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Sample records for swamp sparrow melospiza

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal differences of gene expression profiles in song sparrow (Melospiza melodia hypothalamus in relation to territorial aggression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Motoko Mukai

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia are territorial year-round; however, neuroendocrine responses to simulated territorial intrusion (STI differ between breeding (spring and non-breeding seasons (autumn. In spring, exposure to STI leads to increases in luteinizing hormone and testosterone, but not in autumn. These observations suggest that there are fundamental differences in the mechanisms driving neuroendocrine responses to STI between seasons. Microarrays, spotted with EST cDNA clones of zebra finch, were used to explore gene expression profiles in the hypothalamus after territorial aggression in two different seasons.Free-living territorial male song sparrows were exposed to either conspecific or heterospecific (control males in an STI in spring and autumn. Behavioral data were recorded, whole hypothalami were collected, and microarray hybridizations were performed. Quantitative PCR was performed for validation. Our results show 262 cDNAs were differentially expressed between spring and autumn in the control birds. There were 173 cDNAs significantly affected by STI in autumn; however, only 67 were significantly affected by STI in spring. There were 88 cDNAs that showed significant interactions in both season and STI.Results suggest that STI drives differential genomic responses in the hypothalamus in the spring vs. autumn. The number of cDNAs differentially expressed in relation to season was greater than in relation to social interactions, suggesting major underlying seasonal effects in the hypothalamus which may determine the differential response upon social interaction. Functional pathway analyses implicated genes that regulate thyroid hormone action and neuroplasticity as targets of this neuroendocrine regulation.

  3. 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.

  4. Early nutritional stress impairs development of a song-control brain region in both male and female juvenile song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) at the onset of song learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Ian F; Kempster, Bethany; Zanette, Liana; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2006-01-01

    Birdsong is a sexually selected trait and is often viewed as an indicator of male quality. The developmental stress hypothesis proposes a model by which song could be an indicator; the time during early development, when birds learn complex songs and/or local variants of song, is of rapid development and nutritional stress. Birds that cope best with this stress may better learn to produce the most effective songs. The developmental stress hypothesis predicts that early food restriction should impair development of song-control brain regions at the onset of song learning. We examined the effect of food restriction on song-control brain regions in fledgling (both sexes, 23–26 days old) song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Food restriction selectively reduced HVC volume in both sexes. In addition, sex differences were evident in all three song-control regions. This study lends further support to a growing body of literature documenting a variety of behavioural, physiological and neural detriments in several songbird species resulting from early developmental stress. PMID:16959649

  5. Is Pairing with a Relative Heritable? Estimating Female and Male Genetic Contributions to the Degree of Biparental Inbreeding in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolak, Matthew E; Reid, Jane M

    2016-06-01

    The degree of inbreeding expressed within populations can profoundly shape evolutionary dynamics. The degree to which individuals inbreed is frequently assumed to evolve in response to selection, for example, resulting from inbreeding depression. Such evolutionary responses require additive genetic variance (VA) in the degree to which individuals inbreed. However, the magnitude of VA in the degree of biparental inbreeding has never been estimated. We devised a quantitative genetic model to estimate sex-specific VA in the degree to which individuals inbreed while accounting for effects of individuals' own coefficients of inbreeding and genetic effects stemming from immigration. We applied this model to the degree of inbreeding expressed through social pairing in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Estimates of VA for both sexes appreciably exceeded 0 and the cross-sex genetic covariance was strongly positive, creating substantial total VA in the degree of inbreeding. Our analyses also revealed inbreeding depression in the degree of inbreeding, such that more inbred individuals paired with closer relatives, and immigrant effects, such that individuals with greater genomic contributions from immigrants paired with more distant relatives. We thereby demonstrate that the degree of biparental inbreeding can show substantial VA in nature and might consequently evolve in response to selection.

  6. Resolving the conundrum of inbreeding depression but no inbreeding avoidance: Estimating sex‐specific selection on inbreeding by song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M.; Arcese, Peter; Bocedi, Greta; Duthie, A. Bradley; Wolak, Matthew E.; Keller, Lukas F.

    2015-01-01

    Inbreeding avoidance among interacting females and males is not always observed despite inbreeding depression in offspring fitness, creating an apparent “inbreeding paradox.” This paradox could be resolved if selection against inbreeding was in fact weak, despite inbreeding depression. However, the net magnitude and direction of selection on the degree to which females and males inbreed by pairing with relatives has not been explicitly estimated. We used long‐term pedigree data to estimate phenotypic selection gradients on the degree of inbreeding that female and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) expressed by forming socially persistent breeding pairs with relatives. Fitness was measured as the total numbers of offspring and grand offspring contributed to the population, and as corresponding expected numbers of identical‐by‐descent allele copies, thereby accounting for variation in offspring survival, reproduction, and relatedness associated with variation in parental inbreeding. Estimated selection gradients on the degree to which individuals paired with relatives were weakly positive in females, but negative in males that formed at least one socially persistent pairing. However, males that paired had higher mean fitness than males that remained socially unpaired. These analyses suggest that net selection against inbreeding may be weak in both sexes despite strong inbreeding depression, thereby resolving the “inbreeding paradox.” PMID:26420476

  7. Resolving the conundrum of inbreeding depression but no inbreeding avoidance: Estimating sex-specific selection on inbreeding by song sparrows (Melospiza melodia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Bocedi, Greta; Duthie, A Bradley; Wolak, Matthew E; Keller, Lukas F

    2015-11-01

    Inbreeding avoidance among interacting females and males is not always observed despite inbreeding depression in offspring fitness, creating an apparent "inbreeding paradox." This paradox could be resolved if selection against inbreeding was in fact weak, despite inbreeding depression. However, the net magnitude and direction of selection on the degree to which females and males inbreed by pairing with relatives has not been explicitly estimated. We used long-term pedigree data to estimate phenotypic selection gradients on the degree of inbreeding that female and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) expressed by forming socially persistent breeding pairs with relatives. Fitness was measured as the total numbers of offspring and grand offspring contributed to the population, and as corresponding expected numbers of identical-by-descent allele copies, thereby accounting for variation in offspring survival, reproduction, and relatedness associated with variation in parental inbreeding. Estimated selection gradients on the degree to which individuals paired with relatives were weakly positive in females, but negative in males that formed at least one socially persistent pairing. However, males that paired had higher mean fitness than males that remained socially unpaired. These analyses suggest that net selection against inbreeding may be weak in both sexes despite strong inbreeding depression, thereby resolving the "inbreeding paradox." © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Amak Island trip report - notes on the Amak song sparrow and Amak vole

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Both the Amak Island song sparrow (Melospiza melodia amaka) and Amak vole (Microtus oeconomus amakensis) are currently category 2 candidate species under the...

  9. First evidence of conspecific brood parasitism in song sparrows with comments on methods sufficient to document this behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; J. Letitia Grenier; Sacha K. Heath; Grant Ballard; Mark E. Hauber

    2006-01-01

    Conspecific brood parasitism occurs in many songbird species but has not been reported in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia). In three separate study areas where breeding Song Sparrows experience heavy nest predation pressure and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism, we observed six instances in which newly laid eggs were attributable to female Song Sparrows...

  10. Change in offspring sex ratio over a very short season in Lincoln’s Sparrows: the potential role of bill development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graham, E.B.; Caro, S.P.; Sockman, K.W.

    2011-01-01

    The sex ratios of offspring are targets of natural selection that can affect parental energy expenditure and fitness, adult sex ratios, and population dynamics. Parents may manipulate offspring sex ratios based on sex differences in potential reproductive success. In Lincoln’s Sparrows (Melospiza

  11. Spatial movements and social networks in juvenile male song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Templeton, Christopher N; Reed, Veronica A; Campbell, S Elizabeth; Beecher, Michael D

    2012-01-01

    The time between fledging and breeding is a critical period in songbird ontogeny, but the behavior of young songbirds in the wild is relatively unstudied. The types of social relationships juveniles form with other individuals can provide insight into the process through which they learn complex behaviors crucial for survival, territory establishment, and mate attraction. We used radio telemetry to observe social associations of young male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) from May to November. Juvenile song sparrows were frequently observed in social flocks and generally associated with more birds in the summer than in the autumn months. Most juvenile subjects formed stable social relationships with other birds and were seen with the same individual on up to 60% of the days observed. The strongest associations occurred with other juvenile males, and these individuals were often seen social relationships and suggest that these associations may be important for the ecology of young birds and the ontogeny of their behaviors.

  12. Immanuel Kant's Sparrow

    OpenAIRE

    Salwiczek, Lucie

    2004-01-01

    The adoption of foreign song elements occurs under natural conditions in various songbird species including the house sparrow Passer domesticus, even though it may go largely unnoticed by humans. House sparrows singing canary song have been known by hobbyists for a long time. My study is the first to analyse the imitative abilities of house sparrows in detail. I used an integrative approach considering features that are particularly important for the degree of vocal learning that can be d...

  13. The Great Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This introduction to the natural history of the Great Dismal Swamp is presented at a time when 50,000 acres of the Swamp are being converted from private holdings to...

  14. Southern deepwater swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    William H. Conner; Marilyn A. Buford

    1998-01-01

    The authors define, classify, and analyze the economic significance of southern deepwater swamps. They discuss the physical environment, vegetational communities, animal communities, management issues, and research needs for this complex resource.

  15. Dismal Swamp Wildlife

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Conceived and constructed by nature the Great Swamp is the most gigantic filtration plant ever built; and more. To protect the health of the wildlife, for which-...

  16. Dismal Swamp Staff Gages

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Well design - Dismal Swamp Shallow observation wells - these are the early wells put in during 1975, 1976. They are black ABS plastic, 2-inch diameter, open at the...

  17. Two Neural Measures Differ between Urban and Rural Song Sparrows after Conspecific Song Playback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra B. Sewall

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization is a critical form of environmental change that can affect the physiology and behavior of wild animals and, notably, birds. One behavioral difference between birds living in urban and rural habitats is that urban males show elevated boldness or territorial aggression in response to simulated social challenge. This pattern has been described in several populations of song sparrow, Melospiza melodia. Such behavioral differences must be underpinned by differences in the brain, yet little work has explored how urbanization and neural function may be interrelated. We explored the relationship between urbanization and neural activation within a network of brain regions, collectively called the social behavior network, which contributes to the regulation of territorial aggression. Specifically, we captured free-living, territorial male song sparrows by playing them conspecific songs for 6–11 min, and then collected their brains. We estimated recent neural activation, as indicated by the immediate early gene FOS, and measured levels of a neuropeptide, arginine vasotocin (AVT, which is involved in the regulation of social behavior. Based on previous studies we expected urban males, which are generally more territorially aggressive, to have lower FOS expression in a node of the social behavior network implicated in regulating territoriality, the lateral septum (LS. Additionally, we expected urban males to have lower AVT expression in a brain region involved in the regulation of sociality, the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm. We found that, compared to rural males, urban male song sparrows did have lower FOS expression in the LS. This pattern suggests that lower neural activation in the LS could contribute to behavioral adjustments to urbanization in male song sparrows. Additionally, counter to our predictions, urban male song sparrows had higher AVT-like immunoreactivity in the BSTm. Future work building upon these findings

  18. Swamp Works- Multiple Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carelli, Jonathan M.; Schuler, Jason M.; Chandler, Meredith L.

    2013-01-01

    My Surface Systems internship over the summer 2013 session covered a broad range of projects that utilized multiple fields of engineering and technology. This internship included a project to create a command center for a 120 ton regolith bin, for the design and assembly of a blast shield to add further protection for the Surface Systems engineers, for the design and assembly of a portable four monitor hyper wall strip that could extend as large as needed, research and programming a nano drill that could be utilized on a next generation robot or rover, and social media tasks including the making of videos, posting to social networking websites and creation of a new outreach program to help spread the word about the Swamp Works laboratory.

  19. Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    . 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...

  20. sparrow-weavers, PJocepasser mahali

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-01-27

    Jan 27, 1987 ... intercolony movements of white-browed sparrow weavers. Plocepasser mahali. Scopus 5: 61-65. CROOK, J.H. 1964. The evolution of social organisation and visual communication in the weaver birds. (Ploceinae). Behaviour Supplement 10: 1-178. EARLE, R.A. 1983. Aspects of the breeding biology of the.

  1. The fitness consequences of honesty: Under-signalers have a survival advantage in song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akçay, Çağlar; Campbell, S Elizabeth; Beecher, Michael D

    2015-12-01

    How honest or reliable signaling can evolve and be maintained has been a major question in evolutionary biology. The question is especially puzzling for a particular class of signals used in aggressive interactions: threat signals. Here, we report a study on song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in which we assayed males with playbacks on their territories to quantify their aggressiveness (flights and close proximity) and aggressive signaling levels (rates of soft song, a close-range signal reliably predicting attack) and asked whether these traits affect individuals' survival on territory. We found that the effect of aggressive signaling via soft song interacted with aggressive behaviors such that there was a negative correlational selection: among males with low aggression, those males that signaled at higher levels (over-signalers) had higher survival whereas among males with high aggression those that signaled at low levels (under-signalers) survived longer. In other words, males that deviate from reliable signaling have a survival advantage. These results, along with previous research that suggested most of the deviation from reliable signaling in this system is in the form of under-signaling (high-aggression males signaling at low levels) pose a puzzle for future research on how this reliable signaling system is maintained. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Remote Sensing of Wetland Types: Peat Swamps

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekman, D.H.

    2017-01-01

    Deposits of peat underneath peat swamp forests are among the world’s largest reservoirs of carbon. Although tropical peatlands occupy only about 0.3 % of the global land surface, they could contain as much as 20 % of the global soil carbon stock, representing 63–148 Gt of carbon.

    Peat swamp

  3. Concerning nest ecology of the house sparrow and tree sparrow in the central part of Ciscaucasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. V. Chursinova

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This article contemplates nest ecology of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus and the tree sparrow (Passer montanus living in the conditions of the central part of Ciscaucasia. In the publication we can see an observation of nest – building, clutch – sizing and the effectiveness of breeding of the birds of both species.

  4. Population Differences at MHC Do Not Explain Enhanced Resistance of Song Sparrows to Local Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slade, Joel W G; Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina; Gloor, Gregory B; Lachance, Marc-André; MacDougall-Shackleton, Elizabeth A

    2017-03-01

    Infectious disease represents an emerging threat to natural populations, particularly when hosts are more susceptible to novel parasites (allopatric) than to parasites from the local area (sympatric). This pattern could arise through evolutionary processes (host populations become adapted to their local parasites and genetically differentiated from other populations at immune-related loci) and/or through ecological interactions (host individuals develop resistance to local parasites through previous exposure). The relative importance of these candidate mechanisms remains unclear. In jawed vertebrates, genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a fundamental role in immunity and are compelling candidates for spatially varying selection. We recently showed that song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) are more susceptible to allopatric than to sympatric strains of malaria (Plasmodium). In the current study, to determine whether population differences at MHC explain this pattern, we characterized the peptide-binding regions of MHC (classes I and II) of birds that did or did not become infected in the previous experiment. We recovered up to 4 alleles per individual at class I, implying at least 2 loci, and up to 26 alleles per individual at class II, implying at least 13 loci. Individuals with more class I alleles were less likely to become infected by Plasmodium, consistent with parasite-mediated balancing selection. However, we found no evidence for population genetic differentiation at either class of MHC, based on 36 individuals sequenced. Resistance to sympatric parasites previously described for this system likely stems from individuals' prior immune experience, not from population differentiation and locally protective alleles at MHC. © The American Genetic Association 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. The Aquatic Coleoptera of the Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A brief review of the aquatic habitats and an annotated list of the aquatic Cleoptera of the Dismal Swamp is presented. Six families with a total of 53 species are...

  6. The Great Dismal Swamp A Brief Interpretation

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — All through man's experience with the Dismal swamp, People old as well as young, women as well as men have been drawn to it, repelled by it and completely fascinated...

  7. Phytomass Budgets for the Dismal Swamp Ecosystem

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp is a heterogeneous ecosystem as a result of various human disturbances. We studied the phytomass distribution in four community types in the...

  8. Kennedy Space Center: Swamp Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFilippo, Anthony Robert

    2013-01-01

    When I began my internship with the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations laboratory (GMRO), also known as Swamp Works, I was given the unique opportunity to shadow many teams working on various projects, and decide what projects I wanted to take part in. Before I go into details of my experiences at Swamp Works, I would like to take a moment to explain what I discovered Swamp Works to be. Swamp Works is a family of hardworking, dedicated, and driven people from various backgrounds and skill sets. These people all work to advance technologies and make science fiction science fact through means of rapid prototyping. They support and encourage failure as an option when learning new things, as long as lesson learned from said failure. In fact, their motto states "Fail, Fast, Forward." What this means is, not if but when one fails he or she must do so quickly and spring forward from the failure so that his or her progress is not delayed. With this acceptance, it provided me the confidence to dive into a multitude of projects working in various fields and with a wide range of skill sets. The first project I joined was Badger. My motivation for taking on this project was the opportunity I would have to obtain valuable experience working with 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies. Badger was a digging apparatus to be used in a highly dusty environment in a material known as Regolith. Regolith is a scientific term for the dirt or top soil found on planetary bodies. Regolith contains a large quantity of sediments less than lOppm and as a result poses a challenge of keeping it out of any cracks and crevices. Furthermore, regolith can create high levels of electrostatic energy, which can prove damaging to sensitive electrical hardware. With these characteristics in mind, I decided to take on the task of designing and manufacturing a dust proof cover for the sensitive electrical hardware. When I began this project, I did not have the slightest idea as to how to use 3D

  9. Developmental And Environmental History Of The Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Pollen analysis of several cores from the Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia have indicated that the swamp is a relatively young feature, having begun to develop...

  10. The role of Bahi swamp wetlands in enhancing household food ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted to assess the role of Bahi swamp resources in enhancing household food security and income of adjacent communities. Specifically, the study assessed the socioeconomic activities in the swamp with a potential contribution to local livelihoods, the contribution of the swamp in enhancing ...

  11. Hybrid speciation in sparrows II: a role for sex chromosomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgvin, Tore O; Hermansen, Jo S; Fijarczyk, Anna; Bonnet, Timothée; Borge, Thomas; Saether, Stein A; Voje, Kjetil L; Saetre, Glenn-Peter

    2011-09-01

    Homoploid hybrid speciation in animals is poorly understood, mainly because of the scarcity of well-documented cases. Here, we present the results of a multilocus sequence analysis on the house sparrow (Passer domesticus), Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) and their proposed hybrid descendant, the Italian sparrow (P. italiae). The Italian sparrow is shown to be genetically intermediate between the house sparrow and Spanish sparrow, exhibiting genealogical discordance and a mosaic pattern of alleles derived from either of the putative parental species. The average variation on the Z chromosome was significantly reduced compared with autosomal variation in the putative parental species, the house sparrow and Spanish sparrow. Additionally, divergence between the two species was elevated on the Z chromosome relative to the autosomes. This pattern of variation and divergence is consistent with reduced introgression of Z-linked genes and/or a faster-Z effect (increased rate of adaptive divergence on the Z). F(ST) -outlier tests were consistent with the faster-Z hypothesis: two of five Z-linked loci (CHD1Z and PLAA) were identified as candidates for being subject to positive, divergent selection in the putative parental species. Interestingly, the two latter genes showed a mosaic pattern in the (hybrid) Italian sparrow; that is, the Italian sparrow was found to be fixed for Spanish sparrow alleles at CHD1Z and to mainly have house sparrow alleles at PLAA. Preliminary evidence presented in this study thus suggests that sex chromosomes may play a significant role in this case of homoploid hybrid speciation. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Studies on mangrove swamps of Goa 1. Heterotrophic bacterial flora from mangrove swamps

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Matondkar, S.G.P.; Mathani, S.; Mavinkurve, S.

    Heterotrophic bacterial flora from the mangrove swamps of Goa consisted of physiologically active organisms exhibiting cellulolytic, pectinolytic, amylolytic, proteolytic and H2S forming activities, throughout the year. Coryneform and Bacillus were...

  13. Cotton rats and house sparrows as hosts for North and South American strains of eastern equine encephalitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Nicole C; Adams, A Paige; Watts, Douglas M; Newman, Patrick C; Weaver, Scott C

    2010-09-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV; family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus) is an arbovirus that causes severe disease in humans in North America and in equids throughout the Americas. The enzootic transmission cycle of EEEV in North America involves passerine birds and the ornithophilic mosquito vector, Culiseta melanura, in freshwater swamp habitats. However, the ecology of EEEV in South America is not well understood. Culex (Melanoconion) spp. mosquitoes are considered the principal vectors in Central and South America; however, a primary vertebrate host for EEEV in South America has not yet been identified. Therefore, to further assess the reservoir host potential of wild rodents and wild birds, we compared the infection dynamics of North American and South American EEEV in cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Our findings suggested that each species has the potential to serve as amplification hosts for North and South America EEEVs.

  14. Developmental programming of the HPA and HPG axes by early-life stress in male and female song sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Kim L; Macdougall-Shackleton, Elizabeth A; Soma, Kiran K; Macdougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2014-01-15

    Variation in early environmental conditions can have long-term effects on physiology and behavior, a process referred to as developmental programming. In particular, exposure to early-life stressors can have long-term effects on regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axes. Although these effects have been well documented in mammals, less is known about how early-life stress affects regulation of these endocrine systems in non-mammalian species. In the current study, we determined the long-term effects of early-life food restriction or corticosterone (CORT) treatment on the HPA axis of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), including the responses to restraint stress, dexamethasone challenge, and ACTH challenge. In addition, we assessed long-term effects on the HPG axis by measuring sex steroid levels (testosterone in males and 17β-estradiol in females) before and after a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) challenge. Subjects treated with CORT during development had larger increases in CORT in response to ACTH challenge than food-restricted or control subjects. Neither treatment affected the responses of CORT to restraint or dexamethasone. CORT-treated males also had higher initial testosterone levels, but neither treatment affected testosterone levels post-GnRH. Lastly, although GnRH challenge failed to increase circulating estradiol levels in females, females exposed to food restriction or CORT treatment had lower estradiol levels than control females. These results show that exposure to stress can developmentally program the endocrine system of songbirds and illustrate the importance of considering developmental conditions when determining the factors responsible for inter-individual variation in endocrine regulation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Toxicity of 5% rotenone to nonindigenous Asian swamp eels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, P.J.; Nico, L.G.

    2007-01-01

    Our primary goal was to determine whether rotenone would be a useful control against introduced populations of Asian swamp eels (family Synbranchidae, genus Monopterus). We report the results of a laboratory experiment comparing the efficacy of various rotenone concentrations (1, 2, 4, and 8 mg of 5% liquid rotenone/L of water) in killing nonindigenous swamp eels of various sizes (1-350 g) from the three known Florida populations. Although most small swamp eels were killed at concentrations of 2 and 4 mg/L. 100% mortality of adult swamp eels was achieved only at 8 mg/L. We conclude that the effective use of rotenone to control established Florida swamp eel populations would be difficult, based on the relatively high concentration of rotenone needed to kill swamp eels; the complexity of the swamp eel's habitat; and our observations of the species' habitat use and behavior, including its widespread distribution and life history characteristics (e.g., burrowing and overland movement) that enhance its invasion and survival in multiple environments. Nevertheless, control of swamp eels may be achieved in certain situations. A combination of rotenone and electroshocking may be an effective way to eradicate swamp eels from small water bodies and to control populations in larger habitats. However, we are cautious in this recommendation and provide details related to the technical aspects of this type of strategy and caveats related to the toxicity of the chemical.

  17. Marsh and Water Management Plan Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Many people perceive swamps as having standing water year-round. However, this is not the case in the Dismal Swamp, and, in fact, most swamp vegetation could not...

  18. 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.

  19. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Swamps, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_swamp_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) swamps data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which characterizes...

  20. Mercury levels in saltmarsh sparrows on Region 5 refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This poster summarizes a study that was done to analyze mercury levels in blood from saltmarsh sparrows in Region 5 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. Analysis of Technical Efficiency among Swamp Rice Farmers in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study was conducted to evaluate the Technical efficiency among swamp rice farmers in Niger State, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 159 swamp rice farmers. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, and the stochastic frontier production function. The results showed ...

  2. Swamp Rice Production in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In conclusion, efficiency and output in swamp rice production in the area can be increased by reducing the amount of labour used but increasing the quantity of seeds planted and adopting improved technologies such as improved seeds, agrochemicals, and fertilizer. Keywords: Agrochemical; fertilizers; swamp ric

  3. Microhabitat Characteristics of sites used by swamp rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrick A. Zollner; Winston P. Smith; Leonard A. Brennan

    2000-01-01

    The swamp rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus) is one of the least studied North American lagomorphs; a better understanding of the habitat types it uses will improve management of this species. We studied microhabitat characteristics of sites associated with specific behaviors of the swamp rabbit. During spring-summer (15 April-1 October) and fall-winter (...

  4. Economic analysis of swamp rice production in Ebonyi Southern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of the paper is to analyze the determinants and profitability of the output of swamp rice farmers in Ebonyi southern Agricultural zone of Ebonyi State. Primary data were obtained through the use of structured questionnaires. A total of eighty (80) swamp rice farmers were randomly selected from the different blocks ...

  5. 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.

  6. Single origin of human commensalism in the house sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Riyahi, S; Aliabadian, M; Hermansen, J S; Hogner, S; Olsson, U; Gonzalez Rojas, M F; Sæther, S A; Trier, C N; Elgvin, T O

    2012-04-01

    The current, virtually worldwide distribution of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a result of its commensal relationship with humans. It has been suggested that long before the advent of agriculture, an early glacial advance resulted in two disjunct ranges of ancestral house sparrows - one in the Middle East and another on the Indian subcontinent. Differentiation during this period of isolation resulted in two major groups of subspecies: the domesticus group and the indicus group. According to this hypothesis, commensalism with humans would have evolved independently in the two regions and at least twice. An alternative hypothesis is that morphological differences between the subspecies represent very recent differentiation, following expansions from a single source. To test between these hypotheses, we analysed genetic variation at the mitochondrial DNA control region and at three nuclear loci from several house sparrow populations in Europe, Asia and North Africa. No differentiation between the indicus and domesticus groups was found, supporting the single origin hypothesis. One of the subspecies in the indicus group, P. d. bactrianus, differs ecologically from other house sparrows in being migratory and in preferentially breeding in natural habitat. We suggest that bactrianus represents a relict population of the ancestral, noncommensal house sparrow. When agricultural societies developed in the Middle East about 10 000 years ago, a local house sparrow population of the bactrianus type adapted to the novel environment and eventually became a sedentary, human commensal. As agriculture and human civilizations expanded, house sparrows experienced a correlated and massive expansion in range and numbers. The pattern of genetic variation analysed here is consistent with this scenario. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. The scientific value and potential of New Zealand swamp kauri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorrey, Andrew M.; Boswijk, Gretel; Hogg, Alan; Palmer, Jonathan G.; Turney, Christian S. M.; Fowler, Anthony M.; Ogden, John; Woolley, John-Mark

    2018-03-01

    New Zealand swamp kauri (Agathis australis) are relic trees that have been buried and preserved in anoxic bog environments of northern New Zealand for centuries through to hundreds of millennia. Kauri are massive in proportion to other native New Zealand trees and they can attain ages greater than 1000 years. The export market for swamp (subfossil) kauri has recently been driven by demand for a high-value workable timber, but there are concerns about the sustainability of the remaining resource, a situation exacerbated in recent years by the rapid extraction of wood. Economic exploitation of swamp kauri presents several unique opportunities for Quaternary science, however the scientific value of this wood is not well understood by the wider research community and public. Here, we summarise the history of scientific research on swamp kauri, and explore the considerable potential of this unique resource. Swamp kauri tree-ring chronologies are temporally unique, and secondary analyses (such as radiocarbon and isotopic analyses) have value for improving our understanding of Earth's recent geologic history and pre-instrumental climate history. Swamp kauri deposits that span the last interglacial-glacial cycle show potential to yield "ultra-long" multi-millennia tree-ring chronologies, and composite records spanning large parts of MIS3 (and most of the Holocene) may be possible. High-precision radiocarbon dating of swamp kauri chronologies can improve the resolution of the global radiocarbon calibration curve, while testing age modelling and chronologic alignment of other independent long-term high-resolution proxy records. Swamp kauri also has the potential to facilitate absolute dating and verification of cosmogenic events found in long Northern Hemisphere tree-ring chronologies. Future efforts to conserve these identified values requires scientists to work closely with swamp kauri industry operators, resource consent authorities, and export regulators to mitigate

  8. Alameda Song Sparrow Abundance Related to Salt Marsh Vegetation Patch Size and Shape Metrics Quantified from Remote Sensing Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevan B. Moffett

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Kevan B. Moffett, Jaslyn Law, Steven M. Gorelick, Nadav Nur, and Julian K. Wooddoi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15547/sfews.2014v12iss3art2Understanding the characteristics of high-quality avian habitat is critical for guiding salt marsh management and restoration. Existing insights into salt marsh avian habitat are often based on the composition of marsh vegetation, e.g., individual plant species cover. This study investigated whether the spatial configuration of marsh surface cover (e.g., patch number, density, size, shape complexity and compactness, degree of dissection of the landscape, variation and repetition of cover type, and the variance within these metrics is a useful, additional indicator of avian habitat quality for the Alameda Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia pusillula, a non-migratory California Species of Special Concern endemic to southern San Francisco Bay. M. m. pusillula density during the breeding seasons of 2002 through 2005 was estimated at 82 observation points in 10 marsh sites within the bird’s geographic range. The mean bird density index (overall mean: 5.61 birds detected per hectare of marsh was not significantly different among marshes of different ages. We mapped the vegetation zones, open water, and upland areas within each marsh site using high resolution aerial photographs and automated classification analysis. We quantified the configuration of surface cover around each bird observation point by 31 metrics. Bird density index was best modeled by a multiple linear regression containing positive relationships with the metrics Mean Core Area Index and Patch Core Area Coefficient of Variation (R2 = 0.210, p < 0.0001. Qualitatively, this model suggested that M. m. pusillula abundance during the breeding season was greatest in marsh areas with compact patches that spanned a variety of patch sizes from moderate-to-large, uninterrupted by other cover. We conclude that configuration-based vegetation pattern analysis could

  9. The fungal flora of the mangrove swamps of Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Matondkar, S.G.P.; Mahtani, S.; Mavinkurve, S.

    Mangrove swamps of Goa (India) showed the presence of fungi belonging to 14 different genera, predominant ones being Monilia, Mucor, Syncephalastrum, Aspergillus and Trichothecium. Most of the isolates were found to be physiologically active...

  10. The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Contaminants Monitoring Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Alternatives for an environmental contaminants monitoring plan have been developed for the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). This study...

  11. Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge : Hunting Plan and Controversy.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This collections covers Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge's hunting plan and memos (specifically Mike Espy) between the refuge on the local community. The local...

  12. Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) was written to guide management on Bond Swamp NWR for the next 15 years. This plan outlines the Refuge vision and purpose...

  13. Forest Management Plan Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of the timber management program at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are: 1) protecting and preserving the unique and outstanding ecosystem...

  14. Hydrology Study at Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study evaluates the effects of changing land use on the water environment of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Past, present and future land use maps...

  15. Ecotone Dynamics And Boundary Determination In The Great Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Data on hydrogeology, soils, and vegetation collected on four transects across the 48-km wetland-to-upland transition zone of the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia/...

  16. The Natural And Cultural History Of The Great Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp is a forested wetland located on the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain in Southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Estimates of the...

  17. Spiders of the Great Dismal Swamp: Lake Drummond 1977

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report outlines the results of a study of spiders that was conducted along the shores of Lake Drummond, in the Great Dismal Swamp. The purpose of the study was...

  18. Field Research on the Great Dismal Swamp Shrew 1988

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a progress report outlining the results of a study done on the evaluation of the distribution of the Dismal Swamp southeastern shrew in the refuge and areas...

  19. Animal Control Plan Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1974

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Waterfowl production objectives for the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are to create habitat supporting the production of 16,000 ducks and 500 geese annually....

  20. Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Public Use Development Plan - 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This plan for Panther Swamp NWR involves setting station public use goals, project a positive attitude, welcome and orient visitors, develop key resources awareness,...

  1. Late Pleistocene and Holocene History at Mubwindi Swamp, Southwest Uganda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchant, Robert; Taylor, David; Hamilton, Alan

    1997-05-01

    Deposits beneath Mubwindi Swamp provide a partial record of vegetation history since at least 43,000 yr ago. We studied pollen from two cores and obtained nine radiocarbon ages from one of these cores and three radiocarbon ages from the other. Pollen deposited before and soon after the last glacial maximum represents vegetation very different from the modern vegetation of the Mubwindi Swamp catchment. Although species now associated with higher altitudes were dominant some elements of moist lower montane forest persisted, possibly because of favorable soils or topography. The pollen data provides evidence for a late glacial montane forest refuge near Mubwindi Swamp. Moist lower montane forest became much more widespread soon after the glacial maximum. The only irrefutably Holocene sediments from Mubwindi Swamp date to the past 2500 yr. During this time a combination of climatic and human-induced changes in vegetation can be seen in the pollen records.

  2. Narrative Report : Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuges : January - December 1971

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1971 calendar year. The report begins by summarizing...

  3. Great Swamp Wilderness Character Monitoring Back-end Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is the back-end data file for the Great Swamp Wilderness Character Monitoring Application. User interface and lookup databases are required for use (see...

  4. Safety Plan Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Suffolk, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Safety Plan discusses policies for the safety of the station employees, volunteers, and public. This plan seeks to...

  5. Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Management Study Transmittal

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study will investigate temporal and spatial variations in the concentrations of methane, nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons, and sulfur compounds in the Dismal Swamp....

  6. Mammals Of The Dismal Swamp: A Historical Account

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — For the first time, individual species of mammals of the Dismal Swamp area were considered in detail when K. A. Wilson studied the role of mink, otter, and raccoon...

  7. Annual Narrative 1967 Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1967 calendar year. The report begins by summarizing...

  8. Whom do the sparrows follow? The effect of kinship on social preference in house sparrow flocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tóth, Zoltán; Bókony, Veronika; Lendvai, Adám Z; Szabó, Krisztián; Pénzes, Zsolt; Liker, András

    2009-10-01

    Non-aggressive social interactions between group-mates, e.g. maintenance of spatial proximity or activity synchrony are basic elements of a species' social structure, and were found to be associated with important fitness consequences in group-living animals. In the establishment of such affiliative relationships, kinship has often been identified as one of the key predictors, but this has rarely been studied in simple social groups such as flocks of gregarious birds. In this study we investigated whether kinship affects social preference, as measured by the tendency to associate with others during various social activities, in captive house sparrow (Passer domesticus) flocks where birds could interact with differently related flock-mates. We found that preference between flock-mates was correlated with familiarity from early nestling period: same-brood siblings followed their sib initiating new activities more often than non-sib birds. The strength of association between birds also tended to correlate with genetic relatedness, but this was mainly due to the effect of siblings' affiliation. Thus we concluded that house sparrows prefer the company of their siblings during social activities even well after fledging, which may facilitate kin-biased behaviours.

  9. Phosphate relationships in acid-sulphate soils of Mbiabet swamp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Treatments consisted of potassium dihydrogen phosphate added to the swamp mud, cat-clay, and mud-clay in equal doses of 122 kg/ha P205, fitted into Latin square of 36 x 5 m swamp, except for the control plots. Limestone (CaC03) was applied to both fertilized and unfertilized plots at the rate of 50 kg/ha to reduce

  10. Regeneration potential of Taxodium distichum swamps and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, B.A.

    2009-01-01

    Seed bank densities respond to factors across local to landscape scales, and therefore, knowledge of these responses may be necessary in forecasting the effects of climate change on the regeneration of species. This study relates the seed bank densities of species of Taxodium distichum swamps to local water regime and regional climate factors at five latitudes across the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley from southern Illinois to Louisiana. In an outdoor nursery setting, the seed banks of twenty-five swamps were exposed to non-flooded (freely drained) or flooded treatments, and the number and species of seeds germinating were recorded from each swamp during one growing season. Based on ANOVA analysis, the majority of dominant species had a higher rate of germination in non-flooded versus flooded treatments. Similarly, an NMS comparison, which considered the local water regime and regional climate of the swamps, found that the species of seeds germinating, almost completely shifted under non-flooded versus flooded treatments. For example, in wetter northern swamps, seeds of Taxodium distichum germinated in non-flooded conditions, but did not germinate from the same seed banks in flooded conditions. In wetter southern swamps, seeds of Eleocharis cellulosa germinated in flooded conditions, but did not germinate in non-flooded conditions. The strong relationship of seed germination and density relationships with local water regime and regional climate variables suggests that the forecasting of climate change effects on swamps and other wetlands needs to consider a variety of interrelated variables to make adequate projections of the regeneration responses of species to climate change. Because regeneration is an important aspect of species maintenance and restoration, climate drying could influence the species distribution of these swamps in the future. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  11. 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). In an Alp......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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolros, Antonin; Huml, Ondrej; Kríz, Martin; Kos, Josef

    2010-01-01

    The VR-1 sparrow reactor is an experimental nuclear facility for training, student education and teaching purposes. The sparrow reactor is an educational platform for the basic experiments at the reactor physic and dosimetry. The aim of this article is to describe the new experimental equipment EMK310 features and possibilities for neutron detection by different gas filled detectors at VR-1 reactor. Among the EMK310 equipment typical attributes belong precise set-up, simple control, resistance to electromagnetic interference, high throughput (counting rate), versatility and remote controllability. The methods for non-linearity correction of pulse neutron detection system and reactimeter application are presented. Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Somali Sparrow Passer castanopteus, discovered by John Hanning Speke on the. Somaliland Plateau back in 1855, is a common and widespread species throughout much of the Horn of Africa, and comprises two widely disjunct populations. The nominate form occurs in northern Somalia, where it is a common and ...

  14. Metal accumulation in House Sparrow ( Passer domesticus ) from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies on metal pollution (cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese and nickel) in South African terrestrial environments are severely lacking. Due to being relatively unaffected by industrialisation, the Thohoyandou region may provide data on natural levels of metals for use as baseline data. The House Sparrow ...

  15. Benefits of Riverine Water Discharge into the Lorian Swamp, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zipporah Musyimi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Use and retention of river water in African highlands deprive communities in arid lowlands of their benefits. This paper reviews information on water use in the Ewaso Ng’iro catchment, Kenya, to evaluate the effects of upstream abstraction on the Lorian Swamp, a wetland used by pastoralists downstream. We first assess the abstractions and demands for water upstream and the river water supplies at the upper and the lower end of the Lorian Swamp. Further analysis of 12 years of monthly SPOT-VEGETATION satellite imagery reveals higher NDVI (Normalized Differential Vegetation Index values in the swamp than nearby rainfed areas, with the difference in NDVI between the two positively related to river water discharged into the swamp. The paper next reviews the benefits derived from water entering the swamp and the vulnerability to abstractions for three categories of water: (i the surface water used for drinking and sanitation; (ii the surface water that supports forage production; and (iii the water that recharges the Merti Aquifer. Our results suggest that benefits from surface water for domestic use and forage production are vulnerable to abstractions upstream whereas the benefits from the aquifer, with significant fossil water, are likely to be affected in the long run, but not the short term.

  16. Status Survey for the Dismal Swamp- Green Stink Bug (Chlorochroa dismalia) in Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Dismal Swamp green stink bug (Chlorochroa dismalia), also known as the Dismal Swamp chlorochroan bug, is one of 52 members of the Family Pentatomidae (Order...

  17. Penaeid prawn population and fry resource in a mangrove swamp of Goa, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Achuthankutty, C.T.; Nair, S.R.S.

    Penaeid prawns abundantly occur in the mangrove swamp during the premonsoon season. They are constituted by the commercial species, Penaeus merguiensis, Metapenaeus dobsoni and M. monoceros. Recruitment of the swamp takes place when the individuals...

  18. COMPLEX STUDY OF THE LACUSTRIAN ECOSYSTEMS OF MOHOŞ SWAMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Constantin DIACONU

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Mohoş Swamp is an oligotroph swamp, formed in a volcanic crater on the site of a former lake, which permanently changes. Using a series of modern methods such as ultrasound bathymetry, we want to set up a reference base so that in the future one can be able to determine the rhythm and direction of the development of this complex ecosystem, both in terms of morph metrics and chemical hydrology parameters point of view. Bathymetry and geomorfological study represents the most important stage because it makes it possible to establish the concrete characteristics of the investigated lakes as well as their placement.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  20. Characteristics of mangrove swamps managed for mosquito control in eastern Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, B.; Devlin, D.; Proffitt, E.; McKee, K.; Cretini, K.F.

    2008-01-01

    Manipulations of the vegetation and hydrology of wetlands for mosquito control are common worldwide, but these modifications may affect vital ecosystem processes. To control mosquitoes in mangrove swamps in eastern Florida, managers have used rotational impoundment management (RIM) as an alternative to the worldwide practice of mosquito ditching. Levees surround RIM swamps, and water is pumped into the impoundment during the summer, a season when natural swamps have low water levels. In the New World, these mosquito-managed swamps resemble the mixed basin type of mangrove swamp (based on PCA analysis). An assessment was made of RIM, natural (control), and breached-RIM (restored) swamps in eastern Florida to compare their structural complexities, soil development, and resistance to invasion. Regarding structural complexity, dominant species composition differed between these swamps; the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle occurred at a higher relative density in RIM and breached-RIM swamps, and the black mangrove Avicennia germinans had a higher relative density in natural swamps. Tree density and canopy cover were higher and tree height lower in RIM swamps than in natural and breached-RIM swamps. Soil organic matter in RIM swamps was twice that in natural or breached-RIM swamps. RIM swamps had a lower resistance to invasion by the Brazilian pepper tree Schinus terebinthifolius, which is likely attributable to the lower porewater salinity in RIM swamps. These characteristics may reflect differences in important ecosystem processes (primary production, trophic structure, nutrient cycling, decomposition). Comparative assessments of managed wetlands are vital for land managers, so that they can make informed decisions compatible with conservation objectives. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  1. Methylmercury availability in New England estuaries as indicated by saltmarsh Sharp-tailed sparrow, 2004-2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — As part of an ongoing investigation of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus) in the Northeast, we conducted a sparrow mercury (Hg) exposure survey...

  2. The White Cedar of the Dismal Swamp 1923

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a report that discusses the various uses, yields and properties of the White Cedar in the Great Dismal Swamp area in the early 1920s. It also discusses the...

  3. Invertebrate Encrustations On The Mangrove Swamp Oyster And ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The mangrove swamp oyster Crassostrea tulipa demonstrates a symbiotic relationship with the barnacle. Balnus sp and other encrusting invertebrates. It is inferred that the latter militate against predatory drilling on the oyster by Thais califera as well as prevent algal infestation and the consequent bioerosion by herbivorous ...

  4. Swamp Rice Production in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    All the variable inputs were inefficiently utilized and about 85% of the variations in rice output could be explained by factors included in the regression model. In conclusion, efficiency and output in swamp rice production in the area can be increased by reducing the amount of labour used but increasing the quantity of seeds ...

  5. Distribution of periphytic algae in wetlands (Palm swamps, Cerrado), Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunck, B; Nogueira, I S; Felisberto, S A

    2013-05-01

    The distribution of periphytic algae communities depends on various factors such as type of substrate, level of disturbance, nutrient availability and light. According to the prediction that impacts of anthropogenic activity provide changes in environmental characteristics, making impacted Palm swamps related to environmental changes such as deforestation and higher loads of nutrients via allochthonous, the hypothesis tested was: impacted Palm swamps have higher richness, density, biomass and biovolume of epiphytic algae. We evaluated the distribution and structure of epiphytic algae communities in 23 Palm swamps of Goiás State under different environmental impacts. The community structure attributes here analyzed were composition, richness, density, biomass and biovolume. This study revealed the importance of the environment on the distribution and structuration of algal communities, relating the higher values of richness, biomass and biovolume with impacted environments. Acidic waters and high concentration of silica were important factors in this study. Altogether 200 taxa were identified, and the zygnemaphycea was the group most representative in richness and biovolume, whereas the diatoms, in density of studied epiphyton. Impacted Palm swamps in agricultural area presented two indicator species, Gomphonema lagenula Kützing and Oedogonium sp, both related to mesotrophic to eutrophic conditions for total nitrogen concentrations of these environments.

  6. Aluminum and iron contents in phosphate treated swamp rice farm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In 2006 aluminum and iron contents were determined in phosphate treated swamp rice farm of Mbiabet, Akwa Ibom State. The objectives were to determine the aluminum and iron contents, the effect of drying, phosphate and lime application in an acid sulphate soil grown to rice in Nigeria. The soil samples used were ...

  7. Swamp tours in Louisiana post Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn J. Schaffer; Craig A. Miller

    2007-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in southern Louisiana during August and September 2005. Prior to these storms, swamp tours were a growing sector of nature-based tourism that entertained visitors while teaching about local flora, fauna, and culture. This study determined post-hurricane operating status of tours, damage sustained, and repairs made. Differences...

  8. Production Efficiency of Swamp Rice Production in Cross River ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    397.00k with N9.80K made on every naira invested in improved variety of swamp rice produced in the study area. Rice farming business is a profitable business, with attractive net return on investment. Therefore, unemployed youths in Cross River ...

  9. Surveillance for microbes and range expansion in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B; Coon, Courtney A C; Liebl, Andrea L; Schrey, Aaron W

    2014-01-07

    Interactions between hosts and parasites influence the success of host introductions and range expansions post-introduction. However, the physiological mechanisms mediating these outcomes are little known. In some vertebrates, variation in the regulation of inflammation has been implicated, perhaps because inflammation imparts excessive costs, including high resource demands and collateral damage upon encounter with novel parasites. Here, we tested the hypothesis that variation in the regulation of inflammation contributed to the spread of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across Kenya, one of the world's most recent invasions of this species. Specifically, we asked whether inflammatory gene expression declines with population age (i.e. distance from Mombasa (dfM), the site of introduction around 1950). We compared expression of two microbe surveillance molecules (Toll-like receptors, TLRs-2 and 4) and a proinflammatory cytokine (interleukin-6, IL-6) before and after an injection of an immunogenic component of Gram-negative bacteria (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) among six sparrow populations. We then used a best-subset model selection approach to determine whether population age (dfM) or other factors (e.g. malaria or coccidian infection, sparrow density or genetic group membership) best-explained gene expression. For baseline expression of TLR-2 and TLR-4, population age tended to be the best predictor with expression decreasing with population age, although other factors were also important. Induced expression of TLRs was affected by LPS treatment alone. For induced IL-6, only LPS treatment reliably predicted expression; baseline expression was not explained by any factor. These data suggest that changes in microbe surveillance, more so than downstream control of inflammation via cytokines, might have been important to the house sparrow invasion of Kenya.

  10. Adenosine deaminase polymorphism in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, S R; Parkin, D T

    1986-01-01

    A polymorphism at the adenosine deaminase locus of the house sparrow, Passer domesticus, has been investigated by starch gel electrophoresis. Five alleles have been identified, and most populations seem to be close to the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The allele frequencies differ strikingly across Europe, and in Britian there are significant differences between urban and rural populations. Samples from introduced populations in Australia and New Zealand lack some of the rarer alleles, as predicted from the Founder Effect.

  11. Food supplementation affects extrapair paternity in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    OpenAIRE

    Radovan Va´clav; Herbert Hoi; Donald Blomqvist

    2003-01-01

    Extrapair paternity (EPP) is common among birds, but the reasons why it varies within and among species are less clear. In particular, few studies have experimentally examined how food availability influences paternity and sexual behavior. We manipulated food supply in a nest-box population of house sparrows, Passer domesticus, a colonial passerine with extensive biparental care. During three successive breeding attempts, we changed food availability at nest sites and examined behavior and ge...

  12. Surveillance for microbes and range expansion in house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B.; Coon, Courtney A. C.; Liebl, Andrea L.; Schrey, Aaron W.

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between hosts and parasites influence the success of host introductions and range expansions post-introduction. However, the physiological mechanisms mediating these outcomes are little known. In some vertebrates, variation in the regulation of inflammation has been implicated, perhaps because inflammation imparts excessive costs, including high resource demands and collateral damage upon encounter with novel parasites. Here, we tested the hypothesis that variation in the regulation of inflammation contributed to the spread of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across Kenya, one of the world's most recent invasions of this species. Specifically, we asked whether inflammatory gene expression declines with population age (i.e. distance from Mombasa (dfM), the site of introduction around 1950). We compared expression of two microbe surveillance molecules (Toll-like receptors, TLRs-2 and 4) and a proinflammatory cytokine (interleukin-6, IL-6) before and after an injection of an immunogenic component of Gram-negative bacteria (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) among six sparrow populations. We then used a best-subset model selection approach to determine whether population age (dfM) or other factors (e.g. malaria or coccidian infection, sparrow density or genetic group membership) best-explained gene expression. For baseline expression of TLR-2 and TLR-4, population age tended to be the best predictor with expression decreasing with population age, although other factors were also important. Induced expression of TLRs was affected by LPS treatment alone. For induced IL-6, only LPS treatment reliably predicted expression; baseline expression was not explained by any factor. These data suggest that changes in microbe surveillance, more so than downstream control of inflammation via cytokines, might have been important to the house sparrow invasion of Kenya. PMID:24258722

  13. Genetic relatedness in wintering groups of house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liker, A; Bókony, V; Kulcsár, A; Tóth, Z; Szabó, K; Kaholek, B; Pénzes, Z

    2009-11-01

    Social behaviour of group-living animals is often influenced by the relatedness of individuals, thus understanding the genetic structure of groups is important for the interpretation of costs and benefits of social interactions. In this study, we investigated genetic relatedness in feeding aggregations of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) during the nonbreeding season. This species is a frequent model system for studies of social behaviour (e.g. aggression, social foraging), but we lack adequate information on the kin structure of sparrow flocks. During two winters, we ringed and observed sparrows at feeding stations, and used resightings to identify stable flock-members and to calculate association indices between birds. We genotyped the birds using seven highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, and estimated pairwise relatedness coefficients and relatedness categories (close kin vs. unrelated) by maximum likelihood method. We found that most birds were unrelated to each other in the flocks (mean +/- SE relatedness coefficient: 0.06 +/- 0.002), although most individuals had at least a few close relatives in their home flock (14.3 +/- 0.6% of flock-mates). Pairwise association between individuals was not significantly related to their genetic relatedness. Furthermore, there was no difference between within-flock vs. between-flock relatedness, and birds had similar proportions of close kin within and outside their home flock. Finally, relatedness among members of different flocks was unrelated to the distance between their flocks. Thus, sparrow flocks were not characterized by association of relatives, nevertheless the presence of some close kin may provide opportunity for kin-biased behaviours to evolve.

  14. Serological Evaluation for Supporting the Potential Role of House Sparrows in LPAIV (H9N2) Transmission

    OpenAIRE

    M.M. Hadipour; A. Vosoughi; M. Fakhrabadipour; F. Azad; I. Khademi

    2011-01-01

    House sparrows (Passer domesticus) are abundant and widespread species of birds within the order Passeriformes and may contribute to AIV transmission and maintenance in nature. This study was carried out to find the role of house sparrows in the spread of low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses as carrier birds. For this reason seroprevalence survey was carried out in two-hundred house sparrows, using the hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) test. The studied sparrows did not show any clinical ...

  15. Phenotypic divergence despite low genetic differentiation in house sparrow populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Cohen, Shachar; Dor, Roi

    2018-01-10

    Studying patterns of phenotypic variation among populations can shed light on the drivers of evolutionary processes. The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of the world's most ubiquitous bird species, as well as a successful invader. We investigated phenotypic variation in house sparrow populations across a climatic gradient and in relation to a possible scenario of an invasion. We measured variation in morphological, coloration, and behavioral traits (exploratory behavior and neophobia) and compared it to the neutral genetic variation. We found that sparrows were larger and darker in northern latitudes, in accordance with Bergmann's and Gloger's biogeographic rules. Morphology and behavior mostly differed between the southernmost populations and the other regions, supporting the possibility of an invasion. Genetic differentiation was low and diversity levels were similar across populations, indicating high gene flow. Nevertheless, the southernmost and northern populations differed genetically to some extent. Furthermore, genetic differentiation (F ST) was lower in comparison to phenotypic variation (P ST), indicating that the phenotypic variation is shaped by directional selection or by phenotypic plasticity. This study expands our knowledge on evolutionary mechanisms and biological invasions.

  16. Uropygial gland and bib colouration in the house sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregorio Moreno-Rueda

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Birds frequently signal different qualities by plumage colouration, mainly during mating. However, plumage colouration is determined during the moult, and therefore it would indicate the quality of individual birds during the moult, not its current quality. Recent studies, however, suggest that birds could modify plumage colouration by using cosmetic preen oil produced by the uropygial gland. In this study, I show that bib colouration is related to uropygial gland size and body condition in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus. Moreover, I conducted an experiment in which a group of sparrows were inoculated with an antigen, mimicking an illness. In control birds, short-term changes in bib colouration were related to both body condition and change in uropygial gland size. Therefore, birds that reduced uropygial gland size showed a greater colouration change. However, bib colouration did not change with the change in uropygial gland size in experimental birds inoculated with the antigen. Given that the experiment did not affect preen oil production or consumption, this finding tentatively suggests that the immune challenge provoked a change in the composition of preen oil, affecting its cosmetic properties. In short, the results of this study suggest that (1 male house sparrows produce cosmetic preen oil that alters the colouration of their bibs; (2 the more change in uropygial gland size, the more change in bib colouration; and (3 in this way, bib colouration has the potential to signal current health status, since less healthy birds showed less capacity to change bib colouration.

  17. 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

  18. Obtaining and Storing House Sparrow Eggs in Quantity for Nest-Predation Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Thomas J. Maier

    2001-01-01

    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) eggs are useful in artificial nest experiments because they are approximately the same size and shell thickness as those of many forest passerines. House Sparrow eggs can be readily collected in quantity by providing nest boxes in active livestock barns. We collected over 1200 eggs in three years (320-567 per year)...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ait Belkacem, Abdelkrim; Gast, Oliver; Stuckas, Heiko; Canal, David; LoValvo, Mario; Giacalone, Gabriele; Päckert, Martin

    2016-08-01

    A stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) is known as Passer italiae from the Italian Peninsula and a few Mediterranean islands. The growing attention for the Italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from North Africa. Our study provides new data on the breeding biology and variation of mitochondrial DNA in three Algerian populations of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, and phenotypical hybrids. In two field seasons, the two species occupied different breeding habitats: Spanish sparrows were only found in rural areas outside the cities and bred in open-cup nests built in large jujube bushes. In contrast, house sparrows bred only in the town centers and occupied nesting holes in walls of buildings. Phenotypical hybrids were always associated with house sparrow populations. House sparrows and phenotypical hybrids started breeding mid of March, and most pairs had three successive clutches, whereas Spanish sparrows started breeding almost one month later and had only two successive clutches. Mitochondrial introgression is strongly asymmetric because about 75% of the rural Spanish sparrow population carried house sparrow haplotypes. In contrast, populations of the Italian hybrid form, P. italiae, were genetically least diverse among all study populations and showed a near-fixation of house sparrow haplotypes that elsewhere were extremely rare or that were even unique for the Italian Peninsula. Such differences between mitochondrial gene pools of Italian and North African hybrid sparrow populations provide first evidence that different demographic histories have shaped the extant genetic diversity observed on both continents.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lieze Oscar Rouffaer

    Full Text Available 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: <1.3% of a reservoir in healthy 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. 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.

  2. The exploitation of swamp plants for dewatering liquid sewage sludge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Šálek

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The operators of little rural wastewater treatment plants have been interested in economic exploitation of sewage sludge in local conditions. The chance is searching simply and natural ways of processing and exploitation stabilized sewage sludge in agriculture. Manure substrate have been obtained by composting waterless sewage sludge including rest plant biomass after closing 6–8 years period of filling liquid sewage sludge to the basin. Main attention was focused on exploitation of swamp plants for dewatering liquid sewage sludge and determination of influence sewage sludge on plants, intensity and course of evapotranspiration and design and setting of drying beds. On the base of determined ability of swamp plants evapotranspiration were edited suggestion solutions of design and operation sludge bed facilities in the conditions of small rural wastewater treatment plant.

  3. Forest Dynamics of Peat Swamp Forest in Sebangau, Central Kalimantan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EDI MIRMANTO

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Forest dynamics were studied from 1999 to 2001 for individuals > 15 cm in girth of 24 most common species in six 0.25-ha plots. The plots were set up in natural peat swamp forest in the upper catchments of Sebangau, Central Kalimantan. Aim of the study is to understand the dynamics and vegetation changes of forest studied during period of study. The peat swamp forest in the study site might be categorized as moderately forest dynamic in term of rate of growth, mortality and recruitment. Annual relative growth rate and mortality rate was comparable to previous study but recruitment rate relatively higher. There was significant effect of diameter class on annual growth rate, but not to mortality rate. Even not too strong two environment factors (peat depth and distance to river were significant correlated with rate of mortality and recruitment. During two-year period study there was no significant changes in vegetation structure.

  4. Mating system and the critical migration rate for swamping selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xin-Sheng

    2011-06-01

    Crow et al. (1990) and Barton (1992) have examined the critical migration rate for swamping selection in the nuclear system. Here, I use the same methodology to examine the critical migration rate in the cytonuclear system for hermaphrodite plants with a mixed mating system. Two selection schemes for a nuclear gene (heterozygote disadvantage and directional selection) and the directional selection scheme for organelle genes are considered. Results show that under random mating, the previous results are applicable to plant species by appropriate re-parameterization of the migration rate for nuclear and paternal organelle genes. A simple complementary relationship exists between seed and pollen flow in contributing to the critical migration rate. Under the mixed mating system, the critical migration rate of seeds and pollen for nuclear and paternal organelle genes can be changed due to the effects of selection and the cytonuclear linkage disequilibrium generated by migration and inbreeding. A negative but not complementary relationship exists between seed and pollen flow in contributing to the critical migration rate, varying with the mating system. Partial selfing can also adjust the critical seed flow for the maternal organelle gene, with a small critical migration rate for species of a high selfing rate. Both concordance and discordance among cytonuclear genes can occur under certain conditions during the process of swamping selection. This theory predicts the presence of various contributions of seed versus pollen flow to genetic swamping for plants with diverse mating systems.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Hybrid speciation in sparrows I: phenotypic intermediacy, genetic admixture and barriers to gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermansen, Jo S; Saether, Stein A; Elgvin, Tore O; Borge, Thomas; Hjelle, Elin; Saetre, Glenn-Peter

    2011-09-01

    Homoploid hybrid speciation is thought to require unusual circumstances to yield reproductive isolation from the parental species, and few examples are known from nature. Here, we present genetic evidence for this mode of speciation in birds. Using Bayesian assignment analyses of 751 individuals genotyped for 14 unlinked, nuclear microsatellite loci, we show that the phenotypically intermediate Italian sparrow (Passer italiae) does not form a cluster of its own, but instead exhibits clear admixture (over its entire breeding range) between its putative parental species, the house sparrow (P. domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis). Further, the Italian sparrow possesses mitochondrial (mt) DNA haplotypes identical to both putative parental species (although mostly of house sparrow type), indicating a recent hybrid origin. Today, the Italian sparrow has a largely allopatric distribution on the Italian peninsula and some Mediterranean islands separated from its suggested parental species by the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, but co-occurs with the Spanish sparrow on the Gargano peninsula in southeast Italy. No evidence of interbreeding was found in this sympatric population. However, the Italian sparrow hybridizes with the house sparrow in a sparsely populated contact zone in the Alps. Yet, the contact zone is characterized by steep clines in species-specific male plumage traits, suggesting that partial reproductive isolation may also have developed between these two taxa. Thus, geographic and reproductive barriers restrict gene flow into the nascent hybrid species. We propose that an origin of hybrid species where the hybrid lineage gets geographically isolated from its parental species, as seems to have happened in this system, might be more common in nature than previously assumed. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Understanding associations between nitrogen and carbon isotopes and mercury in three Ammodramus sparrows

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winder, Virginia L., E-mail: vlw3056@uncw.edu; Michaelis, Adriane K., E-mail: adri04@hotmail.com; Emslie, Steven D., E-mail: emslies@uncw.edu

    2012-03-01

    We analyzed nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios and mercury (Hg) in breast feathers from three species of closely related sparrows, Saltmarsh, Seaside, and Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus, A. maritimus, and A. nelsoni, respectively), to assess if trophic position and food web structure influence Hg exposure in these species. Sparrows were captured during the non-breeding season from 2006 to 2008 in North Carolina salt marshes near Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County. Generalized linear models were used to test for the influence of species, {delta}{sup 15}N, and {delta}{sup 13}C on breast feather Hg. The most parsimonious model included species, {delta}{sup 15}N, and their interaction term and explained 36% of the variation in breast feather Hg. Each species exhibited a different association between breast feather {delta}{sup 15}N and Hg with Seaside Sparrows showing a positive correlation (r = 0.27, P = 0.03), Nelson's Sparrows a negative correlation (r = - 0.28, P = 0.01), and Saltmarsh Sparrows with no significant association. For Saltmarsh Sparrows, {delta}{sup 15}N and Hg revealed decoupling between breast feather Hg and trophic position. Our results demonstrate that the influence of {delta}{sup 15}N on breast feather Hg is likely indicative of geographic variation in {delta}{sup 15}N baselines rather than trophic position. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species, {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C influence breast feather Hg in coastal sparrows. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer {delta}{sup 15}N influence may be based more on variation in baselines than trophic position. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer {delta}{sup 15}N and Hg are decoupled in Saltmarsh Sparrows. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Variation in Hg is due to geographic variation in contamination/biomagnification.

  9. Characterization of a Tembusu virus isolated from naturally infected house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Y; Diao, Y; Yu, C; Gao, X; Ju, X; Xue, C; Liu, X; Ge, P; Qu, J; Zhang, D

    2013-04-01

    The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of the most widely distributed wild birds in China. Tembusu virus (TMUV) strain, TMUV-SDHS, was isolated from house sparrows living around the poultry farms in Shandong Province, Northern China. Genetic analysis of E and NS5 genes showed that it had a close relationship with that of the YY5 strain, which can cause severe egg drop in ducks. Pathogenicity studies showed that the virus is highly virulent when experimentally inoculated into the ducks. These findings show that house sparrows carrying the Tembusu virus may play an important role in transmitting the virus among other species. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  10. Development of a Habitat Suitability Index Model for the Sage Sparrow on the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duberstein, Corey A.; Simmons, Mary Ann; Sackschewsky, Michael R.; Becker, James M.

    2008-01-01

    Mitigation threshold guidelines for the Hanford Site are based on habitat requirements of the sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli) and only apply to areas with a mature sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) overstory and a native understory. The sage sparrow habitat requirements are based on literature values and are not specific to the Hanford Site. To refine these guidelines for the Site, a multi-year study was undertaken to quantify habitat characteristics of sage sparrow territories. These characteristics were then used to develop a habitat suitability index (HSI) model which can be used to estimate the habitat value of specific locations on the Site.

  11. Does urbanization facilitate individual recognition of humans by house sparrows?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Wild animals living in proximity to humans may benefit from recognizing people individually and adjusting their behaviour to the potential risk or gain expected from each person. Although several urban-dwelling species exhibit such skills, it is unclear whether this is due to pre-existing advanced cognitive abilities of taxa predisposed for city life or arises specifically in urban populations either by selection or through ontogenetic changes facilitated by exposure to humans. To test these alternatives, we studied populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) along the urbanization gradient. We manipulated the birds' experience (hostile or not) associated with humans with different faces (masks) and measured their behavioural responses to the proximity of each person. Contrary to our expectations, we found that while rural birds showed less fear of the non-hostile than of the hostile or an unfamiliar person, urban birds made no distinction. These results indicate that house sparrows are less able to recognize individual humans or less willing to behaviourally respond to them in more urbanized habitats with high human population density. We propose several mechanisms that may explain this difference, including reduced pay-off of discrimination due to a low chance of repeated interactions with city people, or a higher likelihood that city people will ignore them.

  12. A Digital Hydrologic Network Supporting NAWQA MRB SPARROW Modeling--MRB_E2RF1

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United...

  13. A Digital Hydrologic Network Supporting NAWQA MRB SPARROW Modeling--MRB_E2RF1WS

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United...

  14. The Sparrow Question: Social and Scientific Accord in Britain, 1850-1900.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Matthew

    2017-08-01

    During the latter-half of the nineteenth century, the utility of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) to humankind was a contentious topic. In Britain, numerous actors from various backgrounds including natural history, acclimatisation, agriculture and economic ornithology converged on the bird, as contemporaries sought to calculate its economic cost and benefit to growers. Periodicals and newspapers provided an accessible and anonymous means of expression, through which the debate raged for over 50 years. By the end of the century, sparrows had been cast as detrimental to agriculture. Yet consensus was not achieved through new scientific methods, instruments, or changes in practice. This study instead argues that the rise and fall of scientific disciplines and movements paved the way for consensus on "the sparrow question." The decline of natural history and acclimatisation stifled a raging debate, while the rising science of economic ornithology sought to align itself with agricultural interests: the latter overwhelmingly hostile to sparrows.

  15. Wastewater treatment by a natural wetland: the Nakivubo Swamp Uganda: processes and implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kansiime, F.; Nalubega, N.

    1999-01-01

    The Nakivubo swamp is located in Uganda, near its capital Kampala, and has been receiving wastewater from Kampala for over 30 years. This swamp consists of a floating root mat co-dominated by the sedges Cyperus papyrus and Miscanthidium violaceum. Tbe partially treated wastewater mostly flows

  16. Operational restoration of the Pen Branch bottomland hardwood and swamp wetlands - the research setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric A. Nelson; Neil C. Dulohery; Randall K. Kolka; William H. McKee

    2000-01-01

    The Savannah River swamp, a 3020 ha forested wetland on the floodplain of the Savannah River, USA is located on the Department of Energy's Savannah River site (SRS) near Aiken, SC. Historically, the swamp consisted of approximately 50% bald cypress-water tupelo (Taxodium distichum-Nyssa aquatica) stands, 40% mixed bottomland hardwood stands, and...

  17. Influence of Soil Type and Drainage on Growth of Swamp Chestnut Oak (Quercus Michauxii Nutt.) Seedlings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald D. Hook

    1969-01-01

    Swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii Nutt.) seedlings were grown for 2 years in five soil types in drained and undrained pots. First-year height growth was related to soil type and pot drainage, but second-year height growth was related only to soil type. Results suggest that swamp chestnut oak is site-sensitive. But slow growth, a maximum of 2...

  18. Wastewater treatment by a natural wetland: the Nakivubo swamp, Uganda : processes and implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kansiime, F.; Nalubega, M.

    1999-01-01

    An investigation to assess the capacity of the Nakivubo swamp, Kampala-Uganda (which has been receiving partially treated sewage from the city for more than 30 years now), to remove nutrients and pathogens was carried out. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential of this swamp to

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 pop...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah J. King

    2011-01-01

    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 t...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lieze Oscar Rouffaer

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; 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.

  3. Contrasting natural experiments confirm competition between House Finches and House Sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Caren B; Hochachka, Wesley M; Dhondt, André A

    2007-04-01

    After House Finches were introduced from the western to the eastern United States and rapidly increased in numbers, House Sparrows declined, leading to suggestions that the decline was caused by interspecific competition. However, other potential causes were not excluded. The rapid decline in House Finches following the emergence of a new disease (mycoplasmal conjunctivitis) caused by a novel strain of Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in 1994 has provided a natural experiment and an opportunity to revisit the hypothesis that interspecific competition from House Finches drives population changes in House Sparrows. If true, the recent decline in House Finches should lead to an increase in House Sparrows. In this paper we test the hypothesis that House Sparrow and House Finch numbers in the northeastern United States vary inversely by examining data from three independent volunteer programs that monitor bird species' abundance and distribution (Christmas Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and Breeding Bird Survey). In the first analysis we found that House Sparrow and House Finch numbers varied inversely during a time interval when House Finches were increasing and a time interval when House Finches were decreasing. In the second analysis, we found that the rates of geometric change in House Sparrow abundance (ln[HOSP(t+1)/HOSP(t)]) were negatively correlated with initial House Finch (HOFI(t)) and sparrow (HOSP(t)) abundances at individual sites, irrespective of the time period. Given that finch range expansion and subsequent declines in abundance are the result of two very different phenomena, it would be very unlikely for apparent competition or spurious correlations to cause the observed concomitant changes in House Sparrow abundance. We conclude that interspecific competition exists between these two species.

  4. [Myofascial pain syndrome treated with sparrow-pecking moxibustion at trigger points: a randomized controlled trial].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yao; Bu, He; Jia, Ji-rong; Liu, Zheng

    2014-11-01

    To compare the efficacy difference in treatment of myofasical pain syndrome between sparrow-pecking moxibustion and acupuncture at trigger points so as to provide the reference of the effective therapeutic method for myofascial pain syndrome. Ninety patients were randomized into a sparrow-pecking moxibustion group and an acupuncture group, 45 cases in each one. The trigger points were selected in pain areas in the two groups. In the sparrow-pecking moxibustion group, the sparrow-pecking moxibustion was applied, 30 min in each time. In the acupuncture group, the filiform needles were inserted obliquely at 45 degrees and retained for 40 min in each treatment. The treatment was given once a day and 10 treatments made one session in the two groups. The short-form McGill pain questionnaire was used as the observation index, and the changes in pain rating index (PRI), present pain intensity (PPI) and visual analogue scale (VAS) before and after treatment were used for efficacy assessment. The results of PRI, PPI and VAS after treatment were reduced apparently as compared with those before treatment in the sparrow-pecking moxibustion group and the acupuncture group (all P0.05). The curative and remarkably effective rate was 80.0% (36/45) in the sparrow-pecking moxibustion group, which was better than 40.0% (18/45, Pmyofascial pain syndrome as compared with acupuncture at trigger points. This therapy is simpler in operation additionally.

  5. Mass mortality of eurasian tree sparrows (Passer Montanus) from Salmonella typhimurium dt40 in Japan, winter 2008-2009

    OpenAIRE

    Fukui, Daisuke; Takahashi, Katsumi; Kubo, Midori; Une, Yumi; Kato, Yukio; Izumiya, Hidemasa; Teraoka, Hiroki; Asakawa, M; Yanagida, Kazumi; Bando, Gen

    2014-01-01

    An outbreak of salmonellosis in wild passerines caused mass mortality of Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) in Hokkaido, Japan, 2005-06; however, the etiology was poorly understood. In winter 2008-09, sparrow mortality again occurred in Hokkaido, and 202 deaths in 100 incidents at 94 sites were reported. We conducted a comprehensive investigation to evaluate the cause and impact on sparrow populations. We collected 26 carcasses at 13 sites, including a zoological park. In addition, Salm...

  6. Vegetation analyses of Sebangau peat swamp forest, Central Kalimantan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EDI MIRMANTO

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Mirmanto E (2010 Vegetation analyses of Sebangau peat swamp forest, Central Kalimantan. Biodiversitas 11: 82-88. The vegetation analysis study has been made in Sebangau peat-swamp forest, Central Kalimantan. Eight permanent plots of 50-m x 50-m were set-up distribute from close to the river with shallow peat-layer up to the inland with relatively deep peat-layer. Enumeration of trees (GBH > 15 cm was conducted in all of 8 plots. Overall there are 133 species (taxa were recorded within 8 plots belong to 34 families where Dipterocarpaceae, Clusiaceae, Myrtaceae and Sapotaceae were the most dominant family. Out of all species recorded, Combretocarpus rotundatus, Palaquium leiocarpum, Stemonurus scorpioides and Tristania whittiana were the most dominant species. Two community’s types namely Combretocarpus rotundatus-Shorea balangeran community and Palaquium leiocarpum-Eugenia densinervium community were recognized and they distributed in slightly different habitat condition. The sequence of these two communities’ shows significantly related to both distances to river and peat-depth. In addition there was indication the presence of habitat preference among tree species.

  7. Discriminative stimulus properties of music in Java sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, S; Sato, K

    1999-08-01

    Seven adult Java sparrows were trained to discriminate music by Bach and that by Schoenberg. In the Bach S+ group perching response was reinforced when piano music by Bach was played but not when piano music by Schoenberg played. The Schoenberg S+ group received reversed training. Five of seven birds reached the criterion. Novel orchestra music by Bach and that by Schoenberg were played in the first test after the discriminative training. They showed generalization to new music by Bach and Schoenberg. When Vivaldi and Carter were played in the second test, all five birds showed significant discrimination. Bach S+ group responded to Vivaldi and Schoenberg S+ group responded to Carter. Vivaldi and Bach belonged to the same category, namely classical music, while Carter belongs to the modern music properties common to humans and birds.

  8. A carbon balance model for the great dismal swamp ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeter, Rachel; Sleeter, Benjamin M; Williams, Brianna; Hogan, Dianna; Hawbaker, Todd; Zhu, Zhiliang

    2017-12-01

    Carbon storage potential has become an important consideration for land management and planning in the United States. The ability to assess ecosystem carbon balance can help land managers understand the benefits and tradeoffs between different management strategies. This paper demonstrates an application of the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) model developed for local-scale land management at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. We estimate the net ecosystem carbon balance by considering past ecosystem disturbances resulting from storm damage, fire, and land management actions including hydrologic inundation, vegetation clearing, and replanting. We modeled the annual ecosystem carbon stock and flow rates for the 30-year historic time period of 1985-2015, using age-structured forest growth curves and known data for disturbance events and management activities. The 30-year total net ecosystem production was estimated to be a net sink of 0.97 Tg C. When a hurricane and six historic fire events were considered in the simulation, the Great Dismal Swamp became a net source of 0.89 Tg C. The cumulative above and below-ground carbon loss estimated from the South One and Lateral West fire events totaled 1.70 Tg C, while management activities removed an additional 0.01 Tg C. The carbon loss in below-ground biomass alone totaled 1.38 Tg C, with the balance (0.31 Tg C) coming from above-ground biomass and detritus. Natural disturbances substantially impact net ecosystem carbon balance in the Great Dismal Swamp. Through alternative management actions such as re-wetting, below-ground biomass loss may have been avoided, resulting in the added carbon storage capacity of 1.38 Tg. Based on two model assumptions used to simulate the peat system, (a burn scar totaling 70 cm in depth, and the soil carbon accumulation rate of 0.36 t C/ha -1 /year -1 for Atlantic white cedar), the total soil carbon loss from the South One and Lateral West fires

  9. A carbon balance model for the great dismal swamp ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Sleeter

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Carbon storage potential has become an important consideration for land management and planning in the United States. The ability to assess ecosystem carbon balance can help land managers understand the benefits and tradeoffs between different management strategies. This paper demonstrates an application of the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS model developed for local-scale land management at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. We estimate the net ecosystem carbon balance by considering past ecosystem disturbances resulting from storm damage, fire, and land management actions including hydrologic inundation, vegetation clearing, and replanting. Results We modeled the annual ecosystem carbon stock and flow rates for the 30-year historic time period of 1985–2015, using age-structured forest growth curves and known data for disturbance events and management activities. The 30-year total net ecosystem production was estimated to be a net sink of 0.97 Tg C. When a hurricane and six historic fire events were considered in the simulation, the Great Dismal Swamp became a net source of 0.89 Tg C. The cumulative above and below-ground carbon loss estimated from the South One and Lateral West fire events totaled 1.70 Tg C, while management activities removed an additional 0.01 Tg C. The carbon loss in below-ground biomass alone totaled 1.38 Tg C, with the balance (0.31 Tg C coming from above-ground biomass and detritus. Conclusions Natural disturbances substantially impact net ecosystem carbon balance in the Great Dismal Swamp. Through alternative management actions such as re-wetting, below-ground biomass loss may have been avoided, resulting in the added carbon storage capacity of 1.38 Tg. Based on two model assumptions used to simulate the peat system, (a burn scar totaling 70 cm in depth, and the soil carbon accumulation rate of 0.36 t C/ha−1/year−1 for Atlantic white cedar, the total

  10. A carbon balance model for the great dismal swamp ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeter, Rachel; Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Williams, Brianna; Hogan, Dianna; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Zhu, Zhiliang

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundCarbon storage potential has become an important consideration for land management and planning in the United States. The ability to assess ecosystem carbon balance can help land managers understand the benefits and tradeoffs between different management strategies. This paper demonstrates an application of the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) model developed for local-scale land management at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. We estimate the net ecosystem carbon balance by considering past ecosystem disturbances resulting from storm damage, fire, and land management actions including hydrologic inundation, vegetation clearing, and replanting.ResultsWe modeled the annual ecosystem carbon stock and flow rates for the 30-year historic time period of 1985–2015, using age-structured forest growth curves and known data for disturbance events and management activities. The 30-year total net ecosystem production was estimated to be a net sink of 0.97 Tg C. When a hurricane and six historic fire events were considered in the simulation, the Great Dismal Swamp became a net source of 0.89 Tg C. The cumulative above and below-ground carbon loss estimated from the South One and Lateral West fire events totaled 1.70 Tg C, while management activities removed an additional 0.01 Tg C. The carbon loss in below-ground biomass alone totaled 1.38 Tg C, with the balance (0.31 Tg C) coming from above-ground biomass and detritus.ConclusionsNatural disturbances substantially impact net ecosystem carbon balance in the Great Dismal Swamp. Through alternative management actions such as re-wetting, below-ground biomass loss may have been avoided, resulting in the added carbon storage capacity of 1.38 Tg. Based on two model assumptions used to simulate the peat system, (a burn scar totaling 70 cm in depth, and the soil carbon accumulation rate of 0.36 t C/ha−1/year−1 for Atlantic white cedar), the total soil carbon loss from the

  11. THE DISTRIBUTION AND BIODIVERSITY OF FISHES IN LEBAK PAMPANGAN SWAMP SOUTH SUMATRA PROVINCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dina Muthmainah

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This research was conducted to evaluate the fish distribution and biodiversity within three types of swamp ecosystem with different water sources in Pampangan Sub-district during July to December 2011. The field observation were conducted in three different types of swamp. Ecological data and samples were collected from three sampling points in each swamp type. Parameters including local distribution, diversity index, similarity index, evenness and species richness, were analyzed. The results show a number of 9,723 fishes corresponding to 46 species were collected, the fish categorized into 16 families belonging to five orders. Eight species were found in all type of swamps i.e. Mystus nemurus, Channa striata, Cyclocheilchthys apogon, Cyclocheilichthys armatus, Pristolepis fasciata, Puntius lineatus, Osteochillus hasselti, and Trichogaster pectoralis. A diversity index of fishes in Pampangan Swamp ranged from 2.31 to 2.85, indicating moderate values. The evenness index was high more than 50%. The highest similarity was found between type 1 and type 3 of (0.43. The highest diversity index (2.85 found in type 2 of swamp indicates the swamp in more stable condition.

  12. Group size and nest spacing affect Buggy Creek virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus infection in nestling house sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie A O'Brien

    Full Text Available The transmission of parasites and pathogens among vertebrates often depends on host population size, host species diversity, and the extent of crowding among potential hosts, but little is known about how these variables apply to most vector-borne pathogens such as the arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses. Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus is an RNA arbovirus transmitted by the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius to the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus that has recently invaded swallow nesting colonies. The virus has little impact on cliff swallows, but house sparrows are seriously affected by BCRV. For house sparrows occupying swallow nesting colonies in western Nebraska, USA, the prevalence of BCRV in nestling sparrows increased with sparrow colony size at a site but decreased with the number of cliff swallows present. If one nestling in a nest was infected with the virus, there was a greater likelihood that one or more of its nest-mates would also be infected than nestlings chosen at random. The closer a nest was to another nest containing infected nestlings, the greater the likelihood that some of the nestlings in the focal nest would be BCRV-positive. These results illustrate that BCRV represents a cost of coloniality for a vertebrate host (the house sparrow, perhaps the first such demonstration for an arbovirus, and that virus infection is spatially clustered within nests and within colonies. The decreased incidence of BCRV in sparrows as cliff swallows at a site increased reflects the "dilution effect," in which virus transmission is reduced when a vector switches to feeding on a less competent vertebrate host.

  13. Group size and nest spacing affect Buggy Creek virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) infection in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Valerie A; Brown, Charles R

    2011-01-01

    The transmission of parasites and pathogens among vertebrates often depends on host population size, host species diversity, and the extent of crowding among potential hosts, but little is known about how these variables apply to most vector-borne pathogens such as the arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus) is an RNA arbovirus transmitted by the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) to the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) that has recently invaded swallow nesting colonies. The virus has little impact on cliff swallows, but house sparrows are seriously affected by BCRV. For house sparrows occupying swallow nesting colonies in western Nebraska, USA, the prevalence of BCRV in nestling sparrows increased with sparrow colony size at a site but decreased with the number of cliff swallows present. If one nestling in a nest was infected with the virus, there was a greater likelihood that one or more of its nest-mates would also be infected than nestlings chosen at random. The closer a nest was to another nest containing infected nestlings, the greater the likelihood that some of the nestlings in the focal nest would be BCRV-positive. These results illustrate that BCRV represents a cost of coloniality for a vertebrate host (the house sparrow), perhaps the first such demonstration for an arbovirus, and that virus infection is spatially clustered within nests and within colonies. The decreased incidence of BCRV in sparrows as cliff swallows at a site increased reflects the "dilution effect," in which virus transmission is reduced when a vector switches to feeding on a less competent vertebrate host.

  14. Beak and skull shapes of human commensal and non-commensal house sparrows Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riyahi, Sepand; Hammer, Øyvind; Arbabi, Tayebeh; Sánchez, Antonio; Roselaar, Cees S; Aliabadian, Mansour; Sætre, Glenn-Peter

    2013-09-17

    The granivorous house sparrow Passer domesticus is thought to have developed its commensal relationship with humans with the rise of agriculture in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago, and to have expanded with the spread of agriculture in Eurasia during the last few thousand years. One subspecies, P. d. bactrianus, residing in Central Asia, has apparently maintained the ancestral ecology, however. This subspecies is not associated with human settlements; it is migratory and lives in natural grass- and wetland habitats feeding on wild grass seeds. It is well documented that the agricultural revolution was associated with an increase in grain size and changes in seed structure in cultivated cereals, the preferred food source of commensal house sparrow. Accordingly, we hypothesize that correlated changes may have occurred in beak and skull morphology as adaptive responses to the change in diet. Here, we test this hypothesis by comparing the skull shapes of 101 house sparrows from Iran, belonging to five different subspecies, including the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus, using geometric morphometrics. The various commensal house sparrow subspecies share subtle but consistent skeletal features that differ significantly from those of the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus. Although there is a marked overall size allometry in the data set, the shape difference between the ecologically differentiated sparrows cannot be explained by differences in size alone. Relative to the size allometry commensal house sparrows exhibit a skull shape consistent with accelerated development (heterochrony), resulting in a more robust facial cranium and a larger, more pointed beak. The difference in skull shape and robustness of the beak between commensal and non-commensal house sparrows is consistent with adaptations to process the larger and rachis encapsulated seeds of domesticated cereals among human associated populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trier, Cassandra N; Hermansen, Jo S; Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Bailey, Richard I

    2014-01-01

    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, have spread in

  16. Evidence for Mito-Nuclear and Sex-Linked Reproductive Barriers between the Hybrid Italian Sparrow and Its Parent Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Bailey, Richard I.

    2014-01-01

    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, have spread

  17. 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

  18. Food Swamps Predict Obesity Rates Better Than Food Deserts in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooksey-Stowers, Kristen; Schwartz, Marlene B; Brownell, Kelly D

    2017-11-14

    This paper investigates the effect of food environments, characterized as food swamps, on adult obesity rates. Food swamps have been described as areas with a high-density of establishments selling high-calorie fast food and junk food, relative to healthier food options. This study examines multiple ways of categorizing food environments as food swamps and food deserts, including alternate versions of the Retail Food Environment Index. We merged food outlet, sociodemographic and obesity data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Environment Atlas, the American Community Survey, and a commercial street reference dataset. We employed an instrumental variables (IV) strategy to correct for the endogeneity of food environments (i.e., that individuals self-select into neighborhoods and may consider food availability in their decision). Our results suggest that the presence of a food swamp is a stronger predictor of obesity rates than the absence of full-service grocery stores. We found, even after controlling for food desert effects, food swamps have a positive, statistically significant effect on adult obesity rates. All three food swamp measures indicated the same positive association, but reflected different magnitudes of the food swamp effect on rates of adult obesity (p values ranged from 0.00 to 0.16). Our adjustment for reverse causality, using an IV approach, revealed a stronger effect of food swamps than would have been obtained by naïve ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates. The food swamp effect was stronger in counties with greater income inequality (p food outlets and incentivizing healthy food retailers to locate in underserved neighborhoods warrant consideration as strategies to increase health equity.

  19. Food Swamps Predict Obesity Rates Better Than Food Deserts in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen Cooksey-Stowers

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the effect of food environments, characterized as food swamps, on adult obesity rates. Food swamps have been described as areas with a high-density of establishments selling high-calorie fast food and junk food, relative to healthier food options. This study examines multiple ways of categorizing food environments as food swamps and food deserts, including alternate versions of the Retail Food Environment Index. We merged food outlet, sociodemographic and obesity data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Food Environment Atlas, the American Community Survey, and a commercial street reference dataset. We employed an instrumental variables (IV strategy to correct for the endogeneity of food environments (i.e., that individuals self-select into neighborhoods and may consider food availability in their decision. Our results suggest that the presence of a food swamp is a stronger predictor of obesity rates than the absence of full-service grocery stores. We found, even after controlling for food desert effects, food swamps have a positive, statistically significant effect on adult obesity rates. All three food swamp measures indicated the same positive association, but reflected different magnitudes of the food swamp effect on rates of adult obesity (p values ranged from 0.00 to 0.16. Our adjustment for reverse causality, using an IV approach, revealed a stronger effect of food swamps than would have been obtained by naïve ordinary least squares (OLS estimates. The food swamp effect was stronger in counties with greater income inequality (p < 0.05 and where residents are less mobile (p < 0.01. Based on these findings, local government policies such as zoning laws simultaneously restricting access to unhealthy food outlets and incentivizing healthy food retailers to locate in underserved neighborhoods warrant consideration as strategies to increase health equity.

  20. Food Swamps Predict Obesity Rates Better Than Food Deserts in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooksey-Stowers, Kristen; Schwartz, Marlene B.; Brownell, Kelly D.

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigates the effect of food environments, characterized as food swamps, on adult obesity rates. Food swamps have been described as areas with a high-density of establishments selling high-calorie fast food and junk food, relative to healthier food options. This study examines multiple ways of categorizing food environments as food swamps and food deserts, including alternate versions of the Retail Food Environment Index. We merged food outlet, sociodemographic and obesity data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Environment Atlas, the American Community Survey, and a commercial street reference dataset. We employed an instrumental variables (IV) strategy to correct for the endogeneity of food environments (i.e., that individuals self-select into neighborhoods and may consider food availability in their decision). Our results suggest that the presence of a food swamp is a stronger predictor of obesity rates than the absence of full-service grocery stores. We found, even after controlling for food desert effects, food swamps have a positive, statistically significant effect on adult obesity rates. All three food swamp measures indicated the same positive association, but reflected different magnitudes of the food swamp effect on rates of adult obesity (p values ranged from 0.00 to 0.16). Our adjustment for reverse causality, using an IV approach, revealed a stronger effect of food swamps than would have been obtained by naïve ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates. The food swamp effect was stronger in counties with greater income inequality (p food outlets and incentivizing healthy food retailers to locate in underserved neighborhoods warrant consideration as strategies to increase health equity. PMID:29135909

  1. SWAMP+: multiple subsequence alignment using associative massive parallelism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinfadt, Shannon Irene [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Baker, Johnnie W [KENT STATE UNIV.

    2010-10-18

    A new parallel algorithm SWAMP+ incorporates the Smith-Waterman sequence alignment on an associative parallel model known as ASC. It is a highly sensitive parallel approach that expands traditional pairwise sequence alignment. This is the first parallel algorithm to provide multiple non-overlapping, non-intersecting subsequence alignments with the accuracy of Smith-Waterman. The efficient algorithm provides multiple alignments similar to BLAST while creating a better workflow for the end users. The parallel portions of the code run in O(m+n) time using m processors. When m = n, the algorithmic analysis becomes O(n) with a coefficient of two, yielding a linear speedup. Implementation of the algorithm on the SIMD ClearSpeed CSX620 confirms this theoretical linear speedup with real timings.

  2. Weeds optimally grow in peat swamp after burning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.D. Susanti

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available After clearing land by burning the peat, then the weeds and undergrowth will flourish. Even sometimes, the weeds are eventually burned again. Weed is known as a destroyer plant that has to be controlled. Through proper treatment, the existing weeds in peatlands can be potentiallly exploited. The purpose of this study was to determine the calorific value of briquettes as one of peatland weeds utilization. The results showed that the calorific value ranged from 2,492 cal/g to 5,230 cal/g. The lowest calorific value was on ‘teki kecil’ grass (Scirpus grossus Lf, while the highest calorific value was observed for ‘bantalaki grass’ (Hymenachne amplexicaulis Nees. The high calorific value of the peat weeds are potential for biomass briquettes raw materials. The utilization and use of peat weed briquettes as a raw materials expected can reduce land degradation due to peat swamp burning

  3. 75 FR 41879 - Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morris County, NJ

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-19

    ... refuge, contact William Koch, Refuge Manager, at Great Swamp NWR, 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge... listed endangered Indiana bats are known to occur on the refuge. Reptile and amphibian species of...

  4. A Contribution towards a Vascular Flora of the Great Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This flora is an enumeration of the vascular plants growing without cultivation in the Great Dismal Swamp. It is hoped that this work will be of value to the rapidly...

  5. Final Environmental Impact Statement For The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Master Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp Refuge Master Plan guides the long-range development of the Refuge by identifying and integrating appropriate habitats, management strategies,...

  6. Swainson’s Warbler And the Cowbird In The Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Swainson's Warbler, Limnothlypis swainsonii , is a fairly common breeding bird in the Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina where it is near the northern limit...

  7. A Report Concerning the Soils of a Portion of the Okefenokee Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document contains description of vegetation and organic and mineral soil of the Okefenokee Swamp. This report covers the investigations made on a tract of the...

  8. Environmental Impact Statement Master Plan Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The following report describes the proposed master plan for long range management and development of Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and compares the...

  9. Water Control System In The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Reference is made to your letter of 21 September 1977, requesting a description of the water control system in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge....

  10. Developmental History and Ecology of the Dismal Swamp with Recommendations for Public Ownership and Management 1974

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The report discusses the development and history of the Dismal Swamp and proposes the designation of a Research Natural Area. Management and research needs are...

  11. Peat deposits Of Dismal Swamp Pocosins, Camdem, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank, And Perquimans Counties, North Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Peat is present in the Dismal Swamp of northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. In North Carolina the peat is in 4 separate deposits located west,...

  12. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1991 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  13. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1988

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1988 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  14. Notes On The Amphibians And Reptiles Of The Great Dismal Swamp Of Virginia And North Carolina

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp encompasses approximately 200,000 acres in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. As with this paper, most of the published...

  15. Aerial Orthophotography, Interpretation and Forest Type Mapping on Great Dismal Swamp NWR.

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Sewall forest typing services for the Northern portion of Great Dismal Swamp NWR in northeastern North Carolina. This includes complete new aerial photography and...

  16. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1989

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1989 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  17. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge FY 1994 Prescribed Fire Proposal Plan Remnant Marsh

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This plan considers fire on Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge as a tool for management and as a potential problem to be dealt with. This document discusses...

  18. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1992 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  19. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1990 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  20. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1986 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  1. Assessment of mercury contamination in bats at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — While bats at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GDSNWR) have relatively low mean blood and fur Hg concentrations compared to point source...

  2. A survey of contaminants in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A contaminant survey was conducted in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to determine the extent of contamination entering the Refuge from sources near...

  3. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1992 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  4. Synopsis Of Planning Needs And Issues Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Master Plan January, 1982

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp Master Plan guides the long-range development of the Refuge by identifying and integrating appropriate habitats, management strategies,...

  5. 75 FR 8107 - Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Bibb and Twiggs Counties, GA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation/photography, environmental education/interpretation... opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and environmental education and... impact (FONSI) for the environmental assessment for Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). In the...

  6. Influence Of Species, Season, And Soil On Foliar Macronutrients In The Great Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Leaf macronutrient variation was studied in four plant communities in the Dismal Swamp of Virginia. Soils and species composition differed markedly between sites....

  7. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1990 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  8. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1987 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  9. Annual Water Management Program Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1993

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The management objectives discussed in this report are: 1) To improve and better interpret the hydrologic and vegetative databases for the Great Dismal swamp, 2) To...

  10. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1989

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1989 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  11. Annual Water Management Program Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The management objectives discussed in this report are: 1) To improve and better interpret the hydrologic and vegetative databases for the Great Dismal swamp, 2) To...

  12. Public Use Plan Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge October 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Great Dismal Swamp Refuge Master Plan guides the long-range development of the Refuge by identifying and integrating appropriate habitats, management strategies,...

  13. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge: Annual narrative report: Calendar year 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1998 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  14. A Water Budget and Water Quality Study of the Dismal Swamp Thesis Proposal

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The main objective of this project is to determine the change in water quality throughout a section of the Dismal Swamp and to calculate the water budget for the...

  15. Mating success follows duet dancing in the Java sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwama, Midori

    2017-01-01

    Mutual interactions between sexes have multiple signalling functions. Duet singing in songbirds is related to mutual mate guarding, joint resource defence, and signalling commitment. Coordinated visual displays of mating pairs are thought to perform similar functions, but are less well understood. The current study evaluated mutual interactions in an Estrildid species to explore the relative importance of duet dancing and male singing in mating success of pairs in a first encounter. When Java sparrows (Lonchura oryzivora) court prospective mates, only males sing. However, both males and females perform courtship dances, often in a duet-like manner. These dances are typically terminated by female copulation solicitation displays (CSDs). In the current study, we observed higher mating success when courtship dances were mutually exchanged, and when males sang. However, the sex initiating the courtship did not affect mating success. Most females produced CSDs after duet dancing but before hearing the entire song, indicating that duet dancing played a crucial role in mating. This finding highlights an unexplored aspect of duetting behaviour in the process of mutual mate choice. These results conflict with the majority of past songbird research, which has interpreted songs as primary behavioural sexual signals. PMID:28273111

  16. Mating success follows duet dancing in the Java sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soma, Masayo; Iwama, Midori

    2017-01-01

    Mutual interactions between sexes have multiple signalling functions. Duet singing in songbirds is related to mutual mate guarding, joint resource defence, and signalling commitment. Coordinated visual displays of mating pairs are thought to perform similar functions, but are less well understood. The current study evaluated mutual interactions in an Estrildid species to explore the relative importance of duet dancing and male singing in mating success of pairs in a first encounter. When Java sparrows (Lonchura oryzivora) court prospective mates, only males sing. However, both males and females perform courtship dances, often in a duet-like manner. These dances are typically terminated by female copulation solicitation displays (CSDs). In the current study, we observed higher mating success when courtship dances were mutually exchanged, and when males sang. However, the sex initiating the courtship did not affect mating success. Most females produced CSDs after duet dancing but before hearing the entire song, indicating that duet dancing played a crucial role in mating. This finding highlights an unexplored aspect of duetting behaviour in the process of mutual mate choice. These results conflict with the majority of past songbird research, which has interpreted songs as primary behavioural sexual signals.

  17. Morph matters: aggression bias in a polymorphic sparrow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent M Horton

    Full Text Available In species with discrete morphs exhibiting alternative behavioral strategies, individuals may vary their aggressive behavior in competitive encounters according to the phenotype of their opponent. Such aggression bias has been documented in multiple polymorphic species evolving under negative frequency-dependent selection, but it has not been well-studied under other selection regimes. We investigated this phenomenon in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis, a passerine with plumage polychromatism maintained by disassortative mating. The two distinct color morphs differ with respect to reproductive strategy in that white-striped birds invest more in territorial aggression than tan-striped birds. Whether territorial aggression in this species is biased according to the morph of an intruder is less understood. We found that during peak territorial and mating activity, both color morphs and sexes can exhibit aggression bias, but whether they do so depends on the strategy (morph of the intruder. During simulated territorial intrusions, resident white-striped males and tan-striped females, which represent the opposite ends of a continuum from high to low territorial aggression, altered their territorial responses according to intruder morph. Tan-striped males and white-striped females, which represent the middle of the continuum, did not show a bias. We propose that because of the disassortative mating system and morph differences in reproductive strategy, the fitness risks of intrusions vary according to the morphs of the resident and the intruder, and that aggression bias is an attuned response to varying threats to fitness.

  18. Traffic noise exposure affects telomere length in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Ribout, Cécile; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-09-01

    In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. We focused on the impact of such disturbance on nestlings' telomere length and fledging success, as telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) appear to be a promising predictor of longevity. We showed that despite the absence of any obvious immediate consequences (growth and fledging success), nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths compared with their unexposed neighbours. Although the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain to be determined, our results provide the first experimental evidence that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length. This suggests that noise exposure may entail important costs for developing organisms. © 2015 The Author(s).

  19. Wastewater treatment by a natural wetland: the Nakivubo swamp, Uganda : processes and implications

    OpenAIRE

    Kansiime, F.; Nalubega, M.

    1999-01-01

    An investigation to assess the capacity of the Nakivubo swamp, Kampala-Uganda (which has been receiving partially treated sewage from the city for more than 30 years now), to remove nutrients and pathogens was carried out. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential of this swamp to remove nutrients and pathogens from wastewater in a sustainable way, with emphasis on describing and quantifying their pathways, transformations and budgets.

    From field studies, water balan...

  20. The Ecology of Rawa Aopa, a Peat-swamp in Sulawesi, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Zwahlen, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Rawa Aopa is a large swamp in South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia — the only major peat-swamp in this mainly mountainous island. Its vegetation and fauna are still quite poorly known. The existing information is summarized here. With the creation of new villages as part of Indonesia's transmigration programme, the human population in this area has increased very rapidly. Pressure on natural resources — especially soils and forests — is increasing, and primary forests are dwindling rapidly. This in...

  1. Molecular detection of Neospora caninum in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdoli, Amir; Arbabi, Mohsen; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Pirestani, Majid

    2015-01-01

    Neospora caninum is an intracellular protozoan parasite with a wide range of intermediate bird hosts. There is little information describing the prevalence and genetic characterization of N. caninum in bird hosts worldwide and in Iran. In this study, a total of 217 brain samples of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) were examined for N. caninum presence by nested polymerase chain reaction targeting the Nc-5 gene. N. caninum DNA was detected in 3.68% (8/217) of sparrows. Sequencing of the Nc5 genomic DNA revealed 97-99% of similarity with N. caninum sequences deposited in Genbank. To our knowledge, this study is the first molecular evidence of N. caninum DNA in bird hosts in Iran. The results of this study highlight the role of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in maintaining and spreading N. caninum infection to canines in the feral and domestic environment.

  2. Isolation of heat-tolerant myoglobin from Asian swamp eel Monopterus albus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotichayapong, Chatrachatchaya; Wiengsamut, Kittipong; Chanthai, Saksit; Sattayasai, Nison; Tamiya, Toru; Kanzawa, Nobuyuki; Tsuchiya, Takahide

    2012-10-01

    Myoglobin from Asian swamp eel Monopterus albus was purified from fish muscle using salt fractionation followed by column chromatography and molecular filtration. The purified Mb of 0.68 mg/g wet weight of muscle was determined for its molecular mass by MALDI-TOF-MS to be 15,525.18 Da. Using isoelectric focusing technique, the purified Mb showed two derivatives with pI of 6.40 and 7.12. Six peptide fragments of this protein identified by LC-MS/MS were homologous to Mbs of sea raven Hemitripterus americanus, yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacores, blue marlin Makaira nigicans, common carp Cyprinus carpio, and goldfish Carassius auratus. According to the Mb denaturation, the swamp eel Mb had thermal stability higher than walking catfish Clarias batrachus Mb and striped catfish Pangasius hypophthalmus Mb, between 30 and 60 (°)C. For the thermal stability of Mb, the swamp eel Mb showed a biphasic behavior due to the O(2) dissociation and the heme orientation disorder, with the lowest increase in both Kd(f) and Kd(s). The thermal sensitivity of swamp eel Mb was lower than those of the other Mbs for both of fast and slow reaction stages. These results suggest that the swamp eel Mb globin structure is thermally stable, which is consistent with heat-tolerant behavior of the swamp eel particularly in drought habitat.

  3. Infection of sparrows (Passer domesticus and different mice strains with Lawsonia intracellularis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline de M. Viott

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The susceptibility of sparrows (Passer domesticus and strains of mice (Swiss, BALB/c, C-57 and DB-A to Lawsonia intracellularis infection was studied. Thirty-two sparrows were inoculated with pure culture of L. intracellularis and eleven received sham inoculum. Feces were collected on -1, 7, 14 and 21 days post infection (dpi for detection of L. intracellularis by PCR. After 21 days, all sparrows were euthanized and the tissues processed for histology and immunohistochemistry (IHC. One hundred sixty mice of four different strains (n=40, per strain were used. For each mouse strain, 16 animals received mucosa homogenate from a pig infected with L. intracellularis, 16 received pure culture of L. intracellularis and eight animals received sham inoculum. Two control and four inoculated mice from each group were euthanized on 7, 14, 21 and 28 dpi. Sections of intestine were collected for histologic analysis and IHC and pooled feces were collected for L. intracellularis PCR. None of the sparrows had any histologic lesions characteristic of proliferative enteropathy or antigen labeling by IHC. All sparrow fecal samples were negative by PCR. All mice strains studied had histopathological lesions typical of PE and IHC labeling consistent with L. intracellularis infection, especially those animals inoculated with pure culture. The most severe lesions were observed in DB-A and Swiss mice. Fecal shedding was detected in all mice strains, with peak at 14 dpi. We conclude that sparrows do not seem to be relevant in the epidemiology of L. intracellularis. The results showed variations in the lesions among the four mice strains used.

  4. Life history attributes data for Arizona Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ammolegus) in Arizona 2013

    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 data was produced as part of the first intensive study of its life history and breeding ecology, providing baseline data and facilitating comparisons with other North American Grasshopper Sparrow subspecies. This study is described in the publication listed in the larger work citation of this metadata record. 

  5. Changes in total body calcium and diet of breeding house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krementz, D.G.; Ankney, C.D.

    1995-01-01

    We collected House Sparrows Passer domesticus around London, Ontario, estimated their total body calcium masses, food habits and egg production to test for the effects of endogenous calcium levels on control of clutch size. Before egg production began, calcium levels increased significantly and remained high through the end of egg laying, and then declined significantly after egg laying. We found no evidence that clutch size was related to endogenous calcium levels. Upon first ovulation, House Sparrows greatly increased consumption of calciferous materials such as snail shells, bird eggshells and calciferous grit. Their diet returned to normal after the final egg was ovulated. Daily calcium intake was sufficient to meet eggshell calcium needs.

  6. Covariation among glucocorticoid regulatory elements varies seasonally in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebl, Andrea L; Shimizu, Toru; Martin, Lynn B

    2013-03-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) help individuals cope with changes throughout life; one such change is the seasonal transition through life-history stages. Previous research shows that many animals exhibit seasonal variation in baseline GCs and GC responses to stressors, but the effects of season on other aspects of GC regulation have been less studied. Moreover, whether elements of GC regulation covary within individuals and whether covariation changes seasonally has been not been investigated. Evolutionarily, strong linkages among GC regulatory elements is predicted to enhance system efficiency and regulation, however may reduce the plasticity necessary to ensure appropriate responses under varying conditions. Here, we measured corticosterone (CORT), the major avian GC, at baseline, after exposure to a restraint stressor, and in response to dexamethasone (to assess negative feedback capacity) in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus) during the breeding and molting seasons. We also measured hippocampal mRNA expression of the two receptors primarily responsible for CORT regulation: the mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors (MR and GR, respectively). Consistent with previous studies, restraint-induced CORT was lower during molt than breeding, but negative-feedback was not influenced by season. Receptor gene expression was affected by season, however, as during breeding, the ratio of MR to GR expression was significantly lower than during molt. Furthermore, MR expression was negatively correlated with CORT released in response to a stressor, but only during molt. We found that individuals that most strongly up-regulated CORT in response to restraint were also most effective at reducing CORT via negative feedback; although these relationships were independent of season, they were stronger during molt. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Performance measures for a Mississippi River reintroduction into the forested wetlands of Maurepas Swamp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W.; Shaffer, Gary P.; Keim, Richard F.; Chambers, Jim L.; Wood, William B.; Hartley, Stephen B.

    2017-06-09

    The use of freshwater diversions (river reintroductions) from the Mississippi River as a restoration tool to rehabilitate Louisiana coastal wetlands has been promoted widely since the first such diversion at Caernarvon became operational in the early 1990s. To date, aside from the Bonnet Carré Spillway (which is designed and operated for flood control), there are only four operational Mississippi River freshwater diversions (two gated structures and two siphons) in coastal Louisiana, and they all target salinity intrusion, shellfish management, and (or) the enhancement of the integrity of marsh habitat. River reintroductions carry small sediment loads for various design reasons, but they can be effective in delivering fresh­water to combat saltwater intrusion and increase the delivery of nutrients and suspended fine-grained sediments to receiving wetlands. River reintroductions may be an ideal restoration tool for targeting coastal swamp forest habitat; much of the area of swamp forest habitat in coastal Louisiana is undergo­ing saltwater intrusion, high rates of submergence, and lack of riverine flow leading to reduced concentrations of important nutrients and suspended sediments, which sustain growth and regeneration, help to aerate swamp soils, and remove toxic compounds from the rhizosphere.The State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restora­tion Authority (CPRA) has made it a priority to establish a small freshwater river diversion into a coastal swamp forest located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, to reintroduce Mississippi River water to Maurepas Swamp. While a full understanding of how a coastal swamp forest will respond to new freshwater loading through a Mississippi River reintroduction is unknown, this report provides guidance based on the available literature for establishing performance measures that can be used for evaluating the effectiveness of a Mississippi River reintroduction into the forested wetlands of Maurepas Swamp

  8. Diversity of Mhc class I and IIB genes in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonneaud, Camille; Sorci, Gabriele; Morin, Véronique; Westerdahl, Helena; Zoorob, Rima; Wittzell, Håkan

    2004-03-01

    In order to understand the expression and evolution of host resistance to pathogens, we need to examine the links between genetic variability at the major histocompatibility complex ( Mhc), phenotypic expression of the immune response and parasite resistance in natural populations. To do so, we characterized the Mhc class I and IIB genes of house sparrows with the goal of designing a PCR-based genotyping method for the Mhc genes using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The incredible success of house sparrows in colonizing habitats worldwide allows us to assess the importance of the variability of Mhc genes in the face of various pathogenic pressures. Isolation and sequencing of Mhc class I and IIB alleles revealed that house sparrows have fewer loci and fewer alleles than great reed warblers. In addition, the Mhc class I genes divided in two distinct lineages with different levels of polymorphism, possibly indicating different functional roles for each gene family. This organization is reminiscent of the chicken B complex and Rfp-Y system. The house sparrow Mhc hence appears to be intermediate between the great reed warbler and the chicken Mhc, both in terms of numbers of alleles and existence of within-class lineages. We specifically amplified one Mhc class I gene family and ran the PCR products on DGGE gels. The individuals screened displayed between one and ten DGGE bands, indicating that this method can be used in future studies to explore the ecological impacts of Mhc diversity.

  9. 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...

  10. Migratory sleeplessness in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels C Rattenborg

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Twice a year, normally diurnal songbirds engage in long-distance nocturnal migrations between their wintering and breeding grounds. If and how songbirds sleep during these periods of increased activity has remained a mystery. We used a combination of electrophysiological recording and neurobehavioral testing to characterize seasonal changes in sleep and cognition in captive white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii across nonmigratory and migratory seasons. Compared to sparrows in a nonmigratory state, migratory sparrows spent approximately two-thirds less time sleeping. Despite reducing sleep during migration, accuracy and responding on a repeated-acquisition task remained at a high level in sparrows in a migratory state. This resistance to sleep loss during the prolonged migratory season is in direct contrast to the decline in accuracy and responding observed following as little as one night of experimenter-induced sleep restriction in the same birds during the nonmigratory season. Our results suggest that despite being adversely affected by sleep loss during the nonmigratory season, songbirds exhibit an unprecedented capacity to reduce sleep during migration for long periods of time without associated deficits in cognitive function. Understanding the mechanisms that mediate migratory sleeplessness may provide insights into the etiology of changes in sleep and behavior in seasonal mood disorders, as well as into the functions of sleep itself.

  11. 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…

  12. Prevalence and pathology of West Nile virus in naturally infected house sparrows, western Nebraska, 2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Valerie A; Meteyer, Carol U; Reisen, William K; Ip, Hon S; Brown, Charles R

    2010-05-01

    Nestling birds are rarely sampled in the field for most arboviruses, yet they may be important in arbovirus amplification cycles. We sampled both nestling and adult house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in western Nebraska for West Nile virus (WNV) or WNV-specific antibodies throughout the summer of 2008 and describe pathology in naturally infected nestlings. Across the summer, 4% of nestling house sparrows were WNV-positive; for the month of August alone, 12.3% were positive. Two WNV-positive nestlings exhibited encephalitis, splenomegaly, hepatic necrosis, nephrosis, and myocarditis. One nestling sparrow had large mural thrombi in the atria and ventricle and immunohistochemical staining of WNV antigen in multiple organs including the wall of the aorta and pulmonary artery; cardiac insufficiency thus may have been a cause of death. Adult house sparrows showed an overall seroprevalence of 13.8% that did not change significantly across the summer months. The WNV-positive nestlings and the majority of seropositive adults were detected within separate spatial clusters. Nestling birds, especially those reared late in the summer when WNV activity is typically greatest, may be important in virus amplification.

  13. Predation on Japanese quail vs. house sparrow eggs in artificial nests: small eggs reveal small predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Maier; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation studies frequently use eggs such as Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica) to identify potential predators of Neotropical migrants' eggs, but such eggs may be too large or thick-shelled to identify the full complement of potential predators. We compared predation events and predators of Japanese Quail and smaller House Sparrow (

  14. 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

  15. Nonomuraea rhodomycinica sp. nov., isolated from peat swamp forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripreechasak, Paranee; Phongsopitanun, Wongsakorn; Supong, Khomsan; Pittayakhajonwut, Pattama; Kudo, Takuji; Ohkuma, Moriya; Tanasupawat, Somboon

    2017-06-01

    The taxonomic position of an actinomycete, strain NR4-ASC07T, isolated from a soil sample collected from Sirindhorn peat swamp forest, Narathiwat Province, Thailand, was clarified using a polyphasic approach. On the basis of morphological and chemotaxonomic characteristics, it was classified among the members of the genus Nonomuraea. It produced tightly closed spiral spore chains on aerial mycelium as well as forming a pseudosporangium. Whole-cell hydrolysates contained meso-diaminopimelic acid, glucose, ribose, madurose and mannose. The polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, hydroxyphosphatidylethanolamine, lyso-phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylinositol mannosides, unknown ninhydrin-positive phosphoglycolipids and unknown glycolipid. Menaquiones were MK-9(H4), MK-9(H0), MK-9(H2), MK-10(H4) and MK-9(H6). Predominant cellular fatty acids were iso-C16 : 0, C17 : 0 10-methyl, C16 : 0, C17 : 1ω8c, C16 : 0 2-OH and iso-C15 : 0. The phylogenetic tree reconstructed on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the strain fell within the clade containing Nonomuraea muscovyensis FMN03T, Nonomuraea roseoviolacea subsp. roseoviolaceaNBRC 14098T and Nonomuraea roseoviolacea subsp. carminataNBRC 15903T. The DNA-DNA relatedness and phenotypic data supported that strain NR4-ASC07T was clearly distinguished from the closely related species and represents a novel species of the genus Nonomuraea for which the name Nonomuraea rhodomycinica sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is NR4-ASC07T (=NBRC 112327T=TISTR 2465T).

  16. Genetic characteristic of swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) from Pampangan, South Sumatra based on blood protein profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windusari, Yuanita; Hanum, Laila; Wahyudi, Rizki

    2017-11-01

    Swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is an endemic species and one of the genetic wealth of South Sumatra with a distribution area in the district of Pampangan (OganIlir and OganOganIlir). Suspected inbreeding causes decreased phenotypic properties. Inbreeding among various swamp buffalo is certainly not only lower the qualities but also genotypes and phenotypes. It is of interest to determine kinship variants swamp buffaloes from Pampangan through the analysis of a blood protein profile. Blood protein profile of four variants swamps buffalo was studied by using five electrophoresis system i.e. pre-albumin (Palb), albumin (Alb), ceruloplasmin (Cp), transferrin (Tf) and transferrin post (Ptf). In this paper, it is obtained that there was no significant differences among the four variants of the buffaloes were used as a sample. Prealbumin has two alleles (Palb1 and Palb2), albumin has three alleles (Alba, AlbB, AlbC), ceruloplasmin has one allele (BPA), post-transferrin has one allele (PTFA) with an allele frequency 1.0000 at any time transferrin has two alleles (TFA and TFB) with the allele frequency of 0.7500 and 1.0000. Characteristics prealbumin (Palb), albumin (Alb), ceruloplasmin (Cp), and post-transferrin (P-tf) is monomorphic, while transferrin is polymorphic average heterozygosity values all loci (H) 0.1286. Based on average heterozygosity, the swamp buffalo (Bubalusbubalis) from Pampangan has low genetic variation and closest genetic relationship.

  17. Occupancy patterns of regionally declining grassland sparrow populations in a forested Pennsylvania landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-06-01

    Organisms can be affected by processes in the surrounding landscape outside the boundary of habitat areas and by local vegetation characteristics. There is substantial interest in understanding how these processes affect populations of grassland birds, which have experienced substantial population declines. Much of our knowledge regarding patterns of occupancy and density stem from prairie systems, whereas relatively little is known regarding how occurrence and abundance of grassland birds vary in reclaimed surface mine grasslands. Using distance sampling and single-season occupancy models, we investigated how the occupancy probability of Grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's Sparrows (A. henslowii) on 61 surface mine grasslands (1591 ha) in Pennsylvania changed from 2002 through 2011 in response to landscape, grassland, and local vegetation characteristics . A subset (n = 23; 784 ha) of those grasslands were surveyed in 2002, and we estimated changes in sparrow density and vegetation across 10 years. Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrow populations declined 72% and 49%, respectively from 2002 to 2011, whereas overall woody vegetation density increased 2.6 fold. Henslow's Sparrows avoided grasslands with perimeter-area ratios ≥0.141 km/ha and woody shrub densities ≥0.04 shrubs/m(2). Both species occupied grasslands ≤13 ha, but occupancy probability declined with increasing grassland perimeter-area ratio and woody shrub density. Grassland size, proximity to nearest neighboring grassland (x = 0.2 km), and surrounding landscape composition at 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0 km were not parsimonious predictors of occupancy probability for either species. Our results suggest that reclaimed surface mine grasslands, without management intervention, are ephemeral habitats for Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows. Given the forecasted decline in surface coal production for Pennsylvania, it is likely that both species will continue to decline in our study region for the

  18. Lean birds in the city: body size and condition of house sparrows along the urbanization gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liker, A; Papp, Z; Bókony, V; Lendvai, A Z

    2008-07-01

    1. Urbanized habitats differ from natural ones in several ecological features, including climate, food availability, strength of predation and competition. Although the effects of urbanization on avian community composition are well known, there is much less information about how individual birds are affected by these human-generated habitat differences. 2. In this study we investigated the relationships between the morphological characteristics and the degree of habitat urbanization in house sparrows, Passer domesticus (Linne 1758) . We collected data for more than 1000 non-breeding adult birds in Hungary between 1997 and 2006, from seven sites including farmlands, suburban areas and city centres. 3. We found that the body mass, tarsus length and body condition of free-living sparrows differed among the sites: birds in more urbanized habitats were consistently smaller and in worse condition than birds in more rural habitats. A composite measure of habitat urbanization (based on building density, road density and vegetation cover) explained over 75% of variance between sites in the studied traits, after we controlled for the effects of sex, year, season and time of capture. 4. The difference in body mass between rural and urban sparrows was significant when birds were kept in aviaries under identical conditions, with constant ad libitum food availability. It is therefore unlikely that the reduced body size and condition of urban sparrows are a consequence of reduced access to food for adults (e.g. due to strong competition), or their short-term responses to high food predictability (e.g. by strategic mass regulation). 5. We suggest that habitat differences in nestling development or adaptive divergence of sparrow populations due to distinct environmental conditions (such as differing predation pressure) may account for the differences along the urbanization gradient.

  19. Humoral Immunity to West Nile Virus Is Long-Lasting and Protective in the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Nicole M.; Oesterle, Paul T.; Bowen, Richard A.

    2009-01-01

    The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a common and abundant amplifying host of West Nile virus (WNV) and many survive infection and develop humoral immunity. We experimentally inoculated house sparrows with WNV and monitored duration and protection of resulting antibodies. Neutralizing antibody titers remained relatively constant for ≥ 36 months (N = 42) and provided sterilizing immunity for up to 36 months post-inoculation in 98.6% of individuals (N = 72). These results imply that immune house sparrows are protected from WNV infection for multiple transmission seasons. Additionally, individuals experiencing WNV-associated mortality reached significantly higher peak viremia titers than survivors, and mortality during acute infection was significantly higher in caged versus free-flight sparrows. A better understanding of the long-term immunity and mortality rates in birds is valuable in interpreting serosurveillance and diagnostic data and modeling transmission and disease dynamics. PMID:19407139

  20. Using a dynamic hydrology model to predict mosquito abundances in flood and swamp water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaman, Jeffrey; Stieglitz, Marc; Stark, Colin; Le Blancq, Sylvie; Cane, Mark

    2002-01-01

    We modeled surface wetness at high resolution, using a dynamic hydrology model, to predict flood and swamp water mosquito abundances. Historical meteorologic data, as well as topographic, soil, and vegetation data, were used to model surface wetness and identify potential fresh and swamp water breeding habitats in two northern New Jersey watersheds. Surface wetness was positively associated with the subsequent abundance of the dominant floodwater mosquito species, Aedes vexans, and the swamp water species, Anopheles walkeri. The subsequent abundance of Culex pipiens, a species that breeds in polluted, eutrophic waters, was negatively correlated with local modeled surface wetness. These associations permit real-time monitoring and forecasting of these floodwater and nonfloodwater species at high spatial and temporal resolution. These predictions will enable public health agencies to institute control measures before the mosquitoes emerge as adults, when their role as transmitters of disease comes into play.

  1. Mass mortality of Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) from Salmonella Typhimurium dt40 in Japan, winter 2008-09.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukui, Daisuke; Takahashi, Katsumi; Kubo, Midori; Une, Yumi; Kato, Yukio; Izumiya, Hidemasa; Teraoka, Hiroki; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Yanagida, Kazumi; Bando, Gen

    2014-07-01

    An outbreak of salmonellosis in wild passerines caused mass mortality of Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) in Hokkaido, Japan, 2005-06; however, the etiology was poorly understood. In winter 2008-09, sparrow mortality again occurred in Hokkaido, and 202 deaths in 100 incidents at 94 sites were reported. We conducted a comprehensive investigation to evaluate the cause and impact on sparrow populations. We collected 26 carcasses at 13 sites, including a zoological park. In addition, Salmonella screening of zoo animals was conducted as a biosecurity measure. Salmonella Typhimurium was isolated from multiple organs in all examined sparrows; they were diagnosed with septicemic salmonellosis. Eleven sites (85%) were related to wild bird feeding and six of eight sparrow fecal samples, including from the zoo, were S. Typhimurium-positive. No infection was detected in zoo animals. Isolates belonged to three phage types: DT40 (88%), DT110 (8%), and DT120 (4%). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns were the same in all isolates, regardless of phage type. Biochemical characteristics and antibiotic-resistance profiles of DT40 were similar in all isolates, indicating a single origin. The mortality was likely associated with that in 2005-06 because the isolates had the same profiles. Tissue levels of sodium, calcium, and magnesium (the main components of chemical deicer suspected to be the major cause of poisoning deaths in 2005-06 mortality) were not higher in the affected sparrows. We conclude that an emerging epidemic infection with S. Typhimurium DT40 related to bird feeding was the cause of sparrow mortality in 2008-09 and suggest that this causative strain is host-adapted to sparrows in Japan. The mortality might have had some impact on the local population, but its influence was limited.

  2. The Effects of Corrosive Chemicals on Corrosion Rate of Steel Reinforcement Bars: I. Swamp Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sulistyoweni Widanarko

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Most of infrastructures using steel concrete to reinforce the strength of concrete. Steel concrete is so vulnerable to chemical compounds that can cause corrosion. It can happen due to the presence of chemical compounds in acid environment in low pH level. These chemical compounds are SO42-, Cl-, NO3-. There are many swamp area in Indonesia. The acid contents and the concentration of ion sulphate, chlorides, and nitrate are higher in the swamp water than in the ground water .The objective of this research was to find out the influence of corrosive chemicals in the swamp water to the steel concrete corrosion rate. There were two treatment used: (1 emerging ST 37 and ST 60 within 60 days in the 'polluted' swamp water, (2 moving the ST 37 up and down periodically in the ' polluted' swamp water. Three variation of 'polluted' swamp water were made by increasing the concentration of corrosive chemical up to 1X, 5X and 10X respectively. The corrosion rate was measured by using an Immersion Method. The result of Immersion test showed that chloride had the greatest influence to corrosion rate of ST 37 and ST 60 and followed by sulphate and Nitrate. Corrosion rate value for ST 37 is 24.29 mpy and for ST 60 is 22.76 mpy. By moving the sample up and down, the corrosion rate of ST 37 increase up to 37.59 mpy, and chloride still having the greatest influence, followed by sulphate and nitrate.

  3. Nutrition and feeding of swamp buffalo: feed resources and rumen approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Rowlins

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Seasonal feed resources are of prime importance for swamp buffaloes to support the efficient production under the prevailing small-holder farming systems. Manipulations of rumen microorganisms, fermentation and subsequent absorption by the animals are essential. Current research work on locally available feed resources such as urea-treated rice straw, cassava hay etc. revealed significant improvement in rumen ecology with higher cellulolytic bacteria and fungal zoospores and subsequent fermentation endproducts. However, investigation of rumen microorganisms diversity of swamp buffalo and their roles in fermentation using molecular technique especially the use of PCR – DGGE/ Real Time- PCR warrant future research undertakings.

  4. Long-term disturbance dynamics and resilience of tropical peat swamp forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Lydia E S; Bhagwat, Shonil A; Willis, Katherine J

    2015-01-01

    1. The coastal peat swamp forests of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, are undergoing rapid conversion, predominantly into oil palm plantations. This wetland ecosystem is assumed to have experienced insignificant disturbance in the past, persisting under a single ecologically-stable regime. However, there is limited knowledge of the past disturbance regime, long-term functioning and fundamentally the resilience of this ecosystem to changing natural and anthropogenic perturbations through time. 2. In this study, long-term ecological data sets from three degraded peatlands in Sarawak were collected to shed light on peat swamp forest dynamics. Fossil pollen and charcoal were counted in each sedimentary sequence to reconstruct vegetation and investigate responses to past environmental disturbance, both natural and anthropogenic. 3. Results demonstrate that peat swamp forest taxa have dominated these vegetation profiles throughout the last c. 2000-year period despite the presence of various drivers of disturbance. Evidence for episodes of climatic variability, predominantly linked to ENSO events, and wildfires is present throughout. However, in the last c. 500 years, burning and indicators of human disturbance have elevated beyond past levels at these sites, concurrent with a reduction in peat swamp forest pollen. 4. Two key insights have been gained through this palaeoecological analysis: (i) peat swamp forest vegetation has demonstrated resilience to disturbance caused by burning and climatic variability in Sarawak in the late Holocene, however (ii) coincident with increased fire combined with human impact c. 500 years ago, these communities started to decline. 5.Synthesis. Sarawak's coastal peat swamps have demonstrated resilience to past natural disturbances, with forest vegetation persisting through episodes of fire and climatic variability. However, palaeoecological data presented here suggest that recent, anthropogenic disturbances are of a greater magnitude, causing

  5. 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.

  6. Subsequent-year recaptures at winter sites in three species of shrubland sparrows (Emberizidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Leu, Matthias; Hanser, Steve

    2017-01-01

    The tendency by individual birds to return to winter sites in subsequent years can be important in assessing the potential influence of habitat changes during the nonbreeding period. We recaptured five Brewer's (Spizella breweri), seven sagebrush (Artemisiospiza nevadensis), and three black-throated (Amphispiza bilineata) sparrows from 1–3 subsequent years at the same winter location following their initial capture. Two Brewer's and one sagebrush sparrow returned to the same winter location at least 4 years after their initial capture. Levels of feather deuterium indicated that birds captured together on winter sites had different breeding ranges. Although individuals of these species returned to specific sites used in previous years, the low recapture rate suggests that wintering individuals may use an itinerant strategy adapted to seasonal food resources.

  7. A Case of Intraspecific Killing in Passerines: The House Sparrow (Passer Domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halliez Guillaume

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Even if intraspecific conflict is a well-known behaviour in birds, intraspecific killing among passerines is very rare in the literature. Cases of intraspecific predation among passerines constitute a very small percentage of published reports, and many of the cases are based on circumstantial evidence. In March 2013, we witnessed a group of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus kill a conspecific male adult in the village of Gonsans (France, Doubs department. During the reproductive season three explanations of others studies (lack of food, weak condition and territorial behaviour during could be relevant in our case. In conclusion, it appears that our observation is a very rare one and the second one for the House Sparrow.

  8. Oil spill impact on the finfish of Azhiwari swamp, Joinkrama in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The impact of an oil spill on surface water, sediment and finfish assemblage characteristics in a freshwater swamp forest was assessed by dividing the wetland into four zones on the basis of spilled oil cover on the water surface – High Impact Zone (HIZ >60%), Medium Impact Zone (MIZ 30 – 60%), Low Impact Zone - (LIZ 5 ...

  9. Effect of gas flaring on plants in a tropical fresh water swamp forest ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An oil field in a fresh water swamp forest was visited during the wet and dry seasons to assess the impact of gas flaring on vegetation in the area. Gas flaring attracts yam beetles (Heteroligus spp.) and grasshopper (Zonocerus variegates) to the area, and these attack crops. Generally, the nearer plantain (Musa sp.) and oil ...

  10. Floristic composition and diversity of three swamp forests in northwest Guyana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andel, T.R. van

    2003-01-01

    This paper reviews the floristic composition, vegetation structure, and diversity of three types of swamp forest that cover a considerable part of Guyana’s North-West District. Trees, shrubs, lianas, herbs, and hemi-epiphytes were inventoried in three hectare plots: one in Mora forest, one in

  11. Management of Bottomland Hardwoods and Deepwater Swamps for Threatened and Endangered Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-12-01

    Zone Species II III IV V VI Acer negundo (boxelder) X X X X Acer rubrum (red maple) X X X X Alnus serrulata (common alder) X X X Amorpha...virginiana (persimmon) X X X X Euonymus americanus (strawberry bush) X X Fagus grandifolia (American beech) X X Forestiera acuminata (swamp privet) X

  12. Diversity and Antagonistic Activity of Actinomycete Strains From Myristica Swamp Soils Against Human Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varghese Rlnoy

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Under the present investigation Actinomycetes were isolated from the soils of Myristica swamps of southern Western Ghats and the antagonistic activity against different human bacterial pathogens was evaluated. Results of the present study revealed that Actinomycetes population in the soils of Myristica swamp was spatially and seasonally varied. Actinomycetes load was varied from 24×104 to 71×103, from 129×103 to 40×103 and from 31×104 to 84×103 in post monsoon, monsoon and pre monsoon respectively. A total of 23 Actinomycetes strains belonging to six genera were isolated from swamp soils. Identification of the isolates showed that most of the isolates belonged to the genus Streptomyces (11, followed by Nocardia (6, Micromonospora (3, Pseudonocardia (1, Streptosporangium (1, and Nocardiopsis (1. Antagonistic studies revealed that 91.3% of Actinomycete isolates were active against one or more tested pathogens, of that 56.52% exhibited activity against Gram negative and 86.95% showed activity against Gram positive bacteria. 39.13% isolates were active against all the bacterial pathogens selected and its inhibition zone diameter was also high. 69.5% of Actinomycetes were exhibited antibacterial activity against Listeria followed by Bacillus cereus (65.21%, Staphylococcus (60.86%, Vibrio cholera (52.17%, Salmonella (52.17% and E. coli (39.13%. The results indicate that the Myristica swamp soils of Southern Western Ghats might be a remarkable reserve of Actinomycetes with potential antagonistic activity.

  13. Potential roles of fish, birds, and water in swamp privet (Forestiera acuminata) seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan B. Adams; Paul B. Hamel; Kristina Connor; Bryce Burke; Emile S. Gardiner; David Wise

    2007-01-01

    Forestiera acuminata (swamp privet) is a common wetland shrub/small tree native to the southeastern United States. We examined several possible dispersal avenues for the plant. We tested germination of seeds exposed to various treatments, including passage through Ictalurus punctatus (Channel Catfi sh) guts, and conducted other...

  14. Skin disease affecting the conservation of the western swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladyman, J M; Kuchling, G; Burford, D; Boardman, W; Raidal, S R

    1998-11-01

    To review the present position of the western swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) as an endangered species and significant health issues affecting efforts to save it from extinction. A retrospective analysis of the husbandry, hospital and pathology records of the western swamp tortoise captive breeding program at Perth Zoo. In 1987 a captive breeding project was developed to prevent the extinction of the western swamp tortoise but an outbreak of a necrotising dermatitis in 1989 threatened the survival of the captive bred hatchlings. Less severe outbreaks occurred in 1990 and 1993, with isolated cases in between. Of 283 tortoises that were born in captivity or came into captivity from the wild, 37 (13.1%) were affected, comprising 37% of all males, 26% of all females and 13% of animals of unknown gender. Of the affected animals, 70% were less than 2 years of age and 29% were older. Males were 1.6 times more likely to be infected than females but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.27). Culture of the lesions consistently yielded unidentified Pseudomonas sp. Improved husbandry, such as strict maintenance of water quality and temperature conditions similar to that of the animal's natural habitat, and monitoring the health of individual tortoises have successfully controlled skin disease in the captive breeding of the western swamp tortoise.

  15. Decline of the Maurepas Swamp, Pontchartrain Basin, Louisiana, and Approaches to Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary P. Shaffer

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Maurepas swamp is the second largest contiguous coastal forest in Louisiana but it is highly degraded due to subsidence, near permanent flooding, nutrient starvation, nutria herbivory, and saltwater intrusion. Observed tree mortality rates at study sites in the Maurepas swamp are very high (up to 100% tree mortality in 11 years and basal area decreased with average salinities of <1 ppt. Habitat classification, vegetation productivity and mortality, and surface elevation changes show a clear trajectory from stagnant, nearly permanently flooded forests with broken canopy to degraded forests with sparse baldcypress and dominated by herbaceous species and open water to open water habitat for most of the Maurepas swamp without introduction of fresh water to combat saltwater intrusion and stimulate productivity and accretion. Healthy forests in the Maurepas are receiving fresh water containing nutrients and sediments from urban areas, high quality river water, or secondarily treated municipal effluent. Currently, two proposed diversions into the swamp are via Hope Canal (57 m3·s−1 and Blind River (142 m3·s−1. These diversions would greatly benefit their immediate area but they are too small to influence the entire Maurepas sub-basin, especially in terms of accretion. A large diversion (>1422 m3·s−1 is needed to deliver the adequate sediments to achieve high accretion rates and stimulate organic soil formation.

  16. Survey of economic trees in fresh water swamp of Calabar | Okon ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey of economic trees namely Elaeis guineensis (oil-palm) and Colocasia esculenta (taro) in fresh water swamp, Calabar was conducted. The survey area located in the vicinity of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Calabar premises covered an area of 0.5km x 0.2km was divided into five plots (A – E).

  17. Genetic and Morphometric Divergence of an Invasive Bird: The Introduced House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Marcos R Lima; Macedo, Regina H. F.; Thaís L F Martins; Schrey, Aaron W.; Martin, Lynn B.; Staffan Bensch

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species are interesting systems for the study of contemporary evolution in new environments because of their spatial and temporal scales. For this study we had three aims: (i) to determine how genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of introduced populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Brazil varies with range expansion, (ii) to determine how genetic diversity and differentiation in Brazil compares to ancestral European populations; and (iii) to determine whet...

  18. 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.

  19. Estimates of Nitrogen Removal in U.S. Streams and Reservoirs from the SPARROW Watershed Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, R. B.; Smith, R. A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Nolan, J. V.; Boyer, E. W.

    2003-12-01

    Greater understanding is needed of the biotic and abiotic processes that remove nitrogen (N) from streams and reservoirs to quantify transport to downstream coastal waters where eutrophication is a major concern. Recent studies have improved estimates of N removal rates (e.g., denitrification, biological uptake) over small spatial scales in low-order streams. However, limited knowledge of the factors that explain the large variation in literature removal rates has made it difficult to accurately predict N transport through the range of stream and reservoir sizes that link sources to downstream waters. Spatially referenced watershed models (SPARROW) have been used to statistically estimate long-term mean-annual rates of total nitrogen removal in streams and reservoirs over large spatial scales. These rates are estimated as a function of physical and hydraulic properties (channel depth, water travel time) that influence the contact and exchange of water with benthic sediment. We recently refined our SPARROW model structure with expanded descriptions of climatic, topographic, and other surficial features of terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. We find that the net rates of N removal decline from about 0.3 day-1 of water travel time in streams with depths less than 0.5 meters to negligible quantities in large rivers (greater than 4 meters). These rates are generally consistent with those of earlier regional and national SPARROW models and with measured rates from the literature (adjusted for water travel time) over the reported range of stream depths. A settling velocity of approximately 8 meters year-1 is estimated for lakes and reservoirs and agrees well with literature rates for lakes where denitrification is the predominant removal process. We applied these removal rates within the SPARROW stream and reservoir network to estimate the regional-scale N transport and delivery to U.S. coastal waters.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rouffaer, Lieze; 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...

  1. Effect of age and diet on total and paracellular glucose absorption in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brzek, Paweł; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Hoefer, Keeshia; Karasov, William H

    2010-01-01

    Size and hydrolytic activity of the gastrointestinal tracts of altricial birds undergo large and rapid changes during ontogeny. However, nothing is known about the development of the capacity of absorption of products of digestion, a factor that can limit total digestive performance. Using pharmacokinetic methods applied to wild-collected and laboratory-raised altricial nestlings of house sparrows (Passer domesticus), we addressed several questions of general significance about absorption in young birds. We found that both rate and efficiency of absorption of radiolabeled 3-O-methyl-D-glucose (3-OMD-glucose; absorbed by both transporter-mediated and nonmediated mechanisms) increased significantly between days 3 and 12 posthatch. We hypothesize that these changes can explain improvements in whole-diet digestion rate and efficiency observed in the young of house sparrows and of many other avian species, even after intestinal growth has ceased. We also tested the hypothesis that a high level of nonmediated, paracellular glucose absorption, as is typical in adult house sparrows, would already be observed in nestlings, and that their glucose absorption efficiency would not depend on glucose load because absorption rate is nonsaturable and is matched to substrate concentration. Using l-glucose (which is absorbed by nonmediated mechanism[s]), we found that, as predicted, paracellular absorption accounted for the majority of total absorption in nestlings of all ages, and starch content (0% vs. 25%) in the diet of laboratory-raised nestlings had no effect on efficiency of absorption of 3-OMD-glucose. Presumably, reliance on nonmediated absorption in young sparrows can save energy for growth. Also, during the transition from an almost starch-free, insect-based diet during the first days posthatch to the starch-rich, seed-based diet that is typical of adults, reliance on passive absorption is advantageous because the rate of absorption can easily match the current

  2. Rapid changes in cell physiology as a result of acute thermal stress house sparrows, Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Ana G; Williams, Joseph B

    2014-12-01

    Given that our climate is rapidly changing, Physiological Ecologists have the critical task of identifying characteristics of species that make them either resilient or susceptible to changes in their natural air temperature regime. Because climate change models suggest that heat events will become more common, and in some places more extreme, it is important to consider how extreme heat events might affect the physiology of a species. The implications of more frequent heat wave events for birds have only recently begun to be addressed, however, the impact of these events on the cellular physiology of a species is difficult to assess. We have developed a novel approach using dermal fibroblasts to explore how short-term thermal stress at the whole animal level might affect cellular rates of metabolism. House sparrows, Passer domesticus were separated into a "control group" and a "heat shocked" group, the latter acclimated to 43°C for 24h. We determined the plasticity of cellular thermal responses by assigning a "recovery group" that was heat shocked as above, but then returned to room temperature for 24h. Primary dermal fibroblasts were grown from skin of all treatment groups and the pectoralis muscle was collected. We found that glycolysis (ECAR) and oxygen consumption rates (OCR), measured using a Seahorse XF 96 analyzer, were significantly higher in the fibroblasts from the heat shocked group of House sparrows compared with their control counterparts. Additionally, muscle fiber diameters decreased and, in turn, Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase maximal activity in the muscle significantly increased in heat shocked sparrows compared with birds in the control group. All of these physiological alterations due to short-term heat exposure were reversible within 24h of recovery at room temperature. These results show that acute exposure to heat stress significantly alters the cellular physiology of sparrows, but that this species is plastic enough to recover from such a thermal

  3. Primary production in an impounded baldcypress swamp (Taxodium distichum) at the northern limit of the range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, B.A.; McKee, K.L.

    2005-01-01

    The ability of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)swamps to maintain themselves near the northern limit of their range depends on their levels of production, which is not only are response to climate but also to local environmental factors(e.g., impoundment). We asked if primary production was reduced under impounded conditions and if species' responses to impoundment were individualistic or more generalized. To examine long-term production trends in a permanently impounded baldcypress swamp, a 6-year study of leaf litterfall was conducted in Buttonland Swamp, Illinois, which had been impounded for 10 years before the beginning of the study. Buttonland Swamp is at the northern boundary of the baldcypress swamp region along the Cache River, Illinois, in the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley of the United States. When the litter production of impounded sites was compared to those with natural hydrology in the same region, impounded sites had about half of the total litterfall of natural sites. Overall, leaf litterfall rates declined during the study(201 vs. 113 gm-2 yr-1), but the pattern was negatively correlated with water depth, which explained 97% of the variation in the data. Along the transect with the lowest mean minimum water depth(<0.5 cm), leaf litterfall decreased linearly over 6 years from 377 to 154gm-2 yr-1. Total leaf litterfall rates were lower at the other three depths(5, 43, and 49 cm mean minimum water depths)and remained below 200 gm-2 yr -1 throughout the study. Acer saccharinum, Nyssa aquatica, and Salix nigra were most responsible for the decline in total leaf litterfall. Amounts of leaf litterfall of T. distichum and Liquidambar styraciflua also generally decreased, while that of Cephalanthus occidentalis increased overtime. Because species' responses to environmental factors such as impoundment are individualistic, models should be based on the responses of individual species, rather than on communities. Our study further suggests that the

  4. Transforming Swamp Buffaloes to Producers of Milk and Meat Through Crossbreeding and Backcrossing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L C Cruz

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available There are two major types of water buffaloes in the world, the riverine type and the swamp type. The total number of Swamp buffalo is 37.6 M and represents 21.8% of the world’s buffalo population. The swamp buffaloes have played a major role in draft animal-dependent farming system. But intensified rice production became more pronounced in irrigated areas and this has led to increased utilization of small farm machineries, displacing significantly the draft buffaloes for land tillage. To some extent, the introduction of tractors for land preparation and transport for corn, sugarcane and other crops in production areas has similar effect. Utilization of the existing population of swamp buffaloes to meet the growing domestic demand for milk and meat, against the background of increasing farm mechanization, is a good reason to transform the huge number of draft animals into producers of milk and meat. According to the UNDP/FAO-assisted project in the Philippines carried from 1982 to 1998, that crossing swamp buffalo and riverine buffaloes, despite the differences in chromosome numbers, is producing crossbreds with high growth rate potentials and milk production abilities several folds over the swamp buffalo parents. The known fact that swamp and riverine buffaloes have different chromosome number, the diploid chromosome number of the swamp buffalo is 48 and that of the river buffalo is 50. When crossbreeding between the 2 buffalo types occur, males and females of the F1 generation are heterozygous for the fusion and are apparently fertile with chromosome 2n = 49. Three-way crossbred hybrids were obtained by (native buffalo x Murrah x Nili Ravi or (native buffalo x Nili Ravi x Murrah. They had two chromosome categories viz. 2n=49 and 2n=50, respectively. Crossbreeding Swamp with Riverine Breed is done for quality beef. Most of the NT produced TenderBuff is farm-bred or purchased from other suppliers as swamp buffalo yearlings and growth out for a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Discriminative and reinforcing properties of paintings in Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikkatai, Yuko; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2011-03-01

    Previous studies suggest that non-human animals can discriminate two different artworks (such as music or paintings) that were created by humans. However, such studies rarely examined whether those animals were reinforced by one artwork more than another. It has been shown that music composed by humans has both discriminative and reinforcing properties when played for Java sparrows. Here, we investigated the effects of another artistic medium in Java sparrows, namely paintings. The first experiment tested the reinforcing properties. Staying time at three painting categories--Japanese, cubist, and impressionist--was measured as an index of their reinforcing properties. The second experiment used operant conditioning to reveal the discriminative properties of the different artistic styles of such paintings. Results suggest that the paintings have both discriminative and reinforcing properties for Java sparrows. However, the reinforcing properties vary from individual to individual. This is the first report demonstrating reinforcing properties of visual artworks in non-human animals. © Springer-Verlag 2010

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-10-01

    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.

  10. Morphology-function relationships and repeatability in the sperm of Passer sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramer, Emily R A; Laskemoen, Terje; Stensrud, Even; Rowe, Melissah; Haas, Fredrik; Lifjeld, Jan T; Saetre, Glenn-Peter; Johnsen, Arild

    2015-04-01

    Sperm performance is likely to be an important determinant of male reproductive success, especially when females copulate with multiple males. Understanding sperm performance is therefore crucial to fully understand the evolution of male reproductive strategies. In this study, we examined the repeatability of sperm morphology and motility measures over three breeding seasons, and we studied relationships between sperm morphology and function. We conducted this study in wild-derived captive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Spanish sparrows (P. hispaniolensis). Results for the two species were similar. As predicted from results in other passerine species, total sperm length was highly repeatable across ejaculates, and repeatability for the length of other components was moderate. The repeatability of sperm swimming speed across ejaculates was lower, but statistically significant, suggesting that sperm velocity may be a relatively dynamic trait. Surprisingly, swimming speed did not correlate with the relative length of the midpiece, and it correlated negatively with the relative length of the flagellum and with total sperm length. This pattern is the opposite of what theory predicts and differs from what has been found in house sparrows before. Also contrary to previous work, we found no evidence that total sperm length correlates with sperm longevity. These results therefore highlight the need for a better understanding of relationships between sperm morphology and function in passerine birds. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Within-male melanin-based plumage and bill elaboration in male house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Václav, Radovan

    2006-12-01

    If there is a cost to producing a dark color patch, the size of a patch may not correspond with its pigment concentration. The plumage of male house sparrows represents a case of dark, melanin-based ornamentation, but also a case of neglecting the composite nature of dark signals in birds. Here, I investigated what kind of associations exist between the brightness, chroma, and hue of dark integumentary patches and the size of a secondary sexual trait, the bib, in male house sparrows. I found that males with a larger bib also had a darker bib and bill, and a more saturated bib, bill, epaulets, head crown, and breast than small-bibbed males. Male bib coloration in terms of brightness and chroma was more strongly related to bib size than the coloration of other integumentary patches. However, with respect to hue, only the hue of the bill and cheeks was related to bib size. My results indicate that size, brightness, and chroma of the bib, but also chroma of other deeply colored patches, convey redundant information about the signaler's quality in male house sparrows.

  12. Prevalence and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Lanzhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Wei; Huang, Si-Yang; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Zhang, Nian-Zhang; Zhao, Quan; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2013-06-01

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in birds has epidemiological significance because birds are indeed considered as a good indicator of environmental contamination by T. gondii oocysts. In this study, the prevalence of T. gondii in 313 house sparrows in Lanzhou, northwestern China was assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were positive in 39 (12.46%) of 313 samples (MAT titer ≥ 1:5). Tissues of heart, brain, and lung from the 39 seropositive house sparrows were tested for T. gondii DNA, 11 of which were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 9 genetic markers, including 8 nuclear loci, i.e., SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alternative SAG2, SAG3, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8 and an apicoplast locus Apico. Of them, 4 isolates were genotyped with complete data for all loci, and 2 genotypes (Type II variants; ToxoDB #3 and a new genotype) were identified. These results showed that there is a potential risk for human infection with T. gondii in this region. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii seroprevalence in house sparrows in China.

  13. Logged peat swamp forest supports greater macrofungal biodiversity than large-scale oil palm plantations and smallholdings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuhada, Siti Noor; Salim, Sabiha; Nobilly, Frisco; Zubaid, Akbar; Azhar, Badrul

    2017-09-01

    Intensive land expansion of commercial oil palm agricultural lands results in reducing the size of peat swamp forests, particularly in Southeast Asia. The effect of this land conversion on macrofungal biodiversity is, however, understudied. We quantified macrofungal biodiversity by identifying mushroom sporocarps throughout four different habitats; logged peat swamp forest, large-scale oil palm plantation, monoculture, and polyculture smallholdings. We recorded a total of 757 clusters of macrofungi belonging to 127 morphospecies and found that substrates for growing macrofungi were abundant in peat swamp forest; hence, morphospecies richness and macrofungal clusters were significantly greater in logged peat swamp forest than converted oil palm agriculture lands. Environmental factors that influence macrofungi in logged peat swamp forests such as air temperature, humidity, wind speed, soil pH, and soil moisture were different from those in oil palm plantations and smallholdings. We conclude that peat swamp forests are irreplaceable with respect to macrofungal biodiversity. They host much greater macrofungal biodiversity than any of the oil palm agricultural lands. It is imperative that further expansion of oil palm plantation into remaining peat swamp forests should be prohibited in palm oil producing countries. These results imply that macrofungal distribution reflects changes in microclimate between habitats and reduced macrofungal biodiversity may adversely affect decomposition in human-modified landscapes.

  14. Mapping swamp timothy (Cripsis schenoides) seed productivity using spectral values and vegetation indices in managed wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahilly, P.J.A.; Li, D.; Guo, Q.; Zhu, J.; Ortega, R.; Quinn, N.W.T.; Harmon, T.C.

    2010-01-15

    This work examines the potential to predict the seed productivity of a key wetland plant species using spectral reflectance values and spectral vegetation indices. Specifically, the seed productivity of swamp timothy (Cripsis schenoides) was investigated in two wetland ponds, managed for waterfowl habitat, in California's San Joaquin Valley. Spectral reflectance values were obtained and associated spectral vegetation indices (SVI) calculated from two sets of high resolution aerial images (May 11, 2006 and June 9, 2006) and were compared to the collected vegetation data. Vegetation data were collected and analyzed from 156 plots for total aboveground biomass, total aboveground swamp timothy biomass, and total swamp timothy seed biomass. The SVI investigated included the Simple Ratio (SR), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Transformed Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (TSAVI), Modified Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (MSAVI), and Global Environment Monitoring Index (GEMI). We evaluated the correlation of the various SVI with in situ vegetation measurements for linear, quadratic, exponential and power functions. In all cases, the June image provided better predictive capacity relative to May, a result that underscores the importance of timing imagery to coincide with more favorable vegetation maturity. The north pond with the June image using SR and the exponential function (R{sup 2}=0.603) proved to be the best predictor of swamp timothy seed productivity. The June image for the south pond was less predictive, with TSAVI and the exponential function providing the best correlation (R{sup 2}=0.448). This result was attributed to insufficient vegetal cover in the south pond (or a higher percentage of bare soil) due to poor drainage conditions which resulted in a delay in swamp timothy germination. The results of this work suggest that spectral reflectance can be used to estimate seed productivity in managed seasonal

  15. Le Conte's sparrows breeding in Conservation Reserve Program fields: precipitation and patterns of population change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    1999-01-01

    The climate of the North American Great Plains is highly dynamic, with great year-to-year variability in precipitation and periodic, often extreme, wet and dry cycles (Bragg 1995). Drought is a major force of ecological disturbance on the Great Plains and has played a key role in directing the evolution of the grassland biota of this region (Knopf and Samson 1997). Although grassland birds may differ in their responses to enviromenental variations (Rotenberry and Wiens 1991), climatic variability and concomitant unpredictability of resources strongly influence populations of grassland birds across space and time (Wiens 1974, 1986; Cody 1985). Not surprisingly, breeding bird populations on the Great Plains are highly dynamic, exhibiting considerable annual variation in composition, abundance, and distribution (Johnson and Grier 1988, George et al. 1992, Zimmerman 1992, Igl and Johnson 1997). Recently, interest in grassland birds has increased with the recognition that many species are declining both continentally (Droege and Sauer 1994) and globally (Goriup 1988). Identification of the specific factors associated with grassland bird declines in North America, however, remains largely enigmatic (Herkert 1997), and it is complicated by the considerable annual fluctuations in grassland bird distribution and abundance (Igl and Johnson 1997). Although there is evidence that land-use changes on the breeding grounds may have contributed to grassland bird declines (e.g., Igl and Johnson 1997), there also is an indication that long-term drought conditions may have influenced recent population changes of some breeding birds on the Great Plains (Droege and Sauer 1989, Peterjohn and Sauer 1993, Bethke and Nudds 1995, Igl and Johnson 1997). Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii) is a secretive grassland bird that breeds in central and southern Canada and the northcentral United States (Murray 1969). It winters primarily in the southern United States (Peterson 1980, 1990

  16. Broad-scale latitudinal patterns of genetic diversity among native European and introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, A W; Grispo, M; Awad, M; Cook, M B; McCoy, E D; Mushinsky, H R; Albayrak, T; Bensch, S; Burke, T; Butler, L K; Dor, R; Fokidis, H B; Jensen, H; Imboma, T; Kessler-Rios, M M; Marzal, A; Stewart, I R K; Westerdahl, H; Westneat, D F; Zehtindjiev, P; Martin, L B

    2011-03-01

    Introduced species offer unique opportunities to study evolution in new environments, and some provide opportunities for understanding the mechanisms underlying macroecological patterns. We sought to determine how introduction history impacted genetic diversity and differentiation of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus), one of the most broadly distributed bird species. We screened eight microsatellite loci in 316 individuals from 16 locations in the native and introduced ranges. Significant population structure occurred between native than introduced house sparrows. Introduced house sparrows were distinguished into one North American group and a highly differentiated Kenyan group. Genetic differentiation estimates identified a high magnitude of differentiation between Kenya and all other populations, but demonstrated that European and North American samples were differentiated too. Our results support previous claims that introduced North American populations likely had few source populations, and indicate house sparrows established populations after introduction. Genetic diversity also differed among native, introduced North American, and Kenyan populations with Kenyan birds being least diverse. In some cases, house sparrow populations appeared to maintain or recover genetic diversity relatively rapidly after range expansion (genetic diversity exhibited large-scale geographic patterns, increasing towards the equator. Such patterns of genetic diversity are concordant with two previously described models of genetic diversity, the latitudinal model and the species diversity model. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge FY 1994 Prescribed Fire Proposal Plan Fringe Marsh-Highway 158

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This plan considers fire on Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge as a tool for management and as a potential problem to be dealt with. This document discusses...

  20. Effects of historical and active nursery operations on the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morris County, New Jersey

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report presents preliminary reconnaissance data on sediment and fish samples collected within the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GSNWR) Tract 141A - the...

  1. Dismal Swamp In Legend And History: George Washington Owned Large Tracts in Region Which He Described as a "Glorious Paradise"

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Ever since it was first explored, Dismal Swamp has remained a mystery place. Its last Indian disappeared around the 179o's, but in its depths it is almost as wild...

  2. A Compositional Study Of The Phytoplankton Of Lake Drummond And The Rivers And Canals That Drain The Dismal Swamp

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A six-week study of the phytoplankton in Lake Drummond and the canals and river which drain the Dismal Swamp resulted in the identification of 110 species. These...

  3. [Amphibians and reptiles in the swamps dominated by the palm Raphia taedigera (Arecaceae) in northeastern Costa Rica].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Beneyto, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    The herpetofauna that inhabits Caribbean Costa Rica has received considerable attention in the last two decades. This assemblage includes a total of 141 species of reptiles and 95 amphibians mostly distributed in tropical wet and moist lowland forests. While most information available came from primary and secondary forest sites, little is known about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit more open habitats, such as wetlands and swamps. For instances, swaps dominated by the yolillo palm Raphia taedigera extend through much of the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and eastern Nicaragua, but information about the herpetological community that uses such environments remains practically unknown. This situation reflects the little research conducted in such inhospitable environments. Here, we report the results of an intensive survey conducted to assess the herpetological community that inhabit R. taedigera palm-swamps. A total of 14 species of amphibians and 17 of reptiles have been recorded from these swamps. Amphibians and reptiles that inhabit yolillo swamps have wide distributions along much of Middle America and are considered common species throughout their range. In general, yolillo swamps are poor environments for herpetofauna: richness of reptiles and amphibians is almost two times higher in the adjacent forest than in the palm dominated swamps. Furthermore, most species observed in this swamps can be considered habitat generalists that are well adapted to the extreme conditions imposed by the changes in hydroperiods, reduce understory cover, low tree diversity and simple forest architecture of these environments. Despite similarities in the herpetofauna, it is clear that not all forest species use yolillo habitat, a characteristic that is discussed in terms of physical stress driven by the prolonged hydroperiod and reduced leaflitter in the ground, as these features drive habitat structure and herpetofaunal complexity. Our list of species using

  4. Imported Asian swamp eels (Synbranchidae: Monopterus) in North American live food markets: Potential vectors of non-native parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nico, Leo G.; Sharp, Paul; Collins, Timothy M.

    2011-01-01

    Since the 1990s, possibly earlier, large numbers of Asian swamp eels (Synbranchidae: Monopterus spp.), some wild-caught, have been imported live from various countries in Asia and sold in ethnic food markets in cities throughout the USA and parts of Canada. Such markets are the likely introduction pathway of some, perhaps most, of the five known wild populations of Asian swamp eels present in the continental United States. This paper presents results of a pilot study intended to gather baseline data on the occurrence and abundance of internal macroparasites infecting swamp eels imported from Asia to North American retail food markets. These data are important in assessing the potential role that imported swamp eels may play as possible vectors of non-native parasites. Examination of the gastrointestinal tracts and associated tissues of 19 adult-sized swamp eels—identified as M. albus "Clade C"—imported from Vietnam and present in a U.S. retail food market revealed that 18 (95%) contained macroparasites. The 394 individual parasites recovered included a mix of nematodes, acanthocephalans, cestodes, digeneans, and pentastomes. The findings raise concern because of the likelihood that some parasites infecting market swamp eels imported from Asia are themselves Asian taxa, some possibly new to North America. The ecological risk is exacerbated because swamp eels sold in food markets are occasionally retained live by customers and a few reportedly released into the wild. For comparative purposes, M. albus "Clade C" swamp eels from a non-native population in Florida (USA) were also examined and most (84%) were found to be infected with internal macroparasites. The current level of analysis does not allow us to confirm whether these are non-native parasites.

  5. AN OVERVIEW OF CESIUM-137 CONTAMINATION IN A SOUTHEASTERN SWAMP ENVIRONMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fledderman, P; Tim Jannik, T; Michael Paller, M

    2006-10-09

    In the early 1960s, an area of privately owned swamp adjacent to the Savannah River Site (SRS) was contaminated by site operations. Studies conducted in 1974 estimated that approximately 925 GBq of {sup 137}Cs and 37 GBq of {sup 60}Co were deposited in the swamp. Subsequently, a series of surveys was initiated to characterize the contaminated environment. These surveys--composed of 52 monitoring locations--allow for continued monitoring at a consistent set of locations. Initial survey results indicated maximum {sup 137}Cs concentrations of 19.5 Bq g{sup -1} in soil and 8.7 Bq g{sup -1} in vegetation. By the 2004-2005 surveys, maximum concentrations had declined to 1-2 Bq g{sup -1} in soil and 0.4 Bq g{sup -1} in vegetation.

  6. AN OVERVIEW OF CESIUM-137 CONTAMINATION IN A SOUTHEASTERN SWAMP ENVIRONMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fledderman, P; Tim Jannik, T; Michael Paller, M

    2007-04-04

    In the early 1960s, an area of privately owned swamp adjacent to the Savannah River Site (SRS) was contaminated by site operations. Studies conducted in 1974 estimated that approximately 925 GBq of {sup 137}Cs and 37 GBq of {sup 60}Co were deposited in the swamp. Subsequently, a series of surveys was initiated to characterize the contaminated environment. These surveys--composed of 52 monitoring locations--allow for continued monitoring at a consistent set of locations. Initial survey results indicated maximum {sup 137}Cs concentrations of 19.5 Bq g{sup -1} in soil and 8.7 Bq g{sup -1} in vegetation. By the 2004-2005 surveys, maximum concentrations had declined to 1-2 Bq g{sup -1} in soil and 0.4 Bq g{sup -1} in vegetation.

  7. Experimental infection of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with West Nile virus strains of lineages 1 and 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Amo, Javier; Llorente, Francisco; Pérez-Ramirez, Elisa; Soriguer, Ramón C; Figuerola, Jordi; Nowotny, Norbert; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Angel

    2014-08-27

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic pathogen which is maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds; humans, equines, other mammals and some bird species are dead-end hosts. Lineage 1 WNV strains have predominated in Europe since the 1960s. However, in 2004 lineage 2 strains emerged in Hungary and Russia, respectively, spreading since then to a number of neighbouring countries (e.g., Austria, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Romania). Wild bird mortality is a hallmark of North American WNV outbreaks, a feature uncommon in Europe. This study aimed to compare the course of infection of lineage 1 (NY99) and lineage 2 (Austria/2008) WNV strains in the house sparrow, a bird species common in Europe and North America. House sparrows were inoculated with either NY99 or Austria/2008 WNV strains, or sham-inoculated, and clinical and analytic parameters (viraemia, viral load, antibodies) were examined until 14 days after inoculation. Although all inoculated sparrows became infected, no mortality or clinical signs were observed due to the infection. However, the magnitude and duration of viraemia were higher for NY99 - than for Austria/2008 - infected birds. The house sparrow proved to be a competent host for both strains, although the competence index calculated for NY99 was higher than for Austria/2008. Viral load in tissues and swabs was also higher in NY99-inoculated sparrows. In conclusion, the house sparrow is a convenient avian model for studying host competence of WNV strains. The observed differences between NY99 and Austria/2008 strains might have important epidemiological consequences for disease incidence and dispersal capacity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Restoration and Management of a Degraded Baldcypress Swamp and Freshwater Marsh in Coastal Louisiana

    OpenAIRE

    Rachael G. Hunter; John W. Day; Gary P. Shaffer; Robert R. Lane; Andrew J. Englande; Robert Reimers; Demetra Kandalepas; William B. Wood; Jason N. Day; Eva Hillmann

    2016-01-01

    The Central Wetlands Unit (CWU), covering 12,000 hectares in St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes, Louisiana, was once a healthy baldcypress–water tupelo swamp and fresh and low salinity marsh before construction of levees isolated the region from Mississippi River floodwaters. Construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), which funneled saltwater inland from the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in a drastic ecosystem change and caused mortality of almost all trees and low salinity marsh, but...

  9. Aquatic organisms as amber inclusions and examples from a modern swamp forest

    OpenAIRE

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Dilcher, David L.

    2007-01-01

    To find aquatic organisms in tree resin may seem to be highly unlikely, but the fossil record provides numerous amber-preserved limnetic arthropods (e.g., water beetles, water striders, and crustaceans) and microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, algae, ciliates, testate amoebae, and rotifers). Here we explain the frequently discussed process of embedding aquatic organisms in tree resin based on field studies in a Florida swamp forest. Different aquatic arthropods and all major groups of limnetic mic...

  10. Proteomic analysis of three gonad types of swamp eel reveals genes differentially expressed during sex reversal

    OpenAIRE

    Yue Sheng; Wei Zhao; Ying Song; Zhigang Li; Majing Luo; Quan Lei; Hanhua Cheng; Rongjia Zhou

    2015-01-01

    A variety of mechanisms are engaged in sex determination in vertebrates. The teleost fish swamp eel undergoes sex reversal naturally and is an ideal model for vertebrate sexual development. However, the importance of proteome-wide scanning for gonad reversal was not previously determined. We report a 2-D electrophoresis analysis of three gonad types of proteomes during sex reversal. MS/MS analysis revealed a group of differentially expressed proteins during ovary to ovotestis to testis transf...

  11. Latitudinal variation in carbon storage can help predict changes in swamps affected by global warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Beth A.; McKee, Karen

    2004-01-01

    Plants may offer our best hope of removing greenhouse gases (gases that contribute to global warming) emitted to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels. At the same time, global warming could change environments so that natural plant communities will either need to shift into cooler climate zones, or become extirpated (Prasad and Iverson, 1999; Crumpacker and others, 2001; Davis and Shaw, 2001). It is impossible to know the future, but studies combining field observation of production and modeling can help us make predictions about what may happen to these wetland communities in the future. Widespread wetland types such as baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) swamps in the southeastern portion of the United States could be especially good at carbon sequestration (amount of CO2 stored by forests) from the atmosphere. They have high levels of production and sometimes store undecomposed dead plant material in wet conditions with low oxygen, thus keeping gases stored that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere (fig. 1). To study the ability of baldcypress swamps to store carbon, our project has taken two approaches. The first analysis looked at published data to develop an idea (hypothesis) of how production levels change across a temperature gradient in the baldcypress region (published data study). The second study tested this idea by comparing production levels across a latitudinal range by using swamps in similar field conditions (ongoing carbon storage study). These studies will help us make predictions about the future ability of baldcypress swamps to store carbon in soil and plant biomass, as well as the ability of these forests to shift northward with global warming.

  12. Nariva Swamp Ramsar Site, Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies) Wetland Habitat Restoration Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montserrat Carbonell; Nadra Nathai-Gyan

    2005-01-01

    Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island nation, is the most southerly of the Caribbean islands and lies just 11 km off the coast of Venezuela, near the Orinoco delta. Trinidad, the larger of the two islands, is approximately 5,000 km² and the Nariva Swamp is located on its eastern coast (fig. 1). In 1993, this site was designated as a wetland of international...

  13. Repeated drought alters resistance of seed bank regeneration in baldcypress swamps of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Ting; Middleton, Beth A.

    2018-01-01

    Recurring drying and wetting events are likely to increase in frequency and intensity in predicted future droughts in the central USA and alter the regeneration potential of species. We explored the resistance of seed banks to successive droughts in 53 sites across the nine locations in baldcypress swamps in the southeastern USA. Along the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley and northern Gulf of Mexico, we investigated the capacity of seed banks to retain viable seeds after successive periods of drying and wetting in a greenhouse study. Mean differences in species richness and seed density were compared to examine the interactions of successive droughts, geographical location and water regime. The results showed that both species richness and total density of germinating seedlings decreased over repeated drought trials. These responses were more pronounced in geographical areas with higher annual mean temperature. In seed banks across the southeastern swamp region, most species were exhausted after Trial 2 or 3, except for semiaquatic species in Illinois and Tennessee, and aquatic species in Texas. Distinct geographical trends in seed bank resistance to drought demonstrate that climate-induced drying of baldcypress swamps could influence the regeneration of species differently across their ranges. Despite the health of adult individuals, lack of regeneration may push ecosystems into a relict status. Seed bank depletion by germination without replenishment may be a major conservation threat in a future with recurring droughts far less severe than megadrought. Nevertheless, the protection of moist refugia might aid conservation.

  14. Captivity induces hyper-inflammation in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Lynn B; Kidd, Laura; Liebl, Andrea L; Coon, Courtney A C

    2011-08-01

    Some species thrive in captivity but others exhibit extensive psychological and physiological deficits, which can be a challenge to animal husbandry and conservation as well as wild immunology. Here, we investigated whether captivity duration impacted the regulation of a key innate immune response, inflammation, of a common wild bird species, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Inflammation is one of the most commonly induced and fast-acting immune responses animals mount upon exposure to a parasite. However, attenuation and resolution of inflammatory responses are partly coordinated by glucocorticoid hormones, hormones that can be disregulated in captivity. Here, we tested whether captivity duration alters corticosterone regulation and hence the inflammatory response by comparing the following responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS; a Gram-negative bacteria component that induces inflammation) of birds caught wild and injected immediately versus those held for 2 or 4 weeks in standard conditions: (1) the magnitude of leukocyte immune gene expression [the cytokines, interleukin 1β and interleukin 6, and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)], (2) the rate of clearance of endotoxin, and (3) the release of corticosterone (CORT) in response to endotoxin (LPS). We predicted that captivity duration would increase baseline CORT and thus suppress gene expression and endotoxin clearance rate. However, our predictions were not supported: TLR4 expression increased with time in captivity irrespective of LPS, and cytokine expression to LPS was stronger the longer birds remained captive. Baseline CORT was not affected by captivity duration, but CORT release post-LPS occurred only in wild birds. Lastly, sparrows held captive for 4 weeks maintained significantly higher levels of circulating endotoxin than other groups, perhaps due to leakage of microbes from the gut, but exogenous LPS did not increase circulating levels over the time scale samples were collected. Altogether, captivity

  15. Captivity influences immune responses, stress endocrinology, and organ size in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Ashley C; Lovern, Matthew B; DuRant, Sarah E

    2017-10-01

    Studies using wild animals in laboratory-based research require bringing wild-captured organisms into a novel setting, which can have long-lasting impacts on physiology and behavior. In several species, captivity stimulates stress hormone production and can alter immune function. Despite this, there is little consensus on how captivity influences stress hormone regulation, or if captivity-induced changes in stress hormone production and regulation mediate changes in immune function. In this study, we investigate the influence of captivity on the physiology of a wild bird commonly-used in laboratory-based research, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). We tested how captivity influences stress endocrinology, immune responses, and organ mass, and also investigated if the production or regulation of corticosterone, the main stress hormone in birds, correlated with changes in immunity. We found that baseline corticosterone concentrations and maximum capacity of the adrenals to secrete corticosterone increase following captivity and remain elevated after 9weeks of captivity. A measure of innate immune function, the bactericidal ability of plasma, also increased with time spent in captivity. Wound healing was also influenced by time spent in captivity, with birds taking almost 2days longer to heal if they were wounded after 3weeks in captivity when compared with birds that were wounded immediately upon capture. Additionally, captivity caused notable reductions in spleen and liver mass. Together, these results imply that captivity can have long-lasting effects on house sparrow corticosterone release and immune function, and suggest that even after 9weeks house sparrows do not acclimate physiologically to life in captivity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Contrasting population genetic patterns within the white-throated sparrow genome (Zonotrichia albicollis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maney Donna L

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The level of nucleotide diversity observed across the genome is positively correlated with the local rate of recombination. Avian karyotypes are typified by large variation in chromosome size and the rate of recombination in birds has been shown to be negatively correlated with chromosome size. It has thus been predicted that nucleotide diversity is negatively correlated with chromosome size in aves. However, there is limited empirical evidence to support this prediction. Results Here we sequenced 27 autosomal and 12 sex chromosome-linked loci in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis to quantify and compare patterns of recombination, linkage disequilibrium (LD, and genetic diversity across the genome of this North American songbird. Genetic diversity on the autosomes varied up to 8-fold, with the lowest diversity observed on the macrochromosomes and the highest diversity on the microchromosomes. Genetic diversity on the sex chromosomes was reduced compared to the autosomes, the most extreme difference being a ~300-fold difference between the W chromosome and the microchromosomes. LD and population structure associated with a common inversion polymorphism (ZAL2/2m in this species were found to be atypical compared to other macrochromosomes, and nucleotide diversity within this inversion on the two chromosome arrangements was more similar to that observed on the Z chromosome. Conclusions A negative correlation between nucleotide diversity and autosome size was observed in the white-throated sparrow genome, as well as low levels of diversity on the sex chromosomes comparable to those reported in other birds. The population structure and extended LD associated with the ZAL2/2m chromosomal polymorphism are exceptional compared to the rest of the white-throated sparrow genome.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli isolates in cattle and house sparrows on two Czech dairy farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolejská, M; Senk, D; Cízek, A; Rybaríková, J; Sychra, O; Literák, I

    2008-12-01

    Rectal smears of calves, cows and young bulls, as well as cloacal smears of house sparrows (Passer domesticus), from farms at the villages of Sumice and Troskotovice, Czech Republic, were examined for E. coli resistant to 12 antimicrobials. The resistant isolates were tested for antimicrobial-resistance genes and integrons. Totals of 40% (n=183), 3% (n=95), 0% (n=33), and 9% (n=54) of Escherichia coli isolates from calves, cows, young bulls and house sparrows, respectively, were antimicrobial resistant. The following genes were identified in cattle E. coli isolates: tetA, tetB (isolates resistant to tetracycline), bla(TEM) (beta-lactams), strA, aadA (streptomycin), sul1, sul2 (sulphonamides), and cat, floR (chloramphenicol). Seven of 16 antimicrobial-resistant calf isolates from the Sumice farm possessed class 1 integrons with the aadA1 gene cassette integrated, 1 kb in size. On the Troskotovice farm, eight of 57 antimicrobial-resistant calf isolates possessed class 1 integrons. Integrons of 1.5kb with the dhfr1- aadA1 gene cassette were found in four isolates, followed by a 1kb integron with the aadA1 gene found in three isolates, and a 1.7kb integron with the dhfr17-aadA5 gene cassette and the phenotype ASSuTSxtNaCipCCfG. The prevalence of resistant E. coli in calves compared to adult cattle was much higher and probably was influenced by oral antimicrobial usage in calves, feeding with milk and colostrum from treated cows, as well as mechanisms unrelated to antimicrobial drug selection. Although house sparrows lived together with the cattle and came into contact with cattle waste on the farm, they were not infected by resistant E. coli isolates with the same characteristics as those found in cattle.

  1. A flock of sparrows in the city of Ghent: a multidisciplinary case study

    OpenAIRE

    Claeys, Laurence; Coenen, Tanguy; Laureyssens, Thomas; Mechant, Peter; Criel, Johan

    2013-01-01

    This article elaborates on the deployment of multipurpose, aesthetic smart objects, called ‘The Sparrows’ in the city of Ghent (Belgium, Europe).  The goals of the integration of the sparrows in the city were two-fold (1) augmenting the social engagement of citizens using a playful aesthetic smart artifact, and (2) exploring the ambient interaction zones with smart artifacts in a city context.  In this article we present the case study carried out on the integration of the smart artifacts in ...

  2. Pharmacological characterization of intracellular, membrane, and plasma binding sites for corticosterone in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuner, Creagh W; Orchinik, Miles

    2009-09-01

    The diversity and specificity of glucocorticoid effects are dependent on cell-specific receptor mechanisms. Three known corticosteroid receptors mediate tissue effects of glucocorticoids in vertebrates: two intracellular receptors that act primarily as ligand-activated transcription factors, and a membrane-associated receptor. The intracellular receptor sub-types have been well characterized in mammals, however relatively little is known about them across non-mammalian vertebrates. The membrane-associated receptors are poorly characterized in most vertebrate taxa. To explore the basis for glucocorticoid action in birds, we pharmacologically characterized the three putative corticosteroid receptors in the brain, as well as a plasma corticosterone binding globulin, in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). We found that house sparrow brain cytosol contained two distinguishable binding sites for corticosterone. A high affinity, mineralocorticoid-like receptor had subnanomolar affinity for corticosterone (K(d) approximately 0.2 nM). However, this 'MR-like' high-affinity receptor did not bind RU28318 or canrenoic acid, two compounds that bind mammalian MR with high affinity. A lower-affinity, glucocorticoid-like receptor in brain cytosol bound corticosterone with an average K(d)=5.61 nM. This GR-like receptor showed subnanomolar affinity for RU 486. MR- and GR-like receptors were found in equal numbers in whole brain assays (average B(max)=69 and 62 fmol/mg protein, respectively). House sparrow brain membranes contain a single binding site specific for glucocorticoids, with characteristics consistent with a steroid/receptor interaction. Corticosterone affinity for this putative membrane receptor was approximately 24 nM, with apparent B(max)=177 fmol/mg protein. House sparrow plasma contained a single binding site for [(3)H]corticosterone. Specific binding to plasma sites was inhibited by glucocorticoids, progesterone, and testosterone. Testosterone binding to this

  3. The Evolution of a Freshwater Wetland in a Semi-arid Environment, Loboi Swamp, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, G. M.; Driese, S. G.; Mworia, J. M.; Muasya, A. M.; Hover, V. C.; Owen, R. B.; Goman, M. F.

    2002-12-01

    Loboi Swamp is situated near the equator on the western fault-bounded margin of an asymmetric half-graben within the East African Rift valley. The freshwater wetland is ~ 3km2 and developed during mid to late Holocene on the low relief floodplain of the axial Loboi River. The swamp is groundwater-fed by several springs and seeps associated with the border fault system. Spring waters are ~35°C, with pH ~6.4-6.9 and the water compositions suggest that the sources are shallow, and dominated by meteoric water with little contributed by deep re-circulating fluids. The climate is semi-arid. P is ~700 mm/yr on the valley bottom and 1200mm/yr in the adjacent highlands; ET is estimated to be ~2500 mm/yr. Variation in precipitation occurs on a range of time scales: semi-annual monsoonal rains in Nov. and April; El Nino and La Nina periods every 5-7 years; and long term variations in climate are also likely, such as, orbitally-forced Precession cycles (~20ka). The modern swamp is dominated by Typha domingensis Pers. (~80%) and Cyperus papyrus L. (20%), a crocodile habitat. The stratigraphy revealed in a soil pit and 8 piston cores (1.5-4 m long) records the formation, evolution and maybe the beginning of the demise of the wetland. Basal sediments are floodplain (sandy silts) that fine upward to f. silt and clay and are capped with organic-rich sediment (peat). Subparallel siderite concretion horizons in the silts indicate that Fe-reducing conditions developed as the basal sediments were flooded by the developing wetland. The peat is thickest (1.5 m) in the spring-proximal area near the fault and thins to 0.30m in the spring-distal areas. The appearance and expansion of peat indicates moister climate, however preliminary pollen analyses reveals that Cyperaceae and Tpyha are less abundant now than earlier suggesting a change from moister to drier conditions after the development of the swamp. Surface and porewater compositions in the swamp are modified by processes of

  4. Demographic study of a wild house sparrow population by DNA fingerprinting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetton, J H; Carter, R E; Parkin, D T; Walters, D

    Over the past twenty years, several techniques from biochemical and molecular genetics, such as enzyme electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing, have been widely and successfully applied to the study of population differentiation and evolution. However, they have been less applicable to demographic problems such as assigning parentage to individuals within a population. This stems from a general weakness of data derived from enzyme loci: allele frequencies at polymorphic loci are sufficiently skewed that the majority of individuals are of one or two genotypes. Many enzyme systems can only be examined post mortem, so that the loci are of little use if the animals are to be studied in the wild. The search for new and more sensitive techniques for detecting genetic variation has continued, and recently a major discovery has come from molecular biology. Jeffreys et al. have reported the detection of a type of hypervariable 'minisatellite' DNA that is extraordinarily polymorphic in human populations. We have applied their technique to several bird species and particularly to a population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) near Nottingham. We report here that one of the human minisatellite clones is a suitable probe for sparrow DNA and that it reveals variation as extensive as that found in man. These results suggest that analysis of minisatellite DNA will be a powerful tool in the study of demographic population genetics.

  5. Multilocus heterozygosity and inbreeding depression in an insular house sparrow metapopulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Henrik; Bremset, Erlend Myre; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Saether, Bernt-Erik

    2007-10-01

    Inbreeding causes reduction of genetic variability that may have severe fitness consequences. In spite of its potentially huge impact on viability and evolutionary processes especially in small populations, quantitative demonstrations of genetic and demographic effects of inbreeding in natural populations are few. Here, we examine the relationship between individual inbreeding coefficients (F) and individual standardized multilocus heterozygosity (H) in an insular metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in northern Norway in order to evaluate whether H is a good predictor for F. We then relate variation in fitness (i.e. the probability of surviving from fledging to recruitment) to F and H, which enables us to examine whether inbreeding depression is associated with a reduction in genetic variability. The average level of inbreeding in the house sparrow metapopulation was high, and there was large inter-individual variation in F. As expected, standardized multilocus heterozygosity decreased with the level of inbreeding. The probability of recruitment was significantly negatively related to F, and, accordingly, increased with H. However, H explained no significant additional variation in recruitment rate than was explained by F. This suggests that H is a good predictor for F in this metapopulation, and that an increase in F is likely to be associated with a general increase in the level of homozygosity on loci across the genome, which has severe fitness consequences.

  6. Low genetic differentiation in a sedentary bird: house sparrow population genetics in a contiguous landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kekkonen, J; Seppä, P; Hanski, I K; Jensen, H; Väisänen, R A; Brommer, J E

    2011-01-01

    The house sparrow Passer domesticus has been declining in abundance in many localities, including Finland. We studied the genetic diversity and differentiation of the house sparrow populations across Finland in the 1980s, at the onset of the species' decline in abundance. We genotyped 472 adult males (the less dispersive sex) from 13 locations in Finland (covering a range of 400 × 800 km) and one in Sweden (Stockholm) for 13 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Our analysis of Finnish ringing records showed that natal dispersal distances are limited (90% genetically very homogeneous and the limited dispersal was sufficiently large to maintain their connectivity. However, all Finnish populations differed significantly from the Stockholm population, even though direct geographical distance to it was often smaller than among Finnish populations. Hence, the open sea between Finland and Sweden appears to form a dispersal barrier for this species, whereas dispersal is much less constrained across the Finnish mainland (which lacks geographical barriers). Our findings provide a benchmark for conservation biologists and emphasize the influence of landscape structure on gene flow.

  7. Habitat Use Patterns of Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows in the Northeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P. Shustack

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In the northeastern United States, grassland birds regularly use agricultural fields as nesting habitat. However, birds that nest in these fields regularly experience nest failure as a result of agricultural practices, such as mowing and grazing. Therefore, information on both spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use is needed to effectively manage these species. We addressed these complex habitat use patterns by conducting point counts during three time intervals between May 21, 2002 and July 2, 2002 in agricultural fields across the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York. Early in the breeding season, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus used fields in which the landscape within 2500 m was dominated by open habitats. As mowing began, suitable habitat within 500 m became more important. Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis initially used fields that contained a high proportion of suitable habitat within 500 m. After mowing, features of the field (i.e., size and amount of woody edge became more important. Each species responded differently to mowing: Savannah Sparrows were equally abundant in mowed and uncut fields, whereas Bobolinks were more abundant in uncut fields. In agricultural areas in the Northeast, large areas (2000 ha that are mostly nonforested and undeveloped should be targeted for conservation. Within large open areas, smaller patches (80 ha should be maintained as high-quality, late-cut grassland habitat.

  8. A Preliminary SPARROW Model of Suspended Sediment for the Conterminous United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the results of a preliminary Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model of suspended sediment for the conterminous United States. The analysis is based on flux estimates compiled from more than 1,800 long-term monitoring stations operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during the period 1975-2007. The SPARROW model is structured on the Reach File 1 (RF1) stream network, consisting of approximately 62,000 reach segments. The reach network has been modified to include more than 4,000 reservoirs, an important landscape feature affecting the delivery of suspended sediment. The model identifies six sources of sediment, including the stream channel and five classes of land use: urban, forested, Federal nonforested, agricultural and other, and noninundated land. The delivery of sediment from landform sources to RF1 streams is mediated by soil permeability, erodibility, slope, and rainfall; streamflow is found to affect the amount of sediment mobilized from the stream channel. The results show agricultural land and the stream channel to be major sources of sediment flux. Per unit area, Federal nonforested and urban lands are the largest landform sediment sources. Reservoirs are identified as major sites for sediment attenuation. This report includes a description for how the model results can be used to assess changes in instream sediment flux and concentration resulting from proposed changes in the regulation of sediment discharge from construction sites.

  9. Organizational effects of maternal testosterone on reproductive behavior of adult house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partecke, Jesko; Schwabl, Hubert

    2008-12-01

    Despite the well-known, long-term, organizational actions of sex steroids on phenotypic differences between the sexes, studies of maternal steroids in the vertebrate egg have mainly focused on effects seen in early life. Long-term organizational effects of yolk hormones on adult behavior and the underlying mechanisms that generate them have been largely ignored. Using an experiment in which hand-reared house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from testosterone- or control-treated eggs were kept under identical conditions, we show that testosterone treatment in the egg increased the frequency of aggressive, dominance, and sexual behavior of 1-year-old, reproductively competent house sparrows. We also show that circulating plasma levels of progesterone, testosterone, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, and 17beta-estradiol did not differ between treatment groups. Thus, a simple change in adult gonadal hormone secretion is not the primary physiological cause of long-term effects of maternal steroids on adult behavior. Rather, differences in adult behavior caused by exposure to yolk testosterone during embryonic development are likely generated by organizational modifications of brain function. Furthermore, our data provide evidence that hormone-mediated maternal effects are an epigenetic mechanism causing intra-sexual variation in adult behavioral phenotype. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Larger groups are more successful in innovative problem solving in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liker, András; Bókony, Veronika

    2009-05-12

    Group living offers well-known benefits to animals, such as better predator avoidance and increased foraging success. An important additional, but so far neglected, advantage is that groups may cope more effectively with unfamiliar situations through faster innovations of new solutions by some group members. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by presenting a new foraging task of opening a familiar feeder in an unfamiliar way to house sparrows in small and large groups (2 versus 6 birds). Group size had strong effects on problem solving: sparrows performed 4 times more and 11 times faster openings in large than in small groups, and all members of large groups profited by getting food sooner (7 times on average). Independently from group size, urban groups were more successful than rural groups. The disproportionately higher success in large groups was not a mere consequence of higher number of attempts, but was also related to a higher effectiveness of problem solving (3 times higher proportion of successful birds). The analyses of the birds' behavior suggest that the latter was not explained by either reduced investment in antipredator vigilance or reduced neophobia in large groups. Instead, larger groups may contain more diverse individuals with different skills and experiences, which may increase the chance of solving the task by some group members. Increased success in problem solving may promote group living in animals and may help them to adapt quickly to new situations in rapidly-changing environments.

  11. House sparrows mitigate growth effects of post-natal glucocorticoid exposure at the expense of longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Jacquelyn K; Froud, Louise; Meillère, Alizée; Angelier, Frédéric

    2017-11-01

    Acute, short-term effects of early-life stress and associated glucocorticoid upregulation on physiology and survival are widely documented across vertebrates. However, the persistence and severity of these effects are largely unknown, especially through the adult stage and for natural systems. Here, we investigate physiological, morphological, and survival effects of post-natal glucocorticoid upregulation across the nestling, juvenile, and adult life stages in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We manipulate circulating corticosterone concentration in wild, free-living house sparrow nestlings and monitor body size, size-corrected mass, two measures of health (hematocrit and phytohemagglutinin-induced skin swelling), and survival in a captive environment until adulthood. We find that early-life corticosterone exposure depresses nestling size-corrected mass in both sexes, with no strong effect of the treatment on body size or our two measures of health. Birds are able to compensate for negative effects of high early-life corticosterone exposure in the long-term and this effect largely disappears by the juvenile and adult stages. However, treatment has a negative effect on survival through one year of age, suggesting that long-term compensation comes at a price. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Size differentiation in Finnish house sparrows follows Bergmann's rule with evidence of local adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brommer, J E; Hanski, I K; Kekkonen, J; Väisänen, R A

    2014-04-01

    Bergmann's rule predicts that individuals are larger in more poleward populations and that this size gradient has an adaptive basis. Hence, phenotypic divergence in size traits between populations (PST ) is expected to exceed the level of divergence by drift alone (FST ). We measured 16 skeletal traits, body mass and wing length in 409 male and 296 female house sparrows Passer domesticus sampled in 12 populations throughout Finland, where the species has its northernmost European distributional margin. Morphometric differentiation across populations (PST ) was compared with differentiation in 13 microsatellites (FST ). We find that twelve traits phenotypically diverged more than FST in both sexes, and an additional two traits diverged in males. The phenotypic divergence exceeded FST in several traits to such a degree that findings were robust also to strong between-population environmental effects. Divergence was particularly strong in dimensions of the bill, making it a strong candidate for the study of adaptive molecular genetic divergence. Divergent traits increased in size in more northern populations. We conclude that house sparrows show evidence of an adaptive latitudinal size gradient consistent with Bergmann's rule on the modest spatial scale of ca. 600 km. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  13. Acute-phase responses vary with pathogen identity in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coon, Courtney A C; Warne, Robin W; Martin, Lynn B

    2011-06-01

    Pathogens may induce different immune responses in hosts contingent on pathogen characteristics, host characteristics, or interactions between the two. We investigated whether the broadly effective acute-phase response (APR), a whole body immune response that occurs in response to constitutive immune receptor activation and includes fever, secretion of immune peptides, and sickness behaviors such as anorexia and lethargy, varies with pathogen identity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Birds were challenged with a subcutaneous injection of either a glucan at 0.7 mg/kg (to simulate fungal infection), a synthetic double-stranded RNA at 25 mg/kg (to simulate viral infection), or LPS at 1 mg/kg (to simulate a gram-negative bacterial infection), and then body mass, core body temperature changes, sickness behaviors, and secretion of an acute-phase protein, haptoglobin, were compared. Despite using what are moderate-to-high pyrogen doses for other vertebrates, only house sparrows challenged with LPS showed measurable APRs. Febrile, behavioral, and physiological responses to fungal and viral mimetics had minimal effects.

  14. 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

    ... General Conformity Determination for Pennsylvania for the Proposed Sparrows Point LNG Terminal and... (FERC or Commission) issued a revised draft Final General Conformity Determination (GCD) for... Conformity Regulations under the Code of Federal Regulations chapter 40 section 51.856 the draft Final GCD...

  15. Volume and antimicrobial activity of secretions of the uropygial gland are correlated with malaria infection in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magallanes, Sergio; Møller, Anders Pape; García-Longoria, Luz; de Lope, Florentino; Marzal, Alfonso

    2016-04-25

    Animals have developed a wide range of defensive mechanisms against parasites to reduce the likelihood of infection and its negative fitness costs. The uropygial gland is an exocrine gland that produces antimicrobial and antifungal secretions with properties used as a defensive barrier on skin and plumage. This secretion has been proposed to affect the interaction between avian hosts and their ectoparasites. Because uropygial secretions may constitute a defense mechanism against ectoparasites, this may result in a reduction in prevalence of blood parasites that are transmitted by ectoparasitic vectors. Furthermore, other studies pointed out that vectors could be attracted by uropygial secretions and hence increase the probability of becoming infected. Here we explored the relationship between uropygial gland size, antimicrobial activity of uropygial secretions and malaria infection in house sparrows Passer domesticus. A nested-PCR was used to identify blood parasites infection. Flow cytometry detecting absolute cell counting assessed antimicrobial activity of the uropygial gland secretion Uninfected house sparrows had larger uropygial glands and higher antimicrobial activity in uropygial secretions than infected individuals. We found a positive association between uropygial gland size and scaled body mass index, but only in uninfected sparrows. Female house sparrows had larger uropygial glands and higher antimicrobial activity of gland secretions than males. These findings suggest that uropygial gland secretions may play an important role as a defensive mechanism against malaria infection.

  16. Potential of natural repellents methylanthranilate and anthraquinone applied on maize seeds and seedlings against house sparrow (Passer domesticus in captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ahmad

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Various bird pests caused severe economic losses to valuable crops and fruit orchards all over the world. Among the birds, house sparrow is also considered to cause heavy plunder, not only to seeds of crops but also seedlings especially in organic farming. In present study two bird repellents, methylanthranilate and anthraquinone tested against house sparrows on maize seeds and seedlings in aviary conditions. Trial group in aviary-I, the treated maize seeds and seedlings with different doses of both bird repellents, control group in aviary-II, untreated seeds and seedlings were provided for three hours in the early morning. In each aviary, two closed circuit cameras were also installed to monitor the behavioral responses against different concentrations of both chemical repellents. Statistical analysis showed that there existed highly significant (P0.05 differences were observed in different grading of both natural chemical repellents for maize seeds while significant (P<0.05 variations were noticed for maize seedlings when provided to sparrows. By videotaped behavior sparrows presented manifest head juddering and feather upsetting activities by consumption of treated seeds and seedlings with higher concentrations of both natural bird repellents.

  17. Food swamps and food deserts in Baltimore City, MD, USA: associations with dietary behaviours among urban adolescent girls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hager, Erin R; Cockerham, Alexandra; O'Reilly, Nicole; Harrington, Donna; Harding, James; Hurley, Kristen M; Black, Maureen M

    2017-10-01

    To determine whether living in a food swamp (≥4 corner stores within 0·40 km (0·25 miles) of home) or a food desert (generally, no supermarket or access to healthy foods) is associated with consumption of snacks/desserts or fruits/vegetables, and if neighbourhood-level socio-economic status (SES) confounds relationships. Cross-sectional. Assessments included diet (Youth/Adolescent FFQ, skewed dietary variables normalized) and measured height/weight (BMI-for-age percentiles/Z-scores calculated). A geographic information system geocoded home addresses and mapped food deserts/food swamps. Associations examined using multiple linear regression (MLR) models adjusting for age and BMI-for-age Z-score. Baltimore City, MD, USA. Early adolescent girls (6th/7th grade, n 634; mean age 12·1 years; 90·7 % African American; 52·4 % overweight/obese), recruited from twenty-two urban, low-income schools. Girls' consumption of fruit, vegetables and snacks/desserts: 1·2, 1·7 and 3·4 servings/d, respectively. Girls' food environment: 10·4 % food desert only, 19·1 % food swamp only, 16·1 % both food desert/swamp and 54·4 % neither food desert/swamp. Average median neighbourhood-level household income: $US 35 298. In MLR models, girls living in both food deserts/swamps consumed additional servings of snacks/desserts v. girls living in neither (β=0·13, P=0·029; 3·8 v. 3·2 servings/d). Specifically, girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls who did not (β=0·16, P=0·003; 3·7 v. 3·1 servings/d), with no confounding effect of neighbourhood-level SES. No associations were identified with food deserts or consumption of fruits/vegetables. Early adolescent girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls not living in food swamps. Dietary interventions should consider the built environment/food access when addressing adolescent dietary behaviours.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Cutaneous water loss and sphingolipids covalently bound to corneocytes in the stratum corneum of house sparrows Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-01

    The barrier to water loss from the skin of birds and mammals is localized in the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis. The SC consists of corneocytes, each surrounded by a protein envelope, and a lipid compartment, formed by an extracellular matrix of lipids and by lipids covalently bound to the protein envelope. In mammals, covalently bound lipids in the SC consist of omega-hydroxyceramides attached to the outer surface of corneocytes. Evidence suggests that covalently bound lipids in the SC might be crucial for the establishment of a competent permeability barrier. In this study we assessed the composition of covalently bound lipids of the avian SC and their relationship to cutaneous water loss (CWL) in two populations of house sparrows, one living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the other in mesic Ohio. Previously, we showed that CWL of adult desert sparrows was 25% lower than that of mesic birds. In the present study we characterize covalently bound lipids of the SC using thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure Photospray ionization mass spectrometry. Our study is the first to demonstrate the existence of sphingolipids covalently bound to corneocytes in the SC of birds. Although omega-hydroxyceramides occurred in the lipid envelope surrounding corneocytes, the major constituent of the covalently bound lipid envelope in house sparrows was omega-hydroxycerebrosides, ceramides with a hexose molecule attached. Sparrows from Saudi Arabia had more covalently bound cerebrosides, fewer covalently bound ceramides and a lower ceramide to cerebroside ratio than sparrows living in Ohio; these differences were associated with CWL.

  1. Operational restoration of the Pen Branch bottomland hardwood and swamp wetlands - the research setting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, E.A.

    2000-01-05

    The Savannah River Swamp is a 3020 Ha forested wetland on the floodplain of the Savannah River and is located on the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, SC. Historically the swamp consisted of approximately 50 percent bald cypress-water tupelo stands, 40 percent mixed bottomland hardwood stands, and 10 percent shrub, marsh, and open water. Creek corridors were typical of Southeastern bottomland hardwood forests. The hydrology was controlled by flooding of the Savannah River and by flow from four creeks that drain into the swamp prior to flow into the Savannah River. Upstream dams have caused some alteration of the water levels and timing of flooding within the floodplain. Major impacts to the swamp hydrology occurred with the completion of the production reactors and one coal-fired powerhouse at the SRS in the early 1950's. Water was pumped from the Savannah River, through secondary heat exchangers of the reactors, and discharged into three of the tributary streams that flow into the swamp. Flow in one of the tributaries, Pen Branch, was typically 0.3 m3 s-1 (10-20) cfs prior to reactor pumping and 11.0 m3 s-1 (400 cfs) during pumping. This continued from 1954 to 1988 at various levels. The sustained increases in water volume resulted in overflow of the original stream banks and the creation of additional floodplains. Accompanying this was considerable erosion of the original stream corridor and deposition of a deep silt layer on the newly formed delta. Heated water was discharged directly into Pen Branch and water temperature in the stream often exceeded 65 degrees C. The nearly continuous flooding of the swamp, the thermal load of the water, and the heavy silting resulted in complete mortality of the original vegetation in large areas of the floodplain. In the years since pumping was reduced, early succession has begun in some affected areas. Most of this has been herbs, grasses, and shrubs. Areas that have seedlings are

  2. Research on Integrated Mapping——A Case Study of Integrated Land Use with Swamp Mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, S.; Yan, F.; Chang, L.

    2015-12-01

    Unified real estate registration system shows the attention, determination and effort to of CPC Central Committee and State Council on real estate registration in China. However, under current situation, China's real estate registration work made less progress. One of the reasons is that it's hard to express the property right of real estate on one map under the multi-sector management system. Under current multi-sector management system in China, different departments usually just survey and mapping the land type under its jurisdiction. For example, wetland investigation only mapping all kinds of wetland resources but not mapping other resource types. As a result, it cause he problem of coincidence or leak in integration of different results from different departments. As resources of the earth's surface, the total area of forest, grassland, wetland and so on should be equal to the total area of the earth's surface area. However, under the current system, the area of all kinds of resources is not equal to the sum of the earth's surface. Therefore, it is of great importance to express all the resources on one map. On one hand, this is conducive to find out the real area and distribution of resources and avoid the problem of coincidence or leak in integration; On the other hand, it is helpful to study the dynamic change of different resources. Therefore, we first proposed the "integrated mapping" as a solution, and take integrated land use with swamp mapping in Northeast China as an example to investigate the feasibility and difficulty. Study showed that: integrated land use with swamp mapping can be achieved through combining land use survey standards with swamps survey standards and "second mapping" program. Based on the experience of integrated land use with swamp mapping, we point out its reference function on integrated mapping and unified real estate registration system. We concluded that: (1) Comprehending and integrating different survey standard of

  3. De Novo Transcriptome Assembly of the Chinese Swamp Buffalo by RNA Sequencing and SSR Marker Discovery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingxian Deng

    Full Text Available The Chinese swamp buffalo (Bubalis bubalis is vital to the lives of small farmers and has tremendous economic importance. However, a lack of genomic information has hampered research on augmenting marker assisted breeding programs in this species. Thus, a high-throughput transcriptomic sequencing of B. bubalis was conducted to generate transcriptomic sequence dataset for gene discovery and molecular marker development. Illumina paired-end sequencing generated a total of 54,109,173 raw reads. After trimming, de novo assembly was performed, which yielded 86,017 unigenes, with an average length of 972.41 bp, an N50 of 1,505 bp, and an average GC content of 49.92%. A total of 62,337 unigenes were successfully annotated. Among the annotated unigenes, 27,025 (43.35% and 23,232 (37.27% unigenes showed significant similarity to known proteins in NCBI non-redundant protein and Swiss-Prot databases (E-value < 1.0E-5, respectively. Of these annotated unigenes, 14,439 and 15,813 unigenes were assigned to the Gene Ontology (GO categories and EuKaryotic Ortholog Group (KOG cluster, respectively. In addition, a total of 14,167 unigenes were assigned to 331 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathways. Furthermore, 17,401 simple sequence repeats (SSRs were identified as potential molecular markers. One hundred and fifteen primer pairs were randomly selected for amplification to detect polymorphisms. The results revealed that 110 primer pairs (95.65% yielded PCR amplicons and 69 primer pairs (60.00% presented polymorphisms in 35 individual buffaloes. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the five swamp buffalo populations were clustered together, whereas two river buffalo breeds clustered separately. In the present study, the Illumina RNA-seq technology was utilized to perform transcriptome analysis and SSR marker discovery in the swamp buffalo without using a reference genome. Our findings will enrich the current SSR markers resources and help spearhead

  4. Effect of Combined Probiotics (Saccharomyces Cerevisae + Candida Utilis) and Herbs on Carcass Characteristics of Swamp Buffalo

    OpenAIRE

    Mahyuddin, P; Widiawati, Y

    2010-01-01

    A feedlot trial was conducted to study the effect of probiotics + herbs on carcass characteristics. Thirty male swamp buffaloes aged 2–2.5 years with the average body weight of 297 kg were used in this trial. They were fattened for 75 days to reach a slaughter weight of around 350–400 kg. They were divided into two groups of 15 animals in each group, and were placed in a shaded paddock. The groups were the control and the treated animals. The treated animals were given a supplementation conta...

  5. Historic simulation of net ecosystem carbon balance for the Great Dismal Swamp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeter, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    Estimating ecosystem carbon (C) balance relative to natural disturbances and land management strengthens our understanding of the benefits and tradeoffs of carbon sequestration. We conducted a historic model simulation of net ecosystem C balance in the Great Dismal Swamp, VA. for the 30-year time period of 1985-2015. The historic simulation of annual carbon flux was calculated with the Land Use and Carbon Scenario Simulator (LUCAS) model. The LUCAS model utilizes a state-and-transition simulation model coupled with a carbon stock-flow accounting model to estimate net ecosystem C balance, and long term sequestration rates under various ecological conditions and management strategies. The historic model simulation uses age-structured forest growth curves for four forest species, C stock and flow rates for 8 pools and 14 fluxes, and known data for disturbance and management. The annualized results of C biomass are provided in this data release in the following categories: Growth, Heterotrophic Respiration (Rh), Net Ecosystem Production (NEP), Net Biome Production (NBP), Below-ground Biomass (BGB) Stock, Above-ground Biomass (AGB) Stock, AGB Carbon Loss from Fire, BGB Carbon Loss from Fire, Deadwood Carbon Loss from Management, and Total Carbon Loss. The table also includes the area (annually) of each forest type in hectares: Atlantic white cedar Area (hectares); Cypress-gum Area (hectares); Maple-gum Area (hectares); Pond pine Area (hectares). Net ecosystem production for the Great Dismal Swamp (~ 54,000 ha), from 1985 to 2015 was estimated to be a net sink of 0.97 Tg C. When the hurricane and six historic fire events were modeled, the Great Dismal Swamp became a net source of 0.89 Tg C. The cumulative above and belowground C loss estimated from the South One in 2008 and Lateral West fire in 2011 totaled 1.70 Tg C, while management activities removed an additional 0.01 Tg C. The C loss in below-ground biomass alone totaled 1.38 Tg C, with the balance (0.31 Tg C

  6. Automatic categorization of land-water cover types of the Green Swamp, Florida, using Skylab multispectral scanner (S-192) data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coker, A. E.; Higer, A. L.; Rogers, R. H.; Shah, N. J.; Reed, L. E.; Walker, S.

    1975-01-01

    The techniques used and the results achieved in the successful application of Skylab Multispectral Scanner (EREP S-192) high-density digital tape data for the automatic categorizing and mapping of land-water cover types in the Green Swamp of Florida were summarized. Data was provided from Skylab pass number 10 on 13 June 1973. Significant results achieved included the automatic mapping of a nine-category and a three-category land-water cover map of the Green Swamp. The land-water cover map was used to make interpretations of a hydrologic condition in the Green Swamp. This type of use marks a significant breakthrough in the processing and utilization of EREP S-192 data.

  7. Genetic Variation of mtDNA Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit I (COI in Local Swamp Buffaloes in Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Saputra

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to identify genetic variation of mitochondria DNA especially in cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI among population of Indonesian buffaloes. Samples of swamp buffaloes were collected from Aceh (n= 3, North Sumatra (n= 3, Riau (n= 3, Banten (n= 3, Central Java (n= 3, West Nusa Tenggara (n= 3 and South Sulawesi (n= 3, and riverine buffalo from North Sumatra (n= 1 out of group for comparison. Sequence of COI was analyzed using MEGA 5.10 software with neighbor-joining method kimura 2-parameter model to reconstruct phylogeny tree. The result showed that three haplotypes for swamp buffalo and one haplotype for riverine buffalo in Indonesia resulted from 41 polymorphic sites. This finding showed that the COI gene could be considered as a marker to distinguish among swamp buffaloes in Indonesia.

  8. Residu Gula Glikokonjugat pada Lambung Depan Kerbau Rawa (Bubalus bubalis Kalimantan Selatan (SUGAR RESIDU OF GLYCOCONJUGATES IN FORESTOMACH OF SOUTH KALIMANTAN SWAMP BUFFALO (BUBALUS BUBALIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anni Nurliani

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The ability of swamp buffaloes to adapt with swamp environment was suggested to be supported bytheir digestive system efficiency. The research was done to obtain scientific explanation about digestiveefficiency of swamp buffalo by identification on kinds and distribution of glycoconjugates in swamp buffaloforestomach. Six male swamp buffaloes aged more than 2.5 year old and had body weight between 300-400kg were used in this study. Samples were obtained from Regency of Banjar slaughter house, SouthKalimantan. Every parts of the forestomach included rumen, reticulum, and omasum was taken andprocessed for microscopic observation with hematoxyline eosin (HE and alcian blue-periodic acid schiff(AB-PAS stainings. Sugar residues of glycoconjugates were localized with lectin histochemistry wheatgerm agglutinin (WGA, ulex europaeus agglutinin (UEA, ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA, concanavalinagglutinin (Con A, and soybean agglutinin (SBA. Every part of swamp buffalo forestomach had kinds ofspecific glycoconjugates with special distribution pattern which were different with other ruminant, andwere suitable for their functions in that part. The existence of D mannose/D glucose glycoconjugates thatwas dominant in forestomach estimated that had important role in supporting fermentative digestionfunction in swamp buffalo, through its function as receptor bacteria attachment. This is suggested as aspecial characteristic in digestive system of swamp buffalo which causes high digestive efficiency inswamp buffalo.

  9. Peat swamp forest types and their regeneration in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve, Riau, East Sumatra, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Gunawan

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the ecology of tropical peat swamp forests is only now becoming understood, they are already under severe threat of conversion and degradation. Based on studies of the peat swamp forest of the Giam Siak Kecil–Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve carried out between 2009 and 2010, this paper discusses forest types and regeneration processes in terms of promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of the remaining peat swamp forest. Permanent plots covering a total area of three hectares were established in natural and disturbed forest areas. Within these plots, 135 tree species belonging to 34 families were identified. Mixed peat swamp forest and bintangur forest, which have different dominant species, were identified as the main forest types. The greatest species richness was in logged-over forest, with 82 species and a density of 2,492 stems ha-1. The success of regeneration varied between typical main species in the logged-over forest and in forest disturbed by wind and fire. All of the forest stands had high densities of trees with diameters at breast height (DBH of 3–10 cm, which are a potential source of recruitment to ensure the sustained regeneration of the forest remaining in the Biosphere Reserve. Regeneration is very important for improving the condition of disturbed peat swamp forest areas in the reserve, but natural regeneration will not be sufficient to restore the forest vegetation and conserve the associated biodiversity. Some form of human-assisted accelerated regeneration will be needed, such as enrichment planting of typical canopy species that have problems with establishment. It is important for the remaining natural peat swamp forests to be conserved because of their unique forest-type formations which have distinct dominant species, floristic composition, diversity and local environment characteristics. Improved management of secondary forest must be achieved through rehabilitation, halted forest

  10. Phenotypic flexibility in cutaneous water loss and lipids of the stratum corneum in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) following acclimation to high and low humidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Garcia, Agusti; Cox, Robert M; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-01-01

    Resistance to water-vapor diffusion through the skin is thought to be conferred by lipids in the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis. We tested the effect of ambient humidity on cutaneous water loss (CWL) and lipid composition of the SC by acclimating house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to either a dry (6.5 g/m(3) absolute humidity) or a humid (31 g/m(3)) environment for 3 wk at a thermoneutral temperature (30 degrees C). Sparrows in the dry-acclimated group reduced CWL by 36% compared with those in the humid environment. Relative to initial values, both groups of sparrows decreased CWL, 45% in the dry-acclimated group and 23% in the humid group, suggesting that temperature is also an important stimulus for CWL apart from humidity. Both groups of acclimated sparrows decreased quantities of cholesterol, free fatty acids, and cerebrosides and increased the proportion of ceramides in their SC. Lipid amounts or proportions in the SC did not differ between dry- and humid-acclimated sparrows, but the free fatty acid : ceramide ratio was significantly lower in dry-acclimated birds. Also, lipid composition was only correlated with CWL in dry-acclimated sparrows, suggesting that structural changes to SC lipids are more tightly linked to CWL regulation in response to low humidity. Our results demonstrate phenotypic flexibility in CWL and lipid composition of the SC and provide support for a functional relationship between these traits.

  11. Aquatic organisms as amber inclusions and examples from a modern swamp forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Alexander R.; Dilcher, David L.

    2007-01-01

    To find aquatic organisms in tree resin may seem to be highly unlikely, but the fossil record provides numerous amber-preserved limnetic arthropods (e.g., water beetles, water striders, and crustaceans) and microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, algae, ciliates, testate amoebae, and rotifers). Here we explain the frequently discussed process of embedding aquatic organisms in tree resin based on field studies in a Florida swamp forest. Different aquatic arthropods and all major groups of limnetic microorganisms were found embedded in resin that had contact with swamp water. The taphonomy of aquatic organisms differs from that of terrestrial plants and animals that get stuck on resin surfaces and are enclosed by successive resin outflows. Large and highly motile arthropods are predestined for embedding. The number of microbial inclusions is increased when tiny drops of water with aquatic organisms become enclosed in resin while it is flowing in an aquatic environment. Bacteria and fungi may grow inside the resin as long as it has not solidified and therefore become secondarily accumulated. In contact with air, even resin that had initially been flowing into water may solidify and potentially form amber. PMID:17940051

  12. Pharmacokinetics of amoxicillin trihydrate in Thai swamp buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis): a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruennarong, N; Wongpanit, K; Sakulthaew, C; Giorgi, M; Klangkaew, N; Poapolathep, A; Poapolathep, S

    2017-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the pharmacokinetic characteristics of amoxicillin (AMX) in Thai swamp buffaloes, Bubalus bubalis, following single intramuscular administration at two dosages of 10 and 20 mg/kg body weight (b.w.). Blood samples were collected at assigned times up to 48 h. The plasma concentrations of AMX were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The concentrations of AMX in the plasma were determined up to 24 h after i.m. administration at both dosages. The Cmax values of AMX were 3.39 ± 0.18 μg/mL and 6.16 ± 0.18 μg/mL at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg, respectively. The AUClast values increased in a dose-dependent fashion. The half-life values were 5.56 ± 0.40 h and 4.37 ± 0.23 h at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg b.w, respectively. Based on the pharmacokinetic data and PK-PD index (T > MIC), i.m. administration of AMX at a dose of 20 mg/kg b.w might be appropriate for the treatment of susceptible Mannheimia haemolytica infection in Thai swamp buffaloes. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Food swamps by area socioeconomic deprivation in New Zealand: a national study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sushil, Zaynel; Vandevijvere, Stefanie; Exeter, Daniel J; Swinburn, Boyd

    2017-11-01

    A nationwide spatial analysis of community retail food environments in relation to area socioeconomic deprivation was conducted in New Zealand. Addresses from about 20,000 registered food outlets were retrieved from all 66 Councils. Outlets were classified, geocoded and (spatially) validated. The analysis included 4087 convenience, 4316 fast food/takeaway and 1271 supermarket and fruit/vegetable outlets and excluded outlets not considered 'healthy' or 'unhealthy'. The population-weighted density of different outlet types in Census areas and the proximity to different outlet types from Meshblock centres were calculated and associations with area socioeconomic deprivation assessed. Spatial scan statistics was used to identify food swamp areas with a significantly higher relative density of unhealthy outlets than other areas. A significantly positive association was observed between area deprivation and density of all retailers. A significantly negative association was observed between area deprivation and proximity to all retailers. Nationwide, 722 Census areas were identified as food swamps. Access to food retailers is significantly higher in more deprived areas than in less deprived areas. Restricting unhealthy outlets in areas with a high relative density of those outlets is recommended.

  14. STRUCTURE OF NATURAL REGENERATION IN RELATION TO SOIL PROPERTIES AND DISTURBANCE IN TWO SWAMP FORESTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marly Antonielle Ávila

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Veredas (palm swamps is a type of vegetation associated with watercourses, characterized by the presence of Mauritia flexuosa palm trees. These systems are not well understood and suffer from high anthropogenic pressure. The aims of this study were to describe the natural regeneration of two swamp forests in vereda systems with different anthropogenic impacts and investigate if the variation in these plant communities are associated to edaphic conditions. The study was performed in preserved and impacted sites located in the Environmental Protection Area of the Pandeiros River in northern Minas Gerais. At each site, one hundred 25 m2 plots were established for surveying regenerating shrubs and trees (≥1 cm diameter at the base of the stem and < 3 cm diameter at breast height. Vegetation structure was evaluated by phytosociological parameters, similarity index, and size distribution of individuals. Regenerating strata was correlated with chemical and physical soil analyses. The vegetation at the preserved site was characterized by a higher number of individuals and a lower diversity but contained species that were typical of flooded areas. The results also showed differences in soil nutrient availability between sites that influenced the distribution of species at the two study sites.

  15. 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

    Brood desertion involves a series of interactions between the members of a pair. This process is likely to be based on either member's perception of the other's propensity to desert. We manipulated this perception in males by experimentally increasing female body mass in the rock sparrow (Petronia...... 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...... 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...

  16. Reading, laterality, and the brain: early contributions on reading disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Jack M; Morris, Robin D

    2014-02-01

    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 on early neuropsychological models of reading disabilities. Although Sara went on to research focused on children with other developmental disabilities after she moved to Yale University, this initial research influenced her career- long interests in assessment, developmental models of disabilities, and early screening methods.

  17. 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.

  18. Evidence for co-evolution of West Nile Virus and house sparrows in North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nisha K Duggal

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available West Nile virus (WNV has been maintained in North America in enzootic cycles between mosquitoes and birds since it was first described in North America in 1999. House sparrows (HOSPs; Passer domesticus are a highly competent host for WNV that have contributed to the rapid spread of WNV across the U.S.; however, their competence has been evaluated primarily using an early WNV strain (NY99 that is no longer circulating. Herein, we report that the competence of wild HOSPs for the NY99 strain has decreased significantly over time, suggesting that HOSPs may have developed resistance to this early WNV strain. Moreover, recently isolated WNV strains generate higher peak viremias and mortality in contemporary HOSPs compared to NY99. These data indicate that opposing selective pressures in both the virus and avian host have resulted in a net increase in the level of host competence of North American HOSPs for currently circulating WNV strains.

  19. Evidence for co-evolution of West Nile Virus and house sparrows in North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggal, Nisha K; Bosco-Lauth, Angela; Bowen, Richard A; Wheeler, Sarah S; Reisen, William K; Felix, Todd A; Mann, Brian R; Romo, Hannah; Swetnam, Daniele M; Barrett, Alan D T; Brault, Aaron C

    2014-10-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) has been maintained in North America in enzootic cycles between mosquitoes and birds since it was first described in North America in 1999. House sparrows (HOSPs; Passer domesticus) are a highly competent host for WNV that have contributed to the rapid spread of WNV across the U.S.; however, their competence has been evaluated primarily using an early WNV strain (NY99) that is no longer circulating. Herein, we report that the competence of wild HOSPs for the NY99 strain has decreased significantly over time, suggesting that HOSPs may have developed resistance to this early WNV strain. Moreover, recently isolated WNV strains generate higher peak viremias and mortality in contemporary HOSPs compared to NY99. These data indicate that opposing selective pressures in both the virus and avian host have resulted in a net increase in the level of host competence of North American HOSPs for currently circulating WNV strains.

  20. Stress hormone receptors change as range expansion progresses in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebl, Andrea L; Martin, Lynn B

    2013-06-23

    As ranges expand, individuals encounter different environments at the periphery than at the centre of the range. Previously, we have shown that glucocorticoids (GCs) vary with range expansion: individuals at the range edge release more GCs in response to restraint. Here, we measured hippocampal mRNA expression of GC receptors (mineralocorticoid, MR and glucocorticoid, GR) in eight house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations varying in age. We found that individuals closest to the range edge had the lowest expression of MR relative to GR; in all likelihood, this relationship was driven by a marginal reduction of MR mRNA at the range edge. Reduced MR (relative to GR) might allow enhanced GC binding to GR, the lower affinity receptor that would enhance a rapid physiological and behavioural response to stressors. The insights gained from this study are not only enlightening to introduced species, but may also predict how certain species will react as their ranges shift owing to anthropogenic changes.

  1. 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.

  2. Sexual variation in heritability and genetic correlations of morphological traits in house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, H; Saether, B E; Ringsby, T H; Tufto, J; Griffith, S C; Ellegren, H

    2003-11-01

    Estimates of genetic components are important for our understanding of how individual characteristics are transferred between generations. We show that the level of heritability varies between 0.12 and 0.68 in six morphological traits in house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.) in northern Norway. Positive and negative genetic correlations were present among traits, suggesting evolutionary constraints on the evolution of some of these characters. A sexual difference in the amount of heritable genetic variation was found in tarsus length, wing length, bill depth and body condition index, with generally higher heritability in females. In addition, the structure of the genetic variance-covariance matrix for the traits differed between the sexes. Genetic correlations between males and females for the morphological traits were however large and not significantly different from one, indicating that sex-specific responses to selection will be influenced by intersexual differences in selection differentials. Despite this, some traits had heritability above 0.1 in females, even after conditioning on the additive genetic covariance between sexes and the additive genetic variances in males. Moreover, a meta-analysis indicated that higher heritability in females than in males may be common in birds. Thus, this indicates sexual differences in the genetic architecture of birds. Consequently, as in house sparrows, the evolutionary responses to selection will often be larger in females than males. Hence, our results suggest that sex-specific additive genetic variances and covariances, although ignored in most studies, should be included when making predictions of evolutionary changes from standard quantitative genetic models.

  3. Personality traits and behavioral syndromes in differently urbanized populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Bókony

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Social network structure in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not correlated with kinship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnberg, Nina N; Shizuka, Daizaburo; Chaine, Alexis S; Lyon, Bruce E

    2015-10-01

    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. In a previous study, we discovered striking social complexity and stability in a wintering population of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) - individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. Here, we test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. We examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. We 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). Genetic networks based on relatedness do not correspond to the social networks, 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Wildlife Baseline Survey: Illinois Army National Guard, Sparta, Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-09-01

    system for vertebrate recruitment and DNA diversity. The lakes are independent as well, but could well be polluted by inappropriate application of...individual was not observed. Scat can sometimes be used as adequate sign, but without DNA test (which was not performed in this survey) errors are pos... Grasshopper Sparrow X US Ammodramus henslowii Henslow’s Sparrow* RS Ammospiza leconteii LeConte’s Sparrow RT Melospiza lincolnii Lincoln’s

  10. Effects of Lasia spinosa Thw. on growth rate and reproductive hormone of weaned Swamp buffalo and Murrah X Swamp buffalo calves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kamonpatana

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available The effects of Lasia spinosa Thw. on growth rate and plasma Oestradiol 17- β (E2, Progesterone (P4 and Testosterone (T were studied in 16 male and female swamp (SS buffaloes and Murrah x Swamp buffalo crossbreeds (MS calves. The treatment group was fed with a concentrate supplemented with 30 g of dry powder of L. spinosa/head/d for 7 months. It was found that L .spinosa could have effect on male and female buffalo growth rate. The growth rate of male SS treated group were 130 g/d higher than control group. In female both SS and MS buffalo, the highest growth rate (830 to 840 g/d was found after the 2nd month of treatment while a reduction in growth rate (-1,030 to - 450 g/d was found in the 3rd month. After that the growth rate of SS and MS gradually increased until the last three months to 200 and 80 g/d in average, respectively. In female MS, plasma E2 in the treated group was lower than control group during Jan to Jul. Similar result was found in SS female, level of plasma E2 in treated group was lower than in control group in the first and last three month and there was no difference of plasma E2 in May. In MS male, the level of plasma E2 of treated group was higher than control group in Jan, Mar, Apr and Jul. In SS male, the level of plasma E2 of treated group was higher than control group in every month except in Jul. In female SS, L. spinosa could decreased plasma P4 through the experiment and could not have an effect on plasma P4 in female MS and plasma T in male buffalo calves. In conclusion, the addition to the concentrate of dry powder of L. spinosa 30 g/headl/d had an effect to increase growth rate in male SS and female MS buffalo calves, decrease plasma E2 in female both SS and MS and male SS and decrease plasma P4 in female SS.

  11. 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.

  12. First record of epizootic ulcerative syndrome from the Upper Congo catchment: An outbreak in the Bangweulu swamps, Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchzermeyer, C F; Huchzermeyer, K D A; Christison, K W; Macey, B M; Colly, P A; Hang'ombe, B M; Songe, M M

    2018-01-01

    We report on the first outbreak of epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) amongst wild fish populations in the Bangweulu swamps, an inland delta, in the north of Zambia during 2014. The area supports a large and diverse fish fauna related to, but distinct from, that of the Zambezi River system where EUS outbreaks have occurred since 2006. A sizeable artisanal fishery, based on extensive fish weirs, is sustained by the annual flooding of the swamps, and observations of the disease outbreak by fishermen were recorded. Signs typical of infection with Aphanomyces invadans were observed in a number of species. Clinical observations, histology and molecular diagnostic methods were used to confirm infection with A. invadans in two of the most commonly and severely affected species. Several features of the wetland may have contributed to the outbreak and the annual recurrence of the disease. Modes by which the disease may have been introduced into the swamps are discussed. The outbreak is of great significance as the Bangweulu swamps drain into the Congo River in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's largest drainage system with an extensive and diverse fish fauna previously unaffected by EUS. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. On a new species of blackwater prawn, Macrobrachium oxyphilus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Palaemonidae), from peat swamps in Peninsular Malaysia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ng, P.K.L.

    1992-01-01

    A new species of freshwater palaemonid prawn, Macrobrachium oxyphilus spec, nov., is described from highly acidic blackwaters in a peat swamp forest in Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. The species differs from its nearest congener, M. trompii (de Man, 1898), in having proportionately smaller eyes,

  14. Variation in flood tolerance of container-grown seedlings of swamp white oak, bur oak, and white oak

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael P. Walsh; J.W. Van Sambeek; Mark V. Coggeshall

    2008-01-01

    How much variation in flood tolerance exists among seedlings within oak species, given the flood frequency of sites from which acorns are collected, has been largely unexplored. Our studies examined initial growth and flood tolerance for seedlings of swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor Willd.), bur oak (Q. macrocarpa L.), and white...

  15. Ecological studies on a population of the water snake Grayia smythii in a rainforest swamp of the Niger Delta, Nigeria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akani, Godfrey C.; Luiselli, Luca

    2001-01-01

    The ecology of the water snake, Grayia smythii (Reptilia: Colubridae) occurring in a seasonal rainforest swamp of the Niger Delta (southern Nigeria) was investigated between December 1998 and March 2000. Females and males were similar in body sizes (SVL) and head sizes, but males had tails

  16. Satellite radar observation of tropical peat swamp forest as a tool for hydrological modelling and environmental protection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekman, D.H.

    2007-01-01

    1. Tropical peat swamp forests may contain as much as 20% of the global soil carbon stock. They are threatened by large-scale deforestation and canal drainage. Oxidation and forest fire cause enormous carbon emissions. Most remaining areas are located in Indonesia. These are becoming increasingly

  17. Soil warming alters seed-bank responses across the geographic range of freshwater Taxodium distichum (Cupressaceae) swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Beth A.; McKee, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    Premise of the Study: Climate warming is predicted to have far-reaching effects on the distribution of species, but those effects may depend on the flexibility of regenerating species in responding to climate gradients. We conducted a study to determine whether the variation in the response of seed banks to temperature varied across the latitudinal range of Taxodium distichum swamps in North America.

  18. The use of ?- or ?-blockers to ameliorate the chronic stress of captivity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Clare Parker; Romero, L. Michael

    2016-01-01

    When wild animals are brought into captivity for the first time, they frequently develop chronic stress symptoms. Animals can develop glucocorticoid dysregulation or changes in the sympathetic nervous system over the course of the first week in captivity. By blocking the action of epinephrine and norepinephrine using ?- or ?-blockers, we hoped to reduce the degree of chronic stress symptoms exhibited by newly captured house sparrows. We measured corticosterone, heart rate and heart rate varia...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Large-scale spatial variation in feather corticosterone in invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Mexico is related to climate

    OpenAIRE

    Treen, Gillian D; Hobson, Keith A; Marchant, Tracy A; Bortolotti, Gary R

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently use physiological tools to understand how organisms cope with their surroundings but rarely at macroecological scales. This study describes spatial variation in corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers of invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across their range in Mexico and evaluates CORT–climate relationships with a focus on temperature and precipitation. Samples were collected from 49 sites across Mexico. Feather CORT (CORTf) was measured using methanol-based ex...

  1. 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; 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.

  2. Seasonal changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis sensitivity in free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, L Michael

    2006-10-01

    Recent evidence indicates that house sparrows (Passer domesticus) seasonally regulate corticosterone responses to capture, handling, and restraint. Responses during molt and in the fall are lower than responses in the winter and while breeding. This study tested whether changes in either adrenal tissue responsiveness to adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) or pituitary responsiveness to corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) or arginine vasotocin (AVT) could provide the mechanism regulating these seasonal changes. House sparrows were captured at two sites (Massachusetts and New Mexico, USA) and during the above four seasons and injected with exogenous ACTH, CRF, and AVT. ACTH stimulated further corticosterone release in all birds except Massachusetts birds in the winter, suggesting that reduced adrenal sensitivity to ACTH cannot explain reduced corticosterone release during fall and molt. However, exogenous ACTH was less effective during molt at both sites, implying that adrenal sensitivity does change. Pituitary sensitivity also changed seasonally, but these pituitary changes did not match the seasonal changes in corticosterone release. CRF and AVT only succeeded in elevating corticosterone in the spring in Massachusetts birds and in the winter in New Mexico birds, whereas CRF alone also stimulated corticosterone release in New Mexico birds in the fall. Taken together, these data indicate that house sparrows can alter the amount of corticosterone released from adrenal tissue, the amount of ACTH released from the pituitary, and the amount of CRF and AVT released from the hypothalamus, but that none of these changes correlate with seasonal changes in corticosterone release. Consequently, seasonal modulation of corticosterone release in house sparrows appear to result from a complicated mix of adrenal, pituitary, and hypothalamic changes that also vary seasonally.

  3. 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.

  4. Large-scale spatial variation in feather corticosterone in invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Mexico is related to climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treen, Gillian D; Hobson, Keith A; Marchant, Tracy A; Bortolotti, Gary R

    2015-09-01

    Ecologists frequently use physiological tools to understand how organisms cope with their surroundings but rarely at macroecological scales. This study describes spatial variation in corticosterone (CORT) levels in feathers of invasive house sparrows (Passer domesticus) across their range in Mexico and evaluates CORT-climate relationships with a focus on temperature and precipitation. Samples were collected from 49 sites across Mexico. Feather CORT (CORTf) was measured using methanol-based extraction and radioimmunoassay. Relationships between CORTf and spatial and climate variables were examined using simple linear regressions. Ordination was used on climate data, CORTf was plotted against the resulting axes, and univariate regression trees were used to identify important predictors of CORTf. Universal kriging interpolation was used to illustrate spatial variation in CORTf across Mexico. Correlations with ordination axes showed that high CORTf was associated with low precipitation during the rainy season and low dry season temperatures. Specifically, CORTf was negatively related to May precipitation and January and July minimum temperatures, and positively related to April deuterium excess and June minimum temperatures. CORTf was higher in second-year birds compared to after-hatch years and after-second years. House sparrows had higher CORTf levels in the hot, dry, north-central region of Mexico, and CORTf was negatively related to temperature and precipitation. House sparrows molt primarily from August-September but climate conditions throughout the year were important predictors of CORTf, suggesting that conditions outside of molt can carry over to influence energetics during feather growth. These data suggest that dry conditions are challenging for house sparrows in Mexico, supporting previous work showing that precipitation is an important predictor of broad-scale CORT variation. This work highlights the utility of CORTf for evaluating the influence of

  5. [Distribution, surface and protected area of palm-swamps in Costa Rica and Nicaragua].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano-Sandí, Juan; Bonilla-Murillo, Fabian; Sasa, Mahmood

    2013-09-01

    In Central America, palm swamps are known collectively as yolillales. These wetlands are usually dominated by the raffia palm Raphia taedigera, but also by the royal palm Manicaria saccifera and -in lower extensions- by the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera. The yolillales tend to be poor in woody species and are characteristic of regions with high rainfall and extensive hydroperiods, so they remain flooded most of the year. The dominance of large raffia palm leaves in the canopy, allow these environments to be distinguishable in aerial photographs, which consequently has helped to map them along most of their distribution. However, while maps depicting yolillales are available, the extent of their surface area, perimeter and connectivity remains poorly understood. This is particularly true for yolillales in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, countries that share a good proportion of palm dominated swaps in the Rio San Juan Basin. In addition, it is not known the actual area of these environments that is under any category of protection according to the conservation systems of both countries. As a first step to catalog yolillal wetlands in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, this paper evaluates cartographic maps to delineate yolillales in the region. A subsample of yolillales mapped in this study were visited and we geo-referenced them and evaluate the extent and condition of the swamp. A total of 110 883.2ha are classified as yolillales in Nicaragua, equivalent to 22% of wetland surface area recorded for that country (excluding the Cocibolca and Xolothn Lakes). In Costa Rica, 53 931.3ha are covered by these palm dominated swamps, which represent 16.24% of the total surface area covered by wetlands. About 47% of the area covered by yolillales in Nicaragua is under some category of protection, the largest extensions protected by Cerro Silva, Laguna Tale Sulumas and Indio Maiz Nature Reserves. In Costa Rica, 55.5% of the area covered by yolillal is located within protected areas

  6. 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.

  7. Sparrows (Passer domesticus L. as intermediary hosts of Toxoplasma gondii in poultry farms from the "agreste" region of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sineide M.O. Vilela

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper aimed to identify Toxoplasma gondii infection in house sparrows (Passer domesticus, Linneaus 1758 coming from poultry farms in the "agreste" region of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. 151 sparrows (Passer domesticus captured in eight broiler, egg layer and commercial laying poultry farms, were used. Indirect hemagglutination test was used to research anti-T. gondii antibodies. Animals that presented titration of 1:16 were destined to DNA research through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR technique, followed by Nested-PCR. It was observed that, from 151 analyzed samples. 91 (60.3% were reagents and 60 (39.7% were not reagents. It was verified, through analysis of the distribution of infected animals frequency per farm, that in only one farm (12.5% no animal reagent to T. gondii was captured. It was also observed that three (30.00% of the ten samples destined to DNA research for T. gondii were positive to PCR and four (40.00% were positive to Nested-PCR. Anti-T gondii antibodies occurrence and the molecular identification of the agent confirmed natural T. gondii infection in sparrows from poultry farms in Brazil. Other studies must be carried out to highlight the real importance of these animals in the epidemiological chain and their efficiency in the transmission of the parasite to felines. Therefore, researches that use parasite isolation and molecular techniques to determine genomic profile of the agent present in these poultry farms are needed.

  8. Natural daylight restricted to twilights delays the timing of testicular regression but does not affect the timing of the daily activity rhythm of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rani Sangeeta

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A stable and systematic daily change in light levels at dawn and dusk provides the most reliable indicator of the phase of the day. It is likely that organisms have evolved mechanisms to use these twilight transitions as the primary zeitgeber to adjust their circadian phases. In this study, we investigated under natural illumination conditions the effects of daylight exposure restricted to twilights on the timing of testicular regression and locomotor activity of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus, which possesses a strongly self-sustaining circadian system. Methods and results Two experiments were performed on adult male house sparrows. Beginning in the third week of April, the first experiment examined whether exposure to natural daylight only during twilights influenced the timing of testicular regression and concomitant changes in testosterone-dependent beak color of reproductively mature sparrows. Interestingly, there was a significant delay in testicular regression and depigmentation of the beak in sparrows exposed to natural daylight (NDL only during twilights as compared to those exposed to NDL all day. The second experiment examined twice in the year, around the equinoxes (March and September, the effects of exposure to twilights only on the daily activity rhythm of sparrows kept in an outdoor aviary. Five of 7 birds continued exhibiting entrained activity rhythms when exposed only to twilights (NDL minus day light from sunrise to sunset in September, but not in March. Both in NDL and twilight conditions, March birds had significantly lower activity counts than September birds. Conclusion Exposure to natural daylight only during twilights delayed the timing of testicular regression and concomitant depigmentation of the beak but did not affect the daily activity rhythm in male sparrows. This suggests that daily twilights can serve as cues for regulation of the circadian activity rhythm but not for the photoperiodic

  9. Use of a 15N tracer to determine linkages between a mangrove and an upland freshwater swamp

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenzie, R. A.; Cormier, N.

    2005-05-01

    Mangrove forests and adjacent upland freshwater swamps are important components of subsistence-based economies of Pacific islands. Mangroves provide valuable firewood (Rhizophora apiculata) and mangrove crabs (Scylla serrata); intact freshwater swamps are often used for agroforestry (e.g., taro cultivation). While these two systems are connected hydrologically via groundwater and surface flows, little information is available on how they may be biogeochemically or ecologically linked. For example, mangrove leaf litter was once thought to be an important food source for resident and transient nekton and invertebrates, but this value may have been overestimated. Instead, nutrients or allochthonous material (e.g., phytoplankton, detritus) delivered via groundwater or surface water from upland freshwater swamps may play a larger role in mangrove food webs. Understanding the linkages between these two ecologically and culturally important ecosystems will help us to understand the potential impacts of hydrological alterations that occur when roads or bridges are constructed through them. We conducted a 15N tracer study in the Yela watershed on the island of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia. K15NO3 was continually added at trace levels for 4 weeks to the Yela River in an upland freshwater swamp adjacent to a mangrove forest. Nitrate and ammonium pools, major primary producers, macroinvertebrates, and fish were sampled from stations 5 m upstream (freshwater swamp) and 138, 188, 213, and 313 m downstream (mangrove) from the tracer addition. Samples were collected once a week prior to, during, and after the 15N addition for a total of 6 weeks. Preliminary results revealed no significant enrichment (mudskipper fish (Periophthalmus sp.). However, the 15N signature of ammonium pools was enriched 10-60 ‰ by the end of the third week. These results suggest that the tracer was present in the mangrove but was either unavailable to higher organisms or was incorporated into

  10. Effect of supplementary lighting on eating behaviour by corralled swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis heifers in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chanvit Vajrabukka

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Sixteen 14-month-old swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis heifers were used to study the effect of supplementary lighting on eating time, number of meals and meal duration and growth performance. Eightheifers were allocated to a natural photoperiod regime, receiving approximately 12 h of daylight, (control treatment and eight heifers were allocated to a supplementary lighting regime, receiving an additional 6 h of artificial light during the night, (light supplemented treatment using a cross-over design. Rice straw wasoffered ad libitum and commercial concentrate was also offered approximately 1.5 kg/animal/day. Supplementary lighting was provided by eight 60 W white fluorescent tubes placed approximately 2.5 m above theground under the roof. Supplementary lighting did not significantly effect eating behaviour, daily intake or live weight gain. It is concluded that the performance of corralled buffalo heifers cannot be improved by the provision of supplementary lighting.

  11. Proteomic analysis of three gonad types of swamp eel reveals genes differentially expressed during sex reversal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Yue; Zhao, Wei; Song, Ying; Li, Zhigang; Luo, Majing; Lei, Quan; Cheng, Hanhua; Zhou, Rongjia

    2015-05-18

    A variety of mechanisms are engaged in sex determination in vertebrates. The teleost fish swamp eel undergoes sex reversal naturally and is an ideal model for vertebrate sexual development. However, the importance of proteome-wide scanning for gonad reversal was not previously determined. We report a 2-D electrophoresis analysis of three gonad types of proteomes during sex reversal. MS/MS analysis revealed a group of differentially expressed proteins during ovary to ovotestis to testis transformation. Cbx3 is up-regulated during gonad reversal and is likely to have a role in spermatogenesis. Rab37 is down-regulated during the reversal and is mainly associated with oogenesis. Both Cbx3 and Rab37 are linked up in a protein network. These datasets in gonadal proteomes provide a new resource for further studies in gonadal development.

  12. Clonal growth strategy, diversity and structure: A spatiotemporal response to sedimentation in tropical Cyperus papyrus swamps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geremew, Addisie; Stiers, Iris; Sierens, Tim; Kefalew, Alemayehu; Triest, Ludwig

    2018-01-01

    Land degradation and soil erosion in the upper catchments of tropical lakes fringed by papyrus vegetation can result in a sediment load gradient from land to lakeward. Understanding the dynamics of clonal modules (ramets and genets) and growth strategies of plants on such a gradient in both space and time is critical for exploring a species adaptation and processes regulating population structure and differentiation. We assessed the spatial and temporal dynamics in clonal growth, diversity, and structure of an emergent macrophyte, Cyperus papyrus (papyrus), in response to two contrasting sedimentation regimes by combining morphological traits and genotype data using 20 microsatellite markers. A total of 636 ramets from six permanent plots (18 x 30 m) in three Ethiopian papyrus swamps, each with discrete sedimentation regimes (high vs. low) were sampled for two years. We found that ramets under the high sedimentation regime (HSR) were significantly clumped and denser than the sparse and spreading ramets under the low sedimentation regime (LSR). The HSR resulted in significantly different ramets with short culm height and girth diameter as compared to the LSR. These results indicated that C. papyrus ameliorates the effect of sedimentation by shifting clonal growth strategy from guerrilla (in LSR) to phalanx (in HSR). Clonal richness, size, dominance, and clonal subrange differed significantly between sediment regimes and studied time periods. Each swamp under HSR revealed a significantly high clonal richness (R = 0.80) as compared to the LSR (R = 0.48). Such discrepancy in clonal richness reflected the occurrence of initial and repeated seedling recruitment strategies as a response to different sedimentation regimes. Overall, our spatial and short-term temporal observations highlighted that HSR enhances clonal richness and decreases clonal subrange owing to repeated seedling recruitment and genets turnover.

  13. Population density of red langurs in Sabangau tropical peat-swamp forest, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlers Smith, David A; Ehlers Smith, Yvette C

    2013-08-01

    Because of the large-scale destruction of Borneo's rainforests on mineral soils, tropical peat-swamp forests (TPSFs) are increasingly essential for conserving remnant biodiversity, particularly in the lowlands where the majority of habitat conversion has occurred. Consequently, effective strategies for biodiversity conservation are required, which rely on accurate population density and distribution estimates as a baseline. We sought to establish the first population density estimates of the endemic red langur (Presbytis rubicunda) in Sabangau TPSF, the largest remaining contiguous lowland forest-block on Borneo. Using Distance sampling principles, we conducted line transect surveys in two of Sabangau's three principle habitat sub-classes and calculated group density at 2.52 groups km⁻² (95% CI 1.56-4.08) in the mixed-swamp forest sub-class. Based on an average recorded group size of 6.95 individuals, population density was 17.51 ind km⁻², the second highest density recorded in this species. The accessible area of the tall-interior forest, however, was too disturbed to yield density estimates representative of the entire sub-class, and P. rubicunda was absent from the low-pole forest, likely as a result of the low availability of the species' preferred foods. This absence in 30% of Sabangau's total area indicates the importance of in situ population surveys at the habitat-specific level for accurately informing conservation strategies. We highlight the conservation value of TPSFs for P. rubicunda given the high population density and large areas remaining, and recommend 1) quantifying the response of P. rubicunda to the logging and burning of its habitats; 2) surveying degraded TPSFs for viable populations, and 3) effectively delineating TPSF sub-class boundaries from remote imagery to facilitate population estimates across the wider peat landscape, given the stark contrast in densities found across the habitat sub-classes of Sabangau. © 2013 Wiley

  14. Effect of day or night grazing on behaviour of swamp buffalo heifers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somparn, P.

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of day or night grazing on behaviour by swamp buffaloes. A grazing trial was conducted over 42 days in the late rainy season, during September to November2005 at Surin Livestock Research and Breeding Center, Surin province. The experimental period was divided into two 21-day periods. Twelve 2-year-old swamp buffalo heifers were allocated to four groups, eachcontaining three heifers, with the mean group weights being as similar as possible. Each group was allowed to graze either from 06:20 to 18:00 h (daytime treatment or from 18:20 to 06:00 h (nighttime treatment infour separate paddocks, each of 5 rai, using a cross-over design. When not at pasture the animals in each group were kept in the common corral with free access to fresh drinking water and mineral blocks. Individualanimal activity was recorded by visual observation at 1-min intervals during the period at pasture. Individual groups within each period were treated as replicates. Differences between group means weretested using MIXED procedure of SAS.The buffaloes on daytime treatment spent longer (P<0.05 grazing than those on nighttime treatment (423 vs 332 min. The number of meals differed (P<0.05 between treatments, but overall mean meal durationswere similar (73 min. Buffaloes allowed to graze during daylight had a tendency (P<0.10 toward a higher bite and step rates than those grazing during the night. With the reduction in grazing activity duringthe night on nighttime treatment, the animals ruminated for longer during the period at pasture (327 and 191 min, P<0.001. Live-weight change over periods of 20 days did not differ significantly. The difference intemporal behaviour patterns between treatments indicated that animals have to adapt foraging strategies appropriate for different situations in order to maintain feed intake and subsequently production.

  15. Clonal growth strategy, diversity and structure: A spatiotemporal response to sedimentation in tropical Cyperus papyrus swamps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Addisie Geremew

    Full Text Available Land degradation and soil erosion in the upper catchments of tropical lakes fringed by papyrus vegetation can result in a sediment load gradient from land to lakeward. Understanding the dynamics of clonal modules (ramets and genets and growth strategies of plants on such a gradient in both space and time is critical for exploring a species adaptation and processes regulating population structure and differentiation. We assessed the spatial and temporal dynamics in clonal growth, diversity, and structure of an emergent macrophyte, Cyperus papyrus (papyrus, in response to two contrasting sedimentation regimes by combining morphological traits and genotype data using 20 microsatellite markers. A total of 636 ramets from six permanent plots (18 x 30 m in three Ethiopian papyrus swamps, each with discrete sedimentation regimes (high vs. low were sampled for two years. We found that ramets under the high sedimentation regime (HSR were significantly clumped and denser than the sparse and spreading ramets under the low sedimentation regime (LSR. The HSR resulted in significantly different ramets with short culm height and girth diameter as compared to the LSR. These results indicated that C. papyrus ameliorates the effect of sedimentation by shifting clonal growth strategy from guerrilla (in LSR to phalanx (in HSR. Clonal richness, size, dominance, and clonal subrange differed significantly between sediment regimes and studied time periods. Each swamp under HSR revealed a significantly high clonal richness (R = 0.80 as compared to the LSR (R = 0.48. Such discrepancy in clonal richness reflected the occurrence of initial and repeated seedling recruitment strategies as a response to different sedimentation regimes. Overall, our spatial and short-term temporal observations highlighted that HSR enhances clonal richness and decreases clonal subrange owing to repeated seedling recruitment and genets turnover.

  16. Hydrologic remediation for the Deepwater Horizon incident drove ancillary primary production increase in coastal swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Beth A.; Johnson, Darren; Roberts, Brian J

    2015-01-01

    As coastal wetlands subside worldwide, there is an urgency to understand the hydrologic drivers and dynamics of plant production and peat accretion. One incidental test of the effects of high rates of discharge on forested wetland production occurred in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, in which all diversions in Louisiana were operated at or near their maximum discharge level for an extended period to keep offshore oil from threatened coastal wetlands. Davis Pond Diversion was operated at six times the normal discharge levels for almost 4 months, so that Taxodium distichum swamps downstream of the diversion experienced greater inundation and lower salinity. After this remediation event in 2010, above-ground litter production increased by 2.7 times of production levels in 2007–2011. Biomass of the leaf and reproductive tissues of several species increased; wood litter was minimal and did not change during this period. Root production decreased in 2010 but subsequently returned to pre-remediation values in 2011. Both litter and root production remained high in the second growing season after hydrologic remediation. Annual tree growth (circumference increment) was not significantly altered by the remediation. The potential of freshwater pulses for regulating tidal swamp production is further supported by observations of higher T. distichum growth in lower salinity and/or pulsed environments across the U.S. Gulf Coast. Usage of freshwater pulses to manage altered estuaries deserves further consideration, particularly because the timing and duration of such pulses could influence both primary production and peat accretion.

  17. Damage suffered by swamp morning glory (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) exposed to vanadium (V).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ting; Li, Ting-Qiang; Yang, Jin-Yan

    2016-03-01

    To elucidate the physiological and morphological responses generated by vanadium (V) in plants, hydroponic culture experiments were performed with swamp morning glory (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) exposed to 0 mg L(-1) to 2.50 mg L(-1) pentavalent V [V(V)] in Hoagland nutrient solutions. The concentration of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotene peaked at a V(V) concentration of 0.05 mg L(-1) and gradually decreased at higher V(V) concentrations. Similarly, the plant biomass was stimulated at low levels of V(V) and was inhibited when V(V) concentrations exceeded 0.1 mg L(-1). Pentavalent V had negative effects on the uptake of phosphorus (P) by roots, shoots, and leaves. The biological absorption coefficients of V of the roots were higher than those of the aerial parts. Under low concentrations of V(V) exposure, the predominant species of V in the aerial parts was tetravalent V [V(IV)], whereas V(V) became more prevalent when concentrations of V(V) in the solution was higher than 0.50 mg L(-1). In the roots, however, the concentrations of V(V) were always higher than those of the V(IV), except in the control group. Organelles in the V(V)-treated leaves were distorted, and the periplasmic space became wider. These results indicate V(V) has concentration-dependent effects on the physiological properties of swamp morning glory, whereas the plant has the ability to develop self-protective function to adapt to the toxicity of V(V). © 2015 SETAC.

  18. The inorganic chemistry of peat from the Maunachira channel-swamp system, Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCarthy, T.S.; McIver, J.R.; Cairncross, B.; Ellery, W.N.; Ellery, K.

    1989-05-01

    The Okavango Delta is a large (18000 km/sup 2/), low gradient (1:3600), alluvial fan situated in the semi-arid Kalahari basin of northern Botswana. Seasonal floodwaters from tropical Angola disperse on the fan creating both perennial (6000 km/sup 2/) and seasonal (7000 to 12000 km/sup 2/) swamps. Ninety-five percent of this water is lost annually by evapotranspiration. Organic rich sediment (peat) is a major sediment of the perennial swamps. Peat formation commences during senescence of the plants, when certain nutrients are recycled while others are lost by rainwater leaching. Further changes in chemistry occur during subaqueous decay of the plants which involve both gains and losses of constituents. Decaying plants trap detrital mineral matter which becomes an integral part of the peat. The main sources and forms of inorganic matter in the peat are: allochthonous kaolinite (40%) and quartz (20%) and both allochthonous and autochthonous phytolithic silica (30%). several inorganic components (Fe, K, P, Na, Ca and Mg) which make up the remaining 10% are associated with the organic fraction. Ion exchange plays only a minor part in their uptake and it seems that these metals are taken up during bacterial activity in the peat. The weight proportion of inorganic matter (ash) decreases downstream, mainly due to a decrease in allochthonous mineral matter. Volume percentage also decreases but is low throughout, generally less than five percent. This study has revealed that the low-quantity allochthonous mineral matter is the main reason for the long-term survival of this ecosystem. Uptake of soluble ions by the peat is important in off-setting evaporative concentration of metals. 36 refs., 13 figs., 7 tabs.

  19. Ground survey of red lechwe in the Linyanti swamps and Chobe floodplains, northern Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phemelo Gadimang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available A ground survey of red lechwe was carried out in the Linyanti swamps and the Chobe floodplains of northern Botswana in the dry and wet seasons of 2012 and 2013, respectively. We documented numbers, sex ratio and age structure of red lechwe within the linear strips of 25 km × 300 m along the Linyanti swamps and the Chobe floodplains. Results indicated a significant difference in the numbers of red lechwe between sites and seasons. About 66 and 755 red lechwe were estimated for Chobe in the dry and wet season, respectively, with 343 and 261 of them estimated for Linyanti in the dry and wet season, respectively. In Chobe, the red lechwe densities varied widely between seasons (9 red lechwe/km2 – 101 red lechwe/km2 compared with Linyanti, where the densities did not vary much between seasons (35 red lechwe/km2 – 46 red lechwe/km2 . The lower densities of red lechwe in Chobe in the dry season when compared with the wet season suggest a possible seasonal shift in the distribution of red lechwe to the nearby Zambezi floodplains in Namibia.Conservation implications: The higher number of red lechwe in the Chobe floodplains in the wet season indicates the potential of the floodplains as a habitat for this species in that season. The dry season shift in the distribution of red lechwe in Chobe presents an opportunity for local communities in Namibia to engage in tourism, whereas the return of the red lechwe to the floodplains in the wet season ensures protection of the animals as well as boosts the tourism potential of the Chobe National Park.

  20. 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,...

  1. Homeostatic regulation of sleep in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cirelli Chiara

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sleep is regulated by both a circadian and a homeostatic process. The homeostatic process reflects the duration of prior wakefulness: the longer one stays awake, the longer and/or more intense is subsequent sleep. In mammals, the best marker of the homeostatic sleep drive is slow wave activity (SWA, the electroencephalographic (EEG power spectrum in the 0.5–4 Hz frequency range during non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep. In mammals, NREM sleep SWA is high at sleep onset, when sleep pressure is high, and decreases progressively to reach low levels in late sleep. Moreover, SWA increases further with sleep deprivation, when sleep also becomes less fragmented (the duration of sleep episodes increases, and the number of brief awakenings decreases. Although avian and mammalian sleep share several features, the evidence of a clear homeostatic response to sleep loss has been conflicting in the few avian species studied so far. The aim of the current study was therefore to ascertain whether established markers of sleep homeostasis in mammals are also present in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, a migratory songbird of the order Passeriformes. To accomplish this goal, we investigated amount of sleep, sleep time course, and measures of sleep intensity in 6 birds during baseline sleep and during recovery sleep following 6 hours of sleep deprivation. Results Continuous (24 hours EEG and video recordings were used to measure baseline sleep and recovery sleep following short-term sleep deprivation. Sleep stages were scored visually based on 4-sec epochs. EEG power spectra (0.5–25 Hz were calculated on consecutive 4-sec epochs. Four vigilance states were reliably distinguished based on behavior, visual inspection of the EEG, and spectral EEG analysis: Wakefulness (W, Drowsiness (D, slow wave sleep (SWS and rapid-eye movement (REM sleep. During baseline, SWA during D, SWS, and NREM sleep (defined as D and SWS

  2. Salmonella detection and aerobic colony count in deep-frozen carcasses of house sparrow (Passer domesticus and starling (Sturnus vulgaris intended for human consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédérique Pasquali

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Wild birds are potential vehicles of zoonotic pathogen transmission to humans. The zoonotic concern increases for small wild birds like house sparrows (Passer domesticus and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris which are hunted in developing countries and commercialised in Italy for human consumption. From June to October 2011, 330 house sparrows and 140 starlings were hunted and slaughtered. Deepfrozen carcasses were transported to Italy and stored for 6-8 months at -18°C. Aerobic colony count and Salmonella detection in carcasses were assessed following standard microbiological methods (ISO 4833:2003 and ISO 6579:2004, respectively. Carcasses of house sparrows showed higher levels of aerobic bacteria in comparison to starling carcasses (5.7 vs 3.2 log10 CFU/g. Moreover, 7 out of 11 lots of carcasses of house sparrows were positive for Salmonella. Among the 18 isolates of Salmonella, 14 were S. Typhimurium, 2 were S. Enteritidis, and 2 were not distinguishable. All of them were susceptible to antibiotics. All tested carcasses of starling were Salmonella negative. Deep-freezing was not efficient as a decontamination technique on carcasses of house sparrows.

  3. 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.

  4. Summary Report for 2003-2004 Phase 1 Archaeological Survey of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In February 2004, the United States National Park Service (USNPS) recognized the significance of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Great Dismal Swamp...

  5. Ecology and Physiology of a Black Bear Population in Great Dismal Swamp and Reproductive Physiology in the Captive Female Black Bear

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study was designed to provide information on demographics and ecology of the black bear population in Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge for the...

  6. Contaminants in white-tailed deer tissue from the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Morris and Somerset Counties, New Jersey: Results of 1988 sampling and analysis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) tissues were sampled during the December, 1988, public deer hunt at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (GSNWR) to...

  7. Contaminants in fish and sediments of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Morris County, New Jersey: A 10-year follow-up investigation

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Located in Morris County, New Jersey about 25 miles west of New York City's Time Square, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's (Service) Great Swamp National...

  8. Hydrography - HYDROGRAPHY_HIGHRES_WATERBODYDISCRETE_NHD_USGS: Lakes, Ponds, Reservoirs, Swamps, and Marshes in Watersheds of Indiana (U. S. Geological Survey, 1:24,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC State | GIS Inventory — HYDROGRAPHY_HIGHRES_WATERBODYDISCRETE_NHD_USGS.SHP is a polygon shapefile that contains features of lakes, ponds, reservoirs, swamps and marshes in watersheds in and...

  9. Salinity tolerance of non-native Asian swamp eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Florida, USA: Comparison of three populations and implications for dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schofield, P.J.; Nico, L.G.

    2009-01-01

    Three populations of non-native Asian swamp eels are established in peninsular Florida (USA), and comprise two different genetic lineages. To assess potential for these fish to penetrate estuarine habitats or use coastal waters as dispersal routes, we determined their salinity tolerances. Swamp eels from the three Florida populations were tested by gradual (chronic) salinity increases; additionally, individuals from the Miami population were tested by abrupt (acute) salinity increases. Results showed significant tolerance by all populations to mesohaline waters: Mean survival time at 14 ppt was 63 days. The Homestead population, a genetically distinct lineage, exhibited greater tolerance to higher salinity than Tampa and Miami populations. Acute experiments indicated that swamp eels were capable of tolerating abrupt shifts from 0 to 16 ppt, with little mortality over 10 days. The broad salinity tolerance demonstrated by these experiments provides evidence that swamp eels are physiologically capable of infiltrating estuarine environments and using coastal waters to invade new freshwater systems. ?? 2009 US Government.

  10. Major histocompatibility complex genes partly explain early survival in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasch, B; Westerdahl, H; Strandh, M; Knauer, F; Winkler, H; Moodley, Y; Hoi, H

    2017-07-26

    Environmental factors and genetic incompatibilities between parents have been suggested as important determinants for embryonic mortality and survival. The genetic set-up of the immune system, specifically the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may also influence individual resistance to infections. MHC proteins are important for an appropriate adaptive immune response and enable T-cells to separate 'self' from 'non-self'. Here we investigate the importance of MHC functional diversity for early development in birds, more specifically, if offspring survival and body mass or size depends on number of different functional MHC alleles, specific functional MHC alleles or similarity of MHC alleles in the parents. Unhatched eggs are common in clutches of many bird species. In house sparrows (Passer domesticus), embryo and nestling mortality can exceed 50%. To control for environmental factors, our study was carried out on an aviary population. We found that one specific functional MHC allele was associated with reduced nestling survival, which was additionally supported by lower body mass and a smaller tarsus when nestlings have been 6 days old. Another allele was positively associated with tarsus length at a later nestling stage (nestlings 12 days old). These results indicate that MHC alleles might influence pathogen resistance or susceptibility.

  11. Genetic structure in insular and mainland populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and their hemosporidian parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bichet, Coraline; Moodley, Yoshan; Penn, Dustin J; Sorci, Gabriele; Garnier, Stéphane

    2015-04-01

    Small and isolated populations usually exhibit low levels of genetic variability, and thus, they are expected to have a lower capacity to adapt to changes in environmental conditions, such as exposure to pathogens and parasites. Comparing the genetic variability of selectively neutral versus functional loci allows one to assess the evolutionary history of populations and their future evolutionary potential. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) control immune recognition of parasites, and their unusually high diversity is genes which is likely driven by parasite-mediated balancing selection. Here, we examined diversity and differentiation of neutral microsatellite loci and functional MHC class I genes in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), living in six insular and six mainland populations, and we aimed to determine whether their diversity or differentiation correlates with the diversity and the prevalence of infection of hemosporidian parasites. We found that island bird populations tended to have lower neutral genetic variability, whereas MHC variability gene was similar between island and mainland populations. Similarly, island populations tended to show greater genetic differentiation than mainland populations, especially at microsatellite markers. The maintenance of MHC genetic diversity and its less marked structure in the island populations could be attributed to balancing-selection. The greater MHC differentiation among populations was negatively correlated with similarity in blood parasites (prevalence and diversity of parasite strains) between populations. Even at low prevalence and small geographical scale, haemosporidian parasites might contribute to structure the variability of immune genes among populations of hosts.

  12. Correlates of egg size variation in a population of house sparrow Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvalnes, Thomas; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Jensen, Henrik; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2013-02-01

    Propagule size represents an important life-history trait under maternal control. Despite a positive relationship between propagule size and components of fitness, propagule size displays tremendous amounts of variation which causes are poorly understood within natural populations. With a study of a house sparrows Passer domesticus, we investigate maternal and environmental correlates of egg size, quantify variation in egg size within and between females and broods, and estimate heritability. Egg size had a curvilinear relationship with clutch size and decreased significantly in subsequent broods within seasons. Furthermore, egg size increased with maternal body mass, was positively affected by spring temperatures and curvilinearly related to temperature during the 2 weeks prior to egg laying. Some 46.4 % of variation in egg size was due to differences between females, and 21.9 % was explained by variation between broods by the same female. The heritability of egg size was low (h (2) = 0.26) compared to estimates from other studies (h (2) > 0.6). The present study challenges the recent idea that egg size is an inflexible maternal characteristic with very high additive genetic variance, and suggests that females are subject to both intrinsic and extrinsic constraints prior to and during egg formation, leading to the observed plasticity in egg size. In a general sense, propagule size could be expected to be both limited by and adaptively adjusted in accordance to prevailing environmental conditions.

  13. 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.

  14. Plasmodium relictum infection and MHC diversity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loiseau, Claire; Zoorob, Rima; Robert, Alexandre; Chastel, Olivier; Julliard, Romain; Sorci, Gabriele

    2011-04-22

    Antagonistic coevolution between hosts and parasites has been proposed as a mechanism maintaining genetic diversity in both host and parasite populations. In particular, the high level of genetic diversity usually observed at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is generally thought to be maintained by parasite-driven selection. Among the possible ways through which parasites can maintain MHC diversity, diversifying selection has received relatively less attention. This hypothesis is based on the idea that parasites exert spatially variable selection pressures because of heterogeneity in parasite genetic structure, abundance or virulence. Variable selection pressures should select for different host allelic lineages resulting in population-specific associations between MHC alleles and risk of infection. In this study, we took advantage of a large survey of avian malaria in 13 populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) to test this hypothesis. We found that (i) several MHC alleles were either associated with increased or decreased risk to be infected with Plasmodium relictum, (ii) the effects were population specific, and (iii) some alleles had antagonistic effects across populations. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that diversifying selection in space can maintain MHC variation and suggest a pattern of local adaptation where MHC alleles are selected at the local host population level.

  15. Heritability of nestling begging intensity in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dor, Roi; Lotem, Arnon

    2009-03-01

    Evolutionary theory of parent-offspring conflict assumes that offspring food solicitation behavior, known as begging, and parental response to begging are subjected to selection and coevolution. This assumption implies that begging intensity should be heritable, at least to some degree. Although some studies have suggested that begging is heritable, the evidence for this is rare and mostly indirect. To assess the heritability of begging we used artificial selection, sibling analysis, and the monitoring of begging intensity in four generations of cross-fostered captive house sparrow nestlings. We also contrasted the heritability of begging with that of morphological traits, known to be heritable in this species. Our results show that adult wing length and body mass were heritable as expected. The heritability estimates of the visual and vocal components of nestling begging (standardized for food deprivation and body mass) were low to moderate, as expected for behavioral traits in general, and lower than previously reported for passerine birds. Our sibling analysis shows that common environment had much greater effect on begging than genetic origin, suggesting that begging evolution may be strongly influenced by gene-environment interaction, probably through the mechanisms that adjust begging response to environmental and social conditions.

  16. 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.

  17. Genetic and morphometric divergence of an invasive bird: the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Marcos R; Macedo, Regina H F; Martins, Thaís L F; Schrey, Aaron W; Martin, Lynn B; Bensch, Staffan

    2012-01-01

    Introduced species are interesting systems for the study of contemporary evolution in new environments because of their spatial and temporal scales. For this study we had three aims: (i) to determine how genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of introduced populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in Brazil varies with range expansion, (ii) to determine how genetic diversity and differentiation in Brazil compares to ancestral European populations; and (iii) to determine whether selection or genetic drift has been more influential on phenotypic divergence. We used six microsatellite markers to genotype six populations from Brazil and four populations from Europe. We found slightly reduced levels of genetic diversity in Brazilian compared to native European populations. However, among introduced populations of Brazil, we found no association between genetic diversity and time since introduction. Moreover, overall genetic differentiation among introduced populations was low indicating that the expansion took place from large populations in which genetic drift effects would likely have been weak. We found significant phenotypic divergence among sites in Brazil. Given the absence of a spatial genetic pattern, divergent selection and not genetic drift seems to be the main force behind most of the phenotypic divergence encountered. Unravelling whether microevolution (e.g., allele frequency change), phenotypic plasticity, or both mediated phenotypic divergence is challenging and will require experimental work (e.g., common garden experiments or breeding programs).

  18. Genetic and morphometric divergence of an invasive bird: the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus in Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos R Lima

    Full Text Available Introduced species are interesting systems for the study of contemporary evolution in new environments because of their spatial and temporal scales. For this study we had three aims: (i to determine how genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of introduced populations of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus in Brazil varies with range expansion, (ii to determine how genetic diversity and differentiation in Brazil compares to ancestral European populations; and (iii to determine whether selection or genetic drift has been more influential on phenotypic divergence. We used six microsatellite markers to genotype six populations from Brazil and four populations from Europe. We found slightly reduced levels of genetic diversity in Brazilian compared to native European populations. However, among introduced populations of Brazil, we found no association between genetic diversity and time since introduction. Moreover, overall genetic differentiation among introduced populations was low indicating that the expansion took place from large populations in which genetic drift effects would likely have been weak. We found significant phenotypic divergence among sites in Brazil. Given the absence of a spatial genetic pattern, divergent selection and not genetic drift seems to be the main force behind most of the phenotypic divergence encountered. Unravelling whether microevolution (e.g., allele frequency change, phenotypic plasticity, or both mediated phenotypic divergence is challenging and will require experimental work (e.g., common garden experiments or breeding programs.

  19. 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.

  20. Across-year social stability shapes network structure in wintering migrant sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shizuka, Daizaburo; Chaine, Alexis S; Anderson, Jennifer; Johnson, Oscar; Laursen, Inger Marie; Lyon, Bruce E

    2014-08-01

    Migratory birds often form flocks on their wintering grounds, but important details of social structure such as the patterns of association between individuals are virtually unknown. We analysed networks of co-membership in short-term flocks for wintering golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) across three years and discovered social complexity unsuspected for migratory songbirds. The population was consistently clustered into distinct social communities within a relatively small area (~ 7 ha). Birds returned to the same community across years, with mortality and recruitment leading to some degree of turnover in membership. These spatiotemporal patterns were explained by the combination of space use and social preference - birds that flocked together in one year flocked together again in the subsequent year more often than were expected based on degrees of home range overlap. Our results suggest that a surprising level of social fidelity across years leads to repeatable patterns of social network structure in migratory populations. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  1. Individual-learning ability predicts social-foraging strategy in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsnelson, Edith; Motro, Uzi; Feldman, Marcus W; Lotem, Arnon

    2011-02-22

    Social foragers can use either a 'producer' strategy, which involves searching for food, or a 'scrounger' strategy, which involves joining others' food discoveries. While producers rely on personal information and past experience, we may ask whether the tendency to forage as a producer is related to being a better learner. To answer this question, we hand-raised house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings that upon independence were given an individual-learning task that required them to associate colour signal and food presence. Following the testing phase, all fledglings were released into a shared aviary, and their social-foraging tendencies were measured. We found a significant positive correlation between individual's performance in the individual-learning task and subsequent tendency to use searching (producing) behaviour. Individual-learning score was negatively correlated with initial fear of the test apparatus and with body weight. However, the correlation between individual learning and searching remained significant after controlling for these variables. Since it was measured before the birds entered a social group, individual-learning ability could not be the outcome of being a producer. However, the two traits may be initially associated, or individual learning could facilitate producing behaviour. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that associates individual-learning abilities with social-foraging strategies in animal groups.

  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. Extrapair paternity rates vary with latitude and elevation in emberizid sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonier, Frances; Eikenaar, Cas; Martin, Paul R; Moore, Ignacio T

    2014-01-01

    Mating systems can vary among species and populations and thus influence evolutionary trajectories, ecological traits, and population demography. The siring of offspring by an extrapair male, or extrapair paternity (EPP), is a widespread and varied phenomenon in all vertebrate classes. However, we do not understand all of the factors associated with variation in EPP rates. The breeding synchrony hypothesis suggests that EPP rates should increase with latitude and elevation, whereas the paternal care hypothesis predicts that EPP rates should decrease with elevation. To address these hypotheses, we investigated how population EPP rates vary over elevation and latitude in emberizid sparrows. In comparative analyses including the effects of phylogeny, the relationship between EPP rates and elevation depended on latitude. EPP rates were greater in higher-latitude populations. But within higher-latitude populations, EPP rates decreased with increasing elevation. These findings provide support for both the breeding synchrony and paternal care hypotheses, suggesting that in lower-latitude, higher-elevation populations, the need for male parental care does not outweigh the benefits of seeking extrapair fertilizations in populations with relatively synchronous breeding. In contrast, at higher-latitude, higher-elevation sites, the need for male parental care is greater and might drive lower rates of extrapair mating despite highly synchronous breeding.

  4. Coping with novelty and stress in free-living house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lendvai, Adám Z; Bókony, Veronika; Chastel, Olivier

    2011-03-01

    Individuals respond differently to stressors and it has been suggested that stress responses are related to coping styles (consistent individual differences in behavior and physiology). We studied behavioral responses to a novel object and corticosterone response to stress during chick rearing in free-living female house sparrows (Passer domesticus). To prevent mates from influencing each others' behavior, we removed the males temporarily from nests and tested the females the following day either with a novel object placed on the nest box or as control. The two groups differed only in behaviors that were a priori defined as responses to the novel object (latency to first feeding, time spent near the nest, and inspecting the novel object by hovering in front of it) indicating that mate-removal per se had no effect on female behavior. Based on these variables, females' coping behaviors were categorized as 'bold', 'inquisitive' or 'shy' by discriminant analysis. Baseline corticosterone, measured on the day following the novel-object or control test, was not related to any measure of coping. Stress-induced corticosterone, however, was negatively related to number of hoverings in front of the nest (a measure of explorativeness) and accordingly differed between the behavioral coping categories, with 'inquisitive' birds having the lowest stress response. We propose that the relationship between physiological stress response and behavioral response to novelty (a component of personality or coping style) may be more complex than previously suggested, and individuals cannot always be unambiguously categorized along a single personality axis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Sarah S; Vineyard, Meighan P; Woods, Leslie W; Reisen, William K

    2012-01-01

    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.

  6. Developmental stability covaries with genome-wide and single-locus heterozygosity in house sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Vangestel

    Full Text Available Fluctuating asymmetry (FA, a measure of developmental instability, has been hypothesized to increase with genetic stress. Despite numerous studies providing empirical evidence for associations between FA and genome-wide properties such as multi-locus heterozygosity, support for single-locus effects remains scant. Here we test if, and to what extent, FA co-varies with single- and multilocus markers of genetic diversity in house sparrow (Passer domesticus populations along an urban gradient. In line with theoretical expectations, FA was inversely correlated with genetic diversity estimated at genome level. However, this relationship was largely driven by variation at a single key locus. Contrary to our expectations, relationships between FA and genetic diversity were not stronger in individuals from urban populations that experience higher nutritional stress. We conclude that loss of genetic diversity adversely affects developmental stability in P. domesticus, and more generally, that the molecular basis of developmental stability may involve complex interactions between local and genome-wide effects. Further study on the relative effects of single-locus and genome-wide effects on the developmental stability of populations with different genetic properties is therefore needed.

  7. Intracellular glucocorticoid receptors in spleen, but not skin, vary seasonally in wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Waldron-Francis, K; Romero, L Michael

    2013-04-07

    Over the short-term and at physiological doses, acute increases in corticosterone (CORT) titres can enhance immune function. There are predictable seasonal patterns in both circulating CORT and immune function across many animal species, but whether CORT receptor density in immune tissues varies seasonally is currently unknown. Using radioligand binding assays, we examined changes in concentrations of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in spleen and skin in wild-caught house sparrows in Massachusetts during six different life-history stages: moult, early winter, late winter, pre-egg-laying, breeding and late breeding. Splenic GR and MR binding were highest during the pre-laying period. This may help animals respond to immune threats through increased lymphocyte proliferation and/or an increase in delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, both of which CORT can stimulate and in which spleen is involved. A decrease in splenic GR and MR during the late breeding period coincides with low baseline and stress-induced CORT, suggesting immune function in spleen may be relatively CORT-independent during this period. We saw no seasonal patterns in GR or MR in skin, suggesting skin's response to CORT is modulated primarily via changes in circulating CORT titres and/or via local production of CORT in response to wounding and other noxious stimuli.

  8. Effect of fasting in the digestive system: histological study of the small intestine in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funes, Samanta Celeste; Filippa, Verónica Palmira; Cid, Fabricio Damián; Mohamed, Fabián; Caviedes-Vidal, Enrique; Chediack, Juan Gabriel

    2014-10-01

    In birds and mammals the metabolic response to fasting has been studied and can be characterized by three consecutive phases reflecting metabolic and physiological adjustments. An effective way to minimize energy expenditure during food scarcity is to decrease the mass of the organs. As the digestive system is metabolically expensive to maintain, the small intestine and the liver are the most affected organs. We evaluated the effects of phase III starvation on the mass of the different organs and histological parameters on house sparrows, a small non-migrant bird. In a short period of time (34 h) we observed a larger reduction in the digestive organ mass when compared to the mass of the body and non-alimentary tissues. Furthermore, the intestinal mass was proportionally more reduced than its length and nominal surface area. A reduction on the intestinal mucosal layer also resulted in a shortening of villus (length and thickness) and crypt depth. Moreover, the morphology of the enterocytes changed from cylindrical to cubical, suggesting that the surface exposed to the lumen was conserved. This may indicate an adaptive response to the moment of refeeding. The nominal surface area/body mass remained constant in both groups and several histological parameters were reduced, suggesting that starving induces the atrophy of the small intestine. However, the goblet cells were conserved after fasting indicating a protective tendency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Pinealectomy shortens resynchronisation times of house sparrow ( Passer domesticus) circadian rhythms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vinod; Gwinner, Eberhard

    2005-09-01

    In many birds periodic melatonin secretion by the pineal organ is essential for the high-amplitude self-sustained output of the circadian pacemaker, and thus for the persistence of rhythmicity in 24 h oscillations controlled by it. The elimination of the pineal melatonin rhythm, or a reduction of its amplitude, renders the circadian pacemaker a less self-sustained, often highly damped, oscillatory system. A reduction in the degree of self-sustainment of a rhythm should not only increase its range of entrainment but also shorten the resynchronization times following phase-shifts of the zeitgeber. This hypothesis has not yet been directly tested. We therefore carried out the present study in which house sparrows (Passer domesticus) were subjected to both 6-h advance and 6-h delay phase-shifts of the light-dark cycle before and after the pinealectomy, and the rhythms in locomotion and feeding were recorded. The results indicate that following the delay, but not the advance, phase shift, resynchronization times were significantly shorter after pinealectomy. The dependence of resynchronization times on the presence or absence of the pineal organ is not only of theoretical interest but might also be of functional significance in the natural life of birds. A reduction or elimination of the amplitude of the melatonin secretion rhythm by the pineal organ might be responsible for faster adjustment to changes in zeitgeber conditions in nature.

  11. Developmental stability covaries with genome-wide and single-locus heterozygosity in house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vangestel, Carl; Mergeay, Joachim; Dawson, Deborah A; Vandomme, Viki; Lens, Luc

    2011-01-01

    Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), a measure of developmental instability, has been hypothesized to increase with genetic stress. Despite numerous studies providing empirical evidence for associations between FA and genome-wide properties such as multi-locus heterozygosity, support for single-locus effects remains scant. Here we test if, and to what extent, FA co-varies with single- and multilocus markers of genetic diversity in house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations along an urban gradient. In line with theoretical expectations, FA was inversely correlated with genetic diversity estimated at genome level. However, this relationship was largely driven by variation at a single key locus. Contrary to our expectations, relationships between FA and genetic diversity were not stronger in individuals from urban populations that experience higher nutritional stress. We conclude that loss of genetic diversity adversely affects developmental stability in P. domesticus, and more generally, that the molecular basis of developmental stability may involve complex interactions between local and genome-wide effects. Further study on the relative effects of single-locus and genome-wide effects on the developmental stability of populations with different genetic properties is therefore needed.

  12. Does selection or genetic drift explain geographic differentiation of morphological characters in house sparrows Passer domesticus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holand, Anna M; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Moe, Rune

    2011-10-01

    Understanding the relative influence of genetic drift and selection is fundamental in evolutionary biology. The theory of neutrality predicts that the genetic differentiation of a quantitative trait (QST) equals the genetic differentiation at neutral molecular markers (FST) if the quantitative trait has not been under selection. Thus, the relative magnitude of observed QST and expected QST under neutral expectations suggests the importance of selection and genetic drift for any observed phenotypic divergence. Because QST is based on additive genetic variance, estimating QST based on phenotypic measurements is problematic due to unknown environmental effects. To account for this, we used a model where the environmental component was allowed to vary when estimating QST. The model was used on data from 14 house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations in Norway. In accordance with the significant phenotypic inter-population differences our analyses suggested that directional selection may have favoured different optimal phenotypes for some morphological traits across populations. In particular, different body mass and male ornamental phenotypes seemed to have been favoured. The conclusions are, however, dependent on assumptions regarding the proportion of the observed inter-population variation that is due to additive genetic differences, showing the importance of collecting such information in natural populations. By estimating QST, allowing the additive genetic proportion of phenotypic inter-population variation to vary, and by making use of recent statistical methods to compare observed QST with neutral expectations, we can use data that are relatively easy to collect to identify adaptive variation in natural populations.

  13. TALL HERB SPRUCE FORESTS AS CLIMAX COMMUNITIES ON LOWLAND SWAMPS OF BRYANSK POLESIE

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    O. I. Evstigneev

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Nettle grey alder forests are a dominant forest type on lowland swamps in the Bryansk Polesie. They are formed as a result of repeated cuttings in the place of tall herb spruce forests. Tall herb spruce forests are very rare communities in the vegetation cover in this area due to clear cutting, melioration and peat extraction. An assessment of the succession status of tall herb spruce forests and nettle grey alder forests was carried out in this paper. The criteria of climax state and succession state of communities, developed for Eastern European forests, were used. These criteria are based on the degree of intensity of the following signs in the community: 1 the completeness of species composition of tree synusia; 2 the ontogenetic structure of tree species cenopopulation; 3 the gap-mosaic stand structure; 4 the diversity of microsites in soil cover; 5 the completeness of species composition and ecological-coenotic diversity of vascular species. We showed that tall herb spruce forest, as opposed to black alder forest, is close to communities of the climax type. This is evidenced by the following features of cenosis: firstly, all tree species in the area that covers the Bryansk Polesie and that are able to grow on lowland swamps are represented in the spruce forest (Alnus glutinosa, Betula pubescens, Fraxinus excelsior, Padus avium, Picea abies, Salix pentandra, Sorbus aucuparia, Ulmus glabra. Secondly, a steady turnover of generations is carried out in the cenopopulations of main edificators (Picea abies and Alnus glutinosa. This is evidenced by the complete and left-sided structure of their ontogenetic spectrum. Thirdly, a system of asynchronously developing gaps (parcels, which are formed on the site of old tree falls, is formed in the community. This ensures the continuous renewal of spruce and alder populations and creates conditions for the regeneration of other tree species. Fourthly, the structure of biogenic microsites has been formed

  14. LOWEST POSSIBLE FELLING TECHNIQUE FOR INCREASING UTILIZATION OF RENGHAS (Gluta renghas L. WOOD AT A PEAT SWAMP FOREST

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    Sona Suhartana

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available This study was carried out in 2005 at a peat swamp forest company in Jambi. The aim of this study was to find out a technique to increase the utilization of renghas wood in a peat swamp forest by implementing the lowest possible felling technique (LPFT and  the conventional felling technique (CFT. Data collected in this study were: working time, log volume, waste volume, productivity, efficiency, stump height and felling cost. Two data categories were analyzed with respect to their possible differences by using a t-test. The study showed that the implementation of LPFT produced better results compared to that of CFT which was indicated by: (1 Felling productivity increased to 5.220 m3/hour, (2 Felling cost decreased Rp 341/m3, (3 Felling efficiency increased 3.2%, and (4 The average stump heights were 41.2 cm for LPFT and 67.5 cm for CFT.

  15. Water, sanitation and hygiene in wetlands. A case study from the Ewaso Narok Swamp, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthonj, Carmen; Rechenburg, Andrea; Kistemann, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    Wetlands can be both a blessing and a curse. They are beneficial sources of safe water and nutrition and places from which humans derive their livelihoods. At the same time, wetlands are known to be sources of disease-causing microorganisms and invertebrates that can threaten human health. Safe water, sanitation and personal hygiene (WASH) are crucial preconditions for the prevention of disease transmission. And of special importance for people living in wetlands, depending on and being exposed to them. WASH should be prioritized especially in those wetlands that are subject to intensive use, that have a poor sanitation infrastructure, and which at the same time only provide limited water resources. However, despite this critical importance, WASH in wetlands is not well characterized in literature. This study therefore aimed at providing insights into the water, sanitation and hygiene conditions and behavioural determinants of households in wetlands by presenting the case of a rural wetland in East Africa. The mixed method approach included a broad set of empirical data collected during a household survey (n=400), an observational WASH assessment (n=397) and in-depth interviews (n=20) conducted from January to March 2015 in Ewaso Narok Swamp in Kenya. Different user groups of the wetland were targeted. The study in Ewaso Narok Swamp showed that wetland users' water supply and storage, sanitation and personal hygiene conditions were inadequate for large parts of the community and significantly differed between groups. Whereas the WASH conditions of people working in the service sector were rather positive, for pastoralists, they were correspondingly negative. The WASH behaviour was also perceived to be inadequate influenced by a variety of determining factors. The observational index as applied in this study indicated to be a valuable, rapid and efficient tool for assessing domestic WASH and for detecting differences between different groups in wetlands. Combined

  16. Factors affecting oxidative peat decomposition due to land use in tropical peat swamp forests in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itoh, Masayuki; Okimoto, Yosuke; Hirano, Takashi; Kusin, Kitso

    2017-12-31

    The increasing frequency of fire due to drainage of tropical peatland has become a major environmental problem in Southeast Asia. To clarify the effects of changes in land use on carbon dioxide emissions, we measured oxidative peat decomposition (PD) at different stages of disturbance at three sites in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia: an undrained peat swamp forest (UF), a heavily drained peat swamp forest (DF), and a drained and burned ex-forest (DB). PD exhibited seasonality, being less in the wet season and greater in the dry season. From February 2014 to December 2015, mean PD (±SE) were 1.90±0.19, 2.30±0.33, and 1.97±0.25μmolm(-2)s(-1) at UF, DF, and DB, respectively. The groundwater level (GWL) was a major controlling factor of PD at all sites. At UF and DF, PD and GWL showed significant quadratic relationships. At DB, PD and GWL showed significant positive and negative relationships during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Using these relationships, we estimated annual PD from GWL data for 2014 and 2015 as 698 and 745gCm(-2)yr(-1) at UF (mean GWL: -0.23 and -0.39m), 775 and 825gCm(-2)yr(-1) at DF (-0.55 and -0.59m), and 646 and 748gCm(-2)yr(-1) at DB (-0.22 and -0.62m), respectively. The annual PD was significantly higher in DF than in UF or DB, in both years. Despite the very dry conditions, the annual PD values at these sites were much lower than those reported for tropical peat at plantations (e.g., oil palm, rubber, and acacia). The differences in the relationship between PD and GWL indicate that separate estimations are required for each type of land. Moreover, our results suggest that PD can be enhanced by drainage both in forests and at burned sites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. American black bears and bee yard depredation at Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, J.D.; Dobey, S.; Masters, D.V.; Scheick, B.K.; Pelton, M.R.; Sunquist, M.E.

    2005-01-01

    We studied American black bears (Ursus americanus), on the northwest periphery of Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia, to assess landowner attitudes toward bears, estimate the extent of damage to commercial honey bee operations by bears, and evaluate methods to reduce bear depredations to apiaries. We collected 8,351 black bear radiolocations and identified 51 bee yards on our study area. Twenty-seven of 43 home ranges contained ≥1 bee yard, averaging 11.3 and 5.1 bee yards/home range of males (n = 7) and females (n = 20), respectively. From 1996 to 1998, we documented 7 instances of bears raiding bee yards within our study area and 6 instances in adjacent areas. All but 1 of the 13 raided yards were enclosed by electric fencing. In the 12 cases of damage to electrically fenced yards, however, the fences were not active because of depleted batteries. Based on compositional analysis, bear use of areas 800–1,400 m from bee yards was disproportionately greater than use 0–800 m from bee yards. Bears disproportionately used bay (red bay: Persea borbonia, loblolly bay: Gordonia lasianthus, and southern magnolia: Magnolia virginia), gum (water tupelo: Nyssa aquatic and black gum: N. sylvatica), and cypress (Taxodium spp.) and loblolly bay habitats, however, compared with slash pine (Pinus elliottii) or pine–oak (Quercus spp.), where bee yards usually were placed. The distribution of bear radiolocations likely reflected the use of those swamp and riparian areas, rather than avoidance of bee yards. Distances to streams from damaged bee yards (x̄ = 1,750 m) were less than from undamaged yards (x̄ = 4,442 m), and damaged bee yards were closer to unimproved roads (x̄ = 134 m) than were undamaged bee yards (x̄ = 802 m). Our analysis suggests that bee yard placement away from bear travel routes (such as streams and unimproved roads) can reduce bear depredation problems. Our results strongly indicate that working electric fences are effective deterrents to bear

  18. The Munchausen paradigm for deprived neighbourhoods: pulling yourself out of the swamp of deprivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannette Nijkamp

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Munchausen paradigm for deprived neighbourhoods: pulling yourself out of the swamp of deprivation Since the 1980s, many initiatives have attempted to tackle the deprivation currently experienced in South Rotterdam. Efforts have been made to attract creative workers and, in a counter-reaction, other initiatives have aimed to encourage the creative talents of poorer residents to strengthen their economic position. One example of this is Freehouse, which has established projects in the Afrikaanderwijk, including a neighbourhood cooperative. Our article addresses two questions: 1 What are the effects of the Freehouse projects on the economic position of residents of the Afrikaanderwijk? and 2 Which insights do our results provide into the possible effects of local government policies that rely on citizens playing an active role? Although the economic effects of the projects were limited, our study reveals that citizens’ initiatives, such as the Afrikaander Cooperative, can help residents gain employment. In order to succeed, these initiatives should not be hindered by obstructive regulations, and they should include input from the residents who function as staff. However, in deprived neighbourhoods, many residents require support to be able to contribute to citizens’ initiatives, and cannot be expected to act like Baron Münchausen and pull themselves out of the swamp of deprivation by their own hair. Het Münchausen paradigma voor achterstandswijken: jezelf uit het moeras van achterstand trekken Sinds de jaren 80 hebben veel initiatieven geprobeerd het achterstandsniveau in Rotterdam Zuid te verminderen. Verschillende initiatieven waren gericht op het aantrekken van creatieve professionals. Als tegenreactie stimuleerden andere initiatieven de creatieve talenten van arme wijkbewoners teneinde hun economische positie te versterken. Een voorbeeld hiervan is Freehouse, dat projecten in de Afrikaanderwijk startte, waaronder de oprichting van

  19. Seasonal Phosphorus Sources and Loads to Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon, as Determined by a Dynamic SPARROW Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleh, D.; Domagalski, J. L.; Smith, R. A.

    2016-12-01

    The SPARROW (SPAtially-Referenced Regression On Watershed Attributes) model, developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, has been used to identify and quantify the sources of nitrogen and phosphorus in watersheds and to predict their fluxes and concentration at specified locations downstream. Existing SPARROW models use a hybrid statistical approach to describe an annual average ("steady-state") relationship between sources and stream conditions based on long-term water quality monitoring data and spatially-referenced explanatory information. Although these annual models are useful for some management purposes, many water quality issues stem from intra- and inter-annual changes in constituent sources, hydrologic forcing, or other environmental conditions, which cause a lag between watershed inputs and stream water quality. We are developing a seasonal dynamic SPARROW model of sources, fluxes, and yields of phosphorus for the watershed (approximately 9,700 square kilometers) draining to Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon. The lake is hyper-eutrophic and various options are being considered for water quality improvement. The model was calibrated with 11 years of water quality data (2000 to 2010) and simulates seasonal loads and yields for a total of 44 seasons. Phosphorus sources to the watershed include animal manure, farm fertilizer, discharges of treated wastewater, and natural sources (soil and streambed sediment). The model predicts that phosphorus delivery to the lake is strongly affected by intra- and inter-annual changes in precipitation and by temporary seasonal storage of phosphorus in the watershed. The model can be used to predict how different management actions for mitigating phosphorus sources might affect phosphorus loading to the lake as well as the time required for any changes in loading to occur following implementation of the action.

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

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    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

  1. Seasonal variation and age-related correlates of Buggy Creek virus (Togaviridae) infection in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Valerie A; Brown, Charles R

    2012-01-01

    Wild birds are rarely found with active arbovirus infections, and relatively little is known about the patterns of viremia they exhibit under field conditions or how infection varies with date, bird age, or other factors that potentially affect transmission dynamics. Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae, Alphavirus) is an arbovirus associated with colonially nesting Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and transmitted by its vector, the hematophagous swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius), an ectoparasite of the Cliff Swallow. Introduced House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) that have occupied swallow nests at colony sites in peridomestic settings are also exposed to BCRV when fed upon by swallow bugs. We used data from 882 nestling House Sparrows in western Nebraska from 2006 to 2008 to examine seasonal variation and age-related correlates of virus infection in the field. Over 17% of nestling House Sparrows had active infections. Prevalence was higher in 2007 than in 2008 when birds from all colony sites were analyzed, but there was no significant difference between years for sites sampled in both seasons. Buggy Creek virus prevalence was similar in early and late summer, with a peak in midsummer, coinciding with the greatest swallow bug abundance. Nestlings 10 days of age and younger were most commonly infected, and the likelihood of BCRV infection declined for older nestlings. Average viremia titers also declined with age (but did not vary with date) and were high enough at all nestling ages to likely infect blood-feeding arthropods (swallow bugs). Length of viremia for nestlings in the field was ≥4 days, in agreement with an earlier study of BCRV. Nestling birds offer many advantages for field studies of arbovirus amplification and transmission.

  2. Effects of chronic continuous wave microwave radiation (2. 45 GHz) on the foraging behavior of the white-throated sparrow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wasserman, F.E.; Patterson, D.A.; Kunz, T.H.; Battista, S.P.; Byman, D.

    1986-01-01

    The effect of chronic continuous wave microwave radiation on the foraging behavior of the White-throated Sparrow was examined using an optimal foraging laboratory technique. Birds were exposed to microwaves for seven days at a frequency of 2.45 GHz and power densities of 0.0, 0.1, 1.0, 10.0, and 25.0 mW/cm/sup 2/. Even though there were differences in foraging behaviors among power densities no trend was found for a dose response effect. Birds showed no significant differences in foraging behaviors among pre-exposure, exposure, and post-exposure periods.

  3. Effect of Co-60 external irradiation on the active testes of house sparrow, Passer domesticus (Linnaeus), 1. Histopathological studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, M.; Kumar, A. (Himachal Pradesh Univ., Simla (India). Dept. of Bio-Sciences); Mathur, R.S.

    1981-06-01

    Adult male house sparrows were exposed to Co-60 external irradiation at doses of 475, 712 and 950 R. The dose rate was 100 R/hr at a distance of one foot. The birds were autopsied at intervals of 1, 3, 5, 7 and 15 days after irradiation. Testes were studied for histopathological damage produced. There was a significant loss of the testicular weight 3 days after irradiation. The seminiferous tubules showed pyknosis, karyolysis and depletion of spermatogonial cells. Maximum damage was observed in the testis exposed to 950 R. However, there was no change in the Sertoli and Leydig cells.

  4. Assessment of semen quality in Swamp Buffalo AI Bulls in Thailand

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    S. Koonjaenak

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Characteristic of Thai swamp buffalo bulls semen used for artificial insemination (AI in Thailand, aspects relevance in freezing and thawing of semen are review. Semen and sperm characteristics were evaluated included sperm count, motility (assessed subjectively and by CASA, morphology (using phase-contrast light microscopy and SEM, plasma membrane integrity (PMI (using a hypo-osmotic swelling test [HOST] and SYBR- 14/propidium iodide [PI], plasma membrane stability (PMS (using Annexin-V/PI and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA integrity (using SCSA and flow cytometry [FCM]. The average ejaculate volume was about 3.0–4.0 mL, with good viability (PMI measured by the HOST and motility (>65% and >70%, respectively. Sperm concentration ranged from 1.1 to 1.2 billion/mL, being also affected by bull age. Whereas semen quality (including sperm output, pH and initial sperm motility did not differ between the seasons. Few spermatozoa (<15%/ ejaculate had abnormal morphology with abnormalities resembling those in other bovidae. In FT semen, PMI (using SYBR-14/PI and PMS were highest in winter. Across seasons, ~50% of post-thaw spermatozoa depicted linear motility, a proportion that decreased to ~35% during incubation (38oC for 60 minutes, without marking any seasonal difference. The sperm DNA was hardly damaged (with <3% fragmentation, expressed as DNA fragmentation index [DFI], among seasons.

  5. Restoration and Management of a Degraded Baldcypress Swamp and Freshwater Marsh in Coastal Louisiana

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    Rachael G. Hunter

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The Central Wetlands Unit (CWU, covering 12,000 hectares in St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes, Louisiana, was once a healthy baldcypress–water tupelo swamp and fresh and low salinity marsh before construction of levees isolated the region from Mississippi River floodwaters. Construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO, which funneled saltwater inland from the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in a drastic ecosystem change and caused mortality of almost all trees and low salinity marsh, but closure of the MRGO has led to decreases in soil and surface water salinity. Currently, the area is open water, brackish marsh, and remnant baldcypress stands. We measured hydrology, soils, water and sediment chemistry, vegetation composition and productivity, accretion, and soil strength to determine relative health of the wetlands. Vegetation species richness is low and above- and belowground biomass is up to 50% lower than a healthy marsh. Soil strength and bulk density are low over much of the area. A baldcypress wetland remains near a stormwater pumping station that also has received treated municipal effluent for about four decades. Based on the current health of the CWU, three restoration approaches are recommended, including: (1 mineral sediment input to increase elevation and soil strength; (2 nutrient-rich fresh water to increase productivity and buffer salinity; and (3 planting of freshwater forests, along with fresh and low salinity herbaceous vegetation.

  6. A Review of the Relative Merits of Conserving, Using, or Draining Papyrus Swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maclean, Ilya M. D.; Boar, Rosalind R.; Lugo, Charles

    2011-02-01

    Wetlands are a vital resource, particularly in Africa where livelihoods are closely linked to natural capital. In recent years, extensive drainage has occurred to make way for agriculture. To gain insight into whether drainage is justified, we review the value of African wetlands dominated by Cyperus papyrus in relation to use, conservation and conversion. Evidence suggests that the value derived from low-intensity, multifunctional wetland use far exceeds the value derived from swamp reclamation and generally exceeds that of conservation. At a local level, the main driver of wetland misuse appear to be a breakdown in collaborative management regimes and the main constraint on wetland use, the value of labor and selling-times. Local drivers are linked to regional factors such as the lack of coordinated wetland policies and difficulties in ensuring that legislation is absorbed by all sectors of society. We highlight opportunities for ensuring more effective collaborative management and legislation communication, which capitalize on existing governance structures. In contrast to predictions by Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons model, we argue that effective wetland management is best achieved by preventing privatization and promoting common property management regimes. We also argue that poverty and income inequity are more important drivers of unsustainable resource use than environmental managers commonly acknowledge.

  7. ADVANCED LAND COVER MAPPING OF TROPICAL PEAT SWAMP ECOSYSTEM USING AIRBORNE DISCRETE RETURN LIDAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solichin Manuri

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The ability to better understand tropical peat ecosystems for restoration and climate change mitigation is often hampered by the lack of availability accurate and detailed data on vegetation cover and hydrologys, which is typically only derived from detailed and high-resolution imaging or field-based measurements. The aims of this study were to explore the potential advantage of airborne discrete-return lidar for mapping of forest cover in peat swamp forests. We used 2.8 pulse.m-1 lidar and the associated 1-m DTM derived from an airborne platform. The lidar dataset fully covered a 120 thousand hectare protection forest in Central Kalimantan. We extracted maximum vegetation heights in 5-m grid resolution to allow detailed mapping of the forest. We followed forest definition from FAO for forest and non-forest classification. We found that lidar was able to capture detail variation of canopy height in high-resolution, thus provide more accurate classification. A comparison with existing maps suggested that the lidar-derived vegetation map was more consistent in defining canopy structure of the vegetation, with small standard deviations of the mean height of each class.

  8. Monticellia ophisterni n. sp. (Cestoda: Monticelliidae) from the swamp-eel Ophisternon aenigmaticum (Synbranchiformes) from Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, T; de Chambrier, A; Salgado-Maldonado, G

    2001-12-01

    Monticellia ophisterni n. sp. is described from the swamp-eel Ophisternon aenigmaticum Rosen and Greenwood (Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae) from Lake Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico. The new species is placed into Monticellia because of the cortical position of the testes, ovary, and uterus. It differs from other Monticellia species (with the exception of Monticellia magna (Rego, Santos and Silva, 1974)) in the position of longitudinal musculature that crosses the vitelline follicles, making them paramuscular. The new species can be distinguished from M. magna--which possesses a similar number of testes (107-139), paramuscular vitelline follicles, and numerous gland cells distributed between the apex of the scolex and suckers--in the position of the genital pore (8-21% vs. 19-27%), in the presence of a weak internal longitudinal musculature, in the arrangement of the testes in the median field, and in the absence of a vaginal sphincter. This is the first proteocephalidean tapeworm reported from a synbranchid fish and the first species of Monticellia found in North America.

  9. Identification and Characterization of Reference Genes for Normalizing Expression Data from Red Swamp Crawfish Procambarus clarkii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hucheng Jiang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available qRT-PCR is a widely used technique for rapid and accurate quantification of gene expression data. The use of reference genes for normalization of the expression levels is crucial for accuracy. Several studies have shown that there is no perfect reference gene that is appropriate for use in all experimental conditions, and research on suitable reference genes in red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii is particularly scarce. In this study, eight commonly used crustacean reference genes were chosen from P. clarkii transcriptome data and investigated as potential candidates for normalization of qRT-PCR data. Expression of these genes under different experimental conditions was examined by qRT-PCR, and the stability of their expression was evaluated using three commonly used statistical algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper. A final comprehensive ranking determined that EIF and 18S were the optimal reference genes for expression data from different tissues, while TBP and EIF were optimal for expression data from different ovarian developmental stages. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic analysis of reference genes for normalization of qRT-PCR data in P. clarkii. These results will facilitate more accurate and reliable expression studies of this and other crustacean species.

  10. Waste drilling-fluid-utilising microorganisms in a tropical mangrove swamp oilfield location

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benka-Coker, M.O.; Olumagin, A. [Benin Univ. (Nigeria). Dept. of Microbiology

    1995-12-31

    Waste drilling-fluid-utilising microorganisms were isolated from drilling-mud cuttings, soil and creek water from a mangrove swamp oilfield location in the Delta area of Nigeria using waste drilling-fluid as the substrate. Eighteen bacterial isolates obtained were identified as species of Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Serratia, Clostridium, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Nocardia, Bacillus, Actinomyces, Micrococcus and Pseudomonas, while the genera of fungi isolated were Penicillium, Cladosporium and Fusarium. Even though drilling-fluid-utilising genera were in higher numbers in the soil than in the two other sources examined, the percentages of the total heterotrophic bacteria that utilised waste drilling-fluid were 6.02 in the drilling-mud cuttings, 0.83 in creek water and 0.42 in soil. The screen tests for biodegradation potential of the bacterial isolates showed that, even though all the isolates were able to degrade and utilise the waste fluid for growth, species of Alcaligenes and Micrococcus were more active degraders of the waste. The significance of the results in environmental management in oil-producing areas of Nigeria is discussed. (Author)

  11. Effect of Combined Probiotics (Saccharomyces cerevisae + Candida utilis and Herbs on Carcass Characteristics of Swamp Buffalo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Mahyuddin

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A feedlot trial was conducted to study the effect of probiotics + herbs on carcass characteristics. Thirty male swamp buffaloes aged 2–2.5 years with the average body weight of 297 kg were used in this trial. They were fattened for 75 days to reach a slaughter weight of around 350–400 kg. They were divided into two groups of 15 animals in each group, and were placed in a shaded paddock. The groups were the control and the treated animals. The treated animals were given a supplementation containing combined yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisae and Candida utilis, and herbs. All animals were fed basal diet of ammoniated rice straw and commercial concentrate with a ratio of 10: 90. There was no effect of probiotics+herbs on live weight gain, percentage of carcass, dressing, meat and by products, back fat thickness and eye muscle area. Addition of probiotics+herbs increased proportion of bone, reduced meat : bone ratio, body fat and proportion of offal. Although body fat content was reduced by the treatment, the compositions of fat were similar between the control and treated animals. (Animal Production 12(2: 69-73 (2010Key Words: buffalo, feedlot, yeast, carcass

  12. Impact of logging on a mangrove swamp in South Mexico: cost / benefit analysis

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    Cristian Tovilla Hernández

    2001-06-01

    Full Text Available Environmental changes caused by logging in a mangrove swamp were studied in Barra de Tecoanapa, Guerrero, Mexico. Original forest included Rhizophora mangle, Laguncularia racemosa, Avicennia germinans and halophytic vegetation, and produced wood (164.03 m3/ha and organic matter (3.9 g/m2/day. A total of 3.5 tons of wood per year were harvested from this area. Later, an average of 2 555 kg of maize per planting cycle were obtained (market value of 88 USD. Succession when the area was abandoned included strictly facultative and glycophyte halophytes (16 families, Cyperaceae and Poaceae were the best represented. After logging, temperatures increased 13 °C in the soil and 11°C in the air, whereas salinity reached 52 psu in the dry season. These modified soil color and sand content increased from 42.6 to 63.4%. Logging was deleterious to species, habitat, biogeochemical and biological cycles, organic matter production, seeds, young plants, genetic exchange conservation of soil and its fertility, coastal protection, and aesthetic value; 3 000 m2 had eroded as the river advanced towards the deforested area (the cost/benefit analysis showed a ratio of 246: 1. There was long-term economic loss for the community and only 30% of the site has recovered after five years.

  13. [Egg size variation in egrets and herons (Aves: Ardeidae) nesting in Birama's swamp, Cuba].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis Avila, Dennis

    2015-03-01

    Intraclutch egg size variation in birds depends on many ecological factors and on the evolutive history of each species. In wading birds, a trend to smaller eggs with laying order has been described, but comparative reports are scarce. In this study, egg size variation patterns were described for nine Egrets and Heron species nesting in Birama' Swamp, Cuba. The patterns were described using external dimensions of 3142 eggs from 1875 nests of Butorides virescens, Bubulcus ibis, Ardea alba, Nycticorax nycticorax, Nyctanassa violacea and four Egretta species, taken in the field between 1998 and 2006. Results showed that eggs were 4.9-10% of adult weight and had volume variation coefficients between 6-9%. There were no general and consistent interspecies relationship between clutch size and egg sizes. Average volumes tend to get smaller with laying order, but it is not statistically detectable in Butorides and Bubulcus. Last egg was between 0.2% and 15% smaller than the first, showing an inverse relationship with it. Intraclutch asymmetry is light in E. thula and fluctuating around null in Bubulcus. Size only predicted laying or hatching order for the last egg, in nests with more than two eggs, with 72.4% of confidence.

  14. Swamp cancer: a case of human pythiosis and review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, R E; Tepedino, K; Glenn, C J; Merkel, K L

    2016-08-01

    Pythiosis is an infection caused by the aquatic oomycete Pythium insidiosum. Commonly known as 'swamp cancer' in veterinary pathology, pythiosis is now considered an emerging human disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, because clinical information is limited, many healthcare providers, including dermatologists, are unfamiliar with this diagnosis. To increase awareness of this life-threatening infection, a case of cutaneous pythiosis is presented. We describe a middle-aged man with acute myeloid leukaemia who presented with necrotizing haemorrhagic plaques on his thighs after a weekend of freshwater boating. Histological examination of a biopsy specimen showed invasive fungal hyphae associated with dense perivascular inflammation and vessel damage. Diagnostic testing on tissue culture revealed growth of P. insidiosum. Despite multiple debridements and antifungal therapy, the patient died within 2 weeks of presentation. There are four clinical presentations reported in human pythiosis. Pythium insidiosum infection should be considered in any patient with a suggestive exposure history and fungal elements found on histological examination or in culture. Identification of the organism can be difficult, so polymerase chain reaction and serological assays can be useful in making a diagnosis. To improve clinical outcomes, early combination therapy with antifungals and surgery is needed. © 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.

  15. High methane emissions from restored Norway spruce swamps in southern Finland over one growing season

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    M. Koskinen

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Forestry-drained peatlands in the boreal region are currently undergoing restoration in order to bring these ecosystems closer to their natural (undrained state. Drainage affects the methane (CH4 dynamics of a peatland, often changing sites from CH4 sources to sinks. Successful restoration of a peatland would include restoration of not only the surface vegetation and hydrology, but also the microbial populations and thus CH4 dynamics. As a pilot study, CH4 emissions were measured on two pristine, two drained and three restored boreal spruce swamps in southern Finland for one growing season. Restoration was successful in the sense that the water table level in the restored sites was significantly higher than in the drained sites, but it was also slightly higher than in the pristine sites. The restored sites were surprisingly large sources of CH4 (mean emissions of 52.84 mg CH4 m-2 d-1, contrasting with both the pristine (1.51 mg CH4 m-2 d-1 and the drained sites (2.09 mg CH4 m-2 d-1. More research is needed to assess whether the high CH4 emissions observed in this study are representative of restored spruce mires in general.

  16. Firing Room Remote Application Software Development & Swamp Works Laboratory Robot Software Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Janette

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is creating a way to send humans beyond low Earth orbit, and later to Mars. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is working to make this possible by developing a Spaceport Command and Control System (SCCS) which will allow the launch of Space Launch System (SLS). This paper's focus is on the work performed by the author in her first and second part of the internship as a remote application software developer. During the first part of her internship, the author worked on the SCCS's software application layer by assisting multiple ground subsystems teams including Launch Accessories (LACC) and Environmental Control System (ECS) on the design, development, integration, and testing of remote control software applications. Then, on the second part of the internship, the author worked on the development of robot software at the Swamp Works Laboratory which is a research and technology development group which focuses on inventing new technology to help future In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) missions.

  17. Tower-Based Validation and Improvement of MODIS Gross Primary Production in an Alpine Swamp Meadow on the Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben Niu

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Alpine swamp meadow on the Tibetan Plateau is among the most sensitive areas to climate change. Accurate quantification of the GPP in alpine swamp meadow can benefit our understanding of the global carbon cycle. The 8-day MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS gross primary production (GPP products (GPP_MOD provide a pathway to estimate GPP in this remote ecosystem. However, the accuracy of the GPP_MOD estimation in this representative alpine swamp meadow is still unknown. Here five years GPP_MOD was validated using GPP derived from the eddy covariance flux measurements (GPP_EC from 2009 to 2013. Our results indicated that the GPP_EC was strongly underestimated by GPP_MOD with a daily mean less than 40% of EC measurements. To reduce this error, the ground meteorological and vegetation leaf area index (LAIG measurements were used to revise the key inputs, the maximum light use efficiency (εmax and the fractional photosynthetically active radiation (FPARM in the MOD17 algorithm. Using two approaches to determine the site-specific εmax value, we suggested that the suitable εmax was about 1.61 g C MJ−1 for this alpine swamp meadow which was considerably larger than the default 0.68 g C MJ−1 for grassland. The FPARM underestimated 22.2% of the actual FPAR (FPARG simulated from the LAIG during the whole study period. Model comparisons showed that the large inaccuracies of GPP_MOD were mainly caused by the underestimation of the εmax and followed by that of the undervalued FPAR. However, the DAO meteorology data in the MOD17 algorithm did not exert a significant affection in the MODIS GPP underestimations. Therefore, site-specific optimized parameters inputs, especially the εmax and FPARG, are necessary to improve the performance of the MOD17 algorithm in GPP estimation, in which the calibrated MOD17A2 algorithm (GPP_MODR3 could explain 91.6% of GPP_EC variance for the alpine swamp meadow.

  18. Holocene palaeoclimate and sea level fluctuation recorded from the coastal Barker Swamp, Rottnest Island, south-western Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouramanis, C.; Dodson, J.; Wilkins, D.; De Deckker, P.; Chase, B. M.

    2012-10-01

    The Holocene palaeoclimatic history of south-western Western Australia (SWWA) has received little attention compared to south-eastern Australia, and this has resulted in conflicting views over the impact of climate variability in the region. We present here a well-dated, high-resolution record from two overlapping sediment cores obtained from the centre of Barker Swamp, Rottnest Island, offshore Perth. The records span the last 8.7 ka, with the main lacustrine phase occurring after 7.4 ka. This site preserves both pollen and several ostracod taxa. The pollen record suggests a long-term shift from the early-mid Holocene to the late Holocene to drier conditions with less shrubland and more low-ground cover and less fire activity. A salinity transfer function was developed from ostracod faunal assemblage data and trace metal ratios (Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Na/Ca) and stable isotopes (δ18O and δ13C) analysed on selected ostracod valves. These provide a detailed history of evaporation/precipitation (E/P) differences that clearly shows that the SWWA region was subjected to significant climatic shifts over the last 7.4 ka, with a broad shift towards increased aridity after 5 ka. The swamp ranged from fresh to saline as recorded in the ostracod valve chemistry and the independently-derived salinity transfer function. The ostracod record also indicates that a sea-level highstand occurred between ca. 4.5 and 4.3 ka, with probable step-wise increases at 6.75, 6.2, and 5.6 ka, with the last vestiges of salt water intrusion at ca. 1 ka. After about 2.3 ka, the fresh, groundwater lens that underlies the western portion of the island intersected the swamp depression, influencing the hydrology of the swamp. The broad climatic changes recorded in Barker Swamp are also compared with data from southern South Africa, and it is suggested that the Southern Annular Mode appears to have been the dominant driver in the climate of these regions and that the Indian Ocean Dipole is of little

  19. Evidence of inbreeding depression but not inbreeding avoidance in a natural house sparrow population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billing, Anna M; Lee, Aline M; Skjelseth, Sigrun; Borg, Asa A; Hale, Matthew C; Slate, Jon; Pärn, Henrik; Ringsby, Thor H; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Jensen, Henrik

    2012-03-01

    Inbreeding is common in small and threatened populations and often has a negative effect on individual fitness and genetic diversity. Thus, inbreeding can be an important factor affecting the persistence of small populations. In this study, we investigated the effects of inbreeding on fitness in a small, wild population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) on the island of Aldra, Norway. The population was founded in 1998 by four individuals (one female and three males). After the founder event, the adult population rapidly increased to about 30 individuals in 2001. At the same time, the mean inbreeding coefficient among adults increased from 0 to 0.04 by 2001 and thereafter fluctuated between 0.06 and 0.10, indicating a highly inbred population. We found a negative effect of inbreeding on lifetime reproductive success, which seemed to be mainly due to an effect of inbreeding on annual reproductive success. This resulted in selection against inbred females. However, the negative effect of inbreeding was less strong in males, suggesting that selection against inbred individuals is at least partly sex specific. To examine whether individuals avoided breeding with close relatives, we compared observed inbreeding and kinship coefficients in the population with those obtained from simulations of random mating. We found no significant differences between the two, indicating weak or absent inbreeding avoidance. We conclude that there was inbreeding depression in our population. Despite this, birds did not seem to actively avoid mating with close relatives, perhaps as a consequence of constraints on mating possibilities in such a small population. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Latitudinal variation of immune defense and sickness behavior in the white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen-Ashley, Noah T; Hasselquist, Dennis; Råberg, Lars; Wingfield, John C

    2008-05-01

    There is a general trend that parasitism risk declines as latitude increases. Host populations breeding at high latitudes should therefore invest less in costly immune defenses than populations breeding in temperate or tropical zones, although it is unknown if such an effect is mediated by environmental (photoperiodic) or genetic factors or both. Acquired immune function (humoral, cell-mediated) and behavioral sickness responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS; mimics bacterial infection) were assessed in two subspecies of white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) that breed at different latitudes in western North America. Zonotrichia l. gambelii (GWCS) is a high-latitude breeder (47-68 degrees N) while Z. l. pugetensis (PWCS) breeds at temperate latitudes (40-49 degrees N). Captive males of each subspecies were acclimated to (1) a short day (non-breeding) photoperiod (8L:16D), (2) the breeding photoperiod of PWCS (16L:8D), or (3) the breeding photoperiod of GWCS (20L:4D). Photoperiod was manipulated because shorter day lengths may enhance immune function. In support of a genetic effect, humoral responses to diphtheria-tetanus vaccination were significantly higher in PWCS compared to GWCS, regardless of photoperiod. There were no differences in cell-mediated responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) between subspecies or among photoperiods. For sickness responses to LPS, a significant interaction between photoperiod and subspecies was found, with long day GWCS producing stronger sickness responses (losing more weight, eating less) than short day GWCS and PWCS on all day lengths. However, these effects were influenced by photoperiodic changes in body condition. In conclusion, we find evidence for genetic control of immune responses across latitude, but no support for environmental (photoperiodic) regulation.

  1. 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.

  2. Urbanization, trace metal pollution, and malaria prevalence in the house sparrow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coraline Bichet

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows ( Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions.

  4. House sparrows (Passer domesticus) increase protein catabolism in response to water restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Alexander R; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2011-04-01

    Birds primarily rely on fat for energy during fasting and to fuel energetically demanding activities. Proteins are catabolized supplemental to fat, the function of which in birds remains poorly understood. It has been proposed that birds may increase the catabolism of body protein under dehydrating conditions as a means to maintain water balance, because catabolism of wet protein yields more total metabolic and bound water (0.155·H(2)O(-1)·kJ(-1)) than wet lipids (0.029 g·H(2)O(-1)·kJ(-1)). On the other hand, protein sparing should be important to maintain function of muscles and organs. We used quantitative magnetic resonance body composition analysis and hygrometry to investigate the effect of water restriction on fat and lean mass catabolism during short-term fasting at rest and in response to a metabolic challenge (4-h shivering) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Water loss at rest and during shivering was compared with water gains from the catabolism of tissue. At rest, water-restricted birds had significantly greater lean mass loss, higher plasma uric acid concentration, and plasma osmolality than control birds. Endogenous water gains from lean mass catabolism offset losses over the resting period. Water restriction had no effect on lean mass catabolism during shivering, as water gains from fat oxidation appeared sufficient to maintain water balance. These data provide direct evidence supporting the hypothesis that water stress can increase protein catabolism at rest, possibly as a metabolic strategy to offset high rates of evaporative water loss.

  5. Females tend to prefer genetically similar mates in an island population of house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bichet, Coraline; Penn, Dustin J; Moodley, Yoshan; Dunoyer, Luc; Cellier-Holzem, Elise; Belvalette, Marie; Grégoire, Arnaud; Garnier, Stéphane; Sorci, Gabriele

    2014-03-12

    It is often proposed that females should select genetically dissimilar mates to maximize offspring genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding. Several recent studies have provided mixed evidence, however, and in some instances females seem to prefer genetically similar males. A preference for genetically similar mates can be adaptive if outbreeding depression is more harmful than inbreeding depression or if females gain inclusive fitness benefits by mating with close kin. Here, we investigated genetic compatibility and mating patterns in an insular population of house sparrow (Passer domesticus), over a three-year period, using 12 microsatellite markers and one major histocompability complex (MHC) class I gene. Given the small population size and the distance from the mainland, we expected a reduced gene flow in this insular population and we predicted that females would show mating preferences for genetically dissimilar mates. Contrary to our expectation, we found that offspring were less genetically diverse (multi-locus heterozygosity) than expected under a random mating, suggesting that females tended to mate with genetically similar males. We found high levels of extra-pair paternity, and offspring sired by extra-pair males had a better fledging success than those sired by the social male. Again, unexpectedly, females tended to be more closely related to extra-pair mates than to their social mates. Our results did not depend on the type of genetic marker used, since microsatellites and MHC genes provided similar results, and we found only little evidence for MHC-dependent mating patterns. These results are in agreement with the idea that mating with genetically similar mates can either avoid the disruption of co-adapted genes or confer a benefit in terms of kin selection.

  6. Activity of intestinal carbohydrases responds to multiple dietary signals in nestling house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    The 'adaptive modulation hypothesis' predicts that activity of digestive enzymes should match the amount of their substrates in diet. Interestingly, many passerine birds do not adjust the activity of intestinal carbohydrases to dietary carbohydrate content. It is difficult to assess the generality of this rule, because in some studies passerines fed on low-carbohydrate and high-lipid diet showed reduced activity of intestinal carbohydrases. However, as carbohydrase activity may be inhibited by high dietary lipid content, it is unclear whether observed effects reflected lack of induction by the low carbohydrate levels or suppression by the high lipid levels. Here, we isolated the specific effects of dietary carbohydrate and lipid on carbohydrases. We hand-fed house sparrow nestlings on diets with 25% starch and 8% lipid (diet HS), no starch and 20% lipid (HL), or 25% starch and 20% lipid (HSL). Our results show that activity of intestinal carbohydrases is simultaneously induced by dietary carbohydrates and decreased by dietary lipid, although the latter effect seems stronger. Activities of maltase and sucrase summed over the total intestine decreased in the order HS>HSL>HL. We observed a complex interaction between diet composition and intestinal position for mass-specific activity of these enzymes, suggesting site-specific responses to changes in digesta composition along the intestines caused by digestion and absorption. We re-interpret results of earlier studies and conclude that there is no unequivocal example of adaptive modulation of intestinal carbohydrases by dietary carbohydrate in adult passerine birds, whereas the present experiment confirms that nestlings of at least some species possess such capacity.

  7. Wounding alters blood chemistry parameters and skin mineralocorticoid receptors in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; DuRant, Sarah E; Romero, L Michael

    2015-06-01

    Because skin is an important physical barrier against pathogens, the ability to quickly and effectively heal wounds directly impacts an animal's health. The hormone corticosterone (CORT) has many complex effects on immune function and can slow wound healing. It has been suggested that CORT's role during wound healing may be to act as a "brake" on inflammation and cell proliferation. This project aimed to clarify the role of CORT in the healing process by quantifying concentrations of its two intracellular receptors, glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR), in the skin of wounded (n = 9) or unwounded (n = 8) house sparrows (Passer domesticus) using radioligand binding assays. We also quantified GR and MR in liver, spleen and pectoralis muscle, as well as several blood chemistry parameters, hypothesizing that wounding would alter whole-body energy use. One day post-wounding, wounded birds had higher blood glucose and lower aspartate aminotransferase (a marker indicating muscle damage or catabolism) compared to controls, which may be related to animals' changing metabolic needs in response to lymphocyte and macrophage recruitment at the wound site. Birds had significantly decreased MR, but not GR, in the skin of wounded legs compared to the skin of unwounded legs. There was also a trend towards lower MR in wounded skin compared to unwounded birds. Receptors in the three other tissues did not differ between groups. This study suggests that decreasing the skin's sensitivity to CORT immediately after wounding may be a necessary part of the normal healing process in wild birds. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Characterizing the Status (Disturbed, Hybrid or Novel) of Swamp Forest Fragments in a Caribbean Ramsar Wetland: The Impact of Anthropogenic Degradation and Invasive Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prospere, Kurt; McLaren, Kurt P.; Wilson, Byron

    2016-10-01

    The last remaining Amazonian-type swamp forest fragments in Black River Lower Morass, Jamaica, have been subjected to a myriad of anthropogenic disturbances, compounded by the establishment and spread of several invasive plant species. We established 44 permanent sample plots (covering 3.92 ha) across 10 of these swamp forest fragments and sampled all non-woody plants and all trees ≥2 cm DBH found in the plots. These data were used to (1) identify thresholds of hybridity and novelty, (2) derive several diversity and structural descriptors used to characterize the swamp forest fragments and (3) identify possible indicators of anthropogenic degradation. These were incorporated into a framework and used to determine the status of the swamp forest fragments so that appropriate management and conservation measures can be implemented. We recorded 43 woody plant species (9 endemic, 28 native and 4 non-native) and 21 non-tree species. The composition and structure of all the patches differed significantly due to the impact of the herbaceous invasive plant Alpinia allughas, the presence and diversity of other non-native plants, and differing intensities of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g., burning, cutting and harvesting of non-timber forest products). We ranked forest patches along a continuum representing deviations from a historical proxy (least disturbed) swamp forest to those with dramatically altered structural and floristic attributes (=novel swamp forests). Only one fragment overrun with A. allughas was classified as novel. If effective conservation and management does not come to the BRLM, the remaining swamp forest fragments appear doomed to further degradation and will soon disappear altogether.

  9. TEMPORAL VEGETATION DYNAMICS IN PEAT SWAMP AREA USING MODIS TIME-SERIES IMAGERY: A MONITORING APPROACH OF HIGH-SENSITIVE ECOSYSTEM IN REGIONAL SCALE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yudi Setiawan

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Peat swamp area is an essential ecosystem due to high vulnerability of functions and services. As the change of forest cover in peat swamp area has increased considerably, many studies on peat swamp have focused on forest conversion or forest degradation. Meanwhile, in the context of changes in the forestlands are the sum of several processes such as deforestation, reforestation/afforestation, regeneration of previously deforested areas, and the changing spatial location of the forest boundary. Remote sensing technology seems to be a powerful tool to provide information required following that concerns. A comparison imagery taken at the different dates over the same locations for assessing those changes tends to be limited by the vegetation phenology and land-management practices. Consequently, the simultaneous analysis seems to be a way to deal with the issues above, as a means for better understanding of the dynamics changes in peat swamp area. In this study, we examined the feasibility of using MODIS images during the last 14 years for detecting and monitoring the changes in peat swamp area. We identified several significant patterns that have been assigned as the specific peat swamp ecosystem. The results indicate that a different type of ecosystem and its response to the environmental changes can be portrayed well by the significant patterns. In understanding the complex situations of each pattern, several vegetation dynamics patterns were characterized by physical land characteristics, such as peat depth, land use, concessions and others. Characterizing the pathways of dynamics change in peat swamp area will allow further identification for the range of proximate and underlying factors of the forest cover change that can help to develop useful policy interventions in peatland management.

  10. Characterizing the Status (Disturbed, Hybrid or Novel) of Swamp Forest Fragments in a Caribbean Ramsar Wetland: The Impact of Anthropogenic Degradation and Invasive Plant Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prospere, Kurt; McLaren, Kurt P; Wilson, Byron

    2016-10-01

    The last remaining Amazonian-type swamp forest fragments in Black River Lower Morass, Jamaica, have been subjected to a myriad of anthropogenic disturbances, compounded by the establishment and spread of several invasive plant species. We established 44 permanent sample plots (covering 3.92 ha) across 10 of these swamp forest fragments and sampled all non-woody plants and all trees ≥2 cm DBH found in the plots. These data were used to (1) identify thresholds of hybridity and novelty, (2) derive several diversity and structural descriptors used to characterize the swamp forest fragments and (3) identify possible indicators of anthropogenic degradation. These were incorporated into a framework and used to determine the status of the swamp forest fragments so that appropriate management and conservation measures can be implemented. We recorded 43 woody plant species (9 endemic, 28 native and 4 non-native) and 21 non-tree species. The composition and structure of all the patches differed significantly due to the impact of the herbaceous invasive plant Alpinia allughas, the presence and diversity of other non-native plants, and differing intensities of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g., burning, cutting and harvesting of non-timber forest products). We ranked forest patches along a continuum representing deviations from a historical proxy (least disturbed) swamp forest to those with dramatically altered structural and floristic attributes (=novel swamp forests). Only one fragment overrun with A. allughas was classified as novel. If effective conservation and management does not come to the BRLM, the remaining swamp forest fragments appear doomed to further degradation and will soon disappear altogether.

  11. Environmental selection is a main driver of divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Romania and Bulgaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geue, Julia C; Vágási, Csongor I; Schweizer, Mona; Pap, Péter L; Thomassen, Henri A

    2016-11-01

    Both neutral and adaptive evolutionary processes can cause population divergence, but their relative contributions remain unclear. We investigated the roles of these processes in population divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Romania and Bulgaria, regions characterized by high landscape heterogeneity compared to Western Europe. We asked whether morphological divergence, complemented with genetic data in this human commensal species, was best explained by environmental variation, geographic distance, or landscape resistance-the effort it takes for an individual to disperse from one location to the other-caused by either natural or anthropogenic barriers. Using generalized dissimilarity modeling, a matrix regression technique that fits biotic beta diversity to both environmental predictors and geographic distance, we found that a small set of climate and vegetation variables explained up to ~30% of the observed divergence, whereas geographic and resistance distances played much lesser roles. Our results are consistent with signals of selection on morphological traits and of isolation by adaptation in genetic markers, suggesting that selection by natural environmental conditions shapes population divergence in house sparrows. Our study thus contributes to a growing body of evidence that adaptive evolution may be a major driver of diversification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  14. Participation of endogenous circadian rhythm in photoperiodic time measurement during ovarian responses of the subtropical tree sparrow, Passer montanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Namram Sushindrajit; Dixit, Anand Shanker

    2014-05-01

    Resonance experiment was employed to investigate the mechanism of photoperiodic time measurement during initiation of ovarian growth and functions in the subtropical population of female tree sparrow (Passer montanus) at Shillong (Latitude 25 degrees 34 'N, Longitude 91 degrees 53 'E). Photosensitive birds were subjected to various resonance light dark cycles of different durations such as: 12-(6L:6D), 24-(6L:18D), 36-(6L:30D), 48-(6L:42D), 60-(6L:54D) and 72-(6L:66D) h along with a control group under long days (14L:10D) for 35 days. Birds, exposed to long days, exhibited ovarian growth confirming their photosensitivity at the beginning of the experiment. The birds experiencing resonance light/dark cycles of 12, 36 and 60 h responded well while those exposed to 24, 48 and 72 h cycles did not. Serum levels of estradiol-17beta ran almost parallel to changes in the follicular size. Further, histomorphometric analyses of ovaries of the birds subjected to various resonance light dark cycles revealed distinct correlation with the ovarian growth and the serum levels of estradiol-17beta. No significant change in body weight was observed in the birds under any of the light regimes. The results are in agreement with the avian external coincidence model of photoperiodic time measurement and indicate that an endogenous circadian rhythm is involved during the initiation of the gonadal growth and functions in the female tree sparrow.

  15. Application of the SPARROW model to assess surface-water nutrient conditions and sources in the United States Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Daniel R.; Johnson, Henry M.

    2013-01-01

    The watershed model SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes) was used to estimate mean annual surface-water nutrient conditions (total nitrogen and total phosphorus) and to identify important nutrient sources in catchments of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States for 2002. Model-estimated nutrient yields were generally higher in catchments on the wetter, western side of the Cascade Range than in catchments on the drier, eastern side. The largest source of locally generated total nitrogen stream load in most catchments was runoff from forestland, whereas the largest source of locally generated total phosphorus stream load in most catchments was either geologic material or livestock manure (primarily from grazing livestock). However, the highest total nitrogen and total phosphorus yields were predicted in the relatively small number of catchments where urban sources were the largest contributor to local stream load. Two examples are presented that show how SPARROW results can be applied to large rivers—the relative contribution of different nutrient sources to the total nitrogen load in the Willamette River and the total phosphorus load in the Snake River. The results from this study provided an understanding of the regional patterns in surface-water nutrient conditions and should be useful to researchers and water-quality managers performing local nutrient assessments.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecology shapes birdsong evolution: variation in morphology and habitat explains variation in white-crowned sparrow song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P

    2009-07-01

    Ecological variation appears to underlie the evolution of mating signals in many taxa, yet understanding of how this process occurs over time is limited. Here, I investigate whether changes over time in a well-studied mating signal-birdsong-are attributable to ecological factors that affect signal production and transmission. Variation in the acoustic properties of songs is thought to be affected by the mechanics of sound production as well as by features of the habitat that affect sound transmission. To determine whether these mechanisms contribute to song variation, I compare patterns of morphological and habitat variation with variation in song structure among populations of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) at two time points separated by 35 years. Among contemporary (2005) populations, vegetation density and bill size explain significant variation in song structure. The direction of change in song structure between 1970 and 2005 is also consistent with the direction of change in vegetation density. These findings suggest that variation in factors that affect signal production and transmission explains significant variation in white-crowned sparrow song.

  18. 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

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vágási, Csongor I; Pap, Péter L; Barta, Zoltán

    2010-12-03

    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.

  20. Experimental test of a trade-off between moult and immune response in house sparrows Passer domesticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Rueda, G

    2010-10-01

    A trade-off between immune system and moulting is predicted in birds, given that both functions compete for resources. However, it is unclear whether such a trade-off exists during post-breeding moult. This study tests such a trade-off in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Males injected with an antigen (lipopolysaccharide) significantly moulted slower than sham-injected males. Moreover, males whose seventh primaries were plucked to simulate moult showed smaller immune response to phytohaemagglutinin than control males, in which seventh primaries were clipped. A trade-off between moult speed and body mass was also found. The results show a clear trade-off between moult and immune response in the house sparrow: immune response negatively affected moult and moult negatively affected immune response. These findings suggest that only individuals in good condition may have an efficient moult and simultaneously respond effectively in terms of immunity to pathogens, which could explain how plumage traits honestly indicate parasite resistance in birds. © 2010 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Range expansion of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Kenya: evidence of genetic admixture and human-mediated dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, Aaron W; Liebl, Andrea L; Richards, Christina L; Martin, Lynn B

    2014-01-01

    Introduced species offer an opportunity to study the ecological process of range expansions. Recently, 3 mechanisms have been identified that may resolve the genetic paradox (the seemingly unlikely success of introduced species given the expected reduction in genetic diversity through bottlenecks or founder effects): multiple introductions, high propagule pressure, and epigenetics. These mechanisms are probably also important in range expansions (either natural or anthropogenic), yet this possibility remains untested in vertebrates. We used microsatellite variation (7 loci) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), an introduced species that has been spreading across Kenya for ~60 years, to determine if patterns of variation could explain how this human commensal overcame the genetic paradox and expresses such considerable phenotypic differentiation across this new range. We note that in some cases, polygenic traits and epistasis among genes, for example, may not have negative effects on populations. House sparrows arrived in Kenya by a single introduction event (to Mombasa, ~1950) and have lower genetic diversity than native European and introduced North American populations. We used Bayesian clustering of individuals (n = 233) to detect that at least 2 types of range expansion occurred in Kenya: one with genetic admixture and one with little to no admixture. We also found that genetic diversity increased toward a range edge, and the range expansion was consistent with long-distance dispersal. Based on these data, we expect that the Kenyan range expansion was anthropogenically influenced, as the expansions of other introduced human commensals may also be.

  2. Histological and biochemical biomarkers analysis reveal strong toxicological impacts of pollution in hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) in southern Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amri, Nahed; Rahmouni, Fatma; Chokri, Med Ali; Rebai, Tarek; Badraoui, Riadh

    2017-07-01

    Environmental pollution is a great concern worldwide. Our aim was to investigate the histopathological injuries and oxidative stress induced by exposure to contaminants in liver tissues of hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) living in Gabès city, which is one of the most polluted hot spot in Tunisia. Our results show evidence of a pronounced impairment in liver function which is confirmed by histopathological changes as well as remarkable blood chemical alterations in sparrows living near the Gabès-Ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment. Moreover, a significant decrease in the hepatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) was observed in birds from Ghannouche when compared to other distant areas. Our study revealed also a significant increase in the liver levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), in sparrows living in Ghannouche, indicating oxidative damage to membrane lipids. Overall, our results suggest that the hybrid sparrow offers a suitable model for biomonitoring programs of atmosphere pollutants and the selected biomarkers may function as useful tool to evaluate the effects of pollutants on living organisms.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Schrey, Aaron W.; Coon, Courtney A. C.; Grispo, Michael T.; Mohammed Awad; Titus Imboma; McCoy, Earl D.; Mushinsky, Henry R.; Richards, Christina L.; Martin, Lynn B.

    2012-01-01

    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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. Designer repellents: combining olfactory, visual or taste cues with a secondary repellent to deter free-ranging house sparrows from feeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapperton, Barbara Kay; Porter, Richard E R; Day, Tim D; Waas, Joseph R; Matthews, Lindsay R

    2012-06-01

    Repellents may prevent bird pests from eating crops or protect non-target birds from eating harmful substances. The feeding behaviour of free-ranging house sparrows (Passer domesticus) presented with wheat treated with the secondary repellent anthraquinone (AQ), paired with visual and/or olfactory and taste cues, was recorded in a series of trials. The aim was to determine the suitability of repellent combinations for preventing birds from consuming pest baits. Anthraquinone significantly reduced wheat consumption. The addition of cinnamon oil did not reduce consumption further, but the addition of either a blue colour or d-pulegone enhanced repellency. Green wheat was consumed more than blue wheat. In a multichoice test, the sparrows did not differentiate between low and high concentrations of AQ on blue-dyed wheat. With treatments on separate tables, the higher concentration was more repellent. Additional olfactory/gustatory cues palatable to pest mammals did not make the AQ-treated wheat more or less acceptable to sparrows. AQ-treated blue wheat with/without cinnamon oil was more repellent than green wheat with cinnamon oil, a colour/odour combination typically used for pest baits in New Zealand. These data demonstrate the potential of combining the secondary repellent AQ with additional salient cues for modifying the feeding behaviour of sparrows. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Infectious and lethal doses of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus for house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and rock pigeons (Columbia livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Justin D; Stallknecht, David E; Berghaus, Roy D; Swayne, David E

    2009-07-01

    Terrestrial wild birds commonly associated with poultry farms have the potential to contribute to the spread of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus within or between poultry facilities or between domesticated and wild bird populations. This potential, however, varies between species and is dependent on several virus and host factors, including habitat utilization, susceptibility, and viral shedding patterns. To provide data on susceptibility and shedding patterns of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and rock pigeons (Columba livia), 20 birds from each species were inoculated with decreasing concentrations of A/whooper swan/Mongolia/244/05 (H5N1) HPAI virus, and the birds were evaluated for morbidity, mortality, viral shedding, and seroconversion over a 14-day trial. The house sparrows were highly susceptible to the H5N1 HPAI virus as evidenced by low infectious and lethal viral doses. In addition, house sparrows excreted virus via the oropharynx and cloaca for several days prior to the onset of clinical signs. Based on these results, house sparrows could play a role in the dissemination of H5N1 HPAI virus in poultry. In contrast, pigeons were resistant to the HPAI virus, requiring a high concentration of virus to produce infection or death. When infection did occur, the duration of viral shedding was brief, and viral titers were low. The data suggests that pigeons would contribute little to the transmission and spread of H5N1 HPAI virus in poultry.

  9. Molecular analysis of stomach contents reveals important grass seeds in the winter diet of Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows, two declining grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titulaer, Mieke; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Panjabi, Arvind O; Sanchez-Flores, Alejandro; Martínez-Guerrero, José Hugo; Macías-Duarte, Alberto; Fernandez, Jesús A

    2017-01-01

    We analyzed the diet of Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) and Grasshopper Sparrow (A. savannarum) in three different sites and sampling periods across the Chihuahuan Desert in northern Mexico. DNA from seeds in regurgitated stomach contents was sequenced using NGS technology and identified with a barcoding approach using the P6 loop of the trnL intron as genetic marker. During each sampling period, we collected random soil samples to estimate seed availability in the soil seed bank. Due to the variability and size of the genetic marker, the resolution was limited to a family level resolution for taxonomic classification of seeds, but in several cases a genus level was achieved. Diets contained a high diversity of seeds but were dominated by a limited number of genera/families. Seeds from Panicoideae (from the genera Panicum, Setaria, Eriochloa, Botriochloa, and Hackelochloa) contributed for the largest part to the diets (53 ± 19%), followed by Bouteloua (10 ± 12%). Depending on the site and sampling period, other important seeds in the diets were Eragrostideae, Pleuraphis, Asteraceae, Verbena, and Amaranthus. The most abundant seeds were not always preferred. Aristida and Chloris were common in the soil seed bank but these seeds were avoided by both bird species. Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows did not differ in seed preferences. This work highlights the importance of range management practices that favor seed production of Panicoideae and Bouteloua grasses to enhance winter habitat use and survival of Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert.

  10. Publically accessible decision support system of the spatially referenced regressions on watershed attributes (SPARROW) model and model enhancements in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celeste Journey; Anne B. Hoos; David E. Ladd; John W. brakebill; Richard A. Smith

    2016-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment program has developed a web-based decision support system (DSS) to provide free public access to the steady-stateSPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model simulation results on nutrient conditions in streams and rivers and to offer scenario testing capabilities for...

  11. The effect of peat swamp forest degradation on greenhouse gas fluxes in the Peruvian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lent, Jeffrey; Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Verchot, Louis; van Groeningen, Jan Willem; Oenema, Oene

    2017-04-01

    Carbon-dense peat swamp forests in Peru are recurrently harvested for M. flexuosa fruits, which is typically performed by cutting down entire palms. This research aimed to evaluate how biogeochemical cycles are affected by this type of forest degradation. Total soil respiration (Rs), heterotrophic respiration (Rh), CH4 and N2O fluxes, litterfall and environmental parameters were monitored monthly for two years in an undisturbed (UD), a moderately disturbed (MD), and a highly degraded site (HD). The experimental setup entailed measurements in hollows and hummocks with standing live or dead palms. Rh rates were higher in hummocks than in hollows (UD: 25.9±0.5 and 17.5±0.3, MD: 14.1±1.3 and 12.4±1.2, HD: 26.8±4.7 and 18.8±3.0 kg C-CO2 ha-1 d-1, respectively). Unexpectedly, CH4 fluxes did not vary significantly between hummocks and hollows, whereas N2O fluxes followed the same trend as Rh. GHG fluxes from hummocks with a standing live or a standing dead palm were similar. However, degradation did reduce the relative hummock area (relative areas: 18, 10 and 4% for UD, MD, and HD, respectively). As a result, the overall weighted average Rh in the MD site (12.4±1.6 kg C-CO2 ha-1 d-1) was lower than the UD one (18.4±1.0 kg C-CO2 ha-1 d-1), while litter input was higher (12.2±0.3 and 9.3±0.4 kg d.w. ha-1 d-1in the MD and UD, respectively). The HD site exhibited Rh (17.5±1.2 kg C-CO2 ha-1 d-1) and litter input (9.4±0.2 kg d.w. ha-1 d-1) rates similar to those of the UD site. CH4 fluxes were 0.75±0.10, 0.62±0.08, 0.89±0.05 kg C-CH4 ha-1 d-1 and N2O fluxes 1.7±0.2, 1.2±0.1, 2.0±0.3 g N-N2O ha-1 d-1 in the UD, MD and HD site, respectively. These findings suggest that differentiating hummocks and hollows in GHG flux assessments and accounting for changes in relative hummock areas are essential for evaluating degradation impacts on peat C and N cycling in Amazonian peat swamp forests. These results contribute to building knowledge on emission factors for

  12. Burrowing activity in channel levees: impact of the invasive red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solari, L.; Bendoni, M.; Consumi, L.; Haubrock, P.; Inghilesi, A.; Mazza, G.; Torrini, M.; Tricarico, E.

    2016-12-01

    The effect of animal burrowing, as an example of bioturbation on the stability of river levees has been recently raised to the scientific community as a consequence of the levee collapses of Secchia and Foenna rivers in Italy (Camici et al., 2010, 2014; Orlandini et al., 2015). Indeed, these authors showed that the presence of animal burrows is crucial in promoting the collapse of the bank. The American red swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii is an invasive species in Europe, mostly introduced for commercial purposes related to livestock. It is rapidly spreading throughout the Italian peninsula due to its plasticity, dispersal capability and high reproduction rate (Souty-Grosset et al., 2016). As well as the negative effects on local biodiversity, it damages the levees of the irrigation channel leading to disastrous collapses, relevant repairing and maintenance costs. In this work, we present an experimental activity where specimens of P. clarkii were monitored while burrowing into a small-scale physical model of an earthen levee, coupled with the mathematical modelling of the variations induced by the burrows on the seepage flow patterns through the levee.Preliminary results show the burrowing structure was quite irregular. Generally, crayfish start burrowing under the water level, developing tunnels (diameter ranging 4-7cm) both horizontally and heading upward, also above the water level. Some tunnels showed one or more circular chambers. The highest burrowing activity was observed during the experiments carried out in summer, when the species has a peak of maximum activity due to the higher temperature. Mathematical modelling shows that, for given boundary conditions and experimental duration, the presence of burrows in the levee raises the phreatic line. Critical conditions for levee integrity may be associated either to the internal erosion and stability of the system of tunnels and to the emergence of the phreatic line of the landside of the levee slope. These

  13. In-depth transcriptome analysis of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaishun Shen

    Full Text Available The red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii is a highly adaptable, tolerant, and fecund freshwater crayfish that inhabits a wide range of aquatic environments. It is an important crustacean model organism that is used in many research fields, including animal behavior, environmental stress and toxicity, and studies of viral infection. Despite its widespread use, knowledge of the crayfish genome is very limited and insufficient for meaningful research. This is the use of next-generation sequencing techniques to analyze the crayfish transcriptome. A total of 324.97 million raw reads of 100 base pairs were generated, and a total of 88,463 transcripts were assembled de novo using Trinity software, producing 55,278 non-redundant transcripts. Comparison of digital gene expression between four different tissues revealed differentially expressed genes, in which more overexpressed genes were found in the hepatopancreas than in other tissues, and more underexpressed genes were found in the testis and the ovary than in other tissues. Gene ontology (GO and KEGG enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed that metabolite- and immune-related pathway genes were enriched in the hepatopancreas, and DNA replication-related pathway genes were enriched in the ovary and the testis, which is consistent with the important role of the hepatopancreas in metabolism, immunity, and the stress response, and with that of the ovary and the testis in reproduction. It was also found that 14 vitellogenin transcripts were highly expressed specifically in the hepatopancreas, and 6 transcripts were highly expressed specifically in the ovary, but no vitellogenin transcripts were highly expressed in both the hepatopancreas and the ovary. These results provide new insight into the role of vitellogenin in crustaceans. In addition, 243,764 SNP sites and 43,205 microsatellite sequences were identified in the sequencing data. We believe that our results provide an

  14. Identification and characterization of two arasin-like peptides in red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Lian-Qin; Li, Wan-Wan; Wang, Xian-Wei

    2017-11-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small effectors in host defense by directly targeting microorganisms or by indirectly modulating immune responses. In the present study, two arasin like AMPs, named as Pc-arasin1 and Pc-arasin2, were identified in red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii with sequence similarity to the arasins found in Hyas araneus. Both Pc-arasins consisted of signal peptide, N-terminal proline-rich region and C-terminal region containing four conserved cysteine residues. The similarity of two Pc-arasins was 44.44%, and Pc-arasin2 contained several additional residues in the N-terminus. Multiple alignment of arasin family suggested the conservation of the C-terminus and the variation of the N-terminus of Pc-arasins. Both AMPs were found hemocytes-specific, and the expression could be induced the challenge of bacteria, espeacially by the pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila. Knockdown of each Pc-arasin expression by double strand RNA would suppress the host immunity against A. hydrophila, and the commercially synthetic Pc-arasins could rescue the knockdown consequence. Both synthetic peptide showed broad antimicrobial activity towards 3 Gram-positive bacterium and 3 Gram-negative bacterium, and the minimal inhibitory concentrations varied from 6.25 μM to 50 μM. These results presented new data about the sequence, expression and function of arasin family, and emphasized the role of this family in host immune response against bacterial pathogens. The characterization of Pc-arasins also provided potential of therapeutic agent development for disease control in aquaculture based on these two newly identified AMPs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Nocardia rayongensis sp. nov., isolated from Thai peat swamp forest soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanasupawat, Somboon; Phongsopitanun, Wongsakorn; Suwanborirux, Khanit; Ohkuma, Moriya; Kudo, Takuji

    2016-05-01

    An actinomycete strain, RY45-3T, isolated from a peat swamp forest soil in Rayong Province, Thailand, was characterized using a polyphasic approach. The strain belonged to the genus Nocardia on the basis of morphological, physiological, biochemical and chemotaxonomic properties. Cell-wall peptidoglycan contained meso-diaminopimelic acid. The N-acyl group of muramic acid in the cell wall was glycolyl type. The diagnostic sugars in whole-cell hydrolysates were galactose and arabinose. MK-8 (H4ω-cycl) was the major menaquinone. The major fatty acids were C16 : 0 and C18 : 1ω9c. The major polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylinositol mannosides. The genomic DNA G+C content was 71 mol%. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity analysis, strain RY45-3T was closely related to Nocardia jiangxiensis JCM 12861T (98.9 %), Nocardia nova JCM 6044T (98.8 %) and Nocardia pseudobrasiliensis JCM 9894T (98.6 %). The strain showed low levels of DNA-DNA relatedness with N. jiangxiensis JCM 12861T, N. nova JCM 6044T and N. pseudobrasiliensis JCM 9894T (range from 3.6 to 55.3 %). On the basis of the phenotypic characteristics and the results mentioned, this strain could be differentiated from closely related type strains and represents a novel species of the genus Nocardia, for which the name Nocardia rayongensis sp. nov. (type strain RY45-3T = JCM 19832T = TISTR 2213T = PCU 334T) is proposed.

  16. Deforestation projections for carbon-rich peat swamp forests of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Douglas O; Hardiono, Martin; Meijaard, Erik

    2011-09-01

    We evaluated three spatially explicit land use and cover change (LUCC) models to project deforestation from 2005-2020 in the carbon-rich peat swamp forests (PSF) of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Such models are increasingly used to evaluate the impact of deforestation on carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere. We considered both business-as-usual (BAU) and a forest protection scenario to evaluate each model's accuracy, sensitivity, and total projected deforestation and landscape-level fragmentation patterns. The three models, Dinamica EGO (DE), GEOMOD and the Land Change Modeler (LCM), projected similar total deforestation amounts by 2020 with a mean of 1.01 million ha (Mha) and standard deviation of 0.17 Mha. The inclusion of a 0.54 Mha strict protected area in the LCM simulations reduced projected loss to 0.77 Mha over 15 years. Calibrated parameterizations of the models using nearly identical input drivers produced very different landscape properties, as measured by the number of forest patches, mean patch area, contagion, and Euclidean nearest neighbor determined using Fragstats software. The average BAU outputs of the models suggests that Central Kalimantan may lose slightly less than half (45.1%) of its 2005 PSF by 2020 if measures are not taken to reduce deforestation there. The relatively small reduction of 0.24 Mha in deforestation found in the 0.54 Mha protection scenario suggests that these models can identify potential leakage effects in which deforestation is forced to occur elsewhere in response to a policy intervention.

  17. How could a freshwater swamp produce a chemical signature characteristic of a saltmarsh?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCloskey, Terrence; Smith, Christopher G.; Liu, Kam-biu; Marot, Marci E.; Haller, Christian

    2018-01-01

    Reduction–oxidation (redox) reaction conditions, which are of great importance for the soil chemistry of coastal marshes, can be temporally dynamic. We present a transect of cores from northwest Florida wherein radical postdepositional changes in the redox regime has created atypical geochemical profiles at the bottom of the sedimentary column. The stratigraphy is consistent along the transect, consisting of, from the bottom upward, carbonate bedrock, a gray clay, an organic mud section, a dense clay layer, and an upper organic mud unit representing the current saltwater marsh. However, the geochemical signature of the lower organic mud unit suggests pervasive redox reactions, although the interval has been identified as representing a freshwater marsh, an unlikely environment for such conditions. Analyses indicate that this discrepancy results from postdepositional diagenesis driven by millennial-scale environmental parameters. Rising sea level that led to the deposition of the capping clay layer, created anaerobic conditions in the freshwater swamp interval, and isolated it hydrologically from the rest of the sediment column. The subsequent infiltration of marine water into this organic material led to sulfate reduction, the buildup of H2S and FeS, and anoxic conditions. Continued sulfidation eventually resulted in euxinic conditions, as evidenced by elevated levels of Fe, S, and especially Mo, the diagnostic marker of euxinia. Because this chemical transformation occurred long after the original deposition the geochemical signature does not reflect soil chemistry at the time of deposition and cannot be used to infer syn-depositional environmental conditions, emphasizing the importance of recognizing diagenetic processes in paleoenvironmental studies.

  18. Differences in impacts of Hurricane Sandy on freshwater swamps on the Delmarva Peninsula, Mid−Atlantic Coast, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Beth A.

    2016-01-01

    Hurricane wind and surge may have different influences on the subsequent composition of forests. During Hurricane Sandy, while damaging winds were highest near landfall in New Jersey, inundation occurred along the entire eastern seaboard from Georgia to Maine. In this study, a comparison of damage from salinity intrusion vs. wind/surge was recorded in swamps of the Delmarva Peninsula along the Pocomoke (MD) and Nanticoke (DE) Rivers, south of the most intense wind damage. Hickory Point Cypress Swamp (Hickory) was closest to the Chesapeake Bay and may have been subjected to a salinity surge as evidenced by elevated salinity levels at a gage upstream of this swamp (storm salinity = 13.1 ppt at Nassawango Creek, Snow Hill, Maryland). After Hurricane Sandy, 8% of the standing trees died at Hickory including Acer rubrum, Amelanchier laevis, Ilex spp., and Taxodium distichum. In Plot 2 of Hickory, 25% of the standing trees were dead, and soil salinity levels were the highest recorded in the study. The most important variables related to structural tree damage were soil salinity and proximity to the Atlantic coast as based on Stepwise Regression and NMDS procedures. Wind damage was mostly restricted to broken branches although tipped−up trees were found at Hickory, Whiton and Porter (species: Liquidamabar styraciflua, Pinus taeda, Populus deltoides, Quercus pagoda and Ilex spp.). These trees fell mostly in an east or east−southeast direction (88o−107o) in keeping with the wind direction of Hurricane Sandy on the Delmarva Peninsula. Coastal restoration and management can be informed by the specific differences in hurricane damage to vegetation by salt versus wind.

  19. Pseudocapillaria (Ichthyocapillaria) ophisterni sp. n. (Nematoda : Capillariidae) from the swamp-eel Ophisternon aenigmaticum (Pisces) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moravec, F; Salgado-Maldonado, G; Jiménez-García, I

    2000-04-01

    A new nematode species, Pseudocapillaria ophisterni sp. n., is described from the intestine and rarely from the stomach of the swamp-eel, Ophisternon aenigmaticum Rosen et Greenwood, from Catemaco Lake, Veracruz, Mexico. In having both caudal lobes in the male interconnected by a distinct dorsal membrane, it belongs to the subgenus Ichthyocapillaria. It differs from the three species in this subgenus mainly in possessing either a distinctly longer spicule or a smaller length of oesophagus relative to body length. It also differs in host type and geographical distribution. P. ophisterni is the first capillariid species reported from synbranchiform fishes.

  20. Nitrogen Dynamics Along a Headwater Stream Draining a Fen, Swamp, and Marsh in a Fractured Dolomite Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duval, T. P.; Waddington, J. M.

    2009-05-01

    Stream-wetland interaction has been shown to have a significant effect on nutrient cycling and downstream water quality. Additionally, connection to regional groundwater systems can dilute or enrich stream water with a number of dissolved constituents. This study demonstrates the resultant downstream change in dissolved nitrogen species as a hardwater stream emerges from a calcareous aquifer and traverses a calcareous fen, a cedar swamp, and a cattail marsh over two growing seasons, a very dry 2006 and a very wet 2007. Upon emergence at a number of groundwater seeps, the water contained appreciable nitrate levels averaging 2.72±0.42 mg NO3-N L-1, minimal organic nitrogen, and ammonium below detectable levels. Through the gently sloping calcareous fen, with a stream residence time of ~ 5 hours, NO3-N concentration decreases of 0.35 mg L-1 were observed. Concomitantly, stream recharge into the dolomite bedrock depressed stream discharge values significantly, further removing nitrate from the stream system. This resulted in the fen-bedrock system acting as an estimated net sink of 432 kg of NO3-N in the early summer of 2007, for example. In contrast, the hydrological-biogeochemical systems became decoupled through the swamp during the same period, where concentrations increased from 2.58±0.34 mg L-1 entering the swamp to 2.65±0.58 mg L-1 exiting, but streamflow decreased in general by 5 L s- 1. This resulted in the swamp, with its large depression storage, acting as a small net sink of nitrate (75 kg through the early summer), which would not be detected simply from concentration changes. The concentration-discharge relation realigned through the marsh, where significant groundwater entered the wetland, increasing both concentration and discharge, yielding a small export of 93 kg over the same time period. A series of tracer injections in each wetland type will be presented to compare the streamflow- concentration patterns with the measured nutrient spiralling

  1. 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...

  2. Control of annual reproductive cycle in the subtropical house sparrow (Passer domesticus): evidence for conservation of photoperiodic control mechanisms in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, Amit K; Rani, Sangeeta; Kumar, Vinod

    2006-08-22

    In many birds, day length (= photoperiod) regulates reproductive cycle. The photoperiodic environment varies between different seasons and latitudes. As a consequence, species at different latitudes may have evolved separate photoperiodic strategies or modified them as per their adaptive need. We studied this using house sparrow as a model since it is found worldwide and is widely investigated. In particular, we examined whether photoperiodism in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) at 27 degrees N, 81 degrees E shared features with those exhibited by its conspecifics at high latitudes. Initial experiment described in the wild and captive conditions the gonad development and molt (only in captives) cycles over a 12-month period. Both male and female sparrows had similar seasonal cycles, linked with annual variations in day length; this suggested that seasonal reproduction in house sparrows was under the photoperiodic control. However, a slower testis and attenuated follicular growth among captives indicated that other (supplementary) factors are also involved in controlling the reproductive cycle. Next experiment examined if sparrows underwent seasonal variations in their response to stimulatory effects of long day lengths. When birds were transferred every month over a period of 1 year to 16 hours light:8 hours darkness (16L:8D) for 17-26 weeks, there was indeed a time-of-year effect on the growth-regression cycle of gonads. The final experiment investigated response of house sparrows to a variety of light-dark (LD) cycles. In the first set, sparrows were exposed for 31 weeks to photoperiods that were close to what they receive in between the period from sunrise to sunset at this latitude: 9L:15D (close to shortest day length in December), 12L:12D (equinox, in March and September) 15L:9D (close to longest day length in June). They underwent testicular growth and regression and molt in 12L and 15L photoperiods, but not in 9L photoperiod. In the second set, sparrows

  3. Control of annual reproductive cycle in the subtropical house sparrow (Passer domesticus: evidence for conservation of photoperiodic control mechanisms in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rani Sangeeta

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In many birds, day length (=photoperiod regulates reproductive cycle. The photoperiodic environment varies between different seasons and latitudes. As a consequence, species at different latitudes may have evolved separate photoperiodic strategies or modified them as per their adaptive need. We studied this using house sparrow as a model since it is found worldwide and is widely investigated. In particular, we examined whether photoperiodism in house sparrows (Passer domesticus at 27°N, 81°E shared features with those exhibited by its conspecifics at high latitudes. Results Initial experiment described in the wild and captive conditions the gonad development and molt (only in captives cycles over a 12-month period. Both male and female sparrows had similar seasonal cycles, linked with annual variations in day length; this suggested that seasonal reproduction in house sparrows was under the photoperiodic control. However, a slower testis and attenuated follicular growth among captives indicated that other (supplementary factors are also involved in controlling the reproductive cycle. Next experiment examined if sparrows underwent seasonal variations in their response to stimulatory effects of long day lengths. When birds were transferred every month over a period of 1 year to 16 hours light:8 hours darkness (16L:8D for 17–26 weeks, there was indeed a time-of-year effect on the growth-regression cycle of gonads. The final experiment investigated response of house sparrows to a variety of light-dark (LD cycles. In the first set, sparrows were exposed for 31 weeks to photoperiods that were close to what they receive in between the period from sunrise to sunset at this latitude: 9L:15D (close to shortest day length in December, 12L:12D (equinox, in March and September 15L:9D (close to longest day length in June. They underwent testicular growth and regression and molt in 12L and 15L photoperiods, but not in 9L photoperiod. In

  4. Final Environmental Assessment for the Military Family Housing Privatization Initiative Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-05-03

    of the lake construction project. A study by the National SAFE KIDS campaign (2004) found that although drowning among children has declined in...Group 69 on evaluation of environmental impact of noise. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 2004. Clear...Passerina cyanea Indigo bunting Melospiza melodia Song sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis Savanna sparrow Pipilo erythrophthalmus Rufus-sided towhee

  5. Recent benthic foraminifera assemblages from mangrove swamp and channels of Abu Dhabi (UAE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorini, Flavia; Lokier, Stephen W.; Odeh, Weaam A. S. Al; Paul, Andreas; Song, Jianfeng; Freeman, Mark; Michel, Françoise

    2017-04-01

    Zonation of Recent mangrove environments can be defined using benthic foraminifera, however, little is known about foraminifera from mangrove environments of the Persian/Arabian Gulf. The objective of this study is to produce a detailed micropaleontological and sedimentological analysis to identify foraminiferal associations from mangrove swamps and channels located on the eastern side of Abu Dhabi Island (UAE). Detailed sediment sampling collection in mangal environments of Eastern Abu Dhabi was carried out to assess the distribution of benthic foraminifera in different sedimentary facies in the mangal and in the surrounding natural environments of the upper and lower intertidal area (mud flats and channels). A 100 m transect across a natural channel in a mangal on the eastern side of Abu Dhabi Island was sampled in detail for sedimentological and foraminiferal analysis. Forty-seven samples were collected at 2 meter intervals along the transect in a number of different sedimentary facies including; fine sediment in areas exposed during low tide and close to mangrove trees (Avicennia marina), fine sediment rich in leaf material, coarse sediment in channels, and coarse sediments with a shell lag. At each sampling location environmental parameters were recorded, including water depth, salinity, temperature and pH. Samples collected for foraminiferal analysis were stained in rose Bengal in order to identify living specimens. Samples collected on the mud flat at the margin of the channel show a living foraminiferal assemblage characterised by abundant foraminifera belonging to the genera Ammonia, Elphidium, Cribroelphidium, Triloculina, Quinqueloculina, Sigmoilinita, Spiroloculina, Peneroplis and Spirolina. Samples collected in the lower (wet) intertidal area close to Avicennia marina roots, presented a low-diversity assemblage mostly comprising small-sized opportunistic foraminifera of the genera Ammonia and Cribroelphidium along with rare Triloculina and

  6. Photoperiod as a proximate factor in control of seasonality in the subtropical male Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Namram S

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most species of birds exhibit well-defined seasonality in their various physiological and behavioral functions like reproduction, molt, bill color etc. such that they occur at the most appropriate time of the year. Day length has been shown to be a major source of temporal information regulating seasonal reproduction and associated events in a number of avian species. The present study aims to investigate the role of photoperiod in control of seasonal cycles in the subtropical male tree sparrow (Passer montanus and to compare its responses at Shillong (Latitude 25°34'N, Longitude 91°53'E with those exhibited by its conspecifics and related species at other latitudes. Results Initial experiment involving study of seasonal cycles revealed that the wild tree sparrows posses definite seasonal cycles of testicular volume, molt and bill color. These cycles were found remarkably linked to annual solar cycle suggesting the possibility of their photoperiodic control. To confirm this possibility in the next experiment, the photosensitive birds were exposed to three different light-dark regimes that were close to what they experience at this latitude: 9L/15D (close to shortest day length, 12L/12D (equinox day length and 14L/10D (close to longest day length for 18 months. Tree sparrows showed testicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness, molting and bill color changes only under long daily photoperiods (12 L and 14 L but not under short daily photoperiod (9 L. Birds, under stimulatory photoperiods, did not show reinitiation of the above responses after the completion of initiation regression cycle even after their exposure to these photoperiods for 18 months. This precludes the possibility of circannual rhythm generation and suggests the involvement of photoperiodic mechanism in control of their seasonal cycles. Further, replacement of body and primary feathers progressed with gonadal regression only

  7. Photoperiod as a proximate factor in control of seasonality in the subtropical male Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixit, Anand S; Singh, Namram S

    2011-01-11

    Most species of birds exhibit well-defined seasonality in their various physiological and behavioral functions like reproduction, molt, bill color etc. such that they occur at the most appropriate time of the year. Day length has been shown to be a major source of temporal information regulating seasonal reproduction and associated events in a number of avian species. The present study aims to investigate the role of photoperiod in control of seasonal cycles in the subtropical male tree sparrow (Passer montanus) and to compare its responses at Shillong (Latitude 25°34'N, Longitude 91°53'E) with those exhibited by its conspecifics and related species at other latitudes. Initial experiment involving study of seasonal cycles revealed that the wild tree sparrows posses definite seasonal cycles of testicular volume, molt and bill color. These cycles were found remarkably linked to annual solar cycle suggesting the possibility of their photoperiodic control. To confirm this possibility in the next experiment, the photosensitive birds were exposed to three different light-dark regimes that were close to what they experience at this latitude: 9L/15D (close to shortest day length), 12L/12D (equinox day length) and 14L/10D (close to longest day length) for 18 months. Tree sparrows showed testicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness, molting and bill color changes only under long daily photoperiods (12 L and 14 L) but not under short daily photoperiod (9 L). Birds, under stimulatory photoperiods, did not show reinitiation of the above responses after the completion of initiation regression cycle even after their exposure to these photoperiods for 18 months. This precludes the possibility of circannual rhythm generation and suggests the involvement of photoperiodic mechanism in control of their seasonal cycles. Further, replacement of body and primary feathers progressed with gonadal regression only under long days suggesting that the two

  8. Buggy Creek virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) upregulates expression of pattern recognition receptors and interferons in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassbinder-Orth, Carol A; Barak, Virginia A; Rainwater, Ellecia L; Altrichter, Ashley M

    2014-06-01

    Birds serve as reservoirs for at least 10 arthropod-borne viruses, yet specific immune responses of birds to arboviral infections are relatively unknown. Here, adult House Sparrows were inoculated with an arboviral alphavirus, Buggy Creek virus (BCRV), or saline, and euthanized between 1 and 3 days postinoculation. Virological dynamics and gene expression dynamics were investigated. Birds did not develop viremia postinoculation, but cytopathic virus was found in the skeletal muscle and spleen of birds 1 and 3 days postinoculation (DPI). Viral RNA was detected in the blood of BCRV-infected birds 1 and 2 DPI, in oral swabs 1-3 DPI, and in brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and spleen 1-3 DPI. Multiple genes were significantly upregulated following BCRV infection, including pattern recognition receptors (TLR7, TLR15, RIG-1), type I interferon (IFN-α), and type II interferon (IFN-γ). This is the first study to report avian immunological gene expression profiles following an arboviral infection.

  9. POTENCY OF BIOCONTROL AGENTS ISOLATED FROM COMPOST AND PEAT SOIL OF TROPICAL PEAT SWAMP FOREST IN KALAMPANGAN ZONE, CENTRAL KALIMANTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuliar Yuliar

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Rhizoctonia solani is a soil pathogen that causes diseases in wide range of hosts of agricultural, horticultural and flower crops. Biological control is the most promising way for the diseases management and it is environment friendly too. The objective of this study was to isolate and screen the potency of soil bacteria as biological control from various local compost and peat soil of tropical peat swamp forest in Kalampangan Zone, Central Kalimantan. Forty seven isolates from peat soil and compost were screened for biocontrol agent of Rhizoctonia solani . R. Solani Seven out of thirteen peat soil isolates, and six out of thirty three compost isolates showed antagonistic activity against in Potato Dextrose Agar. The cultivation of the antagonistic isolates in Trypticase Soy Broth (TSB was extracted and analysed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC column. The HPLC analyzes indicated that the antagonistic isolates produce an antifungal iturin A. Macroscopic observation of isolates colonies showed that form of their colonies were amuboid, myceloid, curled, circular, rhizoid, irregular and filamentous. These achievement indicate peat swamp forest not only offer a potential biocontrol agents of damping off but also provide a new source for production of antibiotics.

  10. Gnathostoma spinigerum in live Asian swamp eels (Monopterus spp.) from food markets and wild populations, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Rebecca A.; Choudhury, Anindo; Nico, Leo G.; Griffin, Kathryn M.

    2014-01-01

    In Southeast Asia, swamp eels (Synbranchidae: Monopterus spp.) are a common source of human gnathostomiasis, a foodborne zoonosis caused by advanced third-stage larvae (AL3) of Gnathostoma spp. nematodes. Live Asian swamp eels are imported to US ethnic food markets, and wild populations exist in several states. To determine whether these eels are infected, we examined 47 eels from markets and 67 wild-caught specimens. Nematodes were identified by morphologic features and ribosomal intergenic transcribed spacer–2 gene sequencing. Thirteen (27.7%) M. cuchia eels from markets were infected with 36 live G. spinigerum AL3: 21 (58.3%) in liver; 7 (19.4%) in muscle; 5 (13.8%) in gastrointestinal tract, and 3 (8.3%) in kidneys. Three (4.5%) wild-caught M. albus eels were infected with 5 G. turgidum AL3 in muscle, and 1 G. lamothei AL3 was found in a kidney (both North American spp.). Imported live eels are a potential source of human gnathostomiasis in the United States.

  11. Epiphytic ferns in swamp forest remnants of the coastal plain of southern Brazil: latitudinal effects on the plant community

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    Letícia S. Machado

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Community structure and spatial distribution of epiphytic ferns in swamp forest remnants along the coastal plain of the state of Rio Grande do Sul were analyzed. A total of 440 trees were sampled in fifty-seven 10 x 10 m plots. Each phorophyte was divided into five ecological zones (strata, where all species of epiphytic ferns were recorded. A total of 34 species representing 18 genera in six families were recorded. Polypodiaceae was the most represented family with 17 species, and Microgramma vacciniifolia had the highest epiphytic importance value. Characteristic holoepiphyte was the predominant ecological category, representing 70 % of the species. Ordination analysis showed a gradual change in floristic composition between ecological zones with richness differing significantly between strata. We observed that with increasing latitude there was a decrease in mean temperature and total rainfall, but an increase in frosts. These climatic and phytogeography changes result in a reduction in species richness and a change in the structure of epiphytic fern communities in a north-to-south direction. The importance of swamp forest remnants of the coastal plain to the diversity of epiphytic ferns is discussed.

  12. 'Leaves and eats shoots': direct terrestrial feeding can supplement invasive red swamp crayfish in times of need.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Grey

    Full Text Available We used stable isotope analyses to characterise the feeding dynamics of a population of red swamp crayfish in Lake Naivasha, Kenya, after the crash of submerged macrophytes and associated macroinvertebrates, and during a natural draw-down of the lake water level. We expected a heavy reliance upon a diet of detrital matter to sustain the population as a consequence, and indeed, for the majority of the crayfish population caught from the lake, we saw a concomitant shift in isotopic values reflecting a dietary change. However, we also caught individual crayfish that had occupied the footprints of hippopotamus and effectively extended their range beyond the lake up to 40 m into the riparian zone. Isotopic analysis confirmed limited nocturnal observations that these individuals were consuming living terrestrial plants in the vicinity of the footprints. These are the first empirical data to demonstrate direct use of terrestrial resources by an aquatic crayfish species and further highlight the traits that make red swamp crayfish such opportunistic and successful invaders.

  13. Infectivity and persistence of an outbreak strain of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium DT160 for house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, J H; Alley, M R; Dutton, G J; Rogers, L E

    2006-12-01

    To examine the infective dose, incubation period and disease progression of an isolate of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium definitive type 160 (DT160) originating from a naturally-infected house sparrow (Passer domesticus) during an outbreak of the disease in New Zealand. Thirty-six house sparrows captured from the wild and free of Salmonella spp were divided into six groups of six birds, housed individually, and inoculated orally with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or 10(1), 10(2), 10(3), 10(5), 2 x 10(8) colony forming units (cfu) of the outbreak strain of S. Typhimurium DT160. The birds were observed for 10 days for clinical signs and/or mortality, and faecal samples were collected to determine excretion of S. Typhimurium. The birds were euthanised 11 days post-inoculation (p.i.) and a wide range of tissue samples were collected for histopathological examination, and culture and typing of Salmonella spp. Macro-restriction profiling by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using XbaI was performed for the epidemiological typing of S. Typhimurium DT160 isolates. Mortality in house sparrows inoculated with S. Typhimurium DT160 was dose-dependent, and 2/6 birds inoculated with 10(5) cfu and all six birds inoculated with 2 x 10(8) cfu died during the study. Infected sparrows displayed few clinical signs, apart from diarrhoea and/or polyuria, fluffed plumage, and sitting on the floor of the cage. Faecal excretion of DT160 occurred briefly in two birds inoculated with 10(2) cfu and four birds inoculated with 10(3) cfu, on most days in five birds inoculated with 10(5) cfu, and continuously in six birds inoculated with 2 x 10(8) cfu. DT160 was isolated from the livers of three birds which received 10(3) cfu, five birds dosed with 10(5) cfu, and all six birds given 2 x 10(8) cfu. Following necropsy, histopathological lesions similar to those seen in the natural disease were observed in the liver or spleen of three birds which received 10(3) cfu, and all birds

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soma, Masayo; Mori, Chihiro

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. Research of Salmonella spp. and evaluation of pathogenicity, cytotoxicity of Escherichia coli isolates proceeding from sparrows (Passer domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sineide M.O. Vilela

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to research the occurrence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli in feces samples of sparrows, as well as to identify the pathogenicity, cytotoxicity and sensitivity profile of the isolates to antimicrobial use. Two hundred and twenty eight sparrows were captured in eight farms. The in vitro pathogenicity test was performed by the isolates culture on congo red-magnesium oxalate Agar, whilst the in vivo pathogenicity test was performed in one day-old chicks. In order to study the cytotoxic effects of indicators, samples were inoculated into Vero cells. The results obtained for Escherichia coli isolation confirmed the presence of this microorganism in 30 (13.2% of the evaluated samples. Out of those isolates, 10 (33.3% presented the capacity of absorbing ongo red. As for in vivo pathogenicity a 68.0% of mortality rate of the evaluated samples was observed. Out of 20 isolates tested for cytotoxin production, none of them presented cytotoxic effect in the Vero cells. The Salmonella spp was isolated only in one sample (0.04%, and it was identified as Salmonella enterica subspecies houtenae. Results obtained through this research indicate the need for new studies to identify other virulence factors of E. coli samples and to delineate the phylogenetic profile of the isolates in order to establish a relation with colibacillosis outbreaks in chickens and broilers in the studied region, as well as to analyze the critical points in the aviculture productive chain to identify the source of Salmonella enterica subspecies houtenae.

  18. Are maternal antibodies really that important? Patterns in the immunologic development of altricial passerine house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Marisa O; Owen, Jeb P; Schwabl, Hubert G

    2010-03-11

    Maternal antibodies are believed to play an integral role in protecting immunologically immature wild-passerines from environmental antigens. This study comprehensively examines the early development of the adaptive immune system in an altricial-developing wild passerine species, the house sparrow (Passer domestics), by characterizing the half-life of maternal antibodies in nestling plasma, the onset of de novo synthesis of endogenous antibodies by nestlings, and the timing of immunological independence, where nestlings rely entirely on their own antibodies for immunologic protection. In an aviary study we vaccinated females against a novel antigen that these birds would not otherwise encounter in their natural environment, and measured both antigen-specific and total antibody concentration in the plasma of females, yolks, and nestlings. We traced the transfer of maternal antibodies from females to nestlings through the yolk and measured catabolisation of maternal antigen-specific antibodies in nestlings during early development. By utilizing measurements of non-specific and specific antibody levels in nestling plasma we were able to calculate the half-life of maternal antibodies in nestling plasma and the time point at which nestling were capable of synthesizing antibodies themselves. Based on the short half-life of maternal antibodies, the rapid production of endogenous antibodies by nestlings and the relatively low transfer of maternal antibodies to nestlings, our findings suggest that altricial-developing sparrows achieve immunologic independence much earlier than precocial birds. To our knowledge, this is the first in depth analyses performed on the adaptive immune system of a wild-passerine species. Our results suggest that maternal antibodies may not confer the immunologic protection or immune priming previously proposed in other passerine studies. Further research needs to be conducted on other altricial passerines to determine if the results of our study

  19. 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.

  20. Experimental infection of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with West Nile virus isolates of Euro-Mediterranean and North American origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Amo, Javier; Llorente, Francisco; Figuerola, Jordi; Soriguer, Ramón C; Moreno, Ana M; Cordioli, Paolo; Weissenböck, Herbert; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Angel

    2014-03-19

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic arboviral pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes in a cycle involving wild birds as reservoir hosts. The virus has recently emerged in North America and re-emerged in Europe. North American WNV outbreaks are often accompanied by high mortality in wild birds, a feature that is uncommon in Europe. The reason for this difference is unknown, but the intrinsic virulence of the viruses circulating in each continent and/or the susceptibility to the disease of Palearctic as opposed to Nearctic wild bird species could play a role. To assess this question, experimental inoculations with four lineage 1 WNV strains, three from southern Europe (Italy/2008, Italy/2009 and Spain/2007) and one from North America (NY99) were performed on house sparrows (Passer domesticus), a wild passerine common in both continents. Non-significant differences which ranged from 0% to 25% were observed in mortality for the different WNV strains. Viremias lasted from 1 to 5-6 days post-inoculation (dpi) in all cases; individuals inoculated with NY99 had significantly higher titres than those inoculated with any of the Euro-Mediterranean strains. Remarkably, host competence was found to be higher for NY99 than for the other strains. Consequently, albeit being pathogenic for house sparrows, some Euro-Mediterranean strains had reduced capacity for replication in -and transmission from- this host, as compared to the NY99 strain. If applicable also to other wild bird host species, this relatively reduced transmission capacity of the Euro-Mediterranean strains could explain the lower incidence of this disease in wild birds in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

  1. Are maternal antibodies really that important? Patterns in the immunologic development of altricial passerine house sparrows (Passer domesticus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa O King

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Maternal antibodies are believed to play an integral role in protecting immunologically immature wild-passerines from environmental antigens. This study comprehensively examines the early development of the adaptive immune system in an altricial-developing wild passerine species, the house sparrow (Passer domestics, by characterizing the half-life of maternal antibodies in nestling plasma, the onset of de novo synthesis of endogenous antibodies by nestlings, and the timing of immunological independence, where nestlings rely entirely on their own antibodies for immunologic protection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In an aviary study we vaccinated females against a novel antigen that these birds would not otherwise encounter in their natural environment, and measured both antigen-specific and total antibody concentration in the plasma of females, yolks, and nestlings. We traced the transfer of maternal antibodies from females to nestlings through the yolk and measured catabolisation of maternal antigen-specific antibodies in nestlings during early development. By utilizing measurements of non-specific and specific antibody levels in nestling plasma we were able to calculate the half-life of maternal antibodies in nestling plasma and the time point at which nestling were capable of synthesizing antibodies themselves. Based on the short half-life of maternal antibodies, the rapid production of endogenous antibodies by nestlings and the relatively low transfer of maternal antibodies to nestlings, our findings suggest that altricial-developing sparrows achieve immunologic independence much earlier than precocial birds. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, this is the first in depth analyses performed on the adaptive immune system of a wild-passerine species. Our results suggest that maternal antibodies may not confer the immunologic protection or immune priming previously proposed in other passerine studies. Further research needs

  2. Using nocturnal flight calls to assess the fall migration of warblers and sparrows along a coastal ecological barrier.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam D Smith

    Full Text Available Atmospheric conditions fundamentally influence the timing, intensity, energetics, and geography of avian migration. While radar is typically used to infer the influence of weather on the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of nocturnal bird migration, monitoring the flight calls produced by many bird species during nocturnal migration represents an alternative methodology and provides information regarding the species composition of nocturnal migration. We used nocturnal flight call (NFC recordings of at least 22 migratory songbirds (14 warbler and 8 sparrow species during fall migration from eight sites along the mainland and island coasts of Rhode Island to evaluate five hypotheses regarding NFC detections. Patterns of warbler and sparrow NFC detections largely supported our expectations in that (1 NFC detections associated positively and strongly with wind conditions that influence the intensity of coastal bird migration and negatively with regional precipitation; (2 NFCs increased during conditions with reduced visibility (e.g., high cloud cover; (3 NFCs decreased with higher wind speeds, presumably due mostly to increased ambient noise; and (4 coastal mainland sites recorded five to nine times more NFCs, on average, than coastal nearshore or offshore island sites. However, we found little evidence that (5 nightly or intra-night patterns of NFCs reflected the well-documented latitudinal patterns of migrant abundance on an offshore island. Despite some potential complications in inferring migration intensity and species composition from NFC data, the acoustic monitoring of NFCs provides a viable and complementary methodology for exploring the spatiotemporal patterns of songbird migration as well as evaluating the atmospheric conditions that shape these patterns.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrey, Aaron W; Coon, Courtney A C; Grispo, Michael T; Awad, Mohammed; Imboma, Titus; McCoy, Earl D; Mushinsky, Henry R; Richards, Christina L; Martin, Lynn B

    2012-01-01

    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 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.

  4. Identifying the best season for mapping evergreen swamp and mangrove species using leaf-level spectra in an estuarine system in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Deventer, Heidi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Swamp and mangrove forests are some of the most threatened forest types in the world. In Africa, these forests are essential in providing food, construction material and medicine to people. These forest types have not sufficiently been mapped...

  5. Integrating local ecological knowledge and management practices of an isolated semi-arid papyrus swamp (Loboi, Kenya) into a wider conservation framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terer, Taita; Muasya, A Muthama; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Ndiritu, George G; Triest, Ludwig

    2012-01-01

    The current study documented local utilization of Cyperus papyrus L. (papyrus), harvesting patterns, threats, and local management practices among the Endorois community living around Loboi swamp (Kenya). Papyrus is a highly productive freshwater macrophyte that is widely utilized throughout tropical Africa. However, increased human population and poverty, has led to over exploitation and conversion of papyrus wetlands to agricultural fields. Nonetheless, users of papyrus hold important local ecological knowledge (LEK) and practices. We show that Endorois practices on papyrus uses are compatible with the management priorities of the swamp and a wider conservation framework using data obtained from three focus group discussions (FGD), interviews of 34 households and 15 key informants. The study revealed that papyrus support local livelihood notably as a source of income (papyrus mats are sold), cattle fodder, roofing materials (shelter), and cooking fuel. The study further revealed important LEK relating to harvesting patterns, recovery after harvesting and traditional management practices. Correlation and principal component analyses showed that experienced old harvesters (EXPERT) avoided harvesting repeatedly at the same location (REVISIT), thereby allowing recovery of papyrus when compared to younger harvesters (r = 0.63, p papyrus coverage in the future due to the current diversion of water from the swamp, and frequent droughts, despite the instituted traditional management strategies (e.g. rotational harvesting) to curb overharvesting. The study concluded that the documentation of site-scale papyrus users' profile, LEK, and traditional practices are vital for the conservation and management of Loboi swamp. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Yeast communities in Sphagnum phyllosphere along the temperature-moisture ecocline in the boreal forest-swamp ecosystem and description of Candida sphagnicola sp. nov.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kachalkin, Aleksey V; Yurkov, Andrey M

    2012-06-01

    The effects of the temperature-moisture factors on the phylloplane yeast communities inhabiting Sphagnum mosses were studied along the transition from a boreal forest to a swamp biotope at the Central Forest State Biosphere Reserve (Tver region, Russia). We tested the hypothesis that microclimatic parameters affect yeast community composition and structure even on a rather small spatial scale. Using a conventional plating technique we isolated and identified by molecular methods a total of 15 species of yeasts. Total yeast counts and species richness values did not depend on environmental factors, although yeast community composition and structure did. On average, Sphagnum in the swamp biotope supported a more evenly structured yeast community. Relative abundance of ascomycetous yeasts was significantly higher on swamp moss. Rhodotorula mucilaginosa dominated in the spruce forest and Cryptococcus magnus was more abundant in the swamp. Our study confirmed the low occurrence of tremellaceous yeasts in the Sphagnum phyllosphere. Of the few isolated ascomycetous yeast and yeast-like species, some were differentiated from hitherto known species in physiological tests and phylogenetic analyses. We describe one of them as Candida sphagnicola and designate KBP Y-3887(T) (=CBS 11774(T) = VKPM Y-3566(T) = MUCL 53590(T)) as the type strain. The new species was registered in MycoBank under MB 563443.

  7. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Antimicrobial-Producing Burkholderia sp. Strains, MSh1 and MSh2, Isolated from Malaysian Tropical Peat Swamp Forest Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aw, Yoong Kit; Gan, Han Ming; Yule, Catherine M.; Lee, Sui Mae

    2014-01-01

    We report the draft genome sequences of two antimicrobial-producing isolates, Burkholderia sp. strains MSh1 and MSh2, which were isolated from tropical peat swamp forest soil. Putative genes related to different antimicrobial production have been annotated in both genome sequences. PMID:25301661

  8. Comparing Avocado, Swamp Bay, and Camphortree as Hosts of Raffaelea lauricola Using a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-Labeled Strain of the Pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A S; Ploetz, R C; Rollins, J A

    2017-01-01

    Raffaelea lauricola, a fungal symbiont of the ambrosia beetle Xyleborus glabratus, causes laurel wilt in members of the Lauraceae plant family. North American species in the family, such as avocado (Persea americana) and swamp bay (P. palustris), are particularly susceptible to laurel wilt, whereas the Asian camphortree (Cinnamomum camphora) is relatively tolerant. To determine whether susceptibility is related to pathogen colonization, a green fluorescent protein-labeled strain of R. lauricola was generated and used to inoculate avocado, swamp bay, and camphortree. Trees were harvested 3, 10, and 30 days after inoculation (DAI), and disease severity was rated on a 1-to-10 scale. By 30 DAI, avocado and swamp bay developed significantly more severe disease than camphortree (mean severities of 6.8 and 5.5 versus 1.6, P avocado than camphortree (0.9% versus 0.1%, P avocado (r = 0.74), swamp bay (r = 0.82), and camphortree (r = 0.87), even severely affected trees of all species were scarcely colonized by the pathogen.

  9. Strong and stable geographic differentiation of swamp buffalo maternal and paternal lineages indicates domestication in the China/Indochina border region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Yi; Lu, Yongfang; Yindee, Marnoch; Li, Kuan-Yi; Kuo, Hsiao-Yun; Ju, Yu-Ten; Ye, Shaohui; Faruque, Md Omar; Li, Qiang; Wang, Yachun; Cuong, Vu Chi; Pham, Lan Doan; Bouahom, Bounthong; Yang, Bingzhuang; Liang, Xianwei; Cai, Zhihua; Vankan, Dianne; Manatchaiworakul, Wallaya; Kowlim, Nonglid; Duangchantrasiri, Somphot; Wajjwalku, Worawidh; Colenbrander, Ben; Zhang, Yuan; Beerli, Peter; Lenstra, Johannes A; Barker, J Stuart F

    The swamp type of the Asian water buffalo is assumed to have been domesticated by about 4000 years BP, following the introduction of rice cultivation. Previous localizations of the domestication site were based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation within China, accounting only for the maternal

  10. The genetic basis of variation in clutch size and onset of laying in a wild population of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    OpenAIRE

    Bjerck, Helge Bostwick

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the basis of genetic variation is a general goal in evolutionary biology. Towards this goal, the architectures of the standing genetic variation in two life history traits, clutch size and onset of laying, were investigated in an insular house sparrow population off the coast of Northern Norway. A newly developed 200K SNP-array was used for genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) and genome partitioning. No genome-wide significant or suggestive loci were detected for either trait...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Leonardo Barros Ribeiro; Melissa Gogliath

    2012-01-01

    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 ...

  12. Fully reversible phenotypic plasticity of digestive physiology in young house sparrows: lack of long-term effect of early diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-15

    Feeding conditions during the nestling period may significantly affect whole-life fitness in altricial birds but little is known about the physiological mechanisms responsible for these effects. Permanent changes (irreversible developmental plasticity) in digestive physiology caused by the neonatal diet may form such a mechanism. We previously showed that the lack of starch in the diet of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings between 3 and 12 days post-hatching significantly decreased the activity of intestinal maltase, an enzyme essential for starch digestion. To check whether diet-induced variation in maltase activity in young house sparrows is reversible, we raised them under laboratory conditions from 3 until 30 days of age on diets with either 0% starch or 25% starch, with some individuals experiencing a switch in their assigned diet at 12 days of age. We found evidence for the presence of an internal, presumably genetic, program for changes in the activity of maltase and sucrase, which was, however, significantly affected by diet composition (i.e. environmental factor). Digestive enzyme activity in 30 day old birds was not influenced by diet composition prior to day 12 but instead depended only on diet that was fed between days 12 and 30. We conclude that plasticity in the activity of intestinal disaccharidases in house sparrow nestlings represents completely reversible phenotypic flexibility that can help young sparrows to cope with unpredictable variation in food composition during ontogeny without long-term effects on their digestive system. However, comparison with other species suggests that the magnitude of digestive flexibility in young passerines may be evolutionarily matched to species-specific variation in feeding conditions.

  13. Evolution of Pennsylvanian (Late Carboniferous) peat swamps of the Ruhr Basin, Germany: Comparison of palynological, coal petrographical and organic geochemical data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jasper, K. [Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, Lochnerstr. 4-20, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen (Germany); Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Lochnerstr. 4-20, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen (Germany); Hartkopf-Froeder, C. [Geological Survey North Rhine-Westphalia, de-Greiff-Strasse 195, 47803 Krefeld (Germany); Flajs, G. [Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Lochnerstr. 4-20, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen (Germany); Littke, R. [Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, Lochnerstr. 4-20, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen (Germany)

    2010-09-01

    This study focuses on the reconstruction of the environment during peat swamp development. Eight coal and sedimentary organic rock bearing seam successions were examined all belonging to the Duckmantian (Pennsylvanian, Late Carboniferous). 410 samples were analysed with coal petrographical methods, 155 of these also by palynological methods. In addition, on 55 samples organic geochemical investigations were carried out with respect to n-alkanes and iso-alkanes. The established coal petrographical parameters gelification index (GI), tissue preservation index (TPI), groundwater index (GWI) and vegetation index (VI) were used to characterize different periods of peat swamp development. Furthermore, the new index WCI (= Water Cover Index) was introduced to reflect water level conditions by using the ratio between hydrophilous/hygrophilous and mesophilous plants. In this study the index is based on palynological data but can be equally applied when quantitative macrofloral counts are available. GI versus TPI values show two general trends of peat swamp evolution: low GI and TPI values as indicator for drier swamp conditions like ombrogenous mires and high GI and TPI values which show a trend to water covered environments like topogenous mires. In addition, ash yields and GWI versus VI data also emphasize a general trend from topogenous to ombrogenous mires. A decrease in water level towards the top of the seams and thus resulting in the development of domed mires is reflected by the newly introduced WCI. Hence, these parameters show recurrent peat swamp successions, characterized by mineral- and vitrinite-rich coals, typical for topogenous swamps and an evolution towards inertinite/liptinite-rich coals with low ash yield, typical for ombrogenous swamps. n-alkane ratios like the carbon preference index (CPI), pristane/n-C{sub 17}, phytane/n-C{sub 18}, pristane/phytane and the n-C{sub 17}/n-C{sub 27} relationship indicate a strong correlation of these parameters with

  14. The Analysis of Management and Timber Trade System of Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi From Peat Swamp Forest in South Kalimantan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yudi Firmanul Ariffin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Until now the raw material of wood especially Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi available for supporting the construction of housing and other infrastructures is increasingly large in Indonesia. On the Island of Borneo that partly consists of swamps needs Gelam very large and continuous, particularly for residential development. However, areas of peat swamp forest habitat of this plant from year to year are degradation and shrinkage. This situation is a very big influence on the population of Gelam, while the management and timber trade systems are not well regulated. This study aims to analyze the management and timber trade systems of Gelam particularly in South Kalimantan to provide input to the policy holder in the preservation of Gelam. The method was used a field survey and interviews with traders and policy holders related regulations. The results showed in South Kalimantan the potency of Gelam is only 2,9-7,1 m3/ha and decreasing yearly. Normally Gelam with a diameter <4 cm have been cut down, as well as > 30 cm. These dimensions should not be cut because of <4 cm too young and > 30 cm can be used as seed sources. Gelam derived from peat swamp forest, which mostly comes from the Batola District and some came from Kapuas District of Central Kalimantan. Distributions of Gelam were starting gatherers logging in the forest then sold to small gatherers, next to the large gatherers and distributed to all districts/cities in South Kalimantan, wood processing industries, and some of them were sent to Java. The silviculture system of Gelam was using selective cutting. Classification of wood sizes traded by the diameter divided into 3-4cm, 5-6cm, 7-8cm, 9-10cm, 11-12cm, 13-14cm, 15-19cm and > 20cm to 4m long. Its use consists of a small diameter (3-10cm for foundry building and firewood, while the large diameter (10-20cm for the construction of houses in swampy areas, and waste as well as the stems are bent and deformed used for firewood. Until now Gelam

  15. Seasonal variation of myostatin gene expression in pectoralis muscle of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) is consistent with a role in regulating thermogenic capacity and cold tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, David L; Sabirzhanov, Boris; Vandezande, Amanda; Clark, Timothy G

    2009-01-01

    Winter acclimatization in small birds overwintering in cold climates, including house sparrows (Passer domesticus), is associated with improved cold tolerance, elevated summit metabolic rates (M(sum) = maximum cold-induced metabolic rate), and increased pectoralis muscle mass compared to summer birds. Myostatin is a potent autocrine/paracrine inhibitor of skeletal muscle growth in mammals and birds and is a potential candidate for regulation of seasonal phenotypic flexibility in birds. As a first step toward examining such a role for myostatin in small birds, we measured summer and winter gene expression of myostatin and its potential metalloproteinase activators TLL-1 and TLL-2 in house sparrows from southeastern South Dakota. Gene expression of myostatin decreased significantly in winter, with summer values exceeding winter values by 1.52-fold. Moreover, gene expression of TLL-1 was also significantly reduced in winter, with summer values exceeding winter values by 1.55-fold. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the winter increases in pectoralis muscle mass, M(sum), and cold tolerance in house sparrows are mediated by reduced levels of myostatin and its activator TLL-1, and they suggest the possibility that myostatin may be a common mediator of phenotypic flexibility of muscle mass in birds.

  16. 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

  17. Effects of Supplementation of Eucalyptus (E. Camaldulensis) Leaf Meal on Feed Intake and Rumen Fermentation Efficiency in Swamp Buffaloes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thao, N. T.; Wanapat, M.; Kang, S.; Cherdthong, A.

    2015-01-01

    Four rumen fistulated swamp buffaloes were randomly assigned according to a 4×4 Latin square design to investigate the effects of Eucalyptus (E. Camaldulensis) leaf meal (ELM) supplementation as a rumen enhancer on feed intake and rumen fermentation characteristics. The dietary treatments were as follows: T1 = 0 g ELM/hd/d; T2 = 40 g ELM/hd/d; T3 = 80 g ELM/hd/d; T4 = 120 g ELM/hd/d, respectively. Experimental animals were kept in individual pens and concentrate was offered at 0.3% BW while rice straw was fed ad libitum. The results revealed that voluntary feed intake and digestion coefficients of nutrients were similar among treatments. Ruminal pH, temperature and blood urea nitrogen concentrations were not affected by ELM supplementation; however, ELM supplementation resulted in lower concentration of ruminal ammonia nitrogen. Total volatile fatty acids, propionate concentration increased with the increasing level of EML (pefficiency. PMID:26104399

  18. Water-use dynamics of a peat swamp forest and a dune forest in Maputaland, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clulow, A. D.; Everson, C. S.; Price, J. S.; Jewitt, G. P. W.; Scott-Shaw, B. C.

    2013-05-01

    Peat swamp forests are the second rarest forest type found in South Africa while dune forests have been under severe threat through mining and agriculture. Both forest types exist in the conservation area, and World Heritage site, known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the East coast of South Africa. The area is prone to severe droughts (Taylor et al., 2006) and recent attempts to understand the local water balance revealed that there was insufficient information on the water use of the indigenous forests of the area. The peat swamp forest and dune forest sites studied in this research were located within close proximity to each other, yet, are characterised by different landscape positions in terms of water availability. The coastal dune forest soil profile was generally dry and sandy and the tree roots did not have access to the water table. In contrast the peat swamp forest is located in an interdunal wetland where the trees have permanent access to water. The climate at both sites is subtropical with a mean annual precipitation of 1200 mm yr-1. However, over 20 months of measurement, the first summer (October 2009 to March 2010) was drier (424 versus 735 mm) than the second summer (October 2010 to March 2011) emphasising the variability of the rainfall in the area and providing a wide range of conditions measured. The sap flow of an evergreen, overstory Syzygium cordatum and a semi-deciduous, understory Shirakiopsis elliptica were measured in the peat swamp forest using the heat ratio method. The Syzygium cordatum water use was not highly seasonal and the daily maximum water use ranged from approximately 30 L d-1 in winter to 45 L d-1 in summer whereas the Shirakiopsis elliptica water use was more seasonal at 2 L d-1 in winter and 12 L d-1 in summer. The water use of the Syzygium cordatum was not influenced by seasonal rainfall variations and was actually higher in the drier summer (October 2009 to March 2010). Three trees of different heights were monitored

  19. Water-use dynamics of a peat swamp forest and a dune forest in Maputaland, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Clulow

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Peat swamp forests are the second rarest forest type found in South Africa while dune forests have been under severe threat through mining and agriculture. Both forest types exist in the conservation area, and World Heritage site, known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the East coast of South Africa. The area is prone to severe droughts (Taylor et al., 2006 and recent attempts to understand the local water balance revealed that there was insufficient information on the water use of the indigenous forests of the area. The peat swamp forest and dune forest sites studied in this research were located within close proximity to each other, yet, are characterised by different landscape positions in terms of water availability. The coastal dune forest soil profile was generally dry and sandy and the tree roots did not have access to the water table. In contrast the peat swamp forest is located in an interdunal wetland where the trees have permanent access to water. The climate at both sites is subtropical with a mean annual precipitation of 1200 mm yr−1. However, over 20 months of measurement, the first summer (October 2009 to March 2010 was drier (424 versus 735 mm than the second summer (October 2010 to March 2011 emphasising the variability of the rainfall in the area and providing a wide range of conditions measured. The sap flow of an evergreen, overstory Syzygium cordatum and a semi-deciduous, understory Shirakiopsis elliptica were measured in the peat swamp forest using the heat ratio method. The Syzygium cordatum water use was not highly seasonal and the daily maximum water use ranged from approximately 30 L d−1 in winter to 45 L d−1 in summer whereas the extit{Shirakiopsis elliptica} water use was more seasonal at 2 L d−1 in winter and 12 L d−1 in summer. The water use of the Syzygium cordatum was not influenced by seasonal rainfall variations and was actually higher in the drier summer (October 2009 to March 2010. Three trees of

  20. Estimating population size of the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii in fish-ponds (Brenne, Central France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coignet A.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, was discovered in 2007 in the “Parc naturel régional (PNR de la Brenne” (France. Ten colonized sites have been identified in the park to date, including two new sites discovered in 2011. The present study aims at establishing a protocol suitable for estimating the population size of P. clarkii by the use of a Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR technique in a chain of five connected fish-ponds. Results show different cohorts of individuals among seasons and fish-ponds. However, trapping effort was not efficient enough to obtain an accurate estimate of the population size of this species in a fish-pond larger than 2 − 3 ha. On the other hand, the adopted protocol appeared useful to assess, in smaller fish-ponds, the effect of intensive trapping and other control methods on P. clarkii populations.

  1. Effect of Ground Corn Cob Replacement for Cassava Chip on Feed Intake, Rumen Fermentation and Urinary Derivatives in Swamp Buffaloes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Wanapat

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Four Thai - rumen fistulated male swamp buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis, about four years old with 400±20 kg liveweight, were randomly assigned according to a 4×4 Latin square design to receive dietary treatments. The treatments were: ground corn cob (GCC replacement for cassava chip (CC in concentrate at 0% (T1; GCC replacement at 33% (T2; GCC replacement at 67% (T3; and GCC replacement at 100% (T4, respectively. During the experiment, concentrate was offered at 0.5% BW while 5% urea-treated rice straw was given at ad libitum. The result revealed that there was no effect of GCC replacement on DMI among treatments. In addition, digestibilities of DM, OM and CP were not different while aNDF linearly increased with an increasing level of GCC replacement. However, GCC replacement did not affect rumen fermentation such as ruminal pH, NH3-N and VFA concentration; except C3 proportion which was the highest at 33% replacement while the lowest was at 100% replacement. All replacements of GCC resulted in similar protozoal and bacterial populations and microbial protein synthesis (MPS. Purine derivatives (PD concentration in urine and PD to creatinine (PDC index were varied with time of urination and among treatments at 0 to 8 and 8 to 16 h post feeding and higher values were shown among the GCC replacement groups. However at 16 to 24 h-post feeding, it was untraceable. In addition, creatinine concentration was similar among all treatments at every sampling time. Based on the above results, GCC can be used as an energy source for swamp buffalo fed with rice straw. Spot sampling of urine can be used for purine derivatives determination.

  2. Insect emergence in relation to floods in wet meadows and swamps in the River Dalälven floodplain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinnersten, T Z Persson; Östman, Ö; Schäfer, M L; Lundström, J O

    2014-08-01

    Annual variation in flood frequency and hydroperiod during the vegetation season has ecological impacts on the floodplain biota. Although many insect groups may have a lower emergence during a flood event, it is poorly known how annual emergence of insects in temporary wetlands is related to the variation in hydrology. Between May and September, we studied the weekly emergence of 18 insect taxa over six consecutive years, 2002-2007, in six temporary flooded wetlands (four wet meadows and two forest swamps) in the River Dalälven floodplains, Central Sweden. We used emergence traps to collect emerging insects from terrestrial and aquatic parts of wet meadows and swamp forests. In all wetlands, the insect fauna was numerically dominated by the orders Diptera, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Homoptera. On a weekly basis, 9 out of the 18 insect taxa had lower emergence in weeks with flood than in weeks with no flood, whereas no taxon had a higher emergence in weeks with flood. Over the seasons, we related insect emergence to seasonal flood frequency and length of hydroperiod. The emergence of most studied taxa decreased with increasing hydroperiod, which suggests that emergence after floods do not compensate for the reduced emergence during floods. Only Culicidae and the aquatic Chironomidae sub-families Tanypodinae and Chironominae showed an increase in emergence with increasing hydroperiod, whereas Staphylinidae peaked at intermediate hydroperiod. We conclude that a hydroperiod covering up to 40% of the vegetation season has a significant negative effect on the emergence of most taxa and that only a few taxa occurring in the temporary wetlands are actually favoured by a flood regime with recurrent and unpredictable floods.

  3. Locomotor behavior of wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) in disturbed peat swamp forest, Sabangau, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manduell, Kirsten L; Morrogh-Bernard, Helen C; Thorpe, Susannah K S

    2011-07-01

    This study examined the locomotor behavior of wild Bornean orangutans (P. p. wurmbii) in an area of disturbed peat swamp forest (Sabangau Catchment, Indonesia) in relation to the height in the canopy, age-sex class, behavior (feeding or traveling), and the number of supports used to bear body mass. Backward elimination log-linear modeling was employed to expose the main influences on orangutan locomotion. Our results showed that the most important distinctions with regard to locomotion were between suspensory and compressive, or, orthograde (vertical trunk) and pronograde (horizontal trunk) behavior. Whether orangutans were traveling or feeding had the most important influence on locomotion whereby compressive locomotion had a strong association with feeding, suspensory locomotion had a strong association with travel in the peripheral strata using multiple supports, whereas vertical climb/descent and oscillation showed a strong association with travel on single supports in the core stratum. In contrast to theoretical predictions on positional behavior and body size, age-sex category had a limited influence on locomotion. The study revealed that torso orthograde suspension dominates orangutan locomotion, concurring with previous studies in dipterocarp forest. But, orangutans in the Sabangau exhibited substantially higher frequencies of oscillatory locomotion than observed at other sites, suggesting this behavior confers particular benefits for traversing the highly compliant arboreal environment typical of disturbed peat swamp forest. In addition, torso pronograde suspensory locomotion was observed at much lower levels than in the Sumatran species. Together these results highlight the necessity for further examination of differences between species, which control for habitat. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Calculation method for determination of carbon in the peatand moss litter of forest swamps by ash content of plant substrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. T. Efremova

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out in the lowmountain part of the Kuznetsk Alatau. The spruce stands were studied in the peaty valley of river Tunguzhul and swamp near Agaskyr Lake (valley of river Pechische, basin of river Black Iyus. The objects belong to the group of high ash content flood plain peat lands of cryogenicseries. We have done the evaluation of organic carbon response to physical-chemical properties – decomposition degree, ash content, and bulk density, connected together (r – 0.5–0.7, that in contrast to carbon, is easy determined analytically. Received results according to stepwise regression analysis characterize the strong conditionality predictors of carbon: multiple determination index R2 – 0.86. The highest partial correlation coefficient with the response belongs to the ash content in range (5–68 %. Partial correlation coefficient values of bulk density and decomposition degree is not significant. The determination index (R2 – 0.93, constant and negative coefficient of pair regression analysis are highly significant and evidence of the strong bond of carbon and organic substrate ash content. The relative error of approximation is in the range of 2–8 % and characterizes the high accuracy of prognosis. Including only one indicator (ash content in the calculation formula makes it convenient and simple in practical application for the carbon content prediction on the forest litter, modern peat soils, buried peat and peat-mineral formations with ash content of 5–68 %. We are the first to present the geochemical characteristics of forest swamps peat mine for the KuznetskAlatau intermountain basins.

  5. The biogeographic and evolutionary history of an endemic clade of Middle American sparrows: Melozone and Aimophila (Aves: Passerellidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandoval, Luis; Epperly, Kevin L; Klicka, John; Mennill, Daniel J

    2017-05-01

    The large number of endemic species in Middle America is frequently attributed to the interplay of geographical barriers and historical climatic changes in the region. This process promotes genetic divergence between populations, and given enough time, may yield new species. Animals that inhabit mid-elevation or highland habitats may be disproportionately affected in this way. Genetic analyses of animals in this region allow us to better understand how historical patterns of isolation have influenced the generation of new species in this biodiversity hotspot. We studied the biogeography and systematics of two closely related genera of sparrows (Passerellidae): Melozone and Aimophila. Collectively, this group is distributed from the southwestern United States and southward as far as central Costa Rica. We sampled 81 individuals of 8 Melozone and 2 Aimophila species, from 19 localities distributed throughout their ranges. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and time-calibrated species trees using multilocus sequence data comprised of one mitochondrial gene and five nuclear genes. We conducted an ancestral area reconstruction analysis to determine the probability of ancestral range at each divergent event. Despite analyzing six loci, we were unable to obtain a fully resolved phylogenetic tree. We recovered four main lineages: lineage 1 includes four Melozone species distributed north of Isthmus of Tehuantepec (M. albicollis, M. crissalis, M. aberti, M. fusca); lineage 2 includes three Melozone species distributed south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (M. biarcuata, M. cabanisi, M. leucotis); lineage 3 lineage consists of a single species endemic to the Pacific coast of Mexico (M. kieneri); and lineage 4 includes the more widely distributed sparrows in the genus Aimophila. Our analyses suggest that these genera probably originated during the late Miocene in the Madrean Highlands of southern Mexico. We identified dispersal as the prevalent cause of speciation in

  6. 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.

  7. Chromosome-wide linkage disequilibrium caused by an inversion polymorphism in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, L Y; Maney, D L; Thomas, J W

    2011-01-01

    Chromosomal inversions have been of long-standing interest to geneticists because they are capable of suppressing recombination and facilitating the formation of adaptive gene complexes. An exceptional inversion polymorphism (ZAL2m) in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) is linked to variation in plumage, social behavior and mate choice, and is maintained in the population by negative assortative mating. The ZAL2m polymorphism is a complex inversion spanning >100 Mb and has been proposed to be a strong suppressor of recombination, as well as a potential model for studying neo-sex chromosome evolution. To quantify and evaluate these features of the ZAL2m polymorphism, we generated sequence from 8 ZAL2m and 16 ZAL2 chromosomes at 58 loci inside and 4 loci outside the inversion. Inside the inversion we found that recombination was completely suppressed between ZAL2 and ZAL2m, resulting in uniformly high levels of genetic differentiation (FST=0.94), the formation of two distinct haplotype groups representing the alternate chromosome arrangements and extensive linkage disequilibrium spanning ∼104 Mb within the inversion, whereas gene flow was not suppressed outside the inversion. Finally, although ZAL2m homozygotes are exceedingly rare in the population, occurring at a frequency of chromosomes inside the inversion, refuting its potential status as a non-recombining autosome. PMID:20571514

  8. 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

    2017-01-01

    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......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...... these microorganisms are often hard to isolate and maintain in most laboratory facilities, little background data has been available to identify the species, the studies were time consuming, the state of the art technology in many cases did not permit studies on these groups and they were thought to be economically...... for industrial applications and (4) can serve as indicator species for eco-tox monitoring. This review discusses the assemblages of microorganisms which Sparrow placed into the aquatic phycomycetes, their history in brief and their current phylogenetic placement....

  9. Chromosome-wide linkage disequilibrium caused by an inversion polymorphism in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, L Y; Maney, D L; Thomas, J W

    2011-04-01

    Chromosomal inversions have been of long-standing interest to geneticists because they are capable of suppressing recombination and facilitating the formation of adaptive gene complexes. An exceptional inversion polymorphism (ZAL2(m)) in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) is linked to variation in plumage, social behavior and mate choice, and is maintained in the population by negative assortative mating. The ZAL2(m) polymorphism is a complex inversion spanning > 100 Mb and has been proposed to be a strong suppressor of recombination, as well as a potential model for studying neo-sex chromosome evolution. To quantify and evaluate these features of the ZAL2(m) polymorphism, we generated sequence from 8 ZAL2(m) and 16 ZAL2 chromosomes at 58 loci inside and 4 loci outside the inversion. Inside the inversion we found that recombination was completely suppressed between ZAL2 and ZAL2(m), resulting in uniformly high levels of genetic differentiation (F(ST)=0.94), the formation of two distinct haplotype groups representing the alternate chromosome arrangements and extensive linkage disequilibrium spanning ~104 Mb within the inversion, whereas gene flow was not suppressed outside the inversion. Finally, although ZAL2(m) homozygotes are exceedingly rare in the population, occurring at a frequency of inversion, refuting its potential status as a non-recombining autosome.

  10. Female house sparrows "count on" male genes: experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mate preference in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biard Clotilde

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Females can potentially assess the quality of potential mates using their secondary sexual traits, and obtain "good genes" that increase offspring fitness. Another potential indirect benefit from mating preferences is genetic compatibility, which does not require extravagant or viability indicator traits. Several studies with mammals and fish indicate that the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC influence olfactory cues and mating preferences, and such preferences confer genetic benefits to offspring. We investigated whether individual MHC diversity (class I influences mating preferences in house sparrows (Passer domesticus. Results Overall, we found no evidence that females preferred males with high individual MHC diversity. Yet, when we considered individual MHC allelic diversity of the females, we found that females with a low number of alleles were most attracted to males carrying a high number of MHC alleles, which might reflect a mating-up preference by allele counting. Conclusions This is the first experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mating preferences in an avian species to our knowledge. Our findings raise questions about the underlying mechanisms through which birds discriminate individual MHC diversity among conspecifics, and they suggest a novel mechanism through which mating preferences might promote the evolution of MHC polymorphisms and generate positive selection for duplicated MHC loci.

  11. Non-breeding feather concentrations of testosterone, corticosterone and cortisol are associated with subsequent survival in wild house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koren, Lee; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Burke, Terry; Soma, Kiran K; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Geffen, Eli

    2012-04-22

    Potential mechanistic mediators of Darwinian fitness, such as stress hormones or sex hormones, have been the focus of many studies. An inverse relationship between fitness and stress or sex hormone concentrations has been widely assumed, although empirical evidence is scarce. Feathers gradually accumulate hormones during their growth and provide a novel way to measure hormone concentrations integrated over time. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we measured testosterone, corticosterone and cortisol in the feathers of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in a wild population which is the subject of a long-term study. Although corticosterone is considered the dominant avian glucocorticoid, we unambiguously identified cortisol in feathers. In addition, we found that feathers grown during the post-nuptial moult in autumn contained testosterone, corticosterone and cortisol levels that were significantly higher in birds that subsequently died over the following winter than in birds that survived. Thus, feather steroids are candidate prospective biomarkers to predict the future survival of individuals in the wild.

  12. Food supplements increase adult tarsus length, but not growth rate, in an island population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cleasby Ian R

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variation in food supply during early development can influence growth rate and body size in many species. However, whilst the detrimental effects of food restriction have often been studied in natural populations, how young individuals respond to an artificial increase in food supply is rarely investigated. Here, we investigated both the short-term and long-term effects of providing house sparrow chicks with food supplements during a key period of growth and development and assessed whether providing food supplements had any persistent effect upon adult size (measured here as tarsus length. Results Male nestlings tended to reach higher mass asymptotes than females. Furthermore, brood size was negatively associated with a chick's asymptotic mass. However, providing food supplements had no influence upon the growth rate or the asymptotic mass of chicks. Adults that received food supplements as chicks were larger, in terms of their tarsus length, than adults that did not receive extra food as chicks. In addition, the variation in tarsus length amongst adult males that were given food supplements as chicks was significantly less than the variance observed amongst males that did not receive food supplements. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the food supply chicks experience during a critical developmental period can have a permanent effect upon their adult phenotype. Furthermore, providing extra food to chicks resulted in sex-biased variance in a size-related trait amongst adults, which shows that the degree of sexual size dimorphism can be affected by the environment experienced during growth.

  13. Growth and development of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in response to chronic food restriction throughout the nestling period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killpack, Tess L; Karasov, William H

    2012-06-01

    Birds have evolved phenotypic plasticity in growth and developmental patterns in order to respond to fluctuating environmental conditions and to mitigate the impact of poor feeding on fitness. Chronic food shortage can occur during chick development in the wild, and the responses of altricial birds have not been thoroughly studied. House sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings were raised in the laboratory on age-specific meal sizes (controls) or meal sizes 25% less than age-specific amounts (food-restricted) and analyzed at 6, 9 and 12 days post-hatch for differences in growth and development. Food-restricted birds had significantly reduced body mass and body temperature, but skeletal growth was maintained with respect to controls. Muscle mass was significantly reduced and muscle water content was slightly, though not significantly, higher in food-restricted birds, which may reflect slight developmental immaturity. Assimilation organ masses, summed enzymatic capacity of the intestine and lipid content of the liver were significantly reduced in food-restricted birds. Findings from this study indicate that altricial birds experiencing chronic, moderate food restriction throughout the nestling period may allocate resources to structural growth through energy-saving reductions in mass of assimilation organs and body temperature.

  14. Estradiol modulates neural response to conspecific and heterospecific song in female house sparrows: An in vivo positron emission tomography study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattin, Christine R; Stabile, Frank A; Carson, Richard E

    2017-01-01

    Although there is growing evidence that estradiol modulates female perception of male sexual signals, relatively little research has focused on female auditory processing. We used in vivo 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to examine the neuronal effects of estradiol and conspecific song in female house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We assessed brain glucose metabolism, a measure of neuronal activity, in females with empty implants, estradiol implants, and empty implants ~1 month after estradiol implant removal. Females were exposed to conspecific or heterospecific songs immediately prior to imaging. The activity of brain regions involved in auditory perception did not differ between females with empty implants exposed to conspecific vs. heterospecific song, but neuronal activity was significantly reduced in females with estradiol implants exposed to heterospecific song. Furthermore, our within-individual design revealed that changes in brain activity due to high estradiol were actually greater several weeks after peak hormone exposure. Overall, this study demonstrates that PET imaging is a powerful tool for assessing large-scale changes in brain activity in living songbirds, and suggests that after breeding is done, specific environmental and physiological cues are necessary for estradiol-stimulated females to lose the selectivity they display in neural response to conspecific song.

  15. Temporal and spatial variation in prevalence of the parasite Syngamus trachea in a metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holand, Håkon; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Ringsby, Thor Harald

    2013-09-01

    When investigating parasite-host dynamics in wild populations, a fundamental parameter to investigate is prevalence. This quantifies the percentage of individuals infected in the population. Investigating how prevalence changes over time and space can reveal interesting aspects in the parasite-host relationship in natural populations. We investigated the dynamic between a common avian parasite (Syngamus trachea) in a host metapopulation of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) on the coast of Helgeland in northern Norway. We found that parasite prevalence varied in both time and space. In addition, the parasite prevalence was found to be different between demographic groups in the local populations. Our results reveal just how complex the dynamic between a host and its parasite may become in a fragmented landscape. Although temperature may be an important factor, the specific mechanisms causing this complexity are not fully understood, but need to be further examined to understand how parasite-host interactions may affect the ecological and evolutionary dynamics and viability of host populations.

  16. Carotenoids modulate the effect of coccidian infection on the condition and immune response in moulting house sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pap, Péter László; Vágási, Csongor István; Czirják, Gábor Arpád; Titilincu, Adriana; Pintea, Adela; Barta, Zoltán

    2009-10-01

    In the present study, we experimentally manipulated coccidian parasitism and dietary carotenoid availability in a fully factorial experiment in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus Linnaeus), and tested whether carotenoid supplementation reduces the cost of parasitism in terms of condition, moult and immune responses. We found that coccidians have a significant but transient negative effect on body mass, which can be reduced if birds have access to carotenoid supplementation in their diet. Experimental manipulation had no significant effect on the moulting parameters of the birds measured following coccidian infestation and during the whole moulting period. Carotenoid supplementation increased the plasma carotenoid concentration in both infested and medicated birds treated with a coccidiostatic drug; however, after two months exposure to parasites, plasma carotenoid concentration increased only in the carotenoid-supplemented and medicated group whereas no difference was observed between the carotenoid-supplemented and infested and non-supplemented groups. On the contrary, coccidian infestation was not affected by carotenoid supplementation. Experimental infestation decreased the antibody response to sheep red blood cells (SRBCs), although no significant effect was observed in the capacity of the birds to respond to a mitogenic challenge with phytohemagglutinin. Within the experimentally infested groups birds with carotenoid-supplemented food tended to have an increased anti-SRBC humoral immune response. The positive correlation between coccidian infestation and the strength of the humoral immune response against SRBCs in the non-supplemented and infested groups indicates that this part of the immune system plays an important role in defence against these parasites.

  17. Female house sparrows "count on" male genes: experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mate preference in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggio, Matteo; Biard, Clotilde; Penn, Dustin J; Hoi, Herbert

    2011-02-14

    Females can potentially assess the quality of potential mates using their secondary sexual traits, and obtain "good genes" that increase offspring fitness. Another potential indirect benefit from mating preferences is genetic compatibility, which does not require extravagant or viability indicator traits. Several studies with mammals and fish indicate that the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) influence olfactory cues and mating preferences, and such preferences confer genetic benefits to offspring. We investigated whether individual MHC diversity (class I) influences mating preferences in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Overall, we found no evidence that females preferred males with high individual MHC diversity. Yet, when we considered individual MHC allelic diversity of the females, we found that females with a low number of alleles were most attracted to males carrying a high number of MHC alleles, which might reflect a mating-up preference by allele counting. This is the first experimental evidence for MHC-dependent mating preferences in an avian species to our knowledge. Our findings raise questions about the underlying mechanisms through which birds discriminate individual MHC diversity among conspecifics, and they suggest a novel mechanism through which mating preferences might promote the evolution of MHC polymorphisms and generate positive selection for duplicated MHC loci.

  18. Estradiol modulates neural response to conspecific and heterospecific song in female house sparrows: An in vivo positron emission tomography study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Lattin

    Full Text Available Although there is growing evidence that estradiol modulates female perception of male sexual signals, relatively little research has focused on female auditory processing. We used in vivo 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG positron emission tomography (PET imaging to examine the neuronal effects of estradiol and conspecific song in female house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We assessed brain glucose metabolism, a measure of neuronal activity, in females with empty implants, estradiol implants, and empty implants ~1 month after estradiol implant removal. Females were exposed to conspecific or heterospecific songs immediately prior to imaging. The activity of brain regions involved in auditory perception did not differ between females with empty implants exposed to conspecific vs. heterospecific song, but neuronal activity was significantly reduced in females with estradiol implants exposed to heterospecific song. Furthermore, our within-individual design revealed that changes in brain activity due to high estradiol were actually greater several weeks after peak hormone exposure. Overall, this study demonstrates that PET imaging is a powerful tool for assessing large-scale changes in brain activity in living songbirds, and suggests that after breeding is done, specific environmental and physiological cues are necessary for estradiol-stimulated females to lose the selectivity they display in neural response to conspecific song.

  19. Experimental infection of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with pandemic 2009 H1N1 and swine H1N1 and H3N2 triple reassortant influenza viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Nicole M; Oesterle, Paul T; Poulson, Rebecca L; Jones, Cheryl A; Tompkins, S Mark; Brown, Justin D; Stallknecht, David E

    2013-04-01

    European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) are common peridomestic passerine birds that are often associated with domestic animal production facilities. This association provides a potential means for pathogen transmission between facilities. We inoculated European Starlings and House Sparrows with three non-avian influenza virus strains: two swine isolates (H1N1 and H3N2) and one human isolate representing the H1N1 pandemic strain that originated from swine. No viral shedding was observed in House Sparrows, and shedding was minimal and transient in two of 12 (17%) European Starlings. One of these two infected Starlings seroconverted 14 days after inoculation. These results suggest that these two passerine species are minimally susceptible to current influenza viruses in domestic pigs and therefore pose a negligible risk for transmission between or within swine production facilities.

  20. Integrating local ecological knowledge and management practices of an isolated semi-arid papyrus swamp (Loboi, Kenya) into a wider conservation framework

    OpenAIRE

    Terer, T.; Muasya, A.M.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Ndiritu, G.G.; Triest, L.

    2012-01-01

    The current study documented local utilization of Cyperus papyrus L. (papyrus), harvesting patterns, threats, and local management practices among the Endorois community living around Loboi swamp (Kenya). Papyrus is a highly productive freshwater macrophyte that is widely utilized throughout tropical Africa. However, increased human population and poverty, has led to over exploitation and conversion of papyrus wetlands to agricultural fields. Nonetheless, users of papyrus hold important local...