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Sample records for sparrows zonotrichia leucophrys

  1. Apparent dissociation of photoperiodic time measurement between vernal migration and breeding under dim green light conditions in Gambel's white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii

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    Gang WANG, Marilyn RAMENOFSKY, John C. WINGFIELD

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In seasonally breeding birds, the annual cycle of photoperiod is a principal environmental cue for temporal arrangement of different life-history stages, such as migration and breeding. In the past, most research has focused on the mechanisms of photoperiodic control of breeding with less attention paid to migration. In Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii (GWCS, photoreceptors for induction of breeding are known to reside in the basal hypothalamus. However, it is unknown whether the sites of photoperiodic reception for vernal migration are the same as those for breeding. Therefore, we hypothesized that they may be controlled separately. In this study, we exposed photosensitive GWCSs to low-penetration green light (wavelength at 510 nm under a regime of 1 lux during the day and <0.1 lux at night, and switched the photoperiodic conditions from short day (10 h daytime to long day (18 h daytime. The results showed that the experimental birds developed traits associated with vernal migration including mass increase, fat deposition and migratory restlessness behavior when transferred from short day to long day green light cycles, while control birds maintained continuously on short day green light conditions did not express any migration related characteristics. Neither experimental nor control groups showed gonadal recrudescence under either green light cycles. In support of our hypothesis, we were able to apparently dissociate the photoperiodic responses regulating vernal migration and breeding, which suggests separate mechanisms of photoperiodic time measurement. Such distinct photoperiodic mechanisms may drive the fine-tuned temporal arrangement of the two life history stages [Current Zoology 59 (3: 349–359, 2013].

  2. External and gastrointestinal parasites of the rufous-collared sparrow Zonotrichia capensis (Passeriformes, Emberizidae in Chile

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    Sebastián Llanos-Soto

    Full Text Available Abstract A total of 277 rufous-collared sparrows, Zonotrichia capensis Müller, 1776 (Emberizidae, were examined for external parasites. The birds were captured using mist nets in seven locations in northern and central Chile. Additionally, seven carcasses from central Chile (the Biobío region were necropsied to evaluate the presence of endoparasite infection. Ectoparasites were found on 35.8% (99/277 of the examined birds and they were represented by the following arthropods: feather mites Amerodectes zonotrichiae Mironov and González-Acuña, 2014 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, Proctophyllodes polyxenus Atyeo and Braasch, 1966 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, and Trouessartia capensis Berla, 1959 (Analgoidea: Trouessartiidae; a louse Philopterus sp. (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera; and ticks Amblyomma tigrinum Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae and Ixodes auritulus Neumann, 1904 (Acari: Ixodidae. Two of the seven necropsied carcasses were infected with the acanthocephalan Mediorhynchus papillosus Van Cleave, 1916 (Gigantorhynchida: Gigantorhynchidae. To our knowledge, this study reports P. polyxenus, Philopterus sp., A. tigrinum, and M. papillosus for the first time for Z. capensis and expands the distributional range for T. capensis to Chile.

  3. The behavioral ecology and breeding biology of the andean sparrow, Zonotrichia Capensis The behavioral ecology and breeding biology of the andean sparrow, Zonotrichia Capensis

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    Miller Alden H.

    1968-09-01

    Full Text Available La ecología de comportamiento y la biología de la reproducción de los Gorriones Andinos "copetones" (Zonotrichia capensis fueron estudiadas a lo largo de un año en una población ubicada a 2.000 metros de altura en la Cordillera Occidental de Colombia. Se capturaron cerca de 170 individuos, y para hacer posible su identificación en el campo se marcaron convenientemente. En varias ocasiones se Iogró la recaptura de muchos de éstos con el objeto de estudiar los cambios de plumaje y ciclos reproductivos a lo largo del año. La condición reproductiva de muchos individuos fue evaluada gracias a repetidas laparotomías. Se describen nueve tipos diferentes de vocalizaciones y se discute sus funciones.  Se establece la existencia de comunicación entre estas aves por medio de variación del plumaje, posturas y movimientos.  Sólo las hembras construyen nidos, los cuales se colocan ya sea en el suelo o sobre arbustos, pero en ningún caso a más de un metro de altura sobre el suelo. La puesta usual es de dos huevos en dos días consecutivos y en las primeras horas de la mañana. La hembra efectúa la incubación que dura de once a doce días. Los polluelos están listos a abandonar el nido en 10 0 12 días más. Los machos y hembras jóvenes alcanzan madurez reproductiva entre los 12 y 11 meses de edad. Muchas hembras vuelven a anidar si han perdido el nido con huevos o los polluelos tiernos.  Algunas hembras anidan por segunda vez inmediatamente después de haber criado polluelos.  Los machos se establecen en territorios claramente definidos y los mantienen a través de nidadas sucesivas. Los lazos de union entre los miembros de una pareja duran de una nidada a la siguiente, aun a través de períodos sin reproducción. Los territorios observados tenían típicamente cerca de 30 x 20 metros. La mayor parte de la alimentación parecía provenir del área definida, aunque ocasionalmente pueden abandonarla.  Alguna vez una pareja fue vista a

  4. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

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    Stuber, Erica F; Verpeut, Jessica; Horvat-Gordon, Maria; Ramachandran, Ramesh; Bartell, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    White-throated sparrows increase fat deposits during pre-migratory periods and rely on these fat stores to fuel migration. Adipose tissue produces hormones and signaling factors in a rhythmic fashion and may be controlled by a clock in adipose tissue or driven by a master clock in the brain. The master clock may convey photoperiodic information from the environment to adipose tissue to facilitate pre-migratory fattening, and adipose tissue may, in turn, release adipokines to indicate the extent of fat energy stores. Here, we present evidence that a change in signal from the adipokines adiponectin and visfatin may act to indicate body condition, thereby influencing an individual's decision to commence migratory flight, or to delay until adequate fat stores are acquired. We quantified plasma adiponectin and visfatin levels across the day in captive birds held under constant photoperiod. The circadian profiles of plasma adiponectin in non-migrating birds were approximately inverse the profiles from migrating birds. Adiponectin levels were positively correlated to body fat, and body fat was inversely related to the appearance of nocturnal migratory restlessness. Visfatin levels were constant across the day and did not correlate with fat deposits; however, a reduction in plasma visfatin concentration occurred during the migratory period. The data suggest that a significant change in the biological control of adipokine expression exists between the two migratory conditions and we propose a role for adiponectin, visfatin and adipose clocks in the regulation of migratory behaviors.

  5. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis.

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    Erica F Stuber

    Full Text Available White-throated sparrows increase fat deposits during pre-migratory periods and rely on these fat stores to fuel migration. Adipose tissue produces hormones and signaling factors in a rhythmic fashion and may be controlled by a clock in adipose tissue or driven by a master clock in the brain. The master clock may convey photoperiodic information from the environment to adipose tissue to facilitate pre-migratory fattening, and adipose tissue may, in turn, release adipokines to indicate the extent of fat energy stores. Here, we present evidence that a change in signal from the adipokines adiponectin and visfatin may act to indicate body condition, thereby influencing an individual's decision to commence migratory flight, or to delay until adequate fat stores are acquired. We quantified plasma adiponectin and visfatin levels across the day in captive birds held under constant photoperiod. The circadian profiles of plasma adiponectin in non-migrating birds were approximately inverse the profiles from migrating birds. Adiponectin levels were positively correlated to body fat, and body fat was inversely related to the appearance of nocturnal migratory restlessness. Visfatin levels were constant across the day and did not correlate with fat deposits; however, a reduction in plasma visfatin concentration occurred during the migratory period. The data suggest that a significant change in the biological control of adipokine expression exists between the two migratory conditions and we propose a role for adiponectin, visfatin and adipose clocks in the regulation of migratory behaviors.

  6. Integrating evolutionary and functional tests of adaptive hypotheses: a case study of altitudinal differentiation in hemoglobin function in an Andean Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis.

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    Cheviron, Zachary A; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Projecto-Garcia, Joana; Eddy, Douglas K; Jones, Jennifer; Carling, Matthew D; Witt, Christopher C; Moriyama, Hideaki; Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela; Storz, Jay F

    2014-11-01

    In air-breathing vertebrates, the physiologically optimal blood-O2 affinity is jointly determined by the prevailing partial pressure of atmospheric O2, the efficacy of pulmonary O2 transfer, and internal metabolic demands. Consequently, genetic variation in the oxygenation properties of hemoglobin (Hb) may be subject to spatially varying selection in species with broad elevational distributions. Here we report the results of a combined functional and evolutionary analysis of Hb polymorphism in the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), a species that is continuously distributed across a steep elevational gradient on the Pacific slope of the Peruvian Andes. We integrated a population genomic analysis that included all postnatally expressed Hb genes with functional studies of naturally occurring Hb variants, as well as recombinant Hb (rHb) mutants that were engineered through site-directed mutagenesis. We identified three clinally varying amino acid polymorphisms: Two in the α(A)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the major HbA isoform, and one in the α(D)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the minor HbD isoform. We then constructed and experimentally tested single- and double-mutant rHbs representing each of the alternative α(A)-globin genotypes that predominate at different elevations. Although the locus-specific patterns of altitudinal differentiation suggested a history of spatially varying selection acting on Hb polymorphism, the experimental tests demonstrated that the observed amino acid mutations have no discernible effect on respiratory properties of the HbA or HbD isoforms. These results highlight the importance of experimentally validating the hypothesized effects of genetic changes in protein function to avoid the pitfalls of adaptive storytelling. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please

  7. Contrasting seasonal and aseasonal environments across stages of the annual cycle in the Rufous-collared Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis: differences in endocrine function, proteome, and body condition.

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    González-Gómez, Paulina L; Echeverria, Valentina; Estades, Cristian F; Perez, Jonathan H; Krause, Jesse S; Sabat, Pablo; Li, Jonathon; Kültz, Dietmar; Wingfield, John C

    2018-05-09

    1.The timing and duration of life history stages (LHS) within the annual cycle can be affected by local environmental cues which are integrated through endocrine signaling mechanisms and changes in protein function. Most animals express a single LHS within a given period of the year because synchronous expression of LHSs is thought to be too costly energetically. However, in very rare and extremely stable conditions, breeding and molt have been observed to overlap extensively in Rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) living in valleys of the Atacama Desert - one of the most stable and aseasonal environments on Earth. 2.To examine how LHS traits at different levels of organization are affected by environmental variability we compared the temporal organization and duration of LHSs in populations in the Atacama Desert with those in the semiarid Fray Jorge National Park in the north of Chile - an extremely seasonal climate but with unpredictable droughts and heavy rainy seasons. 3.We studied the effects of environmental variability on morphological variables related to body condition, endocrine traits, and proteome. Birds living in the seasonal environment had a strict temporal division LHSs while birds living in the aseasonal environment failed to maintain a temporal division of LHSs resulting in direct overlap of breeding and molt. Further, higher circulating glucocorticoids and androgen concentrations were found in birds from seasonal compared to aseasonal populations. Despite these differences, body condition variables and protein expression were not related to the degree of seasonality but rather showed a strong relationship with hormone levels. 4.These results suggest that animals adjust to their environment through changes in behavioral and endocrine traits and may be limited by less labile traits such as morphological variables or expression of specific proteins under certain circumstances. These data on free-living birds shed light on how different

  8. Variation in the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-1 and the song control system in the tropical breeding rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) is dependent on sex and reproductive state.

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    Stevenson, Tyler J; Small, Thomas W; Ball, Gregory F; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-08-01

    Seasonal breeding in temperate zone vertebrates is characterised by pronounced variation in both central and peripheral reproductive physiology as well as behaviour. In contrast, many tropical species have a comparatively longer and less of a seasonal pattern of breeding than their temperate zone counterparts. These extended, more "flexible" reproductive periods may be associate with a lesser degree of annual variation in reproductive physiology. Here we investigated variation in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction in relation to the changes in the neural song control system in a tropical breeding songbird the rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis). Using in situ hybridization, we show that the optical density of GnRH1 mRNA expression is relatively constant across pre-breeding and breeding states. However, males were found to have significantly greater expression compared to females regardless of breeding state. Both males and females showed marked variation in measures of peripheral reproductive physiology with greater gonadal volumes and concentrations of sex steroids in the blood (i.e. testosterone in males; estrogen in females) during the breeding season as compared to the pre-breeding season. These findings suggest that the environmental cues regulating breeding in a tropical breeding bird ultimately exert their effects on physiology at the level of the median eminence and regulate the release of GnRH1. In addition, histological analysis of the song control system HVC, RA and Area X revealed that breeding males had significantly larger volumes of these brain nuclei as compared to non-breeding males, breeding females, and non-breeding females. Females did not exhibit a significant difference in the size of song control regions across breeding states. Together, these data show a marked sex difference in the extent to which there is breeding-associated variation in reproductive physiology and brain plasticity that is dependent on the reproductive

  9. Effects of experimentally elevated traffic noise on nestling white-crowned sparrow stress physiology, immune function and life history.

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    Crino, Ondi L; Johnson, Erin E; Blickley, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Breuner, Creagh W

    2013-06-01

    Roads have been associated with behavioral and physiological changes in wildlife. In birds, roads decrease reproductive success and biodiversity and increase physiological stress. Although the consequences of roads on individuals and communities have been well described, the mechanisms through which roads affect birds remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine one mechanism through which roads could affect birds: traffic noise. We exposed nestling mountain white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) to experimentally elevated traffic noise for 5 days during the nestling period. Following exposure to traffic noise we measured nestling stress physiology, immune function, body size, condition and survival. Based on prior studies, we expected the traffic noise treatment to result in elevated stress hormones (glucocorticoids), and declines in immune function, body size, condition and survival. Surprisingly, nestlings exposed to traffic noise had lower glucocorticoid levels and improved condition relative to control nests. These results indicate that traffic noise does affect physiology and development in white-crowned sparrows, but not at all as predicted. Therefore, when evaluating the mechanisms through which roads affect avian populations, other factors (e.g. edge effects, pollution and mechanical vibration) may be more important than traffic noise in explaining elevated nestling stress responses in this species.

  10. Regulation of vernal migration in Gambel's white-crowned sparrows: Role of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

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    Pérez, Jonathan H; Furlow, J David; Wingfield, John C; Ramenofsky, Marilyn

    2016-08-01

    Appropriate timing of migratory behavior is critical for migrant species. For many temperate zone birds in the spring, lengthening photoperiod is the initial cue leading to morphological, physiological and behavior changes that are necessary for vernal migration and breeding. Strong evidence has emerged in recent years linking thyroid hormone signaling to the photoinduction of breeding in birds while more limited information suggest a potential role in the regulation of vernal migration in photoperiodic songbirds. Here we investigate the development and expression of the vernal migratory life history stage in captive Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) in a hypothyroidic state, induced by chemical inhibition of thyroid hormone production. To explore possible variations in the effects of the two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, we subsequently performed a thyroid inhibition coupled with replacement therapy. We found that chemical inhibition of thyroid hormones resulted in complete abolishment of mass gain, fattening, and muscle hypertrophy associated with migratory preparation as well as resulting in failure to display nocturnal restlessness behavior. Replacement of thyroxine rescued all of these elements to near control levels while triiodothyronine replacement displayed partial or delayed rescue. Our findings support thyroid hormones as being necessary for the expression of changes in morphology and physiology associated with migration as well as migratory behavior itself. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Proximity to a high traffic road: glucocorticoid and life history consequences for nestling white-crowned sparrows.

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    Crino, O L; Van Oorschot, B Klaassen; Johnson, E E; Malisch, J L; Breuner, C W

    2011-09-01

    Roads have been associated with decreased reproductive success and biodiversity in avian communities and increased physiological stress in adult birds. Alternatively, roads may also increase food availability and reduce predator pressure. Previous studies have focused on adult birds, but nestlings may also be susceptible to the detrimental impacts of roads. We examined the effects of proximity to a road on nestling glucocorticoid activity and growth in the mountain white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha). Additionally, we examined several possible indirect factors that may influence nestling corticosterone (CORT) activity secretion in relation to roads. These indirect effects include parental CORT activity, nest-site characteristics, and parental provisioning. And finally, we assessed possible fitness consequences of roads through measures of fledging success. Nestlings near roads had increased CORT activity, elevated at both baseline and stress-induced levels. Surprisingly, these nestlings were also bigger. Generally, greater corticosterone activity is associated with reduced growth. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis matures through the nestling period (as nestlings get larger, HPA-activation is greater). Although much of the variance in CORT responses was explained by body size, nestling CORT responses were higher close to roads after controlling for developmental differences. Indirect effects of roads may be mediated through paternal care. Nestling CORT responses were correlated with paternal CORT responses and paternal provisioning increased near roads. Hence, nestlings near roads may be larger due to increased paternal attentiveness. And finally, nest predation was higher for nests close to the road. Roads have apparent costs for white-crowned sparrow nestlings--increased predation, and apparent benefits--increased size. The elevation in CORT activity seems to reflect both increased size (benefit) and elevation due to road

  12. Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering male white-crowned sparrows.

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    Krause, Jesse S; Pérez, Jonathan H; Meddle, Simone L; Wingfield, John C

    2017-08-01

    For wild free-living animals the availability of food resources can be greatly affected by environmental perturbations such as weather events. In response to environmental perturbations, animals activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to adjust physiology and behavior. The literature asserts that during weather events food intake declines leading to changes in HPA axis activity, as measured by both baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid concentrations. Here we investigated how body condition, locomotor activity, and stress physiology were affected by varying lengths of a fast (1, 2, 6, and 24h; similar to that experienced by free-living birds) compared to when food was provided ad libitum in captive wintering male white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, exposed to a short day photoperiod. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were increased for all fasting durations but were highest in 6 and 24h fasted birds. Stress-induced corticosterone was elevated in 1h fasted birds with a trend for the 2h of fast; no other differences were found. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were negatively related to both total fat scores and body mass. All birds lost body mass regardless of fast length but birds fasted for 24h lost the most. Fat scores declined in the 6 and 24h groups, and no measureable changes were detected in pectoralis muscle profile. Locomotor activity was increased over the entire period in which food was removed regardless of fasting duration. Together this suggests that reduced food availability is responsible, at least in part, for the rapid elevation both baseline corticosterone under any duration of fast and stress-induced concentrations during short-term fasts. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. White-crowned sparrow males show immediate flexibility in song amplitude but not in song minimum frequency in response to changes in noise levels in the field.

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    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Gentry, Katherine; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Luther, David A

    2017-07-01

    The soundscape acts as a selective agent on organisms that use acoustic signals to communicate. A number of studies document variation in structure, amplitude, or timing of signal production in correspondence with environmental noise levels thus supporting the hypothesis that organisms are changing their signaling behaviors to avoid masking. The time scale at which organisms respond is of particular interest. Signal structure may evolve across generations through processes such as cultural or genetic transmission. Individuals may also change their behavior during development (ontogenetic change) or in real time (i.e., immediate flexibility). These are not mutually exclusive mechanisms, and all must be investigated to understand how organisms respond to selection pressures from the soundscape. Previous work on white-crowned sparrows ( Zonotrichia leucophrys ) found that males holding territories in louder areas tend to sing higher frequency songs and that both noise levels and song frequency have increased over time (30 years) in urban areas. These previous findings suggest that songs are changing across generations; however, it is not known if this species also exhibits immediate flexibility. Here, we conducted an exploratory, observational study to ask whether males change the minimum frequency of their song in response to immediate changes in noise levels. We also ask whether males sing louder, as increased minimum frequency may be physiologically linked to producing sound at higher amplitudes, in response to immediate changes in environmental noise. We found that territorial males adjust song amplitude but not minimum frequency in response to changes in environmental noise levels. Our results suggest that males do not show immediate flexibility in song minimum frequency, although experimental manipulations are needed to test this hypothesis further. Our work highlights the need to investigate multiple mechanisms of adaptive response to soundscapes.

  14. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

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    Elizabeth P Derryberry

    Full Text Available Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively, so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency

  15. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

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    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Lipshutz, Sara E; Gentry, Katherine; Luther, David A

    2016-01-01

    Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli) across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively), so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency limit of hearing

  16. sparrow-weavers, PJocepasser mahali

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-01-27

    Jan 27, 1987 ... Sparrow-weavers often perched in a tree near fellow group members. .... (1981) showed that Zambian sparrow-weavers avoid tall, densely-matted ... of 3 in intermediate habitat in New Mexico (Stacey. 1979). Population ...

  17. White-throated sparrows alter songs differentially in response to chorusing anurans and other background noise.

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    Lenske, Ariel K; La, Van T

    2014-06-01

    Animals can use acoustic signals to attract mates and defend territories. As a consequence, background noise that interferes with signal transmission has the potential to reduce fitness, especially in birds that rely on song. While much research on bird song has investigated vocal flexibility in response to urban noise, weather and other birds, the possibility of inter-class acoustic competition from anurans has not been previously studied. Using sound recordings from central Ontario wetlands, we tested if white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicolis) make short-term changes to their singing behaviour in response to chorusing spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), as well as to car noise, wind and other bird vocalizations. White-throated sparrow songs that were sung during the spring peeper chorus were shorter with higher minimum frequencies and narrower bandwidths resulting in reduced frequency overlap. Additionally, sparrows were less likely to sing when car noise and the vocalizations of other birds were present. These patterns suggest that birds use multiple adjustment strategies. This is the first report to demonstrate that birds may alter their songs differentially in response to different sources of noise. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Comparative BAC-based mapping in the white-throated sparrow, a novel behavioral genomics model, using interspecies overgo hybridization

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    Gonser Rusty A

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genomics era has produced an arsenal of resources from sequenced organisms allowing researchers to target species that do not have comparable mapping and sequence information. These new "non-model" organisms offer unique opportunities to examine environmental effects on genomic patterns and processes. Here we use comparative mapping as a first step in characterizing the genome organization of a novel animal model, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, which occurs as white or tan morphs that exhibit alternative behaviors and physiology. Morph is determined by the presence or absence of a complex chromosomal rearrangement. This species is an ideal model for behavioral genomics because the association between genotype and phenotype is absolute, making it possible to identify the genomic bases of phenotypic variation. Findings We initiated a genomic study in this species by characterizing the white-throated sparrow BAC library via filter hybridization with overgo probes designed for the chicken, turkey, and zebra finch. Cross-species hybridization resulted in 640 positive sparrow BACs assigned to 77 chicken loci across almost all macro-and microchromosomes, with a focus on the chromosomes associated with morph. Out of 216 overgos, 36% of the probes hybridized successfully, with an average number of 3.0 positive sparrow BACs per overgo. Conclusions These data will be utilized for determining chromosomal architecture and for fine-scale mapping of candidate genes associated with phenotypic differences. Our research confirms the utility of interspecies hybridization for developing comparative maps in other non-model organisms.

  19. Genes located in a chromosomal inversion are correlated with territorial song in white-throated sparrows.

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    Zinzow-Kramer, W M; Horton, B M; McKee, C D; Michaud, J M; Tharp, G K; Thomas, J W; Tuttle, E M; Yi, S; Maney, D L

    2015-11-01

    The genome of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) contains an inversion polymorphism on chromosome 2 that is linked to predictable variation in a suite of phenotypic traits including plumage color, aggression and parental behavior. Differences in gene expression between the two color morphs, which represent the two common inversion genotypes (ZAL2/ZAL2 and ZAL2/ZAL2(m) ), may therefore advance our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of these phenotypes. To identify genes that are differentially expressed between the two morphs and correlated with behavior, we quantified gene expression and terrirorial aggression, including song, in a population of free-living white-throated sparrows. We analyzed gene expression in two brain regions, the medial amygdala (MeA) and hypothalamus. Both regions are part of a 'social behavior network', which is rich in steroid hormone receptors and previously linked with territorial behavior. Using weighted gene co-expression network analyses, we identified modules of genes that were correlated with both morph and singing behavior. The majority of these genes were located within the inversion, showing the profound effect of the inversion on the expression of genes captured by the rearrangement. These modules were enriched with genes related to retinoic acid signaling and basic cellular functioning. In the MeA, the most prominent pathways were those related to steroid hormone receptor activity. Within these pathways, the only gene encoding such a receptor was ESR1 (estrogen receptor 1), a gene previously shown to predict song rate in this species. The set of candidate genes we identified may mediate the effects of a chromosomal inversion on territorial behavior. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  20. Within-species digestive tract flexibility in rufous-collared sparrows and the climatic variability hypothesis.

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    Maldonado, Karin; Bozinovic, Francisco; Rojas, José M; Sabat, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The climatic variability hypothesis (CVH) states that species are geographically more widespread at higher latitudes because individuals have a broader range of physiological tolerance or phenotypic flexibility as latitude and climatic variability increase. However, it remains unclear to what extent climatic variability or latitude, acting on the phenotype, account for any observed geographical gradient in mean range size. In this study, we analyzed the physiological flexibility within the CVH framework by using an intraspecific population experimental approach. We tested for a positive relationship between digestive-tract flexibility (i.e., morphology and enzyme activities) and latitude and climatic and natural diet variability in populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) captured in desert (27°S), Mediterranean (33°S), and cold-temperate (41°S) sites in Chile. In accordance with the CVH, we observed a positive relationship between the magnitude of digestive-tract flexibility and environmental variability but not latitude. The greatest digestive flexibility was observed in birds at middle latitudes, which experience the most environmental variability (a Mediterranean climate), whereas individuals from the most stable climates (desert and cold-temperate) exhibited little or no digestive-tract flexibility in response to experimental diets. Our findings support the idea that latitudinal gradients in geographical ranges may be strongly affected by the action of regional features, which makes it difficult to find general patterns in the distribution of species.

  1. Regional cholinesterase activity in white-throated sparrow brain is differentially affected by acephate (Orthene®)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, N.B.; Kuenzel, W.J.; Hill, E.F.; Romo, G.A.; Komaragiri, M.V.S.

    1996-01-01

    Effects of a 14-day dietary exposure to an organophosphorus pesticide, acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), were determined on cholinesterase activity in three regions (basal ganglia, hippocampus, and hypothalamus) of the white-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, brain. All three regions experienced depressed cholinesterase activity between 0.5–2 ppm acephate. The regions exhibited cholinesterase recovery at 2–16 ppm acephate; however, cholinesterase activity dropped and showed no recovery at higher dietary levels (>16 ppm acephate). Evidence indicates that the recovery is initiated by the magnitude of depression, not the duration. In general, as acephate concentration increased, differences in ChE activity among brain regions decreased. Three terms are introduced to describe ChE response to acephate exposure: 1) ChE resistance threshold, 2) ChE compensation threshold, and 3) ChE depression threshold. It is hypothesized that adverse effects to birds in the field may occur at pesticide exposure levels customarily considered negligible.

  2. White-throated Sparrow Response to Forest Harvesting in North-Central Alberta: Results Not So Clear-Cut?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Hannah

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of density to measure a species' responses to habitat change remains prevalent despite warnings that relying on such parameters can be misleading. We evaluated whether density was a useful surrogate of habitat quality for the White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, an apparent habitat generalist, in a recently logged landscape near Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada. We detected significant differences in the territory density of birds among three distinct habitat types: interior forest, forest edges, and recent (4- to 6-yr-old clear-cuts. However, the observed patterns in territory density were not consistent with several indices of habitat quality. We found a consistent and marked gradient for indices such as nesting success (based on a reproductive index, pairing success, and the proportion of territories that successfully fledged young between interior forest sites and clear-cuts. Edge habitats, in which high relative density offset lower reproductive success, represented moderate-quality habitat for this species. Our results suggest that the continued use of density alone, without some measure of habitat quality, is insufficient if not misleading when evaluating response to habitat change. Our results have important implications for understanding the population dynamics of this species, which is often overlooked in population-level studies yet continues to experience long-term population declines over large portions of its breeding range.

  3. Brain transcriptome sequencing and assembly of three songbird model systems for the study of social behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N. Balakrishnan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Emberizid sparrows (emberizidae have played a prominent role in the study of avian vocal communication and social behavior. We present here brain transcriptomes for three emberizid model systems, song sparrow Melospiza melodia, white-throated sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis, and Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii. Each of the assemblies covered fully or in part, over 89% of the previously annotated protein coding genes in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, with 16,846, 15,805, and 16,646 unique BLAST hits in song, white-throated and white-crowned sparrows, respectively. As in previous studies, we find tissue of origin (auditory forebrain versus hypothalamus and whole brain as an important determinant of overall expression profile. We also demonstrate the successful isolation of RNA and RNA-sequencing from post-mortem samples from building strikes and suggest that such an approach could be useful when traditional sampling opportunities are limited. These transcriptomes will be an important resource for the study of social behavior in birds and for data driven annotation of forthcoming whole genome sequences for these and other bird species.

  4. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nossen, Ida; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Dimmen, Malene V

    2016-01-01

    . In male house sparrows, ornamental traits involved in male quality signalling are important for female selection. These traits are governed by endocrinological systems, and POPs may therefore interfere with male quality signalling. The aim of the present study was to use the house sparrow as a mid......At high trophic levels, environmental contaminants have been found to affect endocrinological processes. Less attention has been paid to species at lower trophic levels. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) may be a useful model for investigating effects of POPs in mid-range trophic level species......-range trophic level model species to study the effects of environmental contaminants on endocrinology and male quality signalling. We analysed the levels of selected PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs and investigated the possible effects of these contaminants on circulating levels of steroid hormones (4 progestagens, 4...

  5. Genetic population structure in an equatorial sparrow: roles for culture and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, J E; Fleischer, R C; Danner, R M; Moore, I T

    2017-06-01

    Female preference for local cultural traits has been proposed as a barrier to breeding among animal populations. As such, several studies have found correlations between male bird song dialects and population genetics over relatively large distances. To investigate whether female choice for local dialects could act as a barrier to breeding between nearby and contiguous populations, we tested whether variation in male song dialects explains genetic structure among eight populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in Ecuador. Our study sites lay along a transect, and adjacent study sites were separated by approximately 25 km, an order of magnitude less than previously examined for this and most other species. This transect crossed an Andean ridge and through the Quijos River Valley, both of which may be barriers to gene flow. Using a variance partitioning approach, we show that song dialect is important in explaining population genetics, independent of the geographic variables: distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that song acts as a barrier to breeding among populations in close proximity. In addition, songs of contiguous populations differed by the same degree or more than between two populations previously shown to exhibit female preference for local dialect, suggesting that birds from these populations would also breed preferentially with locals. As expected, all geographic variables (distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge) also predicted population genetic structure. Our results have important implications for the understanding whether, and at what spatial scale, culture can affect population divergence. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. 78 FR 8588 - Rg Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

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    2013-02-06

    ... Consulting, Crown Security, Eastern Automation, EDS(HP), Teksystems, URS Corporation, and B More Industrial... from B More Industrial Services LLC were employed on-site at the Sparrows Point, Maryland location of RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC. The Department has determined that these workers from B More Industrial...

  7. The case of the Disappearing House Sparrow (Passer domesticus indicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anjan Dandapat

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The fluffy brown sparrows are 15cm in length and distributed all over India up to 4000m in the Himalayas. The disappearance of sparrows has been widely reported in India. The sparrow population in Andhra Pradesh alone had dropped by 80 per cent, and in other states like Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan, it had dipped by 20 per cent, while the decline in coastal areas was as sharp as 70 to 80 per cent. But reliable information on sparrow populations is not available. No one is actually counting and keeping a record of the sparrows. The spread of diseases due to decline in sparrow population is an alarming danger. Introduction of unleaded petrol, use of chemically treated seeds, flow of electromagnetic waves from cellphone towers, reducing areas of free growing weeds or reducing numbers of badly maintained buildings, competition for food by other species etc. are possible reasons for this disappearance. The BirdLife International, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, a UK-based organisation and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS have taken plan for the protection of sparrow population. [Vet. World 2010; 3(2.000: 97-100

  8. Corticosterone regulation in house sparrows invading Senegal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B; Kilvitis, Holly J; Thiam, Massamba; Ardia, Daniel R

    2017-09-01

    What traits help organisms expand their ranges? Several behavioral and life history traits have been identified, but physiological and especially endocrinological factors have been minimally considered. Here, we asked whether steroid hormonal responses to stressors might be important. Previously, we found that corticosterone (CORT) responses to a standard restraint stressor were stronger at a range edge than at the core of the recent house sparrow (Passer domesticus) invasion of Kenya. In related work in the same system, we found that various behaviors (exploratory activity, responses to novelty, etc.) that are affected by CORT in other systems varied among sparrow populations in a manner that would suggest that CORT regulation directly influenced colonization success; birds at the range edge were less averse to novelty and more exploratory than birds from the core. Here, we asked whether the pattern in CORT regulation we observed in Kenya was also detectable in the more recent (∼1970) and independent invasion of Senegal. We found, as in Kenya, that Senegalese range-edge birds mounted stronger CORT responses to restraint than core birds. We also found lower baseline CORT in range-edge than core Senegalese birds, but little evidence for effects of individual sex, body mass or body size on CORT. Follow-up work will be necessary to resolve whether CORT regulation in Senegal (and Kenya) actively facilitated colonization success, but our work implicates glucocorticoids as a mediator of range expansion success, making stress responses potentially useful biomarkers of invasion risk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Osmoregulatory responses to dietary protein and water intake in the granivorous Zonotrichia capensis (Passerine, Emberizidae Respuestas osmorregulatorias a la proteína dietaria y al consumo de agua en el granívoro Zonotrichia capensis (Paseriformes, Emberizidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRICIA ALDEA

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the osmoregulatory responses of the granivore Zonotrichia capensis, acclimated to high- and low-protein diets as well as two levels of water intake. We tested whether Z. capensis has the ability to modify the proportion of nitrogenous waste in the excreta when protein intake and water intake varies. After 21 days of acclimation, plasma osmolality was not significantly affected by dietary treatment; however, excreta osmolality was higher in the high-protein group compared to the low-protein group. Nitrogenous wastes in Z. capensis are excreted mainly in the form of uric acid. The proportion of kidney devoted to medullary tissue was 40 % higher in dehydrated birds than in hydrated birds. Excreta osmolality was higher in dehydrated birds, and in all cases higher than plasma concentration by more than 300 mOsm kg"¹. Our data do not support the hypothesis that Z. capensis can switch nitrogen excretion pathways. We hypothesize that the low water content of the seed-base diet, the comparatively low water intake, and the large difference between urine and plasma concentrations may minimize the retrograde flux of urine to the lower intestinal tract, thereby reducing the potential for post-renal urine modificationEstudiamos la respuesta osmorregulatoria del granívoro Zonotrichia capensis, aclimatado a dietas con alta y baja proteína como también a dos niveles de ingestión de agua. Evaluamos si Z. capensis tiene la capacidad de modificar la proporción de los desechos nitrogenados en la excreta cuando la ingestión de proteína y agua varía. Después de 21 días de aclimatación, la osmolalidad del plasma no fue afectada significativamente por el tratamiento dietario. Sin embargo, la osmolalidad de la excreta fue mayor en el grupo alta-proteína comparado con el grupo baja-proteína. Los desechos nitrogenados en Z. capensis son excretados mayoritariamente en forma de ácido úrico. La proporción del riñon ocupado por tejido medular fue

  10. Reflecting on the Relationship Between Human Beings and Sparrows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyoti Trehan Sharma

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The Birdman of India, Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, was one of the first Indians to conduct a systematic and patterned survey of birds in India. W.S. Millard, the Secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS had introduced Salim Ali to the beautiful world of the birds. Millard had identified an unusually coloured sparrow that was actually shot by a young Salim Ali with his air gun. This was a yellow-throated sparrow. Following this, Millard showed Salim Ali the Society’s collection of stuffed birds, and this became the beginning of a marvelous journey of exploring the bird kingdom and establishing great landmarks by Salim Ali. The sparrow had transformed Salim Ali’s world. Undoubtedly, his autobiography was later titled ‘The Fall of a Sparrow’. Salim Ali has very carefully noted in his autobiography as to how this yellow-throated sparrow became the turning point in his life that led him into the fascinating world of ornithology. This research contribution is not about the birdman but the bird, which is rapidly vanishing from our vicinity. The reasons for the decline of the sparrow are varied but the fact of the matter is that the natural world around us is rapidly receding. And the decline of the sparrow is an alarm, a warning against the degrading ecosystems, and an alarm against blind-folded urbanisation which is leading to human-induced disasters.

  11. House sparrows benefit from the conservation of white storks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosicki, Jakub Z.; Sparks, Tim H.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2007-05-01

    As with many farmland bird species, the house sparrow Passer domesticus is declining in Europe, mainly due to intensification of agriculture reducing nest sites and food supplies. During 2002-2005, we studied the population size and nest site characteristics of house sparrows breeding within white stork Ciconia ciconia nests in a large area of agricultural landscape within western Poland. To explain sparrow density within stork nests, we examined characteristics of white stork nests (position, age, productivity) and the farm type around the nest. House sparrow density was greatest in the longest established (and hence larger) white stork nests located on traditionally managed farms. Two recent changes appear to have adverse effects on house sparrows. The first is the intensification of farming and the second is active management of white stork nests on electric poles to reduce nest size and thus avoid both disruption to the electrical supply and electrocution of white storks. Because the white stork has such a high profile in Poland, there are numerous schemes to conserve and enhance this species. In conclusion, we clearly show that protecting one species can have valuable, although unplanned, benefits to another species of conservation interest, the house sparrow.

  12. 78 FR 40511 - RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

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    2013-07-05

    ... Leased Workers From Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants Llc... Services LLC, Recycling & Treatment Technologies of Baltimore, Llc, and Lafarge North America, Sparrows... leased workers from Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC...

  13. 78 FR 19530 - RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    ... Leased Workers From Echelon Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC... Services LLC, and Recycling & Treatment Technologies of Baltimore, LLC Sparrows Point, Maryland; Amended... Service Company, Sun Associated Industries, Inc., MPI Consultants LLC, Alliance Engineering, Inc...

  14. Factors associated with arrival densities of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) and baird's sparrow (A. bairdii) in the upper great plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlering, M.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, John

    2009-01-01

    Although critical to habitat and population management, the proximate cues that birds use to establish territories are largely unknown. Understanding these cues is important for birds, such as many grassland birds, that exhibit high annual variability in population density and make new habitat-selection decisions annually. Identifying the actual cues used is difficult in the field, but the factors associated with the arrival densities of birds can help uncover variables that are involved in or correlated with cues used for selection. During the summers of 2002–2004, we investigated how weather and local vegetation factors were related to arrival densities of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and Baird's Sparrows (A. bairdii) at three locations across North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Spring densities of Grasshopper Sparrows were positively correlated with concurrent May precipitation, whereas densities of Baird's Sparrows were negatively correlated with the previous winter's snowfall. We used a model-selection approach to evaluate the vegetation characteristics associated with arrival densities of birds. Grasshopper Sparrow densities showed a strong negative relationship to woody cover, and Baird's Sparrow densities showed a negative relationship to vegetation height and vegetation density near the ground. Our results provide a first detailed look at habitat and weather associations immediately after arrival in spring and an important first step in uncovering factors that may be involved in habitat selection in two grassland species.

  15. Science & education: Genetic analysis of winter social structure and social traits in a migratory sparrow & teaching argumentation in STEM education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnberg, Nina N.

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. A previous study detected striking social complexity and stability in wintering populations of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla)---individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. In chapter one I test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. I examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. I found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship---relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower) and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex) and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. Although the complex social structure detected in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not predicted by kinship, genetic variation may play a role in variation of winter social traits. In chapter two, I investigate the genetic causes of variation in fitness-related traits in a winter population of golden-crowned sparrows. Individuals show great variation in morphological and behavioral traits that may play

  16. The House Sparrows Passer domesticus and Tree Sparrows Passer montanus: fine-scale distribution, population densities, and habitat selection in a Central European city

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Riegert, J.; Grill, S.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 2 (2015), s. 221-232 ISSN 0001-6454 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : House Sparrow * Tree Sparrow * urban environment * city green * built-up area * habitat selection * nest-site selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.837, year: 2015

  17. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.

  18. Section 3. The SPARROW Surface Water-Quality Model: Theory, Application and User Documentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, G.E.; Hoos, A.B.; Alexander, R.B.; Smith, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) is a watershed modeling technique for relating water-quality measurements made at a network of monitoring stations to attributes of the watersheds containing the stations. The core of the model consists of a nonlinear regression equation describing the non-conservative transport of contaminants from point and diffuse sources on land to rivers and through the stream and river network. The model predicts contaminant flux, concentration, and yield in streams and has been used to evaluate alternative hypotheses about the important contaminant sources and watershed properties that control transport over large spatial scales. This report provides documentation for the SPARROW modeling technique and computer software to guide users in constructing and applying basic SPARROW models. The documentation gives details of the SPARROW software, including the input data and installation requirements, and guidance in the specification, calibration, and application of basic SPARROW models, as well as descriptions of the model output and its interpretation. The documentation is intended for both researchers and water-resource managers with interest in using the results of existing models and developing and applying new SPARROW models. The documentation of the model is presented in two parts. Part 1 provides a theoretical and practical introduction to SPARROW modeling techniques, which includes a discussion of the objectives, conceptual attributes, and model infrastructure of SPARROW. Part 1 also includes background on the commonly used model specifications and the methods for estimating and evaluating parameters, evaluating model fit, and generating water-quality predictions and measures of uncertainty. Part 2 provides a user's guide to SPARROW, which includes a discussion of the software architecture and details of the model input requirements and output files, graphs, and maps. The text documentation and computer

  19. Male rock sparrows differentially allocate nest defence but not food provisioning to offspring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; Carmagnani, Cristina; Griggio, Matteo

    2009-01-01

    for a number of species, while male differential allocation based on female secondary sexual traits has received less attention. Yet females of many species, among birds in particular, are ornamented. We performed a test of male differential allocation based on a female ornament in the rock sparrow (Petronia...... allocation and are in agreement with previous tests of male differential allocation in rock sparrows....

  20. House Sparrows Do Not Constitute a Significant Salmonella Typhimurium Reservoir across Urban Gradients in Flanders, Belgium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Lens, Luc; Haesendonck, Roel; Teyssier, Aimeric; Hudin, Noraine Salleh; Strubbe, Diederik; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013-2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines.

  1. Mercury in Nelson's Sparrow subspecies at breeding sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia L Winder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mercury is a persistent, biomagnifying contaminant that can cause negative effects on ecosystems. Marshes are often areas of relatively high mercury methylation and bioaccumulation. Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni use marsh habitats year-round and have been documented to exhibit tissue mercury concentrations that exceed negative effects thresholds. We sought to further characterize the potential risk of Nelson's Sparrows to mercury exposure by sampling individuals from sites within the range of each of its subspecies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: From 2009 to 2011, we captured adult Nelson's Sparrows at sites within the breeding range of each subspecies (A. n. nelsoni: Grand Forks and Upham, North Dakota; A. n. alterus: Moosonee, Ontario; and A. n. subvirgatus: Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick and sampled breast feathers, the first primary feather (P1, and blood for total mercury analysis. Mean blood mercury in nelsoni individuals captured near Grand Forks ranged from 0.84 ± 0.37 to 1.65 ± 1.02 SD ppm among years, between 2.0 and 4.9 times as high as concentrations at the other sites (P<0.01. Breast feather mercury did not vary among sites within a given sampling year (site means ranged from 0.98 ± 0.69 to 2.71 ± 2.93 ppm. Mean P1 mercury in alterus (2.96 ± 1.84 ppm fw was significantly lower than in any other sampled population (5.25 ± 2.24-6.77 ± 3.51 ppm; P ≤ 0.03. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study further characterized mercury in Nelson's Sparrows near Grand Forks; we documented localized and potentially harmful mercury concentrations, indicating that this area may represent a biological mercury hotspot. This finding warrants further research to determine if wildlife populations of conservation or recreational interest in this area may be experiencing negative effects due to mercury exposure. We present preliminary conclusions about the risk of each sampled population to mercury exposure.

  2. Mercury in Nelson's Sparrow Subspecies at Breeding Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Virginia L.; Emslie, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Mercury is a persistent, biomagnifying contaminant that can cause negative effects on ecosystems. Marshes are often areas of relatively high mercury methylation and bioaccumulation. Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni) use marsh habitats year-round and have been documented to exhibit tissue mercury concentrations that exceed negative effects thresholds. We sought to further characterize the potential risk of Nelson's Sparrows to mercury exposure by sampling individuals from sites within the range of each of its subspecies. Methodology/Principal Findings From 2009 to 2011, we captured adult Nelson's Sparrows at sites within the breeding range of each subspecies (A. n. nelsoni: Grand Forks and Upham, North Dakota; A. n. alterus: Moosonee, Ontario; and A. n. subvirgatus: Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick) and sampled breast feathers, the first primary feather (P1), and blood for total mercury analysis. Mean blood mercury in nelsoni individuals captured near Grand Forks ranged from 0.84±0.37 to 1.65±1.02 SD ppm among years, between 2.0 and 4.9 times as high as concentrations at the other sites (Pmercury did not vary among sites within a given sampling year (site means ranged from 0.98±0.69 to 2.71±2.93 ppm). Mean P1 mercury in alterus (2.96±1.84 ppm fw) was significantly lower than in any other sampled population (5.25±2.24–6.77±3.51 ppm; P≤0.03). Conclusions/Significance Our study further characterized mercury in Nelson's Sparrows near Grand Forks; we documented localized and potentially harmful mercury concentrations, indicating that this area may represent a biological mercury hotspot. This finding warrants further research to determine if wildlife populations of conservation or recreational interest in this area may be experiencing negative effects due to mercury exposure. We present preliminary conclusions about the risk of each sampled population to mercury exposure. PMID:22384194

  3. To flock or fight: neurochemical signatures of divergent life histories in sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Wilson, Leah C; Schrock, Sara E

    2012-06-26

    Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), which are territorial year-round in much of their range. Spring collections were preceded by field-based assessments of aggression. Tissue series were immunofluorescently multilabeled for vasotocin, mesotocin (MT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, tyrosine hydroxylase, and aromatase, and labeling densities were measured in many socially relevant brain areas. Extensive seasonal differences are shared by both species. Many measures correlate significantly with both individual and species differences in aggression, likely reflecting evolved mechanisms that differentiate the less aggressive field sparrow from the more aggressive song sparrow. Winter-specific species differences include a substantial increase of MT and CRH immunoreactivity in the dorsal lateral septum (LS) and medial amygdala of field sparrows but not song sparrows. These species differences likely relate to flocking rather than the suppression of winter aggression in field sparrows, because similar winter differences were found for two other emberizids that are not territorial in winter--dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), which seasonally flock, and eastern towhees (Pipilo erythropthalmus), which do not flock. MT signaling in the dorsal LS is also associated with year-round species differences in grouping in estrildid finches, suggesting that common mechanisms are targeted during the evolution of different life histories.

  4. Song variation and environmental auditory masking in the grasshopper sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohr, Bernard; Dooling, Robert J.; Gill, Douglas E.

    2004-05-01

    Some grassland bird species, in particular grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), sing songs with especially high mean frequencies (7.0-8.0 kHz). Acoustic interference is one potential explanation for the evolution of high frequency vocalizations, particularly in open habitats. We tested predictions from a model of effective auditory communication distances to understand the potential effects of vocal production and environmental auditory masking on vocal behavior and territoriality. Variation in the spectral structure of songs and the size and shape of territories was measured for grasshopper sparrows in typical grassland habitats. Median territory areas were 1629 m2 at a site in the center of the species range in Nebraska, and 1466 m2 at our study site in Maryland, with average territory diameters measuring 20.2 m. Species densities and sound pressure levels also were determined for stridulating insects and other noise sources in the habitat. Based on current models of effective communication distances, known noise levels, and information on hearing abilities, our results suggest that auditory sensitivity and environmental noise could be factors influencing the mean frequency and spatial dynamics of territorial behavior in grassland birds. [Work supported by NIH and the CRFRC.

  5. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus): Effects of POPs and male quality signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nossen, Ida; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Dimmen, Malene V; Jensen, Henrik; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Polder, Anuschka; Rønning, Bernt; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2016-03-15

    At high trophic levels, environmental contaminants have been found to affect endocrinological processes. Less attention has been paid to species at lower trophic levels. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) may be a useful model for investigating effects of POPs in mid-range trophic level species. In male house sparrows, ornamental traits involved in male quality signalling are important for female selection. These traits are governed by endocrinological systems, and POPs may therefore interfere with male quality signalling. The aim of the present study was to use the house sparrow as a mid-range trophic level model species to study the effects of environmental contaminants on endocrinology and male quality signalling. We analysed the levels of selected PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs and investigated the possible effects of these contaminants on circulating levels of steroid hormones (4 progestagens, 4 androgens and 3 estrogens) in male and female adult house sparrows from a population on the island Leka, Norway. Plasma samples were analysed for steroid hormones by GC-MS and liver samples were analysed for environmental contaminants by GC-ECD and GC-MS. In males, we also quantified ornament traits. It was hypothesised that POPs may have endocrine disrupting effects on the local house sparrow population and can thus interfere with the steroid hormone homeostasis. Among female house sparrows, bivariate correlations revealed negative relationships between POPs and estrogens. Among male sparrows, positive relationships between dihydrotestosterone levels and PCBs were observed. In males, positive relationships were also found between steroids and beak length, and between steroids and ornamental traits such as total badge size. This was confirmed by a significant OPLS model between beak length and steroids. Although sparrows are in the mid-range trophic levels, the present study indicates that POPs may affect steroid homeostasis in house sparrows, in particular for females. For

  6. Rock Sparrow Song Reflects Male Age and Reproductive Success

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nemeth, Erwin; Kempenaers, Bart; Matessi, Giuliano

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Avian metapneumovirus subtype B experimental infection and tissue distribution in chickens, sparrows, and pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gharaibeh, S; Shamoun, M

    2012-07-01

    Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) is a respiratory virus that infects a range of avian hosts, including chickens and turkeys. Migratory and local wild birds are implicated in aMPV spread among farms, countries, and seasonal outbreaks of the disease. A subtype B aMPV isolate from commercial chicken flocks suffering from respiratory disease was experimentally inoculated oculonasally into 7-week old chickens, young pigeons, and sparrows. Chickens showed minimal tracheal rales, whereas pigeons and sparrows were asymptomatic. Shedding of aMPV was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction on homogenates from nasal turbinates. At 5 days postinfection, 5 of 5 chickens, 2 of 5 pigeons, and 1 of 5 sparrows were positive; at 10 or 15 days, none were positive. At 2 and 5 days, aMPV antigens were localized at the ciliated boarder of respiratory epithelium in nasal cavity and trachea of chickens, as well as to the conjunctival epithelium. Pigeons had detectable viral antigens in only the trachea at 2 and 5 days; sparrow tissues did not show any positive staining. At the end of the experiment, at 21 days postinfection, 14 of 15 inoculated chickens seroconverted against aMPV, but none of the inoculated pigeons or sparrows did. The authors believe that pigeons and sparrows have the ability to transmit the virus between chicken farms, although they do not consider pigeons and sparrows as natural hosts for aMPV, given that they failed to seroconvert. In conclusion, pigeons and sparrows are partially susceptible to aMPV infection, probably acting more as mechanical vectors because infection is only temporary and short-lived.

  8. Mass-dependent predation risk as a mechanism for house sparrow declines?

    OpenAIRE

    MacLeod, Ross; Barnett, Phil; Clark, Jacquie; Cresswell, Will

    2005-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) numbers have declined rapidly in both rural and urban habitats across Western Europe over the last 30 years, leading to their inclusion on the UK conservation red list. The decline in farmland has been linked to a reduction in winter survival caused by reduced food supply. This reduction in food supply is associated with agricultural intensification that has led to the loss of seed-rich winter stubble and access to spilt grain. However, urban house sparrows h...

  9. Using Cape Sable seaside sparrow distribution data for water management decision support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Romañach, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis; hereafter sparrow) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, the most diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Marl prairie habitat is shaped by intermediate levels of disturbances such as flooding, drying, and fire, which maintain periphyton production (Gaiser et al. 2011), vegetation composition (Sah et al. 2011), and habitat structure for wildlife (Lockwood et al. 2003). Historically, patches of marl prairie shifted in response to changing climatic conditions,; however, habitat loss and hydrologic alteration have restricted the sparrow’s range and increased their sensitivity to changing hydropatterns. As a result, sparrow numbers have declined as much as 60% range-wide since 1992 (Curnutt et al. 1998, Nott et al. 1998). Currently, the sparrow is restricted to the freshwater prairies of the Everglades National Park (ENP) and Big Cypress Preserve (Lockwood et al. 1997). Because this non-migratory bird is restricted in its range it was among the first species to be listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on March 11, 1967 (Pimm et al. 2000). Now protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the sparrow is listed as an endangered species, and the marl prairies that it resides in are listed as critical habitat. Since its designation as an endangered species, federal agencies have a statutory obligation to not jeopardize the survival of the species or modify its critical habitat. However, there are still uncertainties in how to increase suitable habitat within and surrounding the six existing sparrow subpopulations (Fig. 1) which are vulnerable to environmental stochasticity because of their small population size and restricted range. Since Because maintenance and creation of suitable habitat is seen as the most important pathway to the persistence of sparrow subpopulations (Sustainable Ecosystems Institute 2007), emphasis should be on

  10. Effects of urbanization on host-pathogen interactions, using Yersinia in house sparrows as a model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strubbe, Diederik; Teyssier, Aimeric; Salleh Hudin, Noraine; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie; Cox, Ivo; Haesendonck, Roel; Delmée, Michel; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Lens, Luc; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization strongly affects biodiversity, altering natural communities and often leading to a reduced species richness. Yet, despite its increasingly recognized importance, how urbanization impacts on the health of individual animals, wildlife populations and on disease ecology remains poorly understood. To test whether, and how, urbanization-driven ecosystem alterations influence pathogen dynamics and avian health, we use house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Yersinia spp. (pathogenic for passerines) as a case study. Sparrows are granivorous urban exploiters, whose western European populations have declined over the past decades, especially in highly urbanized areas. We sampled 329 house sparrows originating from 36 populations along an urbanization gradient across Flanders (Belgium), and used isolation combined with ‘matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry’ (MALDI-TOF MS) and PCR methods for detecting the presence of different Yersinia species. Yersinia spp. were recovered from 57.43% of the sampled house sparrows, of which 4.06%, 53.30% and 69.54% were identified as Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica and other Yersinia species, respectively. Presence of Yersinia was related to the degree of urbanization, average daily temperatures and the community of granivorous birds present at sparrow capture locations. Body condition of suburban house sparrows was found to be higher compared to urban and rural house sparrows, but no relationships between sparrows’ body condition and presence of Yersinia spp. were found. We conclude that two determinants of pathogen infection dynamics, body condition and pathogen occurrence, vary along an urbanization gradient, potentially mediating the impact of urbanization on avian health. PMID:29281672

  11. Evidence for mito-nuclear and sex-linked reproductive barriers between the hybrid Italian sparrow and its parent species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra N Trier

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of reproductive isolation between homoploid hybrid species and their parent species have rarely been carried out. Here we investigate reproductive barriers between a recently recognized hybrid bird species, the Italian sparrow Passer italiae and its parent species, the house sparrow P. domesticus and Spanish sparrow P. hispaniolensis. Reproductive barriers can be difficult to study in hybrid species due to lack of geographical contact between taxa. However, the Italian sparrow lives parapatrically with the house sparrow and both sympatrically and parapatrically with the Spanish sparrow. Through whole-transcriptome sequencing of six individuals of each of the two parent species we identified a set of putatively parent species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers. After filtering for coverage, genotyping success (>97% and multiple SNPs per gene, we retained 86 species-informative, genic, nuclear and mitochondrial SNP markers from 84 genes for analysis of 612 male individuals. We show that a disproportionately large number of sex-linked genes, as well as the mitochondria and nuclear genes with mitochondrial function, exhibit sharp clines at the boundaries between the hybrid and the parent species, suggesting a role for mito-nuclear and sex-linked incompatibilities in forming reproductive barriers. We suggest that genomic conflict via interactions between mitochondria and sex-linked genes with mitochondrial function ("mother's curse" at one boundary and centromeric drive at the other may best explain our findings. Hybrid speciation in the Italian sparrow may therefore be influenced by mechanisms similar to those involved in non-hybrid speciation, but with the formation of two geographically separated species boundaries instead of one. Spanish sparrow alleles at some loci have spread north to form reproductive barriers with house sparrows, while house sparrow alleles at different loci, including some on the same chromosome

  12. Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism of the Black-throated Sparrow in central Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, M.J.; van Riper, Charles

    2004-01-01

    From 1994-1996 we investigated effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism on Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) nesting success in the Verde Valley of central Arizona. Of 56 Black-throated Sparrow nests, 52% were parasitized. Black-throated Sparrows appear to respond to natural parasitism by accepting the cowbird egg, deserting the nest, or burying the cowbird egg. Removal and damage of host eggs by female cowbirds effectively reduced clutch size from an average of 3.4 to 1.9 eggs. Because of this reduced clutch size, Black-throated Sparrow reproductive success was significantly lower in parasitized nests (0.2 young fledged/ nest) as compared to nonparasitized nests (1.6 young fledged/nest). When comparing cowbird parasitism between two habitat types, we found significantly higher parasitism frequencies in crucifixion-thorn (Canotia holacantha) versus creosote-bush (Larrea divaricata) habitat. We argue that this difference in parasitism is due to the greater number of tall perches (e.g., shrubs >4 m) available in crucifixion-thorn habitat, providing vantage points for female cowbirds to better find Black-throated Sparrow nests.

  13. Developmental adjustments of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings to diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzek, Paweł; Kohl, Kevin; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H

    2009-05-01

    House sparrow nestlings are fed primarily on insects during the first 3 days of their life, and seeds become gradually more important afterwards. We tested whether developmental changes in size and functional capacity of the digestive tract in young house sparrows are genetically hard-wired and independent of diet, or can be modified by food type. Under laboratory conditions, we hand-fed young house sparrows with either a starch-free insect-like diet, based mainly on protein and fat, or a starch-containing diet with a mix of substrates similar to that offered to older nestlings in natural nests when they are gradually weaned from an insect to a seed diet. Patterns of overall development in body size and thermoregulatory ability, and in alimentary organ size increase, were relatively similar in house sparrow nestlings developing on both diets. However, total intestinal maltase activity, important in carbohydrate breakdown, was at least twice as high in house sparrow nestlings fed the starch-containing diet (PFuture studies must test whether the diet-dependent increase in maltase activity during development is irreversible or reversible, reflecting, respectively, a developmental plasticity or a phenotypic flexibility.

  14. Henslow's sparrow winter-survival estimates and response to prescribed burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, B.S.; Krementz, D.G.; Woodrey, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Wintering Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) populations rely on lands managed with prescribed burning, but the effects of various burn regimes on their overwinter survival are unknown. We studied wintering Henslow's sparrows in coastal pine savannas at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson County, Mississippi, USA, during January and February 2001 and 2002. We used the known-fate modeling procedure in program MARK to evaluate the effects of burn age (1 or 2 growing seasons elapsed), burn season (growing, dormant), and calendar year on the survival rates of 83 radiomarked Henslow's sparrows. We found strong evidence that Henslow's sparrow survival rates differed by burn age (with higher survival in recently burned sites) and by year (with lower survival rates in 2001 likely because of drought conditions). We found some evidence that survival rates also differed by bum season (with higher survival in growing-season sites), although the effects of burn season were only apparent in recently burned sites. Avian predation was the suspected major cause of mortality (causing 6 of 14 deaths) with 1 confirmed loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) depredation. Our results indicated that recently burned savannas provide high-quality wintering habitats and suggested that managers can improve conditions for wintering Henslow's sparrows by burning a large percentage of savannas each year.

  15. Male Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia) Nest Defence Correlates with Female Ornament Size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between male nest defence and female breast patch size in an alpine population of rock sparrow (Petronia petronia) in northern Italy. We presented a mounted weasel (Mustela nivalis), a common nest predator, to 28 pairs breeding in nest boxes, with 12-13-d-old nest......We investigated the relationship between male nest defence and female breast patch size in an alpine population of rock sparrow (Petronia petronia) in northern Italy. We presented a mounted weasel (Mustela nivalis), a common nest predator, to 28 pairs breeding in nest boxes, with 12-13-d...... defence factor was significantly related only to female breast patch size. We argue that male rock sparrows apparently make parental investment decisions according to their mate's quality, and examine possible alternative hypotheses....

  16. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia L Winder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010. Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1 Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2 Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3 Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663 were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9 and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23. Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315. However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population

  17. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Virginia L

    2012-01-01

    Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively) depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg) bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010). Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1) Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2) Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3) Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663) were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9) and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23). Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315). However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population assessments and management for these species.

  18. Female rock sparrows (Petronia petronia), not males, respond differently to simulations of different courtship interaction outcomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; Peake, Tom M.; McGregor, Peter K.

    2007-01-01

    individuals of both sexes have access to a range of mating strategies. We tested whether rock sparrows (Petronia petronia) behave differently after hearing playbacks of vocal interactions simulating a successful courtship as opposed to playback of an unsuccessful courtship. We found no support for our...

  19. Male rock sparrows adjust their breeding strategy according to female ornamentation: parental or mating investment?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pilastro, Andrea; Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the relations between female quality and ornamentation and between male breeding investment and female ornamentation in the rock sparrow, Petronia petronia, a passerine in which both sexes have a yellow breast patch. Breast patch size in females was positively correlated with body...

  20. Reading, Laterality, and the Brain: Early Contributions on Reading Disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jack M.; Morris, Robin D.

    2014-01-01

    Although best known for work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, training in speech pathology and a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology was the foundation for Sara Sparrow's long-term interest in reading disabilities. Her first papers were on dyslexia and laterality, and the…

  1. 76 FR 65118 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Sparrows Point, MD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-20

    ...-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Sparrows Point, MD AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION... regulation. The Baltimore County Revenue Authority (Dundalk Avenue) highway toll drawbridge across Bear Creek... applicable or necessary. Basis and Purpose The drawbridge across Bear Creek, mile 1.5 was removed and...

  2. Characterization of the nest site preferences of Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, and hybrids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltmarsh Sparrows (hereafter SALS) are named on the National Audubon Society’s current WatchList as a species of global conservation concern (National Audubon Society 2007). Anthropogenic climate change is perhaps the largest threat to SALS populations because sea level ri...

  3. Prevalence of filarioid nematodes and trypanosomes in American robins and house sparrows, Chicago USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamer, Gabriel L; Anderson, Tavis K; Berry, Garrett E; Makohon-Moore, Alvin P; Crafton, Jeffrey C; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Dolinski, Amanda C; Krebs, Bethany L; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Muzzall, Patrick M; Goldberg, Tony L; Walker, Edward D

    2013-12-01

    Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host-parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West Nile virus (WNV), the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus), during the 2010-2011 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Rates of nematode microfilariemia were 1.5% of the robins (n = 70) and 4.2% of the house sparrows (n = 72) collected during the day and 11.1% of the roosting robins (n = 63) and 0% of the house sparrows (n = 11) collected at night. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from these parasites resolved two clades of filarioid nematodes. Microscopy revealed that 18.0% of American robins (n = 133) and 16.9% of house sparrows (n = 83) hosted trypanosomes in the blood. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the 18s rRNA gene revealed that the trypanosomes fall within previously described avian trypanosome clades. These results document hemoparasites in the blood of WNV hosts in a center of endemic WNV transmission, suggesting a potential for direct or indirect interactions with the virus.

  4. Prevalence of filarioid nematodes and trypanosomes in American robins and house sparrows, Chicago USA☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamer, Gabriel L.; Anderson, Tavis K.; Berry, Garrett E.; Makohon-Moore, Alvin P.; Crafton, Jeffrey C.; Brawn, Jeffrey D.; Dolinski, Amanda C.; Krebs, Bethany L.; Ruiz, Marilyn O.; Muzzall, Patrick M.; Goldberg, Tony L.; Walker, Edward D.

    2012-01-01

    Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host–parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West Nile virus (WNV), the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus), during the 2010–2011 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Rates of nematode microfilariemia were 1.5% of the robins (n = 70) and 4.2% of the house sparrows (n = 72) collected during the day and 11.1% of the roosting robins (n = 63) and 0% of the house sparrows (n = 11) collected at night. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from these parasites resolved two clades of filarioid nematodes. Microscopy revealed that 18.0% of American robins (n = 133) and 16.9% of house sparrows (n = 83) hosted trypanosomes in the blood. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the 18s rRNA gene revealed that the trypanosomes fall within previously described avian trypanosome clades. These results document hemoparasites in the blood of WNV hosts in a center of endemic WNV transmission, suggesting a potential for direct or indirect interactions with the virus. PMID:24533314

  5. Status assessment and conservation plan for the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2015-01-01

    The Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) breeds in grassland habitats throughout much of the U.S., southern and southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico. Additional subspecies are resident in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. It winters primarily in the coastal states of the southeastern U.S., southern portions of the southwestern states, and in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The species prefers relatively open grassland with intermediate grass height and density and patchy bare ground; because it is widely distributed across different grassland types in North America, it selects different vegetation structure and species composition depending on what is available. In the winter, they use a broader range of grassland habitats including open grasslands, as well as weedy fields and grasslands with woody vegetation. Analyses show significant range-wide population declines from the late 1960s through the present, primarily caused by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. Grasshopper Sparrow is still a relatively common and broadly distributed species, but because of significant population declines and stakeholder concerns, the species is considered of conservation concern nationally and at the state level for numerous states. Many factors, often related to different grassland management practices (e.g., grazing, burning, mowing, management of shrub encroachment, etc.) throughout the species’ range, have impacts on Grasshopper Sparrow distribution, abundance, and reproduction and may represent limiting factors or threats given steep declines in this species’ population. Because of the concerns for this species, Grasshopper Sparrow has been identified as a focal species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and this Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for Grasshopper Sparrow has been developed. Through literature searches and input from stakeholders across its range, this plan presents information about

  6. Equipment for neutron measurements at VR-1 Sparrow training reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kolros, Antonin; Huml, Ondrej; Kos, Josef

    2008-01-01

    Full text: The VR-1 Sparrow training reactor is the experimental nuclear facility especially employed for education and teaching of students from different technical universities in the Czech Republic and other countries. Since 2005 the uniform all-purpose devices EMK310 have been used for measurement at reactor laboratory with different type of gas filled neutron detectors. The neutron detection system are employed for reactivity measurement, control rod calibration, critical experiment, study of delayed neutrons, study of nuclear reactor dynamics and study of detection systems dead time. The small dimension isotropic detectors are especially used for measurement of thermal neutron flux distribution inside the reactor core. The EMK-310 is a high performance, portable, three-channel fast amplitude analyzer designed for counting applications. It was developed for nuclear applications and made in close co-operation with firm TEMA Ltd. The precise rack eliminates electromagnetic disturbance and contains the control unit and four modules. The modules of high voltage supply and amplifier for gas filled detectors or scintillation probes are used in basic configuration. Software is tailored specifically to the reactor measurement and allows full online control. For applications involving the study of signals that may vary with the time, example study of delayed neutrons or nuclear reactor dynamics, the EMK-310 provides a Multichannel Scaling (MCS) acquisition mode. MCS dwell time can be set from 2 ms. Now, the new generation of digital multichannel analyzers DA310 is introduced. They have similarly attributes as EMK310 but the output information of unipolar signals from detector is more complete. The pipeline A/D converter with field programmable gate array (FPGA) is the hearth of the DA310 device. The resolution is 12 bits (4096 channels); the sample frequency is 80 MHz. The application for the neutron noise analysis is supposed. The correction method for non linearity

  7. Natural epigenetic variation within and among six subspecies of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riyahi, Sepand; Vilatersana, Roser; Schrey, Aaron W; Ghorbani Node, Hassan; Aliabadian, Mansour; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2017-11-01

    Epigenetic modifications can respond rapidly to environmental changes and can shape phenotypic variation in accordance with environmental stimuli. One of the most studied epigenetic marks is DNA methylation. In the present study, we used the methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) technique to investigate the natural variation in DNA methylation within and among subspecies of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus We focused on five subspecies from the Middle East because they show great variation in many ecological traits and because this region is the probable origin for the house sparrow's commensal relationship with humans. We analysed house sparrows from Spain as an outgroup. The level of variation in DNA methylation was similar among the five house sparrow subspecies from the Middle East despite high phenotypic and environmental variation, but the non-commensal subspecies was differentiated from the other four (commensal) Middle Eastern subspecies. Further, the European subspecies was differentiated from all other subspecies in DNA methylation. Our results indicate that variation in DNA methylation does not strictly follow subspecies designations. We detected a correlation between methylation level and some morphological traits, such as standardized bill length, and we suggest that part of the high morphological variation in the native populations of the house sparrow is influenced by differentially methylated regions in specific loci throughout the genome. We also detected 10 differentially methylated loci among subspecies and three loci that differentiated between commensal or non-commensal status. Therefore, the MSAP technique detected larger scale differences among the European and non-commensal subspecies, but did not detect finer scale differences among the other Middle Eastern subspecies. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Environment, behavior and physiology: do birds use barometric pressure to predict storms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuner, Creagh W; Sprague, Rachel S; Patterson, Stephen H; Woods, H Arthur

    2013-06-01

    Severe storms can pose a grave challenge to the temperature and energy homeostasis of small endothermic vertebrates. Storms are accompanied by lower temperatures and wind, increasing metabolic expenditure, and can inhibit foraging, thereby limiting energy intake. To avoid these potential problems, most endotherms have mechanisms for offsetting the energetic risks posed by storms. One possibility is to use cues to predict oncoming storms and to alter physiology and behavior in ways that make survival more likely. Barometric pressure declines predictably before inclement weather, and several lines of evidence indicate that animals alter behavior based on changes in ambient pressure. Here we examined the effects of declining barometric pressure on physiology and behavior in the white-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys. Using field data from a long-term study, we first evaluated the relationship between barometric pressure, storms and stress physiology in free-living white-crowned sparrows. We then manipulated barometric pressure experimentally in the laboratory and determined how it affects activity, food intake, metabolic rates and stress physiology. The field data showed declining barometric pressure in the 12-24 h preceding snowstorms, but we found no relationship between barometric pressure and stress physiology. The laboratory study showed that declining barometric pressure stimulated food intake, but had no effect on metabolic rate or stress physiology. These data suggest that white-crowned sparrows can sense and respond to declining barometric pressure, and we propose that such an ability may be common in wild vertebrates, especially small ones for whom individual storms can be life-threatening events.

  9. Developing a Dynamic SPARROW Water Quality Decision Support System Using NASA Remotely-Sensed Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hamdan, M. Z.; Smith, R. A.; Hoos, A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Alexander, R. B.; Crosson, W. L.; Srikishen, J.; Estes, M., Jr.; Cruise, J.; Al-Hamdan, A.; Ellenburg, W. L., II; Flores, A.; Sanford, W. E.; Zell, W.; Reitz, M.; Miller, M. P.; Journey, C. A.; Befus, K. M.; Swann, R.; Herder, T.; Sherwood, E.; Leverone, J.; Shelton, M.; Smith, E. T.; Anastasiou, C. J.; Seachrist, J.; Hughes, A.; Graves, D.

    2017-12-01

    The USGS Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) surface water quality modeling system has been widely used for long term, steady state water quality analysis. However, users have increasingly requested a dynamic version of SPARROW that can provide seasonal estimates of nutrients and suspended sediment to receiving waters. The goal of this NASA-funded project is to develop a dynamic decision support system to enhance the southeast SPARROW water quality model and finer-scale dynamic models for selected coastal watersheds through the use of remotely-sensed data and other NASA Land Information System (LIS) products. The spatial and temporal scale of satellite remote sensing products and LIS modeling data make these sources ideal for the purposes of development and operation of the dynamic SPARROW model. Remote sensing products including MODIS vegetation indices, SMAP surface soil moisture, and OMI atmospheric chemistry along with LIS-derived evapotranspiration (ET) and soil temperature and moisture products will be included in model development and operation. MODIS data will also be used to map annual land cover/land use in the study areas and in conjunction with Landsat and Sentinel to identify disturbed areas that might be sources of sediment and increased phosphorus loading through exposure of the bare soil. These data and others constitute the independent variables in a regression analysis whose dependent variables are the water quality constituents total nitrogen, total phosphorus, and suspended sediment. Remotely-sensed variables such as vegetation indices and ET can be proxies for nutrient uptake by vegetation; MODIS Leaf Area Index can indicate sources of phosphorus from vegetation; soil moisture and temperature are known to control rates of denitrification; and bare soil areas serve as sources of enhanced nutrient and sediment production. The enhanced SPARROW dynamic models will provide improved tools for end users to manage water

  10. The distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in song sparrows along Arizona's upper Santa Cruz River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals are persistent environmental contaminants, and transport of metals into the environment poses a threat to ecosystems, as plants and wildlife are susceptible to long-term exposure, bioaccumulation, and potential toxicity. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in southwestern song sparrows (Melospiza melodia fallax), a resident riparian bird species that occurs along the US/Mexico border in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to a 2009 international wastewater facility upgrade, and (3) assess the condition of song sparrows among sites with differing potential levels of exposure. We examined five study sites along with a reference site that reflect different potential sources of contamination. Body mass residuals and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Birds at our study sites typically had higher metal concentrations than birds at the reference site. Copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium in song sparrows did exceed background levels, although most metals were below background concentrations determined from previous studies. Song sparrows generally showed lower heavy metal concentrations compared to studies conducted prior to the 2009 wastewater facility upgrade. We found no cascading effects as a result of metal exposure.

  11. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, J; Dawson, D A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-09-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierarchical way among different urbanization classes. Principal coordinate analyses did not support the hypothesis that urban/suburban and rural populations comprise two distinct genetic clusters. Comparison of FST values at different hierarchical scales revealed drift as an important force of population differentiation. Redundancy analyses revealed that genetic structure was strongly affected by both spatial variation and level of urbanization. The results shown here can be used as baseline information for future genetic monitoring programmes and provide additional insights into contemporary house sparrow dynamics along urbanization gradients.

  12. Parasite prevalence in Worthen’s Sparrow (Spizella wortheni: Mexican endemic and endangered species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Canales-del-Castillo

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Worthen’s sparrow is an endemic bird of the Mexican Plateau that due to its limited distribution and population size is considered to be endangered, both nationally and globally. In general, species at risk have been, at least historically, under population size and genetic diversity reductions, which are factors that can act together to increase infections risk and susceptibility. Therefore, with the purpose to determine such propensity in this species, we analyzed the intestinal parasitic infection through fecal samples from 11 individuals, and hemoparasites, hematocrit and differential leukocyte quantification from one sample. Results indicated that 91% of the samples had one parasite taxon, with genus Cryptosporidium showing the highest prevalence (64%, followed by Eimeria (55%, and Ascaridia (9%. However, mean values of oocysts/eggs per gram indicated a low parasitic infection. We found no blood parasites, and the white blood cell counts were among reference values for other sparrow species.

  13. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, Joachim; Dawson, D. A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierar...

  14. Nest predation, clutch size, and physiological costs of egg production in the song sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    OpenAIRE

    Travers, Marc Simon

    2009-01-01

    We examined the effects of nest predation on both clutch size and the physiological cost of egg production using a clutch removal experiment in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), inducing “high nest predation” (HNP) females to produce many replacement clutches compared to “low nest predation” (LNP) females. In a preliminary analysis we investigated the utility of multiple measures to assess “physiological condition”, including inter-correlations between physiological traits, sex d...

  15. Physiological responses to food deprivation in the house sparrow, a species not adapted to prolonged fasting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalilieh, Anton; McCue, Marshall D; Pinshow, Berry

    2012-09-01

    Many wild birds fast during reproduction, molting, migration, or because of limited food availability. Species that are adapted to fasting sequentially oxidize endogenous fuels in three discrete phases. We hypothesized that species not adapted to long fasts have truncated, but otherwise similar, phases of fasting, sequential changes in fuel oxidization, and similar changes in blood metabolites to fasting-adapted species. We tested salient predictions in house sparrows (Passer domesticus biblicus), a subspecies that is unable to tolerate more than ~32 h of fasting. Our main hypothesis was that fasting sparrows sequentially oxidize substrates in the order carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. We dosed 24 house sparrows with [(13)C]glucose, palmitic acid, or glycine and measured (13)CO(2) in their breath while they fasted for 24 h. To ascertain whether blood metabolite levels reflect fasting-induced changes in metabolic fuels, we also measured glucose, triacylglycerides, and β-hydroxybutyrate in the birds' blood. The results of both breath (13)CO(2) and plasma metabolite analyses did not support our hypothesis; i.e., that sparrows have the same metabolic responses characteristic of fasting-adapted species, but on a shorter time scale. Contrary to our main prediction, we found that recently assimilated (13)C-tracers were oxidized continuously in different patterns with no definite peaks corresponding to the three phases of fasting and also that changes in plasma metabolite levels accurately tracked the changes found by breath analysis. Notably, the rate of recently assimilated [(13)C]glycine oxidization was significantly higher (P fast for longer than 32 h is likely related to their inability to accrue large lipid stores, separately oxidize different fuels, and/or spare protein during fasting.

  16. Distribution of 14C- labelled methyl parathion in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatia, P.; Garg, A.K.; Kochhar, V.

    1994-01-01

    The activity of an insecticide when evaluated on dynamic basis is largely explained by differences in the rate of penetration, distribution and excretion. These mechanisms determine the fate of insecticides in the living system. The distribution of an organophosphorus insecticide i.e. 14 C-methyl parathion, based studies conducted on various aspects of it in relation to house sparrow, is presented. 9 refs., 1 fig

  17. Assessing habitat quality of farm-dwelling house sparrows in different agricultural landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Post, Maria; Borgström, Pernilla; Smith, Henrik G; Olsson, Ola

    2012-04-01

    Having historically been abundant throughout Europe, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) has in recent decades suffered severe population declines in many urban and rural areas. The decline in rural environments is believed to be caused by agricultural intensification, which has resulted in landscape simplification. We used giving-up densities (GUDs) of house sparrows feeding in artificial food patches placed in farmlands of southern Sweden to determine habitat quality during the breeding season at two different spatial scales: the landscape and the patch scale. At the landscape scale, GUDs were lower on farms in homogeneous landscapes dominated by crop production compared to more heterogeneous landscapes with mixed farming or animal husbandry. At the patch level, feeding patches with a higher predation risk (caused by fitting a wall to the patch to obstruct vigilance) had higher GUDs. In addition, GUDs were positively related to population size, which strongly implies that GUDs reflect habitat quality. However, the increase followed different patterns in homogeneous and heterogeneous landscapes, indicating differing population limiting mechanisms in these two environments. We found no effect of the interaction between patch type and landscape type, suggesting that predation risk was similar in both landscape types. Thus, our study suggests that simplified landscapes constitute a poorer feeding environment for house sparrows during breeding, that the population-regulating mechanisms in the landscapes differ, but that predation risk is the same across the landscape types.

  18. Conservation Controversy: Sparrow, Marshall, and the Mi’kmaq of Esgenoôpetitj

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah J. King

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the interplay between the Sparrow and Marshall decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the sovereigntist and traditionalist convictions of the Mi’kmaq of the Esgenoôpetitj/BurntChurch First Nation, as expressed in the conservationist language of the Draft for the Esgenoopotitj First Nations (EFN Fishery Act (Fisheries Policy. With the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Sparrow, conservation became an important justification available to the Canadian government to support its regulatory infringement on aboriginal and treaty rights. Ten years later, in Marshall, the Court recognized the treaty rights of the Mi’kmaq to a limited commercial fishery. The EFN Fishery Act, written to govern thecontroversial post-Marshall fishery in Esgenoôpetitj (also known as the Burnt Church First Nation demonstrates that for the Mi’kmaq, scientific management, traditional knowledge, sovereignty and spirituality are understood in a holistic philosophy. The focus placed on conservation by the courts, and the managementfocusedapproach taken by the government at Esgenoôpetitj have led to government policy which treats conservation simply as a resource access and management problem. Conservation, which the Court deems“uncontroversial” in Sparrow, is a politically loaded ideal in post-Marshall Burnt Church.

  19. 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.

  20. SPARROW models used to understand nutrient sources in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. To describe where and from what sources those loads originate, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were constructed for the MARB using geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and calibration sites throughout the MARB. Previous studies found that highest N and P yields were from the north-central part of the MARB (Corn Belt). Based on the MARB SPARROW models, highest N yields were still from the Corn Belt but centered over Iowa and Indiana, and highest P yields were widely distributed throughout the center of the MARB. Similar to that found in other studies, agricultural inputs were found to be the largest N and P sources throughout most of the MARB: farm fertilizers were the largest N source, whereas farm fertilizers, manure, and urban inputs were dominant P sources. The MARB models enable individual N and P sources to be defined at scales ranging from SPARROW catchments (∼50 km2) to the entire area of the MARB. Inputs of P from WWTPs and urban areas were more important than found in most other studies. Information from this study will help to reduce nutrient loading from the MARB by providing managers with a description of where each of the sources of N and P are most important, thus providing a basis for prioritizing management actions and ultimately reducing the extent of Gulf hypoxia.

  1. A longitudinal genetic survey identifies temporal shifts in the population structure of Dutch house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousseau, L; Husemann, M; Foppen, R; Vangestel, C; Lens, L

    2016-01-01

    Dutch house sparrow (Passer domesticus) densities dropped by nearly 50% since the early 1980s, and similar collapses in population sizes have been reported across Europe. Whether, and to what extent, such relatively recent demographic changes are accompanied by concomitant shifts in the genetic population structure of this species needs further investigation. Therefore, we here explore temporal shifts in genetic diversity, genetic structure and effective sizes of seven Dutch house sparrow populations. To allow the most powerful statistical inference, historical populations were resampled at identical locations and each individual bird was genotyped using nine polymorphic microsatellites. Although the demographic history was not reflected by a reduction in genetic diversity, levels of genetic differentiation increased over time, and the original, panmictic population (inferred from the museum samples) diverged into two distinct genetic clusters. Reductions in census size were supported by a substantial reduction in effective population size, although to a smaller extent. As most studies of contemporary house sparrow populations have been unable to identify genetic signatures of recent population declines, results of this study underpin the importance of longitudinal genetic surveys to unravel cryptic genetic patterns. PMID:27273323

  2. Developmental plasticity of cutaneous water loss and lipid composition in stratum corneum of desert and mesic nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-10-07

    Intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, form a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. Previously, we measured cutaneous water loss (CWL) and lipid composition of the SC of adult house sparrows from two populations, one living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and another living in mesic Ohio. Adult desert house sparrows had a lower CWL, a lower proportion of free fatty acids, and a higher proportion of ceramides and cerebrosides in the SC compared with mesic sparrows. In this study, we investigated developmental plasticity of CWL and lipid composition of the SC in desert and mesic nestling house sparrows reared in low and high humidity and compared our results with previous work on adults. We measured CWL of nestlings and analyzed the lipid composition of the SC using thin-layer chromatography. We showed that nestling house sparrows from both localities had higher CWL than adults in their natural environment, a result of major modifications of the lipid composition of the SC. The expression of plasticity in CWL seems to be a response to opposed selection pressures, thermoregulation and water conservation, at different life stages, on which regulation of CWL plays a crucial role. Desert nestlings showed a greater degree of plasticity in CWL and lipid composition of the SC than did mesic nestlings, a finding consistent with the idea that organisms exposed to more environmental stress ought to be more plastic than individuals living in more benign environments.

  3. A possible effect of electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone base stations on the number of breeding house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaert, Joris; Bauwens, Dirk

    2007-01-01

    A possible effect of long-term exposure to low-intensity electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone (GSM) base stations on the number of House Sparrows during the breeding season was studied in six residential districts in Belgium. We sampled 150 point locations within the 6 areas to examine small-scale geographic variation in the number of House Sparrow males and the strength of electromagnetic radiation from base stations. Spatial variation in the number of House Sparrow males was negatively and highly significantly related to the strength of electric fields from both the 900 and 1800 MHz downlink frequency bands and from the sum of these bands (Chi(2)-tests and AIC-criteria, Pnegative relationship was highly similar within each of the six study areas, despite differences among areas in both the number of birds and radiation levels. Thus, our data show that fewer House Sparrow males were seen at locations with relatively high electric field strength values of GSM base stations and therefore support the notion that long-term exposure to higher levels of radiation negatively affects the abundance or behavior of House Sparrows in the wild.

  4. Effects of winter marsh burning on abundance and nesting activity of Louisiana seaside sparrows in the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrey, S.W.; Afton, A.D.

    2000-01-01

    Louisiana Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus fisheri) breed and winter exclusively in brackish and saline marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Many Gulf Coast marshes, particularly in the Chenier Plain of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas, are burned intentionally in fall or winter as part of waterfowl management programs. Fire reportedly has negatively affected two Seaside Sparrow subspecies (A. m. nigrescens and A. m. mirabilis) in Florida, but there is no published information regarding effects of fire on A. m. fisheri. We compared abundance of territorial male Louisiana Seaside Sparrows, number of nesting activity indicators, and vegetation structure in paired burned and unburned plots in Chenier Plain marshes in southwestern Louisiana during the 1996 breeding season (April-July) before experimental winter burns (January 1997) and again during two breeding seasons post-burn (1997-1998). We found that abundance of male sparrows decreased in burned plots during the first breeding season post-burn, but was higher than that of unburned plots during the second breeding season post-burn. Indicators of nesting activity showed a similar but non-significant pattern in response to burning. Sparrow abundance and nesting activity seemingly are linked to dead vegetation cover, which was lower in burned plots during the first breeding season post-burn, but did not differ from that in unburned plots during the second breeding season post-burn. We recommend that marsh management plans in the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain integrate waterfowl and Seaside Sparrow management by maintaining a mosaic of burned and unburned marshes and allowing vegetation to recover for at least two growing seasons before reburning a marsh.

  5. Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Avipoxvirus in House Sparrows in Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Ruiz-Martínez

    Full Text Available Avipoxvirus (APV is a fairly common virus affecting birds that causes morbidity and mortality in wild and captive birds. We studied the prevalence of pox-like lesions and genetic diversity of APV in house sparrows (Passer domesticus in natural, agricultural and urban areas in southern Spain in 2013 and 2014 and in central Spain for 8 months (2012-2013. Overall, 3.2% of 2,341 house sparrows visually examined in southern Spain had cutaneous lesions consistent with avian pox. A similar prevalence (3% was found in 338 birds from central Spain. Prevalence was higher in hatch-year birds than in adults. We did not detect any clear spatial or temporal patterns of APV distribution. Molecular analyses of poxvirus-like lesions revealed that 63% of the samples were positive. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of 29 DNA sequences from the fpv167 gene, detected two strains belonging to the canarypox clade (subclades B1 and B2 previously found in Spain. One of them appears predominant in Iberia and North Africa and shares 70% similarity to fowlpox and canarypox virus. This APV strain has been identified in a limited number of species in the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and Hungary. The second one has a global distribution and has been found in numerous wild bird species around the world. To our knowledge, this represents the largest study of avian poxvirus disease in the broadly distributed house sparrow and strongly supports the findings that Avipox prevalence in this species in South and central Spain is moderate and the genetic diversity low.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Avipoxvirus in House Sparrows in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Martínez, Jorge; Ferraguti, Martina; Figuerola, Jordi; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Williams, Richard Alexander John; Herrera-Dueñas, Amparo; Aguirre, José Ignacio; Soriguer, Ramón; Escudero, Clara; Moens, Michaël André Jean; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Benítez, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Avipoxvirus (APV) is a fairly common virus affecting birds that causes morbidity and mortality in wild and captive birds. We studied the prevalence of pox-like lesions and genetic diversity of APV in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in natural, agricultural and urban areas in southern Spain in 2013 and 2014 and in central Spain for 8 months (2012-2013). Overall, 3.2% of 2,341 house sparrows visually examined in southern Spain had cutaneous lesions consistent with avian pox. A similar prevalence (3%) was found in 338 birds from central Spain. Prevalence was higher in hatch-year birds than in adults. We did not detect any clear spatial or temporal patterns of APV distribution. Molecular analyses of poxvirus-like lesions revealed that 63% of the samples were positive. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of 29 DNA sequences from the fpv167 gene, detected two strains belonging to the canarypox clade (subclades B1 and B2) previously found in Spain. One of them appears predominant in Iberia and North Africa and shares 70% similarity to fowlpox and canarypox virus. This APV strain has been identified in a limited number of species in the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco and Hungary. The second one has a global distribution and has been found in numerous wild bird species around the world. To our knowledge, this represents the largest study of avian poxvirus disease in the broadly distributed house sparrow and strongly supports the findings that Avipox prevalence in this species in South and central Spain is moderate and the genetic diversity low.

  8. Application of SPARROW modeling to understanding contaminant fate and transport from uplands to streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ator, Scott; Garcia, Ana Maria.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding spatial variability in contaminant fate and transport is critical to efficient regional water-quality restoration. An approach to capitalize on previously calibrated spatially referenced regression (SPARROW) models to improve the understanding of contaminant fate and transport was developed and applied to the case of nitrogen in the 166,000 km2 Chesapeake Bay watershed. A continuous function of four hydrogeologic, soil, and other landscape properties significant (α = 0.10) to nitrogen transport from uplands to streams was evaluated and compared among each of the more than 80,000 individual catchments (mean area, 2.1 km2) in the watershed. Budgets (including inputs, losses or net change in storage in uplands and stream corridors, and delivery to tidal waters) were also estimated for nitrogen applied to these catchments from selected upland sources. Most (81%) of such inputs are removed, retained, or otherwise processed in uplands rather than transported to surface waters. Combining SPARROW results with previous budget estimates suggests 55% of this processing is attributable to denitrification, 23% to crop or timber harvest, and 6% to volatilization. Remaining upland inputs represent a net annual increase in landscape storage in soils or biomass exceeding 10 kg per hectare in some areas. Such insights are important for planning watershed restoration and for improving future watershed models.

  9. Development of skin structure and cutaneous water loss in nestling desert house sparrows from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groff, Brandon; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Yamaguchi, Mamoru; Williams, Joseph B

    2007-06-01

    The outer layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum (SC), contains lipids and corneocytes, which together form layers that limit cutaneous water loss (CWL). We examined the development of structure of the SC and CWL in nestling House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Saudi Arabia. We measured CWL of nestlings, and characterized development of their epidermis using electron microscopy. We tested two antagonistic hypotheses, that CWL decreases as nestlings age, a response to increased thickness of SC, and an opposite idea that CWL increases as nestlings age even though the number of layers of the SC remains constant. CWL of nestling House Sparrows varied with developmental stages, in a non-linear fashion, but not significantly so. CWL of nestlings averaged 7.31+/-1.5 g H(2)O/(m(2) h), whereas for adults it was 4.95 g/(m(2) h); adult CWL was 67.7% that of nestlings. We found that morphology of the SC did not change linearly with age, but seemed to vary with developmental stage. CWL decreased as the SC thickness increased and as the total thickness of the corneocytes increased. Further, we found that CWL decreased as the thickness of the extracellular space increased, number of corneocytes increased, and proportion of the SC that is extracellular space increased.

  10. Postfledging survival of Grasshopper Sparrows in grasslands managed with fire and grazing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovick, Torre J.; Miller, James R.; Koford, Rolf R.; Engle, David M.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2011-01-01

    More accurate estimates of survival after nestlings fledge are needed for population models to be parameterized and population dynamics to be understood during this vulnerable life stage. The period after fledging is the time when chicks learn to fly, forage, and hide from predators. We monitored postfledging survival, causespecific mortality, and movements of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) in grassland managed with fire and grazing. In 2009, we attached radio transmitters to 50 nestlings from 50 different broods and modeled their survival in response to climatic, biological, and ecological variables. There was no effect of treatment on survival. The factor most influencing postfledging survival was age; no other variable was significant. The majority of chicks (74%) died within 3 days of radio-transmitter attachment. We attributed most mortality to mesopredators (48%) and exposure (28%). Fledglings' movements increased rapidly for the first 4 days after they left the nest and were relatively stable for the remaining 10 days we tracked them. On average, fledglings took flight for the first time 4 days after fledging and flew ≥10 m 9 days after fledging. Our data show that the Grasshopper Sparrow's survival rates may be less than most models relying on nest-success estimates predict, and we emphasize the importance of incorporating estimates of survival during the postfledging period in demographic models.

  11. Song sparrows Melospiza melodia have a home-field advantage in defending against sympatric malarial parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina

    2016-01-01

    Hosts and parasites interact on both evolutionary and ecological timescales. The outcome of these interactions, specifically whether hosts are more resistant to their local parasites (sympatric) than to parasites from another location (allopatric), is likely to affect the spread of infectious disease and the fitness consequences of host dispersal. We conducted a cross-infection experiment to determine whether song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) have an advantage in dealing with sympatric parasites. We captured birds from two breeding sites 437 km apart, and inoculated them with avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) cultured either from their capture site or from the other site. Infection risk was lower for birds exposed to sympatric than to allopatric Plasmodium lineages, suggesting that song sparrows may have a home-field advantage in defending against local parasite strains. This pattern was more pronounced at one capture site than at the other, consistent with mosaic models of host–parasite interactions. Home-field advantage may arise from evolutionary processes, whereby host populations become adapted to their local parasites, and/or from ecological interactions, whereby host individuals develop resistance to the local parasites through previous immune exposure. Our findings suggest that greater susceptibility to novel parasites may represent a fitness consequence of natal dispersal. PMID:27853596

  12. Surface ultrastructural (SEM) characteristics of oropharyngeal cavity of house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abumandour, Mohamed M A

    2018-06-01

    The focus of the present study is to provide a full morphological description of the oropharyngeal cavity of the house sparrow. The head of six birds was prepared for gross examination and by stereo and electron microscopy. The bifid lingual apex has multiple long, rostrally directed needle-like processes. The lateral border of the apex carries rostromedially directed needle-like processes. The dorsal lingual surface of the apex and body carries numerous caudomedially directed filiform papillae and many orifices of lingual salivary glands. The lingual body is divided into two parts: rostral and caudal. The caudal part is divided into two laterally elevated regions by a median groove, while the rostral part is bounded laterally by a rostrodorsally directed papillary row, which on SEM is formed from two rows. On SEM, the lingual root has many orifices of posterior salivary glands. The pharyngeal papillary row is located at the caudal border of the laryngeal mound, but this single papillary row is formed from two rows at SEM magnification. The laryngeal cleft continues caudally as a laryngeal fissure bounded by two longitudinal rows of caudally directed papillae; at high SEM magnification, this fissure is divided into two halves by a median ridge which carries caudally directed papillae on its posterior part. The choanal cleft proceeds rostrally by the median tubercle. There are a small number of orifices of palatine salivary glands. The morphological characters of the oropharyngeal cavity of the sparrow confirm its adaptation to surrounding environmental conditions and available food particles.

  13. 78 FR 17996 - MCM Rail Services LLC-Petition for Retroactive Exemption-In Sparrows Point, Md.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-25

    ... DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35707] MCM Rail Services... regarding a petition for an operation exemption submitted by MCM Rail Services LLC (MCM) regarding 12 miles of rail line in Sparrows Point, Md. (the Line). DATES: MCM's supplemental information is due by April...

  14. Analysing population numbers of the house sparrow in the Netherlands with a matrix model and suggestions for conservation measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klok, C.; Holtkamp, R.; Apeldoorn, van R.C.; Visser, M.E.; Hemerik, L.

    2006-01-01

    The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), formerly a common bird species, has shown a rapid decline in Western Europe over recent decades. In The Netherlands, its decline is apparent from 1990 onwards. Many causes for this decline have been suggested that all decrease the vital rates, i.e. survival and

  15. 75 FR 20591 - AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Final General Conformity...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-20

    ...] AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Final General Conformity... revised draft Final General Conformity Determination (GCD) for Pennsylvania to assess the potential air... the above-referenced dockets. In accordance with the General Conformity Regulations under the Code of...

  16. Sparrow nest survival in relation to prescribed fire and woody plant invasion in a northern mixed-grass prairie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Robert K.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Grant, Todd A.; Derrig, James L.; Rubin, Cory S.; Kerns, Courtney K.

    2017-01-01

    Prescribed fire is used to reverse invasion by woody vegetation on grasslands, but managers often are uncertain whether influences of shrub and tree reduction outweigh potential effects of fire on nest survival of grassland birds. During the 2001–2003 breeding seasons, we examined relationships of prescribed fire and woody vegetation to nest survival of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) and Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) in mixed-grass prairie at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern North Dakota, USA. We assessed relationships of nest survival to 1) recent fire history, in terms of number of breeding seasons (2, 3, or 4–5) since the last prescribed fire, and 2) prevalence of trees and tall (>1.5 m) shrubs in the landscape and of low (≤1.5 m) shrubs within 5 m of nests. Nest survival of both species exhibited distinct patterns related to age of the nest and day of year, but bore no relationship to fire history. Survival of clay-colored sparrow nests declined as the amount of trees and tall shrubs within 100 m increased, but we found no relationship to suggest nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) as an underlying mechanism. We found little evidence linking nest survival of Savannah sparrow to woody vegetation. Our results suggest that fire can be used to restore northern mixed-grass prairies without adversely affecting nest survival of ≥2 widespread passerine species. Survival of nests of clay-colored sparrow may increase when tall woody cover is reduced by fire. Our data lend support to the use of fire for reducing scattered patches of tall woody cover to enhance survival of nests of ≥1 grassland bird species in northern mixed-grass prairies, but further study is needed that incorporates experimental approaches and assessments of shorter term effects of fire on survival of nests of grassland passerines.

  17. Comparison of intraosseous pentobarbital administration and thoracic compression for euthanasia of anesthetized sparrows (Passer domesticus) and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul-Murphy, Joanne R; Engilis, Andrew; Pascoe, Peter J; Williams, D Colette; Gustavsen, Kate A; Drazenovich, Tracy L; Keel, M Kevin; Polley, Tamsen M; Engilis, Irene E

    2017-08-01

    OBJECTIVE To compare intraosseous pentobarbital treatment (IPT) and thoracic compression (TC) on time to circulatory arrest and an isoelectric electroencephalogram (EEG) in anesthetized passerine birds. ANIMALS 30 wild-caught adult birds (17 house sparrows [Passer domesticus] and 13 European starlings [Sturnus vulgaris]). PROCEDURES Birds were assigned to receive IPT or TC (n = 6/species/group). Birds were anesthetized, and carotid arterial pulses were monitored by Doppler methodology. Five subdermal braided-wire electrodes were used for EEG. Anesthetic depth was adjusted until a continuous EEG pattern was maintained, then euthanasia was performed. Times from initiation of euthanasia to cessation of carotid pulse and irreversible isoelectric EEG (indicators of death) were measured. Data (medians and first to third quartiles) were summarized and compared between groups within species. Necropsies were performed for all birds included in experiments and for another 6 birds euthanized under anesthesia by TC (4 sparrows and 1 starling) or IPT (1 sparrow). RESULTS Median time to isoelectric EEG did not differ significantly between treatment groups for sparrows (19.0 and 6.0 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively) or starlings (88.5 and 77.5 seconds for TC and IPT, respectively). Median times to cessation of pulse were significantly shorter for TC than for IPT in sparrows (0.0 vs 18.5 seconds) and starlings (9.5 vs 151.0 seconds). On necropsy, most (14/17) birds that underwent TC had grossly visible coelomic, pericardial, or perihepatic hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that TC might be an efficient euthanasia method for small birds. Digital pressure directly over the heart during TC obstructed venous return, causing rapid circulatory arrest, with rupture of the atria or vena cava in several birds. The authors propose that cardiac compression is a more accurate description than TC for this procedure.

  18. Expression and phylogenetic analyses reveal paralogous lineages of putatively classical and non-classical MHC-I genes in three sparrow species (Passer).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drews, Anna; Strandh, Maria; Råberg, Lars; Westerdahl, Helena

    2017-06-26

    The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) plays a central role in immunity and has been given considerable attention by evolutionary ecologists due to its associations with fitness-related traits. Songbirds have unusually high numbers of MHC class I (MHC-I) genes, but it is not known whether all are expressed and equally important for immune function. Classical MHC-I genes are highly expressed, polymorphic and present peptides to T-cells whereas non-classical MHC-I genes have lower expression, are more monomorphic and do not present peptides to T-cells. To get a better understanding of the highly duplicated MHC genes in songbirds, we studied gene expression in a phylogenetic framework in three species of sparrows (house sparrow, tree sparrow and Spanish sparrow), using high-throughput sequencing. We hypothesize that sparrows could have classical and non-classical genes, as previously indicated though never tested using gene expression. The phylogenetic analyses reveal two distinct types of MHC-I alleles among the three sparrow species, one with high and one with low level of polymorphism, thus resembling classical and non-classical genes, respectively. All individuals had both types of alleles, but there was copy number variation both within and among the sparrow species. However, the number of highly polymorphic alleles that were expressed did not vary between species, suggesting that the structural genomic variation is counterbalanced by conserved gene expression. Overall, 50% of the MHC-I alleles were expressed in sparrows. Expression of the highly polymorphic alleles was very variable, whereas the alleles with low polymorphism had uniformly low expression. Interestingly, within an individual only one or two alleles from the polymorphic genes were highly expressed, indicating that only a single copy of these is highly expressed. Taken together, the phylogenetic reconstruction and the analyses of expression suggest that sparrows have both classical and non

  19. Gender identification of Grasshopper Sparrows comparing behavioral, morphological, and molecular techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammer, F.K.; Wood, P.B.; McPherson, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Correct gender identification in monomorphic species is often difficult especially if males and females do not display obvious behavioral and breeding differences. We compared gender specific morphology and behavior with recently developed DNA techniques for gender identification in the monomorphic Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Gender was ascertained with DNA in 213 individuals using the 2550F/2718R primer set and 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. Field observations using behavior and breeding characteristics to identify gender matched DNA analyses with 100% accuracy for adult males and females. Gender was identified with DNA for all captured juveniles that did not display gender specific traits or behaviors in the field. The molecular techniques used offered a high level of accuracy and may be useful in studies of dispersal mechanisms and winter assemblage composition in monomorphic species.

  20. Cultural variation in savannah sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis, songs: an analysis using the meme concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnell

    1998-10-01

    I used the meme concept to investigate patterns of cultural variation among the songs of eight, geographically distinct populations of savannah sparrows. Memes composed of only one syllable were geographically widespread and randomly distributed among populations, but memes of two-, three- and four-syllables became progressively more restricted in their geographical distribution. Thus, the populations were memetically more similar with respect to one-syllable memes and more divergent with respect to larger memes. These results suggest that differences in memetic mutation rates and susceptibility to loss by memetic drift could be sufficient to create the observed pattern of greater divergence among populations for large memes. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  1. Distribution, habitat and behavior of grasshopper sparrows, Ammodramus savannarum(Passeriformes: Emberizidae in northeastern Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidia Arguedas-Negrini

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available During March and April of 1996, I made field observations of the sedentary subspecies of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum cracens, in 600 points of the pine savannas of northeastern Nicaragua. Isolated individuals were found in the humid depressions, but breeding populations were located exclusively in areas that had suffered a recent fire. Territorial behavior varied in intensity apparently as a function of territory size: the most aggressive males were those trying to defend smaller territories in populations close to Miskito villages, where most of the fires occur. In contrast to what is happening in other parts of Central America, the Nicaraguan grasshopper sparrow may be indirectly protected from extinction by the Miskito’s traditional fire practices.En marzo y abril de 1996, llevé a cabo observaciones del semillero colicorto (Ammodramus savannarum cracens en las sabanas de pino del noreste de Nicaragua. Encontré individuos aislados en las depresiones más húmedas, pero las poblaciones en estado reproductivo ocupaban solamente áreas que hubieran sido quemadas recientemente. El comportamiento territorial de las aves parecía estar relacionado al tamaño del territorio: las aves más agresivas defendían territorios relativamente pequeños, cercanos a los poblados miskitos, que es adonde los fuegos se producen con mayor frequencia. Fue notable la ausencia de posibles depredadores en las áreas más abiertas de la savanna. Contrario a lo que sucede en otras partes de Centroamérica, la persistencia de esta ave en las savannas de pino de Nicaragua podría estar asegurada por las tradiciones miskitas en el uso del fuego.

  2. Personality Traits and Behavioral Syndromes in Differently Urbanized Populations of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bókony, Veronika; Kulcsár, Anna; Tóth, Zoltán; Liker, András

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization creates novel environments for wild animals where selection pressures may differ drastically from those in natural habitats. Adaptation to urban life involves changes in various traits, including behavior. Behavioral traits often vary consistently among individuals, and these so-called personality traits can be correlated with each other, forming behavioral syndromes. Despite their adaptive significance and potential to act as constraints, little is known about the role of animal personality and behavioral syndromes in animals' adaptation to urban habitats. In this study we tested whether differently urbanized habitats select for different personalities and behavioral syndromes by altering the population mean, inter-individual variability, and correlations of personality traits. We captured house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from four different populations along the gradient of urbanization and assessed their behavior in standardized test situations. We found individual consistency in neophobia, risk taking, and activity, constituting three personality axes. On the one hand, urbanization did not consistently affect the mean and variance of these traits, although there were significant differences between some of the populations in food neophobia and risk taking (both in means and variances). On the other hand, both urban and rural birds exhibited a behavioral syndrome including object neophobia, risk taking and activity, whereas food neophobia was part of the syndrome only in rural birds. These results indicate that there are population differences in certain aspects of personality in house sparrows, some of which may be related to habitat urbanization. Our findings suggest that urbanization and/or other population-level habitat differences may not only influence the expression of personality traits but also alter their inter-individual variability and the relationships among them, changing the structure of behavioral syndromes. PMID:22574204

  3. Territory and nest site selection patterns by Grasshopper Sparrows in southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2017-01-01

    Grassland bird populations are showing some of the greatest rates of decline of any North American birds, prompting measures to protect and improve important habitat. We assessed how vegetation structure and composition, habitat features often targeted for management, affected territory and nest site selection by Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in southeastern Arizona. To identify features important to males establishing territories, we compared vegetation characteristics of known territories and random samples on 2 sites over 5 years. We examined habitat selection patterns of females by comparing characteristics of nest sites with territories over 3 years. Males selected territories in areas of sparser vegetation structure and more tall shrubs (>2 m) than random plots on the site with low shrub densities. Males did not select territories based on the proportion of exotic grasses. Females generally located nest sites in areas with lower small shrub (1–2 m tall) densities than territories overall when possible and preferentially selected native grasses for nest construction. Whether habitat selection was apparent depended upon the range of vegetation structure that was available. We identified an upper threshold above which grass structure seemed to be too high and dense for Grasshopper Sparrows. Our results suggest that some management that reduces vegetative structure may benefit this species in desert grasslands at the nest and territory scale. However, we did not assess initial male habitat selection at a broader landscape scale where their selection patterns may be different and could be influenced by vegetation density and structure outside the range of values sampled in this study.

  4. How will climate change affect the potential distribution of Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus in North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Jarnevich, Catherine; Young, Nick; Newman, Greg; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Habitat suitability models have been used to predict the present and future potential distribution of a variety of species. Eurasian tree sparrows Passer montanus, native to Eurasia, have established populations in other parts of the world. In North America, their current distribution is limited to a relatively small region around its original introduction to St. Louis, Missouri. We combined data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility with current and future climate data to create habitat suitability models using Maxent for this species. Under projected climate change scenarios, our models show that the distribution and range of the Eurasian tree sparrow could increase as far as the Pacific Northwest and Newfoundland. This is potentially important information for prioritizing the management and control of this non-native species.

  5. The Influence of Urban Environments on Oxidative Stress Balance: A Case Study on the House Sparrow in the Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amparo Herrera-Dueñas

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The House Sparrow is a globally distributed species and is closely associated with anthropised environments. They are well-adapted to urban life; therefore the decline of their populations in Europe represents an unexpected event that demands an investigation into its causes. Causes that have promoted this decline are not well-known, but one of the highlighted hypotheses is an increase of oxidative stress linked to the toxicity of pollution in urban areas. From an ecophysiological perspective, oxidative damage, antioxidant defense, and oxidative balance are considered reliable indicators of environmental stressors such as pollutants. To carry out this study, blood samples were collected from House Sparrows in three different habitats that varied in terms of urbanization degree: urban, suburban, and rural; during the winter and breeding season. According to our results, urban sparrows showed higher levels of oxidative damage and higher activity of antioxidant enzymes, but lower antioxidant capacity in comparison with the rural birds; and these differences especially increase during the breeding season. The maintenance of oxidative balance increases in an urban environment in comparison to a rural one; we suggest that the high level of pollution and the poor quality diet linked to urban environments. The breeding season is expected to be particularly challenging for the oxidative balance of urban birds, when the reallocation of resources between self-maintenance and reproduction may be critical due to the scarcity of antioxidants found in urban areas. This study may contribute to determining the causes of the population decrease of House Sparrows in cities.

  6. Nutrient delivery to Lake Winnipeg from the Red-Assiniboine River Basin – A binational application of the SPARROW model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoy, Glenn A; Jenkinson, R. Wayne; Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Excessive phosphorus (TP) and nitrogen (TN) inputs from the Red–Assiniboine River Basin (RARB) have been linked to eutrophication of Lake Winnipeg; therefore, it is important for the management of water resources to understand where and from what sources these nutrients originate. The RARB straddles the Canada–United States border and includes portions of two provinces and three states. This study represents the first binationally focused application of SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to estimate loads and sources of TP and TN by jurisdiction and basin at multiple spatial scales. Major hurdles overcome to develop these models included: (1) harmonization of geospatial data sets, particularly construction of a contiguous stream network; and (2) use of novel calibration steps to accommodate limitations in spatial variability across the model extent and in the number of calibration sites. Using nutrient inputs for a 2002 base year, a RARB TP SPARROW model was calibrated that included inputs from agriculture, forests and wetlands, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and stream channels, and a TN model was calibrated that included inputs from agriculture, WWTPs and atmospheric deposition. At the RARB outlet, downstream from Winnipeg, Manitoba, the majority of the delivered TP and TN came from the Red River Basin (90%), followed by the Upper Assiniboine River and Souris River basins. Agriculture was the single most important TP and TN source for each major basin, province and state. In general, stream channels (historically deposited nutrients and from bank erosion) were the second most important source of TP. Performance metrics for the RARB SPARROW model are similarly robust compared to other, larger US SPARROW models making it a potentially useful tool to address questions of where nutrients originate and their relative contributions to loads delivered to Lake Winnipeg.

  7. Spatial variability in nutrient transport by HUC8, state, and subbasin based on Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin SPARROW models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Dale M.; Saad, David A.; Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2014-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. With geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and monitored loads throughout the MARB, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) watershed models were constructed specifically for the MARB, which reduced simulation errors from previous models. Based on these models, N loads/yields were highest from the central part (centered over Iowa and Indiana) of the MARB (Corn Belt), and the highest P yields were scattered throughout the MARB. Spatial differences in yields from previous studies resulted from different descriptions of the dominant sources (N yields are highest with crop-oriented agriculture and P yields are highest with crop and animal agriculture and major WWTPs) and different descriptions of downstream transport. Delivered loads/yields from the MARB SPARROW models are used to rank subbasins, states, and eight-digit Hydrologic Unit Code basins (HUC8s) by N and P contributions and then rankings are compared with those from other studies. Changes in delivered yields result in an average absolute change of 1.3 (N) and 1.9 (P) places in state ranking and 41 (N) and 69 (P) places in HUC8 ranking from those made with previous national-scale SPARROW models. This information may help managers decide where efforts could have the largest effects (highest ranked areas) and thus reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.

  8. Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks Show a Mixed Response to Cattle Grazing in the Intermountain Region of British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L. Harrison

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Livestock grazing in the shortgrass steppe of the Intermountain region of British Columbia is predicted to have significant effects on grassland habitats and their associated ground-nesting bird communities. We tested whether grazed and ungrazed sites could be discriminated on the basis of their vegetation communities, whether the abundance of two ground-nesting bird species, Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus and Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta, differed between grazed and ungrazed sites, and whether vegetation variables found to differ between grazed and ungrazed plots could be used to predict the abundance of the two bird species at a fine scale. Grazed sites were easily distinguishable from a site that had been ungrazed for >30 years based on the structure and composition of their vegetation communities. However, more detailed grazing categories could not be distinguished on the basis of vegetation characteristics. Despite the existence of grazing effects on vegetation structure and composition, we found no consistent differences in abundance of Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks between the grazed and ungrazed sites. However, there was weak evidence that the abundance of both species was higher at fine-scale plots (100 m radius point count station with less bare ground and taller vegetation. Bare ground cover was lower on grazed plots, but vegetation was taller on ungrazed plots. Combined, our results suggest that low intensity grazing leads to grassland habitat change with both negative and positive effects on Vesper Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks, resulting in no net change in their broad-scale abundance.

  9. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: a critique of Sparrow's inclusive definition of the term 'in vitro eugenics'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Misao; Yashiro, Yoshimi; Suzuki, Mika

    2014-11-01

    Sparrow highlights three potential applications of in vitro eugenics, that is, (a) research into the heredity of genetic disorders, (b) production of cell lines with specific genotypes, and (c) breeding better babies, and points to the need for researchers to discuss in advance the potential ethical problems that may emerge if the realization of this technology occurs in the near future. In this commentary, we pose a question for the sake of discussion. Is it, in fact, appropriate to label all three applications raised by Sparrow as eugenics? By doing so, an unnecessary level of concern might be borne among the public, and as a result, the sound development of this specialized technology would be affected. If the label of eugenics is to be applied to all three of these applications, then Sparrow must justify how he perceives (a) and (b) as not inherently different from (c). Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  10. Cutaneous water loss and covalently bound lipids of the stratum corneum in nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.) from desert and mesic habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Michelle E; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2012-04-01

    Lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis of birds and mammals, provide a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The SC of birds consists of flat dead cells, called corneocytes, and two lipid compartments: an intercellular matrix and a monolayer of covalently bound lipids (CBLs) attached to the outer surface of the corneocytes. We previously found two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides, covalently bound to corneocytes in the SC of house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.); these lipids were associated with cutaneous water loss (CWL). In this study, we collected adult and nestling house sparrows from Ohio and nestlings from Saudi Arabia, acclimated them to either high or low humidity, and measured their rates of CWL. We also measured CWL for natural populations of nestlings from Ohio and Saudi Arabia, beginning when chicks were 2 days old until they fledged. We then evaluated the composition of the CBLs of the SC of sparrows using thin layer chromatography. We found that adult house sparrows had a greater diversity of CBLs in their SC than previously described. During ontogeny, nestling sparrows increased the amount of CBLs and developed their CBLs differently, depending on their habitat. Acclimating nestlings to different humidity regimes did not alter the ontogeny of the CBLs, suggesting that these lipids represent a fundamental component of SC organization that does not respond to short-term environmental change.

  11. Variation in MHC genotypes in two populations of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) with different population histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Asa Alexandra; Pedersen, Sindre Andre; Jensen, Henrik; Westerdahl, Helena

    2011-10-01

    Small populations are likely to have a low genetic ability for disease resistance due to loss of genetic variation through inbreeding and genetic drift. In vertebrates, the highest genetic diversity of the immune system is located at genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Interestingly, parasite-mediated selection is thought to potentially maintain variation at MHC loci even in populations that are monomorphic at other loci. Therefore, general loss of genetic variation in the genome may not necessarily be associated with low variation at MHC loci. We evaluated inter- and intrapopulation variation in MHC genotypes between an inbred (Aldra) and a relatively outbred population (Hestmannøy) of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in a metapopulation at Helgeland, Norway. Genomic (gDNA) and transcribed (cDNA) alleles of functional MHC class I and IIB loci, along with neutral noncoding microsatellite markers, were analyzed to obtain relevant estimates of genetic variation. We found lower allelic richness in microsatellites in the inbred population, but high genetic variation in MHC class I and IIB loci in both populations. This suggests that also the inbred population could be under balancing selection to maintain genetic variation for pathogen resistance.

  12. Sensitivity analysis of effective population size to demographic parameters in house sparrow populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubberud, Marlene Waege; Myhre, Ane Marlene; Holand, Håkon; Kvalnes, Thomas; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Jensen, Henrik

    2017-05-01

    The ratio between the effective and the census population size, Ne/N, is an important measure of the long-term viability and sustainability of a population. Understanding which demographic processes that affect Ne/N most will improve our understanding of how genetic drift and the probability of fixation of alleles is affected by demography. This knowledge may also be of vital importance in management of endangered populations and species. Here, we use data from 13 natural populations of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Norway to calculate the demographic parameters that determine Ne/N. Using the global variance-based Sobol' method for the sensitivity analyses, we found that Ne/N was most sensitive to demographic variance, especially among older individuals. Furthermore, the individual reproductive values (that determine the demographic variance) were most sensitive to variation in fecundity. Our results draw attention to the applicability of sensitivity analyses in population management and conservation. For population management aiming to reduce the loss of genetic variation, a sensitivity analysis may indicate the demographic parameters towards which resources should be focused. The result of such an analysis may depend on the life history and mating system of the population or species under consideration, because the vital rates and sex-age classes that Ne/N is most sensitive to may change accordingly. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Dynamics of West Nile virus persistence in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah S Wheeler

    Full Text Available West Nile Virus (WNV is now endemic throughout North America, with annual recurrence dependent upon successful overwintering when cold temperatures drive mosquito vectors into inactivity and halt transmission. To investigate whether avian hosts may serve as an overwintering mechanism, groups of eight to ten House Sparrows were experimentally infected with a WN02 genotype of WNV and then held until necropsy at 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, or 18 weeks post-infection (pi when they were assessed for the presence of persistent infection. Blood was collected from all remaining birds every two weeks pi, and sera tested for WNV RNA and WNV neutralizing antibodies. West Nile virus RNA was present in the sera of some birds up to 7 weeks pi and all birds retained neutralizing antibodies throughout the experiment. The detection of persistently infected birds decreased with time, from 100% (n = 13 positive at 3 weeks post-infection (pi to 12.5% (n = 8 at 18 weeks pi. Infectious virus was isolated from the spleens of birds necropsied at 3, 5, 7 and 12 weeks pi. The current study confirmed previous reports of infectious WNV persistence in avian hosts, and further characterized the temporal nature of these infections. Although these persistent infections supported the hypothesis that infected birds may serve as an overwintering mechanism, mosquito-infectious recrudescent viremias have yet to be demonstrated thereby providing proof of principle.

  14. The determination of neutron energy spectrum in reactor core C1 of reactor VR-1 Sparrow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vins, M. [Department of Nuclear Reactors, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Prague 8 (Czech Republic)], E-mail: vinsmiro@seznam.cz

    2008-07-15

    This contribution overviews neutron spectrum measurement, which was done on training reactor VR-1 Sparrow with a new nuclear fuel. Former nuclear fuel IRT-3M was changed for current nuclear fuel IRT-4M with lower enrichment of 235U (enrichment was reduced from former 36% to 20%) in terms of Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program. Neutron spectrum measurement was obtained by irradiation of activation foils at the end of pipe of rabit system and consecutive deconvolution of obtained saturated activities. Deconvolution was performed by computer iterative code SAND-II with 620 groups' structure. All gamma measurements were performed on Canberra HPGe. Activation foils were chosen according physical and nuclear parameters from the set of certificated foils. The Resulting differential flux at the end of pipe of rabit system agreed well with typical spectrum of light water reactor. Measurement of neutron spectrum has brought better knowledge about new reactor core C1 and improved methodology of activation measurement. (author)

  15. Using survival analysis of artificial and Real Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri) nests to model site level and nest site factors associated with nest success in the South Okanagan region of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pam Krannitz Kym Welstead

    2005-01-01

    Predation is the predominant cause of nest failure for the Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri), a provincially red-listed shrub-steppe species that has experienced significant declines throughout most of its range. We monitored Brewer’s Sparrow nests and conducted an artificial nest experiment, in the South Okanagan Valley,...

  16. Long distance migratory songbirds respond to extremes in arctic seasonality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, N.; Asmus, A.; Chmura, H.; Krause, J.; Perez, J. H.; Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are warming rapidly, with extreme weather events increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, as in other regions. Many studies have focused on how shifting seasonality in environmental conditions affect the phenology and productivity of vegetation, while far fewer have examined how arctic fauna responds. We studied two species of long-distance migratory songbirds, Lapland longspurs, Calcarius lapponicus, and White-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, across seven consecutive breeding seasons in northern Alaskan tundra. We aimed to understand how spring environmental conditions affected breeding cycle phenology, food availability, body condition, stress physiology, and ultimately, reproductive success. Spring temperatures, precipitation, storm frequency, and snow-free dates differed significantly among years, with 2013 characterized by unusually late snow cover, and 2015 and 2016 characterized by unusually early snow-free dates and several late spring snowstorms. In response, we found that relative to other study years, there was a significant delay in breeding cycle phenology for both study species in 2013, while breeding cycle phenology was significantly earlier in 2015 only. For both species, we also found significant variation among years in: the seasonal patterns of arthropod availability during the nesting stage; body condition, and; stress physiology. Finally, we found significant variation in reproductive success of both species across years, and that daily survival rates were decreased by snow storm events. Our findings suggest that arctic-breeding passerine communities may be able to adjust phenology to unpredictable shifts in the timing of spring, but extreme conditions during the incubation and nestling stages are detrimental to reproductive success.

  17. Niche tracking and rapid establishment of distributional equilibrium in the house sparrow show potential responsiveness of species to climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B Monahan

    Full Text Available The ability of species to respond to novel future climates is determined in part by their physiological capacity to tolerate climate change and the degree to which they have reached and continue to maintain distributional equilibrium with the environment. While broad-scale correlative climatic measurements of a species' niche are often described as estimating the fundamental niche, it is unclear how well these occupied portions actually approximate the fundamental niche per se, versus the fundamental niche that exists in environmental space, and what fitness values bounding the niche are necessary to maintain distributional equilibrium. Here, we investigate these questions by comparing physiological and correlative estimates of the thermal niche in the introduced North American house sparrow (Passer domesticus. Our results indicate that occupied portions of the fundamental niche derived from temperature correlations closely approximate the centroid of the existing fundamental niche calculated on a fitness threshold of 50% population mortality. Using these niche measures, a 75-year time series analysis (1930-2004 further shows that: (i existing fundamental and occupied niche centroids did not undergo directional change, (ii interannual changes in the two niche centroids were correlated, (iii temperatures in North America moved through niche space in a net centripetal fashion, and consequently, (iv most areas throughout the range of the house sparrow tracked the existing fundamental niche centroid with respect to at least one temperature gradient. Following introduction to a new continent, the house sparrow rapidly tracked its thermal niche and established continent-wide distributional equilibrium with respect to major temperature gradients. These dynamics were mediated in large part by the species' broad thermal physiological tolerances, high dispersal potential, competitive advantage in human-dominated landscapes, and climatically induced

  18. Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Reassortant Avian Influenza H1N2 Virus Isolated from a Domestic Sparrow in 2012

    OpenAIRE

    Xie, Zhixun; Guo, Jie; Xie, Liji; Liu, Jiabo; Pang, Yaoshan; Deng, Xianwen; Xie, Zhiqin; Fan, Qing; Luo, Sisi

    2013-01-01

    We report here the complete genome sequence of a novel H1N2 avian influenza virus strain, A/Sparrow /Guangxi/GXs-1/2012 (H1N2), isolated from a sparrow in the Guangxi Province of southern China in 2012. All of the 8 gene segments (hemagglutinin [HA], nucleoprotein [NP], matrix [M], polymerase basic 2 [PB2], neuraminidase [NA], polymerase acidic [PA], polymerase basic 1 [PB1], and nonstructural [NS] genes) of this natural recombinant virus are attributed to the Eurasian lineage, and phylogenet...

  19. Urbanization, Trace Metal Pollution, and Malaria Prevalence in the House Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bichet, Coraline; Scheifler, Renaud; Cœurdassier, Michaël; Julliard, Romain; Sorci, Gabriele; Loiseau, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic pollution poses a threat for the environment and wildlife. Trace metals (TMs) are known to have negative effects on haematological status, oxidative balance, and reproductive success in birds. These pollutants particularly increase in concentration in industrialized, urbanized and intensive agricultural areas. Pollutants can also interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system and, as such, alter the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. Nevertheless, the impact of pollution on infectious diseases has been largely neglected in natural populations of vertebrates. Here, we used a large spatial scale monitoring of 16 house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations to identify environmental variables likely to explain variation in TMs (lead, cadmium, zinc) concentrations in the feathers. In five of these populations, we also studied the potential link between TMs, prevalence of infection with one species of avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, and body condition. Our results show that lead concentration is associated with heavily urbanized habitats and that areas with large woodland coverage have higher cadmium and zinc feather concentrations. Our results suggest that lead concentration in the feathers positively correlates with P. relictum prevalence, and that a complex relationship links TM concentrations, infection status, and body condition. This is one of the first studies showing that environmental pollutants are associated with prevalence of an infectious disease in wildlife. The mechanisms underlying this effect are still unknown even though it is tempting to suggest that lead could interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system, as shown in other species. We suggest that more effort should be devoted to elucidate the link between pollution and the dynamics of infectious diseases. PMID:23342022

  20. Comparisons of patch-use models for wintering American tree sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tome, M.W.

    1990-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory has stimulated numerous theoretical and empirical studies of foraging behavior for >20 years. These models provide a valuable tool for studying the foraging behavior of an organism. As with any other tool, the models are most effective when properly used. For example, to obtain a robust test of a foraging model, Stephens and Krebs (1986) recommend experimental designs in which four questions are answered in the affirmative. First, do the foragers play the same "game" as the model? Sec- ond, are the assumptions of the model met? Third, does the test rule out alternative possibilities? Finally, are the appropriate variables measured? Negative an- swers to any of these questions could invalidate the model and lead to confusion over the usefulness of foraging theory in conducting ecological studies. Gaines (1989) attempted to determine whether American Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea) foraged by a time (Krebs 1973) or number expectation rule (Gibb 1962), or in a manner consistent with the predictions of Charnov's (1976) marginal value theorem (MVT). Gaines (1989: 118) noted appropriately that field tests of foraging models frequently involve uncontrollable circumstances; thus, it is often difficult to meet the assumptions of the models. Gaines also states (1989: 118) that "violations of the assumptions are also in- formative but do not constitute robust tests of predicted hypotheses," and that "the problem can be avoided by experimental analyses which concurrently test mutually exclusive hypotheses so that alter- native predictions will be eliminated if falsified." There is a problem with this approach because, when major assumptions of models are not satisfied, it is not justifiable to compare a predator's foraging behavior with the model's predictions. I submit that failing to follow the advice offered by Stephens and Krebs (1986) can invalidate tests of foraging models.

  1. High costs of infection: Alphavirus infection reduces digestive function and bone and feather growth in nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassbinder-Orth, Carol A.; Killpack, Tess L.; Goto, Dylan S.; Rainwater, Ellecia L.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.

    2018-01-01

    Increasingly, ecoimmunology studies aim to use relevant pathogen exposure to examine the impacts of infection on physiological processes in wild animals. Alphaviruses are arthropod-borne, single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses (“arboviruses”) responsible for millions of cases of human illnesses each year. Buggy Creek virus (BCRV) is a unique alphavirus that is transmitted by a cimicid insect, the swallow bug, and is amplified in two avian species: the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota). BCRV, like many alphaviruses, exhibits age-dependent susceptibility where the young are most susceptible to developing disease and exhibit a high mortality rate. However, alphavirus disease etiology in nestling birds is unknown. In this study, we infected nestling house sparrows with Buggy Creek virus and measured virological, pathological, growth, and digestive parameters following infection. Buggy Creek virus caused severe encephalitis in all infected nestlings, and the peak viral concentration in brain tissue was over 34 times greater than any other tissue. Growth, tissue development, and digestive function were all significantly impaired during BCRV infection. However, based on histopathological analysis performed, this impairment does not appear to be the result of direct tissue damage by the virus, but likely caused by encephalitis and neuronal invasion and impairment of the central nervous system. This is the first study to examine the course of alphavirus diseases in nestling birds and these results will improve our understanding of age-dependent infections of alphaviruses in vertebrate hosts.

  2. Factors affecting stream nutrient loads: A synthesis of regional SPARROW model results for the continental United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Stephen D.; Alexander, Richard B.; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Crawford, Charles G.

    2011-01-01

    We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models - 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus - all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. Haste makes waste: accelerated molt adversely affects the expression of melanin-based and depigmented plumage ornaments in house sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csongor I Vágási

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Many animals display colorful signals in their integument which convey information about the quality of their bearer. Theoretically, these ornaments incur differential production and/or maintenance costs that enforce their honesty. However, the proximate mechanisms of production costs are poorly understood and contentious in cases of non-carotenoid-based plumage ornaments like the melanin-based badge and depigmented white wing-bar in house sparrows Passer domesticus. Costly life-history events are adaptively separated in time, thus, when reproduction is extended, the time available for molt is curtailed and, in turn, molt rate is accelerated.We experimentally accelerated the molt rate by shortening the photoperiod in order to test whether this environmental constraint is mirrored in the expression of plumage ornaments. Sparrows which had undergone an accelerated molt developed smaller badges and less bright wing-bars compared to conspecifics that molted at a natural rate being held at natural-like photoperiod. There was no difference in the brightness of the badge or the size of the wing-bar.These results indicate that the time available for molt and thus the rate at which molt occurs may constrain the expression of melanin-based and depigmented plumage advertisements. This mechanism may lead to the evolution of honest signaling if the onset of molt is condition-dependent through the timing of and/or trade-off between breeding and molt.

  4. Distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), upper Santa Cruz River watershed, southern Arizona, 2011-12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems in arid environments provide critical habitat for breeding, migratory, and wintering birds, yet are often at risk of contamination by heavy metals. Birds and other animals living in contaminated areas are susceptible to adverse health effects as a result of long-term exposure and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade, and (3) assess sparrow condition among sites with differing potential sources of contamination exposure. We examined six study sites that reflected different potential sources of contamination. Hematocrit values, body mass residuals, and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium exceeded background concentrations at some sites, but generally were lower than or similar to concentrations found in earlier studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Concentrations were higher in recaptured birds in 2012 than in 2011 for 7 metals in feathers and 14 metals in blood, suggesting possible bioaccumulation. We found no cascading effects as a result of heavy metal exposure, but did find that heavy metal concentrations were reduced following the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

  5. Adaptation to ephemeral habitat may overcome natural barriers and severe habitat fragmentation in a fire-dependent species, the Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerame, Blain; Cox, James A; Brumfield, Robb T; Tucker, James W; Taylor, Sabrina S

    2014-01-01

    Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a fire-dependent species that has undergone range-wide population declines in recent decades. We examined genetic diversity in Bachman's Sparrows to determine whether natural barriers have led to distinct population units and to assess the effect of anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation. Genetic diversity was examined across the geographic range by genotyping 226 individuals at 18 microsatellite loci and sequencing 48 individuals at mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Multiple analyses consistently demonstrated little genetic structure and high levels of genetic variation, suggesting that populations are panmictic. Based on these genetic data, separate management units/subspecies designations or translocations to promote gene flow among fragmented populations do not appear to be necessary. Panmixia in Bachman's Sparrow may be a consequence of an historical range expansion and retraction. Alternatively, high vagility in Bachman's Sparrow may be an adaptation to the ephemeral, fire-mediated habitat that this species prefers. In recent times, high vagility also appears to have offset inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in highly fragmented habitat.

  6. Susceptibility and antibody response of Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) to West Nile virus: A potential amplification host in sagebrush-grassland habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV.

  7. Newcastle disease virus infection in sparrows (Passer domesticus, Linneaus, 1758 captured in poultry farms of the agreste region of the State of Pernambuco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JSA Silva

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Reservoir competence for the Newcastle Disease virus (NDV was evaluated in sparrows (Passer domesticus, Linnaeus 1758 captured on a commercial poultry farm and a chicken hatchery in the State of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. A total number of 103 birds collected from a poultry farm (24/103 and a chicken hatchery (79/103 were examined. Hemagglutination inhibition tests, isolation, and viral characterization were performed in all samples collected from each bird. Titers ranging from 1:2 to 1:64 were detectable in 10.68% of sparrows, but positive serology and viral isolation were obtained only from sparrows captured at the hatchery. Hemagglutination activity was inhibited by anti-avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1 serum, and this sample showed an intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICOI of 0.21, which is similar to the B1 stock vaccine (0.20 used for vaccination in those farms. Therefore, it was concluded that the sparrows were infected by stock vaccine virus, and that these birds could be a reservoir for NDV. However, additional studies involving sequencing of the virus genome of stock vaccine must be carried out.

  8. New England SPARROW Water-Quality Modeling to Assist with the Development of Total Maximum Daily Loads in the Connecticut River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R. B.; Robinson, K. W.; Simcox, A. C.; Johnston, C. M.

    2002-05-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEWIPCC), is currently preparing a water-quality model, called SPARROW, to assist in the regional total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies in New England. A model is required to provide estimates of nutrient loads and confidence intervals at unmonitored stream reaches. SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes) is a spatially detailed, statistical model that uses regression equations to relate total phosphorus and nitrogen (nutrient) stream loads to pollution sources and watershed characteristics. These statistical relations are then used to predict nutrient loads in unmonitored streams. The New England SPARROW model is based on a hydrologic network of 42,000 stream reaches and associated watersheds. Point source data are derived from USEPA's Permit Compliance System (PCS). Information about nonpoint sources is derived from data such as fertilizer use, livestock wastes, and atmospheric deposition. Watershed characteristics include land use, streamflow, time-of-travel, stream density, percent wetlands, slope of the land surface, and soil permeability. Preliminary SPARROW results are expected in Spring 2002. The New England SPARROW model is proposed for use in the TMDL determination for nutrients in the Connecticut River Basin, upstream of Connecticut. The model will be used to estimate nitrogen loads from each of the upstream states to Long Island Sound. It will provide estimates and confidence intervals of phosphorus and nitrogen loads, area-weighted yields of nutrients by watershed, sources of nutrients, and the downstream movement of nutrients. This information will be used to (1) understand ranges in nutrient levels in surface waters, (2) identify the environmental factors that affect nutrient levels in streams, (3) evaluate monitoring efforts for better determination of

  9. Mercury on national wildlife refuges as a threat to long-term viability of saltmarsh and Nelson’s sparrows in the face of climate induced sea level rise

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Nelson’s and saltmarsh sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni and A. caudacutus) have recently been recognized as separate species, and because of their limited distributions...

  10. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  11. Life-history dependent relationships between body condition and immunity, between immunity indices in male Eurasian tree sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yuliang; Li, Mo; Sun, Yanfeng; Wu, Wei; Kou, Guanqun; Guo, Lingling; Xing, Danning; Wu, Yuefeng; Li, Dongming; Zhao, Baohua

    2017-08-01

    In free-living animals, recent evidence indicates that innate, and acquired, immunity varies with annual variation in the demand for, and availability of, food resources. However, little is known about how animals adjust the relationships between immunity and body condition, and between innate and acquired immunity to optimize survival over winter and reproductive success during the breeding stage. Here, we measured indices of body condition (size-corrected mass [SCM], and hematocrit [Hct]), constitutive innate immunity (plasma total complement hemolysis activity [CH 50 ]) and acquired immunity (plasma immunoglobulin A [IgA]), plus heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratios, in male Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus) during the wintering and the breeding stages. We found that birds during the wintering stage had higher IgA levels than those from the breeding stage. Two indices of body condition were both negatively correlated with plasma CH 50 activities, and positively with IgA levels in wintering birds, but this was not the case in the breeding birds. However, there was no correlation between CH 50 activities and IgA levels in both stages. These results suggest that the relationships between body condition and immunity can vary across life-history stage, and there are no correlations between innate and acquired immunity independent of life-history stage, in male Eurasian tree sparrows. Therefore, body condition indices predict immunological state, especially during the non-breeding stage, which can be useful indicators of individual immunocompetences for understanding the variations in innate and acquired immunity in free-living animals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Song competition affects monoamine levels in sensory and motor forebrain regions of male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra B Sewall

    Full Text Available Male animals often change their behavior in response to the level of competition for mates. Male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii modulate their competitive singing over the period of a week as a function of the level of challenge associated with competitors' songs. Differences in song challenge and associated shifts in competitive state should be accompanied by neural changes, potentially in regions that regulate perception and song production. The monoamines mediate neural plasticity in response to environmental cues to achieve shifts in behavioral state. Therefore, using high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, we compared levels of monoamines and their metabolites from male Lincoln's sparrows exposed to songs categorized as more or less challenging. We compared levels of norepinephrine and its principal metabolite in two perceptual regions of the auditory telencephalon, the caudomedial nidopallium and the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM, because this chemical is implicated in modulating auditory sensitivity to song. We also measured the levels of dopamine and its principal metabolite in two song control nuclei, area X and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA, because dopamine is implicated in regulating song output. We measured the levels of serotonin and its principal metabolite in all four brain regions because this monoamine is implicated in perception and behavioral output and is found throughout the avian forebrain. After controlling for recent singing, we found that males exposed to more challenging song had higher levels of norepinephrine metabolite in the CMM and lower levels of serotonin in the RA. Collectively, these findings are consistent with norepinephrine in perceptual brain regions and serotonin in song control regions contributing to neuroplasticity that underlies socially-induced changes in behavioral state.

  13. Chronic stress alters concentrations of corticosterone receptors in a tissue-specific manner in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael

    2014-07-15

    The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones such as corticosterone (CORT). Whereas short-term activation of this response helps animals cope with environmental stressors, chronic activation can result in negative effects including metabolic dysregulation and reproductive failure. However, there is no consensus hormonal profile of a chronically stressed animal, suggesting that researchers may need to look beyond hormone titers to interpret the impacts of chronic stress. In this study, we brought wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus) into captivity. We then compared glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptor concentrations in sparrows exposed either to a standardized chronic stress protocol (n=26) or to standard husbandry conditions (controls; n=20). We used radioligand binding assays to quantify receptors in whole brain, liver, kidneys, spleen, gonads, gastrocnemius and pectoralis muscle, omental and subcutaneous fat, and bib and back skin. In most tissues, CORT receptors did not differ between controls and stressed animals, although we found marginal increases in receptor density in kidney and testes in stressed birds at some time points. Only in pectoralis muscle was there a robust effect of chronic stress, with both receptor types higher in stressed animals. Increased pectoralis sensitivity to CORT with chronic stress may be part of the underlying mechanism for muscle wasting in animals administered exogenous CORT. Furthermore, the change in pectoralis was not paralleled by gastrocnemius receptors. This difference may help explain previous reports of a greater effect of CORT on pectoralis than on other muscle types, and indicate that birds use this muscle as a protein reserve. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. House sparrows' (Passer domesticus) behaviour in a novel environment is modulated by social context and familiarity in a sex-specific manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuliozi, Beniamino; Fracasso, Gerardo; Hoi, Herbert; Griggio, Matteo

    2018-01-01

    Exploratory behaviour is one of the best-investigated behavioural traits. However, little is known about how differences in familiarity, i.e. in the knowledge and previous experience with a companion can influence the exploration of a novel environment. However, to our knowledge, such a critical feature of the social environment has never been the target of a study relating it to exploratory behaviour in birds. Here we examined if familiarity with a conspecific could affect behavioural responses of individuals confronted with a novel environment. We recorded the latency to land on the ground, latency to feed, time spent feeding and number of sectors visited of 48 female and 48 male house sparrows ( Passer domesticus ) in an indoor aviary in three contexts: alone (individual context), with an unfamiliar and with a familiar same-sex companion. House sparrows landed sooner on the ground when in the familiar context than when in the individual context. Birds in unfamiliar pairs followed each other less than familiar birds, but this difference diminished with time spent exploring. Moreover, males and females differed in their behavioural responses in the unfamiliar context. Females with a familiar companion landed sooner than when they were paired with an unfamiliar conspecific, whereas only the presence of a companion but not familiarity reduced males latency to land on the ground. Finally, when considering the unfamiliar context males had shorter latencies to forage and thus spent more time eating than females. The presence or absence of a companion and its familiarity with the focal individual influenced differently the behavioural responses of male and female house sparrows in a novel environment. As house sparrows are strongly sociable, the influence of the social environment is likely to be of paramount importance to understand the selective pressures acting on them, particularly in recently colonized areas with ephemeral food sources. Our results shed light on

  15. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Jeremy D; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Bridge, Eli S; Engel, Michael H; Reinking, Dan L; Boyle, W Alice

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44%) of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed "pallid bands") across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum) captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation). We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ (15)N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ (15)N and δ (13)C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25-0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region) would show significantly higher δ (15)N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ (15)N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant within our sample relative to expectations from past cohorts (z

  16. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy D. Ross

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44% of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed “pallid bands” across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado <8 km to the south of the site. We hypothesized that this stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation. We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ15N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ15N and δ13C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25–0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region would show significantly higher δ15N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ15N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant

  17. Cutaneous water loss and sphingolipids in the stratum corneum of house sparrows, Passer domesticus L., from desert and mesic environments as determined by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Ro, Jennifer; Brown, Johnie C; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-02-01

    Because cutaneous water loss (CWL) represents half of total water loss in birds, selection to reduce CWL may be strong in desert birds. We previously found that CWL of house sparrows from a desert population was about 25% lower than that of individuals from a mesic environment. The stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, serves as the primary barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The avian SC is formed by layers of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix consisting of cholesterol, free fatty acids and two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides. The SC of birds also serves a thermoregulatory function; high rates of CWL keep body temperatures under lethal limits in episodes of heat stress. In this study, we used high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC/APPI-MS) to identify and quantify over 200 sphingolipids in the SC of house sparrows from desert and mesic populations. Principal components analysis (PCA) led to the hypotheses that sphingolipids in the SC of desert sparrows have longer carbon chains in the fatty acid moiety and are more polar than those found in mesic sparrows. We also tested the association between principal components and CWL in both populations. Our study suggested that a reduction in CWL found in desert sparrows was, in part, the result of modifications in chain length and polarity of the sphingolipids, changes that apparently determine the interactions of the lipid molecules within the SC.

  18. Sources and transport of phosphorus to rivers in California and adjacent states, U.S., as determined by SPARROW modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Saleh, Dina

    2015-01-01

    The SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes) model was used to simulate annual phosphorus loads and concentrations in unmonitored stream reaches in California, U.S., and portions of Nevada and Oregon. The model was calibrated using de-trended streamflow and phosphorus concentration data at 80 locations. The model explained 91% of the variability in loads and 51% of the variability in yields for a base year of 2002. Point sources, geological background, and cultivated land were significant sources. Variables used to explain delivery of phosphorus from land to water were precipitation and soil clay content. Aquatic loss of phosphorus was significant in streams of all sizes, with the greatest decay predicted in small- and intermediate-sized streams. Geological sources, including volcanic rocks and shales, were the principal control on concentrations and loads in many regions. Some localized formations such as the Monterey shale of southern California are important sources of phosphorus and may contribute to elevated stream concentrations. Many of the larger point source facilities were located in downstream areas, near the ocean, and do not affect inland streams except for a few locations. Large areas of cultivated land result in phosphorus load increases, but do not necessarily increase the loads above those of geological background in some cases because of local hydrology, which limits the potential of phosphorus transport from land to streams.

  19. Sex-specific differential survival of extra-pair and within-pair offspring in song sparrows, Melospiza melodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardell, Rebecca J; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Reid, Jane M

    2011-11-07

    It is widely hypothesized that the evolution of female extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous species reflects indirect genetic benefits to females. However, a critical prediction of this hypothesis, that extra-pair young (EPY) are fitter than within-pair young (WPY), has rarely been rigorously tested. We used 18 years of data from free-living song sparrows, Melospiza melodia, to test whether survival through major life-history stages differed between EPY and WPY maternal half-siblings. On average, survival of hatched chicks to independence from parental care and recruitment, and their total lifespan, did not differ significantly between EPY and WPY. However, EPY consistently tended to be less likely to survive, and recruited EPY survived for significantly fewer years than recruited WPY. Furthermore, the survival difference between EPY and WPY was sex-specific; female EPY were less likely to survive to independence and recruitment and lived fewer years than female WPY, whereas male EPY were similarly or slightly more likely to survive and to live more years than male WPY. These data indicate that extra-pair paternity may impose an indirect cost on females via their female offspring and that sex-specific genetic, environmental or maternal effects may shape extra-pair reproduction.

  20. Estimates of long-term mean-annual nutrient loads considered for use in SPARROW models of the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States, 2002 base year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saad, David A.; Benoy, Glenn A.; Robertson, Dale M.

    2018-05-11

    Streamflow and nutrient concentration data needed to compute nitrogen and phosphorus loads were compiled from Federal, State, Provincial, and local agency databases and also from selected university databases. The nitrogen and phosphorus loads are necessary inputs to Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) models. SPARROW models are a way to estimate the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States. After screening the data, approximately 1,500 sites sampled by 34 agencies were identified as having suitable data for calculating the long-term mean-annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These final sites represent a wide range in watershed sizes, types of nutrient sources, and land-use and watershed characteristics in the Midcontinental region of Canada and the United States.

  1. Shedding and serologic responses following primary and secondary inoculation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Thomas, Nicholas O; Orahood, Darcy S; Anderson, Theodore D; Oesterle, Paul T

    2010-10-01

    Waterfowl and shorebirds are well-recognized natural reservoirs of low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV); however, little is known about the role of passerines in avian influenza virus ecology. Passerines are abundant, widespread, and commonly come into contact with free-ranging birds as well as captive game birds and poultry. We inoculated and subsequently challenged house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with wild-bird origin LPAIV H3N8 to evaluate their potential role in transmission. Oropharyngeal shedding was short lived, and was detected in more starlings (97.2%) than sparrows (47.2%; n=36 of each). Cloacal shedding was rare in both species (8.3%; n=36 of each) and no cage-mate transmission occurred. Infectious LPAIV was cultured from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs and gastrointestinal and respiratory tissues from both species. Seroconversion was detected as early as 3 days post inoculation (d.p.i.) (16.7% of sparrows and 0% of starlings; n=6 each); 50% of these individuals seroconverted by 5 d.p.i., and nearly all birds (97%; n=35) seroconverted by 28 d.p.i. In general, pre-existing homologous immunity led to reduced shedding and increased antibody levels within 7 days of challenge. Limited shedding and lack of cage-mate transmission suggest that passerines are not significant reservoirs of LPAIV, although species differences apparently exist. Passerines readily and consistently seroconverted to LPAIV, and therefore inclusion of passerines in epidemiological studies of influenza outbreaks in wildlife and domestic animals may provide further insight into the potential involvement of passerines in avian influenza virus transmission ecology.

  2. Evaluating the stress response as a bioindicator of sub-lethal effects of crude oil exposure in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Lattin

    Full Text Available Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT. Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why--does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group. We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9 or control diets (n = 8, we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure.

  3. Evaluating the stress response as a bioindicator of sub-lethal effects of crude oil exposure in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Ngai, Heather M; Romero, L Michael

    2014-01-01

    Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT). Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why--does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group). We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9) or control diets (n = 8), we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure.

  4. A case of leucism in House Sparrow, Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758 in an island of São Francisco river, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Barros Ribeiro

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Leucism in birds is a genetic disorder characterized by the total absence of melanin in some or all feathers, but unlike albinism, the other body parts, such as eyes, beak, and tarsi remain with the typical color of the species. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus is a bird native from Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It has been introduced in North America, South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Currently, it is the bird species with the largest geographical range. Here, we report the record of a leucistic specimen of Passer domesticus from Rodeadouro island, São Francisco river, northeastern Brazil.

  5. Production, Characterization and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing IgY Epitopes Shared by Chicken, Turkey, Pheasant, Peafowl and Sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajda Biček

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken antibodies are not only a part of immune defense but are more and more popular commercial products in form of chicken polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies. We produced and characterized mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs that recognize epitopes located on heavy or light chain of chicken immunoglobulin Y (chIgY shared also by some other Phasianidae birds. The use of mAbs 1F5 and 2F10 that recognize heavy chain on chIgY common epitopes was demonstrated on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and peafowl. Chicken IgY light chain specific mAb 3E10 revealed the presence of common epitopes on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and sparrow. Monoclonal antibody clone 1F5/3G2 was used to prepare horseradish peroxidase (HRP conjugate and immunoadsorbent column. Conjugated mAbs were demonstrated to be excellent secondary antibodies for diagnostics of certain infections in different avian species. Since they do not react with mammalian immunoglobulins using our mAbs as secondary antibodies in human serodiagnostics would minimize background staining that appears when using mouse detection system. In dot immunobinding assay (DIBA and immunoblot assay they recognized specific IgY antibodies against Mycoplasma synoviae, Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Newcastle disease virus in sera of infected or vaccinated birds. Immunoadsorption as a method for removal of IgY from samples in which Mycoplasma synoviae specific IgY was predominant immunoglobulin class enabled more exact demonstration of specific IgA and IgM antibodies. Herein we are presenting effective mAbs useful in diagnostics of avian and mammalian infections as well as in final steps of detection and purification of chicken antibodies and their subunits produced in vivo or in vitro as polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies.

  6. A spatially referenced regression model (SPARROW) for suspended sediment in streams of the conterminous U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Gregory E.; Smith, Richard A.; Alexander, Richard B.; Gray, John R.

    2001-01-01

    little direct evidence is available concerning the fate of sediment. The common practice of quantifying sediment fate with a sediment delivery ratio, estimated from a simple empirical relation with upstream basin area, does not articulate the relative importance of individual storage sites within a basin (Wolman, 1977). Rates of sediment deposition in reservoirs and flood plains can be determined from empirical measurements, but only a limited number of sites have been monitored, and net rates of deposition or loss from other potential sinks and sources is largely unknown (Stallard, 1998). In particular, little is known about how much sediment loss from fields ultimately makes its way to stream channels, and how much sediment is subsequently stored in or lost from the streambed (Meade and Parker, 1985, Trimble and Crosson, 2000).This paper reports on recent progress made to address empirically the question of sediment fate and transport on a national scale. The model presented here is based on the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) methodology, first used to estimate the distribution of nutrients in streams and rivers of the United States, and subsequently shown to describe land and stream processes affecting the delivery of nutrients (Smith and others, 1997, Alexander and others, 2000, Preston and Brakebill, 1999). The model makes use of numerous spatial datasets, available at the national level, to explain long-term sediment water-quality conditions in major streams and rivers throughout the United States. Sediment sources are identified using sediment erosion rates from the National Resources Inventory (NRI) (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2000) and apportioned over the landscape according to 30- meter resolution land-use information from the National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2000a). More than 76,000 reservoirs from the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1996) are

  7. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  8. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  9. Epigenetic Variation May Compensate for Decreased Genetic Variation with Introductions: A Case Study Using House Sparrows (Passer domesticus on Two Continents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron W. Schrey

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms impact several phenotypic traits and may be important for ecology and evolution. The introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus exhibits extensive phenotypic variation among and within populations. We screened methylation in populations from Kenya and Florida to determine if methylation varied among populations, varied with introduction history (Kenyan invasion <50 years old, Florida invasion ~150 years old, and could potentially compensate for decrease genetic variation with introductions. While recent literature has speculated on the importance of epigenetic effects for biological invasions, this is the first such study among wild vertebrates. Methylation was more frequent in Nairobi, and outlier loci suggest that populations may be differentiated. Methylation diversity was similar between populations, in spite of known lower genetic diversity in Nairobi, which suggests that epigenetic variation may compensate for decreased genetic diversity as a source of phenotypic variation during introduction. Our results suggest that methylation differences may be common among house sparrows, but research is needed to discern whether methylation impacts phenotypic variation.

  10. Life history attributes of Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) and comparisons with other North American subspecies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2017-01-01

    Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus—commonly referred to as the Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow—occurs in the desert and plains grasslands of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora, Mexico. Although a subspecies of conservation concern, this is the first intensive study of its life history and breeding ecology, providing baseline data and facilitating comparisons with other North American Grasshopper Sparrow subspecies. Specifically, I found A. s. ammolegus males generally weighed less than other subspecies (16.0 ± 0.8 g) but with intermediate exposed culmen length (11.6 ± 0.5 mm) and wing chord length similar to the other two migratory subspecies (62.7 ± 1.5 mm). Territory size for A. s. ammolegus was 0.72 ± 0.37 ha, with some variation between sites and among years, possibly indicating variation in habitat quality across spatial and temporal scales. The return rate for A. s. ammolegus males was 39.2%. Nest initiation for A. s. ammolegus was early to mid-July after the monsoons had begun. Domed nests were constructed on the ground, primarily under native bunch grasses, and frequently with a tunnel extending beyond the nest rim, with nest openings oriented north. Clutch size was 3.97 ± 0.68, with no evidence of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) nest parasitism. Extreme climate factors in the arid Southwest may have affected the life history and morphology of A. s. ammolegus as compared to other subspecies, influencing body size and mass, culmen length, breeding phenology, and nest orientation. Other geographic variation occurred in return rates, clutch size, and nest parasitism rates. The baseline data for A. s. ammolegus obtained in this study will inform future taxonomic and ecological studies as well as conservation planning. Comparisons of A. s. ammolegus morphometrics with those of other subspecies will assist field biologists in distinguishing among subspecies where they overlap, especially on wintering grounds.

  11. A spatially referenced regression model (SPARROW) for suspended sediment in streams of the Conterminous U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Gregory E.; Smith, Richard A.; Alexander, Richard B.; Gray, John R.

    2001-01-01

    ). Conversely, relatively little direct evidence is available concerning the fate of sediment. The common practice of quantifying sediment fate with a sediment deliv ery ratio, estimated from a simple empirical relation with upstream basin area, does not artic ulate the relative importance of individual storage sites within a basin (Wolman, 1977). Rates of sediment deposition in reservoirs and flood plains can be determined from empirical measurement s , but only a limited number of sites have been monitored, and net rates of deposition or loss from other potential sinks and sources is largely unknown (Stallard, 1998). In particular, little is known about how much sediment loss from fields ultimately makes its way to stream channels, and how much sediment is subsequently stored in or lost from th e streambed (Meade and Parker, 1985, Trimble and Crosson, 2000). This paper reports on recent progress made to a ddress empirically the question of sediment fate and transport on a national scale. The model pres ented here is based on the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attr ibutes (SPARROW) methodology, fi rst used to estimate the distribution of nutrients in str eams and rivers of the United Stat es, and subsequently shown to describe land and stream processes affecting the delivery of nutrients (Smith and others, 1997, Alexander and others, 2000, Preston and Brakeb ill, 1999). The model makes use of numerous spatial datasets, available at the national level, to explain long-term sediment water-quality conditions in major streams and rivers throughou t the United States. Sediment sources are identified using sediment erosion rates from the National Resources I nventory (NRI) (Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2000) and apportioned over the landscape according to 30- meter resolution land-use information from th e National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2000a). More than 76,000 reservoirs from the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army

  12. Kress indirect dry cooling system, Bethlehem Steel's Coke Plant demonstration at Sparrows Point, Maryland. Volume 2. Appendices G-N. Final report, February 1990-February 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ossman, A.G.

    1993-05-01

    The report provides an evaluation of the Kress Indirect Dry Cooling (KIDC) process. The KIDC process is an innovative system for the handling and cooling of coke produced from a slot type by-product coke oven battery. The report is based on the test work and demonstration of the system at Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point facility in 1991. The report covers both environmental and operational impacts of the KIDC process. The report, Volume 2, contains appendices G-N. Volume 1, PB93-191302, contains the technical report as well as appendices A-F. Volume 2 contains appendixes on coke quality data, blast furnace balwax model report, KIDC operating cost and maintenance requirements, Kress box thickness readings, KIDC coke discharge temperature, QA/QC program, door leak data, and coal data

  13. Radioactive contamination of nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus due to the Fukushima nuclear accident: The significance in the first year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Shin; Kasahara, Satoe; Morimoto, Gen; Mikami, Osamu K; Watanabe, Mamoru; Ueda, Keisuke

    2015-11-01

    The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, releasing vast amounts of radiation. Here we investigated radioactive contamination of the nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus from the breeding season of 2011 directly after the accident to the next breeding season of 2012 at two sites. In Tokyo (222 km southwest of the plant), ambient dose rates in the nestboxes were lower than those in Ibaraki (175 km southwest of the plant), where the levels of 2011 were higher than those of 2012. Further, the amount of radioactive Cs in each nest increased with the increase in nest weight, with a higher increment at Ibaraki than at Tokyo. These data suggested higher nest contamination levels in the breeding season directly after a nuclear accident than in later seasons, and an increment of nest contamination levels via nest materials of birds. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Object-Based Classification as an Alternative Approach to the Traditional Pixel-Based Classification to Identify Potential Habitat of the Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobin, Benoît; Labrecque, Sandra; Grenier, Marcelle; Falardeau, Gilles

    2008-01-01

    The traditional method of identifying wildlife habitat distribution over large regions consists of pixel-based classification of satellite images into a suite of habitat classes used to select suitable habitat patches. Object-based classification is a new method that can achieve the same objective based on the segmentation of spectral bands of the image creating homogeneous polygons with regard to spatial or spectral characteristics. The segmentation algorithm does not solely rely on the single pixel value, but also on shape, texture, and pixel spatial continuity. The object-based classification is a knowledge base process where an interpretation key is developed using ground control points and objects are assigned to specific classes according to threshold values of determined spectral and/or spatial attributes. We developed a model using the eCognition software to identify suitable habitats for the Grasshopper Sparrow, a rare and declining species found in southwestern Québec. The model was developed in a region with known breeding sites and applied on other images covering adjacent regions where potential breeding habitats may be present. We were successful in locating potential habitats in areas where dairy farming prevailed but failed in an adjacent region covered by a distinct Landsat scene and dominated by annual crops. We discuss the added value of this method, such as the possibility to use the contextual information associated to objects and the ability to eliminate unsuitable areas in the segmentation and land cover classification processes, as well as technical and logistical constraints. A series of recommendations on the use of this method and on conservation issues of Grasshopper Sparrow habitat is also provided.

  15. An initial SPARROW model of land use and in-stream controls on total organic carbon in streams of the conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Jhih-Shyang; Alexander, Richard B.; Smith, Richard A.; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Shwarz, Grogory E.; Chung, Susie

    2010-01-01

    Watersheds play many important roles in the carbon cycle: (1) they are a site for both terrestrial and aquatic carbon dioxide (CO2) removal through photosynthesis; (2) they transport living and decomposing organic carbon in streams and groundwater; and (3) they store organic carbon for widely varying lengths of time as a function of many biogeochemical factors. Using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model, along with long-term monitoring data on total organic carbon (TOC), this research quantitatively estimates the sources, transport, and fate of the long-term mean annual load of TOC in streams of the conterminous United States. The model simulations use surrogate measures of the major terrestrial and aquatic sources of organic carbon to estimate the long-term mean annual load of TOC in streams. The estimated carbon sources in the model are associated with four land uses (urban, cultivated, forest, and wetlands) and autochthonous fixation of carbon (stream photosynthesis). Stream photosynthesis is determined by reach-level application of an empirical model of stream chlorophyll based on total phosphorus concentration, and a mechanistic model of photosynthetic rate based on chlorophyll, average daily solar irradiance, water column light attenuation, and reach dimensions. It was found that the estimate of in-stream photosynthesis is a major contributor to the mean annual TOC load per unit of drainage area (that is, yield) in large streams, with a median share of about 60 percent of the total mean annual carbon load in streams with mean flows above 500 cubic feet per second. The interquartile range of the model predictions of TOC from in-stream photosynthesis is from 0.1 to 0.4 grams (g) carbon (C) per square meter (m-2) per day (day-1) for the approximately 62,000 stream reaches in the continental United States, which compares favorably with the reported literature range for net carbon fixation by

  16. Cutaneous water loss and the development of the stratum corneum of nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from desert and mesic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2011-01-01

    Evaporation through the skin contributes to more than half of the total water loss in birds. Therefore, we expect the regulation of cutaneous water loss (CWL) to be crucial for birds, especially those that live in deserts, to maintain a normal state of hydration. Previous studies in adult birds showed that modifications of the lipid composition of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, were associated with changes in rates of CWL. However, few studies have examined the ontogeny of CWL and the lipids of the SC in nestling birds. In this study, we measured CWL and the lipid composition of the SC during development of nestlings from two populations of house sparrows, one from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the other from mesic Ohio. We found that desert and mesic nestlings followed different developmental trajectories for CWL. Desert nestlings seemed to make a more frugal use of water than did mesic nestlings. To regulate CWL, nestlings appeared to modify the lipid composition of the SC during ontogeny. Our results also suggest a tighter regulation of CWL in desert nestlings, presumably as a result of the stronger selection pressures to which nestlings are exposed in deserts.

  17. Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yufeng; Eyster, Kathleen; Liu, Jin-Song; Swanson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Maximal metabolic outputs for exercise and thermogenesis in birds presumably influence fitness through effects on flight and shivering performance. Because both summit (Msum, maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and maximum (MMR, maximum exercise metabolic rate) metabolic rates are functions of skeletal muscle activity, correlations between these measurements and their mechanistic underpinnings might occur. To examine whether such correlations occur, we measured the effects of experimental cold and exercise training protocols for 3 weeks on body (Mb) and muscle (Mpec) masses, basal metabolic rate (BMR), Msum, MMR, pectoralis mRNA and protein expression for myostatin, and mRNA expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2 (metalloproteinase activators of myostatin) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Both training protocols increased Msum, MMR, Mb and Mpec, but BMR increased with cold training and decreased with exercise training. No significant differences occurred for pectoralis myostatin mRNA expression, but cold and exercise increased the expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2. Pectoralis myostatin protein levels were generally reduced for both training groups. These data clearly demonstrate cross-training effects of cold and exercise in birds, and are consistent with a role for myostatin in increasing pectoralis muscle mass and driving organismal increases in metabolic capacities. PMID:25987736

  18. Individual variation in cone photoreceptor density in house sparrows: implications for between-individual differences in visual resolution and chromatic contrast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensminger, Amanda L; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    Between-individual variation has been documented in a wide variety of taxa, especially for behavioral characteristics; however, intra-population variation in sensory systems has not received similar attention in wild animals. We measured a key trait of the visual system, the density of retinal cone photoreceptors, in a wild population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We tested whether individuals differed from each other in cone densities given within-individual variation across the retina and across eyes. We further tested whether the existing variation could lead to individual differences in two aspects of perception: visual resolution and chromatic contrast. We found consistent between-individual variation in the densities of all five types of avian cones, involved in chromatic and achromatic vision. Using perceptual modeling, we found that this degree of variation translated into significant between-individual differences in visual resolution and the chromatic contrast of a plumage signal that has been associated with mate choice and agonistic interactions. However, there was no evidence for a relationship between individual visual resolution and chromatic contrast. The implication is that some birds may have the sensory potential to perform "better" in certain visual tasks, but not necessarily in both resolution and contrast simultaneously. Overall, our findings (a) highlight the need to consider multiple individuals when characterizing sensory traits of a species, and (b) provide some mechanistic basis for between-individual variation in different behaviors (i.e., animal personalities) and for testing the predictions of several widely accepted hypotheses (e.g., honest signaling).

  19. Radioactive contamination of nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus due to the Fukushima nuclear accident: The significance in the first year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Shin; Kasahara, Satoe; Morimoto, Gen; Mikami, Osamu K.; Watanabe, Mamoru; Ueda, Keisuke

    2015-01-01

    The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, releasing vast amounts of radiation. Here we investigated radioactive contamination of the nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus from the breeding season of 2011 directly after the accident to the next breeding season of 2012 at two sites. In Tokyo (222 km southwest of the plant), ambient dose rates in the nestboxes were lower than those in Ibaraki (175 km southwest of the plant), where the levels of 2011 were higher than those of 2012. Further, the amount of radioactive Cs in each nest increased with the increase in nest weight, with a higher increment at Ibaraki than at Tokyo. These data suggested higher nest contamination levels in the breeding season directly after a nuclear accident than in later seasons, and an increment of nest contamination levels via nest materials of birds. - Highlights: • We describe radioactive contamination of bird nests after the Fukushima accident. • The amount of radioactive Cs inside the nestboxes increased with the nest weight. • Nest contamination has the potential to amplify effects of radiation on birds. - Radioactive Cs included in the nest materials of birds increased nest contamination levels.

  20. Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yufeng; Eyster, Kathleen; Liu, Jin-Song; Swanson, David L

    2015-07-01

    Maximal metabolic outputs for exercise and thermogenesis in birds presumably influence fitness through effects on flight and shivering performance. Because both summit (Msum, maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and maximum (MMR, maximum exercise metabolic rate) metabolic rates are functions of skeletal muscle activity, correlations between these measurements and their mechanistic underpinnings might occur. To examine whether such correlations occur, we measured the effects of experimental cold and exercise training protocols for 3 weeks on body (Mb) and muscle (Mpec) masses, basal metabolic rate (BMR), Msum, MMR, pectoralis mRNA and protein expression for myostatin, and mRNA expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2 (metalloproteinase activators of myostatin) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Both training protocols increased Msum, MMR, Mb and Mpec, but BMR increased with cold training and decreased with exercise training. No significant differences occurred for pectoralis myostatin mRNA expression, but cold and exercise increased the expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2. Pectoralis myostatin protein levels were generally reduced for both training groups. These data clearly demonstrate cross-training effects of cold and exercise in birds, and are consistent with a role for myostatin in increasing pectoralis muscle mass and driving organismal increases in metabolic capacities. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Characteristics of MHC class I genes in house sparrows Passer domesticus as revealed by long cDNA transcripts and amplicon sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Maria; Westerdahl, Helena

    2013-08-01

    In birds the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) organization differs both among and within orders; chickens Gallus gallus of the order Galliformes have a simple arrangement, while many songbirds of the order Passeriformes have a more complex arrangement with larger numbers of MHC class I and II genes. Chicken MHC genes are found at two independent loci, classical MHC-B and non-classical MHC-Y, whereas non-classical MHC genes are yet to be verified in passerines. Here we characterize MHC class I transcripts (α1 to α3 domain) and perform amplicon sequencing using a next-generation sequencing technique on exon 3 from house sparrow Passer domesticus (a passerine) families. Then we use phylogenetic, selection, and segregation analyses to gain a better understanding of the MHC class I organization. Trees based on the α1 and α2 domain revealed a distinct cluster with short terminal branches for transcripts with a 6-bp deletion. Interestingly, this cluster was not seen in the tree based on the α3 domain. 21 exon 3 sequences were verified in a single individual and the average numbers within an individual were nine and five for sequences with and without a 6-bp deletion, respectively. All individuals had exon 3 sequences with and without a 6-bp deletion. The sequences with a 6-bp deletion have many characteristics in common with non-classical MHC, e.g., highly conserved amino acid positions were substituted compared with the other alleles, low nucleotide diversity and just a single site was subject to positive selection. However, these alleles also have characteristics that suggest they could be classical, e.g., complete linkage and absence of a distinct cluster in a tree based on the α3 domain. Thus, we cannot determine for certain whether or not the alleles with a 6-bp deletion are non-classical based on our present data. Further analyses on segregation patterns of these alleles in combination with dating the 6-bp deletion through MHC characterization across the

  2. Spatial analysis of instream nitrogen loads and factors controlling nitrogen delivery to streams in the southeastern United States using spatially referenced regression on watershed attributes (SPARROW) and regional classification frameworks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoos, Anne B.; McMahon, Gerard

    2009-01-01

    Understanding how nitrogen transport across the landscape varies with landscape characteristics is important for developing sound nitrogen management policies. We used a spatially referenced regression analysis (SPARROW) to examine landscape characteristics influencing delivery of nitrogen from sources in a watershed to stream channels. Modelled landscape delivery ratio varies widely (by a factor of 4) among watersheds in the southeastern United States—higher in the western part (Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) than in the eastern part, and the average value for the region is lower compared to other parts of the nation. When we model landscape delivery ratio as a continuous function of local-scale landscape characteristics, we estimate a spatial pattern that varies as a function of soil and climate characteristics but exhibits spatial structure in residuals (observed load minus predicted load). The spatial pattern of modelled landscape delivery ratio and the spatial pattern of residuals coincide spatially with Level III ecoregions and also with hydrologic landscape regions. Subsequent incorporation into the model of these frameworks as regional scale variables improves estimation of landscape delivery ratio, evidenced by reduced spatial bias in residuals, and suggests that cross-scale processes affect nitrogen attenuation on the landscape. The model-fitted coefficient values are logically consistent with the hypothesis that broad-scale classifications of hydrologic response help to explain differential rates of nitrogen attenuation, controlling for local-scale landscape characteristics. Negative model coefficients for hydrologic landscape regions where the primary flow path is shallow ground water suggest that a lower fraction of nitrogen mass will be delivered to streams; this relation is reversed for regions where the primary flow path is overland flow.

  3. Next-generation sequencing reveals phylogeographic structure and a species tree for recent bird divergences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCormack, John E.; Maley, James M.; Hird, Sarah M.

    2012-01-01

    divergence in four phylogenetically diverse avian systems using a method for quick and cost-effective generation of primary DNA sequence data using pyrosequencing. NGS data were processed using an analytical pipeline that reduces many reads into two called alleles per locus per individual. Using single...... throughout the genome. Using eight loci found in Zonotrichia and Junco lineages, we were also able to generate a species tree of these sparrow sister genera, demonstrating the potential of this method for generating data amenable to coalescent-based analysis. We discuss improvements that should enhance...

  4. Monitoring breeding and migration of neotropical migratory birds at Point Loma, San Diego County, California, 5-year summary, 2011–15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Suellen; Madden, Melanie C.; Kus, Barbara E.

    2017-04-27

    Executive SummaryWe operated a bird banding station on the Point Loma peninsula in western San Diego County, California, during spring and summer from 2011 to 2015. The station was established in 2010 as part of a long-term monitoring program for neotropical migratory birds during spring migration and for breeding birds as part of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program.During spring migration (April and May), 2011–15, we captured 1,760 individual birds of 54 species, 91 percent (1,595) of which were newly banded, fewer than 1 percent (3) of which were recaptures that were banded in previous years, and 9 percent (143 hummingbirds, 2 hawks, and 17 other birds) of which we released unbanded. We observed an additional 22 species that were not captured. Thirty-four individuals were captured more than once. Bird capture rate averaged 0.49 ± 0.07 captures per net-hour (range 0.41–0.56). Species richness per day averaged 6.87 ± 0.33. Cardellina pusilla (Wilson’s warbler) was the most abundant spring migrant captured, followed by Empidonax difficilis (Pacific-slope flycatcher), Vireo gilvus (warbling vireo), Zonotrichia leucophrys (white-crowned sparrow), and Selasphorus rufus (rufous hummingbird). Captures of white-crowned sparrow decreased, and captures of Pacific-slope flycatcher increased, over the 5 years of our study. Fifty-six percent of known-sex individuals were male and 44 percent were female. The peak number of new species arriving per day ranged from April 1 (2013-six species) to April 16 (2012-five species). A significant correlation was determined between the number of migrants captured each day per net-hour and the density of echoes on the Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD) images across all 5 years, and in each year except 2014. NEXRAD radar imagery appears to be a useful tool for detecting pulses in migration.Our results indicate that Point Loma provides stopover habitat during migration for 76 migratory species, including 20

  5. Experimental toxoplasmosis in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Literák, I.; Sedlák, K.; Juřicová, Zina; Pavlásek, I.

    1999-01-01

    Roč. 28, c. 4 (1999), s. 363-368 ISSN 0307-9457 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/98/0111 Subject RIV: FN - Epidemiology, Contagious Diseases ; Clinical Immunology Impact factor: 0.845, year: 1999 http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tandf/cavp/1999/00000028/00000004/art00007

  6. Jack Sparrow on tagasi! / Timo Diener

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Diener, Timo

    2006-01-01

    Gore Verbinski lavastatud piraadi-triloogia teine film "Kariibi mere piraadid : Surnud mehe aardekirst" ("Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest"), peaosas Johnny Depp : Ameerika Ühendriigid 2006

  7. Granivorous birds and sorghum crop in the province of Villa Clara,Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orlando Miguel Saucedo Castillo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to reduce the damages granivorous birds cause to sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench in the province of Villa Clara, Cuba, research based on the determination of the major endemic, migratory birds and their relationship with the distribution were made space of historical meteorological variables in the province in the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions. Population to sorghum producers grouped in different forms surveys were conducted, which yielded a large database, such as the determination of the main grain-eating birds percentage damage incurred, varieties, grain color, growth stage and other indicators. Nine main species affecting sorghum grain-eating birds in our province were recorded; Passer domesticus, Lonchura malacca, Lonchura punctulata, Dives atroviolaceus, Passerina cyanea, Zonotrichia leucophrys, Columbina passerine, Zenaida macroura y Zenaida asiatica. The spatial distribution of meteorological variables and their relation to the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions of the province was determined, based on record four preferential habitat areas. The results allowed us to provide companies and different forms of production in Villa Clara, the possibility of a varietal structure planting of sorghum on the basis of different preferential areas granivorous birds, together with the morphological and physiological characteristics of different genotypes introduced in agricultural production of the province and nationally.

  8. The Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Aves: Icteridae), at 2,800 m asl in Quito, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Pinto, C Miguel; Carrión, Juan Manuel; Jarrín-E, Rubén D; Poveda, Cristian; de Vries, Tjitte

    2016-01-01

    The Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis Gmelin, 1789, is a brood parasite of hundreds of small-bodied birds that is native to South American lowlands. Within the last 100 years this species has been expanding its range throughout the Caribbean, towards North America, but has rarely been seen above 2,000 m asl. Here, we present records of Shiny Cowbirds in Quito, a city located 2,800 m above sea level that harbors a bird community typical of the Andean valleys. We found two juvenile individuals parasitizing two different pairs of Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis Müller, 1776). This report constitutes an altitudinal range expansion of reproductive populations of ca. 500m, which may have beenprompted by anthropogenic disturbance.

  9. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates of cowbird parasitism, host responses to parasitism, and factors that influence parasitism, such as nest concealment and host density. The impact of management depends, in part, upon a species' nesting phenology and biology. The section on breeding-season phenology and site fidelity includes details on spring arrival and fall departure for migratory populations in the Great Plains, peak breeding periods, the tendency to renest after nest failure or success, and the propensity to return to a previous breeding site. The duration and timing of breeding varies among regions and years. Species' response to management summarizes the current knowledge and major findings in the literature on the effects of different management practices on the species. The section on management recommendations complements the previous section and summarizes specific recommendations for habitat management provided in the literature. If management recommendations differ in different portions of the species' breeding range, recommendations are given separately by region. The literature cited contains references to published and unpublished literature on the management effects and habitat requirements of the species. This section is not meant to be a complete bibliography; for a searchable, annotated bibliography of published and unpublished papers dealing with habitat needs of grassland birds and their responses to habitat management, use the Grassland and Wetland Birds Bibliography on the home page of this resource.

  10. Range expansion in the Somali Sparrow Passer castanopterus in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Somaliland Plateau back in 1855, is a common and widespread species throughout much of the Horn of Africa ... nominate form occurs in northern Somalia, where it is a common and well established resident in coastal ... assisted passage by ship, rail or truck, it would seem that these factors could have been responsible for ...

  11. Geographic variation in social behaviour of white-browed sparrow ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite these local differences in environment, the social system of the species is surprisingly uniform: group size varies by a factor of less than two, and the presence of helpers within groups has been recorded at all the study sites. This contrasts with the published data for a number of other social vertebrates. The selective ...

  12. Experimental temperature manipulations alter songbird autumnal nocturnal migratory restlessness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berchtold Adrienne

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Migrating birds may respond to a variety of environmental cues in order to time migration. During the migration season nocturnally migrating songbirds may migrate or stop-over at their current location, and when migrating they may vary the rate or distance of migration on any given night. It has long been known that a variety of weather-related factors including wind speed and direction, and temperature, are correlated with migration in free-living birds, however these variables are often correlated with each other. In this study we experimentally manipulated temperature to determine if it would directly modulate nocturnal migratory restlessness in songbirds. We experimentally manipulated temperature between 4, 14, and 24°C and monitored nocturnal migratory restlessness during autumn in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis. White-throated sparrows are relatively shortdistance migrants with a prolonged autumnal migration, and we thus predicted they might be sensitive to weatherrelated cues when deciding whether to migrate or stopover. At warm temperatures (24°C none of the birds exhibited migratory restlessness. The probability of exhibiting migratory restlessness, and the intensity of this restlessness (number of infra-red beam breaks increased at cooler (14°C, 4°C temperatures. These data support the hypothesis that one of the many factors that birds use when making behavioural decisions during migration is temperature, and that birds can respond to temperature directly independently of other weather-related cues.

  13. Inventory of montane-nesting birds in Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program, biologists from the U. S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center conducted an inventory of birds in montane regions of Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks and Preserves during 2004–2006. We used a stratified random survey design to allocate samples by ecological subsection. To survey for birds, we conducted counts at 468 points across 29, 10-km x 10-km (6.2-mi x 6.2-mi) sample plots in Katmai and 417 points across 25, 10-km x 10-km sample plots in Lake Clark. We detected 92 and 104 species in Katmai and Lake Clark, respectively, including 40 species of conservation concern. We detected three species not previously recorded in Katmai (Ring-necked Duck [Aythya collaris], Lesser Scaup [Aythya affinis], and White-tailed Ptarmigan [Lagopus leucurus]) and two species not previously recorded in Lake Clark (Northern Flicker [Colaptes auratus ] and Olive-sided Flycatcher [Contopus cooperi]). The most commonly detected species in both parks was Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla); Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) and American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) were abundant and widely-distributed as well. We defined sites as low (100–350 m), middle (351–600 m), or high (601–1,620 m) elevation based on the distribution of vegetation cover, and similarly categorized the 34 most-commonly detected species based on the mean elevation of sample points at which they were detected. High elevation (i.e., alpine) sites were characterized by high percent cover of dwarf shrub and bare ground habitat and supported species like Rock Ptarmigan (L. mutus), American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana), Surfbird (Aphriza virgata), and Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis), all species of conservation concern. This inventory represents the first systematic survey of birds nesting in montane regions of both parks. Results from this inventory can form the foundation of

  14. Effects of food supplementation on a tropical bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Class, Alexandra M; Moore, Ignacio T

    2013-10-01

    Tropical birds typically exhibit a 'slow pace of life' relative to higher latitude species. This is often manifested as slow development, low fecundity, and high survival. Following from this, it is predicted that tropical birds may be more likely to trade current reproductive effort to favor self-maintenance, thus supporting survival and future reproduction. To test this idea, we conducted two food supplementation experiments on tropical rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. In the first experiment, we food-supplemented pairs during the non-breeding life-history stage, and in the second experiment, we food-supplemented pairs that were provisioning fledglings. In both experiments, a larger proportion of food-supplemented birds exhibited pre-basic molt (replacement of feathers) than in a control group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that a food-supplemented bird invests extra resources into molt, a form of self-maintenance, and contrasts with the majority of food supplementation studies in high latitude birds that show they typically advance the initiation of, or extend the period of, reproduction. Our results are consistent with the syndrome of the slow pace of life in the tropics and support the concept of fundamental differences between temperate-zone and tropical birds.

  15. A taste for novelty in invading house sparrows, Passer domesticus

    OpenAIRE

    Lynn B. Martin; Lisa Fitzgerald

    2005-01-01

    One of the central questions in invasion biology involves why some introductions succeed and others fail. Although several correlates of invasion success have been identified, patterns alone cannot identify the mechanisms underlying the invasion process. Here, we test the hypothesis that one predictor of invasion success, behavioral flexibility, is different between invading and established populations of the same species of bird. We predicted that neophobia (fear of novelty), a surrogate of ...

  16. Should I stay or should I go? Female brood desertion and male counterstrategy in rock sparrows

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griggio, Matteo; Matessi, Giuliano; Pilastro, Andrea

    2005-01-01

    petronia), a species in which females can desert their first brood before the nestlings from the first brood leave the nest. We predicted that the male would either desert the brood first or stay even if this implied the risk of caring for the brood alone. We found that males mated to loaded females did...... not leave but stayed and significantly increased their courtship rate and mate guarding. Unexpectedly, they also increased their food provisioning to the nestlings, even though loaded females did not reduce their nestling-feeding rate. The increase in male feeding rate may be explained as a way for the male...... to reduce the female's propensity to switch mate and desert or to increase her propensity to copulate with the male to obtain paternity in her next brood. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the perception of the risk of being deserted by the female does not necessarily induce males to desert first...

  17. Reading, Laterality, and the Brain: Early Contributions on Reading Disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow

    OpenAIRE

    Fletcher, Jack M.; Morris, Robin D.

    2014-01-01

    Although best known for work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, training in speech pathology and a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology was the foundation for Sara Sparrow’s long-term interest in reading disabilities. Her first papers were on dyslexia and laterality, and the maturational lag theory of developmental dyslexia proposed with Paul Satz, her mentor. The research program that emerged from this work had a wide impact...

  18. H09565: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-01-22

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  19. H09563: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-11-10

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  20. H09643: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-11-03

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  1. H09582: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1975-11-23

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  2. H09562: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-11-09

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  3. H09564: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-01-26

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  4. H09581: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-09-22

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  5. H09566: NOS Hydrographic Survey , Hawkins Point to Sparrows Point, Maryland, 1976-01-16

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the statutory mandate to collect hydrographic data in support of nautical chart compilation for safe...

  6. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  7. From bird to sparrow: Learning-induced modulations in fine-grained semantic discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meo, Rosanna; Bourquin, Nathalie M-P; Knebel, Jean-François; Murray, Micah M; Clarke, Stephanie

    2015-09-01

    Recognition of environmental sounds is believed to proceed through discrimination steps from broad to more narrow categories. Very little is known about the neural processes that underlie fine-grained discrimination within narrow categories or about their plasticity in relation to newly acquired expertise. We investigated how the cortical representation of birdsongs is modulated by brief training to recognize individual species. During a 60-minute session, participants learned to recognize a set of birdsongs; they improved significantly their performance for trained (T) but not control species (C), which were counterbalanced across participants. Auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) were recorded during pre- and post-training sessions. Pre vs. post changes in AEPs were significantly different between T and C i) at 206-232ms post stimulus onset within a cluster on the anterior part of the left superior temporal gyrus; ii) at 246-291ms in the left middle frontal gyrus; and iii) 512-545ms in the left middle temporal gyrus as well as bilaterally in the cingulate cortex. All effects were driven by weaker activity for T than C species. Thus, expertise in discriminating T species modulated early stages of semantic processing, during and immediately after the time window that sustains the discrimination between human vs. animal vocalizations. Moreover, the training-induced plasticity is reflected by the sharpening of a left lateralized semantic network, including the anterior part of the temporal convexity and the frontal cortex. Training to identify birdsongs influenced, however, also the processing of C species, but at a much later stage. Correct discrimination of untrained sounds seems to require an additional step which results from lower-level features analysis such as apperception. We therefore suggest that the access to objects within an auditory semantic category is different and depends on subject's level of expertise. More specifically, correct intra-categorical auditory discrimination for untrained items follows the temporal hierarchy and transpires in a late stage of semantic processing. On the other hand, correct categorization of individually trained stimuli occurs earlier, during a period contemporaneous with human vs. animal vocalization discrimination, and involves a parallel semantic pathway requiring expertise. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Resprouting of herbs in disturbed habitats: is it adequately described by Bellingham-Sparrow s model?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimešová, Jitka; Klimeš, Leoš

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 103, - (2003), s. 225-229 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/01/1039; GA ČR GA206/01/1037 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908 Keywords : severe disturbance * sprouting * temperate herbs Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.142, year: 2003

  9. Antibodies to arboviruses in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in the Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Juřicová, Zina; Literák, I.; Pinowski, J.

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 3 (2000), s. 213-215 ISSN 0001-7213 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/96/1059 Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 0.240, year: 2000 http://vfu-www.vfu.cz/acta-vet/vol69/pdf/69_213.pdf

  10. Avoiding the nest : responses of field sparrows to the threat of nest predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk E. Burhans

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation is a major source of reproductive failure in birds (Ricklefs 1969, Martin 1992). Birds confronted with an enemy near the nest may use behaviors to deter the prospect of nest predation. The benefits of nest defense have been shown for many agressive species (Martin 1992), but smaller birds that cannot deter predators may need to resort to other behaviors...

  11. You're the New Principal? Considering First Steps toward Improvement at Sparrow Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Craig; Clarida, Brian

    2016-01-01

    In the contemporary context, demands for rapid school turnaround meet the reality of increased principal turnover. Therefore, it is crucial to help aspiring school leaders hone their problem-solving skills. This case provides readers with an opportunity to diagnose issues of concern at a struggling school, and then prescribe several initial…

  12. A hidden Markov model for reconstructing animal paths from solar geolocation loggers using templates for light intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Winkler, David W; Bridge, Eli; Seavy, Nathaniel E; Sheldon, Daniel; Piersma, Theunis; Saveliev, Anatoly

    2015-01-01

    Solar archival tags (henceforth called geolocators) are tracking devices deployed on animals to reconstruct their long-distance movements on the basis of locations inferred post hoc with reference to the geographical and seasonal variations in the timing and speeds of sunrise and sunset. The increased use of geolocators has created a need for analytical tools to produce accurate and objective estimates of migration routes that are explicit in their uncertainty about the position estimates. We developed a hidden Markov chain model for the analysis of geolocator data. This model estimates tracks for animals with complex migratory behaviour by combining: (1) a shading-insensitive, template-fit physical model, (2) an uncorrelated random walk movement model that includes migratory and sedentary behavioural states, and (3) spatially explicit behavioural masks. The model is implemented in a specially developed open source R package FLightR. We used the particle filter (PF) algorithm to provide relatively fast model posterior computation. We illustrate our modelling approach with analysis of simulated data for stationary tags and of real tracks of both a tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor migrating along the east and a golden-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla migrating along the west coast of North America. We provide a model that increases accuracy in analyses of noisy data and movements of animals with complicated migration behaviour. It provides posterior distributions for the positions of animals, their behavioural states (e.g., migrating or sedentary), and distance and direction of movement. Our approach allows biologists to estimate locations of animals with complex migratory behaviour based on raw light data. This model advances the current methods for estimating migration tracks from solar geolocation, and will benefit a fast-growing number of tracking studies with this technology.

  13. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes in wild birds in northwestern California: associations with ecological factors, bird behavior and tick infestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Erica A; Eisen, Lars; Eisen, Rebecca J; Fedorova, Natalia; Hasty, Jeomhee M; Vaughn, Charles; Lane, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    Although Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are found in a great diversity of vertebrates, most studies in North America have focused on the role of mammals as spirochete reservoir hosts. We investigated the roles of birds as hosts for subadult Ixodes pacificus ticks and potential reservoirs of the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in northwestern California. Overall, 623 birds representing 53 species yielded 284 I. pacificus larvae and nymphs. We used generalized linear models and zero-inflated negative binomial models to determine associations of bird behaviors, taxonomic relationships and infestation by I. pacificus with borrelial infection in the birds. Infection status in birds was best explained by taxonomic order, number of infesting nymphs, sampling year, and log-transformed average body weight. Presence and counts of larvae and nymphs could be predicted by ground- or bark-foraging behavior and contact with dense oak woodland. Molecular analysis yielded the first reported detection of Borrelia bissettii in birds. Moreover, our data suggest that the Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), a non-resident species, could be an important reservoir for B. burgdorferi s.s. Of 12 individual birds (9 species) that carried B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected larvae, no birds carried the same genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. in their blood as were present in the infected larvae removed from them. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. Our study is the first to explicitly incorporate both taxonomic relationships and behaviors as predictor variables to identify putative avian reservoirs of B. burgdorferi s.l. Our findings underscore the importance of bird behavior to explain local tick infestation and Borrelia infection in these animals, and suggest the potential for bird-mediated geographic spread of vector ticks and spirochetes in the far-western United States.

  14. Relationship between bird-of-prey decals and bird-window collisions on a Brazilian university campus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Brisque

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Bird-window collisions are a dramatic cause of bird mortality globally. In Latin America, statistics are generally very scarce and/or inaccessible so the frequency of such incidents is still poorly understood. Nevertheless, civilians have applied preventive methods (e.g. adhesive bird-of-prey decals sparsely but, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated their effectiveness in Brazil. Here, we estimated the mortality rate of bird-window collisions and tested the effectiveness of bird-of-prey decals at preventing such accidents. We undertook daily searches for bird carcasses, presumably resulting from window collisions, near all buildings on a university campus over seven months. Adhesive bird-of-prey decals were then applied to the two buildings with the highest mortality rates and surveys continued for over 12 more months. The mortality rates before and after the application of decals and between seasons were then compared using Friedman test. We recorded 36 collisions, 29 around the two buildings with the highest collision rates 19 prior and 10 after our intervention with associated collision rates of 0.08 and 0.04 collisions/day. Although mortality was reduced by almost half, this difference was not statistically significant. The Blue-black grassquit, Volatinia jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766, and Ruddy ground dove, Columbina talpacoti (Temminck, 1810 suffered the highest number of collisions, followed by the Rufous-collared sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis (P. L. Statius Müller, 1776. Our bird-of-prey decals and efforts were insufficient to prevent or dramatically reduce the number of bird-window collisions. Therefore, we recommend that different interventions be used and additional long-term studies undertaken on their efficacy.

  15. Infection and transmission of live recombinant Newcastle disease virus vaccines in Rock Pigeons, European House Sparrows, and Japanese Quail

    Science.gov (United States)

    In China and Mexico, engineered recombinant Newcastle disease virus (rNDV) strains are used as live vaccines for the control of Newcastle disease and as vectors to express the avian influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) gene to control avian influenza in poultry. In this study, non-target species wer...

  16. Coping with Salt Water Habitats: Metabolic and Oxidative Responses to Salt Intake in the Rufous-Collared Sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Sabat

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Many physiological adjustments occur in response to salt intake in several marine taxa, which manifest at different scales from changes in the concentration of individual molecules to physical traits of whole organisms. Little is known about the influence of salinity on the distribution, physiological performance, and ecology of passerines; specifically, the impact of drinking water salinity on the oxidative status of birds has been largely ignored. In this study, we evaluated whether experimental variations in the salt intake of a widely-distributed passerine (Zontotrichia capensis could generate differences in basal (BMR and maximum metabolic rates (Msum, as well as affect metabolic enzyme activity and oxidative status. We measured rates of energy expenditure of birds after 30-d acclimation to drink salt (SW or tap (fresh water (TW and assessed changes in the activity of mitochondrial enzymes (cytochrome c oxidase and citrate synthase in skeletal muscle, heart, and kidney. Finally, we evaluated the oxidative status of bird tissues by means of total antioxidant capacity (TAC and superoxide dismutase activities and lipid oxidative damage (Malondialdehyde, MDA. The results revealed a significant increase in BMR but not Msum, which resulted in a reduction in factorial aerobic scope in SW- vs. TW-acclimated birds. These changes were paralleled with increased kidney and intestine masses and catabolic activities in tissues, especially in pectoralis muscle. We also found that TAC and MDA concentrations were ~120 and ~400% higher, respectively in the liver of animals acclimated to the SW- vs. TW-treatment. Our study is the first to document changes in the oxidative status in birds that persistently drink saltwater, and shows that they undergo several physiological adjustments that range that range in scale from biochemical capacities (e.g., TAC and MDA to whole organism traits (e.g., metabolic rates. We propose that the physiological changes observed in Z. capensis acclimated to saltwater could be common phenomena in birds and likely explain selection of prey containing little salt and habitats associated with low salinity.

  17. What has happened to the “aquatic phycomycetes” (sensu Sparrow)? Part I: A brief historical perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gleason, Frank H.; Marano, Agostina V.; Lilje, Osu

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The “aquatic phycomycetes” constitute an ecologically and economically important assemblage of eukaryotic microorganisms, because they share many morphological traits and important ecological functions and they interact with each other in aquatic ecosystems. The last two decades of resea...

  18. "Better a Live Sparrow than a Stuffed Eagle": Towards a Translation of Guillaume de Machaut's "Dit de l'Alerion."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaon, Brenda

    1978-01-01

    A discussion of some special problems in translating medieval poetry into a modern language while conveying the original meaning, emotional tone and word play. The discussion centers on the poetry of Machaut, a medieval poet of interest to English scholars because of his influence on Chaucer. (AMH)

  19. Production, Characterization and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing IgY Epitopes Shared by Chicken, Turkey, Pheasant, Peafowl and Sparrow

    OpenAIRE

    Narat, Mojca; Biček, Ajda; Vadnjal, Robert; Benčina, Dušan

    2004-01-01

    Chicken antibodies are not only a part of immune defense but are more and more popular commercial products in form of chicken polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies. We produced and characterized mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that recognize epitopes located on heavy or light chain of chicken immunoglobulin Y (chIgY) shared also by some other Phasianidae birds. The use of mAbs 1F5 and 2F10 that recognize heavy chain on chIgY common epitopes was demonstrated on immunoglobulins of...

  20. Sources of suspended-sediment flux in streams of the chesapeake bay watershed: A regional application of the sparrow model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brakebill, J.W.; Ator, S.W.; Schwarz, G.E.

    2010-01-01

    We describe the sources and transport of fluvial suspended sediment in nontidal streams of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and vicinity. We applied SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes, which spatially correlates estimated mean annual flux of suspended sediment in nontidal streams with sources of suspended sediment and transport factors. According to our model, urban development generates on average the greatest amount of suspended sediment per unit area (3,928 Mg/km2/year), although agriculture is much more widespread and is the greatest overall source of suspended sediment (57 Mg/km2/year). Factors affecting sediment transport from uplands to streams include mean basin slope, reservoirs, physiography, and soil permeability. On average, 59% of upland suspended sediment generated is temporarily stored along large rivers draining the Coastal Plain or in reservoirs throughout the watershed. Applying erosion and sediment controls from agriculture and urban development in areas of the northern Piedmont close to the upper Bay, where the combined effects of watershed characteristics on sediment transport have the greatest influence may be most helpful in mitigating sedimentation in the bay and its tributaries. Stream restoration efforts addressing floodplain and bank stabilization and incision may be more effective in smaller, headwater streams outside of the Coastal Plain. ?? 2010 American Water Resources Association. No claim to original U.S. government works.

  1. Why are tropical mountain passes "low" for some species? Genetic and stable-isotope tests for differentiation, migration and expansion in elevational generalist songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadek, Chauncey R; Newsome, Seth D; Beckman, Elizabeth J; Chavez, Andrea N; Galen, Spencer C; Bautista, Emil; Witt, Christopher C

    2018-05-01

    Most tropical bird species have narrow elevational ranges, likely reflecting climatic specialization. This is consistent with Janzen's Rule, the tendency for mountain passes to be effectively "higher" in the tropics. Hence, those few tropical species that occur across broad elevational gradients (elevational generalists) represent a contradiction to Janzen's Rule. Here, we aim to address the following questions. Are elevational generalists being sundered by diversifying selection along the gradient? Does elevational movement cause these species to resist diversification or specialization? Have they recently expanded, suggesting that elevational generalism is short-lived in geological time? To answer these questions, we tested for differentiation, movement and expansion in four elevational generalist songbird species on the Andean west slope. We used morphology and mtDNA to test for genetic differentiation between high- and low-elevation populations. To test for elevational movements, we measured hydrogen isotope (δ 2 H) values of metabolically inert feathers and metabolically active liver. Morphology differed for House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) and Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus), but not for Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinereum) and Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) respectively. mtDNA was structured by elevation only in Z. capensis. δ 2 H data indicated elevational movements by two tree- and shrub-foraging species with moderate-to-high vagility (C. cinereum and S. magellanicus), and sedentary behaviour by two terrestrial-foraging species with low-to-moderate vagility (T. aedon and Z. capensis). In S. magellanicus, elevational movements and lack of mtDNA structure contrast with striking morphological divergence, suggesting strong diversifying selection on body proportions across the c. 50 km gradient. All species except C. cinereum exhibited mtDNA haplotype variation consistent with recent population expansion across the elevational

  2. North African hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion – ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Belkacem, A. A.; Gast, Oliver; Stuckas, H.; Canal, D.; LoValvo, M.; Giacalone, G.; Päckert, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 15 (2016), s. 5190-5206 ISSN 2045-7758 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Agricultural landscape mosaic * Algeria * breeding phenology * NADH dehydrogenase * nest site choice Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  3. Effects of Fog Oil Smoke on Immune Responses in the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Driver, Crystal; Jarrell, Anne; Ollero, Jennifer; Tiller, Brett; Fulton, Robert

    2004-01-01

    In response to questions about the effects of military use of fog oil (FO) obscurant smoke, the sensitivity of cell-mediated constituents of the immune system to FO smoke was tested using an avianpox challenge in red-winged blackbirds...

  4. Facultative nest patch shifts in response to nest predation risk in the Brewer's sparrow: a "win-stay, lose-switch" strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna D. Chalfoun; Thomas E. Martin

    2010-01-01

    Facultative shifts in nesting habitat selection in response to perceived predation risk may allow animals to increase the survival probability of sessile offspring. Previous studies on this behavioral strategy have primarily focused on single attributes, such as the distance moved or changes in nesting substrate. However, nest site choice often encompasses multiple...

  5. Histochemical Structure of Stomach (Proventriculus and Gizzard in Some Bird Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emel DEMİRBAĞ

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Stomach samples (proventriculus and gizzard of sparrow hawk (Accipiter nisus, crow (Corvus corone and sparrow (Passer domesticus were investigated in this study. In histochemical investigations, strong sulfated mucins were not determined in compound glands of proventriculus, but a little reaction to AB (pH 0.5 in compound glands was observed in proventriculus of sparrow hawk and crow. While weak AB (pH 1.0 (+ character was found in sparrow gizzard, it was found as dense in superficial glands of sparrow hawk. However, it was not observed in crow gizzard. While AF (+ character (sulfated mucins was detected as dense in epithelium and as weak in glands of gizzard of sparrow hawk, this character was not observed in glands of gizzards of crow and sparrow. Any reactivity to Periodic Acid-Shiff (PAS staining was not observed in both epithelium and glands of sparrow proventriculus

  6. Comprehensive Status and Trends of Nitrogen Loads to Estuaries in the Conterminous United States: Pacific Coast Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    We applied regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models to estimate status and trends of potential nitrogen loads to estuaries of the conterminous United States. The original Regional SPARROW models predict average detrended loads by source ...

  7. Birds of a Great Basin Sagebrush Habitat in East-Central Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.

  8. 50 CFR 10.13 - List of Migratory Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Protection of Migratory Birds, August 16, 1916, United States-Great Britain (on behalf of Canada), 39 Stat..., Gallinago stenura Swinhoe's, Gallinago megala Wilson's, Gallinago delicata (the “common” snipe hunted in..., Spizella pusilla Five-striped, Aimophila quinquestriata Fox, Passerella iliaca Golden-crowned, Zonotrichia...

  9. Compilation of 1985 Annual Reports of the Navy ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) Communications System Ecological Monitoring Program. Volume 3. Tabs H-J.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-07-01

    Buckley B. (1975) The Feen% P. (1970) Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannin processing of conifer and hardwood leaves in two and nutrients as a cause...Zonotrichia aIbicollis 35 51 34 77 -Drk-.yed Junco Junco hvermlis I I I I Red- wineed Blackbird Amelaius ohoeniceus 1 5 15 0 Comnon Grackle Ouiscalus cuiscula

  10. Regression with Sparse Approximations of Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noorzad, Pardis; Sturm, Bob L.

    2012-01-01

    We propose sparse approximation weighted regression (SPARROW), a method for local estimation of the regression function that uses sparse approximation with a dictionary of measurements. SPARROW estimates the regression function at a point with a linear combination of a few regressands selected...... by a sparse approximation of the point in terms of the regressors. We show SPARROW can be considered a variant of \\(k\\)-nearest neighbors regression (\\(k\\)-NNR), and more generally, local polynomial kernel regression. Unlike \\(k\\)-NNR, however, SPARROW can adapt the number of regressors to use based...

  11. 76 FR 65527 - Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan for Yolo County, CA: Environmental...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-21

    ... virens), grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), tricolored blackbird (Agelaius tricolor), and... personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so...

  12. Demographic consequences of invasion by a native, controphic competitor to an insular bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K M; Germain, R R; Tarwater, C E; Reid, J M; Arcese, P

    2018-05-01

    Species invasions and range shifts can lead to novel competitive interactions between historically resident and colonizing species, but the demographic consequences of such interactions remain controversial. We present results from field experiments and 45 years of demographic monitoring to test the hypothesis that the colonization of Mandarte Is., BC, Canada, by fox sparrows (Passerella iliaca) caused the long-term decline of the resident population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Several lines of evidence indicate that competition with fox sparrows for winter food reduced over-winter survival in juvenile song sparrows by 48% from 1960 to 2015, enforcing population decline despite an increase in annual reproductive rate in song sparrows over the same period. Preference for locally abundant seeds presented at experimental arenas suggested complete overlap in diet in song and fox sparrows, and observations at arenas baited with commercial seed showed that fox sparrows displaced song sparrows in 91-100% of interactions in two periods during winter. In contrast, we found no evidence of interspecific competition for resources during the breeding season. Our results indicate that in the absence of marked shifts in niche dimension, range expansions by dominant competitors have the potential to cause the extirpation of historically resident species when competitive interactions between them are strong and resources not equitably partitioned.

  13. Cost of Parasitism Incurred by Two Songbird Species and Their Quality As Cowbird Hosts1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirk Burhans; Frank R. Thompson III

    2000-01-01

    We measured the costs of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism incurred by Field Sparrows (Spizella pusilla) and Indigo Buntings (Passerina cyanea). We predicted that the frequent occurrence of nest desertion as a response to cowbird parasitism in Field Sparrows would be reflected by a higher cost of...

  14. Final Environmental Assessment: Western Range Command Transmit Site Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-20

    between the U.S. and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union for the protection of migratory birds. Under the Act, taking, killing or...Song sparrow I Northern mockingbird I Brown-headed cowbird I Fox sparrow !Lazuli bunting !California towhee !Spotted towhee IBushtit !Black

  15. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  16. Environmental Impact Research Program and Defense Natural Resources Program: Section 7.5.7, US Army Corps of Engineers Wildlife Resources Management Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-02-01

    throated sparrow (Z. albicollis) X X Song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) X X Fox sparrow (Passerella iliaca) X X Mammals Opossum (Didelphis virginiana ) X...cm) and should not be less than 0.38 in. (0.4 cm). When Ellagood is pruned severely, an abundance of new shoots are produced (SCS, undated). Planting...Holes for the plants should be deep enough to take the full root without bending. Unusually long roots and tops may be pruned to 6 in. (15.2 cm) if

  17. Kariibi piraadid : admiralid, ilueedid ja kröösused / Riho Laurisaar

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Laurisaar, Riho

    2006-01-01

    Gore Verbinski lavastatud filmis "Kariibi mere piraadid : Surnud mehe aardekirst" Jack Sparrow tegelaskuju võimalikud ajaloolised prototüübid Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Henry Morgan, Francis Drake ja John Rackham

  18. A study of fungi on droppings of certain birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. S. Singh

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Droppings of fowl, owl, parrot, pigeon and sparrow were asepticaly collected in sterilized bottles from different places at Gorakhpur, 54 fungi were isolated. The number of fungi was more in the pigeon showing considerable decrease in the fowl and the sparrow. In the parrot and the owl, however. the fungi were egual in number. The number of Phycomycetes was almost the same on droppings of all birds, from parrot only one species could be isolated. A larger number of Ascomyteces was recorded from fowl, less from pigeon and owl and the least (two each on sparrow and parrot droppings. The Basidiomycetes, represented by two species only, were recorded on owl and pigeon droppings. Pigeon droppings yielded the largest number of Deuteromycetes. They were egual in numbers on owl and parrot while on fowl and sparrow their number was comparatively less. Mycelia sterilia, though poor in their numbers, were recorded on all the bird droppings excepting owl.

  19. Predicting human epidermal melanin concentrations for different skin tones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available epidermal melanin concentrations for different skin tones JE Smit 1 , AE Karsten 2 , RW Sparrow 1 1 CSIR Biosciences, Pretoria, South Africa 2 CSIR National Laser Centre, Pretoria, South Africa Author e-mail address: KSmit...

  20. First records of several bird species for Zacatecas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Pérez-Arteaga

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We report the first records of five species of birds for the state of Zacatecas, Mexico: Ortalis poliocephala (West Mexican Chachalaca, Progne sinaloae (Sinaloa Martin, Peucaea carpalis (Rufous-winged Sparrow, Melospiza melodia (Song Sparrow and Cyanocompsa parellina (Blue Bunting. Ortalis poliocephala is also a new record for the Western Sierra Madre biogeographic region. These records are ecologically relevant as they extend the known distribution ranges and suggest that the southern Zacatecas region might be more diverse than previously thought.

  1. American River Watershed Investigation, California. Volume 7. Appendix S. Part 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus C,U,F Brown towhee Pipilo fuscus C,U,F Rufous-crowned sparrow Aimophila ruficeps C,R Chipping sparrow Spizella passerina C,R...pipistrelle Pipistrellus hesperus Widespread in ma habitat Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus Widespread in ma habitat Townsends big-caved bat Plecotus...occidentalis * Carp Qjprjnus ca rv i *Goldfish Carassius auratus Sacramento blackfish Orthodon microlepidotus Hardhead Mylopharodon conocephalus

  2. Biological Assessment of the Effects of the Proposed Revision of the 1996 Management Guidelines for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker on Army Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    on Army installations. DISCLAIMER: The contents of this report are not to be used for advertising , publication, or promotional purposes. Citation...ob- served. Driver et al. 2003 exposed house sparrow (Passer domesticus) eggs and nestlings to fog oil concentrations up to 450 mg/m3 for 30 minutes...during sensitive periods of embryonic and nestling development. That exposure did not adversely impact hatchability of house sparrow eggs or the

  3. Tragulidae (Artiodactyla, Ruminantia) from the Middle Miocene Chinji Formation of Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    KHAN, Muhammad Akbar; AKHTAR, Muhammad

    2014-01-01

    In this study, Spanish Sparrows were recorded in numerous locations and specimens were collected from Samsun, Çorum, and Denizli provinces in Turkey. The breeding subpopulations preferred various nesting sites, including wooded areas and White Stork nests. These sparrows were primarily observed in flocks of variable size and were rarely solitary. The largest flock recorded was found in juniper and pine woods in Denizli. We collected data on 23 allozyme loci to compare the genetic variation am...

  4. Final Environmental Assessment Addressing Building Demolition at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    take, capture, or kill ; attempt to take, capture, or kill ; possess, offer to or sell, barter, purchase, deliver, or cause to be shipped, exported...captured, killed , taken, shipped, transported, or carried contrary to the laws from where it was obtained; and import from Canada any bird, part, nest, or... mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), curved-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre), lark sparrow (Chordestes grammacus), black-throated sparrow

  5. Reproductive periods in birds near the equator

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Alden H.

    2012-01-01

    Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis) teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte. Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares localizado en la cima de la Cordillera Occidental sobre la carretera que conduce de Cali a Buenaventura.  Mediante trabajos de anillado, instalación de trampas para captura de las aves, realización d...

  6. Influence of Urbanization on Body Size, Condition, and Physiology in an Urban Exploiter: A Multi-Component Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alizée Meillère

    Full Text Available Consistent expanding urbanization dramatically transforms natural habitats and exposes organisms to novel environmental challenges, often leading to reduced species richness and diversity in cities. However, it remains unclear how individuals are affected by the urban environment and how they can or cannot adjust to the specific characteristics of urban life (e.g. food availability. In this study, we used an integrative multi-component approach to investigate the effects of urbanization on the nutritional status of house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We assessed several morphological and physiological indices of body condition in both juveniles (early post-fledging and breeding adults from four sites with different levels of urbanization in France, Western Europe. We found that sparrows in more urbanized habitats have reduced body size and body mass compared to their rural conspecifics. However, we did not find any consistent differences in a number of complementary indices of condition (scaled mass index, muscle score, hematocrit, baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels between urban and rural birds, indicating that urban sparrows may not be suffering nutritional stress. Our results suggest that the urban environment is unlikely to energetically constrain adult sparrows, although other urban-related variables may constrain them. On the other hand, we found significant difference in juvenile fat scores, suggesting that food types provided to young sparrows differed highly between habitats. In addition to the observed smaller size of urban sparrows, these results suggest that the urban environment is inadequate to satisfy early-life sparrows' nutritional requirements, growth, and development. The urban environment may therefore have life-long consequences for developing birds.

  7. Influence of Urbanization on Body Size, Condition, and Physiology in an Urban Exploiter: A Multi-Component Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Parenteau, Charline; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Consistent expanding urbanization dramatically transforms natural habitats and exposes organisms to novel environmental challenges, often leading to reduced species richness and diversity in cities. However, it remains unclear how individuals are affected by the urban environment and how they can or cannot adjust to the specific characteristics of urban life (e.g. food availability). In this study, we used an integrative multi-component approach to investigate the effects of urbanization on the nutritional status of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We assessed several morphological and physiological indices of body condition in both juveniles (early post-fledging) and breeding adults from four sites with different levels of urbanization in France, Western Europe. We found that sparrows in more urbanized habitats have reduced body size and body mass compared to their rural conspecifics. However, we did not find any consistent differences in a number of complementary indices of condition (scaled mass index, muscle score, hematocrit, baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels) between urban and rural birds, indicating that urban sparrows may not be suffering nutritional stress. Our results suggest that the urban environment is unlikely to energetically constrain adult sparrows, although other urban-related variables may constrain them. On the other hand, we found significant difference in juvenile fat scores, suggesting that food types provided to young sparrows differed highly between habitats. In addition to the observed smaller size of urban sparrows, these results suggest that the urban environment is inadequate to satisfy early-life sparrows' nutritional requirements, growth, and development. The urban environment may therefore have life-long consequences for developing birds.

  8. Changing levels of heavy metal accumulation in birds at Tumacacori National Historic Park along the Upper Santa Cruz River Watershed in southern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Riper, Charles; Lester, Michael B.

    2016-01-01

    National Parks and other protected areas can be influenced by contamination from outside their boundaries. This is particularly true of smaller parks and those in riparian ecosystems, a habitat that in arid environments provides critical habitat for breeding, migratory, and wintering birds. Animals living in contaminated areas are susceptible to adverse health effects as a result of long-term exposure and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) at Tumacacori National Historic Park (TUMA) along the upper Santa Cruz River watershed in southern Arizona. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the concentrations and distributional patterns of heavy metals in blood and feathers of Song Sparrows at Tumacacori National Historic Park, (2) quantify hematocrit values, body conditions (that is, residual body mass), and immune conditions of Song Sparrows in the park (3) compare our findings with prior studies at the park to assess the extent of heavy metal accumulation in birds at downstream sites after the 2009 wastewater treatment plant upgrade, and (4) quantify concentrations and distributional patterns of heavy metals in blood and feathers of Song Sparrows among six study sites throughout the upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study design would allow us to more accurately assess song sparrow condition and blood parameters among sites with differing potential sources of contamination exposure, and how each location could have contributed to heavy metal levels of birds in the park.

  9. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  10. Feather and nest mites of two common resident birds in two ecologically different Egyptian governorates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morsy, T A; Mazyad, S A; Younis, M S

    1999-08-01

    The study of the role played by birds in the distribution of various bacterial, viral and parasitic infections is increasingly from year to year, taking into consideration the flying ability of birds and their migration for food and vital processes. Two of the common Egyptian resident birds, house sparrow (Passer d. niloticus) and laughing dove (Streptopelia s. aegyptiaca) were chosen to study their mite fauna. The overall mite index was 4.74 on the house sparrow and 7.22 on the laughing dove. As to mites, a total of 31 species belonging to 23 genera, 17 families and 3 suborders were collected. The common mites on both types of birds were 22 species. Three species only on house sparrow, and six species only on laughing dove. The house sparrow served host for 25 mite species and the laughing dove served host for 28 mite species. The infestation rates of mites on house sparrow ranged between 1.11% to 23.33% and 0.21% to 34.54% in Sharkia and Qalyobia governorates respectively. For laughing dove, the mite infestation rates ranged between 0.82% to 50% and 3.45% to 55.17% for both governorates respectively. Some of the collected mites have medical and/or veterinary importance. The whole results were discussed.

  11. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  12. Risk from cattle trampling to nests of an endangered passerine evaluated using artificial nest experiments and simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian W. Rolek

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are often grazed by cattle and many grassland birds nest on the ground, potentially exposing nests to trampling. We tested for trampling risk introduced by cattle to nests of endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus using experimentally paired grids of artificial nests (i.e., clay targets similar in size to nests of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows and counted the number of clay targets that were broken in paired grazed and ungrazed enclosures. Clay targets in grazed grids were trampled 3.9% more often than their respective ungrazed grids, and measurements of cattle presence or density were correlated with the number of broken clay targets, suggesting that excluding cattle during breeding is an important management recommendation for the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. Trampling rates within grazed enclosures were spatially homogeneous with respect to cattle infrastructure such as supplemental feeding troughs and fences, and forests and stocking density were poor predictors of trampling rates when excluding ungrazed grids. We used population viability analysis to compare quasi-extinction rates, intrinsic growth rates, and median abundance in grazed and ungrazed Florida Grasshopper Sparrow aggregations to further understand the biological significance of management aimed at reducing trampling rates during the breeding season. Simulations indicated that trampling from grazing increased quasi-extinction rates by 41% while reducing intrinsic growth rates by 0.048, and reducing median abundance by an average of 214 singing males after 50 years. Management should avoid grazing enclosures occupied by Florida Grasshopper Sparrows during the nesting season to minimize trampling rates. Our methods that combine trampling experiments with population viability analysis provide a framework for testing effects from trampling on other grassland ground-nesting birds, and can directly inform conservation and management of the

  13. Species-Dependent Effects of the Urban Environment on Fatty Acid Composition and Oxidative Stress in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Isaksson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological impacts of urbanization include the loss of biodiversity and changes in species composition and population densities. However, how the urban environment affects fundamental physiological parameters is largely unknown. Here, we investigated physiological components related to health and nutrition, namely, plasma fatty acids (FA and lipid peroxidation at inter-habitat and interspecific levels. Specifically, we compared four passerine bird species—the great tit (Parus major, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus, and the tree sparrow (P. montanus—from urban and rural environments. Significant interactions between species and habitat were revealed for the majority of the FAs. Interestingly, the observed inter-habitat variation in FAs was frequently in opposite directions when comparing species from the two families (tits, Paridae; sparrows, Passeridae. These patterns suggest that sparrows and tits feed on different food sources, or modulate their FA metabolism differently, across the urban-rural gradient. By using canonical discriminant analyses (CDA, we further demonstrated species-specific signals in FA composition, with misclassification of species being <1% within habitats and <7% between habitats. Finally, the urban-rural FA differences between species and families were manifested in two indices of health. Firstly, urban blue tits had a higher total ω-6/ω-3 polyunsaturated FA ratio than rural conspecifics, which is believed to increase inflammatory responses. Secondly, urban sparrows of both species showed higher lipid peroxidation indices (indicating a higher susceptibility to lipid peroxidation if exposed to pro-oxidants, and consequently, a higher level of lipid peroxidation compared to their rural conspecifics. Collectively, the species- and habitat-specific differences in plasma FA composition, which are linked to nutrition and metabolism, suggest that the urban environment affect tits and

  14. Non-target effects on songbirds from habitat manipulation for Greater Sage-Grouse: Implications for the umbrella species concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlisle, Jason D.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Smith, Kurt T.; Beck, Jeffery L.

    2018-01-01

    The “umbrella species” concept is a conservation strategy in which creating and managing reserve areas to meet the needs of one species is thought to benefit other species indirectly. Broad-scale habitat protections on behalf of an umbrella species are assumed to benefit co-occurring taxa, but targeted management actions to improve local habitat suitability for the umbrella species may produce unintended effects on other species. Our objective was to quantify the effects of a common habitat treatment (mowing of big sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata]) intended to benefit a high-profile umbrella species (Greater Sage-Grouse [Centrocercus urophasianus]) on 3 sympatric songbird species of concern. We used a before–after control-impact experimental design spanning 3 yr in Wyoming, USA, to quantify the effect of mowing on the abundance, nest-site selection, nestling condition, and nest survival of 2 sagebrush-obligate songbirds (Brewer's Sparrow [Spizella breweri] and Sage Thrasher [Oreoscoptes montanus]) and one open-habitat generalist songbird (Vesper Sparrow [Pooecetes gramineus]). Mowing was associated with lower abundance of Brewer's Sparrows and Sage Thrashers but higher abundance of Vesper Sparrows. We found no Brewer's Sparrows or Sage Thrashers nesting in the mowed footprint posttreatment, which suggests complete loss of nesting habitat for these species. Mowing was associated with higher nestling condition and nest survival for Vesper Sparrows but not for the sagebrush-obligate species. Management prescriptions that remove woody biomass within a mosaic of intact habitat may be tolerated by sagebrush-obligate songbirds but are likely more beneficial for open-habitat generalist species. By definition, umbrella species conservation entails habitat protections at broad spatial scales. We caution that habitat manipulations to benefit Greater Sage-Grouse could negatively affect nontarget species of conservation concern if implemented across large spatial extents.

  15. Heat loss may explain bill size differences between birds occupying different habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Greenberg

    Full Text Available Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia, a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate "dry" heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size.Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15-37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5-10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%.This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size.

  16. Diversification in the Andes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sánchez-González, Luis A.; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G.; Krabbe, Niels Kaare

    2015-01-01

    With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (......With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (...

  17. New species in the Hungarian avifauna in 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadarics Tibor

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Two new species appeared in the Hungarian avifauna in 2014: the Spanish Sparrow and the Blyth’s Reed Warbler. One pair of Spanish Sparrow was breeding in Bácsborsód between June 13th and July 31st in the side of a stork nest. The Blyth’s Reed Warbler was trapped and ringed near Tömörd on August 15th. With the observations of these species the number of bird species that have ever been proven to occur in Hungary has risen to 411.

  18. Fronts, water masses and heat content variability in the Western Indian sector of the Southern Ocean during austral summer 2004

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    AnilKumar, N.; Luis, A.J.; Somayajulu, Y.K.; RameshBabu, V.; Dash, M.K.; Pednekar, S.M.; Babu, K.N.; Sudhakar, M.; Pandey, P.C.

    of the southern sector of the Indian Ocean (Fu, 1986; Nagata et al, 1988; Park et al, 1993; Orsi et al., 1995; Belkin and Gordon, 1996; Sparrow et al., 1996; Holliday and Read, 1998; Park et al., 1998; Reid, 2003) which emphasized that the areas west... to classify each front based on exact change in its characteristic parameters, the criteria adopted by elsewhere were considered (Peterson and Whitworth, 1989; Orsi et al., 1993; Read and Pollard,1993; Orsi et al.,1995; Belkin and Gordon, 1996; Sparrow 4 et...

  19. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  20. Rhodamine-Injected Eggs to Photographically Identify Small Nest-Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Photographs that clearly disclose avian-nest predators are difficult to obtain, particularly when predators are small and exhibit subtle depredatory behavior. We exposed House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) eggs injected with Rhodamine B dye in camera-monitored ground nests for 12-d periods at 76 sites within mixed-hardwood forest stands in central...

  1. Animal Research International - Vol 13, No 1 (2016)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bird species of Mouau with special emphasis on foraging behavior of the northern grey-headed sparrow (Passer griseus) · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. Oghale O'woma OKORE, Chidinma AMADI, 2338-2344 ...

  2. Arboviruses pathogenic for domestic and wild animals

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubálek, Zdeněk; Rudolf, Ivo; Nowotny, N.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 89, č. 5 (2014), s. 201-275 ISSN 0065-3527 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : West-Nile virus * Tick-borne encephalitis * Louping-ill virus * Cache-Valley virus * African-swine-fever * California serogroup virus * Kyasanur-forest-disease * sparrows Passer domesticus Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 4.571, year: 2014

  3. RESO-NA-NCEIJa-nu-a

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    74 BOOK REVIEWS. • The Fall of a Sparrow. The life of Salim Ali. Kartik Shanker. • Quantum Revolution. The Birth of Quantum Mechanics. A K Vijaykumar. 81 REFLECTIONS. An Ornithological Pilgrimage to Lake Manasarowar and Mount Kallas. Salim Ali. Front Cover. The cover picture shows two representations of a.

  4. Do male birds intercept and use rival courtship calls to adjust paternity protection behaviours?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; McGregor, Peter Kenneth; Peake, Thomas More

    2005-01-01

    Abstract: We tested whether male rock sparrows (Petronia petronia) change behaviours directed at their females when played back courtship display calls simulating a potential cuckolding event in the vicinity of their nests. We compared the behaviour of males before, during and after such playback...... and communication strategies, and extend our knowledge of how the social environment can affect within-pair dynamics....

  5. Bionanoscience landscape in South Africa and its implications in the development of a post-graduate curriculum - Presentation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Sparrow, R

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Africa and its Implications in the Development of a Post-Graduate Curriculum Presented at UWC – Nano-biotechnology Seminar. Dr. Raymond Sparrow Manager of the SynBioTIC Programme. CSIR – Synthetic Biology ERA. 20th November 2009 Nanoscience...

  6. First Responder Readiness: A Systems Approach to Readiness Assessment Using Model Based Vulnerability Analysis Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-09-01

    to come—if it be not to come, it will be now—if it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. . .” --- Shakespeare , Hamlet , 5.2.215-219...BLANK 1 I. READINESS OVERVIEW A. INTRODUCTION “ Hamlet : . . . There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now ‘tis not

  7. 77 FR 5201 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Dundalk, MD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-02

    ...-AA09 Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Bear Creek, Dundalk, MD AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice... operation of the Baltimore County highway bridge at Wise Avenue across Bear Creek, mile 3.4, between Dundalk... Avenue across Bear Creek, mile 3.4 between Dundalk and Sparrows Point, MD. This change would require the...

  8. 02 Murray WEB 02.pmd

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Owner

    (“Shame those eyes, just look at them, / swollen and red like export apples”). Similarly, like Catullus' jealousy of the attention the sparrow receives from Lesbia, so too, Naudé seeks to recapture his girlfriend's attention (“Come now, / it's getting dark.”). Despite these similarities, and Naudé's poem demonstrating an obvious ...

  9. 78 FR 24803 - Hilco SP Rail, LLC-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-RG Steel Railroad Holding, LLC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-26

    ... DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board [Docket No. FD 35734] Hilco SP Rail, LLC--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--RG Steel Railroad Holding, LLC Hilco SP Rail, LLC (Hilco), a noncarrier... Holding, LLC, and operate as a common carrier over an approximately 12-mile line of railroad in Sparrows...

  10. Feeding experience and relative size modify the begging strategies of nestlings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez-Girones, MA; Zuniga, JM; Redondo, T

    2002-01-01

    The offspring of birds and mammals use a combination of movements and vocalizations, known as hugging, to solicit food from their parents. A widespread interpretation of begging is that it constitutes air honest signal of offspring need. But we know that in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) the

  11. Aeromonas Hydrophila: A Re-Emerging Pathogen

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Lakshmanaperumalsamy, P.; Thayumanavan, T.; Subashkumar, R.

    origin. Journal of Hygiene 81,161 ? 169. Trust, T.J., Sparrow, R.A.H., 1974. The bacterial flora in the alimentary tract of freshwater salmonid fishes. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 20, 1219 ? 1228. Tsai, G.J., Chen, T.H., 1995. Growth characteristics...

  12. Indonesia's Domestic Biogas Programme – Household panel survey data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bedi, Arjun S.; Sparrow, Robert; Tasciotti, Luca

    2018-01-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research paper titled, “The impact of a household biogas programme on energy use and expenditure in East Java” (A.S. Bedi, R. Sparrow, L. Tasciotti, 2017) [1]. This Data in Brief article presents two rounds of survey data conducted in 2011 and

  13. Mereröövlid saabusid suvist letargiat maha raputama / Mari Rebane

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Rebane, Mari

    2006-01-01

    Esilinastus Gore Verbinski piraaditriloogia teine film "Kariibi mere piraadid : Surnud mehe aardekirst" : Ameerika Ühendriigid 2006. Lisaks lühendatud artikkel Los Angeles Times 10. juuli Josh Friedman "Piraadid püstitasid kassarekordi" ja katke ajalehele Guardian antud intervjuust Johnny Deppiga "Kapten Jack Sparrow laseb Deppil pingeid maandada"

  14. The influence of vegetation structure on bird communities in a Karoo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The commonest species nesting in gardens during this study was the Cape Sparrow (Passer melanurus), followed by the Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), and Greater Striped Swallow (Hirundo cucullata). Bar-throated Apalis (Apalis thoracica), Namaqua Warbler (Phragmacia substriata), Fiscal Flycatcher ...

  15. Blue jay attacks and consumes cedar waxwing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Joshua B. Pierce

    2009-01-01

    Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are known to be common predators on bird nests (Wilcove 1985, Picman and Schriml 1994). In addition to predation on eggs and nestlings, Blue Jays occasionally prey on fledgling and adult birds (Johnson and Johnson 1976, Dubowy 1985). A majority of reports involve predation on House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) and other small birds (...

  16. The End ofPhenomenology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hard Cover (197 pages + i–xvi); also available in webready PDF, paperback, and epub. ISBN: 978-0-7486 .... is the things described in modern mathematical science, particularly .... I think that, whether intentionally or not, one thing. Sparrow's ...

  17. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin; Thomas J. Maier

    1999-01-01

    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival...

  18. Environmental Assessment for New Veterinary Clinic at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-08-01

    English sparrow (Passer domesticus), mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), and red- winged black bird (Agelaius phoeniceus). 3.3.3 Threatened and...addition, airfield safety zones have been established under AICUZ to minimize the number of people who would be injured or killed if an aircraft

  19. Draft Environmental Impact Statement: F-15E Beddown at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-03-01

    destruction, stunted growth, necrosis ( killing of plant tissue), chlorosis (loss or reduction in plant chlorophyll), leaf abscission (dropping of leaves...occasionally run, fly, or crowd when exposed to sonic booms. In a field and laboratory study, Mourning Doves, Mockingbirds , Cardinals, Lark Sparrows, and

  20. Final Environmental Assessment Addressing Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of a Security Forces Complex at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    American crow (Cowus brachyrhynchos), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), curved-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre), lark sparrow...of migratory birds. Unless otherwise permitted by regulations, the MBTA makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, or kill ; attempt to take...capture or kill ; possess, offer to or sell, barter, purchase, deliver, or cause to be shipped, exported, imported, transported, carried, or received

  1. Environmental Assessment for Construction of BRAC Infrastructure Upgrades and the Human Performance Wing Complex in the Area B Hilltop District, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    leucocephala), killdeer, English sparrow (Passer domesticus), mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), and red-winged blackbird also are often observed within...people who would be injured or killed if an aircraft crashed. Three safety zones are designated at the end of all active runways: Clear Zone, APZ I

  2. Environmental Assessment for the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Unmaned Aircraft System (UAS) Second Formal Training Unit (FTU-2) Beddown

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    Geococcyx californianus), ravens (Corvus spp.), black-throated sparrows (Amphispiza bilineata), northern mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos), western...2050 - 2085). Take is defined as “hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill , or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill ” (California Fish and...established air- to-ground firing ranges could potentially kill or injure individual specimens. However, wildlife populations would not experience

  3. Mississippi River Headwaters Lakes in Minnesota. Feasibility Study. Appendices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-09-01

    organisms by blanketing stream or lake bottoms, spawning beds, or other desirable bottom area. Suspended solids may kill fish and shellfish by causing...Tree S~rv Long-billed M~arsh Wren 0Ctlipping S;-arrcd Short-billed Marsh Wren N Clay-crod )rm: Mockingbird L. Field Sparrow Gray Catbird VH;;rris

  4. 76 FR 39108 - HIT Policy Committee's Workgroup Meetings; Notice of Meetings

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-05

    ...: Meaningful Use, Privacy & Security Tiger Team, Quality Measures, Governance, Adoption/Certification, and... with the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan and that includes recommendations on the areas in which... revised schedules as it becomes available. Contact Person: Judy Sparrow, Office of the National...

  5. Analysis of pellets from a suburban Common Kestrel Falco ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The diet of a Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus in a suburban area of Algiers at El Harrach was determined by pellet analysis over two years. In both years, the hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus x P. hispaniolensis) was the main prey item, based on relative frequency (22.3% and 58.7% in 1999 and 2000, respectively).

  6. Influence of variation in melanin content on absorbance spectra of liquid skin phantoms

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available content on absorbance spectra of liquid skin phantoms JE Smit, AE Karsten, AF Grobler, RW Sparrow Presented by JE Smit Date: 25 September 2010 circle6 Background circle6 Why study melanin? circle6 Skin pigments, melanocytes, melanosomes, melanin...

  7. Do male birds intercept and use rival courtship calls to adjust paternity protection behaviours?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matessi, Giuliano; McGregor, Peter Kenneth; Peake, Thomas More

    2005-01-01

    Abstract: We tested whether male rock sparrows (Petronia petronia) change behaviours directed at their females when played back courtship display calls simulating a potential cuckolding event in the vicinity of their nests. We compared the behaviour of males before, during and after such playback...

  8. Artificial vesicles with incorporated photosynthetic materials for potential solar energy conversion systems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available WITH INCORPORATED PHOTOSYNTHETIC MATERIALS FOR POTENTIAL SOLAR ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS J E Smit1, A F Grobler2, A E Karsten1, R W Sparrow3 1 CSIR National Laser Centre, PO Box 395, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa 2 Unit for drug development and research, North...

  9. Monitoring birds, reptiles and butterflies in the St Katherine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fifty-two bird species were recorded during transect and point count surveys of wadis in the St Katherine Protectorate in the mountainous southern region of the Sinai, Egypt. Two species are new to Egypt: Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumeyer) and Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia). There were several other notable species: ...

  10. Infant Mental Health and the Treatment of Early Trauma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Alicia F.; Harris, William W.; Osofsky, Joy D.; Osofsky, Howard J.

    2010-01-01

    This article is excerpted and reprinted by permission of the publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, from the book "Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. Berry Brazelton", edited by Barry M. Lester and Joshua D. Sparrow. In the first excerpt, Alicia F. Lieberman and William W. Harris explore the impact of violence and…

  11. Grassland songbirds in a dynamic management landscape: Behavioral responses and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, earlier and more frequent harvests of agricultural grasslands have been implicated as a major cause of population declines in grassland songbirds. From 2002 to 2005, in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, USA, we studied the reproductive success of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) on four grassland treatments: (1) early-hayed fields cut before 11 June and again in early- to mid-July; (2) middle-hayed fields cut once between 21 June and 10 July; (3) late-hayed fields cut after 1 August; and (4) rotationally grazed pastures. Both the number of fledglings per female per year and nest success (logistic-exposure method) varied among treatments and between species. Although birds initiated nests earlier on early-hayed fields compared to others, haying caused 99% of active Savannah Sparrow and 100% of active Bobolink nests to fail. Both the initial cutting date and time between cuttings influenced renesting behavior. After haying, Savannah Sparrows generally remained on early-hayed fields and immediately renested (clutch completion 15.6 ?? 1.28 days post-haying; all values are reported as mean ?? SE), while Bobolinks abandoned the fields for at least two weeks (mean clutch completion 33 ?? 0.82 days post-haying). While female Savannah Sparrows fledged more offspring per year (1.28 ?? 0.16) than female Bobolinks (0.05 ?? 0.05), reproductive success on early-hayed fields was low. The number of fledglings per female per year was greater on middle-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.47 ?? 0.42; Bobolinks, 2.22 ?? 0.26), and late-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.29 ?? 0.30; Bobolinks, 2.79 ?? 0.18). Reproductive success was moderate on rotationally grazed pastures, where female Savannah Sparrows and female Bobolinks produced 2.32 ?? 0.25 and 1.79 ?? 0.33 fledgling per year, respectively. We simultaneously conducted cutting surveys throughout the Champlain Valley and found that 3-8% of hayfield

  12. Host cytokine responses of pigeons infected with highly pathogenic Thai avian influenza viruses of subtype H5N1 isolated from wild birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuyoshi Hayashi

    Full Text Available Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV of the H5N1 subtype has been reported to infect pigeons asymptomatically or induce mild symptoms. However, host immune responses of pigeons inoculated with HPAIVs have not been well documented. To assess host responses of pigeons against HPAIV infection, we compared lethality, viral distribution and mRNA expression of immune related genes of pigeons infected with two HPAIVs (A/Pigeon/Thailand/VSMU-7-NPT/2004; Pigeon04 and A/Tree sparrow/Ratchaburi/VSMU-16-RBR/2005; T.sparrow05 isolated from wild birds in Thailand. The survival experiment showed that 25% of pigeons died within 2 weeks after the inoculation of two HPAIVs or medium only, suggesting that these viruses did not cause lethal infection in pigeons. Pigeon04 replicated in the lungs more efficiently than T.sparrow05 and spread to multiple extrapulmonary organs such as the brain, spleen, liver, kidney and rectum on days 2, 5 and 9 post infection. No severe lesion was observed in the lungs infected with Pigeon04 as well as T.sparrow05 throughout the collection periods. Encephalitis was occasionally observed in Pigeon04- or T.sparrow05-infected brain, the severity, however was mostly mild. To analyze the expression of immune-related genes in the infected pigeons, we established a quantitative real-time PCR analysis for 14 genes of pigeons. On day 2 post infection, Pigeon04 induced mRNA expression of Mx1, PKR and OAS to a greater extent than T.sparrow05 in the lungs, however their expressions were not up-regulated concomitantly on day 5 post infection when the peak viral replication was observed. Expressions of TLR3, IFNα, IL6, IL8 and CCL5 in the lungs following infection with the two HPAIVs were low. In sum, Pigeon04 exhibited efficient replication in the lungs compared to T.sparrow05, but did not induce excessive host cytokine expressions. Our study has provided the first insight into host immune responses of pigeons against HPAIV infection.

  13. Immune responses of a native and an invasive bird to Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus and its arthropod vector, the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol A Fassbinder-Orth

    Full Text Available Invasive species often display different patterns of parasite burden and virulence compared to their native counterparts. These differences may be the result of variability in host-parasite co-evolutionary relationships, the occurrence of novel host-parasite encounters, or possibly innate differences in physiological responses to infection between invasive and native hosts. Here we examine the adaptive, humoral immune responses of a resistant, native bird and a susceptible, invasive bird to an arbovirus (Buggy Creek virus; Togaviridae: Alphavirus and its ectoparasitic arthropod vector (the swallow bug; Oeciacus vicarius. Swallow bugs parasitize the native, colonially nesting cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus that occupies nests in cliff swallow colonies. We measured levels of BCRV-specific and swallow bug-specific IgY levels before nesting (prior to swallow bug exposure and after nesting (after swallow bug exposure in house sparrows and cliff swallows in western Nebraska. Levels of BCRV-specific IgY increased significantly following nesting in the house sparrow but not in the cliff swallow. Additionally, house sparrows displayed consistently higher levels of swallow bug-specific antibodies both before and after nesting compared to cliff swallows. The higher levels of BCRV and swallow bug specific antibodies detected in house sparrows may be reflective of significant differences in both antiviral and anti-ectoparasite immune responses that exist between these two avian species. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the macro- and microparasite-specific immune responses of an invasive and a native avian host exposed to the same parasites.

  14. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzal, Alfonso; Ricklefs, Robert E; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Albayrak, Tamer; Arriero, Elena; Bonneaud, Camille; Czirják, Gábor A; Ewen, John; Hellgren, Olof; Hořáková, Dita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Jensen, Henrik; Križanauskienė, Asta; Lima, Marcos R; de Lope, Florentino; Magnussen, Eyðfinn; Martin, Lynn B; Møller, Anders P; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Pap, Péter L; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Soler, Manuel; Szöllosi, Eszter; Westerdahl, Helena; Zetindjiev, Pavel; Bensch, Staffan

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820) from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  15. In silico peptide-binding predictions of passerine MHC class I reveal similarities across distantly related species, suggesting convergence on the level of protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follin, Elna; Karlsson, Maria; Lundegaard, Claus; Nielsen, Morten; Wallin, Stefan; Paulsson, Kajsa; Westerdahl, Helena

    2013-04-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are the most polymorphic genes found in the vertebrate genome, and they encode proteins that play an essential role in the adaptive immune response. Many songbirds (passerines) have been shown to have a large number of transcribed MHC class I genes compared to most mammals. To elucidate the reason for this large number of genes, we compared 14 MHC class I alleles (α1-α3 domains), from great reed warbler, house sparrow and tree sparrow, via phylogenetic analysis, homology modelling and in silico peptide-binding predictions to investigate their functional and genetic relationships. We found more pronounced clustering of the MHC class I allomorphs (allele specific proteins) in regards to their function (peptide-binding specificities) compared to their genetic relationships (amino acid sequences), indicating that the high number of alleles is of functional significance. The MHC class I allomorphs from house sparrow and tree sparrow, species that diverged 10 million years ago (MYA), had overlapping peptide-binding specificities, and these similarities across species were also confirmed in phylogenetic analyses based on amino acid sequences. Notably, there were also overlapping peptide-binding specificities in the allomorphs from house sparrow and great reed warbler, although these species diverged 30 MYA. This overlap was not found in a tree based on amino acid sequences. Our interpretation is that convergent evolution on the level of the protein function, possibly driven by selection from shared pathogens, has resulted in allomorphs with similar peptide-binding repertoires, although trans-species evolution in combination with gene conversion cannot be ruled out.

  16. Nest sanitation as the evolutionary background for egg ejection behaviour and the role of motivation for object removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslav Poláček

    Full Text Available Higher interclutch colour variation can evolve under the pressure of brood parasitism to increase the detection of parasitic eggs. Nest sanitation could be a prerequisite for the evolution of anti-parasite defence in terms of egg ejection. In this respect, we used nest sanitation behaviour as a tool to identify: i motivation and its underlying function and, ii which features provoke ejection behaviour. Therefore, we experimentally tested whether size, colour or shape may influence ejection behaviour using artificial flat objects. We found a high interclutch variation in egg colouration and egg size in our tree sparrow (Passer montanus population. Using colour and size we were in fact able to predict clutch affiliation for each egg. Our experiments further revealed the existence of direct anti-parasite behaviours and birds are able to recognise conspecific eggs, since only experimentally-deposited eggs have been removed. Moreover, experiments with different objects revealed that the motivation of tree sparrows to remove experimental objects from their nests was highest during egg laying for objects of varying size, most likely because of parasitism risk at this breeding stage. In contrary, motivation to remove white objects and objects with edges was higher during incubation stage as behavioural patterns connected to hatching started to emerge. The fact that rejection rate of our flat objects was higher than real egg ejection, suggests that egg ejection in tree sparrows and probably more general in small passerines, to be limited by elevated costs to eject eggs with their beaks. The presence of anti-parasite behaviour supports our suggestion that brood parasitism causes variation in egg features, as we have found that tree sparrows can recognise and reject conspecific eggs in their clutch. In conclusion, in tree sparrows it seems that nest sanitation plays a key role in the evolution of the removal of parasitic eggs.

  17. Bird-habitat relationships in interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.

    2012-01-01

    Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).

  18. Nest sanitation as the evolutionary background for egg ejection behaviour and the role of motivation for object removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poláček, Miroslav; Griggio, Matteo; Bartíková, Michaela; Hoi, Herbert

    2013-01-01

    Higher interclutch colour variation can evolve under the pressure of brood parasitism to increase the detection of parasitic eggs. Nest sanitation could be a prerequisite for the evolution of anti-parasite defence in terms of egg ejection. In this respect, we used nest sanitation behaviour as a tool to identify: i) motivation and its underlying function and, ii) which features provoke ejection behaviour. Therefore, we experimentally tested whether size, colour or shape may influence ejection behaviour using artificial flat objects. We found a high interclutch variation in egg colouration and egg size in our tree sparrow (Passer montanus) population. Using colour and size we were in fact able to predict clutch affiliation for each egg. Our experiments further revealed the existence of direct anti-parasite behaviours and birds are able to recognise conspecific eggs, since only experimentally-deposited eggs have been removed. Moreover, experiments with different objects revealed that the motivation of tree sparrows to remove experimental objects from their nests was highest during egg laying for objects of varying size, most likely because of parasitism risk at this breeding stage. In contrary, motivation to remove white objects and objects with edges was higher during incubation stage as behavioural patterns connected to hatching started to emerge. The fact that rejection rate of our flat objects was higher than real egg ejection, suggests that egg ejection in tree sparrows and probably more general in small passerines, to be limited by elevated costs to eject eggs with their beaks. The presence of anti-parasite behaviour supports our suggestion that brood parasitism causes variation in egg features, as we have found that tree sparrows can recognise and reject conspecific eggs in their clutch. In conclusion, in tree sparrows it seems that nest sanitation plays a key role in the evolution of the removal of parasitic eggs.

  19. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Marzal

    Full Text Available Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820 from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  20. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  1. Atlantic Flyway review: Region IV - Fall 2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Chandler S.

    2004-01-01

    We welcome the Eden Mill station in northeastern Maryland to Region IV this year. With three stations reporting their worst year ever, we really need to be refreshed. After a cool and wet July, August was hot and wet in the east. Temperatures in September remained close to normal, but thanks to tropical storms Henri (6-8 Sep) and Isabel (18 Sep), rainfall was excessive in the Chesapeake Bay states. The entire Northeast had cool weather in October, starting with an early freeze on 3 Oct that triggered some good banding days in our region. Precipitation was unusually spotty in October, but plentiful at most of the Region IV stations. November temperatures were consistently well above the norm, starting with a record-breaking 81 ø in Baltimore on the 1st.Four of the five Maryland stations had their best day on 19 or 20 Oct. One might expect some of the Virginia coastal stations, Chincoteague, Kiptopeke, and Back Bay, to share the same best day, but they did not. Three stations reported an increase in birds per net hour this year, while seven had a decline. Summarizing the changes in rank in Table 2, Gray Catbird was the species with the most (5) increases in rank (in excess of decreases), followed by junco (4) and Myrtle Warbler and Swamp Sparrow (3 each). Yellowthroat had the most decreases (5), followed by redstart (3).Myrtle Warbler (4572) was once again the most commonly banded species in Region IV, followed by White-throated Sparrow (1723), Gray Catbird (1349), and Western Palm Warbler (1090). Michelle Davis' station on Key Biscayne is the envy of the rest of us. Her top eight species were all warblers and there was not a Myrtle among them. Imagine having Parula, Prairie, and Worm-eating warblers fighting for sixth place!Not showing among the top ten, however, are other surprises. Several banders commented on Sawwhet Owls and Bicknell's Thrushes. Deanna Dawson banded a Cerulean Warbler at Patuxent. Danny Bystrak caught 138 Swamp Sparrows at Jug Bay. In addition

  2. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisermann, Knut; Schulz, Ulrich

    2005-01-01

    The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2000 and 2400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala). The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus), the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens), the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzi), and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus). Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Serensen similarity index 0.85), indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, approximately 27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla). The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia), and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring.

  3. West Nile virus infection of birds, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero-Sánchez, Sergio; Cuevas-Romero, Sandra; Nemeth, Nicole M; Trujillo-Olivera, María Teresa Jesús; Worwa, Gabriella; Dupuis, Alan; Brault, Aaron C; Kramer, Laura D; Komar, Nicholas; Estrada-Franco, José Guillermo

    2011-12-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has caused disease in humans, equids, and birds at lower frequency in Mexico than in the United States. We hypothesized that the seemingly reduced virulence in Mexico was caused by attenuation of the Tabasco strain from southeastern Mexico, resulting in lower viremia than that caused by the Tecate strain from the more northern location of Baja California. During 2006-2008, we tested this hypothesis in candidate avian amplifying hosts: domestic chickens, rock pigeons, house sparrows, great-tailed grackles, and clay-colored thrushes. Only great-tailed grackles and house sparrows were competent amplifying hosts for both strains, and deaths occurred in each species. Tecate strain viremia levels were higher for thrushes. Both strains produced low-level viremia in pigeons and chickens. Our results suggest that certain avian hosts within Mexico are competent for efficient amplification of both northern and southern WNV strains and that both strains likely contribute to bird deaths.

  4. Exploiting Scanning Behavior for Predators Can Reduce Rice Damage Caused by Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Honda

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Rice is often damaged by birds, especially sparrows, in Asia. Bird nets are sometimes used as countermeasures; however this approach is expensive and labor intensive. For this reason, farmers generally eschew bird nets, even though no alternative countermeasures are available. This study focused on exploiting the bird behavior of scanning for predators to reduce crop damage. When birds forage for seeds on the ground they often stop pecking and briefly raise their heads, apparently to scan for predators. Low visibility habitats increase scanning behavior and increased scanning behavior reduces habitat quality from the bird’s perspective; therefore, this study tested the relationship between rice damage rate and visibility at the periphery of rice fields, where tree sparrows rest after feeding. Overall, low visibility reduced damage to rice. Because visibility was mainly affected by weeds, weed management techniques contribute to crop damage management. To reduce damage, weeding can be decreased; therefore, this technique is cost- and labor-efficient.

  5. Experiência de manejo de aves em áreas antrópicas, com a utilização de caixas de madeira como locais para nidificação Experimental birds managment in anthropic areas, using nest-boxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Octavio Marcondes-Machado

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available Use of nest-boxes for management of cavity nesting birds in anthropic areas can give good results. In November 1987, data collection begun in UNICAMP, Campinas (São Paulo, with the objective of favouring establishment and increase in urban bird communities. The House Wren (Troglodytes aedon Viellot. 1807 and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus Linnaeus, 1758 used the nest boxes for reproduction. Nests were collected and analysed (weight, used materials, incubation chamber materials, nest form. House Sparrow used thin materials, like straw, paper and plastic, while house wren used heavy materials, like sticks, wire and tabs of soff drink cans. The nest-boxes offered favorable conditions to bird reproduction and protection in disturbed areas, and showed signs of leading to increase in diversity of species, that might use this nest-boxes for reproduction in the future.

  6. Pragmatic inferences in high-functioning adults with autism and Asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pijnacker, Judith; Hagoort, Peter; Buitelaar, Jan; Teunisse, Jan-Pieter; Geurts, Bart

    2009-04-01

    Although people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have severe problems with pragmatic aspects of language, little is known about their pragmatic reasoning. We carried out a behavioral study on high-functioning adults with autistic disorder (n = 11) and Asperger syndrome (n = 17) and matched controls (n = 28) to investigate whether they are capable of deriving scalar implicatures, which are generally considered to be pragmatic inferences. Participants were presented with underinformative sentences like "Some sparrows are birds". This sentence is logically true, but pragmatically inappropriate if the scalar implicature "Not all sparrows are birds" is derived. The present findings indicate that the combined ASD group was just as likely as controls to derive scalar implicatures, yet there was a difference between participants with autistic disorder and Asperger syndrome, suggesting a potential differentiation between these disorders in pragmatic reasoning. Moreover, our results suggest that verbal intelligence is a constraint for task performance in autistic disorder but not in Asperger syndrome.

  7. Progress Report: Stratton Ecological Research Site - An Experimental Approach to Assess Effects of Various Grazing Treatments on Vegetation and Wildlife Communities Across Managed Burns and Habitat Controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Heidi J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Hobbs, N. Thompson

    2009-01-01

    Understanding how management practices affect wildlife is fundamental to wise decisions for conservation of public lands. Prescribed fire and grazing timing are two management tools frequently used within publicly owned sagebrush ecosystems. We conducted a variety of surveys in order to assess the impacts of grazing timing strategies (early summer before peak green-up, mid-summer at peak green-up, and late summer after peak green-up) in conjunction with prescribed fire on avian and small mammal populations in a high-elevation sagebrush ecosystem. Avian surveys resulted in a large detection sample size for three bird species: Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri), horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), and vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus). Brewer's sparrows had the lowest number of detections within the mid-summer grazing treatment compared to early and late summer grazing treatments, while horned larks and vesper sparrows had higher detection frequencies within the late summer grazing treatment. Summer and fall sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) pellet counts revealed that the greatest over-winter and over-summer use by sage-grouse occurred within the early summer grazing treatment with minimal use of burn treatment areas across all grazing treatments. Deer-mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) represented approximately 90 percent of small mammals captured and were most prevalent within the mid-summer grazing treatment. Sagebrush cover was greatest within the mid-summer grazing treatment. We monitored 50 and 103 nests in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The apparent success rate for shrub-obligate nesting species was 58 percent in 2007 and 63 percent in 2008. This research will support management of sagebrush ecosystems by providing public land managers with direct comparisons of wildlife response to management regimes.

  8. Tactical EO/IE System for Ground Forces

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-09-01

    this thesis is based on these ideas. We will give the guidelines to a project manager or to a beginner in EW research about EO/IR system acquisition...1982 Syria vs Israel Syria: 1 Syria 5+ By Syria: 89 by 96+ Sparrow AIM-9G/L PYTHON Korea: 1 B- Kamchatka 1983 Korea vs USSR 0 0 747(KAL-(07) by AA-3 or

  9. Conversion (Utilizing LEU instead HEU) of research reactors in Czech Republic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matejka, K.; Sklenka, L.; Listik, E.; Ernest, J.

    1998-01-01

    This paper shortly describes some advantages on the RERTR-programme in the Czech Republic. Further calculations and experimental measurements finished on the VR-1 training reactor Sparrow. Paper brings results and its evaluation as well as one-year operation experiences with the Russian fuel assemblies IRT-3M and also operation experiments with mixed Core configuration (the Russian fuel assemblies IRT-2M with enrichment 80% 235 U and 36% 235 U) on the LVR-15 research reactor. (author)

  10. Seasonal and geographical variation in heat tolerance and evaporative cooling capacity in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noakes, Matthew J; Wolf, Blair O; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2016-03-01

    Intraspecific variation in avian thermoregulatory responses to heat stress has received little attention, despite increasing evidence that endothermic animals show considerable physiological variation among populations. We investigated seasonal (summer versus winter) variation in heat tolerance and evaporative cooling in an Afrotropical ploceid passerine, the white-browed sparrow-weaver (Plocepasser mahali; ∼ 47 g) at three sites along a climatic gradient with more than 10 °C variation in mid-summer maximum air temperature (Ta). We measured resting metabolic rate (RMR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) using open flow-through respirometry, and core body temperature (Tb) using passive integrated transponder tags. Sparrow-weavers were exposed to a ramped profile of progressively higher Ta between 30 and 52 °C to elicit maximum evaporative cooling capacity (N=10 per site per season); the maximum Ta birds tolerated before the onset of severe hyperthermia (Tb ≈ 44 °C) was considered to be their hyperthermia threshold Ta (Ta,HT). Our data reveal significant seasonal acclimatisation of heat tolerance, with a desert population of sparrow-weavers reaching significantly higher Ta in summer (49.5 ± 1.4 °C, i.e. higher Ta,HT) than in winter (46.8 ± 0.9 °C), reflecting enhanced evaporative cooling during summer. Moreover, desert sparrow-weavers had significantly higher heat tolerance and evaporative cooling capacity during summer compared with populations from more mesic sites (Ta,HT=47.3 ± 1.5 and 47.6 ± 1.3 °C). A better understanding of the contributions of local adaptation versus phenotypic plasticity to intraspecific variation in avian heat tolerance and evaporative cooling capacity is needed for modelling species' responses to changing climates. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Mechanistic drivers of flexibility in summit metabolic rates of small birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Swanson

    Full Text Available Flexible metabolic phenotypes allow animals to adjust physiology to better fit ecological or environmental demands, thereby influencing fitness. Summit metabolic rate (Msum = maximal thermogenic capacity is one such flexible trait. Skeletal muscle and heart masses and myocyte metabolic intensity are potential drivers of Msum flexibility in birds. We examined correlations of skeletal muscle and heart masses and pectoralis muscle citrate synthase (CS activity (an indicator of cellular metabolic intensity with Msum in house sparrows (Passer domesticus and dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis to determine whether these traits are associated with Msum variation. Pectoralis mass was positively correlated with Msum for both species, but no significant correlation remained for either species after accounting for body mass (Mb variation. Combined flight and leg muscle masses were also not significantly correlated with Msum for either species. In contrast, heart mass was significantly positively correlated with Msum for juncos and nearly so (P = 0.054 for sparrows. Mass-specific and total pectoralis CS activities were significantly positively correlated with Msum for sparrows, but not for juncos. Thus, myocyte metabolic intensity influences Msum variation in house sparrows, although the stronger correlation of total (r = 0.495 than mass-specific (r = 0.378 CS activity with Msum suggests that both pectoralis mass and metabolic intensity impact Msum. In contrast, neither skeletal muscle masses nor pectoralis metabolic intensity varied with Msum in juncos. However, heart mass was associated with Msum variation in both species. These data suggest that drivers of metabolic flexibility are not uniform among bird species.

  12. First report of birds infection by intestinal parasites in Khorramabad, west Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Badparva, Ebrahim; Ezatpour, Behrouz; Azami, Mehdi; Badparva, Masoud

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic infections in birds are omnipresent, even when they occur in low amounts, may result in subclinical diseases. There aren’t any studies, based on Iranian data, investigating the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in some birds’ species. We conducted a cross-sectional study between December 2011 and December 2012. The fecal samples were taken from 451 birds including hen, turkey, sparrow, pigeon and decorative birds. The samples screened for intestinal parasitic infections ...

  13. American River Watershed Investigation, California. Volume 6. Appendix S. Part 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    rainbow trout Salmo qairdneri hardhead Mylopharodon conocephalus Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawvtscha brown trout Salmo trutta 0 34 Disturbance of...Department of Fish and Game Stream Survey 1938 Sacramento pike Pvtocheilus grandis hardhead Mylopharodon conocephalus roach Hesperoleucas symmetricus...Lazuli bunting Passerina amoena R,G,W,F Rufous-sided towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus C,U,F Brown towhee Pipilo fuscus C,U,F Rufous-crowned sparrow

  14. Experimental evolution of an RNA virus in wild birds: evidence for host-dependent impacts on population structure and competitive fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan D Grubaugh

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Within hosts, RNA viruses form populations that are genetically and phenotypically complex. Heterogeneity in RNA virus genomes arises due to error-prone replication and is reduced by stochastic and selective mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Defining how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations is critical because it can inform treatment paradigms and enhance control efforts. We allowed West Nile virus (WNV to replicate in wild-caught American crows, house sparrows and American robins to assess how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations in ecologically relevant hosts that differ in susceptibility to virus-induced mortality. After five sequential passages in each bird species, we examined the phenotype and population diversity of WNV through fitness competition assays and next generation sequencing. We demonstrate that fitness gains occur in a species-specific manner, with the greatest replicative fitness gains in robin-passaged WNV and the least in WNV passaged in crows. Sequencing data revealed that intrahost WNV populations were strongly influenced by purifying selection and the overall complexity of the viral populations was similar among passaged hosts. However, the selective pressures that control WNV populations seem to be bird species-dependent. Specifically, crow-passaged WNV populations contained the most unique mutations (~1.7× more than sparrows, ~3.4× more than robins and defective genomes (~1.4× greater than sparrows, ~2.7× greater than robins, but the lowest average mutation frequency (about equal to sparrows, ~2.6× lower than robins. Therefore, our data suggest that WNV replication in the most disease-susceptible bird species is positively associated with virus mutational tolerance, likely via complementation, and negatively associated with the strength of selection. These differences in genetic composition most likely have distinct phenotypic consequences for the virus populations. Taken together

  15. Genomic analysis of $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium from wild passerines in England and Wales

    OpenAIRE

    Mather, Alison E; Lawson, Becki; de, Pinna Elizabeth; Wigley, Paul; Parkhill, Julian; Thomson, Nicholas R; Page, Andrew J; Holmes, Mark Adrian; Paterson, Gavin K

    2016-01-01

    Passerine salmonellosis is a well-recognised disease of birds in the order Passeriformes, including common songbirds such as finches and sparrows, caused by infection with $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium. Previous research has suggested that some subtypes of S. Typhimurium – definitive phage types (DT) 40, 56 variant, and 160 – are host-adapted to passerines, and that these birds may represent a reservoir of infection for humans and other animals. Here, we have used whole g...

  16. Modeling Mitigation Activities in North Carolina Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Nutrient enrichment and excessive sediment loadings have contributed to the degradation of rivers, lakes and estuaries in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) has implemented several basin-wide nutrient and sediment management strategies, yet gaps remain in understanding the impact of these strategies given the complexities in quantifying the processes that govern the transport of nutrient and sediment. In particular, improved assessment of the status of nutrient and sediment loadings to lakes and estuaries throughout the state is needed, including characterizing their sources and describing the relative contributions of different areas. The NCDEQ Division of Mitigation Services (DMS) uses watershed planning to identify and prioritize the best locations to implement stream, wetland, and riparian-buffer restoration to improve water quality. To support better decision-making for watershed restoration activities we are developing a SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) model framework specifically for North Carolina. The SPARROW analysis (developed by the U.S. Geological Survey) relates water-quality monitoring data to better understand the effects of human activities and natural processes on surface-water quality. The core of the model consists of using a nonlinear-regression equation to describe the non-conservative transport of contaminants from point and nonpoint sources on land to rivers, lakes and estuaries through the stream and river network. In this presentation, preliminary total Nitrogen, total Phosphorus, and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) NC-SPARROW models are described that illustrate the SPARROW modeling framework incorporating specific restoration datasets and activity metrics, such as extent of riparian buffer and easements.

  17. Molecular diversity of fungi from marine oxygen-deficient environments (ODEs)

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Manohar, C.S.; Forster, D.; Kauff, F.; Stoeck, T.

    . Sparrow Jr F K (1936) Biological observations of the marine fungi of woods hole waters. Biol Bull 70: 236-263. States JS & Christensen M (2001) Fungi Associated with Biological Soil Crusts in Desert Grasslands of Utah and Wyoming. Mycologia 93: 432... version: Biology of marine fungi. Ed. by: Raghukumar, C. (Prog. Mol. Subcellular Biol). Springer, vol.53 (Chap 10); 2012; 189-208 Chapter # 10 Molecular diversity of fungi from marine oxygen-deficient environments (ODEs) Cathrine S. Jebaraj 1...

  18. Dissolved-solids sources, loads, yields, and concentrations in streams of the conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anning, David W.; Flynn, Marilyn E.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that excessive dissolved-solids concentrations in water can have adverse effects on the environment and on agricultural, domestic, municipal, and industrial water users. Such effects motivated the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment Program to develop a SPAtially-Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model that has improved the understanding of sources, loads, yields, and concentrations of dissolved solids in streams of the conterminous United States.

  19. Multi-species Management Using Modeling and Decision Theory Applications to Integrated Natural Resources Management Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    Engelmann oak and fire (D.M. Lawson); 2) Orcutt’s spineflower (D.M. Lawson); 3) Dead wart -stemmed ceanothus (D.M. Lawson); 4) San Clemente Island sage...sparrow (Nicole Munkwitz) 5) Live wart - stemmed ceanothus (D.M. Lawson) 6) California Least Tern (Steven Eric Smith...41  Figure A1. Generic woody plant model structure. Ovals signify significant life stages and S are survival within and between stages and F

  20. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  1. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  2. Final Environmental Assessment Addressing Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of a Hot Cargo Pad at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    brachyrhynchos), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), curved-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre), lark sparrow (Chordestes grammacus), black...cloud ceiling, fog, rain, or poor visibility, lighted structures might not be visible to migrating birds and can cause bird kills because Final EA...regulations, the MBTA makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, or kill ; attempt to take, capture or kill ; possess, offer to or sell, barter, purchase

  3. Environmental Assessment for the Orbital/Sub-Orbital Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-01

    have shown the cumulative number of marine mammals and sea turtles to be killed by similar missile test activities to range from 0.0006 to 0.0016...and/or coastal strand habitat areas include red- winged blackbirds, mockingbirds , Florida bobwhite, and sparrow hawks. (CCAFS/Authority, 1994...or sea turtle near the water surface, the animal would most likely be killed . In addition, the resulting underwater shock/sound wave radiating out

  4. Final Environmental Assessment Addressing the Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of a New Fire Station at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-01

    brachyrhynchos), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre), lark sparrow (Chordestes grammacus), black-throated...otherwise permitted by regulations, the MBTA makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, or kill ; attempt to take, capture or kill ; possess, offer to...or through a foreign country, any bird, part, nest, or egg that was captured, killed , taken, shipped, transported, or carried contrary to the laws

  5. Environmental Assessment for the Expansion and Renovation of Dog Kennels, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    leucocephala), killdeer (Charities vociferous), English sparrow (Passer domesticus), mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), and red-winged blackbird (Agelaius...or killed . The project site should be examined daily for snakes, and if any eastern massasaugas are found, all work shall cease and the USFWS shall...airfield safety zones were established under AICUZ to minimize the number of people who would be injured or killed if an aircraft crashed. Three safety

  6. Final Environmental Assessment Realignment of Jenkins Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC), Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, BRAC 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    cryptoleucus Northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos Black-throated sparrow Amphispiza bilineata Eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna House finch...Americans- and ealii~ kills 5,000 each year. :ses1 The network combines nub lie e sJ\\ awareness with an Internet- based information service and -qnd...scientists agree that p;roper cooking · will kill HEAL:: s most kinds of harmful bacteria, nobody is convinced that the bulk of consumers know what

  7. Environmental Assessment of Proposed Mixed-Use Business Park on an Enchanced Use Lease at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-01

    water from the local service providers; however, sanitary sewer services would be provided by GFAFB (Giltner 2013). Alternative 1 would include...utilizing the base include red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), clay - colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), and...USAF 2006a). The glacial deposits are composed of silts, clays , sand, and gravel generally 225 ft thick, comprised of approximately 95 ft of clay

  8. Rolling the "Black Pearl" over: Analyzing the Physics of a Movie Clip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mungan, Carl E.; Emery, John D.

    2011-01-01

    In the third movie ("At World's End") in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, Jack Sparrow and his crew need to roll their ship (the "Black Pearl") over in order to bring it back to the living world during a green flash at sunset. They do so by running back and forth from one side railing to the other on the top deck. In addition, Captain…

  9. Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs

  10. Kartik Shanker

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Nature Watch - Secrets of the Shieldtails · Kartik Shanker · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 2 Issue 1 January 1997 pp 74-76 Book Review. The Fall of a Sparrow The Life of Sálim Ali · Kartik Shanker · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 2 Issue 2 February 1997 pp 75-82 Feature Article. Nature Watch Decline of a Montane ...

  11. Sustainable forest management and habitat of diurnal raptors in the SIC Alpe della Luna-Bocca Trabaria (province of Pesaro and Urbino.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Urbinati

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available For the definition of methodology in a naturalistic silviculture in a Site of Community Importance (Marche Region, documents relating to the physiognomic-structural data of forest vegetation and ecological requirements of 4 species of raptors (Goshawk, Sparrow hawk, Buzzard, Honey Buzzard were superimposed. A wildlife suitability index of forest habitats (IIHF was calculated, according to which forestry interventions, aimed at improving and preserving the raptor habitats, are proposed.

  12. The Behavior and Ecology of Fall Peregrine Falcons at Lummi Bay and Vicinity, Whatcom County, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    Regulus calendula ) 104. American Robin (Turdus migratorius) 105. Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) 106. Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) 107. Northern...Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 67 Cq n n Ln4 in 0n IV~ Oil xoi CDw q f) D"j4 ( O N r-IN" HI-4 r-1 N O% OD 0% 14 % 4 E4-40 "- Z r4 0D C 00 P-4 CD" NN C4 r4

  13. Life after Steel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangan, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Bobby Curran grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore, finished high school, and followed his grandfather's steel-toed bootprints straight to Sparrows Point, a 3,000-acre sprawl of industry on the Chesapeake Bay. College was not part of the plan. A gritty but well-paying job at the RG Steel plant was Mr. Curran's ticket to a secure…

  14. An Epidemiological Investigation of Hart Park and Turlock Viruses in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    A closely related virus, Umbra, infects man in Malaysia (Wallace et al, 1977). .4 Umbra virus is also thought to be maintained in a Culex app...Tempelis et al, 1965). Isolations of FLA virus were made only after sampling emphasis was shifted to nestling birds (Kokernot et al, 1969) * -,and this...may parallel the nestling season in birds. House sparrows and house finches neat in Kern County during the months of March to August and the bulk of

  15. Environmental Assessment (EA): Proposed Emergency Power Unit Overhaul Complex at Little Mountain Test Annex, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-03-14

    association with World War II. However, it has been previously mitigated through a memorandum of agreement between the USAF and the Utah SHPO, signed in...goldfinch Carduelis tristis T U * House sparrow Passer domesticus R C *‡ Mountain bluebird Sialia currucoides S U * Northern flicker Colaptes...been mitigated . This information is provided to assist with Section 106 responsibilities as per §36CFR800. If you have questions, please contact me at

  16. Defect of focus in two-line resolution with Hanning amplitude filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunasagar, D.; Bhikshamaiah, G.; Keshavulu Goud, M.; Lacha Goud, S.

    In the presence of defocusing the modified Sparrow limits of resolution for two-line objects have been investigated for a diffraction-limited coherent optical system apodized by generalized Hanning amplitude filters. These limits have been studied as a function of different parameters such as intensity ratio, the order of the filter for various amounts of apodization parameter. Results reveal that in some situations the defocusing is effective in enhancing the resolution of an optical system.

  17. Crop Depredation by Birds in Deccan Plateau, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manoj Ashokrao Kale

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Extent of crop depredation in agricultural fields of groundnut, pearl millet, peas, sorghum and sunflower was assessed in Pune, Akola and Amravati, the three productive districts of Maharashtra, India. The study included interviews with the farmers, identification of the bird species responsible for the crop depredation and actual field assessment of damage. The problem of crop depredation is severe for the crops mostly during harvesting season. Most farmers were not satisfied with the conventional bird repelling techniques. A maximum depredation was observed by Sorghum crops by house sparrows Passer domesticus, baya weavers Ploceus philippinus, and rose-ringed parakeets Psittacula krameri, accounting to 52% of the total damage. Blue rock pigeons Columba livia damaged 42% of the peas crop (chick peas and pigeon peas, while house sparrows and baya weaver damaged the groundnut crop by 26% in the sampling plots. House sparrow Passer domesticus and baya weaver Ploceus philippinus damaged the groundnut crop in the sampling plots just after the sowing period. The sustainable solution for reducing crop depredation is a need for the farmers and also such techniques will help avoid direct or indirect effects of use of lethal bird control techniques on bird species.

  18. Results and evaluation of the first study of organochlorine contaminants (PCDDs, PCDFs, PCBs and DDTs), heavy metals and metalloids in birds from Baja California, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez, Begona; Rodriguez-Estrella, Ricardo; Merino, Ruben; Gomez, Gema; Rivera, Laura; Jose Gonzalez, Maria; Abad, Esteban; Rivera, Josep

    2005-01-01

    Organochlorine compounds (OCs) including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p-p'-DDE), heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu), and arsenic were measured in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and common ground doves (Columbina passerina) from Baja California Sur, Mexico. Concentrations of PCDD/Fs were low, with 21 pg/g for house sparrows, and 7.7 pg/g for common ground doves. Non-ortho-PCB concentrations in house sparrow and common ground doves were 58 and 254 pg/g, respectively, and are within the highest concentrations reported in species that are in the low levels of food webs. The major differences in organochlorine levels between species were found for ortho-PCBs and DDTs. ortho-PCB levels were higher in the seedeater species, whereas DDT levels were higher in the omnivorous species. Heavy metal levels were far below those associated with negative effects. - Capsule: The first data on contaminants in birds from Baja California is given

  19. Sources, fate, and transport of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay watershed-An empirical model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ator, Scott W.; Brakebill, John W.; Blomquist, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

    Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) was used to provide empirical estimates of the sources, fate, and transport of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and the mean annual TN and TP flux to the bay and in each of 80,579 nontidal tributary stream reaches. Restoration efforts in recent decades have been insufficient to meet established standards for water quality and ecological conditions in Chesapeake Bay. The bay watershed includes 166,000 square kilometers of mixed land uses, multiple nutrient sources, and variable hydrogeologic, soil, and weather conditions, and bay restoration is complicated by the multitude of nutrient sources and complex interacting factors affecting the occurrence, fate, and transport of nitrogen and phosphorus from source areas to streams and the estuary. Effective and efficient nutrient management at the regional scale in support of Chesapeake Bay restoration requires a comprehensive understanding of the sources, fate, and transport of nitrogen and phosphorus in the watershed, which is only available through regional models. The current models, Chesapeake Bay nutrient SPARROW models, version 4 (CBTN_v4 and CBTP_v4), were constructed at a finer spatial resolution than previous SPARROW models for the Chesapeake Bay watershed (versions 1, 2, and 3), and include an updated timeframe and modified sources and other explantory terms.

  20. Digital Hydrologic Networks Supporting Applications Related to Spatially Referenced Regression Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brakebill, J.W.; Wolock, D.M.; Terziotti, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    Digital hydrologic networks depicting surface-water pathways and their associated drainage catchments provide a key component to hydrologic analysis and modeling. Collectively, they form common spatial units that can be used to frame the descriptions of aquatic and watershed processes. In addition, they provide the ability to simulate and route the movement of water and associated constituents throughout the landscape. Digital hydrologic networks have evolved from derivatives of mapping products to detailed, interconnected, spatially referenced networks of water pathways, drainage areas, and stream and watershed characteristics. These properties are important because they enhance the ability to spatially evaluate factors that affect the sources and transport of water-quality constituents at various scales. SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW), a process-based/statistical model, relies on a digital hydrologic network in order to establish relations between quantities of monitored contaminant flux, contaminant sources, and the associated physical characteristics affecting contaminant transport. Digital hydrologic networks modified from the River Reach File (RF1) and National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) geospatial datasets provided frameworks for SPARROW in six regions of the conterminous United States. In addition, characteristics of the modified RF1 were used to update estimates of mean-annual streamflow. This produced more current flow estimates for use in SPARROW modeling. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  1. Results and evaluation of the first study of organochlorine contaminants (PCDDs, PCDFs, PCBs and DDTs), heavy metals and metalloids in birds from Baja California, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jimenez, Begona [Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain)]. E-mail: bjimenez@iqog.csic.es; Rodriguez-Estrella, Ricardo [Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste, Mar Bermejo 195, Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, Baja California Sur (Mexico); Merino, Ruben [Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain); Gomez, Gema [Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain); Rivera, Laura [Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste, Mar Bermejo 195, Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, Baja California Sur (Mexico); Jose Gonzalez, Maria [Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain); Abad, Esteban [Department of Ecotechnologies, Research and Development Center, CSIC, Jordi Girona, 18-26, 08034 Barcelona (Spain); Rivera, Josep [Department of Ecotechnologies, Research and Development Center, CSIC, Jordi Girona, 18-26, 08034 Barcelona (Spain)

    2005-01-01

    Organochlorine compounds (OCs) including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p-p'-DDE), heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu), and arsenic were measured in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and common ground doves (Columbina passerina) from Baja California Sur, Mexico. Concentrations of PCDD/Fs were low, with 21 pg/g for house sparrows, and 7.7 pg/g for common ground doves. Non-ortho-PCB concentrations in house sparrow and common ground doves were 58 and 254 pg/g, respectively, and are within the highest concentrations reported in species that are in the low levels of food webs. The major differences in organochlorine levels between species were found for ortho-PCBs and DDTs. ortho-PCB levels were higher in the seedeater species, whereas DDT levels were higher in the omnivorous species. Heavy metal levels were far below those associated with negative effects. - Capsule: The first data on contaminants in birds from Baja California is given.

  2. Factors determining presence of passerines breeding within White Stork Ciconia ciconia nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zbyryt, Adam; Jakubas, Dariusz; Tobolka, Marcin

    2017-08-18

    Nests of White Stork Ciconia ciconia are commonly used by various passerines as nesting sites. In this study, we investigated factors determining presence and number of pairs of species breeding within White Stork nests in an extensive farmland in NE Poland. In 133 (57%) out of 233 White Stork nests, we found at least one breeding pair of passerine bird. These were from three species: House Sparrows Passer domesticus (68% of 133 nests with co-breeding), Tree Sparrows Passer montanus (65%), and Starlings Sturnus vulgaris (30%). The probability of breeding passerines within White Stork nests increased with increasing nest thickness, and was significantly higher in currently occupied nests. Sparrows were more likely to breed in White Stork nests located on electricity poles, situated closer to settlements and surrounded mainly by arable fields where meadows were not prevalent. In this paper, we show that White Stork nests are favorable nesting sites for passerines, as they are well insulated and provide an anti-predatory shield.

  3. Relative importance of habitat area and isolation for bird occurrence patterns in a naturally patchy landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, T.L.; Johnson, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    There is debate among ecologists about whether total habitat area or patch arrangement contributes most to population and/or community responses to fragmented or patchy landscapes. We tested the relative effects of patch area and isolation for predicting bird occurrence in a naturally patchy landscape in the Bear River Mountains of Northern Utah, USA. We selected focal patches (mountain meadows) ranging in elevation from 1,920 to 2,860 m and in size from 0.6 to 182 ha. Breeding birds were sampled in each focal meadow during the summers of 2003 and 2004 using variable-distance point transects. Logistic regression and likelihood-based model selection were used to determine the relationship between likelihood of occurrence of three bird species (Brewer's sparrow, vesper sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow) and area, isolation, and proximity metrics. We used model weights and model-averaged confidence intervals to assess the importance of each predictor variable. Plots of area versus isolation were used to evaluate complex relationships between the variables. We found that meadow area was the most important variable for explaining occurrence for two species, and that isolation was the most important for the other. We also found that the absolute distance was more appropriate for evaluating isolation responses than was the species-specific proximity metric. Our findings add clarity to the debate between ecologists regarding the relative importance of area and isolation in species responses to patchy landscapes.

  4. Factors determining presence of passerines breeding within White Stork Ciconia ciconia nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zbyryt, Adam; Jakubas, Dariusz; Tobolka, Marcin

    2017-10-01

    Nests of White Stork Ciconia ciconia are commonly used by various passerines as nesting sites. In this study, we investigated factors determining presence and number of pairs of species breeding within White Stork nests in an extensive farmland in NE Poland. In 133 (57%) out of 233 White Stork nests, we found at least one breeding pair of passerine bird. These were from three species: House Sparrows Passer domesticus (68% of 133 nests with co-breeding), Tree Sparrows Passer montanus (65%), and Starlings Sturnus vulgaris (30%). The probability of breeding passerines within White Stork nests increased with increasing nest thickness, and was significantly higher in currently occupied nests. Sparrows were more likely to breed in White Stork nests located on electricity poles, situated closer to settlements and surrounded mainly by arable fields where meadows were not prevalent. In this paper, we show that White Stork nests are favorable nesting sites for passerines, as they are well insulated and provide an anti-predatory shield.

  5. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knut Eisermann

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2 000 and 2 400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus, the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus, the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens, the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii, and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus. Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Sørensen similarity index 0.85, indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, ~27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson’s Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla. The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia, and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(3-4: 577-594. Epub 2005 Oct 3.Las alturas del norte de Centroamérica han sido reconocidas como región de aves endémicas, pero se conoce poco sobre las comunidades de aves en bosques nubosos de Guatemala. De 1997 a 2001 se han detectado 142 especies de aves entre 2 000 y 2 400 msnm en el bosque nuboso y áreas agr

  6. Exposure of free-flying birds to anticholinesterase insecticides in two conventionally managed fruit orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, S.L.

    2002-01-01

    Conventionally managed orchards receive extensive applications of anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides throughout the growing season. Because many avian species make use of these environments for nesting and foraging, they may receive substantial exposure to anti-ChEs. The model used to assess avian risk in these environments is highly simplified, and indicator species used in risk studies may misrepresent the risk of the species in the field. A better understanding of avian risk is needed, and should begin with a closer examination o# their exposure in these environments. Exposure of free-flying birds was examined in two conventional orchards during the nesting seasons of 1999 and 2000. Our goal was to demonstrate the influences of species and chemical differences on the exposure we observed. Plasma ChE activity and ChE reactivation were used to identify exposure in multiple species following anti-ChE applications (applied singly and in mixtures). Chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina), American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis), and American robins (Turdus migratorius) demonstrated significant ChE activity depression in 1999 (p 0.005), and only chipping sparrows demonstrated significant depression in 2000 (p = 0.0002). These three species demonstrated the highest proportion of exposed individuals among all species examined in both years. Because many chemicals were simultaneously present in each orchard, chemical influences on the exposure we observed could not be discerned. This work does demonstrate, however, that avian species differ significantly in their exposure, and that chipping sparrows demonstrated the greatest exposure among the species analyzed. These results underscore the need for multiple species studies and for choosing indicator species on a biologically relevant basis.

  7. Vision in avian emberizid foragers: maximizing both binocular vision and fronto-lateral visual acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Bret A; Pita, Diana; Tyrrell, Luke P; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2015-05-01

    Avian species vary in their visual system configuration, but previous studies have often compared single visual traits between two to three distantly related species. However, birds use different visual dimensions that cannot be maximized simultaneously to meet different perceptual demands, potentially leading to trade-offs between visual traits. We studied the degree of inter-specific variation in multiple visual traits related to foraging and anti-predator behaviors in nine species of closely related emberizid sparrows, controlling for phylogenetic effects. Emberizid sparrows maximize binocular vision, even seeing their bill tips in some eye positions, which may enhance the detection of prey and facilitate food handling. Sparrows have a single retinal center of acute vision (i.e. fovea) projecting fronto-laterally (but not into the binocular field). The foveal projection close to the edge of the binocular field may shorten the time to gather and process both monocular and binocular visual information from the foraging substrate. Contrary to previous work, we found that species with larger visual fields had higher visual acuity, which may compensate for larger blind spots (i.e. pectens) above the center of acute vision, enhancing predator detection. Finally, species with a steeper change in ganglion cell density across the retina had higher eye movement amplitude, probably due to a more pronounced reduction in visual resolution away from the fovea, which would need to be moved around more frequently. The visual configuration of emberizid passive prey foragers is substantially different from that of previously studied avian groups (e.g. sit-and-wait and tactile foragers). © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Seasonal Variation in Group Size Is Related to Seasonal Variation in Neuropeptide Receptor Density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Leah C; Goodson, James L; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2016-01-01

    In many species, seasonal variation in grouping behavior is widespread, with shifts towards territoriality in the breeding season and grouping in the winter. Compared to the hormonal and neural mechanisms of seasonal territorial aggression, the mechanisms that promote seasonal grouping have received little attention. We collected brains in spring and winter from wild-caught males of two species of emberizid sparrows that seasonally flock (the field sparrow, Spizella pusilla, and the dark-eyed junco, Junco hyemalis) and two species that do not seasonally flock (the song sparrow, Melospiza melodia, and the eastern towhee, Pipilo erythrophthalmus). We used receptor autoradiography to quantify seasonal plasticity in available binding sites for three neuropeptides known to influence social behavior. We examined binding sites for 125I-vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), 125I-sauvagine (SG, a ligand for corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors) and 125I-ornithine vasotocin analog (OVTA, a ligand for the VT3 nonapeptide). For all species and ligands, brain areas that exhibited a seasonal pattern in binding density were characterized by a winter increase. Compared to nonflocking species, seasonally flocking species showed different binding patterns in multiple brain areas. Furthermore, we found that winter flocking was associated with elevated winter 125I-VIP binding density in the medial amygdala, as well as 125I-VIP and 125I-OVTA binding density in the rostral arcopallium. While the functional significance of the avian rostral arcopallium is unclear, it may incorporate parts of the pallial amygdala. Our results point to this previously undescribed area as a likely hot spot of social modulation. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Intraclutch eggshell colour variation in birds: are females able to identify their eggs individually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslav Poláček

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background One possibility suggested regarding female post-mating strategies is differential allocation into offspring investment. Female birds produce not only the largest, but also most colourful eggs of all oviparous taxa. Larger eggs provide space for bigger embryos, or more nutrition for their development, but the question why eggs are more colourful and why there is variation in eggshell colouration remains. In this context, the focus of interest has been to explain inter-clutch variation but in many bird species, eggshell colouration also varies within a clutch. Surprisingly, less attention has been paid to this phenomenon. Therefore, we propose the “female egg recognition” hypothesis, suggesting that mothers use colour characteristics to interpret egg attributes and allocate further investment into each egg accordingly. To evaluate the feasibility of the hypothesis, we tested several underlying predictions and examined their suitability using a dataset from our tree sparrow (Passer montanus study. We predict (i substantial within-clutch variation in eggshell colouration which, (ii should be related to laying sequence, (iii reflect egg quality and, (iv should stimulate a female response. Methods Eggshell coloration data were obtained via digital photography under standardized conditions, taken after clutch completion. Lightness (L*, representing the achromatic properties of an egg has been chosen as the most important predictor in dark cavities and was related to egg quality and position in the nest. Results In our tree sparrows, first and mainly last eggs were less pigmented, providing information about laying order. Egg volume, which predicts chick quality, positively correlates with eggshell coloration. Finally, we could show that female tree sparrows placed darker, but not bigger, eggs into more central incubation positions. Discussion All basic prerequisites for the “female egg recognition” hypothesis are fulfilled. In this

  10. Human Information Processing of Targets and Real-World Scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-07-30

    penguin in fig. 13, or the eye of the elephant in figure 12. Such shapes can be conceptualized in two ways. The first (and less favored) is...discriminated from a "Sparrow". " Penguin " and "Ostrich" and any doubtful entries were counted as separate noun categories. The mean number of nouns...4- - - . - - . - ’B, I.’. I. 4) U S n A 0 -9* 41a* U .4 Is S A’ p* * A 4) ’.4 o S C 𔃾a I" 0 4) ** r. I. a 0 .4 4) .4 .5 fta * a B-. S I.e

  11. A Regional Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on In-stream Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, A. M.; Alexander, R. B.; Arnold, J.; Norfleet, L.; Robertson, D. M.; White, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveys were compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38 percent of cropland in the Upper Mississippi River basin is managed to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loads from agricultural activities. The broader effects of these practices on downstream water quality are challenging to quantify. The USDA-NRCS recently reported results of a study that combined farmer surveys with process-based models to deduce the effect of conservation practices on sediment and chemical loads in farm runoff and downstream waters. As a follow-up collaboration, USGS and USDA scientists conducted a semi-empirical assessment of the same suite of practices using the USGS SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) modeling framework. SPARROW is a hybrid statistical and mechanistic stream water quality model of annual conditions that has been used extensively in studies of nutrient sources and delivery. In this assessment, the USDA simulations of the effects of conservation practices on loads in farm runoff were used as an explanatory variable (i.e., change in farm loads per unit area) in a component of an existing a SPARROW model of the Upper Midwest. The model was then re-calibrated and tested to determine whether the USDA estimate of conservation adoption intensity explained a statistically significant proportion of the spatial variability in stream nutrient loads in the Upper Mississippi River basin. The results showed that the suite of conservation practices that NRCS has catalogued as complete nutrient and sediment management are a statistically significant feature in the Midwestern landscape associated with phosphorous runoff and delivery to downstream waters

  12. Oceanic fronts along 45 degrees across Antarctic Circumpolar Current during austral summer 2004

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    AnilKumar, N.; Dash, M.K.; Luis, A.J.; RameshBabu, V.; Somayajulu, Y.K.; Sudhakar, M.; Pandey, P.C.

    . The average changes in the surface temperature of the PF (5.5 ? 2.7 ?C) showed a marginal differen ce when compared with Holliday and Read 2 (5.8 ~ 2 ?C), Sparrow et al. 4 (5 ~ 3.8 ?C), and Lutj e- harms and Valentine 12 (4.1 ~ 2.5 ?C). A... ? 122. 12. Lutjeharms, J. R. E., Valentine, H. R., Southern Ocean thermal fronts south of Africa. Deep - Sea Res ., 1984, 31 , 1461 ? 1475. 13. Lutjeharms, J. R. E., Location of frontal systems between Africa and Antarctica: Some...

  13. The cost of fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    What should parents do when they detect indications of more predators nearby that might eat their babies? This scenario is commonly faced by parents in the wild, and the consequences are important. The number of offspring that organisms produce has a major influence on fitness and, when averaged across a population, affects whether this population will increase or decrease. Offspring production thus has critical implications for evolution via fitness, and ecology and conservation via demography. On page 1398 of this issue, Zanette et al. (1) show that the fear of predation can, by itself, strongly affect the number of offspring produced over an annual cycle by song sparrows (see the figure).

  14. Porphyrin nanorods characterisation for an artificial light harvesting and energy transfer system

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mongwaketsi, N

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available s 1 0 h r s 1 3 h r s 1 5 h r s 1 8 h r s Porphyrin Nanorods Characterization for an Artificial Light Harvesting and Energy Transfer System Nametso Mongwaketsi1,2,3, Raymond Sparrow2, Bert Klumperman3, Malik Maaza1 1 NanoSciences Lab..., Materials Research Dept, iThemba LABS, PO Box 722, Somerset West, 7129, South Africa 2 CSIR Biosciences, PO Box 395, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa 3 Stellenbosch University, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, Private Bag X 1, Matieland, 7602...

  15. Ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy of Zinc Phthalocynine (ZnPc) and light harvesting complex II (LHC II)

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ombinda-Lemboumba, Saturnin

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available pump-probe spectroscopy of Zinc Phthalocynine (ZnPc) and light harvesting complex II (LHC II) SAIP 7-10 July 2009, University of Kwazulu Natal. S. Ombinda-Lemboumba1, 2 A. du Plessis1, L. Botha1, D.E. Roberts1, P. Molukanele1, 3, R.W. Sparrow3, E... and phtobiology (2008) Page 12 Conclusion SAIP 7-10 July 2009, University of Kwazulu natal Femto group © CSIR 2008 www.csir.co.za • Presented our method of correcting chirp induced by white light generation. • Pump...

  16. Bird poisoning from misuse of the carbamate Furadan in a Texas rice field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flickinger, Edward L.; Mitchell, C.A.; White, D.H.; Kolbe, E.J.

    1986-01-01

    More than 100 birds consisting largely of dickcissels and savannah sparrows, as well as 9 other species of songbirds and sandpipers, died from feeding on planted rice seed treated illegally with Furadan 4F. Brain ChE activity was depressed between 32-85% in 44% of the birds. Carbofuran residues in GI tract contents of birds averaged 3.4 ppm (0.54-10 ppm). Two samples of planted rice seed contained 91 ppm and 22 ppm carbofuran. Known mortality of birds continued for about 2 weeks.

  17. Návrh marketingové strategie low cost letecké společnosti

    OpenAIRE

    Khomutova, Sofia

    2016-01-01

    My Master thesis focuses on the design of the marketing strategy of a low-cost airline SparrowJet. The first chapter of the theoretical parts contains the required basics of theoretical information necessary to develop a marketing plan. In the second chapter is an analysis of the air transportation market with an emphasis on the low-cost segment. The final chapter of the theoretical part is dedicated to the marketing mix in the transportation. The practical part of my thesis begins with the s...

  18. Modeling nutrient sources, transport and management strategies in a coastal watershed, Southeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Pei; Huang, Jinliang; Hong, Huasheng

    2018-01-01

    Integrated watershed management requires an analytical model capable of revealing the full range of impacts that would be caused by the uses and developments in the watershed. The SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model was developed in this study to provide empirical estimates of the sources, transport of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) and to develop nutrient management strategies in the Jiulong River Watershed, southeast China that has enormous influence on the region's ecological safety. We calibrated the model using data related to daily streamflow, monthly TN and TP concentrations in 2014 at 30 locations. The model produced R 2 values for TN with 0.95 and TP with 0.94. It was found that for the entire watershed, TN came from fertilizer application (43%), livestock breeding (39%) and sewage discharge (18%), while TP came from livestock breeding (46%), fertilizer application (46%), and industrial discharge (8%). Fifty-eight percent of the TN and 80% of the TP in upstream reaches are delivered to the outlets of North and West rivers. A scenario analysis with SPARROW was coupled to develop suitable management strategies. Results revealed that controlling nutrient sources was effective in improving water quality. Normally sharp reduction in nutrient sources is not operational feasible. Hence, it is recommended that preventing nutrient on land from entering into the river as a suitable strategy in watershed management. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A quantitative and qualitative comparison of illumina MiSeq and 454 amplicon sequencing for genotyping the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in a non-model species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razali, Haslina; O'Connor, Emily; Drews, Anna; Burke, Terry; Westerdahl, Helena

    2017-07-28

    High-throughput sequencing enables high-resolution genotyping of extremely duplicated genes. 454 amplicon sequencing (454) has become the standard technique for genotyping the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in non-model organisms. However, illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing (MiSeq), which offers a much higher read depth, is now superseding 454. The aim of this study was to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the performance of MiSeq in relation to 454 for genotyping MHC class I alleles using a house sparrow (Passer domesticus) dataset with pedigree information. House sparrows provide a good study system for this comparison as their MHC class I genes have been studied previously and, consequently, we had prior expectations concerning the number of alleles per individual. We found that 454 and MiSeq performed equally well in genotyping amplicons with low diversity, i.e. amplicons from individuals that had fewer than 6 alleles. Although there was a higher rate of failure in the 454 dataset in resolving amplicons with higher diversity (6-9 alleles), the same genotypes were identified by both 454 and MiSeq in 98% of cases. We conclude that low diversity amplicons are equally well genotyped using either 454 or MiSeq, but the higher coverage afforded by MiSeq can lead to this approach outperforming 454 in amplicons with higher diversity.

  20. Song learning and cognitive ability are not consistently related in a songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Rindy C; Searcy, William A; Peters, Susan; Hughes, Melissa; DuBois, Adrienne L; Nowicki, Stephen

    2017-03-01

    Learned aspects of song have been hypothesized to signal cognitive ability in songbirds. We tested this hypothesis in hand-reared song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were tutored with playback of adult songs during the critical period for song learning. The songs developed by the 19 male subjects were compared to the model songs to produce two measures of song learning: the proportion of notes copied from models and the average spectrogram cross-correlation between copied notes and model notes. Song repertoire size, which reflects song complexity, was also measured. At 1 year of age, subjects were given a battery of five cognitive tests that measured speed of learning in the context of a novel foraging task, color association, color reversal, detour-reaching, and spatial learning. Bivariate correlations between the three song measures and the five cognitive measures revealed no significant associations. As in other studies of avian cognition, different cognitive measures were for the most part not correlated with each other, and this result remained true when 22 hand-reared female song sparrows were added to the analysis. General linear mixed models controlling for effects of neophobia and nest of origin indicated that all three song measures were associated with better performance on color reversal and spatial learning but were associated with worse performance on novel foraging and detour-reaching. Overall, the results do not support the hypothesis that learned aspects of song signal cognitive ability.

  1. Safety operation of training reactor VR-1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matejka, K.

    2001-01-01

    There are three nuclear research reactors in the Czech Republic in operation now: light water reactor LVR-15, maximum reactor power 10 MW t , owner and operator Nuclear Research Institute Rez; light water zero power reactor LR-0, maximum reactor power 5 kW t , owner and operator Nuclear Research Institute Rez and training reactor VR-1 Sparrow, maximum reactor power 5 kW t , owner and operate Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, CTU in Prague. The training reactor VR-1 Vrabec 'Sparrow', operated at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, was started up on December 3, 1990. Particularly it is designed for training the students of Czech universities, preparing the experts for the Czech nuclear programme, as well as for certain research work, and for information programmes in the nuclear programme, as well as for certain research work, and for information programmes in sphere of using the nuclear energy (public relations). (author)

  2. Coordinating across scales: Building a regional marsh bird monitoring program from national and state Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shriver, G.W.; Sauer, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    Salt marsh breeding bird populations (rails, bitterns, sparrows, etc.) in eastern North America are high conservation priorities in need of site specific and regional monitoring designed to detect population changes over time. The present status and trends of these species are unknown but anecdotal evidence of declines in many of the species has raised conservation concerns. Most of these species are listed as conservation priorities on comprehensive wildlife plans throughout the eastern U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, National Park Service units, and other wildlife conservation areas provide important salt marsh habitat. To meet management needs for these areas, and to assist regional conservation planning, survey designs are being developed to estimate abundance and population trends for these breeding bird species. The primary purpose of this project is to develop a hierarchical sampling frame for salt marsh birds in Bird Conservation Region (BCR) 30 that will provide the ability to estimate species population abundances on 1) specific sites (i.e. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges), 2) within states or regions, and 3) within BCR 30. The entire breeding range of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Coastal Plain Swamp sparrows are within BCR 30, providing an opportunity to detect population trends within the entire breeding ranges of two priority species.

  3. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

  4. Biodiversity conservation in an anthropized landscape: Trees, not patch size drive, bird community composition in a low-input agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    One of the most typical agro-ecosystems in the Llanos de Ojuelos, a semi-arid region of central Mexico, is that of fruit-production orchards of nopales (prickly pear cacti). This perennial habitat with complex vertical structure provides refuge and food for at least 112 species of birds throughout the year. Nopal orchards vary in their internal structure, size and shrub/tree composition, yet these factors have unknown effects on the animals that use them. To further understand the conservation potential of this agro-ecosystem, we evaluated the effects of patch-size and the presence of trees on bird community composition, as well as several habitat variables, through an information-theoretical modelling approach. Community composition was obtained through a year of census transects in 12 orchards. The presence of trees in the orchards was the major driver of bird communities followed by seasonality; bird communities are independent of patch size, except for small orchard patches that benefit black-chin sparrows, which are considered a sensitive species. At least 55 species of six trophic guilds (insectivores, granivores, carnivores, nectivores, omnivores, and frugivores) used the orchards. Orchards provide adequate habitat and food resources for several sensitive species of resident and migratory sparrows. The attributes that make orchards important for birds: trees, shrubs, herb seeds, and open patches can be managed to maintain native biodiversity in highly anthropized regions with an urgent need to find convergence between production and biological conservation.

  5. Seasonal blood-feeding behavior of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Weld County, Colorado, 2007.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Rebekah; Juliusson, Lara; Weissmann, Michael; Evans, Sara; Komar, Nicholas

    2009-03-01

    Studies on Culex tarsalis Coquillett in Colorado have shown marked seasonal variation in the proportion of blood meals from birds and mammals. However, limitations in the specificity of antibodies used in the precipitin test and lack of vertebrate host availability data warrant revisiting Cx. tarsalis blood feeding behavior in the context of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. We characterized the host preference of Cx. tarsalis during peak WNV transmission season in eastern Colorado and estimated the relative contribution of different avian species to WNV transmission. Cx. tarsalis preferred birds to mammals each month, although the proportion of blood meals from mammals increased in July and August. The distribution of blood meals differed significantly across months, in part because of changes in the proportion of blood meals from American robins, a preferred host. The estimated proportion of WNV-infectious vectors derived from American robins declined from 60 to 1% between June and August. The majority of avian blood meals came from doves, preferred hosts that contributed 25-40% of the WNV-infectious mosquitoes each month. Active WNV transmission was observed in association with a large house sparrow communal roost. These data show how seasonal patterns in Cx. tarsalis blood feeding behavior relate to WNV transmission in eastern Colorado, with the American robin contributing greatly to early-season virus transmission and a communal roost of sparrows serving as a focus for late-season amplification.

  6. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana Maria.; Alexander, Richard B.; Arnold, Jeffrey G.; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J.; Robertson, Dale M.; Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2016-01-01

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  7. Surveillance potential of non-native Hawaiian birds for detection of West Nile Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Brand, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in North America in 1999. Alaska and Hawaii (HI) remain the only U.S. states in which transmission of WNV has not been detected. Dead bird surveillance has played an important role in the detection of the virus geographically, as well as temporally. In North America, corvids have played a major role in WNV surveillance; however, the only corvid in HI is the endangered Hawaiian crow that exists only in captivity, thus precluding the use of this species for WNV surveillance in HI. To evaluate the suitability of alternate avian species for WNV surveillance, we experimentally challenged seven abundant non-native bird species present in HI with WNV and compared mortality, viremia, oral shedding of virus, and seroconversion. For detection of WNV in oral swabs, we compared viral culture, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and the RAMP® test. For detection of antibodies to WNV, we compared an indirect and a competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found four species (house sparrow, house finch, Japanese white-eye, and Java sparrow) that may be useful in dead bird surveillance for WNV; while common myna, zebra dove, and spotted dove survived infection and may be useful in serosurveillance.

  8. Nest mortality of sagebrush songbirds due to a severe hailstorm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hightower, Jessica N.; Carlisle, Jason D.; Chalfoun, Anna D.

    2018-01-01

    Demographic assessments of nesting birds typically focus on failures due to nest predation or brood parasitism. Extreme weather events such as hailstorms, however, can also destroy eggs and injure or kill juvenile and adult birds at the nest. We documented the effects of a severe hailstorm on 3 species of sagebrush-associated songbirds: Sage Thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), nesting at eight 24 ha study plots in central Wyoming, USA. Across all plots, 17% of 128 nests failed due to the hailstorm; however, all failed nests were located at a subset of study plots (n = 3) where the hailstorm was most intense, and 45% of all nests failures on those plots were due to hail. Mortality rates varied by species, nest architecture, and nest placement. Nests with more robust architecture and those sited more deeply under the shrub canopy were more likely to survive the hailstorm, suggesting that natural history traits may modulate mortality risk due to hailstorms. While sporadic in nature, hailstorms may represent a significant source of nest failure to songbirds in certain locations, especially with increasing storm frequency and severity forecasted in some regions with ongoing climate change.

  9. Mourning dove ( Zenaida macroura) wing-whistles may contain threat-related information for con- and hetero-specifics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Seth W.

    2008-10-01

    Distinct acoustic whistles are associated with the wing-beats of many doves, and are especially noticeable when doves ascend from the ground when startled. I thus hypothesized that these sounds may be used by flock-mates as cues of potential danger. To test this hypothesis, I compared the responses of mourning doves ( Zenaida macroura), northern cardinals ( Cardinalis cardinalis), and house sparrows ( Passer domesticus) to audio playbacks of dove ‘startle wing-whistles’, cardinal alarm calls, dove ‘nonstartle wing-whistles’, and sparrow ‘social chatter’. Following playbacks of startle wing-whistles and alarm calls, conspecifics and heterospecifics startled and increased vigilance more than after playbacks of other sounds. Also, the latency to return to feeding was greater following playbacks of startle wing-whistles and alarm calls than following playbacks of other sounds. These results suggest that both conspecifics and heterospecifics may attend to dove wing-whistles in decisions related to antipredator behaviors. Whether the sounds of dove wing-whistles are intentionally produced signals warrants further testing.

  10. Breeding Bird Assemblage in a Mosaic of Urbanized Habitats in a Central European City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.

  11. Mosquitoes used to draw blood for arbovirus viremia determinations in small vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah C Kading

    Full Text Available Serial samples from the same individuals may be required for certain virological studies, however, some small animals cannot easily be blood-sampled. Therefore, we evaluated the use of Culex quinquefasciatus Say and Aedes albopictus Skuse mosquitoes as "biological syringes" to draw blood for virus titer determinations in small vertebrates. Groups of chicks (Gallus gallus, hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus, and house sparrows (Passer domesticus were experimentally infected with West Nile virus (WNV or Highlands J virus (HJV. In general, good correlation was seen between mosquito- and syringe-derived blood samples at titers ≥5.0 log10 pfu/mL serum as compared with titers 105 pfu/mL serum had mosquito- and syringe-derived titers within one log of each other. Sparrow viremia profiles generated from single mosquito blood meals and syringe were not significantly different (p>0.05. This technique is valuable for assessing the roles of small vertebrates in the ecologies of arboviruses, and could be used in applications beyond virology and infectious diseases, when <10 µL of whole blood is required.

  12. Transgenerational effects enhance specific immune response in a wild passerine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juli Broggi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate mothers transfer diverse compounds to developing embryos that can affect their development and final phenotype (i.e., maternal effects. However, the way such effects modulate offspring phenotype, in particular their immunity, remains unclear. To test the impact of maternal effects on offspring development, we treated wild breeding house sparrows (Passer domesticus in Sevilla, SE Spain with Newcastle disease virus (NDV vaccine. Female parents were vaccinated when caring for first broods, eliciting a specific immune response to NDV. The immune response to the same vaccine, and to the PHA inflammatory test were measured in 11-day-old chicks from their following brood. Vaccinated chicks from vaccinated mothers developed a stronger specific response that was related to maternal NDV antibody concentration while rearing their chicks. The chicks’ carotenoid concentration and total antioxidant capacity in blood were negatively related to NDV antibody concentration, whereas no relation with PHA response was found. Specific NDV antibodies could not be detected in 11-day-old control chicks from vaccinated mothers, implying that maternally transmitted antibodies are not directly involved but may promote offspring specific immunity through a priming effect, while other immunity components remain unaffected. Maternally transmitted antibodies in the house sparrow are short-lived, depend on maternal circulation levels and enhance pre-fledging chick specific immunity when exposed to the same pathogens as the mothers.

  13. Quantifying inbreeding avoidance through extra-pair reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Germain, Ryan R; Duthie, A Bradley; Losdat, Sylvain; Wolak, Matthew E; Nietlisbach, Pirmin

    2015-01-01

    Extra-pair reproduction is widely hypothesized to allow females to avoid inbreeding with related socially paired males. Consequently, numerous field studies have tested the key predictions that extra-pair offspring are less inbred than females' alternative within-pair offspring, and that the probability of extra-pair reproduction increases with a female's relatedness to her socially paired male. However, such studies rarely measure inbreeding or relatedness sufficiently precisely to detect subtle effects, or consider biases stemming from failure to observe inbred offspring that die during early development. Analyses of multigenerational song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) pedigree data showed that most females had opportunity to increase or decrease the coefficient of inbreeding of their offspring through extra-pair reproduction with neighboring males. In practice, observed extra-pair offspring had lower inbreeding coefficients than females' within-pair offspring on average, while the probability of extra-pair reproduction increased substantially with the coefficient of kinship between a female and her socially paired male. However, simulations showed that such effects could simply reflect bias stemming from inbreeding depression in early offspring survival. The null hypothesis that extra-pair reproduction is random with respect to kinship therefore cannot be definitively rejected in song sparrows, and existing general evidence that females avoid inbreeding through extra-pair reproduction requires reevaluation given such biases. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Variation in parent–offspring kinship in socially monogamous systems with extra‐pair reproduction and inbreeding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M.; Bocedi, Greta; Nietlisbach, Pirmin; Duthie, A. Bradley; Wolak, Matthew E.; Gow, Elizabeth A.; Arcese, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Female extra‐pair reproduction in socially monogamous systems is predicted to cause cuckolded socially‐paired males to conditionally reduce paternal care, causing selection against extra‐pair reproduction and underlying polyandry. However, existing models and empirical studies have not explicitly considered that cuckolded males might be related to their socially‐paired female and/or to her extra‐pair mate, and therefore be related to extra‐pair offspring that they did not sire but could rear. Selection against paternal care, and hence against extra‐pair reproduction, might then be weakened. We derive metrics that quantify allele‐sharing between within‐pair and extra‐pair offspring and their mother and her socially‐paired male in terms of coefficients of kinship and inbreeding. We use song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) paternity and pedigree data to quantify these metrics, and thereby quantify the joint effects of extra‐pair reproduction and inbreeding on a brood's total allelic value to its socially‐paired parents. Cuckolded male song sparrows were almost always detectably related to extra‐pair offspring they reared. Consequently, although brood allelic value decreased substantially following female extra‐pair reproduction, this decrease was reduced by within‐pair and extra‐pair reproduction among relatives. Such complex variation in kinship within nuclear families should be incorporated into models considering coevolutionary dynamics of extra‐pair reproduction, parental care, and inbreeding. PMID:27174154

  15. Effects of seismic lines on the abundance of breeding birds in the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashenhurst, A.R.; Hannon, S.J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2008-06-15

    The effects of oil and gas exploration activities on bird abundance in the Arctic were investigated. The study examined the impacts of new and oil visible seismic lines within the Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary on the abundance of breeding passerines, Lapland longspur, common redpoll, American tree sparrow, and red-necked phalarope in upland tundra region and sedge-willow habitats. Results of the study showed that the effects on abundance with newer seismic lines were not statistically significant for most groups of birds. However, more birds were seen on reference transects than on seismic lines. The seismic lines had a significant impact on passerines grouped in upland tundra, as well as for sparrows in sedge and willows. Along older seismic lines, passerine abundance was lower than on reference transects in upland tundra. The study demonstrated that seismic lines created between 10 and 30 years ago had persistent vegetative changes that have reduced bird abundance. It was concluded that although the birds were not avoiding lines, some birds appeared to have increased the size of their territories in order to compensate for vegetative changes. 34 refs., 4 tabs.

  16. Regional Effects of Agricultural Conservation Practices on Nutrient Transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Ana María; Alexander, Richard B; Arnold, Jeffrey G; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J; Robertson, Dale M; Schwarz, Gregory

    2016-07-05

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  17. An improved method to estimate reflectance parameters for high dynamic range imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shiying; Deguchi, Koichiro; Li, Renfa; Manabe, Yoshitsugu; Chihara, Kunihiro

    2008-01-01

    Two methods are described to accurately estimate diffuse and specular reflectance parameters for colors, gloss intensity and surface roughness, over the dynamic range of the camera used to capture input images. Neither method needs to segment color areas on an image, or to reconstruct a high dynamic range (HDR) image. The second method improves on the first, bypassing the requirement for specific separation of diffuse and specular reflection components. For the latter method, diffuse and specular reflectance parameters are estimated separately, using the least squares method. Reflection values are initially assumed to be diffuse-only reflection components, and are subjected to the least squares method to estimate diffuse reflectance parameters. Specular reflection components, obtained by subtracting the computed diffuse reflection components from reflection values, are then subjected to a logarithmically transformed equation of the Torrance-Sparrow reflection model, and specular reflectance parameters for gloss intensity and surface roughness are finally estimated using the least squares method. Experiments were carried out using both methods, with simulation data at different saturation levels, generated according to the Lambert and Torrance-Sparrow reflection models, and the second method, with spectral images captured by an imaging spectrograph and a moving light source. Our results show that the second method can estimate the diffuse and specular reflectance parameters for colors, gloss intensity and surface roughness more accurately and faster than the first one, so that colors and gloss can be reproduced more efficiently for HDR imaging.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

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

  19. Estimation of Total Nitrogen and Phosphorus in New England Streams Using Spatially Referenced Regression Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Richard Bridge; Johnston, Craig M.; Robinson, Keith W.; Deacon, Jeffrey R.

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), has developed a water-quality model, called SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes), to assist in regional total maximum daily load (TMDL) and nutrient-criteria activities in New England. SPARROW is a spatially detailed, statistical model that uses regression equations to relate total nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrient) stream loads to nutrient sources and watershed characteristics. The statistical relations in these equations are then used to predict nutrient loads in unmonitored streams. The New England SPARROW models are built using a hydrologic network of 42,000 stream reaches and associated watersheds. Watershed boundaries are defined for each stream reach in the network through the use of a digital elevation model and existing digitized watershed divides. Nutrient source data is from permitted wastewater discharge data from USEPA's Permit Compliance System (PCS), various land-use sources, and atmospheric deposition. Physical watershed characteristics include drainage area, land use, streamflow, time-of-travel, stream density, percent wetlands, slope of the land surface, and soil permeability. The New England SPARROW models for total nitrogen and total phosphorus have R-squared values of 0.95 and 0.94, with mean square errors of 0.16 and 0.23, respectively. Variables that were statistically significant in the total nitrogen model include permitted municipal-wastewater discharges, atmospheric deposition, agricultural area, and developed land area. Total nitrogen stream-loss rates were significant only in streams with average annual flows less than or equal to 2.83 cubic meters per second. In streams larger than this, there is nondetectable in-stream loss of annual total nitrogen in New England. Variables that were statistically significant in the total

  20. Data to support statistical modeling of instream nutrient load based on watershed attributes, southeastern United States, 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoos, Anne B.; Terziotti, Silvia; McMahon, Gerard; Savvas, Katerina; Tighe, Kirsten C.; Alkons-Wolinsky, Ruth

    2008-01-01

    This report presents and describes the digital datasets that characterize nutrient source inputs, environmental characteristics, and instream nutrient loads for the purpose of calibrating and applying a nutrient water-quality model for the southeastern United States for 2002. The model area includes all of the river basins draining to the south Atlantic and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Tennessee River basin (referred to collectively as the SAGT area). The water-quality model SPARROW (SPAtially-Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, uses a regression equation to describe the relation between watershed attributes (predictors) and measured instream loads (response). Watershed attributes that are considered to describe nutrient input conditions and are tested in the SPARROW model for the SAGT area as source variables include atmospheric deposition, fertilizer application to farmland, manure from livestock production, permitted wastewater discharge, and land cover. Watershed and channel attributes that are considered to affect rates of nutrient transport from land to water and are tested in the SAGT SPARROW model as nutrient-transport variables include characteristics of soil, landform, climate, reach time of travel, and reservoir hydraulic loading. Datasets with estimates of each of these attributes for each individual reach or catchment in the reach-catchment network are presented in this report, along with descriptions of methods used to produce them. Measurements of nutrient water quality at stream monitoring sites from a combination of monitoring programs were used to develop observations of the response variable - mean annual nitrogen or phosphorus load - in the SPARROW regression equation. Instream load of nitrogen and phosphorus was estimated using bias-corrected log-linear regression models using the program Fluxmaster, which provides temporally detrended estimates of long-term mean load well

  1. Oxidative stress in birds along a NOx and urbanisation gradient: An interspecific approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmón, Pablo; Stroh, Emilie; Herrera-Dueñas, Amparo; von Post, Maria; Isaksson, Caroline

    2018-05-01

    Urbanisation is regarded as one of the most threatening global issues for wildlife, however, measuring its impact is not always straight forward. Oxidative stress physiology has been suggested to be a useful biomarker of health and therefore, a potentially important indicator of the impact that urban environmental stressors, especially air pollution, can have on wildlife. For example, nitrogen oxides (NO x ), released during incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, are highly potent pro-oxidants, thus predicted to affect either the protective antioxidants and/or cause oxidative damage to bio-molecules. To date, epidemiological modelling of the predicted association between oxidative stress and NO x exposure has not been performed in wild animals. Here, we address this short-coming, by investigating multiple oxidative stress markers in four common passerine bird species, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tit (Parus major), house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and tree sparrow (Passer montanus), living along a gradient of NO x and urbanisation levels in southern Sweden. First of all, the results revealed that long- and medium-term (one month and one week, respectively) NO x levels were highly correlated with the level of urbanisation. This confirms that the commonly used urbanisation index is a reliable proxy for urban air pollution. Furthermore, in accordance to our prediction, individuals exposed to higher long- and medium-term NO x levels/urbanisation had higher plasma antioxidant capacity. However, only tree sparrows showed higher oxidative damage (protein carbonyls) in relation to NO x levels and this association was absent with urbanisation. Lipid peroxidation, glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels did not co-vary with NO x /urbanisation. Given that most oxidative stress biomarkers showed strong species-specificity, independent of variation in NO x /urbanisation, the present study highlights the need to study variation in oxidative stress across

  2. Experimental induction of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis in horses using Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts from the opossum (Didelphis virginiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenger, C K; Granstrom, D E; Gajadhar, A A; Williams, N M; McCrillis, S A; Stamper, S; Langemeier, J L; Dubey, J P

    1997-02-01

    Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts isolated from eight feral opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were pooled and fed to 18 commercially reared budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), 14 wild-caught sparrows (Passer domesticus), one wild-caught slate-colored Junco (Junco hyemalis) and five weanling horses (Equus caballus). All budgerigars died within 5 weeks post inoculation (wpi). Histologic examination revealed meronts within the pulmonary epithelia and typical Sarcocystis falcatula sarcocysts developing in the leg muscles. Sparrows were euthanized 13 and 17 wpi and their carcasses were fed to four laboratory raised opossums. Sporocysts were detected in the feces of two opossums on 15 days post inoculation (dpi) and in a third opossum on 40 dpi. Fecal samples from the fourth opossum remained negative; however, sporocysts were found in intestinal digests from all four opossums. Sporocysts were not found in feces or intestinal digest of an additional opossum that was fed three uninoculated sparrows. Five foals were fed sporocysts (Foals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7) and two foals were maintained as uninoculated controls (Foals 1 and 6). Sporocysts from two additional feral opossums also were fed to foals. Foal 5 was given 0.05 mg kg-1 dexamethasone sodium phosphate daily beginning 2 days before inoculation for a total of 2 weeks. Horse sera were tested three times per week, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples were tested biweekly for anti-Sarcocystis neurona antibodies by Western blot analysis. No foals had any S. neurona-specific antibodies by Western blot analysis prior to sporocysts ingestion. Seroconversion occurred in Foals 3, 5, and 7 by 24 dpi, followed by positive CSF tests on 28 dpi. Foals 2 and 4 seroconverted by 40 dpi. Cerebrospinal fluid from Foal 2 tested positive by 42 dpi, but Foal 4 remained seronegative throughout the study. Sera and CSF from control Foals 1 and 6 remained seronegative. All foals with positive CSF developed neurologic clinical signs. Neurologic disease

  3. Habitat edge, land management, and rates of brood parasitism in tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, Michael A; Shochat, Eyal; Reinking, Dan L; Wolfe, Donald H; Sherrod, Steve K

    2006-04-01

    Bird populations in North America's grasslands have declined sharply in recent decades. These declines are traceable, in large part, to habitat loss, but management of tallgrass prairie also has an impact. An indirect source of decline potentially associated with management is brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), which has had substantial negative impacts on many passerine hosts. Using a novel application of regression trees, we analyzed an extensive five-year set of nest data to test how management of tallgrass prairie affected rates of brood parasitism. We examined seven landscape features that may have been associated with parasitism: presence of edge, burning, or grazing, and distance of the nest from woody vegetation, water, roads, or fences. All five grassland passerines that we included in the analyses exhibited evidence of an edge effect: the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). The edge was represented by narrow strips of woody vegetation occurring along roadsides cut through tallgrass prairie. The sparrows avoided nesting along these woody edges, whereas the other three species experienced significantly higher (1.9-5.3x) rates of parasitism along edges than in prairie. The edge effect could be related directly to increase in parasitism rate with decreased distance from woody vegetation. After accounting for edge effect in these three species, we found evidence for significantly higher (2.5-10.5x) rates of parasitism in grazed plots, particularly those burned in spring to increase forage, than in undisturbed prairie. Regression tree analysis proved to be an important tool for hierarchically parsing various landscape features that affect parasitism rates. We conclude that, on the Great Plains, rates of brood parasitism are strongly associated with relatively recent road cuts

  4. Scrub-Successional Bird Community Dynamics in Young and Mature Pine-Wiregrass Savannahs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krementz, D.G.; Christie, J.S.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated how management for habitat conditions to support the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker effects the biodiversity of the breeding bird community associated with those habitats. Habitat is created by thinning, burning and mid-story control of hardwoods in mature longleaf stands. In addition, similar habitat structurally can be found in recently harvested areas. We tested the hypothesis that diversity and abundance, as well as survival and reproduction would be greater in mature stands. However, mature stands used for recruitment always had fewer species (36/31) than recently harvested areas (54/55). All species that occurred in recruitment stands also occurred in mature stands. No differences in survival rates were found between mature and recent cuts for Bachman's sparrow and indigo bunting

  5. The feeling of doing across levels of analysis: The effects of perceived control on learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljubica Chatman

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A person's sense of control was initially conceptualized in psychology as either a trait (Rotter, 1966, an attribution style (Weiner, 1979 or self-efficacy belief (Bandura, 1989a. More recent work in social cognition focuses on the process of inferring one's own causality and how the feeling of doing comes about. This investigation centers on a cue based process as leading to the experience of agency. These cues include vision, proprioception, social cues, and action relevant thought (Wegner & Sparrow, 2004. Since the advent of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI, progress has been made in understanding the neural substrates implicated when one's infers own causality (for review see David, Newen, & Vogeley, 2008. An analysis of the different approaches to studying human agency, reveals their contributions with each level of analysis adding to and refining our understanding of perceived control and its effect on learning.

  6. Occurrence of keratinophilic fungi on Indian birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, A K; Kushwaha, R K

    1991-01-01

    Keratinophilic fungi were isolated from feathers of most common Indian birds, viz. domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), domestic pigeon (Columba livia), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), house crow (Corvus splendens), duck (Anas sp.), rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Out of 87 birds, 58 yielded 4 keratinophilic fungal genera representing 13 fungal species and one sterile mycelium. The isolated fungi were cultured on Sabouraud's dextrose agar at 28 +/- 2 degrees C. Chrysosporium species were isolated on most of the birds. Chrysosporium lucknowense and Chrysosporium tropicum were the most common fungal species associated with these Indian birds. Maximum occurrence of fungi (47%) was recorded on domestic chickens and the least number of keratinophilic fungi was isolated from the domestic pigeon and duck. The average number of fungi per bird was found to be the 0.44.

  7. Radiation heat transfer within an open-cycle MHD generator channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delil, A. A. M.

    1983-05-01

    Radiation heat transfer in an MHD generator was modeled using the Sparrow and Cess model for radiation in an emitting, absorbing and scattering medium. The resulting general equations can be considerably reduced by introducing simplifying approximations for the channel and MHD gas properties. The simplifications lead to an engineering model, which is very useful for one-dimensional channel flow approximation. The model can estimate thermo-optical MHD gas properties, which can be substituted in the energy equation. The model considers the contribution of solid particles in the MHD gas to radiation heat transfer, considerable in coal-fired closed cycle MHD generators. The modeling is applicable also for other types of flow at elevated temperatures, where radiation heat transfer is an important quantity.

  8. Polarization properties and microfacet-based modelling of white, grey and coloured matte diffuse reflection standards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quast, T.; Schirmacher, A.; Hauer, K.-O.; Koo, A.

    2018-02-01

    To elucidate the influence of polarization in diffuse reflectometry, we performed a series of measurements in several bidirectional geometries and determined the Stokes parameters of the diffusely reflected radiation. Different types of matte reflection standards were used, including several common white standards and ceramic colour standards. The dependence of the polarization on the sample type, wavelength and geometry have been studied systematically, the main influence factors have been identified: The effect is largest at large angles of incidence or detection and at wavelengths where the magnitude of the reflectance is small. The results for the colour standards have been modelled using a microfacet-based reflection theory which is derived from the well-known model of Torrance and Sparrow. Although the theory is very simple and only has three free parameters, the agreement with the measured data is very good, all essential features of the data can be reproduced by the model.

  9. The Processing of Causal and Hierarchical Relations in Semantic Memory as Revealed by N400 and Frontal Negativity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuling Liang

    Full Text Available Most current studies investigating semantic memory have focused on associative (ring-emerald or taxonomic relations (bird-sparrow. Little is known about the question of how causal relations (virus-epidemic are stored and accessed in semantic memory. The goal of this study was to examine the processing of causally related, general associatively related and hierarchically related word pairs when participants were required to evaluate whether pairs of words were related in any way. The ERP data showed that the N400 amplitude (200-500 ms elicited by unrelated related words was more negative than all related words. Furthermore, the late frontal distributed negativity (500-700 ms elicited by causally related words was smaller than hierarchically related words, but not for general associated words. These results suggested the processing of causal relations and hierarchical relations in semantic memory recruited different degrees of cognitive resources, especially for role binding.

  10. Examining the specific effects of context on adaptive behavior and achievement in a rural African community: six case studies from rural areas of Southern province, Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Mei; Reich, Jodi; Hart, Lesley; Thuma, Philip E; Grigorenko, Elena L

    2014-02-01

    Generally accepted as universal, the construct of adaptive behavior differs in its manifestations across different cultures and settings. The Vineland-II (Sparrow et al. in Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second edn. AGS Publishing, Circle Pines, MN, 2005) was translated into Chitonga and adapted to the setting of rural Southern Province, Zambia. This version was administered to the parents/caregivers of 114 children (grades 3-7, mean age = 12.94, SD = 2.34). The relationships between these children's adaptive behavior, academic achievement and cognitive ability indicators are compared to those usually observed in US samples. Results reflect no association between adaptive behavior and cognitive ability indicators, but a strong relationship between high adaptive behavior and reading-related measures. Six case studies of children with high and low scores on the Vineland-II are presented to illustrate the possible factors affecting these outcomes.

  11. Local non-similarity method through the Crocco's transformation in boundary layer problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardim, R.G.M.

    1981-04-01

    The coordinate transformation developed by L. Crocco to obtain the solution of the compressible fluid flows over isotermal flat plates is originally employed in the present work, with the purpose of adding its inherent advantage to the Non-Similarity Method idealized by E.M. Sparrow, in the solution of the incompressible non-similar boundary layers. The Crocco's transformation is applied to the conservation equation for forced convection, laminar, constant properties and two-dimensional flows over solids. Two non-similar problems arisen from freestream velocity distribution, the cylinder in crossflow and the Howarth's retarded flow, are solved with a view to illustrating the new procedure. In those solutions the effect of frictional heat is also considered. The results of hydrodynamic and thermal problems are compared with available published information and good agreement was observed. (Author) [pt

  12. Occurrence and transport of nitrogen in the Big Sunflower River, northwestern Mississippi, October 2009-June 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Jeannie R.B.; Coupe, Richard H.

    2014-01-01

    The Big Sunflower River Basin, located within the Yazoo River Basin, is subject to large annual inputs of nitrogen from agriculture, atmospheric deposition, and point sources. Understanding how nutrients are transported in, and downstream from, the Big Sunflower River is key to quantifying their eutrophying effects on the Gulf. Recent results from two Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes (SPARROW models), which include the Big Sunflower River, indicate minimal losses of nitrogen in stream reaches typical of the main channels of major river systems. If SPARROW assumptions of relatively conservative transport of nitrogen are correct and surface-water losses through the bed of the Big Sunflower River are negligible, then options for managing nutrient loads to the Gulf of Mexico may be limited. Simply put, if every pound of nitrogen entering the Delta is eventually delivered to the Gulf, then the only effective nutrient management option in the Delta is to reduce inputs. If, on the other hand, it can be shown that processes within river channels of the Mississippi Delta act to reduce the mass of nitrogen in transport, other hydrologic approaches may be designed to further limit nitrogen transport. Direct validation of existing SPARROW models for the Delta is a first step in assessing the assumptions underlying those models. In order to characterize spatial and temporal variability of nitrogen in the Big Sunflower River Basin, water samples were collected at four U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations located on the Big Sunflower River between October 1, 2009, and June 30, 2011. Nitrogen concentrations were generally highest at each site during the spring of the 2010 water year and the fall and winter of the 2011 water year. Additionally, the dominant form of nitrogen varied between sites. For example, in samples collected from the most upstream site (Clarksdale), the concentration of organic nitrogen was generally higher than the concentrations of

  13. 1969

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton Novenanto

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available 1969 adalah momentum kebenaran bagi studi sosial-budaya atas ruang dan tempat. Di tahun itu, kita tidak sekadar menyaksikan realitas ala petualangan bajak laut Kapten Jack Sparrow dalam kisah fantasi Disney Pirates of the Carribean. Kita disuguhi ekspedisi luar angkasa layaknya fiksi-ilmiah Hollywood, seperti E.T., Star Wars, Avatar, ataupun Interstellar. Berkat kemajuan teknologi, peristiwa pendaratan manusia di Bulan pada 20 Juli 1969 itu disebarluaskan menembus batas-batas ruang dan waktu sehingga manusia di seluruh dunia dalam kurun waktu berbeda dapat menyaksikan (kembali momentum kebenaran itu. Akan tetapi, peristiwa bersejarah itu adalah juga tonggak peneguhan mental egosentris-kolonialis. Gagasan dan penjelajahan telah membongkar logika atas ruang, namun produksi pengetahuan tentangnya masih berpusat dan berorientasi pada para penghuni bumi.

  14. Complex Pupil Masks for Aberrated Imaging of Closely Spaced Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, A. N. K.; Sagar, D. K.; Khonina, S. N.

    2017-12-01

    Current approach demonstrates the suppression of optical side-lobes and the contraction of the main lobe in the composite image of two object points of the optical system under the influence of defocusing effect when an asymmetric phase edges are imposed over the apodized circular aperture. The resolution of two point sources having different intensity ratio is discussed in terms of the modified Sparrow criterion, functions of the degree of coherence of the illumination, the intensity difference and the degree of asymmetric phase masking. Here we have introduced and explored the effects of focus aberration (defect-of-focus) on the two-point resolution of the optical systems. Results on the aberrated composite image of closely spaced objects with amplitude mask and asymmetric phase masks forms a significant contribution in astronomical and microscopic observations.

  15. Nesting bird deterrents for the Federal Republic of Germany glass log storage pad

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, R.M.

    1997-01-01

    A proposed storage pad wi11 be constructed in the 200 West Area for the storage of isotopic heat and radiation sources from the Federal Republic of Germany. The pad will be constructed in the southern portion of the Solid Waste Operations Complex near the existing Sodium Storage Pad (Figure 1). Following a biological review by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) personnel (Brandt 1996), it was determined that in order for construction to take place after March 15, 1997, actions would need to be taken to prevent migratory birds from nesting in the project area. Special attention was focused on preventing sage sparrows and loggerhead shrikes, both Hanford Site species of concern (DOE/RL 1996), from nesting in the area. This activity plan details the methods and procedures that will be used to implement these nesting deterrents

  16. Tradescantia in studies of genetic effects of low level radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamashita, Atsushi

    1976-01-01

    Tradescantia in studies on genetic effects of low level radiation is briefly introduced. Radiosensitivity, method of screening stamen hair mutation, materials in current uses, spontaneous mutation rate, and modifying factors are refered. For stamen hair mutation b values in exponential model were lower in irradiation with low dose rate at high environmental temperature. The dose response curves under these modifying conditions, when extrapolated to low dose range, well fit to the line which was obtained by Sparrow's experiment of low level irradiation. In chronic irradiation, the frequency of stamen hair mutation reaches to the constant value after 17 days from the start of irradiation, and is as much as 4 times higher than the peak value in one day irradiation at the same exposure rate. The spontaneous mutation rate of KU-7 varied with temperature. The increase with 1 0 C increment of mean temperature was -0.04%. Uses of Tradescantia in monitoring the environmental radiation is discussed. (auth.)

  17. Response to nestling throat ligatures by three songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, G.L.; Conway, C.J.; Kirkpatrick, C.; Laroche, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    We attempted to collect diet samples using throat ligatures from nestlings of three songbird species in a riparian woodland in southeastern Arizona from May to August 2009. We had success with Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), observed adult Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) reclaim food from nestlings, and discontinued the use of throat ligatures when we observed an adult Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) remove two, 34-day-old ligatured nestlings from its nest. Previous studies have reported problems (e.g., aggression toward nestlings by adults) with throat ligatures, but we are the first to document removal (and subsequent nestling mortality) in response to this technique. We urge investigators to exercise caution when using throat ligatures on species for which evidence of the safety and efficacy of this method are lacking, especially when nestlings are small in size relative to adults. ?? 2010 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  18. Modeling and simulation of the solar concentrator in photovoltaic systems through the application of a new BRDF function model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plachta, Kamil

    2016-04-01

    The paper presents a new algorithm that uses a combination of two models of BRDF functions: Torrance-Sparrow model and HTSG model. The knowledge of technical parameters of a surface is especially useful in the construction of the solar concentrator. The concentrator directs the reflected solar radiation on the surface of photovoltaic panels, increasing the amount of incident radiance. The software applying algorithm allows to calculate surface parameters of the solar concentrator. Performed simulation showing the share of diffuse component and directional component in reflected stream for surfaces made from particular materials. The impact of share of each component in reflected stream on the efficiency of the solar concentrator and photovoltaic surface has also been described. Subsequently, simulation change the value of voltage, current and power output of monocrystalline photovoltaic panels installed in a solar concentrator system has been made for selected surface of materials solar concentrator.

  19. Mapping watershed potential to contribute phosphorus from geologic materials to receiving streams, southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terziotti, Silvia; Hoos, Anne B.; Harned, Douglas; Garcia, Ana Maria

    2010-01-01

    As part of the southeastern United States SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) water-quality model implementation, the U.S. Geological Survey created a dataset to characterize the contribution of phosphorus to streams from weathering and erosion of surficial geologic materials. SPARROW provides estimates of total nitrogen and phosphorus loads in surface waters from point and nonpoint sources. The characterization of the contribution of phosphorus from geologic materials is important to help separate the effects of natural or background sources of phosphorus from anthropogenic sources of phosphorus, such as municipal wastewater or agricultural practices. The potential of a watershed to contribute phosphorus from naturally occurring geologic materials to streams was characterized by using geochemical data from bed-sediment samples collected from first-order streams in relatively undisturbed watersheds as part of the multiyear U.S. Geological Survey National Geochemical Survey. The spatial pattern of bed-sediment phosphorus concentration is offered as a tool to represent the best available information at the regional scale. One issue may weaken the use of bed-sediment phosphorus concentration as a surrogate for the potential for geologic materials in the watershed to contribute to instream levels of phosphorus-an unknown part of the variability in bed-sediment phosphorus concentration may be due to the rates of net deposition and processing of phosphorus in the streambed rather than to variability in the potential of the watershed's geologic materials to contribute phosphorus to the stream. Two additional datasets were created to represent the potential of a watershed to contribute phosphorus from geologic materials disturbed by mining activities from active mines and inactive mines.

  20. The effect of urban growth on landscape-scale restoration for a fire-dependent songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Bradley A; Marcus, Jeffrey F; Carpenter, John P; Anderson, Scott; Taillie, Paul J; Collazo, Jaime A

    2017-04-15

    A landscape-scale perspective on restoration ecology has been advocated, but few studies have informed restoration with landscape metrics or addressed broad-scale threats. Threats such as urban growth may affect restoration effectiveness in a landscape context. Here, we studied longleaf pine savanna in the rapidly urbanizing southeastern United States where a habitat-specialist bird, Bachman's sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis), is closely associated with savanna vegetation structure and frequent fire. Our objectives were to construct a species distribution model for Bachman's sparrow, determine the relationship between fire and urbanization, quantify the urban growth effect (2010-2090), identify potential restoration areas, and determine the interaction between restoration potential and urban growth by 2050. Number of patches, patch size, and isolation metrics were used to evaluate scenarios. The species distribution model was 88% accurate and emphasized multiscale canopy cover characteristics, fire, and percent habitat. Fires were less common urban areas, and this fire suppression effect exacerbated urban growth effects. For restoration scenarios, canopy cover reduction by 30% resulted in nearly double the amount of habitat compared to the prescribed fire scenario; canopy cover reduction resulted in larger patch sizes and less patch isolation compared to current conditions. The effect of urban growth on restoration scenarios was unequal. Seventy-four percent of restoration areas from the prescribed fire scenario overlapped with projected urban growth, whereas the canopy cover reduction scenario only overlapped by 9%. We emphasize the benefits of simultaneously considering the effects of urban growth and landscape-scale restoration potential to promote a landscape with greater patch sizes and less isolation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. The effect of urban growth on landscape-scale restoration for a fire-dependent songbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Bradley A.; Marcus, Jeffrey F.; Carpenter, John P.; Anderson, Scott; Taillie, Paul J.; Collazo, Jaime A.

    2017-01-01

    A landscape-scale perspective on restoration ecology has been advocated, but few studies have informed restoration with landscape metrics or addressed broad-scale threats. Threats such as urban growth may affect restoration effectiveness in a landscape context. Here, we studied longleaf pine savanna in the rapidly urbanizing southeastern United States where a habitat-specialist bird, Bachman's sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis), is closely associated with savanna vegetation structure and frequent fire. Our objectives were to construct a species distribution model for Bachman's sparrow, determine the relationship between fire and urbanization, quantify the urban growth effect (2010–2090), identify potential restoration areas, and determine the interaction between restoration potential and urban growth by 2050. Number of patches, patch size, and isolation metrics were used to evaluate scenarios. The species distribution model was 88% accurate and emphasized multiscale canopy cover characteristics, fire, and percent habitat. Fires were less common urban areas, and this fire suppression effect exacerbated urban growth effects. For restoration scenarios, canopy cover reduction by 30% resulted in nearly double the amount of habitat compared to the prescribed fire scenario; canopy cover reduction resulted in larger patch sizes and less patch isolation compared to current conditions. The effect of urban growth on restoration scenarios was unequal. Seventy-four percent of restoration areas from the prescribed fire scenario overlapped with projected urban growth, whereas the canopy cover reduction scenario only overlapped by 9%. We emphasize the benefits of simultaneously considering the effects of urban growth and landscape-scale restoration potential to promote a landscape with greater patch sizes and less isolation.

  2. Energy development and avian nest survival in Wyoming, USA: A test of a common disturbance index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hethcoat, Matthew G.; Chalfoun, Anna D.

    2015-01-01

    Global energy demands continue to result in new and emerging sources of anthropogenic disturbance to populations and systems. Here, we assessed the influence of natural gas development on a critical component of fitness (nest survival) for Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri), sagebrush sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis), and sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus), three species of sagebrush-obligate songbirds that are of conservation concern, and assessed the efficacy of a commonly used index of oil and gas development intensity (well density) for estimating habitat transformation and predicting species’ responses. During 2008–2009 and 2011–2012 we monitored 926 nests within two natural gas fields in western Wyoming, USA. We calculated landscape metrics (habitat loss, amount of edge, patch shape complexity, and mean patch size) to identify the aspect of landscape transformation most captured by well density. Well density was most positively associated with the amount of sagebrush habitat loss within 1 square kilometer. Nest survival was relatively invariant with respect to well density for all three species. In contrast, nest survival rates of all three species generally decreased with surrounding habitat loss due to energy development. Thus, although well density and habitat loss were strongly correlated, well density resulted in overly conservative estimates of nest survival probability. Our results emphasize the importance of careful evaluation of the appropriateness of particular indices for quantifying the effects of human-induced habitat change. For managers concerned about the effects of natural gas development or similar forms of human land use to co-occurring breeding birds, we recommend minimizing the amount of associated habitat conversion.

  3. The influence of study species selection on estimates of pesticide exposure in free-ranging birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Shannon L.; Vyas, Nimish B.; Christman, Mary C.

    2014-01-01

    Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose 16 of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to 17 monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, 18 but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator 19 species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk 20 estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a 21 study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma 22 cholinesterase (ChE) activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven 24 species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow (Spizella 25 passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE 26 depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins (Turdus migratorius) and 27 grey catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower 28 abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show 29 that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and 30 ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate 31 the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on 32 pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species 33 that are most appropriate.

  4. Ducks and passerines nesting in northern mixed-grass prairie treated with fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Todd A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Madden, Elizabeth M.; Berkey, Gordon B.

    2011-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important, ecology-driven tool for restoration of grassland systems. However, prescribed fire remains controversial for some grassland managers because of reported reductions in bird use of recently burned grasslands. Few studies have evaluated effects of fire on grassland bird populations in the northern mixed-grass prairie region. Fewer studies yet have examined the influence of fire on nest density or survival. In our review, we found no studies that simultaneously examined effects of fire on duck and passerine nesting. During 1998—2003, we examined effects of prescribed fire on the density of upland-nesting ducks and passerines nesting in north-central North Dakota, USA. Apparent nest densities of gadwall (Anas strepera), mallard (A. platyrhynchos), and all duck species combined, were influenced by fire history of study units, although the degree of influence was not compelling. Fire history was not related to nest densities of blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), or northern pintail (A. acuta); however, apparent nest densities in relation to the number of postfire growing seasons exhibited a strikingly similar pattern among all duck species. When compared to ducks, fire history strongly influenced apparent nest densities of clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). For most species examined, apparent nest densities were lowest in recently burned units, increased during the second postfire growing season, and stabilized or, in some cases, decreased thereafter. Prescribed fire is critical for restoring the ecology of northern mixed-grass prairies and our findings indicate that reductions in nest densities are limited mostly to the first growing season after fire. Our results support the premise that upland-nesting ducks and several grassland passerine species are adapted to periodic fires occurring at a frequency similar to that

  5. Bird Surveys at DARHT Before and During Operations: Comparison of Species Abundance and Composition and Trace Element Uptake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. R. Fresquez, D. C. Keller, C. D. Hathcock

    2007-11-30

    The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility Mitigation Action Plan specifies the comparison of baseline conditions in biotic and abiotic media with those collected after operations have started. Operations at DARHT at Los Alamos National Laboratory started in 2000. In this study, the abundance and composition of birds collected near the DARHT facility from 2003 through 2006 were determined and compared to a preoperational period (1999). In addition, the levels of radionuclides and other inorganic chemicals in birds were compared to regional statistical reference levels (RSRLs). The number and diversity of bird species generally increased over preoperational levels with the greatest number of birds (412) and species (46) occurring in 2005. The most common bird species collected regardless of time periods were the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), the Virginia's warbler (Vermivora virginiae), the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), the broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), the sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), and the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana). Most radionuclides, with the exception of uranium-234 and uranium-238, in (whole body) birds collected after operations began were either not detected or below RSRLs. Uranium-234 and uranium-238 concentrations in a few samples were far below screening levels and do not pose a potential unacceptable dose to the birds. In contrast, many inorganic chemicals, particularly arsenic and silver, in birds collected before and after operations began were in higher concentrations than RSRLs. Because birds (skin plus feathers) collected in the years before operations began contained higher levels of arsenic and silver than RSRLs and because there was no evidence of these metals in soil and sediment directly around the DARHT facility, the elevated levels of these metals in birds during early operations are probably not related to DARHT operations. Arsenic and silver in birds, however

  6. Songbird response to increased willow (Salix spp.) growth in Yellowstone's northern range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baril, Lisa M; Hansen, Andrew J; Renkin, Roy; Lawrence, Rick

    2011-09-01

    After nearly a century of height suppression, willows (Salix spp.) in the northern range of Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A., are increasing in height growth as a possible consequence of wolf (Canis lupus) restoration, climate change, or other factors. Regardless of the drivers, the recent release of this rare but important habitat type could have significant implications for associated songbirds that are exhibiting declines in the region. Our objective was to evaluate bird response to releasing willows by comparing willow structure and bird community composition across three willow growth conditions: height suppressed, recently released, and previously tall (i.e., tall prior to the height increase of released willows). Released and previously tall willows exhibited high and similar vertical structure, but released willows were significantly lower in horizontal structure. Suppressed willows were significantly shorter and lower in horizontal cover than released or previously tall willows. Bird richness increased along a gradient from lowest in suppressed to highest in previously tall willows, but abundance and diversity were similar between released and previously tall willows, despite lower horizontal cover in the released condition. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas) and Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) were found in all three growth conditions; however, Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus), Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), and Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodii) were present in released and previously tall willows only. Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla) was found in previously tall willows only, appearing to specialize on tall, dense willows. The results of our a priori habitat models indicated that foliage height diversity was the primary driver of bird richness, abundance, and diversity. These results indicate that vertical structure was a more important driver of bird community variables than horizontal

  7. Urban Bird Feeders Dominated by a Few Species and Individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josie A. Galbraith

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The practice of garden bird feeding is a global phenomenon, involving millions of people and vast quantities of food annually. Many people engage in the practice of feeding assuming that birds gain some benefit from the food they provide, yet recent studies have revealed the potential for detrimental impacts as well. However, there is still a paucity of information on the impacts of feeding, including the ubiquity of these impacts among and within feeder-visiting species. Consistency in feeder use among birds is likely an important determinant of this. Individual birds and species that make frequent use of feeders are more likely to experience both the benefits and detrimental impacts of supplementary food. We investigated patterns of feeder use by garden birds visiting experimental feeding stations in Auckland, New Zealand, with the specific aim of determining whether use of supplementary food was consistent or variable among individuals and species. We used camera traps as well as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID technology to examine intra- and interspecific feeder visitation patterns and to discern species associations. Eleven bird species were detected using feeding stations, however, two introduced species (house sparrow Passer domesticus and spotted dove Streptopelia chinensis dominated visitation events. These species were present at feeders most frequently, with the largest conspecific group sizes. Significant associations were detected among a number of species, suggesting interspecific interactions are important in determining feeder use. We also found within-species differences in feeder use for all focal species, with individual variation greatest in house sparrows. Furthermore, season had an important influence on most visitation parameters. The observed individual and species-specific differences in supplementary food resource use imply that the impacts of garden bird feeding are not universal. Crucially, particularly given

  8. Bayesian hierarchical modelling of continuous non-negative longitudinal data with a spike at zero: An application to a study of birds visiting gardens in winter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Ben; Buckland, Stephen T; King, Ruth; Toms, Mike P

    2016-03-01

    The development of methods for dealing with continuous data with a spike at zero has lagged behind those for overdispersed or zero-inflated count data. We consider longitudinal ecological data corresponding to an annual average of 26 weekly maximum counts of birds, and are hence effectively continuous, bounded below by zero but also with a discrete mass at zero. We develop a Bayesian hierarchical Tweedie regression model that can directly accommodate the excess number of zeros common to this type of data, whilst accounting for both spatial and temporal correlation. Implementation of the model is conducted in a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) framework, using reversible jump MCMC to explore uncertainty across both parameter and model spaces. This regression modelling framework is very flexible and removes the need to make strong assumptions about mean-variance relationships a priori. It can also directly account for the spike at zero, whilst being easily applicable to other types of data and other model formulations. Whilst a correlative study such as this cannot prove causation, our results suggest that an increase in an avian predator may have led to an overall decrease in the number of one of its prey species visiting garden feeding stations in the United Kingdom. This may reflect a change in behaviour of house sparrows to avoid feeding stations frequented by sparrowhawks, or a reduction in house sparrow population size as a result of sparrowhawk increase. © 2015 The Author. Biometrical Journal published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Estimated Mortality of Selected Migratory Bird Species from Mowing and Other Mechanical Operations in Canadian Agriculture

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    Joerg Tews

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical operations such as mowing, tilling, seeding, and harvesting are well-known sources of direct avian mortality in agricultural fields. However, there are currently no mortality rate estimates available for any species group or larger jurisdiction. Even reviews of sources of mortality in birds have failed to address mechanical disturbance in farm fields. To overcome this information gap we provide estimates of total mortality rates by mechanical operations for five selected species across Canada. In our step-by-step modeling approach we (i quantified the amount of various types of agricultural land in each Bird Conservation Region (BCR in Canada, (ii estimated population densities by region and agricultural habitat type for each selected species, (iii estimated the average timing of mechanical agricultural activities, egg laying, and fledging, (iv and used these values and additional demographical parameters to derive estimates of total mortality by species within each BCR. Based on our calculations the total annual estimated incidental take of young ranged from ~138,000 for Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris to as much as ~941,000 for Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis. Net losses to the fall flight of birds, i.e., those birds that would have fledged successfully in the absence of mechanical disturbance, were, for example ~321,000 for Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus and ~483,000 for Savannah Sparrow. Although our estimates are subject to an unknown degree of uncertainty, this assessment is a very important first step because it provides a broad estimate of incidental take for a set of species that may be particularly vulnerable to mechanical operations and a starting point for future refinements of model parameters if and when they become available.

  10. Testosterone-dependency of male solo song in a duetting songbird--evidence from females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigt, Cornelia; Leitner, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    For male songbirds of the temperate zone there is a tight link between seasonal song behaviour and circulating testosterone levels. Such a relationship does not seem to hold for tropical species where singing can occur year-round and breeding seasons are often extended. White-browed sparrow weavers (Plocepasser mahali) are cooperatively breeding songbirds with a dominant breeding pair and male and female subordinates found in eastern and southern Africa. Each group defends an all-purpose territory year-round. While all group members sing duets and choruses, the most dominant male additionally sings a solo song that comprises a distinct and large syllable repertoire. Previous studies suggested this type of song being associated with reproduction but failed to support a relationship with males' circulating testosterone levels. The present study aimed to investigate the steroid hormone sensitivity of the solo song in more detail. We found that dominant males had significantly higher circulating testosterone levels than subordinates during the early and late breeding seasons. No changes in solo song characteristics were found between both time points. Further, experimental implantation of captive adult females with exogenous testosterone induced solo singing within one week of treatment. Such females produced male-typical song regarding overall structure and syllable composition. Sex differences existed, however, concerning singing activity, repertoire size and temporal organisation of song. These results suggest that solo singing in white-browed sparrow weavers is under the control of gonadal steroid hormones. Moreover, the behaviour is not male-specific but can be activated in females under certain conditions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Intraspecific correlations of basal and maximal metabolic rates in birds and the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, David L; Thomas, Nathan E; Liknes, Eric T; Cooper, Sheldon J

    2012-01-01

    The underlying assumption of the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy is that basal (BMR) and maximal aerobic metabolic rates are phenotypically linked. However, because BMR is largely a function of central organs whereas maximal metabolic output is largely a function of skeletal muscles, the mechanistic underpinnings for their linkage are not obvious. Interspecific studies in birds generally support a phenotypic correlation between BMR and maximal metabolic output. If the aerobic capacity model is valid, these phenotypic correlations should also extend to intraspecific comparisons. We measured BMR, M(sum) (maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and MMR (maximum exercise metabolic rate in a hop-flutter chamber) in winter for dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis; M(sum) and MMR only), and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus; BMR and M(sum) only) and examined correlations among these variables. We also measured BMR and M(sum) in individual house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in both summer, winter and spring. For both raw metabolic rates and residuals from allometric regressions, BMR was not significantly correlated with either M(sum) or MMR in juncos. Moreover, no significant correlation between M(sum) and MMR or their mass-independent residuals occurred for juncos or goldfinches. Raw BMR and M(sum) were significantly positively correlated for black-capped chickadees and house sparrows, but mass-independent residuals of BMR and M(sum) were not. These data suggest that central organ and exercise organ metabolic levels are not inextricably linked and that muscular capacities for exercise and shivering do not necessarily vary in tandem in individual birds. Why intraspecific and interspecific avian studies show differing results and the significance of these differences to the aerobic capacity model are unknown, and resolution of these questions will require additional studies of potential mechanistic

  12. Intraspecific correlations of basal and maximal metabolic rates in birds and the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L Swanson

    Full Text Available The underlying assumption of the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy is that basal (BMR and maximal aerobic metabolic rates are phenotypically linked. However, because BMR is largely a function of central organs whereas maximal metabolic output is largely a function of skeletal muscles, the mechanistic underpinnings for their linkage are not obvious. Interspecific studies in birds generally support a phenotypic correlation between BMR and maximal metabolic output. If the aerobic capacity model is valid, these phenotypic correlations should also extend to intraspecific comparisons. We measured BMR, M(sum (maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate and MMR (maximum exercise metabolic rate in a hop-flutter chamber in winter for dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis, American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis; M(sum and MMR only, and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus; BMR and M(sum only and examined correlations among these variables. We also measured BMR and M(sum in individual house sparrows (Passer domesticus in both summer, winter and spring. For both raw metabolic rates and residuals from allometric regressions, BMR was not significantly correlated with either M(sum or MMR in juncos. Moreover, no significant correlation between M(sum and MMR or their mass-independent residuals occurred for juncos or goldfinches. Raw BMR and M(sum were significantly positively correlated for black-capped chickadees and house sparrows, but mass-independent residuals of BMR and M(sum were not. These data suggest that central organ and exercise organ metabolic levels are not inextricably linked and that muscular capacities for exercise and shivering do not necessarily vary in tandem in individual birds. Why intraspecific and interspecific avian studies show differing results and the significance of these differences to the aerobic capacity model are unknown, and resolution of these questions will require additional studies of potential

  13. Assessment of nutrient loadings of a large multipurpose prairie reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Marín, L. A.; Wheater, H. S.; Lindenschmidt, K. E.

    2017-07-01

    The relatively low water flow velocities in reservoirs cause them to have high capacities for retaining sediments and pollutants, which can lead to a reduction in downstream nutrient loading. Hence, nutrients can progressively accumulate in reservoirs, resulting in the deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and water quality. Lake Diefenbaker (LD) is a large multipurpose reservoir, located on the South Saskatchewan River (SSR), that serves as a major source of freshwater in Saskatchewan, Canada. Over the past several years, changes in land use (e.g. expansion of urban areas and industrial developments) in the reservoir's catchment have heightened concerns about future water quality in the catchment and in the reservoir. Intensification of agricultural activities has led to an increase in augmented the application of manure and fertilizer for crops and pasture. Although previous research has attempted to quantify nutrient retention in LD, there is a knowledge gap related to the identification of major nutrient sources and quantification of nutrient export from the catchment at different spatial scales. Using the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed (SPARROW) model, this gap has been addressed by assessing water quality regionally, and identifying spatial patterns of factors and processes that affect water quality in the LD catchment. Model results indicate that LD retains about 70% of the inflowing total nitrogen (TN) and 90% of the inflowing total phosphorus (TP) loads, of which fertilizer and manure applied to agricultural fields contribute the greatest proportion. The SPARROW model will be useful as a tool to guide the optimal implementation of nutrient management plans to reduce nutrient inputs to LD.

  14. High-resolution tide projections reveal extinction threshold in response to sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Christopher R; Bayard, Trina S; Gjerdrum, Carina; Hill, Jason M; Meiman, Susan; Elphick, Chris S

    2017-05-01

    Sea-level rise will affect coastal species worldwide, but models that aim to predict these effects are typically based on simple measures of sea level that do not capture its inherent complexity, especially variation over timescales shorter than 1 year. Coastal species might be most affected, however, by floods that exceed a critical threshold. The frequency and duration of such floods may be more important to population dynamics than mean measures of sea level. In particular, the potential for changes in the frequency and duration of flooding events to result in nonlinear population responses or biological thresholds merits further research, but may require that models incorporate greater resolution in sea level than is typically used. We created population simulations for a threatened songbird, the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus), in a region where sea level is predictable with high accuracy and precision. We show that incorporating the timing of semidiurnal high tide events throughout the breeding season, including how this timing is affected by mean sea-level rise, predicts a reproductive threshold that is likely to cause a rapid demographic shift. This shift is likely to threaten the persistence of saltmarsh sparrows beyond 2060 and could cause extinction as soon as 2035. Neither extinction date nor the population trajectory was sensitive to the emissions scenarios underlying sea-level projections, as most of the population decline occurred before scenarios diverge. Our results suggest that the variation and complexity of climate-driven variables could be important for understanding the potential responses of coastal species to sea-level rise, especially for species that rely on coastal areas for reproduction. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Novas citações de Chytridiomycota e Oomycota para o Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga (PEFI, SP, Brasil New records of Chytridiomycota and Oomycota from the "Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga (PEFI", SP, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Lidia Amorim Pires-Zottarelli

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Levantamento de fungos zoospóricos realizado em lagos artificiais do Parque Estadual das Fontes do Ipiranga (PEFI, situado na cidade de São Paulo, Estado de São Paulo, Brasil, resultou no isolamento de 41 táxons, sendo 36 identificados em nível específico. Vinte e três táxons pertencem ao Reino Fungi, filo Chytridiomycota, ordens Chytridiales, Monoblepharidales e Spizellomicetales e, 18 ao Reino Straminipila, filo Oomycota, ordens Saprolegniales e Peronosporales. Dentre os fungos isolados, 14 são mencionados pela primeira vez para o PEFI: Aphanomyces helicoides von Minden, Catenochytridium kevorkianii Sparrow, Catenochytridium sp., Chytriomyces appendiculatus Karling, C. aureus Karling, C. hyalinus Karling, C. spinosus Fay, Diplophlyctis asteroidea Dogma, D. complicata (Willoughby Dogma, Karlingia dubia Karling, Nowakowskiella hemisphaerospora Shanor, Saprolegnia australis Elliott, Septochytrium variabile Berdan e Truittella sp., os quais são descritos, comentados e ilustrados. O gênero Truitella é mencionado pela primeira vez para o Brasil.A survey of zoosporic fungi from artificial lakes of the Fontes do Ipiranga State Park, in the city of São Paulo, São Paulo State, Brazil, yielded the isolation of 41 taxa with 36 species. Twenty-three taxa belong to Chytridiales, Monoblepharidales and Spizellomycetales of the Phylum Chytridiomycota, Fungi Kingdom and 18 belong to Saprolegniales and Peronosporales, Phylum Oomycota, Straminipila Kingdom. Of these, 14 are first-time records for this State Park: Aphanomyces helicoides von Minden, Catenochytridium kevorkianii Sparrow, Catenochytridium sp., Chytriomyces appendiculatus Karling, C. aureus Karling, C. hyalinus Karling, C. spinosus Fay, Diplophlyctis asteroidea Dogma, D. complicata (Willoughby Dogma, Karlingia dubia Karling, Nowakowskiella hemisphaerospora Shanor, Saprolegnia australis Elliott, Septochytrium variabile Berdan and Truittella sp., which are described, commented and

  16. Long-term trends in first arrival and first egg laying dates of some migrant and resident bird species in northern Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubolini, Diego; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caffi, Mario; Brichetti, Pierandrea; Armiraglio, Stefano; Saino, Nicola

    2007-08-01

    Climate change is affecting the phenology of seasonal events in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere, as shown by several studies of birds’ timing of migration and reproduction. Here, we analyse the long-term (1982-2006) trends of first arrival dates of four long-distance migratory birds [swift ( Apus apus), nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos), barn swallow ( Hirundo rustica), and house martin ( Delichon urbicum)] and first egg laying dates of two migrant (swift, barn swallow) and two resident species [starling ( Sturnus vulgaris), Italian sparrow ( Passer italiae)] at a study site in northern Italy. We also addressed the effects of local weather (temperature and precipitation) and a climate index (the North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO) on the interannual variability of phenological events. We found that the swift and the barn swallow significantly advanced both arrival and laying dates, whereas all other species did not show any significant temporal trend in either arrival or laying date. The earlier arrival of swifts was explained by increasing local temperatures in April, whereas this was not the case for arrival dates of swallows and first egg laying dates of both species. In addition, arrival dates of house martins were earlier following high NAO winters, while nightingale arrival was earlier when local spring rainfall was greater. Finally, Italian sparrow onset of reproduction was anticipated by greater spring rainfall, but delayed by high spring NAO anomalies, and swift’s onset of reproduction was anticipated by abundant rainfall prior to reproduction. There were no significant temporal trends in the interval between onset of laying and arrival in either the swift or the barn swallow. Our findings therefore indicate that birds may show idiosyncratic responses to climate variability at different spatial scales, though some species may be adjusting their calendar to rapidly changing climatic conditions.

  17. Potential of pest regulation by insectivorous birds in Mediterranean woody crops.

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    José M Rey Benayas

    Full Text Available Regulation of agricultural pests managing their natural enemies represents an alternative to chemical pesticides. We assessed the potential of insectivorous birds as pest regulators in woody crops located in central Spain. A total of 417 nest boxes installed in five field study sites (one vineyard, two fruit orchards, and two olive groves were monitored for use and breeding of insectivorous birds and other species for four consecutive years (2013-2016. At all field sites except the two olive groves, where birds never occupied the nest boxes, predation experiments were conducted with Greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella sentinel caterpillars, and food consumption by birds was estimated. Nesting of insectivorous birds, chiefly Great tit (Parus major, and sparrows (Passer domesticus and P. montanus increased over time, averaging 60% per field site in the vineyard and fruit orchards by the fourth year. Use of nest boxes by sparrows and by Garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus was high at the fruit orchards (70% and the vineyard (30%, respectively. Micro-habitat characteristics (nest box level and meso-habitat characteristics (patch level strongly affected use of nest boxes and bird breeding (i.e. number of laid eggs and produced chicks in different years. Distance to natural or semi-natural vegetation did not consistently affect bird breeding, nor did we see consistent evidence of competition between adjacent breeding birds. Predation rates of sentinel caterpillars were approximately one-third higher near boxes with nesting birds (31.51 ± 43.13% than at paired distant areas without nest boxes (22.45% ± 38.58%. Food consumption by insectivorous birds per ha and breeding season were conservatively estimated to range from 0.02 kg in one fruit orchard to 0.15 kg in the vineyard. We conclude that installation of nest boxes in Mediterranean woody crops enhances populations of insectivorous birds that regulate pests, but that the effects are moderate and

  18. Density and fledging success of ground-nesting passerines in Conservation Reserve Program fields in the northeastern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koford, Rolf R.

    1999-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program, initiated in 1985, was designed primarily to reduce soil erosion and crop surpluses. A secondary benefit was the provision of habitat for wildlife. Grassland bird populations, many of which declined in the decades prior to the Conservation Reserve Program, may have benefited from the Conservation Reserve Program if reproduction in this newly available habitat has been at least as high as it would have been in the absence of the Conservation Reserve Program. On study areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, I examined breeding densities and fledging success of grassland birds in Conservation Reserve Program fields and in an alternative habitat of similar structure, idle grassland fields on federal Waterfowl Production Areas. Fields were 10 to 25 hectares in size. The avifaunas of these two habitats were similar, although brush-dependent species were more abundant on Waterfowl Protection Areas. The common species in these habitats included ones whose continental populations have declined, such as Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). These ground-nesting species were pooled with other ground nesters in an analysis of fledging success, which revealed no significant differences between habitats, between states, or among years (1991-1993). Predation was the primary cause of nest failure. I concluded that Conservation Reserve Program fields in this region were suitable breeding habitat for several species whose populations had declined prior to the Conservation Reserve Program era. This habitat appeared to be as secure for nests of ground-nesting birds as another suitable habitat in North Dakota and Minnesota.

  19. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Lisa A.; Ribic, Christine; Pomara, Lars Y.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts.ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability.MethodsWe conducted a demographic meta-analysis from published studies and quantified the relationship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate-demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model.ResultsWe uncovered a climate-demography linkage for Henslow’s Sparrow with summer precipitation, and to a lesser degree, temperature positively affecting nest success. We found that future climatic conditions—primarily changes in precipitation—will likely contribute to reduced population persistence and a southwestward range contraction.ConclusionsFuture distributional shifts in response to climate change may not always be poleward and assessing projected changes in precipitation is critical for grassland bird conservation and climate change adaptation.

  20. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlacky, David C; Lukacs, Paul M; Blakesley, Jennifer A; Skorkowsky, Robert C; Klute, David S; Hahn, Beth A; Dreitz, Victoria J; George, T Luke; Hanni, David J

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1) coordination across organizations and regions, 2) meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3) rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17). We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1) determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2) estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous statistical

  1. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C Pavlacky

    Full Text Available Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1 coordination across organizations and regions, 2 meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3 rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17. We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1 determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2 estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous

  2. Presence and persistence of a highly ordered lipid phase state in the avian stratum corneum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Champagne, Alex M; Pigg, Victoria A; Allen, Heather C; Williams, Joseph B

    2018-06-07

    To survive high temperatures in a terrestrial environment, animals must effectively balance evaporative heat loss and water conservation. In passerine birds, cutaneous water loss (CWL) is the primary avenue of water loss at thermoneutral temperatures and increases slightly as ambient temperature increases, indicating a change in the permeability of the skin. In the stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of the skin, lipids arranged in layers called lamellae serve as the primary barrier to CWL in birds. The permeability of these lamellae depends in large part on the ability of lipid molecules to pack closely together in an ordered orthorhombic phase state. However, as temperature increases, lipids of the SC become more disordered, and may pack in more permeable hexagonal or liquid crystalline phase states. In this study, we used Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to monitor the phase state of lipids in the SC of house sparrows ( Passer domesticus ) at skin temperatures ranging from 25 to 50°C. As temperature increased, lipids became slightly more disordered, but remained predominantly in the orthorhombic phase, consistent with the small increase in CWL observed in house sparrows as ambient temperature increases. These results differ considerably from studies on mammalian SC, which find a predominantly hexagonal arrangement of lipids at temperatures above 37°C, and the increased order in avian SC may be explained by longer lipid chain length, scarcity of cholesterol and the presence of cerebrosides. Our results lend further insight into the arrangement and packing of individual lipid molecules in avian SC. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Reproductive periods in birds near the Equator Reproductive periods in birds near the Equator

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    Miller Alden H.

    1958-09-01

    Full Text Available Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte.  Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares localizado en la cima de la Cordillera Occidental sobre la carretera que conduce de Cali a Buenaventura. Mediante trabajos de anillado, instalación de trampas para captura de las aves, realización de laparotomías y observación constante. se ha llegado a las siguientes conclusiones preliminares: a Que las aves cerca del ecuador tienen como en otras latitudes periodos o ciclos de reproducción, aunque la especie en conjunto pueda estar anidando prácticamente durante todo el año. b Que los machos están en condiciones fisiológicas para reproducirse a los cinco meses de edad y que con seguridad algunos permanecen en condiciones de reproducción durante cuatro meses continuos; además que las hembras anidan a los cinco meses de edad. c Que estas aves tienen una marcada resistencia contra las infecciones que podrían sobrevenirles por el empleo de instrumental quirúrgico sin previa desinfección, usado en las intervenciones.  Algunos individuos fueron operados hasta tres veces y tan solo se sabe de uno que murió, no debido a infección sino a una alta dosis de anestesia. A partir del ocho de febrero del presente año, se han anillado ciento veinte (120 individuos en un área aproximada de dos hectáreas, y se ha coleccionado material adicional en la vecindad de la estación de estudio, el cual se preserva para futuros estudios comparativos. Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte. Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares

  4. Three Jews in Günter Grass' novel The Tin Drum

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    Zobenica Nikolina N.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the novel The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel, 1959 Günter Grass depicts three periods of German history: pre-war time, World War II, and post-war time. In all the segments of the novel, there is a Jewish character: in the first part it is the toy dealer, Sigismund Markus; in the second, Mr Feingold; and in the third it is Ferdinand Schmuh. The aim of this paper is to determine similarities and differences among these characters, bearing in mind the changes in socio-political situation, as well as the status of Jews in the world of petite bourgeoisie. Sigismund Markus was in love with Oskar's mother, and he was loyal to her, even though she was cheating her husband with another man. He warned her of the changing circumstances and he himself decided to get baptised, in order to survive in the new society. However, he was attacked in Crystal Night then he killed himself in order to avoid the destiny which the Nazis have planned for him. The second Jew in the novel is a survivor, Mr Feingold. Although his entire family has been killed in the concentration camp Treblinka, he is eager to help and to protect Maria, Oskar and Kurt. He helps Oskar during the fever and eventually proposes to Maria, but Maria is now ready to leave Gdansk, so Mr Feingold was turned down, just like Markus few years back. Symbolically, the devoted love of the Jews for the Germans and for Gdansk has been refused, as well as hope for a fresh start for the Jews and Germans. While Markus and Feingold show love and respect for women and understanding for Oskar, Schmuh is embittered because Germans have not learnt to mourn and are incapable of crying. He is giving them an opportunity to learn it by serving them onions which makes them shed tears and open their hearts. However, this is only temporary; they do not really change; so Schmuh vents his negative feelings in cursing toilet women and regularly killing twelve sparrows in an afternoon. As he once exaggerated and killed one

  5. Current land bird distribution and trends in population abundance between 1982 and 2012 on Rota, Mariana Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Amidon, Fred A.; Radley, Paul M.; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Banko, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    The western Pacific island of Rota is the fourth largest human-inhabited island in the Mariana archipelago and designated an Endemic Bird Area. Between 1982 and 2012, 12 point-transect distance-sampling surveys were conducted to assess bird population status. Surveys did not consistently sample the entire island; thus, we used a ratio estimator to estimate bird abundances in strata not sampled during every survey. Trends in population size were reliably estimated for 11 of 13 bird species, and 7 species declined over the 30-y time series, including the island collared-dove Streptopelia bitorquata, white-throated ground-dove Gallicolumba xanthonura, Mariana fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla, collared kingfisher Todiramphus chloris orii, Micronesian myzomela Myzomela rubratra, black drongo Dicrurus macrocercus, and Mariana crow Corvus kubaryi. The endangered Mariana crow (x̄  =  81 birds, 95% CI 30–202) declined sharply to fewer than 200 individuals in 2012, down from 1,491 birds in 1982 (95% CI  =  815–3,115). Trends increased for white tern Gygis alba, rufous fantail Rhipidura rufifrons mariae, and Micronesian starling Aplonis opaca. Numbers of the endangered Rota white-eye Zosterops rotensis declined from 1982 to the late 1990s but returned to 1980s levels by 2012, resulting in an overall stable trend. Trends for the yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis were inconclusive. Eurasian tree sparrow Passer montanus trends were not assessed; however, their numbers in 1982 and 2012 were similar. Occupancy models of the 2012 survey data revealed general patterns of land cover use and detectability among 12 species that could be reliably modeled. Occupancy was not assessed for the Eurasian tree sparrow because of insufficient detections. Based on the 2012 survey, bird distribution and abundance across Rota revealed three general patterns: 1) range restriction, including Mariana crow, Rota white-eye, and Eurasian tree sparrow; 2) widespread distribution, low

  6. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    during 2003–2008 in the same transects used for bird surveys and included five measures of ground cover, plus estimates of plant species richness, vegetation density (visual obstruction) at two different heights, and shrub numbers. These data, plus seasonal rainfall, were then used to evaluate components of variation in native and exotic grasslands. Relations between total bird numbers and bird species richness with environmental variation in native and exotic grasslands were compared. To compare diversity of arthropods in native and exotic grasslands, insects and arachnids were collected using three different methodologies (standardized sweep-net, random sweep-net, and pitfall traps) during four seasons, (2005–2006), at Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, and Naval Air Station–Kingsville. To compare seed abundance and diversity between native and exotic grasslands, seeds were collected for two winters (2004–2006) at Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi and Naval Air Station–Kingsville. To evaluate effects of management on grassland vertebrates, abundance and diversity of birds and small mammals were estimated and compared in exotic grasses subjected to mowing, burning, or no active management (control) for one full year (2008–2009).Observations were made of 1,044 birds of 30 species in grassland transects during five winters. The Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) was the most common bird, which, with 644 detections, accounted for 63 percent of all individuals identified to species. Meadowlarks (Sturnella spp.) and Le Conte’s Sparrows (Ammodramus leconteii) were the second (10 percent) and third (7 percent) most abundant bird species, respectively. Six of the seven most abundant species detected in grasslands were grassland species, and their numbers accounted for 87 percent of all birds, but 20 of the 30 species (67 percent) that used grasslands were not grassland species. Seven species observed in grassland

  7. Numerical analysis of steady state fluid flow in a two-dimensional wavy channel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorji, M.; Hosseinzadeh, E.

    2007-01-01

    A simple geometry of the flow passage that may be used to enhance the heat transfer rate is called wavy and periodic channel. Wavy channel can provide significant heat transfer augmentation and was always important for heat transfer engineering and so far many researches have been done in this field. In this paper, the effects of channel geometry and Reynolds number on the heat transfer coefficient, heat flux and pressure drop for the laminar fully developed flow in a two dimensional channel whereas the walls are considered fix temperature is numerically investigated. The problem is solved for channel with one and two wavy walls and comparisons with the straight channel, in the same flow rate, have been performed. Results indicate that, by decreasing the channel wave length and the distance between the channel walls the pressure drop, heat flux and heat transfer coefficient increase. Results and Conclusions: The following conclusion may be drawn: 1. In a specified channel, for the fluid flow with the constant Reynolds number, by decreasing the wave length from 0.2 m to 0.1 m, the pressure drop, heat flux and heat transfer coefficient increase by 37% , 54% and 29% respectively, whereas by decreasing the wave length from the same value the above mentioned parameters decrease to 108% , 143% and 47% respectively. 2. In a specified wave length, where the amplitude and the Reynolds number is constant, by increasing the distance between the walls from 0.15 m to 0.25 m, the pressure drop, heat flux and heat transfer coefficient decrease by 41% ,8% and 7.8% respectively. References [1] J.C. Burns, T. Parks, J. Fluid Mesh, 29(1967), 405-416. [2] J.L. Goldestein, E.M. Sparrow, ASME J. Heat Transfer, 99 (1977), 187. [3] J.E.O. Brain, E.M. Sparrow, ASME J. Heat Transfer, 104 (1982), 410 [4] N. Sanie, S. Dini, ASME J. Heat Transfer, 115 (1993), 788. [5] G. Wang, P. Vanka, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 38 (17) (1995), 3219. [6] T.A. Rush, T.A. Newell, A.M. Jacobi, Int, J. Heat Mass

  8. Population sensitivities of animals to chronic ionizing radiation-model predictions from mice to elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G

    2018-02-01

    Model predictions of population response to chronic ionizing radiation (endpoint 'morbidity') were made for 11 species of warm-blooded animals, differing in body mass and lifespan - from mice to elephant. Predictions were made also for 3 bird species (duck, pigeon, and house sparrow). Calculations were based on analytical solutions of the mathematical model, simulating a population response to low-LET ionizing radiation in an ecosystem with a limiting resource (Sazykina, Kryshev, 2016). Model parameters for different species were taken from biological and radioecological databases; allometric relationships were employed for estimating some parameter values. As a threshold of decreased health status in exposed populations ('health threshold'), a 10% reduction in self-repairing capacity of organisms was suggested, associated with a decline in ability to sustain environmental stresses. Results of the modeling demonstrate a general increase of population vulnerability to ionizing radiation in animal species of larger size and longevity. Populations of small widespread species (mice, house sparrow; body mass 20-50 g), which are characterized by intensive metabolism and short lifespan, have calculated 'health thresholds' at dose rates about 6.5-7.5 mGy day -1 . Widespread animals with body mass 200-500 g (rat, common pigeon) - demonstrate 'health threshold' values at 4-5 mGy day -1 . For populations of animals with body mass 2-5 kg (rabbit, fox, raccoon), the indicators of 10% health decrease are in the range 2-3.4 mGy day -1 . For animals with body mass 40-100 kg (wolf, sheep, wild boar), thresholds are within 0.5-0.8 mGy day -1 ; for herbivorous animals with body mass 200-300 kg (deer, horse) - 0.5-0.6 mGy day -1 . The lowest health threshold was estimated for elephant (body mass around 5000 kg) - 0.1 mGy day -1 . According to the model results, the differences in population sensitivities of warm-blooded animal species to ionizing radiation are generally

  9. Bird Richness and Abundance in Response to Urban Form in a Latin American City: Valdivia, Chile as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Cristóbal E.; Estay, Sergio A.

    2015-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that urban areas influence biodiversity. Generalizations however require that multiple urban areas on multiple continents be examined. Here we evaluated the role of urban areas on avian diversity for a South American city, allowing us to examine the effects of urban features common worldwide, using the city of Valdivia, Chile as case study. We assessed the number of birds and their relative abundance in 152 grid cells of equal size (250 m2) distributed across the city. We estimated nine independent variables: land cover diversity (DC), building density (BD), impervious surface (IS),municipal green space (MG),non-municipal green space (NG), domestic garden space (DG), distance to the periphery (DP), social welfare index (SW), and vegetation diversity (RV). Impervious surface represent 41.8% of the study area, while municipal green, non-municipal green and domestic garden represent 11.6%, 23.6% and 16% of the non- man made surface. Exotic vegetation species represent 74.6% of the total species identified across the city. We found 32 bird species, all native with the exception of House Sparrow and Rock Pigeon. The most common species were House Sparrow and Chilean Swallow. Total bird richness responds negatively to IS and MG, while native bird richness responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS DG and, RV. Total abundance increase in areas with higher values of DC and BD, and decrease in areas of higher values of IS, SW and VR. Native bird abundance responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS MG, DG and RV. Our results suggest that not all the general patterns described in previous studies, conducted mainly in the USA, Europe, and Australia, can be applied to Latin American cities, having important implications for urban planning. Conservation efforts should focus on non-municipal areas, which harbor higher bird diversity, while municipal green areas need to be improved to include elements that can enhance habitat quality for

  10. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  11. Bird Richness and Abundance in Response to Urban Form in a Latin American City: Valdivia, Chile as a Case Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Paz Silva

    Full Text Available There is mounting evidence that urban areas influence biodiversity. Generalizations however require that multiple urban areas on multiple continents be examined. Here we evaluated the role of urban areas on avian diversity for a South American city, allowing us to examine the effects of urban features common worldwide, using the city of Valdivia, Chile as case study. We assessed the number of birds and their relative abundance in 152 grid cells of equal size (250 m2 distributed across the city. We estimated nine independent variables: land cover diversity (DC, building density (BD, impervious surface (IS,municipal green space (MG,non-municipal green space (NG, domestic garden space (DG, distance to the periphery (DP, social welfare index (SW, and vegetation diversity (RV. Impervious surface represent 41.8% of the study area, while municipal green, non-municipal green and domestic garden represent 11.6%, 23.6% and 16% of the non- man made surface. Exotic vegetation species represent 74.6% of the total species identified across the city. We found 32 bird species, all native with the exception of House Sparrow and Rock Pigeon. The most common species were House Sparrow and Chilean Swallow. Total bird richness responds negatively to IS and MG, while native bird richness responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS DG and, RV. Total abundance increase in areas with higher values of DC and BD, and decrease in areas of higher values of IS, SW and VR. Native bird abundance responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS MG, DG and RV. Our results suggest that not all the general patterns described in previous studies, conducted mainly in the USA, Europe, and Australia, can be applied to Latin American cities, having important implications for urban planning. Conservation efforts should focus on non-municipal areas, which harbor higher bird diversity, while municipal green areas need to be improved to include elements that can enhance habitat

  12. Bird Richness and Abundance in Response to Urban Form in a Latin American City: Valdivia, Chile as a Case Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Carmen Paz; García, Cristóbal E; Estay, Sergio A; Barbosa, Olga

    2015-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that urban areas influence biodiversity. Generalizations however require that multiple urban areas on multiple continents be examined. Here we evaluated the role of urban areas on avian diversity for a South American city, allowing us to examine the effects of urban features common worldwide, using the city of Valdivia, Chile as case study. We assessed the number of birds and their relative abundance in 152 grid cells of equal size (250 m2) distributed across the city. We estimated nine independent variables: land cover diversity (DC), building density (BD), impervious surface (IS),municipal green space (MG),non-municipal green space (NG), domestic garden space (DG), distance to the periphery (DP), social welfare index (SW), and vegetation diversity (RV). Impervious surface represent 41.8% of the study area, while municipal green, non-municipal green and domestic garden represent 11.6%, 23.6% and 16% of the non- man made surface. Exotic vegetation species represent 74.6% of the total species identified across the city. We found 32 bird species, all native with the exception of House Sparrow and Rock Pigeon. The most common species were House Sparrow and Chilean Swallow. Total bird richness responds negatively to IS and MG, while native bird richness responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS DG and, RV. Total abundance increase in areas with higher values of DC and BD, and decrease in areas of higher values of IS, SW and VR. Native bird abundance responds positively to NG and negatively to BD, IS MG, DG and RV. Our results suggest that not all the general patterns described in previous studies, conducted mainly in the USA, Europe, and Australia, can be applied to Latin American cities, having important implications for urban planning. Conservation efforts should focus on non-municipal areas, which harbor higher bird diversity, while municipal green areas need to be improved to include elements that can enhance habitat quality for

  13. The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Florida's Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senarath, S. U.

    2005-12-01

    Global warming and the resulting melting of polar ice sheets could increase global sea levels significantly. Some studies have predicted mean sea level increases in the order of six inches to one foot in the next 25 to 50 years. This could have severe irreversible impacts on low-lying areas of Florida's Everglades. The key objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of a one foot sea level rise on Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (CSSS) nesting areas within the Everglades National Park (ENP). A regional-scale hydrologic model is used to assess the sensitivities of this sea-level rise scenario. Florida's Everglades supports a unique ecosystem. At present, about 50 percent of this unique ecosystem has been lost due to urbanization and farming. Today, the water flow in the remnant Everglades is also regulated to meet a variety of competing environmental, water-supply and flood-control needs. A 30-year, eight billion dollar (1999 estimate) project has been initiated to improve Everglades' water flows. The expected benefits of this restoration project will be short-lived if the predicted sea level rise causes severe impacts on the environmentally sensitive areas of the Everglades. Florida's Everglades is home to many threatened and endangered species of wildlife. The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow population in the ENP is one such species that is currently listed as endangered. Since these birds build their nests close to the ground surface (the base of the nest is approximately six inches from the ground surface), they are directly affected by any sea level induced ponding depth, frequency or duration change. Therefore, the CSSS population serves as a good indicator species for evaluating the negative impacts of sea level rise on the Everglades' ecosystem. The impact of sea level rise on the CSSS habitat is evaluated using the Regional Simulation Model (RSM) developed by the South Florida Water Management District. The RSM is an implicit, finite-volume, continuous

  14. Demographic mechanisms of inbreeding adjustment through extra-pair reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M; Duthie, A Bradley; Wolak, Matthew E; Arcese, Peter

    2015-07-01

    One hypothesis explaining extra-pair reproduction is that socially monogamous females mate with extra-pair males to adjust the coefficient of inbreeding (f) of extra-pair offspring (EPO) relative to that of within-pair offspring (WPO) they would produce with their socially paired male. Such adjustment of offspring f requires non-random extra-pair reproduction with respect to relatedness, which is in turn often assumed to require some mechanism of explicit pre-copulatory or post-copulatory kin discrimination. We propose three demographic processes that could potentially cause mean f to differ between individual females' EPO and WPO given random extra-pair reproduction with available males without necessarily requiring explicit kin discrimination. Specifically, such a difference could arise if social pairings formed non-randomly with respect to relatedness or persisted non-randomly with respect to relatedness, or if the distribution of relatedness between females and their sets of potential mates changed during the period through which social pairings persisted. We used comprehensive pedigree and pairing data from free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to quantify these three processes and hence investigate how individual females could adjust mean offspring f through instantaneously random extra-pair reproduction. Female song sparrows tended to form social pairings with unrelated or distantly related males slightly less frequently than expected given random pairing within the defined set of available males. Furthermore, social pairings between more closely related mates tended to be more likely to persist across years than social pairings between less closely related mates. However, these effects were small and the mean relatedness between females and their sets of potential extra-pair males did not change substantially across the years through which social pairings persisted. Our framework and analyses illustrate how demographic and social structuring within

  15. Surface elevation dynamics in vegetated Spartina marshes versus unvegetated tidal ponds along the mid-Atlantic coast, USA, with implications to waterbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, R. Michael; Cahoon, Donald R.; Prosser, Diann J.; Sanders, Geoffrey; Hensel, Philippe

    2006-01-01

    -dependent seaside sparrows Ammodramus maritimus, saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows A. caudacutus, black rails Laterallus jamaicensis, clapper rails Rallus longirostris, Forster's terns Sterna forsteri, common terns Sterna hirundo, and gull-billed terns Sterna nilotica. Although short-term inundation of many lagoonal marshes may benefit some open-water feeding ducks, geese, and swans during winter, the long-term ecosystem effects may be detrimental, as wildlife resources will be lost or displaced. With the reduction in area of emergent marsh, estuarine secondary productivity and biotic diversity will also be reduced.

  16. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  17. Heritability and social brood effects on personality in juvenile and adult life-history stages in a wild passerine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winney, I S; Schroeder, J; Nakagawa, S; Hsu, Y-H; Simons, M J P; Sánchez-Tójar, A; Mannarelli, M-E; Burke, T

    2018-01-01

    How has evolution led to the variation in behavioural phenotypes (personalities) in a population? Knowledge of whether personality is heritable, and to what degree it is influenced by the social environment, is crucial to understanding its evolutionary significance, yet few estimates are available from natural populations. We tracked three behavioural traits during different life-history stages in a pedigreed population of wild house sparrows. Using a quantitative genetic approach, we demonstrated heritability in adult exploration, and in nestling activity after accounting for fixed effects, but not in adult boldness. We did not detect maternal effects on any traits, but we did detect a social brood effect on nestling activity. Boldness, exploration and nestling activity in this population did not form a behavioural syndrome, suggesting that selection could act independently on these behavioural traits in this species, although we found no consistent support for phenotypic selection on these traits. Our work shows that repeatable behaviours can vary in their heritability and that social context influences personality traits. Future efforts could separate whether personality traits differ in heritability because they have served specific functional roles in the evolution of the phenotype or because our concept of personality and the stability of behaviour needs to be revised. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Environmental Factors and Zoonotic Pathogen Ecology in Urban Exploiter Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothenburger, Jamie L; Himsworth, Chelsea H; Nemeth, Nicole M; Pearl, David L; Jardine, Claire M

    2017-09-01

    Knowledge of pathogen ecology, including the impacts of environmental factors on pathogen and host dynamics, is essential for determining the risk that zoonotic pathogens pose to people. This review synthesizes the scientific literature on environmental factors that influence the ecology and epidemiology of zoonotic microparasites (bacteria, viruses and protozoa) in globally invasive urban exploiter wildlife species (i.e., rock doves [Columba livia domestica], European starlings [Sturnus vulgaris], house sparrows [Passer domesticus], Norway rats [Rattus norvegicus], black rats [R. rattus] and house mice [Mus musculus]). Pathogen ecology, including prevalence and pathogen characteristics, is influenced by geographical location, habitat, season and weather. The prevalence of zoonotic pathogens in mice and rats varies markedly over short geographical distances, but tends to be highest in ports, disadvantaged (e.g., low income) and residential areas. Future research should use epidemiological approaches, including random sampling and robust statistical analyses, to evaluate a range of biotic and abiotic environmental factors at spatial scales suitable for host home range sizes. Moving beyond descriptive studies to uncover the causal factors contributing to uneven pathogen distribution among wildlife hosts in urban environments may lead to targeted surveillance and intervention strategies. Application of this knowledge to urban maintenance and planning may reduce the potential impacts of urban wildlife-associated zoonotic diseases on people.

  19. Observations of Red-headed Falcon Falco chicquera (Aves: Falconiformes: Falconidae nest at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a focus on post-fledging behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammod Foysal

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available A nest of Red-headed Falcon Falco chicquera was observed in 2009, beginning with the onset of breeding and continuing on to the next breeding of the pair.  The nest was found on 02 March 2009 in an electricity pylon in a sub-urban area at Keraniganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  The incubation period was estimated at a minimum of four weeks and the nestling period was 37 days.  Fledglings remained in the nesting area up to four months after fledging.  The female almost exclusively fed the nestlings and fledglings.  The diet of adults, nestlings and fledglings consisted of 72% small birds (sparrow sized and 28% Pipistrellus bats (n = 112.  The diet of fledglings consisted of 61% birds and 39% bats (n= 72; before independence mainly birds and after independence mainly bats.  Parents delivered prey to fledglings up to 39 days after fledging (i.e., post-fledging dependence period was 39 days.  The fledgling’s flight pattern was distinguishable from the adults nearly two months after fledging.  The fledgling’s call reminiscent of a begging call was recorded up to 75 days after fledging. Food competition was observed among the fledglings; when one of the fledglings snatched prey from a parent, the other siblings tried to pilfer it.  The parents had resumed breeding eight months after the fledging stage of their offspring. 

  20. The combined effect of the gamma radiations of 60 Co and different chemicals on the cells of the radicular vegetative tip of Allium sativum L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dumitrescu, Rodica; Popescu, D.; Andrei, M.

    1999-01-01

    The gamma ionizing radiations used alone in the treatment of Allium Sativum L. affected differently the cells belonging to the two zones of the root causing modifications of the cellular parameters which have been previously estimated. Data in the literature established that the damage of the interphasic nucleus of the cells determines the obstruction of the DNA synthesis and the delay of the cell mitosis. Sparrow, A. H., Miller, M. W. and Al-Rubeai confirmed the existence of a relationship between the nuclear volumes and the radiosensitivity of the different types of cells. The aim of this experiment was to counteract the harmful effect of gamma radiations at cellular level with the help of combined treatments, namely, the gamma radiations associated with different chemicals having radioprotective effects. The biological significance of the obtained values was established by statistical calculations with the help of the Student (t) test. The values of the estimated cellular parameters, NV, ICV, CV, NCR showed that, although there were certain fluctuations, their values were not always significant. (author)

  1. Regional scale selenium loading associated with surface coal mining, Elk Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellen, Christopher C; Shatilla, Nadine J; Carey, Sean K

    2015-11-01

    Selenium (Se) concentrations in surface water downstream of surface mining operations have been reported at levels in excess of water quality guidelines for the protection of wildlife. Previous research in surface mining environments has focused on downstream water quality impacts, yet little is known about the fundamental controls on Se loading. This study investigated the relationship between mining practices, stream flows and Se concentrations using a SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model. This work is part of a R&D program examining the influence of surface coal mining on hydrological and water quality responses in the Elk Valley, British Columbia, Canada, aimed at informing effective management responses. Results indicate that waste rock volume, a product of mining activity, accounted for roughly 80% of the Se load from the Elk Valley, while background sources accounted for roughly 13%. Wet years were characterized by more than twice the Se load of dry years. A number of variables regarding placement of waste rock within the catchments, length of buried streams, and the construction of rock drains did not significantly influence the Se load. The age of the waste rock, the proportion of waste rock surface reclaimed, and the ratio of waste rock pile side area to top area all varied inversely with the Se load from watersheds containing waste rock. These results suggest operational practices that are likely to reduce the release of Se to surface waters. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A regional modeling framework of phosphorus sources and transport in streams of the southeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana Maria.; Hoos, Anne B.; Terziotti, Silvia

    2011-01-01

    We applied the SPARROW model to estimate phosphorus transport from catchments to stream reaches and subsequent delivery to major receiving water bodies in the Southeastern United States (U.S.). We show that six source variables and five land-to-water transport variables are significant (p < 0.05) in explaining 67% of the variability in long-term log-transformed mean annual phosphorus yields. Three land-to-water variables are a subset of landscape characteristics that have been used as transport factors in phosphorus indices developed by state agencies and are identified through experimental research as influencing land-to-water phosphorus transport at field and plot scales. Two land-to-water variables – soil organic matter and soil pH – are associated with phosphorus sorption, a significant finding given that most state-developed phosphorus indices do not explicitly contain variables for sorption processes. Our findings for Southeastern U.S. streams emphasize the importance of accounting for phosphorus present in the soil profile to predict attainable instream water quality. Regional estimates of phosphorus associated with soil-parent rock were highly significant in explaining instream phosphorus yield variability. Model predictions associate 31% of phosphorus delivered to receiving water bodies to geology and the highest total phosphorus yields in the Southeast were catchments with already high background levels that have been impacted by human activity.

  3. Complex Mhc-based mate choice in a wild passerine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonneaud, Camille; Chastel, Olivier; Federici, Pierre; Westerdahl, Helena; Sorci, Gabriele

    2006-01-01

    The extreme polymorphism of the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) is famous for protecting hosts against constantly evolving pathogens. Mate choice is often evoked as a means of maintaining Mhc variability through avoidance of partners with similar Mhc alleles or preference for heterozygotes. Evidence for these two hypotheses mostly comes from studies on humans and laboratory mice. Here, we tested these hypotheses in a wild outbred population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Females were not more or less closely related to the males they paired with when considering neutral genetic variation. However, males failed to form breeding pairs when they had too few Mhc alleles and when they were too dissimilar from females at Mhc loci (i.e. had no common alleles). Furthermore, pairs did not form at random as Mhc diversity positively correlated in mating pairs. These results suggest that mate choice evolves in response to (i) benefits in terms of parasite resistance acquired from allelic diversity, and (ii) costs associated with the disruption of co-adapted genes. PMID:16600889

  4. Spring Bird Migration Phenology in Eilat, Israel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reuven Yosef

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of the mean date of first captures and median arrival dates of spring migration for 34 species of birds at Eilat, Israel, revealed that the earlier a species migrates through Eilat, the greater is the inter-annual variation in the total time of its passage. Birds arrive during spring migration in Eilat in four structured and independent waves. The annual fluctuation in the initial arrival dates (initial capture dates and median dates (median date of all captures, not including recaptures, did not depend on the length of the migratory route. This implies that migrants crossing the Sahara desert depart from their winter quarters on different Julian days in different years. We suggest that negative correlations between the median date of the spring migration of early and late migrants depends upon the easterly (Hamsin wind period. Moreover, we believe that the phenology of all birds during spring migration in Eilat is possibly also determined by external factors such as weather conditions on the African continent or global climatic processes in the Northern hemisphere. Orphean Warblers (Sylvia hortensis show a strong positive correlation (rs=-0.502 of initial capture date with calendar years, whereas other species such as Barred Warbler (S. nisoria; rs = -0.391 and Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata; rs = -0.398 display an insignificant trend. The Dead Sea Sparrow (Passer moabiticus and Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio are positively correlated regarding initial arrival date and medians of spring migration.

  5. Cognition and belief in paranormal phenomena: gestalt/feature-intensive processing theory and tendencies toward ADHD, depression, and dissociation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharps, Matthew J; Matthews, Justin; Asten, Janet

    2006-11-01

    Belief in paranormal phenomena and cryptids--unknown animals such as Bigfoot--may predispose individuals to interpret real-world objects and events in the same way that eyewitness identification can be biased by unrelated information (P. James and N. Thorpe, 1999). Psychological tendencies toward attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dissociation, and depression, even at subclinical levels, may be associated systematically with particular paranormal or cryptozoological beliefs. The authors evaluated these psychological tendencies using the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales (C. K. Conners, D. Erhardt, and E. Sparrow, 1999), the Dissociative Experiences Scale (L. Coleman & J. Clark, 1999), and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (A. T. Beck, 1996). They performed regression analyses against beliefs in ghosts, unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extrasensory perception (ESP), astrology, and cryptids. ADHD, dissociation, and depression were associated with enhanced tendencies toward paranormal and cryptozoological beliefs, although participants who believed in each of the phenomena differed from one another in predictable and psychologically distinguishable ways. Cognitively biasing influences of preexisting psychological tendencies may predispose individuals to specific perceptual and cognitive errors during confrontation of real-world phenomena.

  6. West nile virus prevalence across landscapes is mediated by local effects of agriculture on vector and host communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowder, David W; Dykstra, Elizabeth A; Brauner, Jo Marie; Duffy, Anne; Reed, Caitlin; Martin, Emily; Peterson, Wade; Carrière, Yves; Dutilleul, Pierre; Owen, Jeb P

    2013-01-01

    Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) threaten the health of humans, livestock, and wildlife. West Nile virus (WNV), the world's most widespread arbovirus, invaded the United States in 1999 and rapidly spread across the county. Although the ecology of vectors and hosts are key determinants of WNV prevalence across landscapes, the factors shaping local vector and host populations remain unclear. Here, we used spatially-explicit models to evaluate how three land-use types (orchards, vegetable/forage crops, natural) and two climatic variables (temperature, precipitation) influence the prevalence of WNV infections and vector/host distributions at landscape and local spatial scales. Across landscapes, we show that orchard habitats were associated with greater prevalence of WNV infections in reservoirs (birds) and incidental hosts (horses), while increased precipitation was associated with fewer infections. At local scales, orchard habitats increased the prevalence of WNV infections in vectors (mosquitoes) and the abundance of mosquitoes and two key reservoir species, the American robin and the house sparrow. Thus, orchard habitats benefitted WNV vectors and reservoir hosts locally, creating focal points for the transmission of WNV at landscape scales in the presence of suitable climatic conditions.

  7. Second messenger production in avian medullary nephron segments in response to peptide hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, D L; Reddy, V; Plaga, K

    1999-03-01

    We examined the sites of peptide hormone activation within medullary nephron segments of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) kidney by measuring rates of hormone-induced generation of cyclic nucleotide second messenger. Thin descending limbs, thick ascending limbs, and collecting ducts had baseline activity of adenylyl cyclase that resulted in cAMP accumulation of 207 +/- 56, 147 +/- 31, and 151 +/- 41 fmol. mm-1. 30 min-1, respectively. In all segments, this activity increased 10- to 20-fold in response to forskolin. Activity of adenylyl cyclase in the thin descending limb was stimulated approximately twofold by parathyroid hormone (PTH) but not by any of the other hormones tested [arginine vasotocin (AVT), glucagon, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), or isoproterenol, each at 10(-6) M]. Thick ascending limb was stimulated two- to threefold by both AVT and PTH; however, glucagon and isoproterenol had no effect, and ANP stimulated neither cAMP nor cGMP accumulation. Adenylyl cyclase activity in the collecting duct was stimulated fourfold by AVT but not by the other hormones; likewise, ANP did not stimulate cGMP accumulation in this segment. These data support a tubular action of AVT and PTH in the avian renal medulla.

  8. Data-Driven Design: Learning from Student Experiences and Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horodyskyj, L.; Mead, C.; Buxner, S.; Semken, S. C.; Anbar, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Good instructors know that lessons and courses change over time. Limitations in time and data often prevent instructors from making changes that will most benefit their students. For example, in traditional in-person classrooms an instructor may only have access to the final product of a student's thought processes (such as a term paper, homework assignment, or exam). The thought processes that lead to a given answer are opaque to the instructor, making future modifications to course content an exercise in trial-and-error and instinct. Modern online intelligent tutoring systems can provide insight into a student's behavior, providing transparency to a previously opaque process and providing the instructor with better information for course modification. Habitable Worlds is an introductory level online-only astrobiology lab course that has been offered at Arizona State University since Fall 2011. The course is built and offered through an intelligent tutoring system, Smart Sparrow's Adaptive eLearning Platform, which provides in-depth analytics that allow the instructor to investigate detailed student behavior, from time spent on question to number of attempts to patterns of answers. We will detail the process we employ of informed modification of course content, including time and trial comparisons between semesters, analysis of submitted answers, analysis of alternative learning pathways taken, and A/B testing.

  9. NMR-Based Identification of Metabolites in Polar and Non-Polar Extracts of Avian Liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fathi, Fariba; Brun, Antonio; Rott, Katherine H; Falco Cobra, Paulo; Tonelli, Marco; Eghbalnia, Hamid R; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Karasov, William H; Markley, John L

    2017-11-16

    Metabolites present in liver provide important clues regarding the physiological state of an organism. The aim of this work was to evaluate a protocol for high-throughput NMR-based analysis of polar and non-polar metabolites from a small quantity of liver tissue. We extracted the tissue with a methanol/chloroform/water mixture and isolated the polar metabolites from the methanol/water layer and the non-polar metabolites from the chloroform layer. Following drying, we re-solubilized the fractions for analysis with a 600 MHz NMR spectrometer equipped with a 1.7 mm cryogenic probe. In order to evaluate the feasibility of this protocol for metabolomics studies, we analyzed the metabolic profile of livers from house sparrow ( Passer domesticus ) nestlings raised on two different diets: livers from 10 nestlings raised on a high protein diet (HP) for 4 d and livers from 12 nestlings raised on the HP diet for 3 d and then switched to a high carbohydrate diet (HC) for 1 d. The protocol enabled the detection of 52 polar and nine non-polar metabolites in ¹H NMR spectra of the extracts. We analyzed the lipophilic metabolites by one-way ANOVA to assess statistically significant concentration differences between the two groups. The results of our studies demonstrate that the protocol described here can be exploited for high-throughput screening of small quantities of liver tissue (approx. 100 mg wet mass) obtainable from small animals.

  10. Postbreeding elevational movements of western songbirds in Northern California and Southern Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegardt, Andrew; Wolfe, Jared; Ralph, C John; Stephens, Jaime L; Alexander, John

    2017-10-01

    Migratory species employ a variety of strategies to meet energetic demands of postbreeding molt. As such, at least a few species of western Neotropical migrants are known to undergo short-distance upslope movements to locations where adults molt body and flight feathers (altitudinal molt migration). Given inherent difficulties in measuring subtle movements of birds occurring in western mountains, we believe that altitudinal molt migration may be a common yet poorly documented phenomenon. To examine prevalence of altitudinal molt migration, we used 29 years of bird capture data in a series of linear mixed-effect models for nine commonly captured species that breed in northern California and southern Oregon. Candidate models were formulated a priori to examine whether elevation and distance from the coast can be used to predict abundance of breeding and molting birds. Our results suggest that long-distance migrants such as Orange-crowned Warbler ( Oreothlypis celata ) moved higher in elevation and Audubon's Warbler ( Setophaga coronata ) moved farther inland to molt after breeding. Conversely, for resident and short-distance migrants, we found evidence that birds either remained on the breeding grounds until they finished molting, such as Song Sparrow ( Melospiza melodia ) or made small downslope movements, such as American Robin ( Turdus migratorius ). We conclude that altitudinal molt migration may be a common, variable, and complex behavior among western songbird communities and is related to other aspects of a species' natural history, such as migratory strategy.

  11. Design and Calibration of a Novel Bio-Inspired Pixelated Polarized Light Compass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoliang Han

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Animals, such as Savannah sparrows and North American monarch butterflies, are able to obtain compass information from skylight polarization patterns to help them navigate effectively and robustly. Inspired by excellent navigation ability of animals, this paper proposes a novel image-based polarized light compass, which has the advantages of having a small size and being light weight. Firstly, the polarized light compass, which is composed of a Charge Coupled Device (CCD camera, a pixelated polarizer array and a wide-angle lens, is introduced. Secondly, the measurement method of a skylight polarization pattern and the orientation method based on a single scattering Rayleigh model are presented. Thirdly, the error model of the sensor, mainly including the response error of CCD pixels and the installation error of the pixelated polarizer, is established. A calibration method based on iterative least squares estimation is proposed. In the outdoor environment, the skylight polarization pattern can be measured in real time by our sensor. The orientation accuracy of the sensor increases with the decrease of the solar elevation angle, and the standard deviation of orientation error is 0 . 15 ∘ at sunset. Results of outdoor experiments show that the proposed polarization navigation sensor can be used for outdoor autonomous navigation.

  12. Potential wildlife sources of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis for farmed deer (Cervus elaphus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackintosh, C G; Henderson, T

    1984-12-01

    During 1982 and 1983 15 serotype I, 6 serotype II, 1 serotype III and 3 untyped strains of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were isolated from 675 apparently normal small mammals and birds from the Invermay farm and nearby rubbish tip with the following prevalence rates: feral cats 27.8%, Norway rats 8.6%, mice 5.5%, hares 3.8% rabbits 1.9% ducks 5.3%, sparrows 2.3%, seagulls 2.3% and starlings 1.7%. For rabbits a significantly higher prevalence of infection was found in the autumn/winter period (4.8%) than the spring/summer period (0%). Insufficient numbers of other mammals were obtained to demonstrate any seasonal difference in prevalence. All bird isolations were obtained between March and July (8/158) compared with none from August to October (0/144). It appears that a number of free-living species of small mammal and birds may be reservoir hosts for Y. pseudotuberculosis and potential sources of infection for red deer on the Invermay farm.

  13. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  14. SICS: the Southern Inland and Coastal System interdisciplinary project of the USGS South Florida Ecosystem Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2011-01-01

    State and Federal agencies are working jointly on structural modifications and improved water-delivery strategies to reestablish more natural surface-water flows through the Everglades wetlands and into Florida Bay. Changes in the magnitude, duration, timing, and distribution of inflows from the headwaters of the Taylor Slough and canal C-111 drainage basins have shifted the seasonal distribution and extent of wetland inundation, and also contributed to the development of hypersaline conditions in nearshore embayments of Florida Bay. Such changes are altering biological and vegetative communities in the wetlands and creating stresses on aquatic habitat. Affected biotic resources include federally listed species such as the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, American crocodile, wood stork, and roseate spoonbill. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is synthesizing scientific findings from hydrologic process studies, collecting data to characterize the ecosystem properties and functions, and integrating the results of these efforts into a research tool and management model for this Southern Inland and Coastal System(SICS). Scientists from all four disciplinary divisions of the USGS, Biological Resources, Geology, National Mapping, and Water Resources are contributing to this interdisciplinary project.

  15. First report of birds infection by intestinal parasites in Khorramabad, west Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badparva, Ebrahim; Ezatpour, Behrouz; Azami, Mehdi; Badparva, Masoud

    2015-12-01

    Parasitic infections in birds are omnipresent, even when they occur in low amounts, may result in subclinical diseases. There aren't any studies, based on Iranian data, investigating the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in some birds' species. We conducted a cross-sectional study between December 2011 and December 2012. The fecal samples were taken from 451 birds including hen, turkey, sparrow, pigeon and decorative birds. The samples screened for intestinal parasitic infections using direct smear, formalin-ether concentration technique, modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining, Culture in RPMI 1640 medium, sporulation with potassium dichromate and Trichrome and Giemsa staining. Out of 451 birds' species, 157 (34.8 %), were infected with one or more type of intestinal parasites. We identified two nematode, two cestoda species and five protozoan parasites species. No trematodes were found in the samples studied. The parasites identified among birds involved Raillietina spp. (4.2 %) and Eimeria spp. (7.1 %) were the most common helminthes and protozoa respectively. From total of birds study, 12 (2.7 %) and 6 (1.3 %) have two and three mixed infections respectively. Intestinal parasitic infections are common in birds in west Iran. The future studies are needed in order to determine to which extent the infections influence mortality and performance of the birds.

  16. Baseline report - tall upland shrubland at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-03-01

    Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (Site) is located on the Colorado Piedmont east of the Front Range between Boulder and Golden. At an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet, the Site contains a unique ecotonal mixture of mountain and prairie plant species, resulting from the topography and close proximity to the mountain front. The Buffer Zone surrounding the Industrial Area is one of the largest remaining undeveloped areas of its kind along the Colorado Piedmont. A number of plant communities at the Site have been identified as increasingly rare and unique by Site ecologists and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP). These include the xeric tallgrass prairie, tall upland shrubland, wetlands, and Great Plains riparian woodland communities. Many of these communities support populations of increasingly rare animals as well, including the Preble's meadow jumping mouse, grasshopper sparrow, loggerhead shrike, Merriam's shrew, black crowned night heron, and Hops blue and Argos skipper butterflies. One of the more interesting and important plant communities at the Site is the tall upland shrubland community. It has been generally overlooked by previous Site ecological studies, probably due to its relatively small size; only 34 acres total. Although mentioned in a plant community ordination study conducted by Clark et al. and also in the Site baseline ecological study, few data were available on this plant community before the present study

  17. 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.

  18. Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN)—A decade of serving hydrologic information to scientists and resource managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patino, Eduardo; Conrads, Paul; Swain, Eric; Beerens, James M.

    2017-10-30

    IntroductionThe Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) provides scientists and resource managers with regional maps of daily water levels and depths in the freshwater part of the Greater Everglades landscape. The EDEN domain includes all or parts of five Water Conservation Areas, Big Cypress National Preserve, Pennsuco Wetlands, and Everglades National Park. Daily water-level maps are interpolated from water-level data at monitoring gages, and depth is estimated by using a digital elevation model of the land surface. Online datasets provide time series of daily water levels at gages and rainfall and evapotranspiration data (https://sofia.usgs.gov/eden/). These datasets are used by scientists and resource managers to guide large-scale field operations, describe hydrologic changes, and support biological and ecological assessments that measure ecosystem response to the implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. EDEN water-level data have been used in a variety of biological and ecological studies including (1) the health of American alligators as a function of water depth, (2) the variability of post-fire landscape dynamics in relation to water depth, (3) the habitat quality for wading birds with dynamic habitat selection, and (4) an evaluation of the habitat of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow.

  19. Baseline report - tall upland shrubland at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-03-01

    Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (Site) is located on the Colorado Piedmont east of the Front Range between Boulder and Golden. At an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet, the Site contains a unique ecotonal mixture of mountain and prairie plant species, resulting from the topography and close proximity to the mountain front. The Buffer Zone surrounding the Industrial Area is one of the largest remaining undeveloped areas of its kind along the Colorado Piedmont. A number of plant communities at the Site have been identified as increasingly rare and unique by Site ecologists and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP). These include the xeric tallgrass prairie, tall upland shrubland, wetlands, and Great Plains riparian woodland communities. Many of these communities support populations of increasingly rare animals as well, including the Preble`s meadow jumping mouse, grasshopper sparrow, loggerhead shrike, Merriam`s shrew, black crowned night heron, and Hops blue and Argos skipper butterflies. One of the more interesting and important plant communities at the Site is the tall upland shrubland community. It has been generally overlooked by previous Site ecological studies, probably due to its relatively small size; only 34 acres total. Although mentioned in a plant community ordination study conducted by Clark et al. and also in the Site baseline ecological study, few data were available on this plant community before the present study.

  20. La pêche des poissons Mugilidae dans la lagune de Grand-lahou (Côte d'ivoire: analyse de l'organisation de la pêche, des captures et de l'effort de pêche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diaby, M.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Fishing of Mugilidae in Grand-lahou Lagoon (Ivory Coast: Analysis of Fishing Organisation, Captures and Fishing Effort. Sixteen sites, around the lagoon, have been investigated from April 2009 to March 2011. At the pass, fishing with sparrow hawks is mainly done by Ghanaians. On the other sites of lagoon, indigenous fishers are dominant and use gill-nets. Ocean area, with more than 50% of activities and 60% of captures, is the place where the highest production is realized. The site around the pass provides 25% of activities and 20% of capture. At the pass and in the continental area of the lagoon, captures remain inferior to 10%. There, the peak of captures is registered in July and the lowest ones from February to April. On the others sites of the lagoon, two peaks can be observed in December, May and July. From the end of July to the end September, captures from ocean and the pass remain very low. During this period, fishing is interrupted on the others sites for Mugilidae are rare and water is desalinated because of continental waterways pouring out in the lagoon. Fishing efforts peaks don't always coincide with capture peaks even if during high captures period, fishing effort values are very high.

  1. Precise auditory-vocal mirroring in neurons for learned vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, J F; Peters, S; Nowicki, S; Mooney, R

    2008-01-17

    Brain mechanisms for communication must establish a correspondence between sensory and motor codes used to represent the signal. One idea is that this correspondence is established at the level of single neurons that are active when the individual performs a particular gesture or observes a similar gesture performed by another individual. Although neurons that display a precise auditory-vocal correspondence could facilitate vocal communication, they have yet to be identified. Here we report that a certain class of neurons in the swamp sparrow forebrain displays a precise auditory-vocal correspondence. We show that these neurons respond in a temporally precise fashion to auditory presentation of certain note sequences in this songbird's repertoire and to similar note sequences in other birds' songs. These neurons display nearly identical patterns of activity when the bird sings the same sequence, and disrupting auditory feedback does not alter this singing-related activity, indicating it is motor in nature. Furthermore, these neurons innervate striatal structures important for song learning, raising the possibility that singing-related activity in these cells is compared to auditory feedback to guide vocal learning.

  2. Spatial variation in host feeding patterns of Culex tarsalis and the Culex pipiens complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiemann, T C; Lemenager, D A; Kluh, S; Carroll, B D; Lothrop, H D; Reisen, W K

    2012-07-01

    West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) is now endemic in California across a variety of ecological regions that support a wide diversity of potential avian and mammalian host species. Because different avian hosts have varying competence for WNV, determining the blood-feeding patterns of Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) vectors is a key component in understanding the maintenance and amplification of the virus as well as tangential transmission to humans and horses. We investigated the blood-feeding patterns of Culex tarsalis Coquillett and members of the Culex pipiens L. complex from southern to northern California. Nearly 100 different host species were identified from 1,487 bloodmeals, by using the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI). Cx. tarsalis fed on a higher diversity of hosts and more frequently on nonhuman mammals than did the Cx. pipiens complex. Several WNV-competent host species, including house finch and house sparrow, were common bloodmeal sources for both vector species across several biomes and could account for WNV maintenance and amplification in these areas. Highly competent American crow, western scrub-jay and yellow-billed magpie also were fed upon often when available and are likely important as amplifying hosts for WNV in some areas. Neither species fed frequently on humans (Cx. pipiens complex [0.4%], Cx. tarsalis [0.2%]), but with high abundance, both species could serve as both enzootic and bridge vectors for WNV.

  3. Low-quality birds do not display high-quality signals: The cysteine-pheomelanin mechanism of honesty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, Ismael; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Camarero, Pablo R; Mateo, Rafael; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The mechanisms that make that the costs of producing high-quality signals are unaffordable to low-quality signalers are a current issue in animal communication. The size of the melanin-based bib of male house sparrows Passer domesticus honestly signals quality. We induced the development of new bibs while treating males with buthionine-sulfoximine (BSO), a substance that depletes the levels of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and the amino acid cysteine, two elements that switch melanogenesis from eumelanin to pheomelanin. Final bib size is negatively related to pheomelanin levels in the bib feathers. BSO reduced cysteine and GSH levels in all birds, but improved phenotypes (bibs larger than controls) were only expressed by high-quality birds (BSO birds with largest bibs initially). Negative associations between final bib size and cysteine levels in erythrocytes, and between pheomelanin and cysteine levels, were observed in high-quality birds only. These findings suggest that a mechanism uncoupling pheomelanin and cysteine levels may have evolved in low-quality birds to avoid producing bibs of size not corresponding to their quality and greater relative costs. Indeed, greater oxidative stress in cells was not observed in low-quality birds. This may represent the first mechanism maintaining signal honesty without producing greater relative costs on low-quality signalers. PMID:25330349

  4. Fear affects parental care, which predicts juvenile survival and exacerbates the total cost of fear on demography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudeck, Blair P; Clinchy, Michael; Allen, Marek C; Zanette, Liana Y

    2018-01-01

    Fear itself (perceived predation risk) can affect wildlife demography, but the cumulative impact of fear on population dynamics is not well understood. Parental care is arguably what most distinguishes birds and mammals from other taxa, yet only one experiment on wildlife has tested fear effects on parental food provisioning and the repercussions this has for the survival of dependent offspring, and only during early-stage care. We tested the effect of fear on late-stage parental care of mobile dependent offspring, by locating radio-tagged Song Sparrow fledglings and broadcasting predator or non-predator playbacks in their vicinity, measuring their parent's behavior and their own, and tracking the offspring's survival to independence. Fear significantly reduced late-stage parental care, and parental fearfulness (as indexed by their reduction in provisioning when hearing predators) significantly predicted their offspring's condition and survival. Combining results from this experiment with that on early-stage care, we project that fear itself is powerful enough to reduce late-stage survival by 24%, and cumulatively reduce the number of young reaching independence by more than half, 53%. Experiments in invertebrate and aquatic systems demonstrate that fear is commonly as important as direct killing in affecting prey demography, and we suggest focusing more on fear effects and on offspring survival will reveal the same for wildlife. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  6. The impact of West Nile virus on the abundance of selected North American birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beard Raphaelle H

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The emergence of West Nile virus (WNV in North America has been associated with high mortality in the native avifauna and has raised concerns about the long-term impact of WNV on bird populations. Here, we present results from a longitudinal analysis of annual counts of six bird species, using North American Breeding Bird Survey data from ten states (1994 to 2010. We fit overdispersed Poisson models to annual counts. Counts from successive years were linked by an autoregressive process that depended on WNV transmission intensity (annual West Nile neuroinvasive disease reports and was adjusted by El Niño Southern Oscillation events. These models were fit using a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. Results Model fit was mostly excellent, especially for American Crows, for which our models explained between 26% and 81% of the observed variance. The impact of WNV on bird populations was quantitatively evaluated by contrasting hypothetical count trajectories (omission of WNV with observed counts. Populations of American crows were most consistently affected with a substantial cumulative impact in six of ten states. The largest negative impact, almost 60%, was found in Illinois. A regionally substantial decline was also seen for American Robins and House Sparrows, while the other species appeared unaffected. Conclusions Our results confirm findings from previous studies that single out American Crows as the species most vulnerable to WNV infection. We discuss strengths and limitations of this and other methods for quantifying the impact of WNV on bird populations.

  7. The diet of wintering Barn Owls (Tyto alba in the region of Histria, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SÁNDOR D. Attila

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Barn Owl (Tyto alba is a common nocturnal predator of agro-ecosystems and it is widely distributed, especially in European countryside. The species uses human artifacts, ruins, barns, attics, towers for breeding and roosting, these sites can provide researchers with hundreds of pellets, thus its diet is well known. A first assessment of the diet and food selection was made for the southern part of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve in the wintering period, in a unique wetland-grassland complex, with large areas of steppes. Mammals dominated the diet spectrum, with the shrews (Soricidae being the most frequent (48.3%, followed by the mice (Muridae, and the voles (Arvicolinae. The mammalian component of the diet is important also in terms of biomass (97.8 %. The most valuable species is the Sibling Vole (Microtus epiroticus equalling 25.5 % of all biomass consumed, followed by the Common White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura suaveolens and the Mound-building Mouse (Mus spicilegus. Birds and amphibians made up a small portion of the diet, both in terms of occurrence and of biomass. Three species of birds were captured, the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus being the most important. The results suggest that the Barn Owl is a specialized feeder relying on small mammals and completing its diet with other prey only occasionally.

  8. Radiosensitivity in plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nauman, A.F.

    1979-01-01

    The report presents a compilation of available data on the sensitivity of plants to ionizing radiation, and provides basic information on methods of determining such sensitivities, or of estimating radiosensitivities by calcuation of the nuclear factors upon which they depend. The scope of the data presented here is necessarily limited to the most generally useful radiobiological end points and to the most commonly-used types of radiation. Many of the factors which influence radiosensitivity, particularly nuclear factors, will be discussed. Emphasis will be upon whole-plant studies done at Brookhaven National Laboratory by A.H. Sparrow and his associates, since these studies are the source of most of the available radiosensitivity data and of all the sensitivity predictions listed here. Data presented here include summaries of experimentally-determined radiosensitivities at various end points for both herbaceous and woody higher plants, and for a few species of ferns and lower plants. The algae and fungi have not been considered here due to space limitations

  9. Estimates of nitrate loads and yields from groundwater to streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed based on land use and geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terziotti, Silvia; Capel, Paul D.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Hopple, Jessica A.; Kronholm, Scott C.

    2018-03-07

    The water quality of the Chesapeake Bay may be adversely affected by dissolved nitrate carried in groundwater discharge to streams. To estimate the concentrations, loads, and yields of nitrate from groundwater to streams for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a regression model was developed based on measured nitrate concentrations from 156 small streams with watersheds less than 500 square miles (mi2 ) at baseflow. The regression model has three predictive variables: geologic unit, percent developed land, and percent agricultural land. Comparisons of estimated and actual values within geologic units were closely matched. The coefficient of determination (R2 ) for the model was 0.6906. The model was used to calculate baseflow nitrate concentrations at over 83,000 National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2 catchments and aggregated to 1,966 total 12-digit hydrologic units in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The modeled output geospatial data layers provided estimated annual loads and yields of nitrate from groundwater into streams. The spatial distribution of annual nitrate yields from groundwater estimated by this method was compared to the total watershed yields of all sources estimated from a Chesapeake Bay SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) water-quality model. The comparison showed similar spatial patterns. The regression model for groundwater contribution had similar but lower yields, suggesting that groundwater is an important source of nitrogen for streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

  10. International HR Strategy of Brazilian Technology Multinationals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Morilha Muritiba

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Four cases of Brazilian Multinationals from the information technology [IT] sector were compared in their international Human Resources strategy. The analysis is focused on the development and application of two research models. One analyzes the level of subsidiary autonomy in terms of strategic HR decisions, including difficult decisions regarding coordination in multinationals, following the theoretical approach of the autonomy of subsidiaries (Kidger, 2002; Nohria & Ghoshal, 1997. The other is related to the level of internationalization of HR strategies, defined as the capacity to take advantage of globalization, providing the best resources for the company regardless of where they are located (Sparrow, 2007. Both models were applied in a multiple case study method (Eisenhardt, 1989. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and company reports, and analyzed through content analysis. The results show: (a a more centralizing characteristic of the multinational companies examined, despite the limitations of this choice as shown by the literature; and (b that Brazilian IT multinationals tend to rely more on their national competencies when managing human resources instead of going global to aggregate differentiated competencies.

  11. A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sea level rise is causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, including species of concern, such as the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). We present a climate change adaptation strategy (CCAS) adopted by scientific, management, and policy stakeholders for managing coastal marshes and enhancing system resiliency. A common adaptive management approach previously used for restoration projects was modified to identify climate-related vulnerabilities and plan climate change adaptive actions. As an example of implementation of the CCAS, we describe the stakeholder plans and management actions the US Fish and Wildlife Service and partners developed to build coastal resiliency in the Narrow River Estuary, RI, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. When possible, an experimental BACI (before-after, control-impact) design, described as pre- and post-sampling at the impact site and one or more control sites, was incorporated into the climate change adaptation and implementation plans. Specific climate change adaptive actions and monitoring plans are described and include shoreline stabilization, restoring marsh drainage, increasing marsh elevation, and enabling upland marsh migration. The CCAS provides a framework and methodology for successfully managing coa

  12. Blood-feeding patterns of the Culex pipiens complex in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Matthew J; Thiemann, Tara; Macedo, Paula; Brown, David A; Scott, Thomas W

    2011-03-01

    Mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex are competent vectors of West Nile virus (WNV; family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in the laboratory, and field-collected mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in California and elsewhere. A better understanding of Cx. pipiens complex blood-feeding patterns will help define the threat that these mosquitoes pose to human health and their role in WNV amplification in northern California. We collected blood-engorged Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes from resting sites near and away from human habitation in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene sequences were used to identify the vertebrate species from which blood meals were taken. Of 330 engorged mosquitoes collected at 28 sites from June through August 2007 and May through August 2008, >99% fed on an avian host. Three mosquitoes contained bovine blood and none had fed on a human. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) were bitten most often, and the proportion of American Robin blood meals increased significantly over the summer. Other important avian hosts included House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). In rural areas, Barn Swallows, Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) were frequent hosts. In settings near human habitation, Mourning Doves and Western Meadowlarks were common hosts. Our data indicate that in north central California mosquitoes in the Cx. pipiens complex may be more important as epiornitic than epidemic vectors of WNV.

  13. Effects of vegetation, corridor width and regional land use on early successional birds on powerline corridors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Askins

    Full Text Available Powerline rights-of-way (ROWs often provide habitat for early successional bird species that have suffered long-term population declines in eastern North America. To determine how the abundance of shrubland birds varies with habitat within ROW corridors and with land use patterns surrounding corridors, we ran Poisson regression models on data from 93 plots on ROWs and compared regression coefficients. We also determined nest success rates on a 1-km stretch of ROW. Seven species of shrubland birds were common in powerline corridors. However, the nest success rates for prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor and field sparrow (Spizella pusilla were <21%, which is too low to compensate for estimated annual mortality. Some shrubland bird species were more abundant on narrower ROWs or at sites with lower vegetation or particular types of vegetation, indicating that vegetation management could be refined to favor species of high conservation priority. Also, several species were more abundant in ROWs traversing unfragmented forest than those near residential areas or farmland, indicating that corridors in heavily forested regions may provide better habitat for these species. In the area where we monitored nests, brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater occurred more frequently close to a residential area. Although ROWs support dense populations of shrubland birds, those in more heavily developed landscapes may constitute sink habitat. ROWs in extensive forests may contribute more to sustaining populations of early successional birds, and thus may be the best targets for habitat management.

  14. Projected Hg dietary exposure of 3 bird species nesting on a contaminated floodplain (South River, Virginia, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jincheng; Newman, Michael C

    2013-04-01

    Dietary Hg exposure was modeled for Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), Eastern song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), and Eastern screech owl (Otus asio) nesting on the contaminated South River floodplain (Virginia, USA). Parameterization of Monte-Carlo models required formal expert elicitation to define bird body weight and feeding ecology characteristics because specific information was either unavailable in the published literature or too difficult to collect reliably by field survey. Mercury concentrations and weights for candidate food items were obtained directly by field survey. Simulations predicted the probability that an adult bird during breeding season would ingest specific amounts of Hg during daily foraging and the probability that the average Hg ingestion rate for the breeding season of an adult bird would exceed published rates reported to cause harm to other birds (>100 ng total Hg/g body weight per day). Despite the extensive floodplain contamination, the probabilities that these species' average ingestion rates exceeded the threshold value were all <0.01. Sensitivity analysis indicated that overall food ingestion rate was the most important factor determining projected Hg ingestion rates. Expert elicitation was useful in providing sufficiently reliable information for Monte-Carlo simulation. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  15. Detectability matters: conspicuous nestling mouth colours make prey transfer easier for parents in a cavity nesting bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugas, Matthew B

    2015-11-01

    An often underappreciated function of signals is to notify receivers of the presence and position of senders. The colours that ornament the mouthparts of nestling birds, for example, have been hypothesized to evolve via selective pressure generated by parents' inability to efficiently detect and feed nestlings without such visually conspicuous targets. This proposed mechanism has primarily been evaluated with comparative studies and experimental tests for parental allocation bias, leaving untested the central assumption of this detectability hypothesis, that provisioning offspring is a visually challenging task for avian parents and conspicuous mouths help. To test this assumption, I manipulated the mouths of nestling house sparrows to appear minimally and maximally conspicuous, and quantified prey transfer difficulty as the total duration of a feeding event and the number of transfer attempts required. Prey transfer to inconspicuous nestlings was, as predicted, more difficult. While this suggests that detectability constraints could shape nestling mouth colour evolution, even minimally conspicuous nestlings were not prohibitively difficult for parents to feed, indicating that a more nuanced explanation for interspecific diversity in this trait is needed. © 2015 The Author(s).

  16. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  17. Early life events carry over to influence pre-migratory condition in a free-living songbird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg W Mitchell

    Full Text Available Conditions experienced during development can have long-term consequences for individual success. In migratory songbirds, the proximate mechanisms linking early life events and survival are not well understood because tracking individuals across stages of the annual cycle can be extremely challenging. In this paper, we first use a 13 year dataset to demonstrate a positive relationship between 1(st year survival and nestling mass in migratory Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis. We also use a brood manipulation experiment to show that nestlings from smaller broods have higher mass in the nest relative to individuals from larger broods. Having established these relationships, we then use three years of field data involving multiple captures of individuals throughout the pre-migratory period and a multi-level path model to examine the hypothesis that conditions during development limit survival during migration by affecting an individual's ability to accumulate sufficient lean tissue and fat mass prior to migration. We found a positive relationship between fat mass during the pre-migratory period (Sept-Oct and nestling mass and a negative indirect relationship between pre-migratory fat mass and fledging date. Our results provide the first evidence that conditions during development limit survival during migration through their effect on fat stores. These results are particularly important given recent evidence showing that body condition of songbirds at fledging is affected by climate change and anthropogenic changes to landscape structure.

  18. Leaders are more attractive: birds with bigger yellow breast patches are followed by more group-mates in foraging groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Tóth

    Full Text Available Social network theory provides a perfect tool to better understand the population-level consequences of how individuals interact and make their decisions; however, this approach is generally overlooked among evolutionary biologists interested in social relationships. Here, we used social network analysis to examine the patterns of leader-follower interactions in relation to individual characteristics in foraging groups of free-living rock sparrows (Petronia petronia. We found that yellow feather ornamentation, a carotenoid-based trait, was the best predictor of leadership: birds with bigger ornaments exerted greater influence in the foraging groups and were followed by more group-mates than less elaborate individuals. An individual's tendency for eliciting followings was not influenced by sex, condition or the level of parental investment. None of the above individual characteristics had significant effect on the tendency of individuals to follow others. Our results indicate that a sexually selected trait can also play a significant role in group coordination and social organization of a species.

  19. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  20. Detection of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium from Avians Using Multiplex-PCR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Talebi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and S.enterica serovar Enteritidis are the most frequently isolated serovars from food-borne diseases throughout the world. According to their antigenic profiles, salmonella shows different disease syndromes and host specificities. It is necessary and important to discriminate salmonella serovars from each other in order to ensure that each pathogen and its epidemiology are correctly recognized. Many PCR-based methods have been developed to identify salmonella serovars. The objective of present study was to identify S. Typhimurium in avians from different regions including: North, Northwest and capital city (Tehran of Iran. Also in this research, the quality of CHROMagar™ Salmonella medium (CAS medium in veterinary medicine was evaluated. The results of present study showed that out of 1870 intestine samples, fifty two S. Typhimurium including broiler (n=13, layer (n=12, duck (n=5, goose (n=5, sparrow (n=8, canary (n=3, pigeon (n=5 and African grey parrot (n=1 were identified using serotyping as well as multiplex-PCR. In conclusion, important measures must be taken on prevention and propagation of S. Typhimurium among avians. CHROMagar™ Salmonella medium has high levels of sensitivity and specificity and reduced the time to final identification of salmonella spp. in comparison with biochemical tests.

  1. Rolling the Black Pearl Over: Analyzing the Physics of a Movie Clip

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mungan, Carl E.; Emery, John D.

    2011-05-01

    In the third movie ("At World's End") in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Jack Sparrow and his crew need to roll their ship (the Black Pearl) over in order to bring it back to the living world during a green flash at sunset. They do so by running back and forth from one side railing to the other on the top deck. In addition, Captain Barbossa orders that 18 cannons and a pile of barrels on the lower deck be cut loose to add mass to the running crew. In the movie they overturned the ship, but would they succeed under the same circumstances on a real galleon? In this paper, a numerical analysis using simple approximations is developed that suggests that what occurs in the movie is in fact realistic. Analyzing a popular film clip in this manner is a good way to arouse student interest, to teach about physics and numerical methods, and to model scientific reasoning when a situation is not as neatly defined as in a typical textbook problem.

  2. Stable Isotope Identification of Nitrogen Sources for United ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    We used natural abundance stable isotope data to evaluate nitrogen sources to U.S. west coast estuaries. We collected δ15N of macroalgae data and supplemented this with available data from the literature for estuaries from Mexico to Alaska. Stable isotope ratios of green macroalgae were compared to δ15N of dissolved inorganic nitrogen of oceanic and watershed end members. There was a latitudinal gradient in δ15N of macroalgae with southern estuaries being 7 per mil heavier than northern estuaries. Gradients in isotope data were compared to nitrogen sources estimated by the USGS using the SPARROW model. In California estuaries, the elevation of isotope data appeared to be related to anthropogenic nitrogen sources. In Oregon systems, the nitrogen levels of streams flowing into the estuaries are related to forest cover, rather than to developed land classes. In addition, the δ15N of macroalgae suggested that the ocean and nitrogen-fixing trees in the watersheds were the dominant nitrogen sources. There was also a strong gradient in δ15N of macroalgae with heavier sites located near the estuary mouth. In some Oregon estuaries, there was an elevation an elevation of δ15N above marine end members in the vicinity of wastewater treatment facility discharge locations, suggesting isotopes may be useful for distinguishing inputs along an estuarine gradient. Nutrients are the leading cause of water quality impairments in the United States, and as a result too

  3. The effect of trait type and strength of selection on heritability and evolvability in an island bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Keller, Lukas F; Postma, Erik

    2014-11-01

    The heritability (h(2) ) of fitness traits is often low. Although this has been attributed to directional selection having eroded genetic variation in direct proportion to the strength of selection, heritability does not necessarily reflect a trait's additive genetic variance and evolutionary potential ("evolvability"). Recent studies suggest that the low h(2) of fitness traits in wild populations is caused not by a paucity of additive genetic variance (VA ) but by greater environmental or nonadditive genetic variance (VR ). We examined the relationship between h(2) and variance-standardized selection intensities (i or βσ ), and between evolvability (IA :VA divided by squared phenotypic trait mean) and mean-standardized selection gradients (βμ ). Using 24 years of data from an island population of Savannah sparrows, we show that, across diverse traits, h(2) declines with the strength of selection, whereas IA and IR (VR divided by squared trait mean) are independent of the strength of selection. Within trait types (morphological, reproductive, life-history), h(2) , IA , and IR are all independent of the strength of selection. This indicates that certain traits have low heritability because of increased residual variance due to the age at which they are expressed or the multiple factors influencing their expression, rather than their association with fitness. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Poročilo o obročkanju ptic v Sloveniji v letu 2016 in pojavljanje mušje listnice Phylloscopus inornatus v 25 letih v Sloveniji

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vrezec Al

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2016, data on 176 bird species were gathered during bird ringing activities in Slovenia. A total of 65,711 birds of 165 different species were ringed. Furthermore, 148 recoveries of birds ringed in Slovenia and found abroad, 245 foreign recoveries in Slovenia and 1840 local recoveries were made. The most frequently ringed species was the Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla. Among the ringed nestlings, Great Tits Parus major, Tree Sparrows Passer montanus and White Storks Ciconia ciconia predominated. Considering recoveries of birds ringed or found abroad, the most frequent were finds based on colour rings, especially of Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Mute Swans Cygnus olor and Common Terns Sterna hirundo. As far as local recoveries are concerned, most data were collected for Great Tit and Siskin Spinus spinus. Among rare species, two Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus were ringed, one Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola, one Little Emberiza pusilla and one Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala, the latter as a singing male, which probably also bred in 2016. The catch frequency of the Yellow-browed Warblers has indeed been increasing in Slovenia in the last 25 years, but this is still a rare and irregular vagrant on autumn migration.

  5. Radiosensitivity in plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nauman, A F

    1979-01-01

    The report presents a compilation of available data on the sensitivity of plants to ionizing radiation, and provides basic information on methods of determining such sensitivities, or of estimating radiosensitivities by calcuation of the nuclear factors upon which they depend. The scope of the data presented here is necessarily limited to the most generally useful radiobiological end points and to the most commonly-used types of radiation. Many of the factors which influence radiosensitivity, particularly nuclear factors, will be discussed. Emphasis will be upon whole-plant studies done at Brookhaven National Laboratory by A.H. Sparrow and his associates, since these studies are the source of most of the available radiosensitivity data and of all the sensitivity predictions listed here. Data presented here include summaries of experimentally-determined radiosensitivities at various end points for both herbaceous and woody higher plants, and for a few species of ferns and lower plants. The algae and fungi have not been considered here due to space limitations.

  6. Long-range order in canary song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markowitz, Jeffrey E; Ivie, Elizabeth; Kligler, Laura; Gardner, Timothy J

    2013-01-01

    Bird songs range in form from the simple notes of a Chipping Sparrow to the rich performance of the nightingale. Non-adjacent correlations can be found in the syntax of some birdsongs, indicating that the choice of what to sing next is determined not only by the current syllable, but also by previous syllables sung. Here we examine the song of the domesticated canary, a complex singer whose song consists of syllables, grouped into phrases that are arranged in flexible sequences. Phrases are defined by a fundamental time-scale that is independent of the underlying syllable duration. We show that the ordering of phrases is governed by long-range rules: the choice of what phrase to sing next in a given context depends on the history of the song, and for some syllables, highly specific rules produce correlations in song over timescales of up to ten seconds. The neural basis of these long-range correlations may provide insight into how complex behaviors are assembled from more elementary, stereotyped modules.

  7. Surface-water nutrient conditions and sources in the United States Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, D.R.; Johnson, H.M.

    2011-01-01

    The SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model was used to perform an assessment of surface-water nutrient conditions and to identify important nutrient sources in watersheds of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (U.S.) for the year 2002. Our models included variables representing nutrient sources as well as landscape characteristics that affect nutrient delivery to streams. Annual nutrient yields were higher in watersheds on the wetter, west side of the Cascade Range compared to watersheds on the drier, east side. High nutrient enrichment (relative to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended nutrient criteria) was estimated in watersheds throughout the region. Forest land was generally the largest source of total nitrogen stream load and geologic material was generally the largest source of total phosphorus stream load generated within the 12,039 modeled watersheds. These results reflected the prevalence of these two natural sources and the low input from other nutrient sources across the region. However, the combined input from agriculture, point sources, and developed land, rather than natural nutrient sources, was responsible for most of the nutrient load discharged from many of the largest watersheds. Our results provided an understanding of the regional patterns in surface-water nutrient conditions and should be useful to environmental managers in future water-quality planning efforts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-22

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

  9. Rapid effects of hearing song on catecholaminergic activity in the songbird auditory pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa L Matragrano

    Full Text Available Catecholaminergic (CA neurons innervate sensory areas and affect the processing of sensory signals. For example, in birds, CA fibers innervate the auditory pathway at each level, including the midbrain, thalamus, and forebrain. We have shown previously that in female European starlings, CA activity in the auditory forebrain can be enhanced by exposure to attractive male song for one week. It is not known, however, whether hearing song can initiate that activity more rapidly. Here, we exposed estrogen-primed, female white-throated sparrows to conspecific male song and looked for evidence of rapid synthesis of catecholamines in auditory areas. In one hemisphere of the brain, we used immunohistochemistry to detect the phosphorylation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, a rate-limiting enzyme in the CA synthetic pathway. We found that immunoreactivity for TH phosphorylated at serine 40 increased dramatically in the auditory forebrain, but not the auditory thalamus and midbrain, after 15 min of song exposure. In the other hemisphere, we used high pressure liquid chromatography to measure catecholamines and their metabolites. We found that two dopamine metabolites, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid, increased in the auditory forebrain but not the auditory midbrain after 30 min of exposure to conspecific song. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to a behaviorally relevant auditory stimulus rapidly induces CA activity, which may play a role in auditory responses.

  10. Monocrotophos and dicrotophos residues in birds as a result of misuse of organophosphates in Matagorda county Texas USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flickinger, Edward L.; White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Lamont, T.G.

    1984-01-01

    About 1100 birds of 12 spp. [Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), mourning dove (Zenaida macrours), Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus), common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), mottled duck (Anas fulvigula), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), redhead (Aythya americana) and ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres)] died from organophosphate poisoning in Matagorda County on the Texas Gulf Coast in March and May 1982. Birds died from feeding on rice seed that was illegally treated with dicrotophos or monocrotophos and placed near rice fields as bait to attract and kill birds. Brain acetylcholinesterase inhibition of affected birds averaged 87% (range 82-89%), and contents of gastrointestinal tracts contained residues of dicrotophos (5.6-14 ppm) or monocrotophos (2.1-13 ppm). Rice seed collected at mortality sites contained 210 ppm dicrotophos or 950 ppm monocrotophos. Mortality from dicrotophos poisoning continued for almost 3 wk. The practice of illegally treating rice seed with either of the 2 organophosphates appears to be infrequent but widespread at present.

  11. The Regulation of Behavioral Plasticity by Performance-Based Feedback and an Experimental Test with Avian Egg Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sockman, Keith W

    2016-05-01

    Optimizing plasticity in behavioral performances requires the abilities to regulate physiological effort and to estimate the effects of the environment. To describe how performance-based feedback could play a role in regulating recursive or continuous behavioral performances, I developed two models, one (environmental feedback) that assumes an initial ability to regulate effort but not to predict the effects of the environment and the other (effort feedback) that assumes an initial ability to predict the effects of the environment but not to regulate effort. I tested them by manipulating feedback on egg production, using an egg-substitution experiment in wild, free-ranging Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii). I discovered that females adjusted the size of their clutches' third laid eggs in response to the size of an experimentally substituted first laid egg, such that the size of the third laid egg increased with the size of the substitute. Results were largely consistent with the environmental feedback model, though small portions of the response surface were consistent with the effort feedback model or with neither. Regardless, such feedback-based regulation predicted by either model may help females maximize net benefits of egg production and may be a basis for mechanisms regulating a wide range of other behavioral performances, as well.

  12. Ecological baseline study of the Yakima Firing Center proposed land acquisition: A status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogers, L.E.; Beedlow, P.A.; Eberhardt, L.E.; Dauble, D.D.; Fitzner, R.E.

    1989-01-01

    This report provides baseline environmental information for the property identified for possible expansion of the Yakima Firing Center. Results from this work provide general descriptions of the animals and major plant communities present. A vegetation map derived from a combination of on-site surveillance and remotely sensed imagery is provided as part of this report. Twenty-seven wildlife species of special interest (protected, sensitive, furbearer, game animal, etc.), and waterfowl, were observed on the proposed expansion area. Bird censuses revealed 13 raptorial species (including four of special interest: bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, and prairie falcon); five upland game bird species (sage grouse, California quail, chukar, gray partridge, and ring-necked pheasant); common loons (a species proposed for state listing as threatened); and five other species of special interest (sage thrasher, loggerhead shrike, mourning dove, sage sparrow, and long-billed curlew). Estimates of waterfowl abundance are included for the Priest Rapids Pool of the Columbia River. Six small mammal species were captured during this study; one, the sagebrush vole, is a species of special interest. Two large animal species, mule deer and elk, were noted on the site. Five species of furbearing animals were observed (coyote, beaver, raccoon, mink, and striped skunk). Four species of reptiles and one amphibian were noted. Fisheries surveys were conducted to document the presence of gamefish, and sensitive-classified fish and aquatic invertebrates. Rainbow trout were the only fish collected within the boundaries of the proposed northern expansion area. 22 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. The occurrence of blood protozoa in North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1957-01-01

    This report is based on review of literature and examination of a great number of blood smears from native birds in North America, particularly Passeriformes and Anseriformes. Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon occur most frequently, although various species of Plasmodium and, occasionally, other less known forms are recognized. Prevalence of these parasites in wild birds is related to season of year and age of host. Highest incidence occurs in spring and summer. Relapse of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon is common in the spring. Blood smears of adult wood ducks, on the Atlantic flyway, in April and May show a high prevalence of Haemoproteus, while smears at other times are usually negative. Although the author (Herman, 1938) demonstrated that young redwings in Massachusetts primarily acquired Plasmodium infections after leaving the nest, in many cases infection is acquired by the nestling. Nestling magpies in northeastern California acquire a high incidence of infection with several parasites. The hypothesis, expressed by Manwell and Herman (1935), that a higher prevalence of infection can be expected in more southerly ranging species, is subject to question. Smears taken during the winter demonstrate higher parasite prevalence in birds at the southern limits of their range, such as juncos and white-throated sparrows, than do smears of other species with more southern range. Little is known of significance of these parasites to survival of the host, although O'Roke ( 1934) reported a high loss for ducklings from Leucocytozoon and there have been occasional reports of fatality in other species.

  14. A BRDF statistical model applying to space target materials modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chenghao; Li, Zhi; Xu, Can; Tian, Qichen

    2017-10-01

    In order to solve the problem of poor effect in modeling the large density BRDF measured data with five-parameter semi-empirical model, a refined statistical model of BRDF which is suitable for multi-class space target material modeling were proposed. The refined model improved the Torrance-Sparrow model while having the modeling advantages of five-parameter model. Compared with the existing empirical model, the model contains six simple parameters, which can approximate the roughness distribution of the material surface, can approximate the intensity of the Fresnel reflectance phenomenon and the attenuation of the reflected light's brightness with the azimuth angle changes. The model is able to achieve parameter inversion quickly with no extra loss of accuracy. The genetic algorithm was used to invert the parameters of 11 different samples in the space target commonly used materials, and the fitting errors of all materials were below 6%, which were much lower than those of five-parameter model. The effect of the refined model is verified by comparing the fitting results of the three samples at different incident zenith angles in 0° azimuth angle. Finally, the three-dimensional modeling visualizations of these samples in the upper hemisphere space was given, in which the strength of the optical scattering of different materials could be clearly shown. It proved the good describing ability of the refined model at the material characterization as well.

  15. Conventional oil and natural gas infrastructure increases brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) relative abundance and parasitism in mixed-grass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernath-Plaisted, Jacy; Nenninger, Heather; Koper, Nicola

    2017-07-01

    The rapid expansion of oil and natural gas development across the Northern Great Plains has contributed to habitat fragmentation, which may facilitate brood parasitism of ground-nesting grassland songbird nests by brown-headed cowbirds ( Molothrus ater ), an obligate brood parasite, through the introduction of perches and anthropogenic edges. We tested this hypothesis by measuring brown-headed cowbird relative abundance and brood parasitism rates of Savannah sparrow ( Passerculus sandwichensis ) nests in relation to the presence of infrastructure features and proximity to potential perches and edge habitat. The presence of oil and natural gas infrastructure increased brown-headed cowbird relative abundance by a magnitude of four times, which resulted in four times greater brood parasitism rates at infrastructure sites. While the presence of infrastructure and the proximity to roads were influential in predicting brood parasitism rates, the proximity of perch sites was not. This suggests that brood parasitism associated with oil and natural gas infrastructure may result in additional pressures that reduce productivity of this declining grassland songbird.

  16. Heat transfer to liquid sodium in the thermal entrance region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiu, R.

    1981-01-01

    It is well known that the convective heat transfer in the regions of duct systems where the thermal boundary layers are not yet established can be far superior to heat transfer in the fully developed regions. A quantitative understanding of heat transfer in the thermal entrance region is essential in designing high heat-flux nuclear reactors. More specifically, if the thermal boundary layers have not been fully established in the system, the forced-convection relations for the fully developed regions cannot be used to predict the heat transfer characteristics. The present work is characterized by the following: 1. The behaviours in the thermal entrance region have been examined more completely. 2. To obtain a higher accuracy of analyses, in present study the method of SPARROW et al. for pipe was improved for annulus by utilizing a finite difference technique. Furthermore, an asymptotic solution was developed. 3. This is, in our knowledge, the first experimental investigation about the thermal development effect on turbulent heat transfer from rod element to liquid sodium in annulus with fully developed flow. (MDC)

  17. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  18. Nest-site competition between invasive and native cavity nesting birds and its implication for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charter, Motti; Izhaki, Ido; Ben Mocha, Yitzchak; Kark, Salit

    2016-10-01

    Nesting cavities are often a limited resource that multiple species use. There is an ongoing discussion on whether invasive cavity nesting birds restrict the availability of this key limited resource. While the answer to this question has important conservation implications, little experimental work has been done to examine it. Here, we aimed to experimentally test whether alien cavity nesting birds affect the occupancy of cavities and the resulting breeding success of native cavity breeders in a large urban park located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over three breeding seasons, we manipulated the entry size of nest boxes and compared the occupancy and breeding success of birds in nest boxes of two treatments. These included nest boxes with large-entrance and small-entrance holes. The large-entrance holes allowed access for both the native and invasive birds (the two main aliens in the park are the common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets). The smaller-entrance boxes, on the other hand, allowed only the smaller sized native cavity breeders (great tits and house sparrows) to enter the boxes but prevented the alien species from entering. We found that the large-entrance nest boxes were occupied by five different bird species, comprising three natives (great tit, house sparrow, Scops owl) and two invasive species (common myna, rose-ringed parakeet) while the small-entrance boxes were only occupied by the two native species. The alien common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets occupied 77.5% of the large-entrance nest boxes whereas native species, mainly great tits, occupied less than 9% of the large-entrance boxes and 36.5% of the small-entrance boxes. When examining the occupancy of those cavities that were not occupied by the aliens, natives occupied both the small and large-entrance nest boxes equally. Three quarters (78%) of the great tits breeding in the large-entrance boxes were usurped by common mynas during the breeding season and as a result breeding success was

  19. Breeding Dispersal by Birds in a Dynamic Urban Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzluff, John M; DeLap, Jack H; Oleyar, M David; Whittaker, Kara A; Gardner, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Changes in land cover during urbanization profoundly affect the diversity of bird communities, but the demographic mechanisms affecting diversity are poorly known. We advance such understanding by documenting how urbanization influences breeding dispersal-the annual movement of territorial adults-of six songbird species in the Seattle, WA, USA metropolitan area. We color-banded adults and mapped the centers of their annual breeding activities from 2000-2010 to obtain 504 consecutive movements by 337 adults. By comparing movements, annual reproduction, and mate fidelity among 10 developed, 5 reserved, and 11 changing (areas cleared and developed during our study) landscapes, we determined that adaptive breeding dispersal of sensitive forest species (Swainson's Thrush and Pacific wren), which involves shifting territory and mate after reproductive failure, was constrained by development. In changing lands, sensitive forest specialists dispersed from active development to nearby forested areas, but in so doing suffered low annual reproduction. Species tolerant of suburban lands (song sparrow, spotted towhee, dark-eyed junco, and Bewick's wren) dispersed adaptively in changing landscapes. Site fidelity ranged from 0% (Pacific wren in changing landscape) to 83% (Bewick's wren in forest reserve). Mate fidelity ranged from 25% (dark-eyed junco) to 100% (Bewick's wren). Variation in fidelity to mate and territory was consistent with theories positing an influence of territory quality, asynchronous return from migration, prior productivity, and reproductive benefits of retaining a familiar territory. Costly breeding dispersal, as well as reduced reproductive success and lowered survival cause some birds to decline in the face of urbanization. In contrast, the ability of species that utilize edges and early successional habitats to breed successfully, disperse to improve reproductive success after failure, and survive throughout the urban ecosystem enables them to maintain

  20. Breeding Dispersal by Birds in a Dynamic Urban Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Marzluff

    Full Text Available Changes in land cover during urbanization profoundly affect the diversity of bird communities, but the demographic mechanisms affecting diversity are poorly known. We advance such understanding by documenting how urbanization influences breeding dispersal-the annual movement of territorial adults-of six songbird species in the Seattle, WA, USA metropolitan area. We color-banded adults and mapped the centers of their annual breeding activities from 2000-2010 to obtain 504 consecutive movements by 337 adults. By comparing movements, annual reproduction, and mate fidelity among 10 developed, 5 reserved, and 11 changing (areas cleared and developed during our study landscapes, we determined that adaptive breeding dispersal of sensitive forest species (Swainson's Thrush and Pacific wren, which involves shifting territory and mate after reproductive failure, was constrained by development. In changing lands, sensitive forest specialists dispersed from active development to nearby forested areas, but in so doing suffered low annual reproduction. Species tolerant of suburban lands (song sparrow, spotted towhee, dark-eyed junco, and Bewick's wren dispersed adaptively in changing landscapes. Site fidelity ranged from 0% (Pacific wren in changing landscape to 83% (Bewick's wren in forest reserve. Mate fidelity ranged from 25% (dark-eyed junco to 100% (Bewick's wren. Variation in fidelity to mate and territory was consistent with theories positing an influence of territory quality, asynchronous return from migration, prior productivity, and reproductive benefits of retaining a familiar territory. Costly breeding dispersal, as well as reduced reproductive success and lowered survival cause some birds to decline in the face of urbanization. In contrast, the ability of species that utilize edges and early successional habitats to breed successfully, disperse to improve reproductive success after failure, and survive throughout the urban ecosystem enables them

  1. The invasive Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) outcompetes native birds in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibault, Martin; Vidal, Eric; Potter, Murray Alan; Sanchez, Thierry; Brescia, Fabrice

    2018-01-01

    Invasive alien species are a major cause of biodiversity loss globally, but especially on islands where high species richness and levels of endemism accentuate their impacts. The Red vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), a tropical passerine bird that has been introduced widely across locations of high conservation value, is considered an extreme pest. It is currently expanding its range in New Caledonia, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. Decisive recommendations on management strategies are required urgently to inform local managers and policy makers, but they should be based on quantitative local evidence, not just on expert opinion. The Red-vented bulbul is widely blamed for its impacts on biodiversity, especially through competition. We used data from 2,472 point counts to explore the abundance relationships between the Red-vented bulbul and 14 other species of bird. Our results revealed a negative relationship between the occurrence of the bulbul and the mean abundance of nine species, all native (or endemic, n = 3) to the New Caledonia archipelago. In contrast, the abundance of other introduced species such as Acridotheres tristis (Common myna), Passer domesticus (House sparrow) and Spilopelia chinensis (Spotted dove) were not affected by the Red-vented bulbul. Moreover, temporal trends in the abundance of impacted species suggest that the Red-vented bulbul may cause niche contractions rather than mortality for native species in man-modified habitats. Monitoring and control of the Red-vented bulbul is recommended to prevent on-going impacts on native bird communities throughout New Caledonia, and its impact on native bird communities elsewhere should be quantified.

  2. Advances in Applications of Hierarchical Bayesian Methods with Hydrological Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. B.; Schwarz, G. E.; Boyer, E. W.

    2017-12-01

    Mechanistic and empirical watershed models are increasingly used to inform water resource decisions. Growing access to historical stream measurements and data from in-situ sensor technologies has increased the need for improved techniques for coupling models with hydrological measurements. Techniques that account for the intrinsic uncertainties of both models and measurements are especially needed. Hierarchical Bayesian methods provide an efficient modeling tool for quantifying model and prediction uncertainties, including those associated with measurements. Hierarchical methods can also be used to explore spatial and temporal variations in model parameters and uncertainties that are informed by hydrological measurements. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to develop a hybrid (statistical-mechanistic) SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) model of long-term mean annual streamflow across diverse environmental and climatic drainages in 18 U.S. hydrological regions. Our application illustrates the use of a new generation of Bayesian methods that offer more advanced computational efficiencies than the prior generation. Evaluations of the effects of hierarchical (regional) variations in model coefficients and uncertainties on model accuracy indicates improved prediction accuracies (median of 10-50%) but primarily in humid eastern regions, where model uncertainties are one-third of those in arid western regions. Generally moderate regional variability is observed for most hierarchical coefficients. Accounting for measurement and structural uncertainties, using hierarchical state-space techniques, revealed the effects of spatially-heterogeneous, latent hydrological processes in the "localized" drainages between calibration sites; this improved model precision, with only minor changes in regional coefficients. Our study can inform advances in the use of hierarchical methods with hydrological models to improve their integration with stream

  3. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex highlight interactions of the innate and adaptive immune system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Lukasch

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background A well-functioning immune defence is crucial for fitness, but our knowledge about the immune system and its complex interactions is still limited. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC molecules are involved in T-cell mediated adaptive immune responses, but MHC is also highly upregulated during the initial innate immune response. The aim of our study was therefore to determine to what extent the highly polymorphic MHC is involved in interactions of the innate and adaptive immune defence and if specific functional MHC alleles (FA or heterozygosity at the MHC are more important. Methods To do this we used captive house sparrows (Passer domesticus to survey MHC diversity and immune function controlling for several environmental factors. MHC class I alleles were identified using parallel amplicon sequencing and to mirror immune function, several immunological tests that correspond to the innate and adaptive immunity were conducted. Results Our results reveal that MHC was linked to all immune tests, highlighting its importance for the immune defence. While all innate responses were associated with one single FA, adaptive responses (cell-mediated and humoral were associated with several different alleles. Discussion We found that repeated injections of an antibody in nestlings and adults were linked to different FA and hence might affect different areas of the immune system. Also, individuals with a higher number of different FA produced a smaller secondary response, indicating a disadvantage of having numerous MHC alleles. These results demonstrate the complexity of the immune system in relation to the MHC and lay the foundation for other studies to further investigate this topic.

  4. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex highlight interactions of the innate and adaptive immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasch, Barbara; Westerdahl, Helena; Strandh, Maria; Winkler, Hans; Moodley, Yoshan; Knauer, Felix; Hoi, Herbert

    2017-01-01

    A well-functioning immune defence is crucial for fitness, but our knowledge about the immune system and its complex interactions is still limited. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules are involved in T-cell mediated adaptive immune responses, but MHC is also highly upregulated during the initial innate immune response. The aim of our study was therefore to determine to what extent the highly polymorphic MHC is involved in interactions of the innate and adaptive immune defence and if specific functional MHC alleles (FA) or heterozygosity at the MHC are more important. To do this we used captive house sparrows ( Passer domesticus ) to survey MHC diversity and immune function controlling for several environmental factors. MHC class I alleles were identified using parallel amplicon sequencing and to mirror immune function, several immunological tests that correspond to the innate and adaptive immunity were conducted. Our results reveal that MHC was linked to all immune tests, highlighting its importance for the immune defence. While all innate responses were associated with one single FA, adaptive responses (cell-mediated and humoral) were associated with several different alleles. We found that repeated injections of an antibody in nestlings and adults were linked to different FA and hence might affect different areas of the immune system. Also, individuals with a higher number of different FA produced a smaller secondary response, indicating a disadvantage of having numerous MHC alleles. These results demonstrate the complexity of the immune system in relation to the MHC and lay the foundation for other studies to further investigate this topic.

  5. Cryptosporidium spp. in pet birds: genetic diversity and potential public health significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Meng; Wang, Rongjun; Ning, Changshen; Li, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Longxian; Jian, Fuchun; Sun, Yanru; Xiao, Lihua

    2011-08-01

    To characterize the prevalence and assess the zoonotic transmission burden of Cryptosporidium species/genotypes in pet birds in Henan, China, 434 fecal samples were acquired from 14 families of birds in pet shops. The overall prevalence of Cryptopsoridium was 8.1% (35/434) by the Sheather's sugar flotation technique. The Cryptosporidium-positive samples were analyzed by DNA sequence analysis of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. Three Cryptosporidium species and two genotypes were identified, including C. baileyi (18/35 or 51.4%) in five red-billed leiothrixes (Leiothrix lutea), four white Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora), four common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), two zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a crested Lark (Galerida cristata), a Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), and a black-billed magpie (Pica pica); Cryptosporidium meleagridis (3/35 or 8.6%) in a Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), a Rufous turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis), and a fan-tailed pigeon (Columba livia); Cryptosporidium galli (5/35 or 14.3%) in four Bohemian waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and a silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris); Cryptosporidium avian genotype III (3/35 or 8.6%) in two cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and a red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha); and Cryptosporidium avian genotype V (6/35 or 17.1%) in six cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). Among the pet birds, 12 species represented new hosts for Cryptosporidum infections. The presence of C. meleagridis raises questions on potential zoonotic transmission of cryptosporidiosis from pet birds to humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Scale dependence of biotic homogenisation by urbanisation: a comparison of urban bird communities between central Argentina and northern Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leveau Lucas M.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies showed contrasting results about the homogenising force of urbanisation on bird community composition at large and regional scales. We studied whether urbanisation promotes the homogenisation of wintering bird communities and if this varies when comparing towns located within a specific region and towns located in two different biomes of two countries. We used both similarity indices based on the presence/absence data and the abundance data in comparing communities. Processes governing bird community dissimilarity between urbanisation levels were examined with the partitioning of Sörensen index in species turnover and nestedness. We made bird surveys in town centres and suburban habitats of three cities located in the Pampean region of Argentina and in the boreal region of Finland using a single-visit study plot method. Rarefacted species richness did not differ amongst the town centres between the countries, but it was higher in the suburban areas of Argentina than in Finland. At the country-level comparison, we found a higher similarity amongst the town centres than amongst the suburban areas; whereas at the regional comparison, similarity between town centres was comparable to the similarity between suburban areas. The use of an abundance-based index produced a higher similarity between town centre communities of both countries than when using a presence-based index. The dissimilarity between habitats in Argentina was related to nestedness and to species turnover in Finland. Our results indicate that urban-based biotic homogenisation of bird communities is dependent on the scale used, being more evident when comparing cities of different biomes where the same and abundant bird species, such as sparrows and doves, dominate. At the regional scale, quite a high beta-diversity can still be found within urban habitats. Processes of community dissimilarity between urban habitats may differ according to the regional pool of species

  7. Glucose transporter expression in an avian nectarivore: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth C Welch

    Full Text Available Glucose transporter (GLUT proteins play a key role in the transport of monosaccharides across cellular membranes, and thus, blood sugar regulation and tissue metabolism. Patterns of GLUT expression, including the insulin-responsive GLUT4, have been well characterized in mammals. However, relatively little is known about patterns of GLUT expression in birds with existing data limited to the granivorous or herbivorous chicken, duck and sparrow. The smallest avian taxa, hummingbirds, exhibit some of the highest fasted and fed blood glucose levels and display an unusual ability to switch rapidly and completely between endogenous fat and exogenous sugar to fuel energetically expensive hovering flight. Despite this, nothing is known about the GLUT transporters that enable observed rapid rates of carbohydrate flux. We examined GLUT (GLUT1, 2, 3, & 4 expression in pectoralis, leg muscle, heart, liver, kidney, intestine and brain from both zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris. mRNA expression of all four transporters was probed using reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR. In addition, GLUT1 and 4 protein expression were assayed by western blot and immunostaining. Patterns of RNA and protein expression of GLUT1-3 in both species agree closely with published reports from other birds and mammals. As in other birds, and unlike in mammals, we did not detect GLUT4. A lack of GLUT4 correlates with hyperglycemia and an uncoupling of exercise intensity and relative oxidation of carbohydrates in hummingbirds. The function of GLUTs present in hummingbird muscle tissue (e.g. GLUT1 and 3 remain undescribed. Thus, further work is necessary to determine if high capillary density, and thus surface area across which cellular-mediated transport of sugars into active tissues (e.g. muscle occurs, rather than taxon-specific differences in GLUT density or kinetics, can account for observed rapid rates of sugar flux into these

  8. Comprehensive mapping of common immunodominant epitopes in the West Nile virus nonstructural protein 1 recognized by avian antibody responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Encheng Sun

    Full Text Available West Nile virus (WNV is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that primarily infects birds but occasionally infects humans and horses. Certain species of birds, including crows, house sparrows, geese, blue jays and ravens, are considered highly susceptible hosts to WNV. The nonstructural protein 1 (NS1 of WNV can elicit protective immune responses, including NS1-reactive antibodies, during infection of animals. The antigenicity of NS1 suggests that NS1-reactive antibodies could provide a basis for serological diagnostic reagents. To further define serological reagents for diagnostic use, the antigenic sites in NS1 that are targeted by host immune responses need to be identified and the potential diagnostic value of individual antigenic sites also needs to be defined. The present study describes comprehensive mapping of common immunodominant linear B-cell epitopes in the WNV NS1 using avian WNV NS1 antisera. We screened antisera from chickens, ducks and geese immunized with purified NS1 for reactivity against 35 partially overlapping peptides covering the entire WNV NS1. This study identified twelve, nine and six peptide epitopes recognized by chicken, duck and goose antibody responses, respectively. Three epitopes (NS1-3, 14 and 24 were recognized by antibodies elicited by immunization in all three avian species tested. We also found that NS1-3 and 24 were WNV-specific epitopes, whereas the NS1-14 epitope was conserved among the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV serocomplex viruses based on the reactivity of avian WNV NS1 antisera against polypeptides derived from the NS1 sequences of viruses of the JEV serocomplex. Further analysis showed that the three common polypeptide epitopes were not recognized by antibodies in Avian Influenza Virus (AIV, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV, Duck Plague Virus (DPV and Goose Parvovirus (GPV antisera. The knowledge and reagents generated in this study have potential applications in differential diagnostic approaches and

  9. Contrasting patterns of comprehension for superordinate, basic-level, and subordinate names in semantic dementia and aphasic stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crutch, Sebastian J; Warrington, Elizabeth K

    2008-06-01

    It is well established that patients with semantic memory impairment show a relative sparing of general superordinate information as compared with more detailed item-specific information. The objective of the current study was to examine whether or not this superordinate superiority effect is also reliably observed in individuals with stroke. The participants were 3 patients with a diagnosis of semantic dementia (SD) and 4 left middle cerebral artery stroke patients. In the first experiment, participants were administered a series of spoken-word-picture matching tasks, in which picture identity was probed under two conditions: item name (e.g., goose, beetle, shark, hedgehog) and superordinate name (e.g., bird, insect, fish, mammal). The SD patients showed the predicted pattern of performance, identifying stimuli significantly more accurately by their superordinate term than by their specific name. By contrast, the stroke patients showed the reverse pattern of inferior performance in the superordinate condition in all versions of the experimental task. In a second experiment comparing comprehension ofbasic-level names (e.g., dog, bird, fish) and subordinate-level names (e.g., Dalmatian, sparrow, trout), stroke patients also showed a reversal of the normal basic-level effect, showing less accurate comprehension of basic-level names. The pattern of results documented among the stroke patients cannot be accommodated obviously or readily by existing models of conceptual knowledge. These contrasting abilities of SD patients, stroke patients, and normal healthy participants to process subordinate, basic-level, and superordinate names are considered in relation to disorders of executive processing and taxonomic categorization.

  10. The invasive Red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer outcompetes native birds in a tropical biodiversity hotspot.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Thibault

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species are a major cause of biodiversity loss globally, but especially on islands where high species richness and levels of endemism accentuate their impacts. The Red vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer, a tropical passerine bird that has been introduced widely across locations of high conservation value, is considered an extreme pest. It is currently expanding its range in New Caledonia, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. Decisive recommendations on management strategies are required urgently to inform local managers and policy makers, but they should be based on quantitative local evidence, not just on expert opinion. The Red-vented bulbul is widely blamed for its impacts on biodiversity, especially through competition. We used data from 2,472 point counts to explore the abundance relationships between the Red-vented bulbul and 14 other species of bird. Our results revealed a negative relationship between the occurrence of the bulbul and the mean abundance of nine species, all native (or endemic, n = 3 to the New Caledonia archipelago. In contrast, the abundance of other introduced species such as Acridotheres tristis (Common myna, Passer domesticus (House sparrow and Spilopelia chinensis (Spotted dove were not affected by the Red-vented bulbul. Moreover, temporal trends in the abundance of impacted species suggest that the Red-vented bulbul may cause niche contractions rather than mortality for native species in man-modified habitats. Monitoring and control of the Red-vented bulbul is recommended to prevent on-going impacts on native bird communities throughout New Caledonia, and its impact on native bird communities elsewhere should be quantified.

  11. Load-based approaches for modelling visual clarity in streams at regional scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, A H; Davies-Colley, R J; Parshotam, A; Ballantine, D

    2013-01-01

    Reduction of visual clarity in streams by diffuse sources of fine sediment is a cause of water quality impairment in New Zealand and internationally. In this paper we introduce the concept of a load of optical cross section (LOCS), which can be used for load-based management of light-attenuating substances and for water quality models that are based on mass accounting. In this approach, the beam attenuation coefficient (units of m(-1)) is estimated from the inverse of the visual clarity (units of m) measured with a black disc. This beam attenuation coefficient can also be considered as an optical cross section (OCS) per volume of water, analogous to a concentration. The instantaneous 'flux' of cross section is obtained from the attenuation coefficient multiplied by the water discharge, and this can be accumulated over time to give an accumulated 'load' of cross section (LOCS). Moreover, OCS is a conservative quantity, in the sense that the OCS of two combined water volumes is the sum of the OCS of the individual water volumes (barring effects such as coagulation, settling, or sorption). The LOCS can be calculated for a water quality station using rating curve methods applied to measured time series of visual clarity and flow. This approach was applied to the sites in New Zealand's National Rivers Water Quality Network (NRWQN). Although the attenuation coefficient follows roughly a power relation with flow at some sites, more flexible loess rating curves are required at other sites. The hybrid mechanistic-statistical catchment model SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes), which is based on a mass balance for mean annual load, was then applied to the NRWQN dataset. Preliminary results from this model are presented, highlighting the importance of factors related to erosion, such as rainfall, slope, hardness of catchment rock types, and the influence of pastoral development on the load of optical cross section.

  12. Discovery of seven novel Mammalian and avian coronaviruses in the genus deltacoronavirus supports bat coronaviruses as the gene source of alphacoronavirus and betacoronavirus and avian coronaviruses as the gene source of gammacoronavirus and deltacoronavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Patrick C Y; Lau, Susanna K P; Lam, Carol S F; Lau, Candy C Y; Tsang, Alan K L; Lau, John H N; Bai, Ru; Teng, Jade L L; Tsang, Chris C C; Wang, Ming; Zheng, Bo-Jian; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2012-04-01

    Recently, we reported the discovery of three novel coronaviruses, bulbul coronavirus HKU11, thrush coronavirus HKU12, and munia coronavirus HKU13, which were identified as representatives of a novel genus, Deltacoronavirus, in the subfamily Coronavirinae. In this territory-wide molecular epidemiology study involving 3,137 mammals and 3,298 birds, we discovered seven additional novel deltacoronaviruses in pigs and birds, which we named porcine coronavirus HKU15, white-eye coronavirus HKU16, sparrow coronavirus HKU17, magpie robin coronavirus HKU18, night heron coronavirus HKU19, wigeon coronavirus HKU20, and common moorhen coronavirus HKU21. Complete genome sequencing and comparative genome analysis showed that the avian and mammalian deltacoronaviruses have similar genome characteristics and structures. They all have relatively small genomes (25.421 to 26.674 kb), the smallest among all coronaviruses. They all have a single papain-like protease domain in the nsp3 gene; an accessory gene, NS6 open reading frame (ORF), located between the M and N genes; and a variable number of accessory genes (up to four) downstream of the N gene. Moreover, they all have the same putative transcription regulatory sequence of ACACCA. Molecular clock analysis showed that the most recent common ancestor of all coronaviruses was estimated at approximately 8100 BC, and those of Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus, Gammacoronavirus, and Deltacoronavirus were at approximately 2400 BC, 3300 BC, 2800 BC, and 3000 BC, respectively. From our studies, it appears that bats and birds, the warm blooded flying vertebrates, are ideal hosts for the coronavirus gene source, bats for Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus and birds for Gammacoronavirus and Deltacoronavirus, to fuel coronavirus evolution and dissemination.

  13. Linking phenological events in migratory passerines with a changing climate: 50 years in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Molly E; DeGroote, Lucas W

    2017-01-01

    Advanced timing of both seasonal migration and reproduction in birds has been strongly associated with a warming climate for many bird species. Phenological responses to climate linking these stages may ultimately impact fitness. We analyzed five decades of banding data from 17 migratory bird species to investigate 1) how spring arrival related to timing of breeding, 2) if the interval between arrival and breeding has changed with increasing spring temperatures, and 3) whether arrival timing or breeding timing best predicted local productivity. Four of 17 species, all mid- to long-distance migrants, hatched young earlier in years when migrants arrived earlier to the breeding grounds (~1:1 day advancement). The interval between arrival on breeding grounds and appearance of juveniles shortened with warmer spring temperatures for 12 species (1-6 days for every 1°C increase) and over time for seven species (1-8 days per decade), suggesting that some migratory passerines adapt to climate change by laying more quickly after arrival or reducing the time from laying to fledging. We found more support for the former, that the rate of reproductive advancement was higher than that for arrival in warm years. Timing of spring arrival and breeding were both poor predictors of avian productivity for most migrants analyzed. Nevertheless, we found evidence that fitness benefits may occur from shifts to earlier spring arrival for the multi-brooded Song Sparrow. Our results uniquely demonstrate that co-occurring avian species are phenologically plastic in their response to climate change on their breeding grounds. If migrants continue to show a weaker response to temperatures during migration than breeding, and the window between arrival and optimal breeding shortens further, biological constraints to plasticity may limit the ability of species to adapt successfully to future warming.

  14. The roles of mosquito and bird communities on the prevalence of West Nile virus in urban wetland and residential habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brian J.; Munafo, Kristin; Shappell, Laura; Tsipoura, Nellie; Robson, Mark; Ehrenfeld, Joan; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the impacts of urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments on the transmission dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) within the state of New Jersey (USA). A working hypothesis was that urban wetlands decrease the local prevalence of WNV through the dilution effect from increased bird diversity, and through relative reductions in the numbers of competent avian host and mosquito species commonly associated with WNV. Surveys of mosquito and bird communities were undertaken at six urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments over two seasons (2009, 2010). The community compositions of both avian and mosquito species differed significantly across habitats, and over relatively short geographical distances. Residential areas contained significantly higher proportions of WNV-competent mosquito species (31.25±5.3 %; e.g. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans), and WNV-competent avian host species (62.8±2.3 %, e.g. House Sparrow and American Robin) when compared to adjacent urban wetlands (13.5±2.1 %; 35.4±2.1 % respectively). Correspondingly, WNV infection rates within local Culex spp. populations indicate that WNV was more prevalent within residential areas (28.53/1000) compared to wetlands (16.77/1000). Large urban wetlands (>100 ha) produced significantly lower weekly WNV infection rates in local Culex spp. (6.67±2.84/1000) compared to small (urban wetlands contained significantly more species than small wetland patches. These results confirm that the community compositions of mosquito and avian hosts are important drivers in WNV infections, and that the ecological conditions that favor transmission are more strongly associated with urban residential environments than with adjacent urban wetlands. PMID:25484570

  15. Ecological connectivity networks in rapidly expanding cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nor, Amal Najihah M; Corstanje, Ron; Harris, Jim A; Grafius, Darren R; Siriwardena, Gavin M

    2017-06-01

    Urban expansion increases fragmentation of the landscape. In effect, fragmentation decreases connectivity, causes green space loss and impacts upon the ecology and function of green space. Restoration of the functionality of green space often requires restoring the ecological connectivity of this green space within the city matrix. However, identifying ecological corridors that integrate different structural and functional connectivity of green space remains vague. Assessing connectivity for developing an ecological network by using efficient models is essential to improve these networks under rapid urban expansion. This paper presents a novel methodological approach to assess and model connectivity for the Eurasian tree sparrow ( Passer montanus ) and Yellow-vented bulbul ( Pycnonotus goiavier ) in three cities (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia and Metro Manila, Philippines). The approach identifies potential priority corridors for ecological connectivity networks. The study combined circuit models, connectivity analysis and least-cost models to identify potential corridors by integrating structure and function of green space patches to provide reliable ecological connectivity network models in the cities. Relevant parameters such as landscape resistance and green space structure (vegetation density, patch size and patch distance) were derived from an expert and literature-based approach based on the preference of bird behaviour. The integrated models allowed the assessment of connectivity for both species using different measures of green space structure revealing the potential corridors and least-cost pathways for both bird species at the patch sites. The implementation of improvements to the identified corridors could increase the connectivity of green space. This study provides examples of how combining models can contribute to the improvement of ecological networks in rapidly expanding cities and demonstrates the usefulness of such models for

  16. SURVEILLANCE FOR NEWCASTLE DISEASE VIRUS, AVIAN INFLUENZA VIRUS AND MYCOPLASMA GALLISEPTICUM IN WILD BIRDS NEAR COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARMS SURROUNDED BY ATLANTIC RAINFOREST REMNANTS, SOUTHEASTERN BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MB Guimarães

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The geographic overlap between areas of Atlantic rainforest and human activities allows interactions to occur between humans and wild and domestic animals. Despite the great importance of the domestic animal-wildlife-human interface that occurs at poultry farms in terms of public health, economic production and wildlife conservation, there are few studies in Brazil examining the distribution and health of wild birds that interact with poultry farms. From January to December 2010, mist nets were used to capture 166 free-ranging birds that were within close proximity to three poultry farms in Atlantic rainforest remnants in south-eastern Brazil. The species composition was examined, and molecular methods were used to test for avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus, and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. The avian communities near the poultry farms were dominated by three synanthropic species, which corresponded to 70% of all captured individuals: house sparrows Passer domesticus (33%, saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola (22%, and ruddy ground-doves (Columbina talpacoti (15%. These predominant bird species were in poor body condition (27%, were infested with feather mites (43%, or presented both conditions (23%. No evidence of infection by avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus or M. gallisepticum was identified in any of the studied birds. Although no evidence of the studied pathogens was, our findings demonstrate that differences in the environmental characteristics and biosecurity practices influence the wild bird community near poultry farms, which in turn may affect the health status of these synanthropic birds and strengthen their role in the transmission of pathogens.

  17. Consultation with First Nations stakeholders : an Alberta perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutwind, S. [Alberta Justice, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Aboriginal Law

    2005-07-01

    Aboriginal issues present risks and challenges to resource development in Alberta. This paper provided an overview of significant precedents and acts which may impact on oil and gas activities. The Constitution Act of 1982 acknowledged that existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada were recognized and confirmed. In the case of R v. Sparrow, justification was established where there was a valid legislative objective, such as conservation and resource management, and a precedent was set regarding the interpretation of disputes of section 35 subsection 1 concerning legal restriction of the exercise of treaty rights, such as hunting and fishing. In R v. Badger, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) advised that the framework applied to treaty rights as well as Aboriginal rights. The Natural Resources Transfer Agreement transferred powers over natural resources from Canada to Alberta in relation to hunting rights. Proof of rights issues were discussed in Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. Tulesequa Chief Mine Project, as well as in Haida Nation v. British Columbia, where it was concluded that an Aboriginal right need not be proven before a duty to consult arises. A review of Alberta's consultation practices was presented, as well as the Aboriginal issues and resource development initiative, which recognizes the importance of consultation with affected Aboriginal people and communities when regulatory and development activities infringe their existing treaty and other constitutional rights, such as the rights to hunt, fish and trap for food. Details of the Consultation Coordination Group were presented. A draft of the Government of Alberta's First Nations Consultation Policy on Land Management and Resource Development was also presented. tabs, figs.

  18. Antioxidant allocation modulates sperm quality across changing social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas Mora, Alfonso; Meniri, Magali; Gning, Ophélie; Glauser, Gaëtan; Vallat, Armelle; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2017-01-01

    In promiscuous species, male reproductive success depends on their ability to mate with fertile females and on the fertilizing ability of their sperm. In such species, theory predicts that, owing to a trade-off between pre- and post-copulatory reproductive traits, males with lesser access to females should increase resource investment into those sperm traits that enhance fertilization success-usually referred to as ejaculate quality. This prediction has been validated in several taxa, yet studies on the physiological mechanisms modulating ejaculate quality are lacking. Sperm cells are highly vulnerable to oxidative stress, which impairs male fertility. Therefore, males that better protect their sperm from oxidative stress are expected to achieve higher ejaculate quality. Based on theoretical expectations, and since social dominance is a major determinant of mating opportunity, we predicted that subordinate males should invest more into the antioxidant protection of their sperm in order to achieve higher ejaculate quality. We maintained 60 male and 60 female wild-caught house sparrows Passer domesticus in outdoor aviaries, where we experimentally manipulated male social status to test our predictions. We measured cellular oxidative stress and enzymatic antioxidant activity in blood and sperm both before and after manipulating social ranks. Before manipulating the social status, we found that ejaculate viability correlated with oxidative stress level in sperm, with dominant males producing more oxidized and less viable ejaculates. Further, males at the lower end of the hierarchy produced ejaculates of similar quality to those of dominant males, suggesting that restricted access to resources might limit male reproductive strategies. After experimentally manipulating the social status, males matched their ejaculate quality to their new rank, while increases in antioxidant investment into ejaculates paralleled increases in ejaculate viability. Oxidative stress has been

  19. Linking phenological events in migratory passerines with a changing climate: 50 years in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molly E McDermott

    Full Text Available Advanced timing of both seasonal migration and reproduction in birds has been strongly associated with a warming climate for many bird species. Phenological responses to climate linking these stages may ultimately impact fitness. We analyzed five decades of banding data from 17 migratory bird species to investigate 1 how spring arrival related to timing of breeding, 2 if the interval between arrival and breeding has changed with increasing spring temperatures, and 3 whether arrival timing or breeding timing best predicted local productivity. Four of 17 species, all mid- to long-distance migrants, hatched young earlier in years when migrants arrived earlier to the breeding grounds (~1:1 day advancement. The interval between arrival on breeding grounds and appearance of juveniles shortened with warmer spring temperatures for 12 species (1-6 days for every 1°C increase and over time for seven species (1-8 days per decade, suggesting that some migratory passerines adapt to climate change by laying more quickly after arrival or reducing the time from laying to fledging. We found more support for the former, that the rate of reproductive advancement was higher than that for arrival in warm years. Timing of spring arrival and breeding were both poor predictors of avian productivity for most migrants analyzed. Nevertheless, we found evidence that fitness benefits may occur from shifts to earlier spring arrival for the multi-brooded Song Sparrow. Our results uniquely demonstrate that co-occurring avian species are phenologically plastic in their response to climate change on their breeding grounds. If migrants continue to show a weaker response to temperatures during migration than breeding, and the window between arrival and optimal breeding shortens further, biological constraints to plasticity may limit the ability of species to adapt successfully to future warming.

  20. Passerine birds breeding under chronic noise experience reduced fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Schroeder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Fitness in birds has been shown to be negatively associated with anthropogenic noise, but the underlying mechanisms remain obscure. It is however crucial to understand the mechanisms of how urban noise impinges on fitness to obtain a better understanding of the role of chronic noise in urban ecology. Here, we examine three hypotheses on how noise might reduce reproductive output in passerine birds: (H1 by impairing mate choice, (H2 by reducing territory quality and (H3 by impeding chick development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: W