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Biology Letters (3)
Caramaschi, Doretta (1)
Cardinale, Massimiliano (1)
Costantini, David (1)
Drent, Piet J (1)
Fusani, Leonida (1)
Goymann, Wolfgang (1)
Groothuis, Ton G.G (1)
Koolhaas, Jaap M (1)
Lipar, Joe (1)
Schwabl, Hubert (1)
Year of Publication
Stopover decision during migration: physiological conditions predict nocturnal restlessness in wild passerines
During migration, a number of bird species rely on stopover sites for resting and feeding before and after crossing ecological barriers such as deserts or seas. The duration of a stopover depends on the combined effects of environmental factors, endogenous programmes and physiological conditions. Previous studies indicated that lean birds prolong their refuelling stopover compared with fat birds; however, the quantitative relationship between physiological conditions and stopover behaviour has not been studied yet. Here, we tested in a large sample of free-living birds of three European passerines (whinchats, Saxicola rubetra, garden warblers, Sylvia borin and whitethroats, Sylvia communis) whether the amount of migratory restlessness (Zugunruhe) shown at a stopover site depends on physiological conditions. An integrated measure of condition based on body mass, amount of subcutaneous fat and thickness of pectoral muscles strongly predicted the intensity of Zugunruhe shown in recording cages in the night following capture. These results provide novel and robust quantitative evidence in support of the hypothesis that the amount of energy reserves plays a major role in determining the stopover duration in migratory birds.
bird; migration; stopover; migratory restlessness; Zugunruhe
Selection on personality in a songbird affects maternal hormone levels tuned to its effect on timing of reproduction
Groothuis, Ton G.G
Drent, Piet J
The increase or decrease in yolk androgens over the laying sequence of a clutch in birds may mitigate or enhance, respectively, the disadvantage of the last-hatched chicks, providing a potentially adaptive tool to adjust brood size to food conditions. This variation may involve a genetic component on which Darwinian selection can act. We found that two lines of a wild bird species selected for bold and shy personalities show, respectively, increased and decreased androgen concentrations over the laying sequence. The line showing the increase laid earlier in the season, when food conditions are normally sufficient to raise the whole brood. The line showing the decrease laid later, when food is normally scarce, which may facilitate brood reduction. The results indicate a correlated response in maternal hormone transfer to genetic selection on personality, which relates to ecological conditions.
maternal effects; testosterone; personality; laying date; hatching asynchrony
Aggressive and non-aggressive personalities differ in oxidative status in selected lines of mice (Mus musculus)
Koolhaas, Jaap M
Mice selected for aggression and coping (long attack latency (LAL), reactive coping strategy; short attack latency (SAL), pro-active coping strategy) are a useful model for studying the physiological background of animal personalities. These mice also show a differential stress responsiveness, especially in terms of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis reactivity, to various challenges. Since the stress response can increase the production of reactive oxygen species, we predicted that the basic oxidative status of the lines could differ. We found that LAL showed higher serum antioxidant capacity (OXY) than SAL, while no differences emerged for reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) or the balance between ROMs and OXY, reflecting oxidative stress. Moreover, the lines showed inverse relationships between ROMs or OXY and body mass corrected for age. The results indicate that variation in oxidative status is heritable and linked to personality. This suggests that different animal personalities may be accompanied by differences in oxidative status, which may predict differences in longevity.
oxidative stress; free radicals; antioxidants; personality; glucocorticoids; aggression
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