treated in long days. Primordial follicle numbers were significantly reduced by VCD under both day lengths, and reproductive quiescence in short days did not appear to render the ovaries less susceptible to VCD-induced follicle depletion. Independent of day length and reproductive state, VCD-treated hamsters weaned substantially fewer offspring than controls. These results suggest that time of year may not be an important consideration for optimizing use of VCD in the field when the target pest species is a seasonally breeding rodent.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Germinación, éxito reproductivo y fenología reproductiva de Solanum chenopodioides (Solanaceae Germination, reproductive success and reproductive phenology of Solanum chenopodioides (Solanaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica Alejandra Cabrera

    2010-06-01

    to know the number of viable seeds that enter to the environment, the reproductive success preemergente was calculated; for this 10 individuals are takes at random, it was counted ovules per flowers, seeds per fruits, flowers per inflorescence and fruits per infrutescence. In addition phenological observations were realized. There were not significant differences among the pre-germinatives treatments applied, so the germination would not be conditioned by the seminal cover. The reproductive success was 27,03%; the proportion of fruits and seed formed were elevated, but the success decrease when the germination percentage is considerate, so this it would be conditioning the reproductive efficiency. The period of floration extends approximately from half-filled of october until ends of march.

  9. Osprey distribution, abundance, reproductive success and contaminant burdens along lower Columbia River, 1997/1998 versus 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, C.J.; Grove, R.A.; Kaiser, J.L.

    2008-01-01

    The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) population nesting along the lower portion of the Columbia River (river mile 29 to 286) increased from 94 in 1997 to 103 occupied nests in 1998 (9.6% annual rate of increase) to 225 occupied nests in 2004 (13.9% annual rate of increase). The more recent rate of population increase was associated with higher reproductive rates than in 1997/1998, and significantly lower egg concentrations of most organochlorine (OC) pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). A comparison of observed egg residue concentrations in 2004 with effect-level information for ospreys indicated that reproduction at few, if any, nests was adversely affected. As recent as 1997/1998, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) was still adversely affecting reproductive success for a portion of this population. Mercury was the only contaminant evaluated in both 1997/1998 and 2004 that showed a significant increase in eggs over time, but concentrations in 2004 (0.09 ??g g -1 ww) remained below established effect levels for birds (generally reported at 0.50 ??g g-1 ww or higher). The significant increase in mercury justifies the need for future monitoring. All contaminants mentioned that biomagnify up food chains can be effectively monitored in osprey eggs. The osprey has been shown to be an excellent sentinel species for long-term monitoring with their many useful traits described. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Modulation of the adrenocortical response to acute stress with respect to brood value, reproductive success and survival in the Eurasian hoopoe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Baptiste; Tam-Dafond, Laura; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Schaub, Michael; Jenni, Lukas

    2013-09-01

    Reproducing parents face the difficult challenge of trading-off investment in current reproduction against presumed future survival and reproduction. Glucocorticoids are supposed to mediate this trade-off because the adrenocortical response to stress disrupts normal reproductive behaviour in favour of self-maintenance and own survival. According to the brood-value hypothesis, individuals with a low survival probability until the next reproductive season have to invest in current reproduction, a process driven by a down-regulation of their adrenocortical response. If the adrenocortical response to stress effectively mediates the trade-off between current reproduction versus future survival and reproduction, we expect a negative relationship with reproductive success and a positive correlation of the adrenocortical stress response with survival. We studied the relationship between corticosterone secretion in parents and their current brood value, reproductive success and survival in a short-lived multi-brooded bird, the Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops. The adrenocortical response to acute handling stress was correlated with the brood value within the individual (first and second broods of the year) and between individuals. Birds breeding late in the season mounted a lower total corticosterone response to acute stress than birds breeding earlier, while females showed lower levels than males. We observed a negative relationship between the adrenocortical stress response and rearing success or fledging success in females, as predicted by the brood-value hypothesis. However, we could not evidence a clear link between the adrenocortical stress response and survival. Future research testing the brood-value hypothesis and trade-offs between current reproduction and future survival should also measure free corticosterone and carefully differentiate between cross-sectional (i.e. between-individual) and individual-based experimental studies.

  14. Identification of Anabolic Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators with Reduced Activities in Reproductive Tissues and Sebaceous Glands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Azriel; Harada, Shun-Ichi; Kimmel, Donald B.; Bai, Chang; Chen, Fang; Rutledge, Su Jane; Vogel, Robert L.; Scafonas, Angela; Gentile, Michael A.; Nantermet, Pascale V.; McElwee-Witmer, Sheila; Pennypacker, Brenda; Masarachia, Patricia; Sahoo, Soumya P.; Kim, Yuntae; Meissner, Robert S.; Hartman, George D.; Duggan, Mark E.; Rodan, Gideon A.; Towler, Dwight A.; Ray, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Androgen replacement therapy is a promising strategy for the treatment of frailty; however, androgens pose risks for unwanted effects including virilization and hypertrophy of reproductive organs. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) retain the anabolic properties of androgens in bone and muscle while having reduced effects in other tissues. We describe two structurally similar 4-aza-steroidal androgen receptor (AR) ligands, Cl-4AS-1, a full agonist, and TFM-4AS-1, which is a SARM. TFM-4AS-1 is a potent AR ligand (IC50, 38 nm) that partially activates an AR-dependent MMTV promoter (55% of maximal response) while antagonizing the N-terminal/C-terminal interaction within AR that is required for full receptor activation. Microarray analyses of MDA-MB-453 cells show that whereas Cl-4AS-1 behaves like 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), TFM-4AS-1 acts as a gene-selective agonist, inducing some genes as effectively as DHT and others to a lesser extent or not at all. This gene-selective agonism manifests as tissue-selectivity: in ovariectomized rats, Cl-4AS-1 mimics DHT while TFM-4AS-1 promotes the accrual of bone and muscle mass while having reduced effects on reproductive organs and sebaceous glands. Moreover, TFM-4AS-1 does not promote prostate growth and antagonizes DHT in seminal vesicles. To confirm that the biochemical properties of TFM-4AS-1 confer tissue selectivity, we identified a structurally unrelated compound, FTBU-1, with partial agonist activity coupled with antagonism of the N-terminal/C-terminal interaction and found that it also behaves as a SARM. TFM-4AS-1 and FTBU-1 represent two new classes of SARMs and will allow for comparative studies aimed at understanding the biophysical and physiological basis of tissue-selective effects of nuclear receptor ligands. PMID:19846549

  15. Identification of anabolic selective androgen receptor modulators with reduced activities in reproductive tissues and sebaceous glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Azriel; Harada, Shun-Ichi; Kimmel, Donald B; Bai, Chang; Chen, Fang; Rutledge, Su Jane; Vogel, Robert L; Scafonas, Angela; Gentile, Michael A; Nantermet, Pascale V; McElwee-Witmer, Sheila; Pennypacker, Brenda; Masarachia, Patricia; Sahoo, Soumya P; Kim, Yuntae; Meissner, Robert S; Hartman, George D; Duggan, Mark E; Rodan, Gideon A; Towler, Dwight A; Ray, William J

    2009-12-25

    Androgen replacement therapy is a promising strategy for the treatment of frailty; however, androgens pose risks for unwanted effects including virilization and hypertrophy of reproductive organs. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) retain the anabolic properties of androgens in bone and muscle while having reduced effects in other tissues. We describe two structurally similar 4-aza-steroidal androgen receptor (AR) ligands, Cl-4AS-1, a full agonist, and TFM-4AS-1, which is a SARM. TFM-4AS-1 is a potent AR ligand (IC(50), 38 nm) that partially activates an AR-dependent MMTV promoter (55% of maximal response) while antagonizing the N-terminal/C-terminal interaction within AR that is required for full receptor activation. Microarray analyses of MDA-MB-453 cells show that whereas Cl-4AS-1 behaves like 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), TFM-4AS-1 acts as a gene-selective agonist, inducing some genes as effectively as DHT and others to a lesser extent or not at all. This gene-selective agonism manifests as tissue-selectivity: in ovariectomized rats, Cl-4AS-1 mimics DHT while TFM-4AS-1 promotes the accrual of bone and muscle mass while having reduced effects on reproductive organs and sebaceous glands. Moreover, TFM-4AS-1 does not promote prostate growth and antagonizes DHT in seminal vesicles. To confirm that the biochemical properties of TFM-4AS-1 confer tissue selectivity, we identified a structurally unrelated compound, FTBU-1, with partial agonist activity coupled with antagonism of the N-terminal/C-terminal interaction and found that it also behaves as a SARM. TFM-4AS-1 and FTBU-1 represent two new classes of SARMs and will allow for comparative studies aimed at understanding the biophysical and physiological basis of tissue-selective effects of nuclear receptor ligands.

  16. Mercury concentrations in fish-eating birds from the Pinchi Lake area in relation to productivity and reproductive success

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weech, S.A. [Minnow Environmental Inc., Victoria, BC (Canada); Scheuhammer, T.M. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada)]|[Carleton Univ., Ottawa, ON (Canada). National Wildlife Research Centre

    2006-07-01

    A known bird breeding area along the Pinchi fault in central British Columbia is a source of geologic mercury (Hg) in the form of cinnabar. Lakes with a range of sediment Hg concentrations are also present. This study examined the extent to which inorganic Hg from local geologic sources is methylated and incorporated into the food chain of birds feeding on fishes. The possible toxic effects of natural and mining-related Hg releases on local piscivorous breeding bird populations were also studied. Bald eagles and red-necked grebes were monitored from 2000 to 2002 in an effort to determine if increased Hg concentrations were affecting reproductive success and productivity. Fish tissues were collected from rainbow trout and northern pike minnow to determine if Hg levels were elevated. Eagles breeding on 5 lakes were sampled for blood- and feather-Hg concentrations. Red-necked grebe eggs were also collected. All samples were analyzed for total Hg. It was shown that Hg does not appear to have any obvious adverse effects on reproduction. Concentrations of Hg in all grebe eggs were below 0.5 {mu}g.g wet weight, the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for Hg developmental toxicity in birds. Although the level of Hg in tissues of Pinchi Lake birds was elevated, the birds were in excellent condition and showed similar reproductive success and productivity to reference populations. This study showed that concurrent tissue sampling and population monitoring can provide a helpful way to prove or refute findings that may indicate a potential contaminant effect on local wildlife. 27 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs.

  17. Tactics for male reproductive success in plants: contrasting insights of sex allocation theory and pollen presentation theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, James D

    2006-08-01

    The basic tenet of sex allocation theory is that an organism's reproductive success, through either male or female function, can be represented as a sex-specific, monotonic, increasing function of the organism's investment of resources in that function. The shapes of these curves determine what patterns of resource allocation can be evolutionarily stable. Although SA theory has stimulated creative thinking about plant sexual tactics, quantifying the shapes of male and female gain curves has proven so difficult that other approaches must be considered. I contrast sex allocation theory to a different, emerging viewpoint, pollen presentation theory (PPT), which attempts to address variation in reproductive success by measuring and modeling the quantitative fates of pollen grains. Models suggest that RS through male function depends heavily on the packaging and gradual dispensing of pollen to pollinators, even with the amount of investment held constant. Many plants do deploy pollen gradually, through morphological and "behavioral" mechanisms that range from obvious to subtle. They may thereby influence many aspects of the evolution of sexual modes in plants, including transitions between dioecy and cosexuality. After reviewing the main implications of the models, I discuss recent work aimed at testing some key assumptions and predictions by functional and comparative studies in the genus Penstemon. Species of Penstemon conform to PPT predictions that bee-adapted flowers will restrict per-visit pollen availability more than hummingbird-adapted flowers.

  18. Global warming reduces plant reproductive output for temperate multi-inflorescence species on the Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yinzhan; Mu, Junpeng; Niklas, Karl J; Li, Guoyong; Sun, Shucun

    2012-07-01

    • Temperature is projected to increase more during the winter than during the summer in cold regions. The effects of winter warming on reproductive effort have not been examined for temperate plant species. • Here, we report the results of experimentally induced seasonal winter warming (0.4 and 2.4°C increases in growing and nongrowing seasons, respectively, using warmed and ambient open-top chambers in a Tibetan Plateau alpine meadow) for nine indeterminate-growing species producing multiple (single-flowered or multi-flowered) inflorescences and three determinate-growing species producing single inflorescences after a 3-yr period of warming. • Warming reduced significantly flower number and seed production per plant for all nine multi-inflorescence species, but not for the three single-inflorescence species. Warming had an insignificant effect on the fruit to flower number ratio, seed size and seed number per fruit among species. The reduction in seed production was largely attributable to the decline in flower number per plant. The flowering onset time was unaffected for nine of the 12 species. Therefore, the decline in flower production and seed production in response to winter warming probably reflects a physiological response (e.g. metabolic changes associated with flower production). • Collectively, the data indicate that global warming may reduce flower and seed production for temperate herbaceous species and will probably have a differential effect on single- vs multi-inflorescence species. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Incubation patterns in a central-place forager affect lifetime reproductive success: scaling of patterns from a foraging bout to a lifetime.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akiko Shoji

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Long-lived seabirds face a conflict between current and lifelong reproductive success. During incubation shifts, egg neglect is sometimes necessary to avoid starvation, but may compromise the current reproductive attempt. However, factors underlying this decision process are poorly understood. We focus on the ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus, an alcid with exceptionally long incubation shift lengths, and test the impact of environmental factors on incubation shift length in relation to reproductive success. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an information theoretic approach, we show that incubation shift length was a strong predictor of reproductive success for ancient murrelets at Reef Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada during the 2007 and 2008 breeding seasons. The most important factors explaining an individual's shift length were egg size, wind speed and the length of the mate's previous shift. Wind speed and tide height were the two most important factors for determining foraging behavior, as measured by dive frequency and depth. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study demonstrates that (i species-specific reproductive strategies interact with environmental conditions such as wind speed to form multiple incubation patterns and (ii maintaining regular incubation shifts is an essential component of reproductive success.

  20. Mutations of the Drosophila myosin regulatory light chain affect courtship song and reduce reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravorty, Samya; Vu, Hien; Foelber, Veronica; Vigoreaux, Jim O

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) rely on an enhanced stretch-activation response to generate high power output for flight. The IFM is neurally activated during the male courtship song, but its role, if any, in generating the small amplitude wing vibrations that produce the song is not known. Here, we examined the courtship song properties and mating behavior of three mutant strains of the myosin regulatory light chain (DMLC2) that are known to affect IFM contractile properties and impair flight: (i) Dmlc2(Δ2-46) (Ext), an N-terminal extension truncation; (ii) Dmlc2(S66A,S67A) (Phos), a disruption of two MLC kinase phosphorylation sites; and (iii) Dmlc2(Δ2-46;S66A,S67A) (Dual), expressing both mutations. Our results show that the Dmlc2 gene is pleiotropic and that mutations that have a profound effect on flight mechanics (Phos and Dual) have minimal effects on courtship song. None of the mutations affect interpulse interval (IPI), a determinant of species-specific song, and intrapulse frequency (IPF) compared to Control (Dmlc2 (+) rescued null strain). However, abnormalities in the sine song (increased frequency) and the pulse song (increased cycles per pulse and pulse length) evident in Ext males are not apparent in Dual males suggesting that Ext and Phos interact differently in song and flight mechanics, given their known additive effect on the latter. All three mutant males produce a less vigorous pulse song and exhibit impaired mating behavior compared to Control males. As a result, females are less receptive to Ext, Phos, and Dual males when a Control male is present. These results open the possibility that DMLC2, and perhaps contractile protein genes in general, are partly under sexual selection. That mutations in DMLC2 manifest differently in song and flight suggest that this protein fulfills different roles in song and flight and that stretch activation plays a smaller role in song production than in flight.

  1. Reduced Reproductive Success for a Conditioning Mutant in Experimental Populations of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER

    OpenAIRE

    Gailey, Donald A.; Hall, Jeffrey C.; Siegel, Richard W.

    1985-01-01

    Male Drosophila melanogaster that have courted newly-emerged males can modify their subsequent courtship behavior to avoid further courtship with immature males for up to 6 hr (previously reported). Here, it was hypothesized that such an experience-dependent modification would afford a mating advantage to normal males over males that carried a mutation that affects learning and memory. Coisogenic lines were constructed which varied at the dunce gene ( dnc+ and dncM14 alleles) in order to test...

  2. Egg size, egg composition and reproductive success in the Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, TD; Hulscher, JB; Kersten, M

    2000-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between egg size and composition and their subsequent effects on hatching and fledging success in Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus on the island of Schiermonnikoog (53 degrees 30'N, 06 degrees 10'E) in the Dutch Wadden Sea between 1986 and 1990. Egg size

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baird, D. T.; Bhattacharya, S.; Devroey, P.; Diedrich, K.; Evers, J. L. H.; Fauser, B. C. J. M.; Jouannet, P.; Pellicer, A.; Walters, E.; Crosignani, P. G.; Fraser, L.; Geraedts, J. P. M.; Gianaroli, L.; Glasier, A.; Liebaers, I.; Sunde, A.; Tapanainen, J. S.; Tarlatzis, B.; Van Steirteghem, A.; Veiga, A.

    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 5065 per patient can be achieved nowadays, irrespective of the type of profertility treatment applied first. IVF only accounts

  4. Grasshopper sparrow reproductive success and habitat use on reclaimed surface mines varies by age of reclamation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Petra; Ammer, Frank K.

    2015-01-01

    We studied 3 mountaintop mining–valley fill (MTMVF) complexes in southern West Virginia, USA to examine grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum pratensis) demographic response to different age classes of mine land reclamation. For 71 nests monitored during the 2001–2002 breeding seasons, overall nest success (36%) was within the range of nest success rates previously reported for this species, but it was highest on more recently reclaimed sites (56%). Nest density and clutch size did not differ (P > 0.30) among reclamation age classes, whereas number of fledglings was greater (P = 0.01) on more recently reclaimed sites. We measured vegetation variables at 70 nest subplots and at 96 systematic subplots to compare nest vegetation with vegetation available on the plots. We found that nests occurred in areas with more bare ground near the nest, greater vegetation height–density surrounding the nest site, lower grass height, and fewer woody stems, similar to previous studies. As postreclamation age increased, vegetation height–density and maximum grass height increased, and sericea (Lespedeza cuneata) became more dominant. Nest success declined with increasing vegetation height–density at the nest. The grasslands available on these reclaimed mine complexes are of sufficient quality to support breeding populations of grasshopper sparrows, but nest success decreased on the older reclaimed areas. Without active management, grasslands on reclaimed MTMVF mines become less suitable for nesting grasshopper sparrows about 10 years after reclamation.

  5. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  6. Integrating TeamSTEPPS(®) into ambulatory reproductive health care: Early successes and lessons learned.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Maureen E; Dodge, Laura E; Intondi, Evelyn; Ozcelik, Guzey; Plitt, Ken; Hacker, Michele R

    2017-04-01

    Most medical teamwork improvement interventions have occurred in hospitals, and more efforts are needed to integrate them into ambulatory care settings. In 2014, Affiliates Risk Management Services, Inc. (ARMS), the risk management services organization for a large network of reproductive health care organizations in the United States, launched a voluntary 5-year initiative to implement a medical teamwork system in this network using the TeamSTEPPS model. This article describes the ARMS initiative and progress made during the first 2 years, including lessons learned. The ARMS TeamSTEPPS program consists of the following components: preparation of participating organizations, TeamSTEPPS master training, implementation of teamwork improvement programs, and evaluation. We used self-administered questionnaires to assess satisfaction with the ARMS program and with the master training course. In the first 2 years, 20 organizations enrolled. Participants found the preparation phase valuable and were highly satisfied with the master training course. Although most attendees felt that the course imparted the knowledge and tools critical for TeamSTEPPS implementation, they identified time restraints and competing initiatives as potential barriers. The project team has learned valuable lessons about obtaining buy-in, consolidating the change teams, making the curriculum relevant, and evaluation. Ambulatory care settings require innovative approaches to integration of teamwork improvement systems. Evaluating and sharing lessons learned will help to hone best practices as we navigate this new frontier in the field of patient safety. © 2017 American Society for Healthcare Risk Management of the American Hospital Association.

  7. Tough decisions: Reproductive timing and output vary with individuals' physiology, behavior and past success in a social opportunistic breeder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariette, Mylene M; Buchanan, Katherine L; Buttemer, William A; Careau, Vincent

    2015-11-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "SBN 2014". Photoperiod and the hormonal response it triggers are key determinants of reproductive timing in birds. However, other cues and physiological traits may permit flexibility in the timing of breeding and perhaps facilitate adaptation to global change. Opportunistic breeders are excellent models to study the adaptive significance of this flexibility, especially at the individual level. Here, we sought to quantify whether particular male physiological and behavioral traits were linked to reproductive timing and output in wild-derived zebra finches. We repeatedly assessed male stress-induced corticosterone levels (CORT), basal metabolic rate (BMR), and activity before releasing them into outdoor aviaries and quantifying each pair's breeding timing, investment, and output over a seven-month period. Despite unlimited access to food and water, the colony breeding activity occurred in waves, probably due to interpair social stimulations. Pairs adjusted their inter-clutch interval and clutch size to social and temperature cues, respectively, but only after successful breeding attempts, suggesting a facultative response to external cues. When these effects were controlled for statistically or experimentally, breeding intervals were repeatable within individuals across reproductive attempts. In addition, males' first laying date and total offspring production varied with complex interactions between pre-breeding CORT, BMR and activity levels. These results suggest that no one trait is under selection but that, instead, correlational selection acts on hormone levels, metabolism, and behavior. Together our results suggest that studying inter-individual variation in breeding strategy and their multiple physiological and behavioral underpinnings may greatly improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the evolution of breeding decisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazan, Morgana S; Bezerra, Antonio Diego M; Freitas, Breno M

    2014-03-01

    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.

  9. Proposed method for evaluating the effects of PCBs in sediment on egg mass viability and reproductive success in frogs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, C.S.; Henning, M.H.; Ebert, E.S. [McLaren/Hart-ChemRisk, Portland, ME (United States)

    1995-12-31

    A proposed study design for evaluating the effect of PCBs in the sediments of a large New England river on reproductive success in frogs is described. Depending on field conditions and species abundance, the study will use either bullfrogs, Rana catesbiana; spring peepers, Hyla pickeringii; or green frogs, Rana claymitans as the study model. A selected number of gravid females will be collected from both the target area and a reference area matched with respect to a number of key variables including, but not limited to, stream flow, temperature, pH, substrate type, depth, surrounding land use, and organic carbon content of sediments. The gravid frogs will be transferred to a laboratory, where the egg masses will be stripped following induced ovulation, and then fertilized using semen from males collected in the field. Egg masses will be maintained under static renewal conditions for a period up to and including 7 days post hatch, during which mortality and gross morphological appearance will be evaluated. In the event that statistically significant differences in these endpoints are noted, a dose response model will be developed to relate observed effects to previously determined PCB concentrations in egg masses and maternal tissues. The results of this study will be of significant utility in evaluating reproductive toxicity of PCBs in ecological risk assessment.

  10. Effects of indiscriminate foraging by tropical hummingbirds on pollination and plant reproductive success: experiments with two tropical treelets (Rubiaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinsinger, Peter; Busby, William H; Tiebout, Hary M

    1988-08-01

    In cloud forest at Monteverde, Costa Rica, two common treelets (Palicourea lasiorrachis and Cephaelis elata, both Rubiaceae) depend simultaneously on one hummingbird population (Lampornis calolaema) for pollination. Both species are distylous and self-incompatible. In laboratory experiments, we examined possible effects of indiscriminate foraging by hummingbirds among flowers of both species, as observed in the field, on pollination of Palicourea. In each of 35 trials, captive L. calolaema probed 2 flowers from pin plants of Palicourea followed by 20 thrum flowers of the same species, with either 0, 2, or 10 Cephaelis flowers intervening. We assessed pollen transfer by staining and counting pin pollen tubes growing in thrum styles; counts of 0, 1, or ≥2 pollen tubes relate directly to seed output (0, 1, or 2 seeds per fruit, respectively). Intervening Cephaelis flowers sharply reduced pollen receipt by thrum flowers of Palicourea and reduced some aspects of pollen dispersal from pins as well, thereby curtailing maternal and paternal reproductive potential of Palicourea. Such effects of interspecific pollen loss on reproductive output may lead to strong competition among some, though not all, combinations of plant species pollinated by L. calolaema or of other plant combinations that share animal pollinators.

  11. Successful Pregnancy Following Assisted Reproduction in Woman With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Hypertension

    OpenAIRE

    de Macedo, José Fernando; de Macedo, Gustavo Capinzaiki; Campos, Luciana Aparecida; Baltatu, Ovidiu Constantin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have a poor prognosis of pregnancy, since it is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity, including spontaneous miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal death and pre-term delivery. We report a case with successful pregnancy in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and hypertension. A 39-year-old nulliparous woman presented with systemic lupus erythematosus with antinuclear and antiphospholipid...

  12. First evidence of successful natural reproduction by planted lake trout in Lake Huron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nester, Robert T.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1984-01-01

    Twenty-two lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) swim-up fry, 24-27 mm long, were captured with emergent fry traps and a tow net in northwestern Lake Huron on a small nearshore reef off Alpena, Michigan, between May 10 and June 1, 1982. These catches represent the first evidence of successful production of swim-up fry by planted, hatchery-reared lake trout in Lake Huron since the lake trout rehabilitation program began in 1973.

  13. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2001-2002 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroder, Steven L. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA); Knudsen, Curtis M. (Oncorh Consulting, Olympia, WA); Watson, Bruce D. (Yakima Nation, Toppenish, WA)

    2003-05-01

    In 2001 hatchery- and wild-origin spring chinook were placed into an observation stream located at the Cle Elum Supplementation Research Facility to compare their reproductive success. Two groups containing both wild- and hatchery fish of both sexes were brought into the stream and allowed to spawn. Their longevity, spawning participation, and reproductive success were assessed. In addition, wild- and hatchery-origin precocious males were also introduced into one of the sections and allowed to spawn. We found that hatchery and wild males generally lived longer than females. In one group hatchery and wild females lived for similar periods of time while in the other wild females lived longer than hatchery fish. Wild females were also more successful at burying their eggs and the eggs they buried had higher survival rates. This result occurred in both groups of fish. Spawning participation in males was estimated by using two statistics referred to as percent gonad depletion (PGD) and percent testes retention (PRT). Both of these measures assumed that loss of testes weight in males would reflect their spawning participation and therefore could be used to estimate reproductive success. Hatchery and wild males had similar PGD and PRT values. One of these measures, PRT, was negatively associated with male reproductive success, confirming the idea that reduction in testes weight can be used as a surrogate measure of a male's ability to produce offspring Fry from the observation stream were collected throughout the emergence period that ran from January through May. Proportionate sub-samples of these fish were removed and microsatellite DNA was extracted from them. Pedigree analyses were performed to ascertain which adult fish had produced them. These analyses disclosed that wild males were more successful at producing progeny in one of the groups. No difference occurred in the other group. Precocial males and jacks fathered fewer progeny than did fish maturing at ages

  14. Costs and benefits of early reproduction: Haemoproteus prevalence and reproductive success of infected male pied flycatchers in a montane habitat in central Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Castaneda, R.R.; Morales, J.; Moreno, J.; Lobato, E.; Merino, S.; Martínez-de la Puente, J.; Tomas Gutierrez, G.

    2009-01-01

    Laying date is a key factor in avian reproductive ecology. Benefits of early breeding are important in terms of reproductive output. Costs are mainly associated to weather adversities at early stages of the breeding season. As males arrive earlier than females, they may face these weather adversitie

  15. Spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish metapopulation: evidence of variable reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pusack, Timothy J; Christie, Mark R; Johnson, Darren W; Stallings, Christopher D; Hixon, Mark A

    2014-07-01

    Many marine organisms can be transported hundreds of kilometres during their pelagic larval stage, yet little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal. Although traditional population-genetic tools can be applied to infer movement of larvae on an evolutionary timescale, large effective population sizes and high rates of gene flow present serious challenges to documenting dispersal patterns over shorter, ecologically relevant, timescales. Here, we address these challenges by combining direct parentage analysis and indirect genetic analyses over a 4-year period to document spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a common coral-reef fish: the bicolour damselfish (Stegastes partitus). At four island locations surrounding Exuma Sound, Bahamas, including a long-established marine reserve, we collected 3278 individuals and genotyped them at 10 microsatellite loci. Using Bayesian parentage analysis, we identified eight parent-offspring pairs, thereby directly documenting dispersal distances ranging from 0 km (i.e., self-recruitment) to 129 km (i.e., larval connectivity). Despite documenting substantial dispersal and gene flow between islands, we observed more self-recruitment events than expected if the larvae were drawn from a common, well-mixed pool (i.e., a completely open population). Additionally, we detected both spatial and temporal variation in signatures of sweepstakes and Wahlund effects. The high variance in reproductive success (i.e., 'sweepstakes') we observed may be influenced by seasonal mesoscale gyres present in the Exuma Sound, which play a prominent role in shaping local oceanographic patterns. This study documents the complex nature of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish, and highlights the importance of sampling multiple cohorts and coupling both direct and indirect genetic methods in order disentangle patterns of dispersal, gene flow and variable reproductive success. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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.

  17. Reproductive success and habitat characteristics of Golden-winged Warblers in high-elevation pasturelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Petra; Aldinger, Kyle R.

    2016-01-01

    The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is one of the most rapidly declining vertebrate species in the Appalachian Mountains. It is the subject of extensive range-wide research and conservation action. However, little is known about this species' breeding ecology in high-elevation pasturelands, a breeding habitat with conservation potential considering the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service's Working Lands for Wildlife program targeting private lands in the Appalachian Mountains. We located 100 nests of Golden-winged Warblers in pastures in and around the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia during 2008–2012. Daily nest survival rate (mean ± SE  =  0.962 ± 0.006), clutch size (4.5 ± 0.1), and number of young fledged per nest attempt (2.0 ± 0.2) and successful nest (4.0 ± 0.1) fell within the range of values reported in other parts of the species' range and were not significantly affected by year or the presence/absence of cattle grazing. Classification tree analysis revealed that nests were in denser vegetation (≥52%) and closer to forest edges (<36.0 m) and shrubs (<7.0 cm) than random locations within the male's territory. Successful nests had significantly more woody cover (≥9%) within 1 m than failed nests. Our results suggest that cattle grazing at 1.2–2.4 ha of forage/animal unit with periodic mowing can create and maintain these characteristics without interfering with the nesting of Golden-winged Warblers. High-elevation pasturelands may provide a refuge for remaining populations of Golden-winged Warblers in this region.

  18. Embryonic exposure to dimethoate and/or deltamethrin impairs sexual development and programs reproductive success in adult male offspring mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Slima, A; Ben Abdallah, F; Keskes-Ammar, L; Mallek, Z; El Feki, A; Gdoura, R

    2012-05-01

    Pesticides can be toxic to desirable plants and animals, including humans. The aim of this study was to investigate the reproductive effects of low doses of pesticides on male offspring of exposed pregnant mice. Three groups of five female mice were treated daily by oral gavage with dimethoate (5 mg kg(-1) per day), deltamethrin (5 mg kg(-1) per day) and their mixture at 5 mg kg(-1) per day from day 3 to day 21 of pregnancy. Fertility, sexual behaviour and a number of reproductive endpoints, such as organ weights, sperm evaluations and testicular histology, were examined on four adult male offspring of exposed pregnant mice. When compared with control, a dose of deltamethrin 5 mg kg j(-1) causes a decrease in the absolute and relative weight of the testes of exposed mice and it affects their fertility by reducing the density, mobility and vitality of sperm and increasing the number of abnormal forms of these cells (P ≤ 0.01). The same results were obtained in mice exposed to a dose of 5 mg kg j(-1) combination of dimethoate and deltamethrin. This study demonstrated that deltamethrin and combination of dimethoate and deltamethrin caused a decrease in the absolute and relative weight of the testes, which affected the sperm parameters of male offspring of exposed mice to a low dose of these pesticides during pregnancy.

  19. ENO2 activity is required for the development and reproductive success of plants, and is feedback-repressed by AtMBP-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eremina, Marina; Rozhon, Wilfried; Yang, Saiqi; Poppenberger, Brigitte

    2015-03-01

    Enolases are key glycolytic enzymes that are highly conserved in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, and are among the most abundant cytosolic proteins. In this study we provide evidence that activity of the enolase ENO2 is essential for the growth and development of plants. We show that Arabidopsis plants with compromised ENO2 function, which were generated by mutating the LOS2/ENO2 locus, have severe cellular defects, including reduced cell size and defective cell differentiation with restricted lignification. At the tissue and organ level LOS2/ENO2-deficient plants are characterized by the reduced growth of shoots and roots, altered vascular development and defective secondary growth of stems, impaired floral organogenesis and defective male gametophyte function, resulting in embryo lethality as well as delayed senescence. These phenotypes correlate with reduced lignin and increased salicylic acid contents as well as altered fatty acid and soluble sugar composition. In addition to an enolase the LOS2/ENO2 locus encodes the transcription factor AtMBP-1, and here we reveal that this bifunctionality serves to maintain the homeostasis of ENO2 activity. In summary, we show that in plants enolase function is required for the formation of chorismate-dependent secondary metabolites, and that this activity is feedback-inhibited by AtMBP-1 to enable the normal development and reproductive success of plants.

  20. 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

  1. Direct-to-consumer advertising of success rates for medically assisted reproduction: a review of national clinic websites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vail, Andy; Roberts, Stephen A

    2017-01-01

    Objectives To establish how medically assisted reproduction (MAR) clinics report success rates on their websites. Setting Websites of private and NHS clinics offering in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the UK. Participants 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. Primary and secondary outcome measures Outcome measures reported by clinic websites. The numerator and denominator included in the outcome measure were of interest. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:28082363

  2. Malarial parasites decrease reproductive success: an experimental study in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzal, Alfonso; de Lope, Florentino; Navarro, Carlos; Møller, Anders Pape

    2005-02-01

    Malarial parasites are supposed to have strong negative fitness consequences for their hosts, but relatively little evidence supports this claim due to the difficulty of experimentally testing this. We experimentally reduced levels of infection with the blood parasite Haemoproteus prognei in its host the house martin Delichon urbica, by randomly treating adults with primaquine or a control treatment. Treated birds had significantly fewer parasites than controls. The primaquine treatment increased clutch size by 18%; hatching was 39% higher and fledging 42% higher. There were no effects of treatment on quality of offspring, measured in terms of tarsus length, body mass, haematocrit or T-cell-mediated immune response. These findings demonstrate that malarial parasites can have dramatic effects on clutch size and other demographic variables, potentially influencing the evolution of clutch size, but also the population dynamics of heavily infected populations of birds.

  3. Reproductive isolation and pollination success of rewarding Galearis diantha and non-rewarding Ponerorchis chusua (Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hai-Qin; Huang, Bao-Qiang; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Kou, Yong; An, De-Jun; Luo, Yi-Bo; Ge, Song

    2011-01-01

    Increasing evidence challenges the conventional perception that orchids are the most distinct example of floral diversification due to floral or prezygotic isolation. Regarding the relationship between co-flowering plants, rewarding and non-rewarding orchids in particular, few studies have investigated whether non-rewarding plants affect the pollination success of rewarding plants. Here, floral isolation and mutual effects between the rewarding orchid Galearis diantha and the non-rewarding orchid Ponerorchis chusua were investigated. Flowering phenological traits were monitored by noting the opening and wilting dates of the chosen individual plants. The pollinator pool and pollinator behaviour were assessed from field observations. Key morphological traits of the flowers and pollinators were measured directly in the field. Pollinator limitation and interspecific compatibility were evaluated by hand-pollination experiments. Fruit set was surveyed in monospecific and heterospecific plots. The species had overlapping peak flowering periods. Pollinators of both species displayed a certain degree of constancy in visiting each species, but they also visited other flowers before landing on the focal orchids. A substantial difference in spur size between the species resulted in the deposition of pollen on different regions of the body of the shared pollinator. Hand-pollination experiments revealed that fruit set was strongly pollinator-limited in both species. No significant difference in fruit set was found between monospecific plots and heterospecific plots. A combination of mechanical isolation and incomplete ethological isolation eliminates the possibility of pollen transfer between the species. These results do not support either the facilitation or competition hypothesis regarding the effect of nearby rewarding flowers on non-rewarding plants. The absence of a significant effect of non-rewarding P. chusua on rewarding G. diantha can be ascribed to low levels of

  4. Effect of the Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dams on the Reproductive Success of Kokanee in the Flathead System; Technical Addendum to the Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beattie, Will; Tohtz, Joel

    1990-03-01

    This addendum to the Final Report presents results of research on the zooplankton and fish communities of Flathead Lade. The intent of the Study has been to identify the impacts of hydroelectric operations at Kerr and Hungry Horse Dam on the reproductive success of kokanee an to propose mitigation for these impacts. Recent changes in the trophic ecology of the lake, have reduced the survival of kokanee. In the last three year the Study has been redirected to identify, if possible, the biological mechanisms which now limit kokanee survival, and to test methods of enhancing the kokanee fishery by artificial supplementation. These studies were necessary to the formulation of mitigation plans. The possibility of successfully rehabilitating the kokanee population, is the doubt because of change in the trophic ecology of the system. This report first presents the results of studies of the population dynamics of crustacean zooplankton, upon which planktivorous fish depend. A modest effort was directed to measuring the spawning escapement of kokanee in 1988. Because of its relevance to the study, we also report assessments of 1989 kokanee spawning escapement. Hydroacoustic assessment of the abundance of all fish species in Flathead Lake was conducted in November, 1988. Summary of the continued efforts to document the growth rates and food habits of kokanee and lake whitefish are included in this report. Revised kokanee spawning and harvest estimates, and management implications of the altered ecology of Flathead Lake comprise the final sections of this addendum. 83 refs., 20 figs., 25 tabs.

  5. Root-Lesion Nematodes Suppress Cabbage Aphid Population Development by Reducing Aphid Daily Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hol, W H G; Raaijmakers, Ciska E; Mons, Ilse; Meyer, Katrin M; van Dam, Nicole M

    2016-01-01

    Empirical studies have shown that belowground feeding herbivores can affect the performance of aboveground herbivores in different ways. Often the critical life-history parameters underlying the observed performance effects remain unexplored. In order to better understand the cause for the observed effects on aboveground herbivores, these ecological mechanisms must be better understood. In this study we combined empirical experiments with a modeling approach to analyze the effect of two root feeding endoparasitic nematodes with different feeding strategies on the population growth of the aboveground feeding specialist aphid Brevicoryne brassicae on Brassica nigra. The aim was to test whether emerging differences in life history characteristics (days until reproduction, daily reproduction) would be sufficient to explain observed differences in aphid population development on plants with and without two species of nematodes. Aphid numbers were lower on plants with Pratylenchus penetrans in comparison to aphid numbers on plants with Meloidogyne spp. A dedicated experiment showed that aphid daily reproduction was lower on plants with P. penetrans (3.08 offspring female(-1) day(-1)) in comparison to both uninfested plants and plants with Meloidogyne spp. (3.50 offspring female(-1) day(-1)). The species-specific reduction of aphid reproduction appeared independent of changes in amino acids, soluble sugars or the glucosinolate sinigrin in the phloem. An individual-based model revealed that relatively small differences in reproduction rate per female were sufficient to yield a similar difference in aphid populations as was found in the empirical experiments.

  6. Towards successful physical stress reducing products: An evaluation of seven cases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Looze, M.P. de; Urlings, I.J.M.; Vink, P.; Rhijn, J.W. van; Miedema, M.C.; Bronkhorst, R.E.; Grinten, M.P. van der

    2001-01-01

    Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling at work are assumed to be related to increased risks of musculoskeletal injury, mainly in the low back and shoulder region. The implementation of products to reduce the physical load in heavy work is a well-known strategy to attack this problem. The success of

  7. Aquaporins are critical for provision of water during lactation and intrauterine progeny hydration to maintain tsetse fly reproductive success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua B Benoit

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies undergo drastic fluctuations in their water content throughout their adult life history due to events such as blood feeding, dehydration and lactation, an essential feature of the viviparous reproductive biology of tsetse. Aquaporins (AQPs are transmembrane proteins that allow water and other solutes to permeate through cellular membranes. Here we identify tsetse aquaporin (AQP genes, examine their expression patterns under different physiological conditions (blood feeding, lactation and stress response and perform functional analysis of three specific genes utilizing RNA interference (RNAi gene silencing. Ten putative aquaporins were identified in the Glossina morsitans morsitans (Gmm genome, two more than has been previously documented in any other insect. All organs, tissues, and body parts examined had distinct AQP expression patterns. Two AQP genes, gmmdripa and gmmdripb ( = gmmaqp1a and gmmaqp1b are highly expressed in the milk gland/fat body tissues. The whole-body transcript levels of these two genes vary over the course of pregnancy. A set of three AQPs (gmmaqp5, gmmaqp2a, and gmmaqp4b are expressed highly in the Malpighian tubules. Knockdown of gmmdripa and gmmdripb reduced the efficiency of water loss following a blood meal, increased dehydration tolerance and reduced heat tolerance of adult females. Knockdown of gmmdripa extended pregnancy length, and gmmdripb knockdown resulted in extended pregnancy duration and reduced progeny production. We found that knockdown of AQPs increased tsetse milk osmolality and reduced the water content in developing larva. Combined knockdown of gmmdripa, gmmdripb and gmmaqp5 extended pregnancy by 4-6 d, reduced pupal production by nearly 50%, increased milk osmolality by 20-25% and led to dehydration of feeding larvae. Based on these results, we conclude that gmmDripA and gmmDripB are critical for diuresis, stress tolerance and intrauterine lactation through the regulation of water and

  8. Contributions of Weather and Predation to Reduced Breeding Success in a Threatened Northern Loggerhead Shrike Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas M. Collister

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Populations on the periphery of a species' range may experience more severe environmental conditions relative to populations closer to the core of the range. As a consequence, peripheral populations may have lower reproductive success or survival, which may affect their persistence. In this study, we examined the influence of environmental conditions on breeding biology and nest survival in a threatened population of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus at the northern limit of the range in southeastern Alberta, Canada, and compared our estimates with those from shrike populations elsewhere in the range. Over the 2-year study in 1992–1993, clutch sizes averaged 6.4 eggs, and most nests were initiated between mid-May and mid-June. Rate of renesting following initial nest failure was 19%, and there were no known cases of double-brooding. Compared with southern populations, rate of renesting was lower and clutch sizes tended to be larger, whereas the length of the nestling and hatchling periods appeared to be similar. Most nest failures were directly associated with nest predators, but weather had a greater direct effect in 1993. Nest survival models indicated higher daily nest survival during warmer temperatures and lower precipitation, which may include direct effects of weather on nestlings as well as indirect effects on predator behavior or food abundance. Daily nest survival varied over the nesting cycle in a curvilinear pattern, with a slight increase through laying, approximately constant survival through incubation, and a decline through the nestling period. Partial brood loss during the nestling stage was high, particularly in 1993, when conditions were cool and wet. Overall, the lower likelihood of renesting, lower nest survival, and higher partial brood loss appeared to depress reproductive output in this population relative to those elsewhere in the range, and may have increased susceptibility to population declines.

  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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kempers, J.P.; Ketting, E.; Chandra-Mouli, V.; Raudsepp, T.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 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

  10. Intensive genetic assessment of the mating system and reproductive success in a semi-closed population of the mottled sculpin, Cottus bairdi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony C. Fiumera; Brady A. Porter; Gary D. Grossman; John C. Avise

    2002-01-01

    Most genetic surveys of parentage in nature sample only a small fraction of the breeding population. Here we apply micro satellite markers to deduce the genetic mating system and assess the reproductive success of females and males in an extensively collected, semiclosed stream population of the mottled sculpin fish, Cottus bairdi. In this species,...

  11. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kempers, J.P.; Ketting, E.; Chandra-Mouli, V.; Raudsepp, T.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 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

  14. Selecting honey bees for worker brood that reduces the reproduction of Varroa destructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    We investigated an effect of Apis mellifera worker brood on the reproduction of Varroa destructor as a resistance trait by conducting seven generations of bidirectional selection. Initial tests showed two-fold differences in mite fecundity (progeny per foundress mites) between colonies of different...

  15. Estimated reproductive success of brooders and heritability of growth traits for large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) using microsatellites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiande; SUI Banliang; WANG Zhiyong; CAI Mingyi; YAO Cuiluan; CHEN Qingkai

    2011-01-01

    We estimated the reproductive success of adult brood fish and the heritability of growthrelated traits for large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea).We created two independent full-factorial cross groups (1 and 2) by crossing 4 males×4 females and 4 males×3 females,respectively.We measured the body weight (BW),body length (BL),and body height (BH) of 281 individuals from group 1 and 318 individuals from group 2 at 20 months post hatch (harvest age).We also collected a tissue sample from each individual.The parents and offspring were genotyped using six polymorphic microsatellites.Of the 599 offspring,99.2% were assigned to a single pair of parents.In both groups,some parent pairs produced a large number of offsprings while other pairs did not produce any offspring.The genetic diversity and putative Ne were lower in the offsprings than in the parents in both groups.The heritability estimates at 20-month age were 0.13±0.10 for BW,0.19±0.13 for BL,and 0.09±0.06 for BH.The genetic and phenotype correlation between BW,BL,and BH was close to 1.The results provide basic information for selective breeding and further genetic characterization of large yellow croaker.

  16. Mucometra, cystic endometrial hyperplasia, and pyometra in the bitch: advances in treatment and assessment of future reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verstegen, J; Dhaliwal, G; Verstegen-Onclin, K

    2008-08-01

    Pyometra is a common reproductive disorder which affects nearly one fourth of all female dogs before they reach 10 y of age. An association between pyometra and the most common uterine disease of the bitch, cystic endometrial hyperplasia, has been established, as the latter allows commensal bacteria originating from the vagina to proliferate in the uterus at the end of estrus. The progressive degenerative process in the development of cystic endometrial hyperplasia is usually proposed as the initiating lesion for pyometra in bitches; this is mediated by progesterone and potentially aggravated by estrogens. However, a separate process caused by local uterine irritation to trophoblastic reaction and bacterial proliferation has been recently proposed as an alternate mechanism leading to the development of pyometra. Pyometra is clinically distinct in pathogenesis, signs, treatment and prognosis from postpartum metritis or mucometra. Treatment of pyometra has historically involved ovariohysterectomy, however, during the last 10 y, numerous effective treatments have been proposed to treat both open and closed cervix pyometra with good success and future fertility. Among the treatments available, the use of repeated low doses of prostaglandins alone or in association with either dopamine agonists or progesterone-receptor antagonists has been demonstrated to be a viable alternative for valuable breeding dogs.

  17. Atrazine reduces reproduction in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas): raw data report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillitt, Donald E.; Papoulias, Diana M.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Richter, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    The herbicide, atrazine, routinely is observed in surface and groundwaters, particularly in the “corn belt” region, a high-use area of the United States. Atrazine has demonstrated effects on reproduction in mammals and amphibians, but the characterization of endocrine-related effects in fish has received only limited attention. Peak concentrations of atrazine in surface water of streams from these agricultural areas coincide with annual spawning events of native fishes. Consequently, there was an unacceptable level of uncertainty in our understanding of the risks associated with the periods of greatest atrazine exposure and greatest vulnerability of certain species of fishes. For this reason, a study of the effects of atrazine on fathead minnow reproduction was undertaken (Tillitt and others, 2010). This report provides the raw data from that study.

  18. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery-and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2000-2001 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); Rau, J.A. (Cle Elum Supplementation Research, Cle Elum, WA)

    2003-01-01

    In the Yakima Spring Chinook supplementation program, wild fish are brought into the Cle Elum Hatchery, artificially crossed, reared, transferred to acclimation sites, and released into the upper Yakima River as smolts. When these fish mature and return to the Yakima River most of them will be allowed to spawn naturally; a few, however, will be brought back to the hatchery and used for research purposes. In order for this supplementation approach to be successful, hatchery-origin fish must be able to spawn and produce offspring under natural conditions. Recent investigations on salmonid fishes have indicated that exposure to hatchery environments during juvenile life may cause significant behavioral, physiological, and morphological changes in adult fish. These changes appear to reduce the reproductive competence of hatchery fish. In general, males are more affected than females; species with prolonged freshwater rearing periods are more strongly impacted than those with shorter rearing periods; and stocks that have been exposed to artificial culture for multiple generations are more impaired than those with a relatively short exposure history to hatchery conditions.

  19. Reproductive failure in Arabidopsis thaliana under transient carbohydrate limitation: flowers and very young siliques are jettisoned and the meristem is maintained to allow successful resumption of reproductive growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauxmann, Martin A; Annunziata, Maria G; Brunoud, Géraldine; Wahl, Vanessa; Koczut, Andrzej; Burgos, Asdrubal; Olas, Justyna J; Maximova, Eugenia; Abel, Christin; Schlereth, Armin; Soja, Aleksandra M; Bläsing, Oliver E; Lunn, John E; Vernoux, Teva; Stitt, Mark

    2016-04-01

    The impact of transient carbon depletion on reproductive growth in Arabidopsis was investigated by transferring long-photoperiod-grown plants to continuous darkness and returning them to a light-dark cycle. After 2 days of darkness, carbon reserves were depleted in reproductive sinks, and RNA in situ hybridization of marker transcripts showed that carbon starvation responses had been initiated in the meristem, anthers and ovules. Dark treatments of 2 or more days resulted in a bare-segment phenotype on the floral stem, with 23-27 aborted siliques. These resulted from impaired growth of immature siliques and abortion of mature and immature flowers. Depolarization of PIN1 protein and increased DII-VENUS expression pointed to rapid collapse of auxin gradients in the meristem and inhibition of primordia initiation. After transfer back to a light-dark cycle, flowers appeared and formed viable siliques and seeds. A similar phenotype was seen after transfer to sub-compensation point irradiance or CO2 . It also appeared in a milder form after a moderate decrease in irradiance and developed spontaneously in short photoperiods. We conclude that Arabidopsis inhibits primordia initiation and aborts flowers and very young siliques in C-limited conditions. This curtails demand, safeguarding meristem function and allowing renewal of reproductive growth when carbon becomes available again.

  20. Longevity and lifetime reproductive success of barn swallow offspring are predicted by their hatching date and phenotypic quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Ambrosini, Roberto; Rubolini, Diego; Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Caprioli, Manuela; Romano, Andrea

    2012-09-01

    1. Longevity is a major determinant of individual differences in Darwinian fitness. Several studies have analyzed the stochastic, time-dependent causes of variation in longevity, but little information exists from free-ranging animal populations on the effects that environmental conditions and phenotype early in ontogeny have on duration of life. 2. In this long-term (1993-2011) study of a migratory, colonial, passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), we analyzed longevity and, in a subsample of individuals, lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of the offspring that reached sexual maturity in relation to hatching date, which can affect the rearing environment through a seasonal deterioration in ecological conditions. Moreover, we analyzed the consequences of variation in body size and, for the first time in any species, of a major component of immunity on longevity, both by looking at absolute phenotypic values and at deviations from the brood mean. 3. Accelerated failure time models showed that individuals of both sexes that hatched early in any breeding season enjoyed larger longevity and larger LRS, indicating directional selection for early breeding. Both male and female offspring with large T cell-mediated immune response relative to their siblings and female nestlings that dominated the brood size/age hierarchy had larger longevity than their siblings of inferior phenotypic quality/age. Conversely, absolute phenotypic values did not predict longevity. 4. Frailty modelling disclosed marked spatial heterogeneity in longevity among colonies of origin, again stressing the impact of rearing conditions on longevity. 5. This study therefore reinforces the notion that perinatal environment and maternal decisions over timing and site of breeding, and position in the brood hierarchy can have marked effects on progeny life history that extend well into adulthood. In addition, it provides the first evidence from any bird population in the wild that immune

  1. Monitoring the Reproductive Success of Naturally Spawning Hatchery and Natural Spring Chinook Salmon in the Wenatchee River, 2008-2009 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, Michael J.; Williamson, Kevin S. [Northwest Fisheries Science Center

    2009-05-28

    male fitness. For both sexes, run time had a smaller but still significant effect on fitness, with earlier returning fish favored. Spawning location within the river had a significant effect on fitness for both males and females, and for females explained most of the reduced fitness observed for hatchery fish in this population. While differences have been reported in the relative reproductive success of hatchery and naturally produced salmonids Oncorhynchus spp., factors explaining the differences are often confounded. We examined the spawning site habitat and redd structure variables of hatchery and naturally produced spring Chinook salmon O. tshawytscha of known size that spawned in two tributaries of the Wenatchee River. We controlled for variability in spawning habitat by limiting our analysis to redds found within four selected reaches. No difference in the instantaneous spawner density or location of the redd in the stream channel was detected between reaches. Within each reach, no difference in the fork length or weight of hatchery and naturally produced fish was detected. While most variables differed between reaches, we found no difference in redd characteristics within a reach between hatchery and naturally produced females. Correlation analysis of fish size and redd characteristics found several weak but significant relationships suggesting larger fish contract larger redds in deeper water. Spawner density was inversely related to several redd structure variables suggesting redd size may decrease as spawner density increases. Results should be considered preliminary until samples size and statistical power goals are reached in future years. Trends in relative reproductive success of hatchery and naturally produced spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Wenatchee Basins suggest females that spawn in the upper reaches of the tributaries produced a great number of offspring compared to females that spawn in the lower reaches of the tributaries

  2. Grazing and nutrients reduce recruitment success of Fucus vesiculosus L. (Fucales: Phaeophyceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korpinen, Samuli; Jormalainen, Veijo

    2008-06-01

    Coastal eutrophication has resulted in the reduced abundance of the perennial macroalga Fucus vesiculosus L. due to negative effects of increased turbidity, spatial competition, and grazing. We conducted a factorial field experiment to explore the main and interactive effects of three factors on the recruitment success of F. vesiculosus. We manipulated (1) substrate occupancy by offering unoccupied substrates and substrates occupied by a natural assembly of macroalgal spores, periphyton and loose material, (2) nutrient availability by exposing substrates to ambient and enriched nutrient conditions, and (3) herbivory by exclosing the natural herbivore community and enclosing either small ( Hydrobia spp.) or large ( Theodoxus fluviatilis L.) snails. Microrecruit density of F. vesiculosus depended on the density of parent algae in ambient nutrient availability, whereas, under enriched conditions, such dependency disappeared. Microrecruit density was lower on previously occupied than on unoccupied substrates and at enriched rather than ambient nutrient levels. The lowest recruitment success resulted from a combination of these two treatment levels. The microrecruit density of F. vesiculosus decreased sharply with the density of filamentous algae indicating that competition with opportunistic species contributed to poor recruitment success. Microrecruit density did not differ between the grazer exclosure and the natural grazer community treatment level reflecting locally low grazer densities and consequent weak grazing pressure in the study site. However, the enclosure of snails at higher densities that still naturally occur in the nearby areas affected the recruitment success of F. vesiculosus. This effect was dependent on nutrient availability; at ambient levels, snail grazers had only a minor negative effect on microrecruit density whereas under enriched conditions, both snail species negatively affected recruitment success. Thus, instead of reducing competition and

  3. Reproductive success of South American terns (Sterna hirundinacea from Cardos Islands, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélio A.A. Fracasso

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Sterna hirundinacea (Lesson, 1831 is a migratory seabird that breeds in the Pacific Coast (from Peru to Chile and along the Atlantic coast of South America from Espírito Santo (Brazil to Terra del Fuego (Argentina. This paper describes the reproductive success of South American Terns on Cardos Island, Florianopolis, Brazil in the breeding seasons of 2003, 2005 and 2006. The colony was formed in mid-May in 2003 and early April in other years, with the total number of nests ranging from 1,852 in 2006 to 2,486 in 2005. Hatching success was estimated at 76.39% in 2006, 62.73% in 2003 and 41.1% in 2005, the lowest value that could be attributed to predation by hawks Caracara plancus, lizards Tupinambis merianae and black vulture Coragyps atratus. The chicks hatched in July in 2003, and in June 2005 and 2006, and fledging success was 50.94%, 35.96 and 53.47% respectively. Cardos Island has been constantly used as a breeding site by South American Terns, and therefore represents an important area for conservation of this species. This success could be attributed to low pressure of Kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus, the main predator of seabirds along the Brazilian coast.Sterna hirundinacea (Lesson, 1831 é uma ave migratória que nidifica na costa do Pacífico (do Peru ao Chile e ao longo do Atlântico Sul do Espírito Santo (Brasil até a Terra do Fogo (Argentina. Este trabalho descreve o sucesso reprodutivo do trinta-réis do bico-vermelho na ilha dos Cardos, Florianópolis, Brasil, durante as temporadas reprodutivas de 2003, 2005 e 2006. A formação da colônia ocorreu em maio de 2003 e inicio de abril nos outros anos, com um total de ninhos variando entre 1.852 em 2006 a 2.486 em 2005. O sucesso de incubação foi estimado em 76,39% (2006, 62,73% (2003 e 41,1% em 2005, sendo que os menores valores puderam ser atribuídos a predação dos gaviões Caracara plancus, lagartos Tupinambis merianae e urubus Coragyps atratus. As primeiras eclosões foram

  4. Census techniques and methods for monitoring population trends and reproductive success of marine birds: A preliminary annotated bibliography draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This draft biography draws together 79 published and unpublished sources which are helpful in designing and conducting monitoring population trends and reproductive...

  5. Population status and reproductive success of cliff-nesting seabirds at Bluff, Alaska in 1985: Report of field results

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 1985 fieldwork was conducted at the Bluff colony in Norton Sound to provide a continuing assessment of numbers and reproductive performance of Common Murres (Uria...

  6. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2001-2002 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroder, Steven L. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA); Knudsen, Curtis M. (Oncorh Consulting, Olympia, WA); Watson, Bruce D. (Yakima Nation, Toppenish, WA)

    2003-05-01

    In 2001 hatchery- and wild-origin spring chinook were placed into an observation stream located at the Cle Elum Supplementation Research Facility to compare their reproductive success. Two groups containing both wild- and hatchery fish of both sexes were brought into the stream and allowed to spawn. Their longevity, spawning participation, and reproductive success were assessed. In addition, wild- and hatchery-origin precocious males were also introduced into one of the sections and allowed to spawn. We found that hatchery and wild males generally lived longer than females. In one group hatchery and wild females lived for similar periods of time while in the other wild females lived longer than hatchery fish. Wild females were also more successful at burying their eggs and the eggs they buried had higher survival rates. This result occurred in both groups of fish. Spawning participation in males was estimated by using two statistics referred to as percent gonad depletion (PGD) and percent testes retention (PRT). Both of these measures assumed that loss of testes weight in males would reflect their spawning participation and therefore could be used to estimate reproductive success. Hatchery and wild males had similar PGD and PRT values. One of these measures, PRT, was negatively associated with male reproductive success, confirming the idea that reduction in testes weight can be used as a surrogate measure of a male's ability to produce offspring Fry from the observation stream were collected throughout the emergence period that ran from January through May. Proportionate sub-samples of these fish were removed and microsatellite DNA was extracted from them. Pedigree analyses were performed to ascertain which adult fish had produced them. These analyses disclosed that wild males were more successful at producing progeny in one of the groups. No difference occurred in the other group. Precocial males and jacks fathered fewer progeny than did fish maturing at ages

  7. Conflict resolution in an ant-plant interaction: Acacia constricta traits reduce ant costs to reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicklen, E Fleur; Wagner, Diane

    2006-05-01

    Many plant species attract ants onto their foliage with food rewards or nesting space. However, ants can interfere with plant reproduction when they visit flowers. This study tests whether Acacia constricta separates visiting ant species temporally or spatially from newly opened inflorescences and pollinators. The diurnal activity patterns of ants and A. constricta pollinators peaked at different times of day, and the activity of pollinators followed the daily dehiscence of A. constricta inflorescences. In addition to being largely temporally separated, ants rarely visited open inflorescences. A floral ant repellent contributes to the spatial separation of ants and inflorescences. In a field experiment, ants of four species were given equal access to inflorescences in different developmental stages. On average, the frequency with which ants made initial, antennal contact with the floral stages did not differ, but ants significantly avoided secondary contact with newly opened inflorescences relative to buds and old inflorescences, and old inflorescences relative to buds. Ants also avoided contact with pollen alone, indicating that pollen is at least one source of the repellent. The results suggest A. constricta has effectively resolved the potential conflict between visiting ants and plant reproduction.

  8. Larval exposure to environmentally relevant mixtures of alkylphenolethoxylates reduces reproductive competence in male fathead minnows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bistodeau, T.J.; Barber, L.B.; Bartell, S.E.; Cediel, R.A.; Grove, K.J.; Klaustermeier, J.; Woodard, J.C.; Lee, K.E.; Schoenfuss, H.L.

    2006-01-01

    The ubiquitous presence of nonylphenolethoxylate/octylphenolethoxylate (NPE/OPE) compounds in aquatic environments adjacent to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) warrants an assessment of the endocrine disrupting potential of these complex mixtures on aquatic vertebrates. In this study, fathead minnow larvae were exposed for 64 days to a mixture of NPE/OPE, which closely models the NPE/OPE composition of a major metropolitan WWTP effluent. Target exposure concentrations included a total NPE/OPE mixture load of 200% of the WWTP effluent concentration (148 ??g/L), 100% of the WWTP effluent concentration (74 ??g/L) and 50% of the WWTP effluent concentration (38 ??g/L). The NPE/OPE mixture contained 0.2% 4-t-octylphenol, 2.8% 4-nonylphenol, 5.1% 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxylate, 9.3% 4-nonylphenoldiethoxylate, 0.9% 4-t-octylphenolmonoethoxylate, 3.1% 4-t-octylphenoldiethoxylate, 33.8% 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxycarboxylate, and 44.8% 4-nonylphenoldiethoxycarboxylate. An additional exposure of 5 ??g/L 4-nonylphenol (nominal) was conducted. The exposure utilized a flow-through system supplied by ground water and designed to deliver consistent concentrations of applied chemicals. Following exposure, larvae were raised to maturity. Upon sexual maturation, exposed male fish were allowed to compete with control males in a competitive spawning assay. Nest holding ability of control and exposed fish was carefully monitored for 7 days. All male fish were then sacrificed and analyzed for plasma vitellogenin, developmental changes in gonadal tissues, alterations in the development of secondary sexual characters, morphometric changes, and changes to reproductive behavior. When exposed to the 200% NPE/OPE treatment most larvae died within the first 4 weeks of exposure. Both the 100% and 50% NPE/OPE exposures caused a significant decrease in reproductive behavior, as indicated by an inability of many of the previously exposed males to acquire and hold a nest site required for reproduction

  9. Impact of the diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehyde 2-trans,4-trans decadienal on the feeding, survivorship and reproductive success of the calanoid copepod Temora stylifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kâ, Samba; Carotenuto, Ylenia; Romano, Giovanna; Hwang, Jiang-Shiou; Buttino, Isabella; Ianora, Adrianna

    2014-02-01

    Many diatoms, a major class of unicellular algae contributing to over 45% of oceanic primary production, are known to induce deleterious effects on reproductive processes in crustacean copepods. This is mainly due to the production of teratogenic oxylipins, including polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs). Here we tested the direct effect of the PUA 2E,4E-decadienal (DD) on feeding activity, survivorship and reproductive success of the calanoid copepod Temora stylifera. DD-inoculated cultures induced high mortality at concentrations above 3 μg mL(-1) compared to controls in both males and females, with males having a higher mortality. Low DD concentrations triggered an increase in female filtration and ingestion rates. Egg production rates and hatching times were also higher in the presence of DD, whereas egg hatching success decreased with increasing DD concentration. Our study shows, for the first time, that the presence of diatom PUAs may increase feeding rates in copepods.

  10. Effect of the Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dams on the Reproductive Success of Kokanee in the Flathead System, 1987 Final Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beattie, Will; Zubik, Raymond; Clancey, Patrick

    1988-05-01

    reproductive success in few sites. Studies of the effects of hydroelectric operations on the reproductive success of kokanee in the Flathead system have been ongoing since 1980. Results of these studies have been published in a series of annual progress reports which are detailed in Appendix G. The reports summarize spawning site inventories and spawning escapement, egg and alevin mortality rates and the mechanisms by which water level fluctuations influence mortality, creel surveys, and investigation of the population dynamics of Flathead kokanee. The Region 1 offices of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks distribute this material to the scientific community and the general public. Until recently, it was considered feasible to recover losses to the Flathead kokanee fishery by enhancing and diversifying natural reproduction. But the establishment of opossum shrimp (M. relicta) in Flathead Lake has reduced the availability of zooplankton forage in the spring and summer, and may reduce the viability of juvenile kokanee. In 1986, research was redirected to quantify this competitive interaction and to investigate artificial means of enhancing the kokanee fishery. The average density of mysid shrimp in Flathead Lake has increased to 108/m{sup 2} in 1987, and at some locations density exceeds 500/m2. Mysid grazing pressure has delayed the pulse of zooplankton production in the spring and reduced zooplankton standing crop in the summer. Cladocerans such as Daphnia thorata, the preferred food of kokanee of all ages, are the most markedly affected species. The peak density of D. thorata in the summer has declined from 4.8/liter in 1983 to O.9/liter in 1987. Growth rates of underyearling and yearling kokanee have declined, apparently as a result of the reduction in their food supply. Spawning escapement has also declined, falling from 150,000 in 1985. to 25,000 in 1986, to 600 in 1987. Fry-to-adult survival has declined from 2.5 percent to near zero. The causes of high

  11. 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.

  12. Reduced rearing density increases postrelease migration success of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Martin Hage; Johnsson, Jörgen I; Näslund, Joacim

    2016-01-01

    during rearing in the hatchery. However, individuals reared at reduced density had less eroded dorsal fins and opercula relative to those from the high-density treatment. In the stream, the downstream migration success was 16% higher for fish reared at reduced density than for conspecifics kept at high-density......The overall aim of this study was to investigate the effect of rearing density on the post-release survival of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts during seaward migration. Fish were either reared at conventional hatchery density or at one-third of conventional density. Three hundred one-year old...... smolts from each density treatment were individually tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and released 3.2 km upstream of a stationary antenna array in a natural stream. There were no significant differences in length, body mass, or condition between fish from the two density treatments...

  13. Mercury and selenium concentrations in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): population comparisons, implications for reproductive success, hazard quotients and directions for future research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrault, Justin R; Miller, Debra L; Garner, Jeanne; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2013-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are long-distance migrants that travel thousands of km from foraging grounds to breeding and nesting grounds. These extensive journeys are fueled by ingestion of an estimated 300-400 kg of prey/d and likely result in exposure to high concentrations of environmental toxicants (e.g., mercury compounds). Increased bodily concentrations of mercury and its compounds in nesting female turtles may have detrimental effects on reproductive success. Leatherbacks have relatively low reproductive success compared with other sea turtles (global average hatching success ~50-60%). To assess toxicants and necessary nutrients as factors affecting leatherback turtle reproductive success at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, we collected blood from nesting female leatherbacks and tissues from their hatchlings (blood from live turtles, liver and yolk sac from dead turtles). We compared the concentrations in those tissues to hatching and emergence success. We found that on SPNWR, hatching and emergence success were more closely related to seasonal factors than to total mercury and selenium concentrations in both nesting females and hatchlings. Selenium concentrations of nesting females were positively correlated with those of their hatchlings. Mercury and selenium in the liver of hatchlings were positively correlated with one another. Turtles with greater remigration intervals tended to have higher blood selenium concentrations, suggesting that selenium accumulates in leatherbacks through time. Through hazard quotients, we found evidence that selenium may be at or above concentrations that may cause physiologic harm to hatchlings. We also found evidence that population level differences exist for these trace elements. The concentrations of mercury and selenium established in this manuscript form a baseline for future toxicant studies.

  14. Infections with immunogenic trypanosomes reduce tsetse reproductive fitness: potential impact of different parasite strains on vector population structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changyun Hu

    Full Text Available The parasite Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and its insect vector Glossina morsitans morsitans were used to evaluate the effect of parasite clearance (resistance as well as the cost of midgut infections on tsetse host fitness. Tsetse flies are viviparous and have a low reproductive capacity, giving birth to only 6-8 progeny during their lifetime. Thus, small perturbations to their reproductive fitness can have a major impact on population densities. We measured the fecundity (number of larval progeny deposited and mortality in parasite-resistant tsetse females and untreated controls and found no differences. There was, however, a typanosome-specific impact on midgut infections. Infections with an immunogenic parasite line that resulted in prolonged activation of the tsetse immune system delayed intrauterine larval development resulting in the production of fewer progeny over the fly's lifetime. In contrast, parasitism with a second line that failed to activate the immune system did not impose a fecundity cost. Coinfections favored the establishment of the immunogenic parasites in the midgut. We show that a decrease in the synthesis of Glossina Milk gland protein (GmmMgp, a major female accessory gland protein associated with larvagenesis, likely contributed to the reproductive lag observed in infected flies. Mathematical analysis of our empirical results indicated that infection with the immunogenic trypanosomes reduced tsetse fecundity by 30% relative to infections with the non-immunogenic strain. We estimate that a moderate infection prevalence of about 26% with immunogenic parasites has the potential to reduce tsetse populations. Potential repercussions for vector population growth, parasite-host coevolution, and disease prevalence are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. Wolbachia infection reduces blood-feeding success in the dengue fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew P Turley

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mosquito Aedes aegypti was recently transinfected with a life-shortening strain of the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis (wMelPop as the first step in developing a biocontrol strategy for dengue virus transmission. In addition to life-shortening, the wMelPop-infected mosquitoes also exhibit increased daytime activity and metabolic rates. Here we sought to quantify the blood-feeding behaviour of Wolbachia-infected females as an indicator of any virulence or energetic drain associated with Wolbachia infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In a series of blood-feeding trials in response to humans, we have shown that Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes do not differ in their response time to humans, but that as they age they obtain fewer and smaller blood meals than Wolbachia-uninfected controls. Lastly, we observed a behavioural characteristic in the Wolbachia infected mosquitoes best described as a "bendy" proboscis that may explain the decreased biting success. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together the evidence suggests that wMelPop infection may be causing tissue damage in a manner that intensifies with mosquito age and that leads to reduced blood-feeding success. These behavioural changes require further investigation with respect to a possible physiological mechanism and their role in vectorial capacity of the insect. The selective decrease of feeding success in older mosquitoes may act synergistically with other Wolbachia-associated traits including life-shortening and viral protection in biocontrol strategies.

  17. Reduced genetic diversity and increased reproductive isolation follow population-level loss of larval dispersal in a marine gastropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellingson, Ryan A; Krug, Patrick J

    2016-01-01

    Population-level consequences of dispersal ability remain poorly understood, especially for marine animals in which dispersal is typically considered a species-level trait governed by oceanographic transport of microscopic larvae. Transitions from dispersive (planktotrophic) to nondispersive, aplanktonic larvae are predicted to reduce connectivity, genetic diversity within populations, and the spatial scale at which reproductive isolation evolves. However, larval dimorphism within a species is rare, precluding population-level tests. We show the sea slug Costasiella ocellifera expresses both larval morphs in Florida and the Caribbean, regions with divergent mitochondrial lineages. Planktotrophy predominated at 11 sites, 10 of which formed a highly connected and genetically diverse Caribbean metapopulation. Four populations expressed mainly aplanktonic development and had markedly reduced connectivity, and lower genetic diversity at one mitochondrial and six nuclear loci. Aplanktonic dams showed partial postzygotic isolation in most interpopulation crosses, regardless of genetic or geographic distance to the sire's source, suggesting that outbreeding depression affects fragmented populations. Dams from genetically isolated and neighboring populations also exhibited premating isolation, consistent with reinforcement contingent on historical interaction. By increasing self-recruitment and genetic drift, the loss of dispersal may thus initiate a feedback loop resulting in the evolution of reproductive isolation over small spatial scales in the sea.

  18. Microbial Community Phylogenetic and Functional Succession in Chromium-Reducing Aquifer-Derived Microcosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, E. L.; Beller, H. R.; Goldfarb, K. C.; Han, R.; Santee, C. A.

    2009-12-01

    In situ reductive immobilization, whereby highly soluble Cr(VI) species are reduced to poorly soluble Cr(III) species, is a favored approach for remediating Cr-contaminated groundwater. How microbial populations respond phylogenetically and functionally to the injection of an organic electron donor to stimulate Cr(VI) reduction is unclear, as are the relative contributions of direct enzymatic Cr(VI) reduction versus indirect (e.g. sulfide-mediated) reduction. In this study, we inoculated anaerobic microcosms with groundwater from the Cr-contaminated Hanford 100H site (WA) and supplemented them with lactate and the electron acceptors nitrate, sulfate, and amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide. The microcosms progressed successively through nitrate-reducing, sulfate-reducing, and Fe(III)-reducing conditions, and after a second nitrate amendment, nitrate-dependent Fe(II)-oxidizing conditions. Cr(VI) reduction occurred during both the denitrification and the sulfate/iron reduction phases. DNA and RNA were harvested during each major biogeochemical phase and were subjected to PhyloChip analysis, qPCR, and transcript sequencing. Bacterial community succession followed a trajectory related to the sequential use of electron acceptors. During denitrification, bacterial communities were enriched in known denitrifiers within the Beta- and Gamma-proteobacteria and became phylogenetically clustered. Fermenters became enriched following nitrate reduction, preceding both iron and sulfate reduction. Iron reduction was stoichiometrically related to the formation of hydrogen sulfide and, although iron reducers were detected during this phase, their iron-reducing activity was not confirmed. Following the depletion of lactate and sulfate, iron reduction rates decreased and acetate and propionate concentrations stabilized, indicating a marginal contribution of acetate-coupled iron reduction. Rapid Fe(II) oxidation occurred following the nitrate amendment with a concomitant reduction of nitrate

  19. Reduced dry periods and varying prepartum diets alter postpartum ovulation and reproductive measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gümen, A; Rastani, R R; Grummer, R R; Wiltbank, M C

    2005-07-01

    There has been substantial recent interest in shortening dry periods; however, the effects of this management change on reproduction have not been adequately evaluated. Holstein cows (n = 58) were assigned in a randomized block design to 1 of 3 treatments: 1) traditional (T) dry period (approximately 56 d) in which cows were fed a low energy diet from 56 to 29 d prepartum followed by a moderate energy diet for 28 d; 2) shortened (S) dry period (approximately 28 d) in which cows were fed continuously a high energy diet; or 3) no planned (N) dry period in which cows were fed continuously a high energy diet. All cows received a high energy lactation diet after calving. Ovaries were evaluated by ultrasound and blood samples collected 3 times weekly beginning at d 6 or 7 postpartum until 7 d after second ovulation. Average days from calving until first detection of a 10-mm follicle were fewer in N (8.0 d) and S (8.9 d) than in T (10.5 d) cows. Time from calving to first ovulation was earlier in N (13.2 d) than in S (23.8 d) and T (31.9 d) cows. A greater percentage of follicles of the first follicular wave ovulated in N (89%; 16/18) than in T (42%; 8/19), with S (62%; 13/21) cows being intermediate. Double ovulation rate at the first ovulation was greater in T (61%) than N (16%), with S (35%) intermediate. No difference was detected in double ovulation rate at second ovulation (13/56). Number of cows with persistent corpus luteum (>30 d; 15/56) was not different among groups; however, short luteal phases were greater in N (28%; 5/18) than S (0%; 0/20) cows. Days to first artificial insemination were fewer in N (69.4 d) and S (68.0 d) than in T (75.0 d). First-service conception rate was greater in N (55%; 11/20) than in T (20%; 4/20), with S (26%; 6/23) cows being intermediate. Days open in pregnant cows were fewer in N (93.8 d) than in T (145.4 d), with S (121.2 d) cows being intermediate. Thus, shortening or eliminating the dry period leads to earlier postpartum

  20. Breeding resource distribution affects selection gradients on male phenotypic traits: experimental study on lifetime reproductive success in the bitterling fish (Rhodeus amarus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin; Ondracková, Markéta; Bryjová, Anna; Smith, Carl; Bryja, Josef

    2009-02-01

    The spatial distribution of breeding resources can have pronounced demographic and evolutionary consequences. We used 20 experimental groups of the bitterling (Rhodeus amarus), an annual fish with a promiscuous, resource-based mating system, and extended breeding season to investigate how the spatial distribution (clumped or regular) of bitterling oviposition sites (live freshwater mussels) affected offspring production, variation in reproductive success, and directional selection on phenotypic traits over their entire reproductive lifetime. We did not detect any effect of resource distribution on offspring production or variation in reproductive success among individual fish, although variation between replicates was higher with a clumped distribution. This finding is discussed with regard to the incidence of alternative mating behaviors (sneaking) within the limitations imposed by our experimental design. Breeding resource distribution had a significant effect on selection on male phenotypic traits. Stronger directional selection on traits associated with intrasexual competition for fertilizations, gonad mass (an indicator of sperm competition), and the extent of red, carotenoid-based pigment in the iris (an index of dominance status), was detected with a clumped resource distribution. With a regular resource distribution, a stronger positive selection on male body size was detected. We discuss the implications of our results for natural populations.

  1. Proximate weather patterns and spring green-up phenology effect Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) body mass and reproductive success: the implications of climate change and topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Ruairidh D; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Rosell, Frank

    2013-04-01

    Low spring temperatures have been found to benefit mobile herbivores by reducing the rate of spring-flush, whereas high rainfall increases forage availability. Cold winters prove detrimental, by increasing herbivore thermoregulatory burdens. Here we examine the effects of temperature and rainfall variability on a temperate sedentary herbivore, the Eurasian beaver, Castor fiber, in terms of inter-annual variation in mean body weight and per territory offspring production. Data pertain to 198 individuals, over 11 years, using capture-mark-recapture. We use plant growth (tree cores) and fAPAR (a satellite-derived plant productivity index) to examine potential mechanisms through which weather conditions affect the availability and the seasonal phenology of beaver forage. Juvenile body weights were lighter after colder winters, whereas warmer spring temperatures were associated with lighter adult body weights, mediated by enhanced green-up phenology rates. Counter-intuitively, we observed a negative association between rainfall and body weight in juveniles and adults, and also with reproductive success. Alder, Alnus incana, (n = 68) growth rings (principal beaver food in the study area) exhibited a positive relationship with rainfall for trees growing at elevations >2 m above water level, but a negative relationship for trees growing water level, prone to water logging, producing poorer forage in wetter years. Unlike most other herbivores, beavers are an obligate aquatic species that utilize a restricted 'central-place' foraging range, limiting their ability to take advantage of better forage growth further from water during wetter years. With respect to anthropogenic climate change, interactions between weather variables, plant phenology and topography on forage growth are instructive, and consequently warrant examination when developing conservation management strategies for populations of medium to large herbivores. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Male reproductive health and yoga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Pallav; Chaudhuri, Prasenjit; Bhattacharya, Koushik

    2013-07-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Intrauterine Exposure to Paracetamol and Aniline Impairs Female Reproductive Development by Reducing Follicle Reserves and Fertility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Jacob Bak; Mazaud-Guittot, Severine; Danneskiold-Samsøe, Niels Banhos

    2016-01-01

    in shortening of the anogenital distance in adult offspring, suggesting that fetal hormone signaling had been disturbed. Female offspring of paracetamol-exposed mothers had ovaries with diminished follicle reserve and reduced fertility. Fetal gonads of exposed animals had also reduced gonocyte numbers......, suggesting that the reduced follicle count in adults could be due to early disruption of germ cell development. However, ex vivo cultures of ovaries from 12.5 days post coitum fetuses showed no decrease in proliferation or expression following exposure to paracetamol. This suggests that the effect...... of paracetamol occurs prior to this developmental stage. Accordingly, using embryonic stem cells as a proxy for primordial germ cells we show that paracetamol is an inhibitor of cellular proliferation, but without cytotoxic effects. Collectively, our data show that intrauterine exposure to paracetamol at levels...

  6. Effects of atrazine and chlorothalonil on the reproductive success, development, and growth of early life stage sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du Gas, Lindsay M; Ross, Peter S; Walker, Janessa; Marlatt, Vicki L; Kennedy, Christopher J

    2017-05-01

    The effects of 2 currently used commercial pesticide formulations on Pacific sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), from fertilization to emergence, were evaluated in a gravel-bed flume incubator that simulated a natural streambed. Embryos were exposed to atrazine at 25 µg/L (low atrazine) or atrazine at 250 µg/L (high atrazine) active ingredient (a.i.), and chlorothalonil at 0.5 µg/L (low chlorothalonil) or chlorothalonil at 5 µg/L a.i. (high chlorothalonil) and examined for effects on developmental success and timing, as well as physical and biochemical growth parameters. Survival to hatch was reduced in the high chlorothalonil group (55% compared with 83% in controls), accompanied by a 24% increase in finfold deformity incidence. Reduced alevin condition factor (2.9-5.4%) at emergence and elevated triglyceride levels were seen in chlorothalonil-exposed fish. Atrazine exposure caused premature hatch (average high atrazine time to 50% hatch [H50] = 100 d postfertilization [dpf]), and chlorothalonil exposure caused delayed hatch (high chlorothalonil H50 = 108 dpf; controls H50 = 102 dpf). All treatments caused premature emergence (average time to 50% emergence [E50]: control E50 = 181 dpf, low chlorothalonil E50 = 175 dpf, high chlorothalonil E50 = 174 dpf, high atrazine E50 = 175 dpf, low atrazine E50 = 174 dpf), highlighting the importance of using a gravel-bed incubator to examine this subtle, but critical endpoint. These alterations indicate that atrazine and chlorothalonil could affect survival of early life stages of sockeye salmon in the wild. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1354-1364. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  7. Credit where credit is due: Pakistan's role in reducing the global burden of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaffar, Abdul; Qazi, Shamim; Shah, Iqbal

    2015-11-25

    Factors contributing to Pakistan's poor progress in reducing reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) include its low level of female literacy, gender inequity, political challenges, and extremism along with its associated relentless violence; further, less than 1% of Pakistan's GDP is allocated to the health sector. However, despite these disadvantages, Pakistani researchers have been able to achieve positive contributions towards RMNCH-related global knowledge and evidence base, in some cases leading to the formulation of WHO guidelines, for which they should feel proud. Nevertheless, in order to improve the health of its own women and children, greater investments in human and health resources are required to facilitate the generation and use of policy-relevant knowledge. To accomplish this, fair incentives for research production need to be introduced, policy and decision-makers' capacity to demand and use evidence needs to be increased, and strong support from development partners and the global health community must be secured.

  8. Investigating the Effect of Environmental Factors on the Success of Academic Reproductive Companies (Case Study: the Companies of Isfahan Science & Technology Town

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Kazemi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Commercializing Academic studies and research is a Process that needs trilateral cooperation among university, industry and government. Academic institutions by responding to social needs and helping to boost economic development, improve their public image. Concurrent with the development of research activities, especially in the field of new technologies, new perspectives are formed that In such circumstances, a new form of companies have emerged as Reproductive Companies. Reproductive Company is a kind of new business that is the result of separation from university. The present study was an attempt to investigate the effect of environmental factors on the success of academic reproductive companies of Isfahan Scientific and Research Town.This study is practical in purpose and is a descriptive-survey one the from research methodology perspective. The population consists of 256 companies. A sample of 148 companies was selected. The sample size was determined through the Morgan Sampling Table. The sample members were selected randomly. In order to collect the research data, a researcher-developed questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire consists of 45 questions. The validity of questionnaire was measured through both content and construct validity. Also the reliability of questionnaire was measured through Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient. The coefficient was 0.916 which confirms the reliability of the questionnaire. The research data were analyzed through AMOS. The findings revealed that factors like the governmental rules, parent universities, and regions affect the company success. Among the sated factors, region, state laws and parent university have the highest impact on the success of these companies, respectively.

  9. Monitoring the Reproductive Success of Naturally Spawning Hatchery and Natural Spring Chinook Salmon in the Wenatchee River, 2008-2009 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ford, Michael J.; Williamson, Kevin S. [Northwest Fisheries Science Center

    2009-05-28

    male fitness. For both sexes, run time had a smaller but still significant effect on fitness, with earlier returning fish favored. Spawning location within the river had a significant effect on fitness for both males and females, and for females explained most of the reduced fitness observed for hatchery fish in this population. While differences have been reported in the relative reproductive success of hatchery and naturally produced salmonids Oncorhynchus spp., factors explaining the differences are often confounded. We examined the spawning site habitat and redd structure variables of hatchery and naturally produced spring Chinook salmon O. tshawytscha of known size that spawned in two tributaries of the Wenatchee River. We controlled for variability in spawning habitat by limiting our analysis to redds found within four selected reaches. No difference in the instantaneous spawner density or location of the redd in the stream channel was detected between reaches. Within each reach, no difference in the fork length or weight of hatchery and naturally produced fish was detected. While most variables differed between reaches, we found no difference in redd characteristics within a reach between hatchery and naturally produced females. Correlation analysis of fish size and redd characteristics found several weak but significant relationships suggesting larger fish contract larger redds in deeper water. Spawner density was inversely related to several redd structure variables suggesting redd size may decrease as spawner density increases. Results should be considered preliminary until samples size and statistical power goals are reached in future years. Trends in relative reproductive success of hatchery and naturally produced spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Wenatchee Basins suggest females that spawn in the upper reaches of the tributaries produced a great number of offspring compared to females that spawn in the lower reaches of the tributaries

  10. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  11. Population fluctuations, losses to grazing, and reproductive success of Dactylorhiza sambucina on Bornholm, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Mette Nordvig; Hauser, Thure Pavlo

    2014-01-01

    Populations of the orchid Dactylorhiza sambucina are declining in number and size on the island of Bornholm, Denmark. To study the reasons for this trend, we compiled previously unpublished estimates of population sizes from 1987–2010 and found complicated fluctuations, as population sizes genera...... one census was available. Grazing in spring and early summer may therefore contribute to the decline of D. sambucina, as suggested by others. Populations seemed not to be affected by lack of pollination or population inbreeding, as fruit set and reproductive size was as high as in large...

  12. Heat-induced phytohormone changes are associated with disrupted early reproductive development and reduced yield in rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chao; Cui, Kehui; Wang, Wencheng; Li, Qian; Fahad, Shah; Hu, Qiuqian; Huang, Jianliang; Nie, Lixiao; Peng, Shaobing

    2016-01-01

    Heat stress causes morphological and physiological changes and reduces crop yield in rice (Oryza sativa). To investigate changes in phytohormones and their relationships with yield and other attributes under heat stress, four rice varieties (Nagina22, Huanghuazhan, Liangyoupeijiu, and Shanyou 63) were grown in pots and subjected to three high temperature treatments plus control in temperature-controlled greenhouses for 15 d during the early reproductive phase. Yield reductions in Nagina22, Huanghuazhan, and Liangyoupeijiu were attributed to reductions in spikelet fertility, spikelets per panicle, and grain weight. The adverse effects of high temperature were alleviated by application of exogenous 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) in the heat-susceptible Liangyoupeijiu. High temperature stress reduced active cytokinins, gibberellin A1 (GA1), and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), but increased abscisic acid (ABA) and bound cytokinins in young panicles. Correlation analyses and application of exogenous 6-BA revealed that high temperature-induced cytokinin changes may regulate yield components by modulating the differentiation and degradation of branches and spikelets, panicle exsertion, pollen vigor, anther dehiscence, and grain size. Heat-tolerant Shanyou 63 displayed minor changes in phytohormones, panicle formation, and grain yield under high temperature compared with those of the other three varieties. These results suggest that phytohormone changes are closely associated with yield formation, and a small reduction or stability in phytohormone content is required to avoid large yield losses under heat stress. PMID:27713528

  13. Antibiotic treatment of the tick vector Amblyomma americanum reduced reproductive fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Zhong

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The lone star tick Amblyomma americanum is a common pest and vector of infectious diseases for humans and other mammals in the southern and eastern United States. A Coxiella sp. bacterial endosymbiont was highly prevalent in both laboratory-reared and field-collected A. americanum. The Coxiella sp. was demonstrated in all stages of tick and in greatest densities in nymphs and adult females, while a Rickettsia sp. was less prevalent and in lower densities when present. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We manipulated the numbers of both bacterial species in laboratory-reared A. americanum by injecting engorged nymphs or engorged, mated females with single doses of an antibiotic (rifampin or tetracycline or buffer alone. Burdens of the bacteria after molting or after oviposition were estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction with primers and probes specific for each bacterial species or, as an internal standard, the host tick. Post-molt adult ticks that had been treated with rifampin or tetracycline had lower numbers of the Coxiella sp. and Rickettsia sp. and generally weighed less than ticks that received buffer alone. Similarly, after oviposition, females treated previously with either antibiotic had lower burdens of both bacterial species in comparison to controls. Treatment of engorged females with either antibiotic was associated with prolonged time to oviposition, lower proportions of ticks that hatched, lower proportions of viable larvae among total larvae, and lower numbers of viable larvae per tick. These fitness estimators were associated with reduced numbers of the Coxiella sp. but not the Rickettsia sp. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The findings indicate that the Coxiella sp. is a primary endosymbiont, perhaps provisioning the obligately hematophagous parasites with essential nutrients. The results also suggest that antibiotics could be incorporated into an integrated pest management plan for control of these and other

  14. Study Proposal for Reproductive Success and Nestling Survival of White-faced Ibis in Relation to Habitat in Northwest Nevada

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The goal of this study is to determine nesting success, survival rate of nestlings, and recruitment of fledglings relative to habitat conditions within major nesting...

  15. Reproductive health knowledge among African American women enrolled in a clinic-based randomized controlled trial to reduce psychosocial and behavioral risk, Project DC-HOPE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backonja, Uba; Robledo, Candace A.; Wallace, Maeve E.; Flores, Katrina F.; Kiely, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Background Washington, D.C. has among the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy in the United States. Increasing women’s reproductive health knowledge may help address these reproductive health issues. This analysis assessed whether high-risk pregnant African American women in Washington, D.C. who participated in an intervention to reduce behavioral and psychosocial risks had greater reproductive health knowledge than women receiving usual care. Methods Project DC-HOPE was a randomized controlled trial that included pregnant African American women in Washington, D.C., recruited during prenatal care. Women in the intervention group were provided reproductive health education and received tailored counseling sessions to address their psychosocial and behavioral risk(s) (cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, depression, and intimate partner violence). Women in the control group received usual prenatal care. Participants completed a 10-item reproductive knowledge assessment at baseline (n=1,044) and postpartum (n=830). Differences in total reproductive health knowledge scores at baseline and postpartum between groups were examined via chi-squared tests. Differences in postpartum mean total score by group were assessed via multiple linear regression. Results Women in both groups and at both time points scored approximately 50% on the knowledge assessments. At postpartum, women in the intervention group had higher total scores compared to women receiving usual care (mean 5.40 [SD 1.60] vs. 5.03 [SD 1.53] out of 10, respectively; p<0.001). Conclusions While intervention participants increased reproductive health knowledge, overall scores remained low. Development of interventions designed to impart accurate, individually tailored information to women may promote reproductive health knowledge among high-risk pregnant African American women residing in Washington, D.C. PMID:27094910

  16. Reproductive Health Knowledge among African American Women Enrolled in a Clinic-Based Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Psychosocial and Behavioral Risk: Project DC-HOPE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backonja, Uba; Robledo, Candace A; Wallace, Maeve E; Flores, Katrina F; Kiely, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Washington, DC, has among the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy in the United States. Increasing women's reproductive health knowledge may help to address these reproductive health issues. This analysis assessed whether high-risk pregnant African American women in Washington, DC, who participated in an intervention to reduce behavioral and psychosocial risks had greater reproductive health knowledge than women receiving usual care. Project DC-HOPE was a randomized, controlled trial that included pregnant African American women in Washington, DC, recruited during prenatal care (PNC). Women in the intervention group were provided reproductive health education and received tailored counseling sessions to address their psychosocial and behavioral risk(s) (cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, depression, and intimate partner violence). Women in the control group received usual PNC. Participants completed a 10-item reproductive knowledge assessment at baseline (n = 1,044) and postpartum (n = 830). Differences in total reproductive health knowledge scores at baseline and postpartum between groups were examined via χ(2) tests. Differences in postpartum mean total score by group were assessed via multiple linear regression. Women in both groups and at both time points scored approximately 50% on the knowledge assessments. At postpartum, women in the intervention group had higher total scores compared with women receiving usual care (mean 5.40 [SD 1.60] vs. 5.03 [SD 1.53] out of 10, respectively; p < .001). Although intervention participants increased reproductive health knowledge, overall scores remained low. Development of interventions designed to impart accurate, individually tailored information to women may promote reproductive health knowledge among high-risk pregnant African American women residing in Washington, DC. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. 圈养猞猁多雄交配雄性的成功繁殖%Eurasian lynx male reproductive success with multi-male mating in captivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sergey NAIDENKO; Mariya EROFEEVA; Frank GOERITZ; Katrin NEUBAUER; Joerns FICKEL; Katarina JEWGENOW

    2007-01-01

    The consequences of multi-male mating and male reproductive success in Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in captivity were investigated. Males were paired at random with females in estrus. Their reproductive success (numbers of kittens sired) did not depend on mating order, number and duration of copulations, genetic relatedness to the females or the behavioral traits of males, but seemed to depend on sperm quality, particularly the percentage of morphologically normal spermatozoa. The reproductively more successful male had a higher percentage of morphologically normal sperm than its competitors and appeared to be more successful in stimulating the ovulation of its female partner. Dual paternities were proved in 20% of all litters. In all these cases the two competing males mated with the female within a 24 hour interval[Acta Zoologica Sinica 53(3):408-416,2007].%研究了笼养猞猁多雄交配的结果以及雄性的成功繁殖. 雄兽与发情雌兽随机配对,其繁殖成功(所产生的后代数量)不取决于与雌兽的交配顺序、交配次数与持续时间、遗传关系或雄兽的行为特征,但似乎取决于精子质量,特别是取决于形态正常精子的百分率. 繁殖成功的雄兽比其竞争对手具有更多的形态正常的精子,似乎更能成功地诱发交配雌兽的排卵.证实了4窝(占总窝数的20%)幼兽的双重父亲身份.在所有情形下,2雄1雌的交配间隔为24 h[动物学报 53(3):408-416,2007].

  18. Strategic Management of ELT in Public Educational Systems: Trying to Reduce Failure, Increase Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Paul

    2009-01-01

    English as a foreign/second language teaching (ELT) is notably successful in some national public educational systems and unsuccessful in others. Holland, Singapore and Sweden are outstanding examples of great success in the strategic management of ELT in their public educational systems. General failures abound, particularly in countries that…

  19. Is attributing smoking to genetic causes associated with a reduced probability of quit attempt success? A cohort study

    OpenAIRE

    Wright, Alison J.; Aveyard, Paul; Guo, Boliang; Murphy, Michael; Brown, Karen; Marteau, Theresa M.

    2007-01-01

    Aims Pharmacogenetic smoking cessation interventions would involve smokers being given information about the influence of genes on their behaviour. However, attributing smoking to genetic causes may reduce perceived control over smoking, reducing quit attempt success. This study examines whether attributing smoking to genetic influences is associated with reduced quitting and whether this effect is mediated by perceived control over smoking. Design Cohort study. Participants A total of 792 sm...

  20. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2004-2005 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)

    2005-05-01

    A growing body of literature suggests that adult salmon produced by artificial culture are not as reproductively successful as wild fish when they spawn under natural conditions. Behavioral, morphological, and physiological divergences have been observed between hatchery and wild fish. These disparities are the likely proximate causes of the differences seen in the reproductive success of hatchery and wild salmonids. Two evolutionary paradigms have been proposed to explain why salmonids cultured in hatcheries are genetically and phenotypically different from wild cohorts. The first proposes that natural selection has been significantly relaxed in hatcheries. Consequently, fish that normally would have perished because of the possession of unsuitable traits are able to survive. If these traits have a genetic basis, they may become established in a hatchery population and cause its productivity to be less than expected if the fish are once again exposed to natural selection pressures. The second theorizes that environmental and social conditions in hatcheries are less variable than in the natural environment and that these conditions will remain relatively constant from one generation to the next. In this circumstance, selection for genetic traits that adapt fish to artificial culture will become prevalent in the population. Such traits may be mal-adaptive under natural conditions. Many of the studies that have compared the reproductive success (RS) of hatchery and wild fish, however, have used non-local hatchery fish that have experienced multiple generations of hatchery culture. Few efforts have been made where both the hatchery and wild fish have originated from the same population. When such studies have been performed differences in the competency of the fish to produce offspring have not been detected or are not as great as those expressed when non-local hatchery fish have been used. The hatchery spring Chinook produced by the Yakima Fisheries Project

  1. Natural Reproductive Success and Demographic Effects of Hatchery-Origin Steelhead in Abernathy Creek, Washington : Annual Report 2008.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Abernathy Fish Technology Center

    2008-12-01

    progeny releases. Such a captive rearing program offers many genetic advantages over traditional adult-trapping programs for developing native broodstocks: (1) Large numbers of juveniles can be collected from the wild with only minimal impacts to naturally spawning populations because juvenile (age 0+parr)-to-adult survivals are typically very small (<1%) under natural conditions. (2) The genetic base of the broodstock (i.e. genetic effective population size) can be substantially larger for juveniles than adults because juveniles can theoretically represent the offspring of all adults that spawned successfully within a stream or watershed, as opposed to trapping only a small portion of returning adults for broodstock. (3) Collecting juveniles for broodstock can substantially reduce the risk of genetically 'swamping' naturally spawning populations with hatchery-origin fish (i.e. via a 'Ryman-Laikre effect') as occurs when hatchery-released fish represent the progeny of a relatively small number of trapped adults.

  2. Effects of inbreeding on reproductive success, performance, litter size, and survival in captive red wolves (Canis rufus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabon, David R; Waddell, William

    2010-01-01

    Captive-breeding programs have been widely used in the conservation of imperiled species, but the effects of inbreeding, frequently expressed in traits related to fitness, are nearly unavoidable in small populations with few founders. Following its planned extirpation in the wild, the endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) was preserved in captivity with just 14 founders. In this study, we evaluated the captive red wolf population for relationships between inbreeding and reproductive performance and fitness. Over 30 years of managed breeding, the level of inbreeding in the captive population has increased, and litter size has declined. Inbreeding levels were lower in sire and dam wolves that reproduced than in those that did not reproduce. However, there was no difference in the inbreeding level of actual litters and predicted litters. Litter size was negatively affected by offspring and paternal levels of inbreeding, but the effect of inbreeding on offspring survival was restricted to a positive influence. There was no apparent relationship between inbreeding and method of rearing offspring. The observable effects of inbreeding in the captive red wolf population currently do not appear to be a limiting factor in the conservation of the red wolf population. Additional studies exploring the extent of the effects of inbreeding will be required as inbreeding levels increase in the captive population.

  3. Observations on the removal of brood inoculated with Tropilaelaps mercedesae (Acari: Laelapidae) and the mite's reproductive success in Apis mellifera colonies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; de Guzman, Lilia I; Buawangpong, Ninat; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed the response of Apis mellifera to brood deliberately infested with Tropilaelaps mercedesae. The reproductive success of T. mercedesae in mite-inoculated and naturally infested brood was also compared. The presence of T. mercedesae inside brood cells significantly affected brood removal. Thai A. mellifera removed 52.6 ± 8.2 % of the brood inoculated with T. mercedesae as compared to 17.2 ± 1.8 and 5.7 ± 1.1 % removal rates for the groups of brood with their cell cappings opened and closed without mite inoculation and the control brood (undisturbed, no mite inoculation), respectively. Brood removal peaked during the second and third days post inoculation when test brood was at the prepupal stage. Overall, non-reproduction (NR) of foundress T. mercedesae was high. However, when NR was measured based on the criteria used for Varroa, the naturally infested pupae (NIP) supported the highest NR (92.8 %). Newly sealed larvae inoculated with Tropilaelaps collected from newly sealed larvae (NSL) had 78.2 % NR and those inoculated with Tropilaelaps collected from tan-bodied pupae (TBP) had 76.8 % NR. Since Tropilaelaps is known to have a short development period and nearly all progeny reach adulthood by the time of host emergence, we also used two Tropilaelaps-specific criteria to determine NR. Foundresses that did not produce progeny and those that produced only one progeny were considered NR. Using these two criteria, NR decreased tremendously but showed similar trends with means of 65, 40 and 33 % for NIP, NSL and TBP, respectively. High NR in the NIP group may indicate increased hygienic behavior in Thai A. mellifera colonies. The removal of infested prepupae or tan-bodied pupae will likely decrease the reproductive potential of Tropilaelaps. Our study suggests that brood removal may be one of the resistance mechanisms towards T. mercedesae by naturally adapted Thai A. mellifera.

  4. Succession planning for local health department top executives: reducing risk to communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmalzried, Hans; Fallon, L Fleming

    2007-06-01

    This study assessed the degree to which local health departments (LHDs) are preparing to replace retiring top executives. Questionnaires were sent to all 134 local health departments in Ohio. It is typical of many states in terms of the organization of LHDs. Ninety-two LHD top executives responded. The questionnaire addressed aspects of departmental succession planning and demographic parameters of their departments. Approximately half (51.7%) of responding LHD top executives rated having succession plans as being important. Overall, local boards of health are not very concerned about actually having a succession plan. One in four (27.6%) local health departments reported that they have succession plans. Half of those were grooming a successor. Succession planning is not a high priority among the majority of LHDs, despite the fact that 43.7% of top executives reported planning to leave their current position within six years. Experienced and continuous LHD leadership is important for strong responses to public health crises like major disease outbreaks and natural disasters. Having a succession plan in place that identifies how leadership voids are filled can help minimize risks to populations in an emergency.

  5. Soluble epoxide hydrolase gene deletion improves blood flow and reduces infarct size after cerebral ischemia in reproductively senescent female mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen L Zuloaga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH, a key enzyme in the metabolism of vasodilatory epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs, is sexually dimorphic, suppressed by estrogen, and contributes to underlying sex differences in cerebral blood flow and injury after cerebral ischemia. We tested the hypothesis that sEH inhibition or gene deletion in reproductively senescent (RS female mice would increase cerebral perfusion and decrease infarct size following stroke. RS (15-18 month old and young (3-4 month old female sEH knockout (sEHKO mice and wild type (WT mice were subjected to 45 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO with laser Doppler perfusion monitoring. WT mice were treated with vehicle or a sEH inhibitor t-AUCB at the time of reperfusion and every 24hrs thereafter for 3 days. Differences in regional cerebral blood flow were measured in vivo using optical microangiography. Infarct size was measured 3 days after reperfusion. Infarct size and cerebral perfusion 24h after MCAO were not altered by age. Both sEH gene deletion and sEH inhibition increased cortical perfusion 24h after MCAO. Neither sEH gene deletion nor sEH inhibition reduced infarct size in young mice. However, sEH gene deletion, but not sEH inhibition of the hydrolase domain of the enzyme, decreased infarct size in RS mice. Results of these studies show that sEH gene deletion and sEH inhibition enhance cortical perfusion following MCAO and sEH gene deletion reduces damage after ischemia in RS female mice; however this neuroprotection in absent is young mice.

  6. Dietary choice for a balanced nutrient intake increases the mean and reduces the variance in the reproductive performance of male and female cockroaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunning, Harriet; Bassett, Lee; Clowser, Christina; Rapkin, James; Jensen, Kim; House, Clarissa M; Archer, Catharine R; Hunt, John

    2016-07-01

    Sexual selection may cause dietary requirements for reproduction to diverge across the sexes and promote the evolution of different foraging strategies in males and females. However, our understanding of how the sexes regulate their nutrition and the effects that this has on sex-specific fitness is limited. We quantified how protein (P) and carbohydrate (C) intakes affect reproductive traits in male (pheromone expression) and female (clutch size and gestation time) cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea). We then determined how the sexes regulate their intake of nutrients when restricted to a single diet and when given dietary choice and how this affected expression of these important reproductive traits. Pheromone levels that improve male attractiveness, female clutch size and gestation time all peaked at a high daily intake of P:C in a 1:8 ratio. This is surprising because female insects typically require more P than males to maximize reproduction. The relatively low P requirement of females may reflect the action of cockroach endosymbionts that help recycle stored nitrogen for protein synthesis. When constrained to a single diet, both sexes prioritized regulating their daily intake of P over C, although this prioritization was stronger in females than males. When given the choice between diets, both sexes actively regulated their intake of nutrients at a 1:4.8 P:C ratio. The P:C ratio did not overlap exactly with the intake of nutrients that optimized reproductive trait expression. Despite this, cockroaches of both sexes that were given dietary choice generally improved the mean and reduced the variance in all reproductive traits we measured relative to animals fed a single diet from the diet choice pair. This pattern was not as strong when compared to the single best diet in our geometric array, suggesting that the relationship between nutrient balancing and reproduction is complex in this species.

  7. Reproductive success and fry production of the paiche or pirarucu, Arapaima gigas (Schinz), in the region of Iquitos, Peru

    OpenAIRE

    Nunez Rodriguez, Jesus; Chu-Koo, F.; Berland, Magali; Arevalo, L.; Ribeyro, O.; Duponchelle, Fabrice; Renno, Jean-François

    2011-01-01

    Arapaima gigas (paiche) is the largest scaled fish species living in the Amazon basin. Its biology is both fascinating and misunderstood. In a context of overfishing, hence reduced natural populations, aquaculture of a fish with such interesting characteristics (large size, high growth rate, no intramuscular spines) is an important issue. The development of farming production would also reduce the fishing pressure on natural populations and allow re-stocking programmes in certain areas. To de...

  8. Receptivity of female Neohelice granulata (Brachyura, Varunidae): different strategies to maximize their reproductive success in contrasting habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sal Moyano, María Paz; Luppi, Tomás; Gavio, María Andrea; Vallina, Micaela; McLay, Colin

    2012-12-01

    The extent of the receptive period may determine the mating strategies employed by female crabs to obtain mates. Here, we studied the receptivity of female Neohelice granulata (Dana, 1851) in the laboratory, including the form of the vulvae and the anatomy of the seminal receptacle (SR). We examined the factors that influence the duration of receptivity by comparing two populations inhabiting contrasting habitats: Mar Chiquita Coastal lagoon (MCL), which is an oligo-polyhaline estuary, and San Antonio Oeste (SAO), which is an eu-hyperhaline marine bay. Non-receptive females have immobile vulva opercula, while receptive females have mobile opercula. Histological sections of the SR showed that the degree of epithelium secretions was associated with the receptive stage of females, and they may be involved in the maintenance of viable sperm and in the dehiscence of spermatophores. The existence of a special tissue at the junction of the oviduct and the SR was described and proposed as an internal mechanism influencing the timing of ovulation. The duration of receptivity was dependent on the SR load and the capacity to lay eggs. Thus, females with empty SR exhibited longer receptivity and did not lay eggs, while those with full SR exhibited shorter receptivity and always laid eggs. Interpopulation differences showed that females from SAO had shorter receptivity and heavier SR and laid eggs more frequently than females from MCL. Based on our results, we suggest that N. granulata females can adjust the duration of their receptivity and control the moment of fertilization according to different internal mechanisms related to the morphology of the vulvae, the fullness of the SR and anatomical attributes of the SR. An important consequence of this control is greater sperm competition. The extent of the receptive period and the number of times that a female could become receptive in a single reproductive season may also depend on the habitat characteristics.

  9. Reduced costs of reproduction in females mediate a shift from a male-biased to a female-biased lifespan in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi; Smith, Ken R; Hanson, Heidi A; Maklakov, Alexei A

    2016-04-18

    The causes underlying sex differences in lifespan are strongly debated. While females commonly outlive males in humans, this is generally less pronounced in societies before the demographic transition to low mortality and fertility rates. Life-history theory suggests that reduced reproduction should benefit female lifespan when females pay higher costs of reproduction than males. Using unique longitudinal demographic records on 140,600 reproducing individuals from the Utah Population Database, we demonstrate a shift from male-biased to female-biased adult lifespans in individuals born before versus during the demographic transition. Only women paid a cost of reproduction in terms of shortened post-reproductive lifespan at high parities. Therefore, as fertility decreased over time, female lifespan increased, while male lifespan remained largely stable, supporting the theory that differential costs of reproduction in the two sexes result in the shifting patterns of sex differences in lifespan across human populations. Further, our results have important implications for demographic forecasts in human populations and advance our understanding of lifespan evolution.

  10. The novel POSEIDON stratification of ‘Low prognosis patients in Assisted Reproductive Technology’ and its proposed marker of successful outcome [version 1; referees: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Humaidan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 (Patient-Oriented Strategies Encompassing IndividualizeD Oocyte Number 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

  11. Heliconia acuminata reproductive success is independent of local floral density O sucesso reprodutivo de Heliconia acuminata é independente da densidade floral local

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio M. Bruna

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive plants in tropical forests are patchily distributed, with some in large aggregations of reproductive consepecifics while others are relatively isolated. This variation in floral density is hypothesized to have a major effect on plant reproductive success, since individuals in higher density neighborhoods can attract more or higher quality pollinators. We experimentally tested this hypothesis with populations of the understory herb Heliconia acuminata in central Amazonia. We created replicated plots in which reproductive plant density spanned the range of naturally occurring floral neighborhood size, then measured three surrogates of plant fitness in focal plants in each array. There was no significant difference between any of the three floral neighborhood treatments in total seed production, fruit set, or the number of seeds produced per fruit. Pollinator visitation rates to plants in all treatments were extremely low, with many plants not visited at all during the observation period. This could be because H. acuminata's hummingbird pollinators are unable to find the widely scattered reproductive plants, however this hypothesis appears unlikely. Instead, natural flowering plant densities may simply be below the threshold value at which neighborhood effects become important, even in "high-density" aggregations. Nutrient limitation, selective fruit abortion, and reproduction via male rather than female function may also be playing a role. We argue the absence of neighborhood effects may be a general phenomenon in central Amazonian forests, though additional experiments with other plant-pollinator systems are needed to determine the extent to which this hypothesis is supported.Plantas reprodutivas em florestas tropicas são distribuidas em manchas, com algumas em grandes agregações coespecíficas e outras relativamente isoladas. A hipótese é que esta variação na densidade de flores em um local tem um grande efeito no sucesso

  12. 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

  13. Assessment of survival rates and reproductive success of captive bred milky stork released at Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, Perak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faiq, H.; Safie, M. Y.; Shukor, M. N.

    2016-11-01

    A release programme of captive bred Milky Storks was initiated to increase population size in the wild. Population size depends on the survival rate and breeding success of individuals in the population. Among factors that affect survival rate and breeding success are population age class and sex ratio. The main objective of this study was to estimate the survival rate of Mycteria cinerea that has been released in Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary since 2007. The estimation of the survival rate was done across gender and age class. This study was conducted in 2012 at Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary. The presence of M. cinerea individuals were recorded at the sanctuary and identified to background information, such as date of birth, gender and date of release. Females of M. cinerea were estimated to have a higher survival rate (30.0%) than male (16.7%). Across gender, each individual was assigned into 4 different age classes, namely less than 1 year, between 1 and 2 years, between 2 and 3 years, and more than 3 years. The survival rate of individuals less than 1 year was about 50%, between 1 and 2 years was 25%, between 2 and 3 years was 9.1%, and more than 3 years was 0%. This study was intended to facilitate future release programmeme on which gender and age class to emphasize.

  14. Long-Term Moderate Oxidative Stress Decreased Ovarian Reproductive Function by Reducing Follicle Quality and Progesterone Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhiwen; Tian, Yong; Fang, Li; Wu, Meng; Xiong, Jiaqiang; Qin, Xian; Luo, Aiyue; Wang, Shixuan

    2016-01-01

    Ovarian aging is a long-term and complex process associated with a decrease in follicular quantity and quality. The damaging effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in ovarian aging and ovarian aging-associated disorders have received relatively little attention. Thus, we assessed if the oxidative stress induced by long-term (defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as at least 30 days in duration) moderate ozone inhalation reduced ovarian reserves, decreased ovarian function and induced ovarian aging-associated disorders. The expression of oxidative stress markers and antioxidant enzymes was used to determine the degree of oxidative stress. Ultrastructural changes in ovarian cells were examined via electron microscopy. The ovarian reserve was assessed by measuring multiple parameters, such as the size of the primordial follicle pool and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) expression. The estrous cycle, hormone levels and fertility status were investigated to assess ovarian function. To investigate ovarian aging-associated disorders, we utilized bone density and cardiovascular ultrasonography in mice. The levels of oxidized metabolites, such as 8-hydroxy-2´-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and nitrotyrosine (NTY), significantly increased in ovarian cells in response to increased oxidative stress. The ultrastructural analysis indicated that lipid droplet formation and the proportion of mitochondria with damaged membranes in granulosa cells were markedly increased in ozone-exposed mice when compared with the control group. Ozone exposure did not change the size of the primordial follicle pool or anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) expression. The estrogen concentration remained normal; however, progesterone and testosterone levels decreased. The mice exposed to ozone inhalation exhibited a substantial decrease in fertility and fecundity. No differences were revealed by the bone density or cardiovascular ultrasounds. These findings suggest that the

  15. Quality of life is reduced in obese dogs but improves after successful weight loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, A J; Holden, S L; Wiseman-Orr, M L; Reid, J; Nolan, A M; Biourge, V; Morris, P J; Scott, E M

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is thought to affect quality of life, but limited objective data exist to support this supposition. The current study aim was to use a questionnaire to determine health-related quality of life (HRQOL) both before and after weight loss, in obese client-owned dogs. Fifty obese dogs were included, and represented a variety of breeds and genders. Prior to weight loss, owners were asked to complete a validated standardised questionnaire to determine HRQOL. Thirty of the dogs successfully completed their weight loss programme and reached target, and owners then completed a follow-up questionnaire. The completed questionnaire responses were transformed to scores corresponding to each of four factors (vitality, emotional disturbance, anxiety and pain), and scored on a scale of 0-6. Changes in the scores were used to explore the sensitivity of the questionnaire, and scores were correlated with responses to direct questions about quality of life and pain, as well as weight loss. Dogs that failed to complete their weight loss programme had lower vitality and higher emotional disturbance scores than those successfully losing weight (P=0.03 for both). In the 30 dogs that completed, weight loss led to an increased vitality score (Panxiety (P=0.09). The change in vitality score was positively associated with percentage weight loss (r(P)=0.43, P=0.02) and percentage body fat loss (r(P)=0.39, P=0.03). These results indicate demonstrable improvement in HRQOL for obese dogs that successfully lose weight.

  16. 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.

  17. UV-deprived coloration reduces success in mate acquisition in male sand lizards (Lacerta agilis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mats Olsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent work on animal signals has revealed a wide occurrence of UV signals in tetrapods, in particular birds, but also in lizards (and perhaps other Squamate reptiles. Our previous work on the Swedish sand lizard (Lacerta agilis has verified, both in correlative selection analyses in the wild and with laboratory and field experiments, the importance of the green 'badge' on the body sides of adult males for securing mating opportunities, probably mostly through deterring rival males rather than attracting females. The role of UV in communication has, however, never been examined. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we show that when measured immediately after spring skin shedding, there is also signaling in the UV. By UV-depriving the signal (reflectance with sun block chemicals fixated with permeable, harmless spray dressing, we show that males in the control group (spray dressing only had significantly higher success in mate acquisition than UV-deprived males. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that at least two colour traits in sand lizards, badge area and UV, contribute to rival deterrence and/or female choice on UV characters, which elevates success in mate acquisition in UV intact male sand lizards.

  18. Toward a Successful Translation of the "Reduced" Anadiplosis in the Quranic Verses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essam, Bacem A.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the use of anadiplosis in both English and Arabic. It focuses primarily on outlining and defining the so-called "reduced" anadiplosis in some Quranic verses. The study investigates, too, the most popular English translations of them, highlighting the mismatches between the original holy text and its translations.…

  19. The persuasion and security awareness experiment: reducing the success of social engineering attacks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bullee, Jan-Willem; Montoya, L.; Pieters, Wolter; Junger, Marianne; Hartel, Pieter H.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The aim of the current study is to explore to what extent an intervention reduces the effects of social engineering (e.g. the obtaining of access by persuasion) in an office environment. In particular, we study the effect of authority during a `social engineering' attack. Methods: 31 dif

  20. Cytomixis impairs meiosis and influences reproductive success in Chlorophytum comosum (Thunb) Jacq. – an additional strategy and possible implications

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S K Lattoo; S Khan; S Bamotra; A K Dhar

    2006-12-01

    Spontaneous intercellular chromatin migration/cytomixis was observed to occur in the pollen mother cells (PMCs) of the Chlorophytum comosum for the first time. The migration through cytomictic channels was more pronounced in meiosis-I and very rare in meiosis-II. The process was associated with erratic meiosis, which was characterized by defects in chromosome organization and segregation. Cytomixis was more intense in the month of April than in July and consequently the frequency of meiotic irregularities was much more pronounced during the month of April. As a consequence of abnormal meiosis, fertility was drastically reduced resulting in meager seed efficiency of 17% only. Recombination system also does not guarantee the release of sufficient variability. We view the phenomenon of cytomixis as genetically controlled mechanism involving meiotic genes and operating through signal transduction pathway triggered by the environmental stimuli. The evolutionary significance and tenable hypothesis in the backdrop of existing literature is also proposed.

  1. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species.

  2. Contributions of marginal offspring to reproductive success of Nazca booby (Sula granti) parents: tests of multiple hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Courtney A; Arevalo, V Danilo; Fischer, Karen N; Anderson, David J

    2006-03-01

    While obligate siblicide is a phylogenetically widespread behavior, known from plants, insects, birds, and other taxa, with important implications for life history evolution, comprehensive evaluations of its costs and benefits to parents are rare. We used 12 years of breeding and band resight data to evaluate the importance of several potential benefits that marginal offspring (the usual victims of obligate siblicide) could provide to parent Nazca boobies (Sula granti), a seabird. We found no evidence for the resource-tracking hypothesis: 99.95% of two-chick broods were reduced to one chick before fledging, and the single exceptional brood probably lost one chick between fledging and independence. Behavioral observations indicated that siblicidal aggression caused most mortality of marginal chicks, and at least contributed to the remainder. We also found no evidence that marginal offspring provide a food resource for other family members. Marginal chicks benefit parents via adoption into other families, and possibly also in the context of progeny choice, but these benefits are minor compared to the insurance that marginal chicks provide against early failure of core (first-hatched) offspring. Further evaluation of the Insurance Egg Hypothesis showed that marginal and core offspring are functionally equivalent in the absence of sibling interactions, and that core offspring incur no detectable costs from behaving siblicidally. Nazca boobies are truly obligate brood reducers, with parents receiving principally insurance benefits from marginal offspring, but many birds and other taxa exhibiting persistent, unconditional sibling aggression do not exhibit universal brood reduction. Insurance is only one of several potential benefits that marginal offspring can confer on parents, and a multi-hypothesis approach to decompose the different types of benefits is required to understand the evolution of clutch size in other obligately siblicidal species.

  3. Migratory delay leads to reduced passage success of Atlantic salmon smolts at a hydroelectric dam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyqvist, Daniel; Greenberg, L.; Goerig, E.; Calles, O.; Bergman, E.; Ardren, William R.; Castro-Santos, Theodore R.

    2017-01-01

    Passage of fish through hydropower dams is associated with mortality, delay, increased energy expenditure and migratory failure for migrating fish and the need for remedial measures for both upstream and downstream migration is widely recognised. A functional fish passage must ensure safe and timely passage routes that a substantial portion of migrating fish will use. Passage solutions must address not only the number or percentage of fish that successfully pass a barrier, but also the time it takes to pass. Here, we used radiotelemetry to study the functionality of a fish bypass for downstream-migrating wild-caught and hatchery-released Atlantic salmon smolts. We used time-to-event analysis to model the influence of fish characteristics and environmental variables on the rates of a series of events associated with dam passage. Among the modelled events were approach rate to the bypass entry zone, retention rates in both the forebay and the entry zone and passage rates. Despite repeated attempts, only 65% of the tagged fish present in the forebay passed the dam. Fish passed via the bypass (33%), via spill (18%) and via turbines (15%). Discharge was positively related to approach, passage and retention rates. We did not detect any differences between wild and hatchery fish. Even though individual fish visited the forebay and the entry zone on multiple occasions, most fish passed during the first exposures to these zones. This study underscores the importance of timeliness to passage success and the usefulness of time-to-event analysis for understanding factors governing passage performance.

  4. The more the better - polyandry and genetic similarity are positively linked to reproductive success in a natural population of terrestrial salamanders (Salamandra salamandra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caspers, Barbara A; Krause, E Tobias; Hendrix, Ralf; Kopp, Michael; Rupp, Oliver; Rosentreter, Katrin; Steinfartz, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Although classically thought to be rare, female polyandry is widespread and may entail significant fitness benefits. If females store sperm over extended periods of time, the consequences of polyandry will depend on the pattern of sperm storage, and some of the potential benefits of polyandry can only be realized if sperm from different males is mixed. Our study aimed to determine patterns and consequences of polyandry in an amphibian species, the fire salamander, under fully natural conditions. Fire salamanders are ideal study objects, because mating, fertilization and larval deposition are temporally decoupled, females store sperm for several months, and larvae are deposited in the order of fertilization. Based on 18 microsatellite loci, we conducted paternity analysis of 24 female-offspring arrays with, in total, over 600 larvae fertilized under complete natural conditions. More than one-third of females were polyandrous and up to four males were found as sires. Our data clearly show that sperm from multiple males is mixed in the female's spermatheca. Nevertheless, paternity is biased, and the most successful male sires on average 70% of the larvae, suggesting a 'topping off' mechanism with first-male precedence. Female reproductive success increased with the number of sires, most probably because multiple mating ensured high fertilization success. In contrast, offspring number was unaffected by female condition and genetic characteristics, but surprisingly, it increased with the degree of genetic relatedness between females and their sires. Sires of polyandrous females tended to be genetically similar to each other, indicating a role for active female choice. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Elevated hormonal stress response and reduced reproductive output in Yellow-eyed penguins exposed to unregulated tourism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenberg, Ursula; Setiawan, Alvin N; Cree, Alison; Houston, David M; Seddon, Philip J

    2007-05-15

    The endangered, endemic Yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) is one of the flagship species for New Zealand's wildlife tourism, and recently concern has been raised that tourism-related pressures may be becoming too great. We compared two neighbouring breeding areas exposed to different levels of human disturbance. Penguins at the site exposed to unregulated tourism showed significantly lower breeding success and fledging weights than those in an area visited infrequently for monitoring purposes only. High parental baseline corticosterone concentrations correlated with lower fledgling weights at both sites. Stress-induced corticosterone concentrations were significantly higher at the tourist-exposed site, suggesting birds have been sensitized by frequent disturbance. Consequences are likely to include reduced juvenile survival and recruitment to the tourist site, while the changed hormonal stress responses may ultimately have an effect on adult fitness and survival. For maintenance of attractive Yellow-eyed penguin-viewing destinations we recommend that tourists stay out of breeding areas and disturbance at penguin landing beaches is reduced.

  6. Assessing paternity in japanese quails (Coturnix japonica using microsatellite markers - inferences for its mating system and reproductive success

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ML Gomes

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Microsatellite markers were analyzed in Japanese quails, Coturnix japonica, using different methodologies (PAGE and automated genotyping, in order to evaluate their use in paternity testing. Ten animal triplets composed by a female and two males were used to mate and generate an offspring. Paternity was determined in five-day-old embryos, and the data generated by fluorescent labeled and tailored primers in PCR and further automated genotyping were robust. Three microsatellite markers were polymorphic (Na = 5-8, H E = 0.75 and no loci were found to deviate significantly from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium or showed any evidence of linkage disequilibrium (p > 0.05. A slight heterozygote deficiency and some incompatibilities between the female known parent and its offspring that involved homozygous genotypes were observed at GUJ0001 locus and may indicate the presence of null alleles. Although a reduced set of microsatellite primers were applied, it was possible to determine the paternity of 96.87% of the embryos, using combined data of three loci. The approach was useful for parentage inferring in a captive population of C. japonica and the results evidenced a potential polyandric mating system in the species, in which no advantage mechanism of last-male sperm precedence seems to occur.

  7. Genetic and pharmacological factors that influence reproductive aging in nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacie E Hughes

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Age-related degenerative changes in the reproductive system are an important aspect of aging, because reproductive success is the major determinant of evolutionary fitness. Caenorhabditis elegans is a prominent organism for studies of somatic aging, since many factors that extend adult lifespan have been identified. However, mechanisms that control reproductive aging in nematodes or other animals are not well characterized. To use C. elegans to measure reproductive aging, we analyzed mated hermaphrodites that do not become sperm depleted and monitored the duration and level of progeny production. Mated hermaphrodites display a decline of progeny production that culminates in reproductive cessation before the end of the lifespan, demonstrating that hermaphrodites undergo reproductive aging. To identify factors that influence reproductive aging, we analyzed genetic, environmental, and pharmacological factors that extend lifespan. Dietary restriction and reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling delayed reproductive aging, indicating that nutritional status and a signaling pathway that responds to environmental stress influence reproductive aging. Cold temperature delayed reproductive aging. The anticonvulsant medicine ethosuximide, which affects neural activity, delayed reproductive aging, indicating that neural activity can influence reproductive aging. Some of these factors decrease early progeny production, but there is no consistent relationship between early progeny production and reproductive aging in strains with an extended lifespan. To directly examine the effects of early progeny production on reproductive aging, we used sperm availability to modulate the level of early reproduction. Early progeny production neither accelerated nor delayed reproductive aging, indicating that reproductive aging is not controlled by use-dependent mechanisms. The implications of these findings for evolutionary theories of aging are discussed.

  8. e-Therapy to reduce emotional distress in women undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART): a feasibility randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dongen, Angelique J C M; Nelen, Willianne L D M; IntHout, Joanna; Kremer, Jan A M; Verhaak, Christianne M

    2016-05-01

    Is it feasible to evaluate a personalized e-therapy program (Internet based) for women during fertility treatment aimed to reduce the chance of having clinically relevant symptoms of anxiety and/or depression after unsuccessful assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment within a randomized controlled trial (RCT)? The evaluation of a personalized e-therapy program is feasible, reflected by good acceptability and integration within current guidelines, but adjustments to the e-therapy program and study design of the RCT have to be made to enhance demand, practicality and efficacy. Internet-based interventions are promising in reducing psychological distress, especially when treatment is personalized to specific risk profiles of patients. However in fertility care, the beneficial effects of personalized e-therapy on psychological distress and its implementation in daily clinical care still have to be evaluated. To evaluate the feasibility of a personalized e-therapy program, we conducted a two-arm, parallel group, single-blind feasibility randomized controlled trial with a 1:1 allocation. Feasibility was assessed in terms of demand, acceptability, practicality, implementation, integration and limited efficacy. Women were included between 1 February 2011 and 1 June 2013. Women in the control group received care as usual, whereas women in the intervention group received in addition to their usual care access to a personalized e-therapy program. Women were monitored until 3 months after the start of their first ART cycle. In a university hospital in the Netherlands women who were screened as at risk for emotional adjustment problems and intended to start their first ART cycle were invited, and of them 120 were randomized. Of these women, 48% in the intervention group were compliant to the intervention. Outcome measures associated with the feasibility to analyse this e-therapy program within an RCT were assessed. It is feasible to evaluate a personalized e

  9. Natural Reproductive Success and Demographic Effects of Hatchery-Origin Steelhead in Abernathy Creek, Washington : Annual Report 2008.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Abernathy Fish Technology Center

    2008-12-01

    Many hatchery programs for steelhead pose genetic or ecological risks to natural populations because those programs release or outplant fish from non-native stocks. The goal of many steelhead programs has been to simply provide 'fishing opportunities' with little consideration given to conservation concerns. For example, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has widely propagated and outplanted one stock of winter-run steelhead (Chambers Creek stock) and one stock of summer-run steelhead (Skamania stock) throughout western Washington. Biologists and managers now recognize potential negative effects can occur when non-native hatchery fish interact biologically with native populations. Not only do non-native stocks pose genetic and ecological risks to naturally spawning populations, but non-native fish stray as returning adults at a much higher rate than do native fish (Quinn 1993). Biologists and managers also recognize the need to (a) maintain the genetic resources associated with naturally spawning populations and (b) restore or recover natural populations wherever possible. As a consequence, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the NOAA Fisheries have been recommending a general policy that discourages the use of non-native hatchery stocks and encourages development of native broodstocks. There are two primary motivations for these recommendations: (1) reduce or minimize potential negative biological effects resulting from genetic or ecological interactions between hatchery-origin and native-origin fish and (2) use native broodstocks as genetic repositories to potentially assist with recovery of naturally spawning populations. A major motivation for the captive-rearing work described in this report resulted from NOAA's 1998 Biological Opinion on Artificial Propagation in the Columbia River Basin. In that biological opinion (BO), NOAA concluded that non-native hatchery stocks of steelhead jeopardize the continued existence of

  10. Coralline algae disease reduces survival and settlement success of coral planulae in laboratory experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéré, Gaëlle; Nugues, Maggy M.

    2015-09-01

    Disease outbreaks have been involved in the deterioration of coral reefs worldwide and have been particularly striking among crustose coralline algae (CCA). Although CCA represent important cues for coral settlement, the impact of CCA diseases on the survival and settlement of coral planulae is unknown. Exposing coral larvae to healthy, diseased, and recently dead crusts from three important CCA species, we show a negative effect of disease in the inductive CCA species Hydrolithon boergesenii on larval survivorship of Orbicella faveolata and settlement of O. faveolata and Diploria labyrinthiformis on the CCA surface. No effect was found with the less inductive CCA species Neogoniolithon mamillare and Paragoniolithon accretum. Additionally, a majority of planulae that settled on top of diseased H. boergesenii crusts were on healthy rather than diseased/dying tissue. Our experiments suggest that CCA diseases have the potential to reduce the survivorship and settlement of coral planulae on coral reefs.

  11. Communication towers, lights, and birds: successful methods of reducing the frequency of avian collisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Joelle; Kerlinger, Paul; Manville, Albert M

    2009-03-01

    Estimates suggest that each year millions of birds, predominantly Neotropical migrating songbirds, collide with communication towers. To determine the relative collision risks that different nighttime Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) communication tower obstruction lighting systems pose to night-migrating birds, we compared fatalities at towers with different systems: white strobe lights only; red strobe-like lights only; red, flashing, incandescent lights only; and red, strobe-like lights combined with non-flashing, steady-burning, red lights. Avian fatality data used to compare these tower light systems were collected simultaneously in Michigan on 20 consecutive days during early morning hours during peak songbird migration at 24 towers in May and September 2005 (total = 40 days). Twenty-one towers were 116-146 m above ground level (AGL), and three were > or = 305 m AGL. During the two 20-day sample periods, we found a mean of 3.7 birds under 116-146 m AGL towers equipped with only red or white flashing obstruction lights, whereas towers with non-flashing/steady-burning lights in addition to the flashing lights were responsible for 13.0 fatalities per season. Kruskal-Wallis test, ANOVA, Student's t test, and multiple comparisons procedures determined that towers lit at night with only flashing lights were involved in significantly fewer avian fatalities than towers lit with systems that included the FAA "status quo" lighting system (i.e., a combination of red, flashing lights and red, non-flashing lights). There were no significant differences in fatality rates among towers lit with red strobes, white strobes, and red, incandescent, flashing lights. Results from related studies at the same towers in May and September 2004 and September 2003 provide ancillary support for these findings. Our results suggest that avian fatalities can be reduced, perhaps by 50-71%, at guyed communication towers by removing non-flashing/steady-burning red lights. Our lighting

  12. Successful treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia with favorable cytogenetics by reduced-intensity stem cell transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Takeshi; Yasumoto, Atsushi; Arita, Kotaro; Sugita, Jun-Ichi; Shigematsu, Akio; Okada, Kohei; Takahata, Mutsumi; Onozawa, Masahiro; Kahata, Kaoru; Takeda, Yukari; Obara, Masato; Yamamoto, Satoshi; Endo, Tomoyuki; Nishio, Mitsufumi; Sato, Norihiro; Tanaka, Junji; Hashino, Satoshi; Koike, Takao; Asaka, Masahiro; Imamura, Masahiro

    2010-03-01

    Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) with favorable cytogenetics responds well to chemotherapy. If the leukemia relapses, allogenic hematopoietic stem transplantation (allo-HSCT) is considered as a treatment option. Since the efficacy of reduced-intensity stem cell transplantation (RIST) for AML with favorable cytogenetics has not been established, we retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of allo-HSCT in AML patients according to cytogenetic risks. The outcome of allo-HSCT for AML patients with favorable cytogenetics seemed to be superior to that for AML patients with intermediate cytogenetics. In AML patients with favorable cytogenetics, the 3-year overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) rates were 88 and 76%, respectively, in the RIST group. Both the 3-year OS and RFS rates were 81% in the conventional stem cell transplantation (CST) group. The outcome of RIST for AML patients with favorable cytogenetics was comparable to that for patients who received CST despite the more advanced age and greater organ dysfunction in RIST group than in CST group. None of the patients died within 90 days after RIST. Moreover, there was no relapse in patients with favorable cytogenetics who were in hematological remission prior to RIST. Thus, RIST for AML patients with favorable cytogenetics in remission is safe and effective.

  13. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris McCreedy,; Van Riper, Charles

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  14. Temporal change in the genetic structure between and within cohorts of a marine fish, Diplodus sargus, induced by a large variance in individual reproductive success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planes, S; Lenfant, P

    2002-08-01

    Temporal changes at 16 allozyme loci in the Diplodus sargus population of Banyuls-sur-Mer (Mediterranean Sea, France) were monitored. Temporal genetic variation within a single population was examined over two temporal scales: (i) among three year-classes sampled at the same age, and (ii) within a single year-class sampled three times over a two-year period. We observed a significant change in the genotypic structure within the same cohort during the first two years following settlement and before recruitment into the adult population. In addition, comparison of year-classes showed that cohorts differed significantly one year after settlement, whereas they became similar later on before recruitment into the adult population. The observed changes in the genetic structure within and between year-classes may be the result of complex selective processes or genetic drift. Linkage disequilibrium and genetic relatedness data suggest that these changes are due to large variation in reproductive success, followed by homogenization through adult movement. Overall, these results demonstrated a rapid genetic change within a population.

  15. Mating systems, reproductive success, and sexual selection in secretive species: a case study of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Rulon W; Schuett, Gordon W; Repp, Roger A; Amarello, Melissa; Smith, Charles F; Herrmann, Hans-Werner

    2014-01-01

    Long-term studies of individual animals in nature contribute disproportionately to our understanding of the principles of ecology and evolution. Such field studies can benefit greatly from integrating the methods of molecular genetics with traditional approaches. Even though molecular genetic tools are particularly valuable for species that are difficult to observe directly, they have not been widely adopted. Here, we used molecular genetic techniques in a 10-year radio-telemetric investigation of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) for an analysis of its mating system and to measure sexual selection. Specifically, we used microsatellite markers to genotype 299 individuals, including neonates from litters of focal females to ascertain parentage using full-pedigree likelihood methods. We detected high levels of multiple paternity within litters, yet found little concordance between paternity and observations of courtship and mating behavior. Larger males did not father significantly more offspring, but we found evidence for size-specific male-mating strategies, with larger males guarding females for longer periods in the mating seasons. Moreover, the spatial proximity of males to mothers was significantly associated with reproductive success. Overall, our field observations alone would have been insufficient to quantitatively measure the mating system of this population of C. atrox, and we thus urge more widespread adoption of molecular tools by field researchers studying the mating systems and sexual selection of snakes and other secretive taxa.

  16. Mating Systems, Reproductive Success, and Sexual Selection in Secretive Species: A Case Study of the Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Rulon W.; Schuett, Gordon W.; Repp, Roger A.; Amarello, Melissa; Smith, Charles F.; Herrmann, Hans-Werner

    2014-01-01

    Long-term studies of individual animals in nature contribute disproportionately to our understanding of the principles of ecology and evolution. Such field studies can benefit greatly from integrating the methods of molecular genetics with traditional approaches. Even though molecular genetic tools are particularly valuable for species that are difficult to observe directly, they have not been widely adopted. Here, we used molecular genetic techniques in a 10-year radio-telemetric investigation of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) for an analysis of its mating system and to measure sexual selection. Specifically, we used microsatellite markers to genotype 299 individuals, including neonates from litters of focal females to ascertain parentage using full-pedigree likelihood methods. We detected high levels of multiple paternity within litters, yet found little concordance between paternity and observations of courtship and mating behavior. Larger males did not father significantly more offspring, but we found evidence for size-specific male-mating strategies, with larger males guarding females for longer periods in the mating seasons. Moreover, the spatial proximity of males to mothers was significantly associated with reproductive success. Overall, our field observations alone would have been insufficient to quantitatively measure the mating system of this population of C. atrox, and we thus urge more widespread adoption of molecular tools by field researchers studying the mating systems and sexual selection of snakes and other secretive taxa. PMID:24598810

  17. Mating systems, reproductive success, and sexual selection in secretive species: a case study of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rulon W Clark

    Full Text Available Long-term studies of individual animals in nature contribute disproportionately to our understanding of the principles of ecology and evolution. Such field studies can benefit greatly from integrating the methods of molecular genetics with traditional approaches. Even though molecular genetic tools are particularly valuable for species that are difficult to observe directly, they have not been widely adopted. Here, we used molecular genetic techniques in a 10-year radio-telemetric investigation of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox for an analysis of its mating system and to measure sexual selection. Specifically, we used microsatellite markers to genotype 299 individuals, including neonates from litters of focal females to ascertain parentage using full-pedigree likelihood methods. We detected high levels of multiple paternity within litters, yet found little concordance between paternity and observations of courtship and mating behavior. Larger males did not father significantly more offspring, but we found evidence for size-specific male-mating strategies, with larger males guarding females for longer periods in the mating seasons. Moreover, the spatial proximity of males to mothers was significantly associated with reproductive success. Overall, our field observations alone would have been insufficient to quantitatively measure the mating system of this population of C. atrox, and we thus urge more widespread adoption of molecular tools by field researchers studying the mating systems and sexual selection of snakes and other secretive taxa.

  18. 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)

    Alexander, Lisa; 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.

  19. 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

  20. Triglyceride/HDL ratio as a screening tool for predicting success at reducing anti-diabetic medications following weight loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghanshyam Palamaner Subash Shantha

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Intentional weight loss, by reducing insulin resistance, results in both better glycemic control and decreased need for anti-diabetic medications. However, not everyone who is successful with weight loss is able to reduce anti-diabetic medication use. In this retrospective cohort study, we assessed the predictive accuracy of baseline triglyceride (TGL/HDL ratio, a marker of insulin resistance, to screen patients for success in reducing anti-diabetic medication use with weight loss. METHODS: Case records of 121 overweight and obese attendees at two outpatient weight management centers were analyzed. The weight loss intervention consisted of a calorie-restricted diet (~1000Kcal/day deficit, a behavior modification plan, and a plan for increasing physical activity. RESULTS: Mean period of follow-up was 12.5 ± 3.5 months. By study exit, mean weight loss and mean HbA1c% reduction were 15.4 ± 5.5 kgs and 0.5 ± 0.2% respectively. 81 (67% in the study cohort achieved at least 1 dose reduction of any anti-diabetic medication. Tests for predictive accuracy of baseline TGL/HDL ratio ≤ 3 to determine success with dose reductions of anti-diabetic medications showed a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, area under the curve, likelihood ratio (LR + and LR-of 81, 83, 90, 70, 78, 4.8 and 0.2, respectively. Reproducibility of TGL/HDL ratio was acceptable. CONCLUSION: TGL/HDL ratio shows promise as an effective screening tool to determine success with dose reductions of anti-diabetic medications. The results of our study may inform the conduct of a systematic review using data from prior weight loss trials.

  1. Triglyceride/HDL ratio as a screening tool for predicting success at reducing anti-diabetic medications following weight loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palamaner Subash Shantha, Ghanshyam; Kumar, Anita Ashok; Kahan, Scott; Irukulla, Pavan Kumar; Cheskin, Lawrence Jay

    2013-01-01

    Intentional weight loss, by reducing insulin resistance, results in both better glycemic control and decreased need for anti-diabetic medications. However, not everyone who is successful with weight loss is able to reduce anti-diabetic medication use. In this retrospective cohort study, we assessed the predictive accuracy of baseline triglyceride (TGL)/HDL ratio, a marker of insulin resistance, to screen patients for success in reducing anti-diabetic medication use with weight loss. Case records of 121 overweight and obese attendees at two outpatient weight management centers were analyzed. The weight loss intervention consisted of a calorie-restricted diet (~1000Kcal/day deficit), a behavior modification plan, and a plan for increasing physical activity. Mean period of follow-up was 12.5 ± 3.5 months. By study exit, mean weight loss and mean HbA1c% reduction were 15.4 ± 5.5 kgs and 0.5 ± 0.2% respectively. 81 (67%) in the study cohort achieved at least 1 dose reduction of any anti-diabetic medication. Tests for predictive accuracy of baseline TGL/HDL ratio ≤ 3 to determine success with dose reductions of anti-diabetic medications showed a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, area under the curve, likelihood ratio (LR) + and LR-of 81, 83, 90, 70, 78, 4.8 and 0.2, respectively. Reproducibility of TGL/HDL ratio was acceptable. TGL/HDL ratio shows promise as an effective screening tool to determine success with dose reductions of anti-diabetic medications. The results of our study may inform the conduct of a systematic review using data from prior weight loss trials.

  2. Reproductive hacking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; 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. PMID:25483253

  3. Reduced quality and accelerated follicle loss with female reproductive aging - does decline in theca dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) underlie the problem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Judith H

    2013-12-13

    suggested by successful interventions to date. In humans and primates that undergo adrenarche, the adrenal zona reticularis (ZR) is the major site of DHEA production, however this is also reduced with age. Concomitant loss in function of the ZR might account for the acceleration in the rate of aging seen in humans in the late thirties' age group.

  4. Is attributing smoking to genetic causes associated with a reduced probability of quit attempt success? A cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Alison J; Aveyard, Paul; Guo, Boliang; Murphy, Michael; Brown, Karen; Marteau, Theresa M

    2007-10-01

    Pharmacogenetic smoking cessation interventions would involve smokers being given information about the influence of genes on their behaviour. However, attributing smoking to genetic causes may reduce perceived control over smoking, reducing quit attempt success. This study examines whether attributing smoking to genetic influences is associated with reduced quitting and whether this effect is mediated by perceived control over smoking. Cohort study. A total of 792 smokers, participating in a trial of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)-assisted smoking cessation. Participants were informed that the trial investigated relationships between genetic markers and smoking behaviour, but personalized genetic feedback was not provided. Primary care in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, UK. Perceived control over smoking and perceived importance of genetic factors in causing smoking assessed pre-quit; abstinence 4, 12, 26 and 52 weeks after the start of treatment. A total of 515 smokers (65.0%) viewed genetic factors as playing some role in causing their smoking. They had lower perceived control over smoking than smokers who viewed genetic factors as having no role in causing their smoking. Attributing smoking to genetic causes was not associated significantly with a lower probability of quit attempt success. Attributing smoking to genetic factors was associated with lower levels of perceived control over smoking but not lower quit rates. This suggests that learning of one's genetic predisposition to smoking during a pharmacogenetically tailored smoking cessation intervention may not deter quitting. Further research should examine whether the lack of impact of genetic attributions on quit attempt success is also found in smokers provided with personalized genetic feedback.

  5. The catastrophic decline of the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni in Sabah: Historic exploitation, reduced female reproductive performance and population viability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kretzschmar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The reasons for catastrophic declines of Sumatran rhinos are far from clear and data necessary to improve decisions for conservation management are often lacking. We reviewed literature and assembled a comprehensive data set on surveys of the Sumatran rhino subspecies (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo to chart the historical development of the population in Sabah and its exploitation until the present day. We fitted resource selection functions to identify habitat features preferred by a remnant population of rhinos living in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah, and ran a series of population viability analyses (PVAs to extract the key demographic parameters most likely to affect population dynamics. We show that as preferred habitat, the individuals in the reserve were most likely encountered in elevated areas away from roads, in close distance to mud-volcanoes, with a low presence of human trespassers and a wallow on site, and within a neighbourhood of dense forest and grassland patches preferably on Fluvisols and Acrisols. Our population viability analyses identified the percentage of breeding females and female lifetime reproductive period as the crucial parameters driving population dynamics, in combination with total protection even moderate improvements could elevate population viability substantially. The analysis also indicates that unrestrained hunting between 1930 and 1950 drastically reduced the historical rhino population in Sabah and that the remnant population could be rescued by combining the effort of total protection and stimulation of breeding activity. Based on our results, we recommend to translocate isolated reproductively healthy individuals to protected locations and to undertake measures to maximise conceptions, or running state-of-the-art reproductive management with assisted reproduction techniques. Our study demonstrates that a judicious combination of techniques can do

  6. Effects of Hand-Rearing on Reproductive Success in Captive Large Cats Panthera tigris altaica, Uncia uncia, Acinonyx jubatus and Neofelis nebulosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampson, Maja Coulthard; Schwitzer, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (ptigers lived shorter lives, while hand-reared cheetahs lived longer (ptiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349) in the 2000-2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (ptiger and snow leopard cubs; p<0.001 for cheetah and snow leopard cubs). Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the results of this study highlight that careful consideration should be taken when deciding whether or not to hand-rear individuals that are part of Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes.

  7. Beyond the pollination syndrome: nectar ecology and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in the reproductive success of Inga sessilis (Fabaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, F W; Galetto, L; Sazima, M

    2013-03-01

    Inga species present brush-type flower morphology allowing them to be visited by distinct groups of pollinators. Nectar features in relation to the main pollinators have seldom been studied in this genus. To test the hypothesis of floral adaptation to both diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the pollination ecology of Inga sessilis, with emphasis on the nectar secretion patterns, effects of sequential removals on nectar production, sugar composition and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in its reproductive success. Inga sessilis is self-incompatible and pollinated by hummingbirds, hawkmoths and bats. Fruit set under natural conditions is very low despite the fact that most stigmas receive polyads with sufficient pollen to fertilise all ovules in a flower. Nectar secretion starts in the bud stage and flowers continually secreting nectar for a period of 8 h. Flowers actively reabsorbed the nectar a few hours before senescence. Sugar production increased after nectar removal, especially when flowers were drained during the night. Nectar sugar composition changed over flower life span, from sucrose-dominant (just after flower opening, when hummingbirds were the main visitors) to hexose-rich (throughout the night, when bats and hawkmoths were the main visitors). Diurnal pollinators contributed less than nocturnal ones to fruit production, but the former were more constant and reliable visitors through time. Our results indicate I. sessilis has floral adaptations, beyond the morphology, that encompass both diurnal and nocturnal pollinator requirements, suggesting a complementary and mixed pollination system. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  8. Effects of Hand-Rearing on Reproductive Success in Captive Large Cats Panthera tigris altaica, Uncia uncia, Acinonyx jubatus and Neofelis nebulosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampson, Maja Coulthard; Schwitzer, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (pcheetahs (pcheetahs lived longer (pcheetahs (p = 0.0395) in the 1901–2011 dataset and lower in hand-reared female Siberian tiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349) in the 2000–2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (pcheetah and snow leopard cubs). Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the results of this study highlight that careful consideration should be taken when deciding whether or not to hand-rear individuals that are part of Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes. PMID:27214261

  9. Reproductive physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, G.F.; Russman, S.E.; Ellis, David H.; Gee, George F.; Mirande, Claire M.

    1996-01-01

    Conclusions: Although the general pattern of avian physiology applies to cranes, we have identified many physiological mechanisms (e.g., effects of disturbance) that need further study. Studies with cranes are expensive compared to those done with domestic fowl because of the crane's larger size, low reproductive rate, and delayed sexual maturity. To summarize, the crane reproductive system is composed of physiological and anatomical elements whose function is controlled by an integrated neural-endocrine system. Males generally produce semen at a younger age than when females lay eggs. Eggs are laid in clutches of two (1 to 3), and females will lay additional clutches if the preceding clutches are removed. Both sexes build nests and incubate the eggs. Molt begins during incubation and body molt may be completed annually in breeding pairs. However, remiges are replaced sequentially over 2 to 3 years, or abruptly every 2 to 3 years in other species. Most immature birds replace their juvenal remiges over a 2 to 3 year period. Stress interferes with reproduction in cranes by reducing egg production or terminating the reproductive effort. In other birds, stress elevates corticosterone levels and decreases LHRH release. We know little about the physiological response of cranes to stress.

  10. Hood River Steelhead Genetics Study; Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Wild Steelhead in the Hood River, Final Report 2002-2003.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blouin, Michael

    2003-05-01

    microsatellite-based pedigree analysis, the relative total reproductive success (adult-to-adult production) of hatchery (H{sub old} or H{sub new}) and wild (W) fish for two populations, over multiple brood years. Our analyses of samples from fish that bred in the early to mid 1990's show that fish of 'old' hatchery stocks have much lower total fitness than wild fish (17% to 54% of wild fitness), but that 'new' stocks have fitness that is similar to that of wild fish (ranging from 85% to 108% of wild fitness, depending on parental gender and run year). Therefore, our results show that the decision to phase out the old, out-of-basin stocks and replace them with new, conservation hatchery stocks was well founded. We also conclude that the H{sub new} fish are leaving behind substantial numbers of wild-born offspring. The similar fitnesses of H{sub new} and W fish suggests that wild-born offspring of H{sub new} fish are unlikely to have negative genetic effects on the population when they in turn spawn in the wild. We will test this hypothesis once enough F2 offspring have returned. Another interesting result is that we were unable to match a large fraction of the unclipped, returning fish with parents from their brood year. Furthermore, we were missing more fathers than mothers. Because we sampled almost every possible anadromous parent, these results suggest that nonanadromous trout or precocious parr may be obtaining a substantial number of matings. Substantial reproduction by precocious parr could be one unintended consequence of the hatchery program.

  11. Reproductive tract microbiome in assisted reproductive technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has gained much attention recently for its role in health and disease. This interest has come as we have begun to scratch the surface of the complexity of what has been deemed to be our "second genome" through initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project. Microbes have been hypothesized to be involved in the physiology and pathophysiology of assisted reproduction since before the first success in IVF. Although the data supporting or refuting this hypothesis remain somewhat sparse, thanks to sequencing data from the 16S rRNA subunit, we have begun to characterize the microbiome in the male and female reproductive tracts and understand how this may play a role in reproductive competence. In this review, we discuss what is known about the microbiome of the reproductive tract as it pertains to assisted reproductive technologies.

  12. Effects of Hand-Rearing on Reproductive Success in Captive Large Cats Panthera tigris altaica, Uncia uncia, Acinonyx jubatus and Neofelis nebulosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Coulthard Hampson

    Full Text Available Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica, snow leopard (Uncia uncia, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (p<0.01; p = 0.0113, snow leopards (p<0.01, male cheetahs (p<0.01 and female clouded leopards (p<0.01 produced fewer offspring than parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared snow leopard breeding pairs had larger litters than parent-reared pairs (p = 0.0404. Hand-reared snow leopard females reproduced later in life (p<0.01. Hand-reared female Siberian tigers lived shorter lives, while hand-reared cheetahs lived longer (p<0.01; p = 0.0107. Infant mortality was higher in hand-reared snow leopards (p<0.01 and male cheetahs (p = 0.0395 in the 1901-2011 dataset and lower in hand-reared female Siberian tiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349 in the 2000-2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (p<0.01 for Siberian tiger and snow leopard cubs; p<0.001 for cheetah and snow leopard cubs. Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the

  13. Use of Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Livestock Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vikrama Chakravarthi. P and N. Sri Balaji

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Genetic improvement of farm animals is a prime concern over the years for researchers. Several reproductive technologies have been employed to achieve this. Assisted reproductive technologies like Artificial insemination, Superovulation, In vitro Fertilization, Embryo Transfer have been introduced to overcome reproductive problems, to increase the offspring from selected female’s and to reduce the generation intervals in farm animals. The progress achieved during the last few years in the assisted reproductive technologies field has been phenomenal. Artificial Insemination (AI is the most effective method being used for the genetic improvement of animals. Reproductive capacity and efficiency has been improved tremendously since the introduction of artificial insemination. The development of cloning using various cells from the animal body has created opening of a fascinating scientific arena. These technologies have been propounded as saviors of indigenous livestock breeds. These alternative reproductive techniques are available not only for manipulation of reproductive processes but also proven to be powerful tools in curbing the spread of vertically transmitted diseases. The successful reproductive technologies such as AI and Embryo transfer need be applied on a large scale, emerging biotechnogies such as MOET, IVF and Cloning provides powerful tool for rapidly changing the animal populations, genetically. This advanced reproduction technologies will definitely play an important role in the future perspective and visions for efficient reproductive performance in livestock. [Vet. World 2010; 3(5.000: 238-240

  14. Melatonin reduces LH, 17 beta-estradiol and induces differential regulation of sex steroid receptors in reproductive tissues during rat ovulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinheiro Patrícia Fernanda F

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Melatonin is associated with direct or indirect actions upon female reproductive function. However, its effects on sex hormones and steroid receptors during ovulation are not clearly defined. This study aimed to verify whether exposure to long-term melatonin is able to cause reproductive hormonal disturbances as well as their role on sex steroid receptors in the rat ovary, oviduct and uterus during ovulation. Methods Twenty-four adult Wistar rats, 60 days old (+/- 250 g were randomly divided into two groups. Control group (Co: received 0.9% NaCl 0.3 mL + 95% ethanol 0.04 mL as vehicle; Melatonin-treated group (MEL: received vehicle + melatonin [100 μg/100 g BW/day] both intraperitoneally during 60 days. All animals were euthanized by decapitation during the morning estrus at 4 a.m. Results Melatonin significantly reduced the plasma levels of LH and 17 beta-estradiol, while urinary 6-sulfatoximelatonin (STM was increased at the morning estrus. In addition, melatonin promoted differential regulation of the estrogen receptor (ER, progesterone receptor (PR, androgen receptor (AR and melatonin receptor (MTR along the reproductive tissues. In ovary, melatonin induced a down-regulation of ER-alpha and PRB levels. Conversely, it was observed that PRA and MT1R were up-regulated. In oviduct, AR and ER-alpha levels were down-regulated, in contrast to high expression of both PRA and PRB. Finally, the ER-beta and PRB levels were down-regulated in uterus tissue and only MT1R was up-regulated. Conclusions We suggest that melatonin partially suppress the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, in addition, it induces differential regulation of sex steroid receptors in the ovary, oviduct and uterus during ovulation.

  15. Selenium exposure results in reduced reproduction in an invasive ant species and altered competitive behavior for a native ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De La Riva, Deborah G; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Competitive ability and numerical dominance are important factors contributing to the ability of invasive ant species to establish and expand their ranges in new habitats. However, few studies have investigated the impact of environmental contamination on competitive behavior in ants as a potential factor influencing dynamics between invasive and native ant species. Here we investigated the widespread contaminant selenium to investigate its potential influence on invasion by the exotic Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, through effects on reproduction and competitive behavior. For the fecundity experiment, treatments were provided to Argentine ant colonies via to sugar water solutions containing one of three concentrations of selenium (0, 5 and 10 μg Se mL(-1)) that fall within the range found in soil and plants growing in contaminated areas. Competition experiments included both the Argentine ant and the native Dorymyrmex bicolor to determine the impact of selenium exposure (0 or 15 μg Se mL(-1)) on exploitation- and interference-competition between ant species. The results of the fecundity experiment revealed that selenium negatively impacted queen survival and brood production of Argentine ants. Viability of the developing brood was also affected in that offspring reached adulthood only in colonies that were not given selenium, whereas those in treated colonies died in their larval stages. Selenium exposure did not alter direct competitive behaviors for either species, but selenium exposure contributed to an increased bait discovery time for D. bicolor. Our results suggest that environmental toxins may not only pose problems for native ant species, but may also serve as a potential obstacle for establishment among exotic species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Microbial community succession during lactate amendment and electron acceptor limitation reveals a predominance of metal-reducing Pelosinus spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Jennifer J; Phelps, Tommy J; Podar, Mircea; Hurt, Richard A; Campbell, James H; Drake, Meghan M; Moberly, James G; Schadt, Christopher W; Brown, Steven D; Hazen, Terry C; Arkin, Adam P; Palumbo, Anthony V; Faybishenko, Boris A; Elias, Dwayne A

    2012-04-01

    The determination of the success of in situ bioremediation strategies is complex. By using controlled laboratory conditions, the influence of individual variables, such as U(VI), Cr(VI), and electron donors and acceptors on community structure, dynamics, and the metal-reducing potential can be studied. Triplicate anaerobic, continuous-flow reactors were inoculated with Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater from the Hanford, WA, 100-H area, amended with lactate, and incubated for 95 days to obtain stable, enriched communities. The reactors were kept anaerobic with N(2) gas (9 ml/min) flushing the headspace and were fed a defined medium amended with 30 mM lactate and 0.05 mM sulfate with a 48-h generation time. The resultant diversity decreased from 63 genera within 12 phyla to 11 bacterial genera (from 3 phyla) and 2 archaeal genera (from 1 phylum). Final communities were dominated by Pelosinus spp. and to a lesser degree, Acetobacterium spp., with low levels of other organisms, including methanogens. Four new strains of Pelosinus were isolated, with 3 strains being capable of Cr(VI) reduction while one also reduced U(VI). Under limited sulfate, it appeared that the sulfate reducers, including Desulfovibrio spp., were outcompeted. These results suggest that during times of electron acceptor limitation in situ, organisms such as Pelosinus spp. may outcompete the more-well-studied organisms while maintaining overall metal reduction rates and extents. Finally, lab-scale simulations can test new strategies on a smaller scale while facilitating community member isolation, so that a deeper understanding of community metabolism can be revealed.

  17. Fertility Clinic Success Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and Autism 2013 Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir 2013 ART Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report [PDF - 1MB] Bookmarks and thumbnails are ...

  18. Effective and specific in planta RNAi in cyst nematodes: expression interference of four parasitism genes reduces parasitic success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindhu, Anoop S; Maier, Tom R; Mitchum, Melissa G; Hussey, Richard S; Davis, Eric L; Baum, Thomas J

    2009-01-01

    Cyst nematodes are highly evolved sedentary plant endoparasites that use parasitism proteins injected through the stylet into host tissues to successfully parasitize plants. These secretory proteins likely are essential for parasitism as they are involved in a variety of parasitic events leading to the establishment of specialized feeding cells required by the nematode to obtain nourishment. With the advent of RNA interference (RNAi) technology and the demonstration of host-induced gene silencing in parasites, a new strategy to control pests and pathogens has become available, particularly in root-knot nematodes. Plant host-induced silencing of cyst nematode genes so far has had only limited success but similarly should disrupt the parasitic cycle and render the host plant resistant. Additional in planta RNAi data for cyst nematodes are being provided by targeting four parasitism genes through host-induced RNAi gene silencing in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, which is a host for the sugar beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii. Here it is reported that mRNA abundances of targeted nematode genes were specifically reduced in nematodes feeding on plants expressing corresponding RNAi constructs. Furthermore, this host-induced RNAi of all four nematode parasitism genes led to a reduction in the number of mature nematode females. Although no complete resistance was observed, the reduction of developing females ranged from 23% to 64% in different RNAi lines. These observations demonstrate the relevance of the targeted parasitism genes during the nematode life cycle and, potentially more importantly, suggest that a viable level of resistance in crop plants may be accomplished in the future using this technology against cyst nematodes.

  19. The impact of overfishing and El Niño on the condition factor and reproductive success of Peruvian hake, Merluccius gayi peruanus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballón, Michael; Wosnitza-Mendo, Claudia; Guevara-Carrasco, Renato; Bertrand, Arnaud

    2008-10-01

    In this study we examine physiological responses of Peruvian hake ( Merluccius gayi peruanus) to changes in their population structure and physical environment during the period 1971-2004. In particular, we assess the relative investment of energy in growth and/or reproduction of small (20-35 cm) and large (35-50 cm) hake. We calculated the (i) condition (Fulton’s K), (ii) gonad and (iii) gut fullness indices for 42,761 female hakes sampled from commercial landings; these indices indicate fish somatic, reproductive and feeding condition, respectively. Using Generalized Additive Models we then examined potential relationships between these indices and sea surface temperature anomalies and date. Drastic energy exhaustion and a decrease in female hake fecundity were observed during El Niño events. The long-term trend showed a general increase in condition factor and a decrease in gonad index for large hake between 1971 and 2004. Small hake exhibited a different trend with an increase in reproductive activity, which was accompanied by an earlier maturation. We hypothesise that the observed low investment of energy in reproduction by large female hake might be related to the lack of large males, due to a sex-selective fishery and the impact of El Niño. We suggest that fishing diminished hake reproductive capacity, modified the sex ratio in favour of females and increased population vulnerability to environmental stress, in particular to the El Niño. The impact of multidecadal variability and predators like the squid, Dosidicus gigas, remain unresolved until longer time series become available.

  20. Dynamic Succession of Groundwater Sulfate-Reducing Communities during Prolonged Reduction of Uranium in a Contaminated Aquifer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Ping [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); He, Zhili [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Van Nostrand, Joy D. [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Qin, Yujia [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Deng, Ye [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Wu, Liyou [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Tu, Qichao [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou (China); Wang, Jianjun [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Nanjing (China); Schadt, Christopher W. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); W. Fields, Matthew [Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT (United States); Hazen, Terry C. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Arkin, Adam P. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Stahl, David A. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); Zhou, Jizhong [Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)

    2017-03-16

    To further understand the diversity and dynamics of SRB in response to substrate amendment, we sequenced in this paper genes coding for the dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) in groundwater samples collected after an emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) amendment, which sustained U(VI)-reducing conditions for one year in a fast-flowing aquifer. EVO amendment significantly altered the composition of groundwater SRB communities. Sequences having no closely related-described species dominated (80%) the indigenous SRB communities in nonamended wells. After EVO amendment, Desulfococcus, Desulfobacterium, and Desulfovibrio, known for long-chain-fatty-acid, short-chain-fatty-acid and H2 oxidation and U(VI) reduction, became dominant accounting for 7 ± 2%, 21 ± 8%, and 55 ± 8% of the SRB communities, respectively. Succession of these SRB at different bioactivity stages based on redox substrates/products (acetate, SO4–2, U(VI), NO3, Fe(II), and Mn(II)) was observed. Desulfovibrio and Desulfococcus dominated SRB communities at 4–31 days, whereas Desulfobacterium became dominant at 80–140 days. By the end of the experiment (day 269), the abundance of these SRB decreased but the overall diversity of groundwater SRB was still higher than non-EVO controls. Up to 62% of the SRB community changes could be explained by groundwater geochemical variables, including those redox substrates/products. A significant (P < 0.001) correlation was observed between groundwater U(VI) concentrations and Desulfovibrio abundance. Finally, our results showed that the members of SRB and their dynamics were correlated significantly with slow EVO biodegradation, electron donor production and maintenance of U(VI)-reducing conditions in the aquifer.

  1. The Long-Term Effects of Reduced Competitive Ability on Foraging Success of an Invasive Pest Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westermann, Fabian Ludwig; Bell, Vaughn Antony; Suckling, David Maxwell; Lester, Philip John

    2016-08-01

    Ant species like Pheidole megacephala (F.), Solenopsis invicta (Buren), and the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), have repeatedly been reported to be strongly associated with honeydew-producing arthropods like aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs, effectively protecting them from biological control agents like parasitoids. Here we report the results of a successful trial using pheromone dispensers to suppress Argentine ant activity over large sections in a commercial vineyard over a period of two months and preventing ant access into and foraging within the vine canopy. We found Argentine ant activity to be significantly reduced in pheromone-treated plots for the duration of the trial period compared with control plots. Our results showed a significant reduction in the numbers of Argentine ant workers recruited to randomly placed food resources within treated plots compared with untreated plots. Furthermore, spatial distribution of Argentine ants alongside transects in untreated plots remained relatively continuous, while increasing sharply beyond the borders of treated plots. Lastly, we measured the body fat content of workers and found a significant reduction in fat among workers from treated plots compared with untreated plots, suggesting an adverse effects on nest fitness. Additionally, we provide an initial assessment of the feasibility of the presented approach. Our results showed that it is possible to control Argentine ant, preventing them access to and foraging within the vine canopy, thereby reducing Argentine ants' access to honeydew. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. [Successful treatment with reduced-intensity cord blood transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia with complete tetraploidy (92, XXXX)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Junko; Onozawa, Masahiro; Takahashi, Shojiro; Okada, Kohei; Takahata, Mutsumi; Shigematsu, Akio; Kahata, Kaoru; Kondo, Takeshi; Hashino, Satoshi; Imamura, Masahiro; Asaka, Masahiro

    2011-03-01

    A 56-year-old female was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (FAB: AML-M1). G-banding karyotype of her bone marrow showed complete tetraploidy (92, XXXX [24/24]). Although she achieved complete remission (CR) after induction therapy and maintained CR during consolidation therapy, relapse occurred only 2 months after discharge. When the relapse occurred, bone marrow karyotypic analysis showed complete tetraploidy again. The patient received reduced-intensity cord blood transplantation (RI-CBT), which induced CR for the second time. The patient is currently alive 24 months after transplantation and there have not been any signs of recurrence to date. There have been a few reports of AML with near-tetraploidy, but cases of AML with complete tetraploidy are extremely rare. Tetraploid AML has been reported to have a poor prognosis and there have been very few cases maintaining CR over the long term after chemotherapy alone. This is the first case of complete tetraploid AML successfully treated by RI-CBT. The clinical course of this case suggests that hematopoietic stem cell transplantation during the first CR phase should be considered a treatment option for tetraploid AML.

  3. Can reinforcement-based interventions to reduce drug use successfully be adapted to routine opioid maintenance treatment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Specka

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Comorbid substance related disorders are a major health problem for patients in opioid maintenance treatment (OMT. It was investigated whether a reinforcement scheme adapted to the regulatory and financial restrictions of routine treatment reduces concomitant drug use. METHODS: OMT patients from 7 clinics who were using cocaine, benzodiazepines, heroin or amphetamines were randomly allocated to either treatment as usual (n = 64 or treatment with an additional escalating reinforcement scheme (n = 72 in which a patient's number of weekly take-home dosages was increased after 1, 4, 8 and 12 consecutive weeks with drug-free urine specimens. Trial duration was 26 weeks. RESULTS: Completion rates were 64% for controls and 62.5% in the experimental group. Mean number of drug-free weeks was 11.3 (SD 8.5 for the control group and 9.8 (8.9 for the experimental group (p = 0.30. CONCLUSION: The intervention was not effective compared to routine treatment. Additional features might be necessary to achieve an effect, e.g. a higher frequency of urine sampling or use of other reinforcers. It has to be further investigated how interventions which have been proven effective in experimental studies can successfully be adapted to routine care conditions.

  4. Impact of microcystin-producing cyanobacteria on reproductive success of Lymnaea stagnalis (Gastropoda, Pulmonata) and predicted consequences at the population level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance, Emilie; Alonzo, Frederic; Tanguy, Marion; Gérard, Claudia; Bormans, Myriam

    2011-06-01

    Our previous studies showed that microcystin (MC)-accumulation in the gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis and effects on life-history traits (survival, growth, and fecundity) varied according to age, exposure pathway (MC-producing cyanobacteria or dissolved MC), and presence or not of additional non-toxic food. This study investigated effects of exposure to MC-producing cyanobacteria or to dissolved MC of parent and of parent and egg masses of L. stagnalis on hatching success, duration of embryonic development and neonate survival. Secondly, the potential impact of MC-producing cyanobacterial proliferations (blooms) on L. stagnalis population growth, depending on bloom frequencies and recovery duration of life traits after exposure, was evaluated using a modelling approach. Experimental results showed that embryonic development was shortened in case of parent exposure to toxic cyanobacteria. Parent and eggs exposure to dissolved MC extended embryonic development and reduced hatching percentage, suggesting a permeability of egg masses to MC. Whatever exposure, neonate survival was reduced. Neonates exposed to cyanobacteria accumulated MCs 24 h after hatching, suggesting very early cyanobacteria ingestion. Modelling results showed that L. stagnalis population growth was influenced by the recovery time of life-history traits after exposure. When setting the latest at 6 weeks according to previous experiments, a frequency of one to four blooms per year strongly affected population dynamics and induced up to a 80-weeks delay compared to control in time required for populations to grow from 1 to 1000 individuals. Results are discussed in terms of impact of intoxication pathways on parents, eggs and neonates, and on population dynamics of L. stagnalis.

  5. The first success of glass eel production in the world: basic biology on fish reproduction advances new applied technology in aquaculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kagawa, Hirohiko; Tanaka, Hideki; Ohta, Hiromi; Unuma, Tatsuya; Nomura, Kazuharu

    2005-04-01

    The eel has long been esteemed as an important food fish in the world, especially in Japan, and has been used as an experimental fish for many fields of fish physiology. However, the decreases in eel resources have been a serious concern in recent years. The catches of glass eels as seedlings for aquaculture have shown a long-term decrease in both Europe and East Asia. To increase eel resources, the development of techniques for artificial induction of maturation and spawning and rearing their larvae have been eagerly desired. Recent progress of reproductive physiology of fish, especially mechanisms of oocyte maturation and ovulation in female and of spermatozoa maturation in male, facilitate to establish techniques for hormonal induction of maturation and spawning in sexually immature eels. With persistent effort to development of rearing techniques of larvae, we have first succeeded to produce glass eel. These applied techniques are may contribute to understand the basic reproductive physiology of the eel.

  6. Use of modified halloysite nanotubes in the feed reduces the toxic effects of zearalenone on sow reproduction and piglet development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuanyuan; Gao, Rui; Liu, Min; Shi, Baoming; Shan, Anshan; Cheng, Baojing

    2015-03-15

    A study was conducted to determine the effects of feeding a blend of corn contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins on the physical condition of pregnant and suckling sows and the development of their offspring. Halloysite nanotubes modified using the surfactant, stearyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride, were tested for its efficacy in protecting against the detrimental effects of zearalenone (ZEN) exposure. A total of 18 pregnant second parity Yorkshire sows (six per treatment) were fed control diet, contaminated grain diet (ZEN, 2.77 mg/kg), and contaminated grain + 1% modified halloysite nanotube (MHNT) diet (ZEN, 2.76 mg/kg) from 35 to 70 days in pregnancy (DIP), which is the critical period in development of fetuses. The results show that consumption of ZEN led to a reduction in sow's mass gain during 35 to 70 DIP and mass at 110 DIP, backfat at 70 DIP and weaning, placenta weight at 70 DIP and farrowing, the lactation average daily feed intake, and an increase in the weight of ovary at 70 DIP of sows (P piglets born, the litter birth weight, the average BW of piglet at birth, the number of piglets born alive, the born alive litter weight, and born alive piglet BW at farrowing were also decreased by ZEN exposure (P piglet uterus at weaning (P piglets born, the litter birth weight, the born alive piglet BW at farrowing, the average piglet BW, the litter weaned weight, and the average day gain at weaning were increased by adding 1% MHNTs, compared with the ZEN-treated group (P < 0.05). The MHNTs significantly reduced the damage to the fat in the colostrum and the protein and lactose in the milk induced by the ZEN-contaminated feed (P < 0.05). Modified halloysite nanotubes could be used as adsorbent in the feed to reduce the toxic effects of ZEN.

  7. The gynogenetic reproduction of diploid and triploid hybrid spined loaches (Cobitis: Teleostei), and their ability to establish successful clonal lineages--on the evolution of polyploidy in asexual vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janko, Karel; Bohlen, Jörg; Lamatsch, Dunja; Flajshans, Martin; Epplen, Jörg T; Ráb, Petr; Kotlík, Petr; Slechtová, Vera

    2007-10-01

    Polyploidisation is assumed to have played a significant role in the evolution of hybrid asexual lineages. The virtual absence of natural asexual systems in which more than a single ploidy level successfully establishes successful independent clonal lineages is generally explained by the strong effects of polyploidisation on fitness. Experimental crosses were made between diploid and triploid asexual Cobitis elongatoides x C. taenia hybrids (female) and both parental spined loach species (male). Genotyping of the progeny using allozymes and multilocus DNA fingerprinting, along with flow cytometric measurement of ploidy level, demonstrated the occurrence of gynogenetic reproduction in both female biotypes. The incorporation of the sperm genome occurred in some progeny, giving rise to a higher ploidy level, but the rate of polyploidisation differed significantly between the diploid and triploid females. These outcomes are consistent with the existence of developmental constraints on tetraploidy, which determine the rarity of tetraploids in natural populations. No cases of ploidy level reduction were observed. Since diploid and triploid hybrid populations occur where the lack of potential progenitor excludes the possibility of de novo origin, it is probable that both diploid and triploid females can establish successful clonal lineages. Spined loaches represent a unique example, among asexual vertebrates, where more than one ploidy level can establish persistent clonal lineages, which are reproductively independent of one another.

  8. 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.

  9. Oxidized Carbo-Iron causes reduced reproduction and lower tolerance of juveniles in the amphipod Hyalella azteca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, Mirco; Meißner, Tobias; Springer, Armin; Bundschuh, Mirco; Hübler, Lydia; Schulz, Ralf; Duis, Karen

    2016-12-01

    For in situ remediation of groundwater contaminated by halogenated hydrocarbons Carbo-Iron(®), a composite of microscale activated carbon and nano Fe(0), was developed. Against the background of intended release of Carbo-Iron into the environment in concentrations in the g/L-range, potential ecotoxicological consequences were evaluated in the present study. The nano Fei(0) in Carbo-Iron acts as reducing agent and is oxidized in aqueous systems by chlorinated solvents, groundwater constituents (e.g. dissolved oxygen) and anaerobic corrosion. As Carbo-Iron is generally oxidized rapidly after application into the environment, the oxidized state is environmentally most relevant, and Carbo-Iron was used in its oxidized form in the ecotoxicological tests. The amphipod Hyalella azteca was selected as a surrogate test species for functionally important groundwater crustaceans. Effects of Carbo-Iron on H. azteca were determined in a 10-d acute test, a 7-d feeding activity test and a 42-d chronic test. Additionally, a 56-d life cycle test was performed with a modified design to further evaluate effects of Carbo-Iron on adult H. azteca and their offspring. The size of Carbo-Iron particles in stock and test suspensions was determined via dynamic light scattering. Potential uptake of particles into test organisms was investigated using transmission and scanning electron microscopy. At the termination of the feeding and acute toxicity test (i.e. after 7 and 10 d of exposure, respectively), Carbo-Iron had a significant effect on the weight, length and feeding rate of H. azteca at the highest test concentration of 100mg/L. While an uptake of Carbo-Iron into the gut was observed, no passage into the surrounding tissue was detected. In both chronic tests, the number of offspring was the most sensitive endpoint and significant effects were recorded at concentrations ≥50mg/L (42-d experiment) and ≥12.5mg/L (56-d experiment). Parental exposure to oxidized Carbo-Iron significantly

  10. Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brents, Lisa K.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27354844

  11. Nanoparticles containing siRNA to silence CD4 and CCR5 reduce expression of these receptors and inhibit HIV-1 infection in human female reproductive tract tissue explants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan K. Eszterhas

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Human Immunodeficiency Virus-type 1 (HIV- 1 binds to CD4 and CCR5 receptors on target cells in the human female reproductive tract. We sought to determine whether reducing levels of messenger RNA (mRNA transcripts that encode these receptors in female reproductive tract cells could protect mucosal tissue explants from HIV- 1 infection. Explants prepared from the endometrium, endocervix, and ectocervix of hysterectomy tissues from HIV-1 sero-negative women were exposed to nanoparticles containing CD4- and CCR5-specific short-interfering RNA (siRNA sequences. Explants were then exposed two days later to HIV-1, and HIV-1 reverse transcripts were measured five days post-infection. Explants treated with nanoparticles containing CD4- and CCR5-specific siRNA showed reduced levels of CD4 and CCR5 transcripts, and significantly lower levels of HIV-1 reverse transcripts compared to those treated with an irrelevant siRNA. In female reproductive tract explants and in peripheral blood cell cultures, siRNA transfection induced the secretion of IFN-alpha (IFN-α, a potent antiviral cytokine. In female mice, murine-specific Cd4-siRNA nanoparticles instilled within the uterus significantly reduced murine Cd4 transcripts by day 3. Our findings demonstrate that siRNA nanoparticles reduce expression of HIV-1 infectivity receptors in human female reproductive tract tissues and also inhibit HIV-1 infection. Murine studies demonstrate that nanoparticles can penetrate the reproductive tract tissues in vivo and silence gene expression. The induction of IFN-α after siRNA transfection can potentially contribute to the antiviral effect. These findings support the therapeutic development of nanoparticles to deliver siRNA molecules to silence host cell receptors in the female reproductive tract as a novel microbicide to inhibit mucosal HIV-1 transmission.

  12. Water-stress-induced inhibition of α-tubulin gene expression during growth, and its implications for reproductive success in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheoran, Inder S; Koonjul, Priyum; Attieh, Jihad; Saini, Hargurdeep S

    2014-07-01

    A drought-suppressed cDNA (RiP-3), encoding a putative α-tubulin protein was isolated from rice panicle at pollen-mother-cell meiosis stage. Analysis of its deduced amino acid sequence showed all the typical structural motifs for plant α-tubulins. The expression of α-tubulin transcripts was observed in all the reproductive organs of rice panicle, and in 5- or 15-day old seedlings, but not in mature leaves. Expression levels were positively correlated with the regions and periods of high growth, and the transcript level declined in parallel with drought-induced reduction in growth rates in all tissues examined. Immunoblot analysis of proteins separated by SDS-PAGE with anti-α-tubulin monoclonal antibody showed that the level of protein paralleled the changes in the transcript abundance in these organs. In situ immunolocalization of the α-tubulin protein in sections of the basal part of 5-day old seedlings showed that the highest levels of the protein were associated with the fastest growing leaf whorls, and the protein level declined upon a brief episode of water stress. Given the known critical role of tubulin in cell division and elongation, the results indicate that the expression of α-tubulin gene may be part of the events that suppress panicle elongation during water deficit, which is in turn a suspected cause of male reproductive failure and yield reduction in rice.

  13. Reproductive working effort in Danish little owl (Athene noctua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holsegård-Rasmussen, M.; Sunde, P.; Thorup, K.

    Reduced reproductive success, caused by energy constraints during breeding, is suspected to be one of the reasons for an ongoing decline in the Danish population of little owls (Athene noctua). To measure any food stress during the breeding period, working effort was defined as the minimum flight...

  14. Reducing the trigger dose of recombinant hCG in high-responder patients attending an assisted reproductive technology program: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiboni, Gian Mario; Colangelo, Enrica Concetta; Ponzano, Adalisa

    2016-01-01

    Decreasing the dose of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) used to trigger final oocyte maturation in assisted reproductive technology programs is regarded as a useful intervention in the prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, but the minimal effective dose has not been yet identified. In this study, the capacity of a reduced dose of recombinant hCG (r-hCG) to provide adequate oocyte maturation was tested for the first time. Thirty-five high-responder patients received a dose of 125 µg (half of the standard dose) of r-hCG for triggering final oocyte maturation. The number of oocytes retrieved per patient and the proportion of mature oocytes were evaluated. As a result, a mean number of 14 oocytes were retrieved, of which 85% were found to be mature (MII). There was only one patient developing a moderate form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and not requiring hospitalization. It is suggested that r-hCG at 125 µg can be effective in triggering final oocyte maturation in high-responder patients. Additional properly powered and controlled studies are needed to support this contention.

  15. The relationship of seminal transforming growth factor-β1 and interleukin-18 with reproductive success in women exposed to seminal plasma during IVF/ICSI treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaeva, Marina A; Babayan, Alina A; Stepanova, Elena O; Smolnikova, Veronika Y; Kalinina, Elena A; Fernández, Nelson; Krechetova, Lubov V; Vanko, Ludmila V; Sukhikh, Gennady T

    2016-09-01

    It has been proposed that the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 present in seminal plasma (SP) triggers a female immune response favorable for implantation. We hypothesize that seminal interleukin (IL)-18, a cytokine that can potentially cause implantation failure, interferes with the beneficial effect of TGF-β1. This study aims to determine whether the levels of seminal TGF-β1 and IL-18 are associated with reproductive outcomes in patients exposed to SP during in vitro fertilization (IVF) or IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). A prospective study, which included 71 couples undergoing IVF/ICSI was carried out. Female patients were exposed to their partners' SP via timed intercourse before the day of ovum pick-up (OPU) and also subjected to intravaginal SP application just after OPU. Quantitative measurements of total TGF-β1 (active plus latent) as well as IL-18 were determined by FlowCytomix™ technology in the SP to be used for intravaginal applications. Comparison of SP cytokine profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant groups revealed that pregnancy was correlated with a lower concentration of IL-18 (P=0.018) and lower content per ejaculate for both of IL-18 (P=0.0003) and TGF-β1 (P=0.047). The ratio of TGF-β1-to-IL-18 concentration was significantly higher in the pregnant than in the non-pregnant group (P=0.026). This study supports the notion that two key cytokines TGF-β1 and IL-18, both present in SP are associated with reproductive outcomes in female patients exposed to SP during IVF/ICSI treatment.

  16. Menstrual cups and sanitary pads to reduce school attrition, and sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections: a cluster randomised controlled feasibility study in rural Western Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips-Howard, Penelope A; Nyothach, Elizabeth; ter Kuile, Feiko O; Omoto, Jackton; Wang, Duolao; Zeh, Clement; Onyango, Clayton; Mason, Linda; Alexander, Kelly T; Odhiambo, Frank O; Eleveld, Alie; Mohammed, Aisha; van Eijk, Anna M; Edwards, Rhiannon Tudor; Vulule, John; Faragher, Brian; Laserson, Kayla F

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Conduct a feasibility study on the effect of menstrual hygiene on schoolgirls' school and health (reproductive/sexual) outcomes. Design 3-arm single-site open cluster randomised controlled pilot study. Setting 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, within a Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Participants Primary schoolgirls 14–16 years, experienced 3 menses, no precluding disability, and resident in the study area. Interventions 1 insertable menstrual cup, or monthly sanitary pads, against ‘usual practice’ control. All participants received puberty education preintervention, and hand wash soap during intervention. Schools received hand wash soap. Primary and secondary outcome measures Primary: school attrition (drop-out, absence); secondary: sexually transmitted infection (STI) (Trichomonas vaginalis, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea), reproductive tract infection (RTI) (bacterial vaginosis, Candida albicans); safety: toxic shock syndrome, vaginal Staphylococcus aureus. Results Of 751 girls enrolled 644 were followed-up for a median of 10.9 months. Cups or pads did not reduce school dropout risk (control=8.0%, cups=11.2%, pads=10.2%). Self-reported absence was rarely reported and not assessable. Prevalence of STIs in the end-of-study survey among controls was 7.7% versus 4.2% in the cups arm (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 0.48, 0.24 to 0.96, p=0.039), 4.5% with pads (aPR=0.62; 0.37 to 1.03, p=0.063), and 4.3% with cups and pads pooled (aPR=0.54, 0.34 to 0.87, p=0.012). RTI prevalence was 21.5%, 28.5% and 26.9% among cup, pad and control arms, 71% of which were bacterial vaginosis, with a prevalence of 14.6%, 19.8% and 20.5%, per arm, respectively. Bacterial vaginosis was less prevalent in the cups (12.9%) compared with pads (20.3%, aPR=0.65, 0.44 to 0.97, p=0.034) and control (19.2%, aPR=0.67, 0.43 to 1.04, p=0.075) arm girls enrolled for 9 months or longer. No adverse events were identified. Conclusions Provision of

  17. Will inundation and salinity levels associated with projected sea level rise reduce the survival, growth, and reproductive capacity of Sarcocornia pacifica (pickleweed)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, I.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2012-01-01

    In the San Francisco Bay Estuary, CA, USA, sea level rise (SLR) is projected to increase by 1.4 m during the next 90 years resulting in increased inundation and salt water intrusion up-estuary. Since inundation and salinity are critical factors that drive vegetation structure and composition in coastal wetlands, we asked whether inundation and salinity levels associated with SLR would reduce the survival, growth, and reproductive capacity of a dominant halophyte, Sarcocornia pacifica (pickleweed). We conducted a 4 × 4 factorial greenhouse experiment to examine the effects of a range of inundation periods (25, 50, 75, and 100%) and water salinities (0, 10, 20, 30 psu) on individual S. pacifica adults and seedlings. We found that inundation and salinity treatments affected the height of adults and seedlings combined. When examined separately, adult height was negatively affected by inundation ≥75%, while seedling height was affected by the interaction of both inundation and salinity. Adult belowground biomass was negatively affected by complete inundation. Seedling aboveground biomass decreased 46% at the highest salinity (30 psu) and belowground biomass decreased at salinities ≥20 psu. Adult flower production was not affected by treatments but was reduced by 38% at 30 psu salinity for seedlings. While adult survival was 99%, seedling survival was 56% with greatest mortality at low (25%) inundation, possibly because their roots were more susceptible to desiccation. Vegetation structure of the marsh platform comprised of S. pacifica adults will be susceptible to greater inundation rates associated with SLR. Our results suggest that adults may grow less tall, thus altering the vegetation structure and likely the tidal marsh wildlife that rely on these habitats.

  18. 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

  19. Reducing fragmentation in the care of frail older people: the successful development and implementation of the Health and Welfare Information Portal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Robben, S.H.M.; Heinen, M.M.; Makai, P.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Perry, M.; Schers, H.J.; Melis, R.J.F.

    2013-01-01

    REDUCING FRAGMENTATION IN THE CARE OF FRAIL OLDER PEOPLE: THE SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HEALTH AND WELFARE INFORMATION PORTAL: Our fragmented health care systems are insufficiently equipped to provide frail older people with high quality of care. Therefore, we developed the He

  20. [Reducing fragmentation in the care of frail older people: the successful development and implementation of the Health and Welfare Information Portal].

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Robben, S.H.M.; Heinen, M.M.; Makai, P.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.; Perry, M.; Schers, H.J.; Melis, R.J.F.

    2013-01-01

    REDUCING FRAGMENTATION IN THE CARE OF FRAIL OLDER PEOPLE: THE SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HEALTH AND WELFARE INFORMATION PORTAL: Our fragmented health care systems are insufficiently equipped to provide frail older people with high quality of care. Therefore, we developed the He

  1. Male reproductive health and yoga

    OpenAIRE

    Pallav Sengupta; Prasenjit Chaudhuri; Koushik Bhattacharya

    2013-01-01

    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 cel...

  2. 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.

  3. 蓝翠雀花退化雄蕊上的黄色髯毛对其繁殖成功的影响%Effects of the yellow barbs of the staminodes on reproductive success of Delphinium caeruleum (Ranunculaceae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张婵; 查绍琴; 杨永平; 段元文

    2012-01-01

    Nectar guides are special floral structures that are assumed to attract and/or direct pollinators towards a concealed nectar reward. Nectar guides are commonly found in many angiosperm plants, especially entomophilous flowers, but their functional significance and impacts on the reproductive success of plants are poorly understood. For example, Delphinium caeruleum of the family Ranunculaceae possesses two barbate staminodes, between which is the nectar entrance. To test the effects of these barbs on male and female fitness, we experimentally investigated the effects of barb removal on seed production and pollen exportation of D. caeruleum at the Haibei Station of Qinghai Province. Our results showed that flowers of D. caeruleum were dichogamous and herkogamous, which prevented autonomous selfing in this species. The mating system of D. caeruleum belongs to obligate xenogamy and thus pollinators are necessary for the successful pollination. Compared to control flowers, the number of pollen grains exported was reduced significantly after removing the barbs, but fruit set and seed number was not affected. Our primary results indicate that the barbs on the staminode act as nectar guides, which improve the male fitness of D. caeruleum, but have little effect on female fitness. Our results suggest that selection through male fitness might have played an impor- tant role in the floral evolution of D. caeruleum at our study site. These results need to be further investigated at a larger number of sites to evaluate selection mechanisms on floral traits of D. caeruleum.%蜜导是一类对传粉者具有特殊吸引和指示作用的花图案或花结构,在被子植物尤其是虫媒花中普遍存在,但目前有关蜜导对植物繁殖成功影响的研究相对较少.在野外条件下,我们以毛茛科翠雀属的蓝翠雀花(Delphinium caeruleum)为研究对象,通过人工授粉和去除髯毛实验对其交配系统和退化雄蕊上黄色髯毛的作用进行了

  4. Relationship Between Behavioral Frequency and Reproductive Potential of Female Alpine Musk Deer in Captivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Between June 2005 and February 2006, focal sampling and all occurrence behavior recording were used to quantify the behavioral patterns of captive female alpine musk deer (Moschus sifanicus) at Xinglongshan Musk Deer Farm, Gansu Province, China. Copulation success was used to differentiate individuals into two groups (successful and unsuccessful) and to provide a basis for behavioral comparisons, throughout both mating (rut) and non mating seasons. The results indicated significant differences between the behavior patterns of successful and unsuccessful females; however, the reproductive season played an important environmental factor. Pooling results across reproductive seasons, successfully copulating females showed significantly higher frequencies of vigilance and lower frequency of feeding behavior as compared with unsuccessfully copulating females. In the non-mating season, unsuccessfully copulating females had higher frequency of self-directed behavior, environment sniffing, and were less aggressive than successful copulating females. Furthermore, females who were successful at copulating also demonstrated tail-pasting behavior; however, this only occurred during the rut season. The results of this study can improve management practices for musk deer farms through increasing mating success and reducing maintenance costs. Furthermore, variation in behavior may also be used as a predictor of copulation success and reproductive potential, whereby females can be grouped and separated according to their reproductive history and past reproduction success.

  5. Reduced urea flux across the blood-testis barrier and early maturation in the male reproductive system in UT-B-null mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lirong; Zhao, Dan; Song, Yuanlin; Meng, Yan; Zhao, Huashan; Zhao, Xuejian; Yang, Baoxue

    2007-07-01

    A urea-selective urine-concentrating defect was found in transgenic mice deficient in urea transporter (UT)-B. To determine the role of facilitated urea transport in extrarenal organs expressing UT-B, we studied the kinetics of [(14)C]urea distribution in UT-B-null mice versus wild-type mice. After renal blood flow was disrupted, [(14)C]urea distribution was selectively reduced in testis in UT-B-null mice. Under basal conditions, total testis urea content was 335.4 +/- 43.8 microg in UT-B-null mice versus 196.3 +/- 18.2 microg in wild-type mice (P UT-B-null mice (6.6 +/- 0.8 mg/g body wt) was significantly greater than in wild-type mice (4.2 +/- 0.8 mg/g body wt). Elongated spermatids were observed earlier in UT-B-null mice compared with wild type mice on day 24 versus day 32, respectively. First breeding ages in UT-B knockout males (48 +/- 3 days) were also significantly earlier than that in wild-type males (56 +/- 2 days). In competing mating tests with wild-type males and UT-B-null males, all pups carried UT-B-targeted genes, which indicates that all pups were produced from breeding of UT-B-null males. Experiments of the expression of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) and androgen binding protein (ABP) indicated that the development of Sertoli cells was also earlier in UT-B-null mice than that in wild-type mice. These results suggest that UT-B plays an important role in eliminating urea produced by Sertoli cells and that UT-B deletion causes both urea accumulation in the testis and early maturation of the male reproductive system. The UT-B knockout mouse may be a useful experimental model to define the molecular mechanisms of early puberty.

  6. Predictors of reducing sexual and reproductive risk behaviors based on the information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB model among unmarried rural-to-urban female migrants in Shanghai, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Cai

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Due to the increase of premarital sex and the lack of reproductive health services, unmarried rural-to-urban female migrants experience more risks of sex and reproductive health (SRH. This study was designed to describe SRH related knowledge, attitude and risk behaviors among unmarried rural-to-urban female migrants and examine the predictors of reducing sexual and reproductive risk behaviors based on information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB model and to describe the relationships between the constructs. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess SRH related information, motivation, behavioral skills and preventive behaviors among unmarried rural-to-urban female migrants in Shanghai, one of the largest importers of migrant laborers in China. Structural equation modeling (SEM was used to assess the IMB model. RESULTS: A total of 944 subjects completed their questionnaires. The mean age was 21.2 years old (SD = 2.3; range 16 to 28. Over one-fourth of participants reported having had premarital sex (N = 261, 27.6% and among whom 15.3% reported having had the experience of unintended pregnancy, 14.6% with the experience of abortion. The final IMB model provided acceptable fit to the data (CFI = 0.99, RMSEA = 0.034. Reducing sexual and reproductive risk behaviors was significantly predicted by SRH related information (β = 0.681, P<0.001 and behavioral skills(β = 0.239, P<0.001. Motivation (β = 0.479, P<0.001 was the significant indirect predictor of reducing sexual and reproductive risk behaviors mediated through behavioral skills. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the importance and necessity of conducting reproductive health promotion among unmarried rural-to-urban female migrants in China. The IMB model could be used to predict reducing sexual and reproductive risk behaviors and it suggests future interventions should focus on improving SRH related information and behavioral skills.

  7. Associations between annual and seasonal variations in body mass and reproductive success and blood biochemical parameters in semi-domesticated reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid H. Holmøy

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of the study was to follow reproductive performance and blood biochemical parameters associated with fat and carbohydrate metabolism in a herd of free-ranging, semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus over a two-year period, with extreme between-year variation in forage availability. The effects of climatic factors on reindeer reproductive performance were investigated by analysing whether time of onset of luteal function in autumn and calf survival were associated with changes in body mass and weather conditions, such as snow depth, precipitation, and temperature. Considerable between-year variation in the onset of luteal activity was found. In 1997, 4.2% of the female reindeer were either cycling or pregnant in the second week of October, whilst in 1998, in the same week, 100% were cycling or pregnant. Although energy balance was important for timing of the onset of luteal activity, delayed conception had no apparent effect on calf survival. The results indicated that maternal body mass (BM in spring was of primary importance for calf survival, and the productivity of the herd. Since climatic factors influence the availability of forage, and hence female BM, it also has an indirect impact on calf survival. Females with low BM demonstrated greater seasonal variation in BM than heavier females. Plasma concentrations of free fatty acids and β-hydroxy butyric acid responded to changes in forage availability, but the initial condition of the reindeer and their fat reserves also seemed to have a major influence on these parameters.Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag:Sammenheng mellom års- og sesongvariasjon i kroppsvekt og henholdsvis reproduksjonssuksess og biokjemiske blodparametre hos tamreinHovedformålet med studien var å følge reproduksjonen og blodparametre knyttet til fett og karbohydratmetabolismen hos en tamreinflokk (Rangifer tarandus tarandus gjennom en toårs periode med stor årlig variasjon i n

  8. Colony size, but not density, affects survival and mating success of alternative male reproductive tactics in a polyphenic mite, Rhizoglyphus echinopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radwan, Jacek; Lukasiewicz, Aleksandra; Twardawa, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Among acarid mites, a number of species are characterised by the presence of discontinuous morphologies (armed heteromorphs vs. unarmed homeomorphs) associated with alternative mating tactics (fighting vs. scramble competition). In Rhizoglyphus echinopus, expression of the fighter morph is suppressed, via pheromones, in large, dense colonies. If this mechanism is adaptive, fighters should have relatively lower fitness in large and/or dense colonies, due to costs incurred from fighting, which is often fatal. In order to test these predictions, we quantified the survival and mating success of fighters and scramblers in colonies of equal sex and morph ratios; these colonies either differed in size (4, 8, or 32 individuals) but not density or differed in density but not size (all consisted of 8 individuals). We found that the relative survival and mating success of fighters was inversely related to colony size, but we did not find a significant effect of colony density. The higher mating success of fighters in small colonies was due to the fact that, after killing rival males, these fighters were able to monopolise females. This situation was not found in larger colonies, in which there was a larger number of competitors and fighters suffered relatively higher mortality. These results indicate that morph determination, guided by social cues, allows for the adaptive adjustment of mating tactics to existing demographic conditions.

  9. A systems toxicology approach reveals the Wnt-MAPK crosstalk pathway mediated reproductive failure in Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to graphene oxide (GO) but not to reduced graphene oxide (rGO).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Nivedita; Kim, Youngho; Yang, Jisu; Roca, Carlos P; Joo, Sang-Woo; Choi, Jinhee

    2017-02-01

    The potential hazards of graphene nanomaterials were investigated by exposing the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The underlying mechanisms of the nano-bio interaction were addressed with an integrated systems toxicology approach using global transcriptomics, network-based pathway analysis, and experimental validation of the in-silico-derived hypotheses. Graphene oxide was found to reduce the worms' reproductive health to a greater degree than rGO, but it did not affect survival (24 h endpoint). Comparative analysis of GO vs. rGO effects found that the wingless-type MMTV integration site family (Wnt) pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway were evoked in GO- but not in rGO-exposed worms. We therefore hypothesized that crosstalk between the Wnt and MAPK pathways is responsible for C. elegans' reproductive sensitivity to GO exposure. By targeting the individual components of the Wnt-MAPK crosstalk pathway (with qPCR gene expression and mutant reproduction analysis), we found a signaling cascade of MOM-2 → MOM-5 → MOM-4 → LIT-1 → POP-1 → EGL-5. Specifically, the activation of POP-1 (the TCF protein homolog) and subsequent repression of the Wnt/β-catenin target gene (EGL-5), analyzed with target-gene-specific RNAi in POP-1 mutant [pop-1(q645)] worms, were the central mechanisms of reduced reproductive potential in the worms exposed to GO. Our results highlight the distinct biological and molecular mechanisms of GO and rGO exposure and the role of Wnt-MAPK pathway crosstalk in regulating GO-induced reproductive failure in in vivo systems, and they will contribute to the development of efficient and innocuous graphene applications as well to improvements in mechanism-based risk assessment.

  10. Can a Public Scholarship Program Successfully Reduce School Drop-Outs in a Time of Economic Crisis? Evidence from Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Lisa

    2009-01-01

    This paper evaluates the role played by Indonesia's Social Safety Net Scholarships Program in reducing school drop-out rates during the Asian financial crisis. The expectation was that many families would find it difficult to keep their children in school and drop-out rates would be high. The scholarships are found to have been effective in…

  11. Can a Public Scholarship Program Successfully Reduce School Drop-Outs in a Time of Economic Crisis? Evidence from Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Lisa

    2009-01-01

    This paper evaluates the role played by Indonesia's Social Safety Net Scholarships Program in reducing school drop-out rates during the Asian financial crisis. The expectation was that many families would find it difficult to keep their children in school and drop-out rates would be high. The scholarships are found to have been effective in…

  12. Building Assets Reducing Risks: Academic Success for All Students through Positive Relationships and Use of Real-Time Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsello, Maryann; Sharma, Anu; Jerabek, Angela

    2015-01-01

    Building Assets Reducing Risks (BARR) is a social emotional model that achieves academic outcomes through combining use of real-time student data with proven relationship-building strategies and intensive teacher collaboration to prevent course failure. BARR is a recipient of US Department of Education "Investing in Innovation (i3)"…

  13. Human reproductive issues in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    A review of reproductive functioning in animal species studied during space flight demonstrated that most species were affected significantly by the absence of gravity and/or the presence of radiation. These two factors induced alterations in normal reproductive functioning independently of, as well as in combination with, each other. Based on animal models, several potential problem areas regarding human reproductive physiology and functioning in the space environment were identified. While there are no current space flight investigations, the animal studies suggest priorities for future research in human reproduction. Such studies will be critical for the successful colonization of the space frontier.

  14. Reduced germination success of temperate grassland seeds sown in dung: consequences for post-dispersal seed fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milotić, T; Hoffmann, M

    2016-11-01

    Endozoochory is one of the main drivers shaping temperate grassland communities by maintaining plant populations of its constituents and enabling plants to colonize new habitats. Successful endozoochorous dispersal implies that seeds not only get consumed and survive the digestive tract but are also able to develop into viable seedlings in a dung environment. We experimentally assessed the germination probability and timing of 15 annual and perennial temperate European grassland species in cattle and horse dung and in different climatic conditions (greenhouse and outdoor conditions). Interspecific variation in germinability and germination timing are found, while life strategy had only an effect on germination timing. We found adverse effects of both cattle and horse dung on the germination characteristics of all tested grassland species, but the effects of cattle dung were more pronounced. In comparison with the control treatment, fewer seeds emerged in dung and more time was needed to germinate. Also, germination metrics clearly differed between the artificial greenhouse and outdoor conditions, with generally a lower germinability in outdoor conditions. According to our results, a large cost seems to be associated with endozoochorous dispersal in this stage of the life cycle, as seed dispersal effectiveness strongly depends on the quality of the deposition site with a lowered survival and germination probability when seeds are deposited in dung.

  15. 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

  16. Successions and diversity of humic-reducing microorganisms and their association with physical-chemical parameters during composting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xi, Beidou; Zhao, Xinyu; He, Xiaosong; Huang, Caihong; Tan, Wenbing; Gao, Rutai; Zhang, Hui; Li, Dan

    2016-11-01

    Humic-reducing microorganisms (HRMs) could utilize humic substances (HS) as terminal electron mediator to promote the biodegradation of recalcitrant pollutants. However, the dynamics of HRMs during composting has not been explored. Here, high throughput sequencing technology was applied to investigate the patterns of HRMs during three composting systems. A total of 30 main genera of HRMs were identified in three composts, with Proteobacteria being the largest phylum. HRMs were detected with increased diversity and abundance and distinct patterns during composting, which were significantly associated with dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen and germination index. Regulating key physical-chemical parameters is a process control of HRMs community composition, thus promoting the redox capability of the compost. The redox capability of HRMs were strengthened during composting, suggesting that HRMs of the compost may play an important role on pollutant degradation of the compost or when they are applied to the contaminated soils.

  17. Decreased prolactin levels reduce parental commitment, egg temperatures, and breeding success of incubating male Adélie penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierry, Anne-Mathilde; Brajon, Sophie; Massemin, Sylvie; Handrich, Yves; Chastel, Olivier; Raclot, Thierry

    2013-09-01

    Hormones regulate many aspects of an individual's phenotype, including various physiological and behavioral traits. Two hormones have been described as important players in the regulation of parental investment in birds: the glucocorticoid hormone corticosterone and prolactin, a pituitary hormone, widely involved in mediating parental behavior. In comparison with corticosterone, the role of prolactin on parental investment remains poorly documented, and most studies so far have been correlative. In this study, the effects of an experimental decrease of prolactin levels on the incubation behavior of a long-lived seabird species were assessed. Male Adélie penguins were treated with self-degradable bromocriptine pellets, inhibiting prolactin secretion. Filming and subsequent video analysis allowed the determination of a behavioral time budget for birds and their position on the nest, while dummy eggs recorded incubation parameters. Incubation duration and breeding success at hatching were also monitored. As expected, bromocriptine-treatment significantly decreased plasma prolactin levels, but did not affect corticosterone levels. The behavioral time budget of penguins was not affected by the treatment. However, treated birds spent significantly more time in an upright position on the nest. These birds also incubated their eggs at lower temperatures and turned their eggs more frequently than controls, resulting in a lengthened incubation period. Despite this, the treatment was insufficient to trigger nest desertion and eggs of treated birds still hatched, indicating that several endocrine signals are required for the induction of nest abandonment. We suggest that the decreased prolactin levels in treated birds offset their timeline of breeding, so that birds displayed behavior typical of early incubation.

  18. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

  19. Community-based suicide prevention through group activity for the elderly successfully reduced the high suicide rate for females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyama, Hirofumi; Watanabe, Naoki; Ono, Yutaka; Sakashita, Tomoe; Takenoshita, Yuka; Taguchi, Manabu; Takizawa, Tohru; Miura, Reiko; Kumagai, Keiko

    2005-06-01

    The lack of social support is the most common risk factor for late-life suicide. Few previous community-based interventions against the lack of social relationships reduced suicide. This study aims to evaluate outcomes of a community-based prevention program against suicide amongst the elderly in rural Japan. During 1995-2002, the program based on population strategy including group activity, psychoeducation and self-assessment of depression but no screening for depression, was implemented for elderly residents in Yuri town, Japan (5-year average population 6817; 5-year average suicide rate [> or =65 years old] 291.4/10(5)). Changes in the relative risk of suicide for individuals (> or =65 years old) before and after the 8-year implementation were estimated by the incidence rate ratio (IRR), using a quasi-experimental design with a neighboring reference, Chokai town, Japan (5-year average population 8136; 5-year average suicide rate [> or =65 years old] 216.5/10(5)). The risk of elderly females in Yuri completing suicide was reduced by 76% (age-adjusted IRR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.10-0.58), while there was no change in the risks for Yuri's elderly males and both Chokai's elderly males and females. General loglinear analysis estimated a ratio of the female IRR in Yuri to that in its Akita prefecture of 0.35 (95% CI, 0.14-0.84), showing that the reduction of the risk in the intervention area was greater than a historical trend. A community-based suicide prevention through a group intervention designed to increase knowledge and to cultivate social relationships would be effective for elderly females but not males.

  20. Habitual alcohol consumption associated with reduced semen quality and changes in reproductive hormones; a cross-sectional study among 1221 young Danish men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tina Kold; Gottschau, Mads; Madsen, Jens Otto Broby;

    2014-01-01

    /day)) in the past 30 days was estimated. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Semen quality (volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count, and percentages of motile and morphologically normal spermatozoa) and serum concentration of reproductive hormones (follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone, testosterone, sex...

  1. 利用天然树洞繁殖的五种鸟的巢位特征及繁殖成功率%Nest-site characteristics and reproductive success of five species of birds breeding in natural cavities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王海涛; 高玮; 万冬梅; 刘多; 邓文洪

    2003-01-01

    对吉林省左家自然保护区次生阔叶林中的大山雀(Parus major)、沼泽山雀(Parus palustris)、普通(币鸟)(Sitta europacea)、白眉姬鹟(Ficedula zanthopygia)和灰椋鸟(Sturnus cineraceus) 5种利用天然树洞繁殖的次级洞巢鸟进行了巢位选择和繁殖成功率研究.本研究中共发现141巢.五种鸟对树洞类型的选择存在种间差异,普通(币鸟)不利用裂洞,沼泽山雀不利用啄洞,其它3种鸟对3种洞均有利用,但有一定的倾向性.对5种鸟9个巢位变量的比较中,只有洞口方向差异不显著(p>0.05),其它8个变量均差异显著(p0.05). But all the remaining eight variables are significant (p<0.05). The results indicate that the 5 species of SCNBs select nest-sites with their own nesting requirements. The horizontal diameter and vertical diameter of nest entrance, diameter of tree at cavity height, inner breadth of the cavity and the nest height above ground are important variables in nest-site selection and are predictive of species occupancy. Most of the nests that failed occur before the laying and hatching stage, as 35 out of 44 failed nests loss during these two stages. The nest success of Great Tit is the lowest and Ashy Starling is the highest. Hatching success among the five species of SCNBs' are at high level, all exceeding 90%. Depredation (included by man and animals) is the main cause for nest failure, accounting for 61.4% of total failure nests. SCNBs' reproductive success is influenced by important variables in nest-site selection. Reproductive success of Nutchatch is influenced by HDE and NH, Marsh Tit by VDE, DBH and BC, Great Tit by HDE, NH and BC, Ashy Staring by BC and DC, and Tricolor Flycatcher by VDE, NH and CA. The horizontal and vertical diameter of nest entrance of failed nests are bigger than those of successful nests, and the depth of the cavity and breadth of the cavity of failure nests are smaller than those of successful nests. Distances from ground level

  2. Successful engraftment of mismatched unrelated cord blood transplantation following reduced intensity preparative regimen using fludarabine and busulfan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Tsunehiko; Narimatsu, Hiroto; Yoshimi, Ai; Kurita, Naoki; Kusakabe, Manabu; Hori, Akiko; Murashige, Naoko; Matsumura, Tomoko; Kobayashi, Kazuhiko; Yuji, Koichiro; Tanaka, Yuji; Kami, Masahiro

    2007-01-01

    We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of reduced-intensity cord blood transplantation (RI-CBT) using a non-total body irradiation (TBI) regimen in adult patients with advanced hematologic malignancies. Seventeen patients with a median age of 58 years (range, 38-74) underwent RI-CBT at Tsukuba Memorial Hospital between April 2004 and November 2005. Preparative regimens were fludarabine 30 mg/m(2) for 6 days, and busulfan 4 mg/kg for 2 days. Tacrolimus was used for prophylaxis of graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). Median numbers of infused total nucleated were 2.6 x 10(7)/kg (range, 2.0-3.3). HLA disparity was found in 2/6 antigens (n=16) and 1/6 antigens (n=1). Underlying diseases progressed despite preparative regimens in four patients. Of the remaining 13 patients, nine patients achieved engraftment at a median of day 18 (range, 17-28). Six of the nine patients with engraftment achieved complete donor-type chimerism by day 100. Six patients were alive in remission at median follow-up of 13.1 months (range, 1.0-19.0). This study demonstrated the feasibility of RI-CBT using a non-TBI regimen in adults. When disease progression is controlled by the preparative regimen, RI-CBT carries a clinically significant graft-vs-tumor effect. Further studies are required to identify patients who benefit from this regimen.

  3. Does Regular Exercise Counter T Cell Immunosenescence Reducing the Risk of Developing Cancer and Promoting Successful Treatment of Malignancies?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Turner

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Moderate intensity aerobic exercise training or regular physical activity is beneficial for immune function. For example, some evidence shows that individuals with an active lifestyle exhibit stronger immune responses to vaccination compared to those who are inactive. Encouragingly, poor vaccine responses, which are characteristic of an ageing immune system, can be improved by single or repeated bouts of exercise. In addition, exercise-induced lymphocytosis, and the subsequent lymphocytopenia, is thought to facilitate immune surveillance, whereby lymphocytes search tissues for antigens derived from viruses, bacteria, or malignant transformation. Aerobic exercise training is anti-inflammatory and is linked to lower morbidity and mortality from diseases with infectious, immunological, and inflammatory aetiologies, including cancer. These observations have led to the view that aerobic exercise training might counter the age-associated decline in immune function, referred to as immunosenescence. This article summarises the aspects of immune function that are sensitive to exercise-induced change, highlighting the observations which have stimulated the idea that aerobic exercise training could prevent, limit, or delay immunosenescence, perhaps even restoring aged immune profiles. These potential exercise-induced anti-immunosenescence effects might contribute to the mechanisms by which active lifestyles reduce the risk of developing cancer and perhaps benefit patients undergoing cancer therapy.

  4. The success of {sup 131}I ablation in thyroid cancer patients is significantly reduced after a diagnostic activity of 40 MBq {sup 131}I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Verburg, F.A. [Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Univ. Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands); Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Univ. Hospital Wuerzburg (Germany); Verkooijen, R.B.T. [Div. of Nuclear Medicine, Dept. of Radiology, Leiden Univ. Medical Center (Netherlands); Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Maxima Medical Centre (Netherlands); Stokkel, M.P.M. [Div. of Nuclear Medicine, Dept. of Radiology, Leiden Univ. Medical Center (Netherlands); Isselt, J.W. van [Dept. of Nuclear Medicine, Univ. Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2009-07-01

    Objective: Dosimetry studies have shown that activities of {sup 131}I as small as 10-20 MBq may cause a stunning effect. A result of this stunning effect may be a lower success rate of the ablative {sup 131}I therapy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). The aim of this study was to determine whether pre-therapeutic uptake measurement with 40 MBq {sup 131}I causes a lower success rate of ablation. Design: retrospective chart review study. Patients, methods: In two hospitals the ablation protocols differed in one respect only: in the one hospital no diagnostic {sup 131}I was applied before ablation (group 1, n = 48), whereas in the other hospital a 24-h uptake-measurement with 40 MBq {sup 131}I was performed (group 2, n = 51). Included were all DTC patients without distant metastases who had undergone {sup 131}I ablation between July 2002 and December 2005, and who had returned for {sup 131}I follow-up. Successful ablation was defined as absence of pathological {sup 131}I uptake on diagnostic whole-body scintigraphy and undetectable thyroglobulin-levels under TSH stimulation. Results: Overall, ablation was successful in 31/48 patients (65%) in group 1 and in 17/51 patients (33%) in group 2 (p=0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that pre-therapeutic uptake measurement using 40 MBq {sup 131}I was an independant determinant for success of ablation (p = 0.002). Conclusions: After applying a diagnostic activity of 40 MBq {sup 131}I before ablation, the success rate of ablation is severely reduced. Consequently, the routine application of {sup 131}I for diagnostic scintigraphy or uptake measurement prior to {sup 131}I ablation is best avoided. (orig.)

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of population size on reproductive success of endangered plant Euonymus chloranthoides Yang in fragmented habitat%破碎生境中种群大小对缙云卫矛生殖成功的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡世俊; 何平; 张春平; 张益锋

    2013-01-01

    生境破碎导致种群大小的降低,了解种群大小对生殖成功的影响对物种保护具有重要的指导意义.缙云卫矛(Euonymus chloranthoides Yang)为重庆特有濒危植物,目前缙云卫矛种群已遭受了严重的生境破碎,种群小且多处于隔离状态.本文对位于重庆北碚的该物种6个种群的生殖成功进行了研究.结果表明:小种群的自然坐果率低,种群间坐果率差异极显著(P=0.002);种群大小与坐果率之间呈显著相关(r=0.837,P=0.038);种群大小与种群幼苗比例呈显著相关(P=0.045),较小的种群中一龄级幼苗的比例也较小.这表明生境破碎后小种群不利于该物种的生殖成功,导致小种群的坐果率与幼苗比例降低.对该物种的保护要提高小种群的座果率,改善小种群的更新.%Habitat fragmentation can cause the decline of population size. To understand the effects of population size on reproductive success is of significance in species conservation. Euonymus chloranthoides Yang is an endemic and endangered plant in Chongqing of Southwest China. At present, the E. chloranthoides population has suffered from severe habitat fragmentation, with small population size and mostly in isolate status. In this paper, six E. chloranthoides populations at Beibei in Chongqing were selected to study the effects of population size on their reproductive success. Smaller populations had a lower natural fruiting rate, and the differences in the fruiting rate among the six populations were extremely significant (P = 0. 002). There was a significant correlation between the population size and fruiting rate (r = 0. 837, P = 0.038). The population size had a significant correlation with population' s seedling ratio (P = 0.045) , and the first age-class seedling ratio of the smaller populations was also smaller. The present study indicated that habitat fragmentation induced the decrease of the fruiting rate and seedling ratio of smaller populations of

  7. Reproduction Diversity of Enteromorpha prolifera

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Apeng Lin; Songdong Shen; Jianwei Wang; Binlun Yan

    2008-01-01

    Enteromorpha prolifera (Muell.) J. Agardh (Chlorophyta, Ulvophyceae), which is distributed widely in the Inter-tidal zone of the ocean, is one of the most common fouling green algae. However, the present understandings of the life history of E. prolifera have been insufficient to explain their seasonal abundances. Thus it is essential to investigate how many.reproductive strategies are likely to contribute to the successful colonization and flourishing of the green alga. In the present study the reproduction diversity of E. prolifera was observed and studied systematically by culturing chopped tissues. Our results showed that there are in total seven pathways of reproduction for E. prolifera including sexual, asexual and vegetative reproduction. It was Indicated that the variety of the reproductive ways and the large quantity of reproductive cells produced and released during the reproductive season are the two key factors that facilitate colonization of E. prolifera. The reproduction of the alga E. prolifera mainly depends on asexual methods. The results presented here contribute to increasing our understanding about how the opportunistic macroalgae successfully maintain colonization and excessive growth.

  8. Abdominal CT scanning in reproductive-age women with right lower quadrant abdominal pain: does its use reduce negative appendectomy rates and healthcare costs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, Bryan C; Roettger, Richard H; Kalbaugh, Corey A; Blackhurst, Dawn W; Hines, William B

    2007-06-01

    Although acute appendicitis is the most frequent cause of the acute abdomen in the United States, its accurate diagnosis in reproductive-age women remains difficult. Problems in making the diagnosis are evidenced by negative appendectomy rates in this group of 20 per cent to 45 per cent. Abdominal CT scanning has been used in diagnosing acute appendicitis, but its reliability and usefulness remains controversial. There is concern that the use of CT scanning to make this diagnosis leads to increased and unwarranted healthcare charges and costs. The purpose of our study is to determine if abdominal CT scanning is an effective test in making the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in reproductive-age women (age, 16-49 years) with right lower quadrant abdominal pain and to determine if its use is cost-effective. From January 2003 to December 2006, 439 patients were identified from our academic surgical database and confirmed by chart review as undergoing an appendectomy with a pre- or postoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Data, including age, presence and results of preoperative abdominal CT scans, operative findings, and pathology reports were reviewed. Comparison of patients receiving a preoperative CT scan with those who did not was performed using chi-squared analysis. In the subgroup of reproductive-age women, there was a significant difference in negative appendectomy rates of 17 per cent in the group that received abdominal CT scans versus 42 per cent in the group that did not (P accounting for the patient and insurance company costs, abdominal CT scan savings averaged $1412 per patient. Abdominal CT scanning is a reliable, useful, and cost-effective test for evaluating right lower quadrant abdominal pain and making the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in reproductive-age women.

  9. Reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-04-01

    This article explores the reproductive health status of China. Since 1990, China has stepped up its efforts in promoting reproductive health and maternal and child health. Several studies demonstrated a remarkable progress made in this area. By 1997, maternal and infant mortality rates have declined, while the penetration rate for the immunization program and inpatient delivery rate increased. Despite these achievements, however, much remains to be done such as the lack of client-centered approaches to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the population for family planning services. A survey conducted in 1995 showed that the country's family planning program was focused primarily on demographic issues while little attention was given to reproductive health objectives. The situation improved when the State Planning Commission implemented its pilot program called the Quality of Care in Family Planning in China. The program yielded encouraging results including a reoriented philosophy towards reproductive health services, enhanced service facilities, informed choices for family planning methods, and the development of an operational information system. Another strategy adopted to address fertility and reproductive health issues was the implementation of adolescent reproductive health education as a required course for senior middle schools. Lastly, this article provided a brief overview of China's HIV/AIDS situation.

  10. Two-generation reproduction toxicity study in rats with methoxychlor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoyama, Hiroaki; Hojo, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Ken L; Shimizu-Endo, Naoko; Araki, Masayuki; Takeuchi-Kashimoto, Yukiko; Saka, Machiko; Teramoto, Shoji

    2012-03-01

    A two-generation reproduction toxicity study was conducted in rats with a reference estrogenic pesticide, methoxychlor, to validate the sensitivity and competency of current guidelines recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for predicting reproductive toxicity of the test compound based on estrogenic endocrine disrupting effects. Both sexes of SD rats were exposed to methoxychlor in the diet at concentrations of 0, 10, 500 and 1500 ppm for two successive generations. The present study has successfully detected estrogenic activities and reproductive toxicities of methoxychlor, as well as its systemic toxicity. Body weights, body weight gains and food consumption of both sexes of animals were suppressed significantly in the 500 and 1500 ppm groups. Typical reproductive toxicities observed in females of these groups included, but were not limited to, prolonged estrous cycle, reduced fertility, decreased numbers of implantation sites and newborns, decreased ovary weights and/or increased incidences of cystic ovary. Uterine weights of weanlings increased significantly in these groups, suggesting that the sensitivity of this parameter for predicting estrogenic ability of the test compound is comparable to that of the uterotrophic assay. Reproductive toxicities of methoxychlor seemed less potent in males than in females. Methoxychlor delayed preputial separation and significantly reduced sperm counts and reproductive organ weights of males of the 500 and/or 1500 ppm groups; however, most males that failed to impregnate females in the same group showed normal fertility when they were re-mated with untreated females. Neither systemic nor reproductive toxicities appeared in the 10 ppm group.

  11. Enriched Housing Reduces Disease Susceptibility to Co-Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Virus (PRRSV) and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (A. pleuropneumoniae) in Young Pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dixhoorn, Ingrid D E; Reimert, Inonge; Middelkoop, Jenny; Bolhuis, J Elizabeth; Wisselink, Henk J; Groot Koerkamp, Peter W G; Kemp, Bas; Stockhofe-Zurwieden, Norbert

    2016-01-01

    Until today, anti-microbial drugs have been the therapy of choice to combat bacterial diseases. Resistance against antibiotics is of growing concern in man and animals. Stress, caused by demanding environmental conditions, can reduce immune protection in the host, influencing the onset and outcome of infectious diseases. Therefore psychoneuro-immunological intervention may prove to be a successful approach to diminish the impact of diseases and antibiotics use. This study was designed to investigate the effect of social and environmental enrichment on the impact of disease, referred to as "disease susceptibility", in pigs using a co-infection model of PRRSV and A. pleuropneumoniae. Twenty-eight pigs were raised in four pens under barren conditions and twenty-eight other pigs were raised in four pens under enriched conditions. In the enriched pens a combination of established social and environmental enrichment factors were introduced. Two pens of the barren (BH) and two pens of the enriched housed (EH) pigs were infected with PRRSV followed by A. pleuropneumoniae, the other two pens in each housing treatment served as control groups. We tested if differences in disease susceptibility in terms of pathological and clinical outcome were related to the different housing regimes and if this was reflected in differences in behavioural and immunological states of the animals. Enriched housed pigs showed a faster clearance of viral PRRSV RNA in blood serum (p = 0.014) and histologically 2.8 fold less interstitial pneumonia signs in the lungs (p = 0.014). More barren housed than enriched housed pigs developed lesions in the lungs (OR = 19.2, p = 0.048) and the lesions in the barren housed pigs showed a higher total pathologic tissue damage score (ppleuropneumoniae in pigs. Enrichment positively influences behavioural state, immunological response and clinical outcome in pigs.

  12. Divorce in the socially monogamous zebra finch: Hormonal mechanisms and reproductive consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, Ondi L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Fanson, Benjamin G; Hurley, Laura L; Smiley, Kristina O; Griffith, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Up to 80% of all bird species are socially monogamous. Divorce (switching partners) or pair disruption (due to the death of a partner) has been associated with decreased reproductive success, suggesting social monogamy is a strategy that may maximize fitness via coordination between partners. Previous studies have demonstrated the effects of divorce and pair disruption on immediate reproductive success. Here, we used a paired experimental design in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine the hormonal mechanisms that modulate parental behavior and reproductive success in response to a partnership change (hereafter divorce). Specifically, we examined the effects of divorce on the avian stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in both parents and nestlings, parental behaviors (incubation and nestling provisioning), prolactin (PRL), and reproductive success. We found that divorce resulted in delayed clutch initiation, reduced clutch mass, and an increase in nestling CORT response to a standardized stressor. These effects on reproductive investment and chick CORT response were not clearly determined by parental endocrine responses. Divorce had no effect on the level of parental CORT. PRL levels were highly correlated within a pair regardless of treatment, were negatively related to the investment that males made in incubation, and increased in experimental males as a result of pair disruption. This study demonstrates the fundamental impact which divorce has not only on reproduction, but also the physiological stress responses of offspring and suggests that in socially monogamous animals the maintenance of a stable partnership over time could be advantageous for long term fitness.

  13. Cause of Death in Women of Reproductive Age in Rural Nepal Obtained Through Community-Based Surveillance: Is Reducing Maternal Mortality the Right Priority for Women's Health Programs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyakurel, Ram; Sharma, Nirmala; Paudel, Deepak; Coghill, Anna; Sinden, Laura; Bost, Liberty; Larkin, Melissa; Burrus, Carla Jean; Roy, Khrist

    2015-01-01

    We used a community surveillance system to gather information regarding pregnancy outcomes and the cause of death for women of reproductive age (WRA) in Kanchanpur, Nepal. A total of 784 mother groups participated in the collection of pregnancy outcomes and mortality data. Of the 273 deaths among WRA, the leading causes of death reported were chronic diseases (94, 34.4%) poisoning, snake bites, and suicide (grouped together; 55, 20.1%), and accidents (29, 10.6%), while maternal mortality accounted for 7%. Nevertheless, the calculated maternal mortality ratio was quite high (259.3 per 100,000 live births).

  14. Early-life reproduction is associated with increased mortality risk but enhanced lifetime fitness in pre-industrial humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Adam D; Nenko, Ilona; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-04-07

    The physiology of reproductive senescence in women is well understood, but the drivers of variation in senescence rates are less so. Evolutionary theory predicts that early-life investment in reproduction should be favoured by selection at the cost of reduced survival and faster reproductive senescence. We tested this hypothesis using data collected from preindustrial Finnish church records. Reproductive success increased up to age 25 and was relatively stable until a decline from age 41. Women with higher early-life fecundity (ELF; producing more children before age 25) subsequently had higher mortality risk, but high ELF was not associated with accelerated senescence in annual breeding success. However, women with higher ELF experienced faster senescence in offspring survival. Despite these apparent costs, ELF was under positive selection: individuals with higher ELF had higher lifetime reproductive success. These results are consistent with previous observations in both humans and wild vertebrates that more births and earlier onset of reproduction are associated with reduced survival, and with evolutionary theory predicting trade-offs between early reproduction and later-life survival. The results are particularly significant given recent increases in maternal ages in many societies and the potential consequences for offspring health and fitness.

  15. Reproductive epidemiology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Jørn; Nøhr, Ellen Aagaard

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive health covers a broad category of health and disease conditions, according to the Cairo Statement. This chapter focuses on subfecundity fertility, fetal death, malformations, pregnancy complications, sexual health, and diseases that may have their origin in fetal life, but which will...

  16. Successful interventions to reduce first-case tardiness in Dutch university medical centers: results of a nationwide operating room benchmark study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Veen-Berkx, Elizabeth; Elkhuizen, Sylvia G; Kalkman, Cor J; Buhre, Wolfgang F; Kazemier, Geert

    2014-06-01

    First-case tardiness is still a common source of frustration. In this study, a nationwide operating room (OR) Benchmark database was used to assess the effectiveness of interventions implemented to reduce tardiness and calculate its economic impact. Data from 8 University Medical Centers over 7 years were included: 190,295 elective inpatient first cases. Data were analyzed with SPSS statistics and multidisciplinary focus-group study meetings. Analysis of variance with contrast analysis measured the influence of interventions. Seven thousand ninety-four hours were lost annually to first-case tardiness, which has a considerable economic impact. Four University Medical Centers implemented interventions and effectuated a significant reduction in tardiness, eg providing feedbacks directly when ORs started too late, new agreements between OR and intensive care unit departments concerning "intensive care unit bed release" policy, and a shift in responsibilities regarding transport of patients to the OR. Nationwide benchmarking can be applied to identify and measure the effectiveness of interventions to reduce first-case tardiness in a university hospital OR environment. The implemented interventions in 4 centers were successful in significantly reducing first-case tardiness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Success of commonly used operating room management tools in reducing tardiness of first case of the day starts: evidence from German hospitals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernst, Christian; Szczesny, Andrea; Soderstrom, Naomi; Siegmund, Frank; Schleppers, Alexander

    2012-09-01

    One of the declared objectives of surgical suite management in Germany is to increase operating room (OR) efficiency by reducing tardiness of first case of the day starts. We analyzed whether the introduction of OR management tools by German hospitals in response to increasing economic pressure was successful in achieving this objective. The OR management tools we considered were the appointment of an OR manager and the development and adoption of a surgical suite governance document (OR charter). We hypothesized that tardiness of first case starts was less in ORs that have adopted one or both of these tools. Using representative 2005 survey data from 107 German anesthesiology departments, we used a Tobit model to estimate the effect of the introduction of an OR manager or OR charter on tardiness of first case starts, while controlling for hospital size and surgical suite complexity. Adoption reduced tardiness of first case starts by at least 7 minutes (mean reduction 15 minutes, 95% confidence interval (CI): 7-22 minutes, P tardiness of first case starts figure prominently the objectives of surgical suite management in Germany. Our results suggest that the appointment of an OR manager or the adoption of an OR charter support this objective. For short-term decision making on the day of surgery, this reduction in tardiness may have economic implications, because it reduced overutilized OR time.

  18. Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Gabrielle M; Watson, Sue-Ann; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L

    2013-10-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to negatively impact the reproduction of many marine species, either by reducing fertilization success or diverting energy from reproductive effort. While recent studies have demonstrated how ocean acidification will affect larval and juvenile fishes, little is known about how increasing partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) and decreasing pH might affect reproduction in adult fishes. We investigated the effects of near-future levels of pCO(2) on the reproductive performance of the cinnamon anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Breeding pairs were held under three CO(2) treatments [Current-day Control (430 μatm), Moderate (584 μatm) and High (1032 μatm)] for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. Unexpectedly, increased CO(2) dramatically stimulated breeding activity in this species of fish. Over twice as many pairs bred in the Moderate (67% of pairs) and High (55%) compared to the Control (27%) CO(2) treatment. Pairs in the High CO(2) group produced double the number of clutches per pair and 67% more eggs per clutch compared to the Moderate and Control groups. As a result, reproductive output in the High group was 82% higher than that in the Control group and 50% higher than that in the Moderate group. Despite the increase in reproductive activity, there was no difference in adult body condition among the three treatment groups. There was no significant difference in hatchling length between the treatment groups, but larvae from the High CO(2) group had smaller yolks than Controls. This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO(2). However, any long-term consequences of increased reproductive effort on individuals or populations remain to be determined.

  19. Increased body condition score through increased lean muscle, but not fat deposition, is associated with reduced reproductive response to oestrus induction in beef cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán, A; Gonzalez-Padilla, E; Garcés-Yepez, P; Rosete-Fernández, J V; Calderón-Robles, R C; Whittier, W D; Keisler, D H; Gutierrez, C G

    2016-10-01

    Energy reserve, estimated as body condition score (BCS), is the major determinant of the re-initiation of ovarian activity in postpartum cows. Leptin, IGF-I and insulin are positively related to BCS and are putative mediators between BCS and reproductive function. However, when BCS and body composition dissociates, concentrations of these metabolic hormones are altered. We hypothesized that increasing lean muscle tissue, but not fat tissue, would diminish the reproductive response to oestrus induction treatments. Thirty lactating beef cows with BCS of 3.10±1.21 and 75.94±12 days postpartum were divided in two groups. Control cows (n=15) were supplemented with 10.20 kg of concentrate daily for 60 days. Treated cows (n=15) were supplemented equally, and received a β-adrenergic receptor agonist (β-AA; 0.15 mg/kg BW) to achieve accretion of lean tissue mass and not fat tissue mass. Twelve days after ending concentrate supplementation/β-AA treatment, cows received a progestin implant to induce oestrus. Cows displaying oestrus were inseminated during the following 60 days, and maintained with a fertile bull for a further 21 days. Cows in both groups gained weight during the supplementation period (Daily weight gain: Control=0.75 kg v. β-AA=0.89 kg). Cows treated with β-AA had a larger increase in BCS (i.e. change in BCS: control=1 point (score 4.13) v. β-AA=2 points (score 5.06; P0.05) did not differ between groups. However, the number of cows displaying oestrus (control 13/15 v. β-AA 8/15; Pincrease BCS through muscle tissue accretion, but not through fat tissue accretion, resulted in a lower response to oestrus induction, lower percentage of cycling animals and lower pregnancy percentage after progestin treatment; which was associated with a decrease in serum concentrations of leptin and IGF-I.

  20. Influence of helping and breeding experience on reproductive performance in the Seychelles warbler : A translocation experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Komdeur, J

    1996-01-01

    Reproductive success of the cooperative breeding Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) increases with age. This age effect is not due to differential survival or increased reproductive effort, but to accumulated helping and breeding experience. In their first year of breeding, reproductive

  1. Reproductive consequences of mate quantity versus mate diversity in a wind-pollinated plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandepitte, K.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Honnay, O.

    2009-07-01

    Since most pollen travels limited distances in wind-pollinated plants, both the local quantity and diversity of mates may limit female reproductive success. Yet little evidence exists on their relative contribution, despite the importance of viable seed production to population dynamics. To study how variation in female reproductive success is affected by the quantity versus the diversity of surrounding mates contributing pollen, we integrated pollination experiments, data on natural seed set and seed viability, and AFLP genetic marker data in the wind-pollinated dioecious clonal forest herb Mercurialis perennis. Pollination experiments indicated weak quantitative pollen limitation effects on seed set. Among-population crosses showed reduced seed viability, suggesting outbreeding depression due to genetic divergence. Pollination with pollen from a single source did not negatively affect reproductive success. These findings were consistent with results of the survey of natural female reproductive success. Seed set decreased with the distance to males in a female plants' local neighborhood, suggesting a shortage of pollen in isolated female plants, and increased with the degree of local genetic diversity. Spatial isolation to other populations and population size did not affect seed set. None of these variables were related to seed viability. We conclude that pollen movement in M. perennis is likely very limited. Both male proximity and the local degree of genetic diversity influenced female reproductive success.

  2. Possible effects of pollock and herring on the growth and reproductive success of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus): insights from feeding experiments using an alternative animal model, Rattus norvegicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Carolyn P; Trites, A W; Kitts, D D

    2003-01-01

    The decline of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in the Gulf of Alaska appears to have been associated with a switch of diet from one dominated by fatty forage fishes (such as herring; Clupea pallasi) to one dominated by low-fat fish (such as pollock; Theragra chalcogramma). Observations made during the decline include reduced body size of sea lions, low pregnancy rates, and high mortality. We used the general mammalian model, the laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus), to test whether changing the quality of prey consumed could cause changes in size and reproductive performance. Five groups of twelve female, weanling rats were fed diets composed of herring (H), pollock (P), pollock supplemented with herring oil (PH), pollock supplemented with pollock oil (PP), or a semi-purified diet (ICN). Mean body weights were greatest for H, followed by PH, P, PP and finally ICN, although ICN was the only group significantly different from the others (Preproductive performance, although the reasons for this were not apparent.

  3. Using the Reproductive Life Plan in contraceptive counselling

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tydén, Tanja; Verbiest, Sarah; Van Achterberg, Theo; Larsson, Margareta; Stern, Jenny

    2016-01-01

    ... her lifetime. The Reproductive Life Plan (RLP) is a protocol that aims to encourage both women and men to reflect on their reproductive intentions and to find strategies for successful family planning, for example to have the wanted number...

  4. Evaluation of Moringa oleifera as a dietary supplement on growth and reproductive performance in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Latoya T; Fowler, Lauren A; Barry, Robert J; Watts, Stephen A

    2013-12-01

    The leaves of the Moringa oleifera (Moringa) tree contain a significant source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and are considered as an important dietary supplement in countries where chronic