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Monday, 7 July 2014

Bird research this week on PubMed: July 2014 Week 1

PubMed listing for 'bird' OR 'songbird' excluding references to influenza and flu - July 2014 Week 1

1. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 1;9(7):e101281. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101281. eCollection 2014.

Public support for conserving bird species runs counter to climate change impacts on their distributions.

Lundhede TH1, Jacobsen JB1, Hanley N2, Fjeldså J3, Rahbek C3, Strange N1, Thorsen BJ1.Author information:
1Department of Food and Resource Economics and Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom.
3Natural History Museum of Denmark and Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


There is increasing evidence that global climate change will alter the spatiotemporal occurrences and abundances of many species at continental scales. This will have implications for efficient conservation of biodiversity. We investigate if the general public in Denmark are willing to pay for the preservation of birds potentially immigrating and establishing breeding populations due to climate change to the same extent that they are for native species populations currently breeding in Denmark, but potentially emigrating due to climate change. We find that Danish citizens are willing to pay much more for the conservation of birds currently native to Denmark, than for bird species moving into the country - even when they are informed about the potential range shifts associated with climate change. The only exception is when immigrating species populations are under pressure at European level. Furthermore, people believing climate change to be man-made and people more knowledgeable about birds tended to have higher WTP for conservation of native species, relative to other people, whereas their preferences for conserving immigrant species generally resembled those of other people. Conservation investments rely heavily on public funding and hence on public support. Our results suggest that cross-country coordination of conservation efforts under climate change will be challenging in terms of achieving an appropriate balance between cost-effectiveness in adaptation and the concerns of a general public who seem mostly worried about protecting currently-native species.
PMCID: PMC4077775 Free Article
PMID: 24984055 [PubMed - in process]
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2. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 1;9(7):e101495. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101495. eCollection 2014.

The influence of weather and lemmings on spatiotemporal variation in the abundance of multiple avian guilds in the arctic.

Robinson BG1, Franke A2, Derocher AE1.Author information:
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
2Canadian Circumpolar Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Climate change is occurring more rapidly in the Arctic than other places in the world, which is likely to alter the distribution and abundance of migratory birds breeding there. A warming climate can provide benefits to birds by decreasing spring snow cover, but increases in the frequency of summer rainstorms, another product of climate change, may reduce foraging opportunities for insectivorous birds. Cyclic lemming populations in the Arctic also influence bird abundance because Arctic foxes begin consuming bird eggs when lemmings decline. The complex interaction between summer temperature, precipitation, and the lemming cycle hinder our ability to predict how Arctic-breeding birds will respond to climate change. The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between annual variation in weather, spring snow cover, lemming abundance and spatiotemporal variation in the abundance of multiple avian guilds in a tundra ecosystem in central Nunavut, Canada: songbirds, shorebirds, gulls, loons, and geese. We spatially stratified our study area based on vegetation productivity, terrain ruggedness, and freshwater abundance, and conducted distance sampling to estimate strata-specific densities of each guild during the summers of 2010-2012. We also monitored temperature, rainfall, spring snow cover, and lemming abundance each year. Spatial variation in bird abundance matched what was expected based on previous ecological knowledge, but weather and lemming abundance also significantly influenced the abundance of some guilds. In particular, songbirds were less abundant during the cool, wet summer with moderate snow cover, and shorebirds and gulls declined with lemming abundance. The abundance of geese did not vary over time, possibly because benefits created by moderate spring snow cover were offset by increased fox predation when lemmings were scarce. Our study provides an example of a simple way to monitor the correlation between weather, spring snow cover, lemming abundance, and spatiotemporal variations in Arctic-breeding birds.
PMCID: PMC4077800 Free Article
PMID: 24983471 [PubMed - in process]
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3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 30. pii: 201410111. [Epub ahead of print]

Pleistocene range dynamics and episodic rarity in an extinct bird.

Peterson AT.Author information:
Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045
PMID: 24982191 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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4. FEMS Yeast Res. 2014 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/1567-1364.12179. [Epub ahead of print]

Yeasts vectored by migratory birds collected in the Mediterranean island of Ustica and description of Phaffomyces usticensis f.a. sp. nov., a new species related to the cactus ecoclade.

Francesca N1, Carvalho C, Sannino C, Guerreiro MA, Almeida PM, Settanni L, Massa B, Sampaio JP, Moschetti G.Author information:
1Department of Agricultural and Forest Science, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Ed. 4, 90128, Palermo, Italy; Centro de Recursos Microbiológicos, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516, Caparica, Portugal.


Nine yeast species belonging to genera Candida, Cryptococcus, Phaffomyces, Rhodotorula and Wickerhamomyces, and one species of Aureobasidium genera were isolated from the cloaca of migratory birds. Candida glabrata and C. inconspicua were the species most frequently isolated and Wickerhamomyces sylviae, that has been recently described as a new species isolated from bird cloaca, was once again found. The majority of isolates showed ability to grow up to 40 °C and/or at pH 3.0, two environmental conditions typical of the digestive tract of birds. The phylogenetic analysis of the D1/D2 domain of 26S rRNA placed the cultures of Phaffomyces in a new lineage that differed from the closest species, P. opuntiae, by 13 nucleotide substitutions. The new species was able to grow at 40 °C and at pH 2.5, which suggests a possible adaptation to the bird cloaca. Moreover, the ability to grow in the presence of digitonin at pH 3.7 and the assimilation of ethyl acetate indicates a potential cactophilic origin. For the first time, the presence of yeasts belonging to the Phaffomyces clade in Europe and also in non-cactus environments is reported. The new species is formally described as Phaffomyces usticensis sp. nov. (PYCC 6346T = CBS 12958T ). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 24981278 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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5. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 1;111(26):9521-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1401949111. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

Herbivore diet breadth mediates the cascading effects of carnivores in food webs.

Singer MS1, Lichter-Marck IH2, Farkas TE3, Aaron E4, Whitney KD5, Mooney KA6.Author information:
1Department of Biology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459;
2Department of Biology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459;
3Department of Biology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459;Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom;
4Department of Computer Science, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604;
5Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131; and.
6Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697.


Predicting the impact of carnivores on plants has challenged community and food web ecologists for decades. At the same time, the role of predators in the evolution of herbivore dietary specialization has been an unresolved issue in evolutionary ecology. Here, we integrate these perspectives by testing the role of herbivore diet breadth as a predictor of top-down effects of avian predators on herbivores and plants in a forest food web. Using experimental bird exclosures to study a complex community of trees, caterpillars, and birds, we found a robust positive association between caterpillar diet breadth (phylodiversity of host plants used) and the strength of bird predation across 41 caterpillar and eight tree species. Dietary specialization was associated with increased enemy-free space for both camouflaged (n = 33) and warningly signaled (n = 8) caterpillar species. Furthermore, dietary specialization was associated with increased crypsis (camouflaged species only) and more stereotyped resting poses (camouflaged and warningly signaled species), but was unrelated to caterpillar body size. These dynamics in turn cascaded down to plants: a metaanalysis (n = 15 tree species) showed the beneficial effect of birds on trees (i.e., reduced leaf damage) decreased with the proportion of dietary specialist taxa composing a tree species' herbivore fauna. We conclude that herbivore diet breadth is a key functional trait underlying the trophic effects of carnivores on both herbivores and plants.
PMID: 24979778 [PubMed - in process]
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6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 16. pii: 201401526. [Epub ahead of print]

Drastic population fluctuations explain the rapid extinction of the passenger pigeon.

Hung CM1, Shaner PJ1, Zink RM2, Liu WC3, Chu TC4, Huang WS5, Li SH6.Author information:
1Department of Life Science and.
2Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, and Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108;
3Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan;
4Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan;
5Department of Biology, National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung 404, Taiwan; andDepartment of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
6Department of Life Science and


To assess the role of human disturbances in species' extinction requires an understanding of the species population history before human impact. The passenger pigeon was once the most abundant bird in the world, with a population size estimated at 3-5 billion in the 1800s; its abrupt extinction in 1914 raises the question of how such an abundant bird could have been driven to extinction in mere decades. Although human exploitation is often blamed, the role of natural population dynamics in the passenger pigeon's extinction remains unexplored. Applying high-throughput sequencing technologies to obtain sequences from most of the genome, we calculated that the passenger pigeon's effective population size throughout the last million years was persistently about 1/10,000 of the 1800's estimated number of individuals, a ratio 1,000-times lower than typically found. This result suggests that the passenger pigeon was not always super abundant but experienced dramatic population fluctuations, resembling those of an "outbreak" species. Ecological niche models supported inference of drastic changes in the extent of its breeding range over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. An estimate of acorn-based carrying capacity during the past 21,000 y showed great year-to-year variations. Based on our results, we hypothesize that ecological conditions that dramatically reduced population size under natural conditions could have interacted with human exploitation in causing the passenger pigeon's rapid demise. Our study illustrates that even species as abundant as the passenger pigeon can be vulnerable to human threats if they are subject to dramatic population fluctuations, and provides a new perspective on the greatest human-caused extinction in recorded history.
PMID: 24979776 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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7. Conserv Biol. 2014 Jun 27. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12324. [Epub ahead of print]

Predicting the Spatial Distribution of a Seabird Community to Identify Priority Conservation Areas in the Timor Sea.

Lavers JL1, Miller MG, Carter MJ, Swann G, Clarke RH.Author information:
1School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Building 17, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.


Understanding spatial and temporal variability in the distribution of species is fundamental to the conservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems. To support strategic decision making aimed at sustainable management of the oceans, such as the establishment of protected areas for marine wildlife, we identified areas predicted to support multispecies seabird aggregations in the Timor Sea. We developed species distribution models for 21 seabird species based on at-sea survey observations from 2000-2013 and oceanographic variables (e.g., bathymetry). We applied 4 statistical modeling techniques and combined the results into an ensemble model with robust performance. The ensemble model predicted the probability of seabird occurrence in areas where few or no surveys had been conducted and demonstrated 3 areas of high seabird richness that varied little between seasons. These were located within 150 km of Adele Island, Ashmore Reef, and the Lacepede Islands, 3 of the largest aggregations of breeding seabirds in Australia. Although these breeding islands were foci for high species richness, model performance was greatest for 3 nonbreeding migratory species that would have been overlooked had regional monitoring been restricted to islands. Our results indicate many seabird hotspots in the Timor Sea occur outside existing reserves (e.g., Ashmore Reef Marine Reserve), where shipping, fisheries, and offshore development likely pose a threat to resident and migratory populations. Our results highlight the need to expand marine spatial planning efforts to ensure biodiversity assets are appropriately represented in marine reserves. Correspondingly, our results support the designation of at least 4 new important bird areas, for example, surrounding Adele Island and Ashmore Reef. Pronostico de la Distribución Espacial de una Comunidad de Aves Marinas para Identificar Áreas Prioritarias de Conservación en el Mar de Timor.
© 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
PMID: 24976050 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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8. Vaccine. 2014 Jun 24. pii: S0264-410X(14)00878-0. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.077. [Epub ahead of print]

A colonisation-inhibition culture consisting of Salmonella Enteritidis and Typhimurium ΔhilAssrAfliG strains protects against infection by strains of both serotypes in broilers.

De Cort W1, Mot D1, Haesebrouck F1, Ducatelle R1, Van Immerseel F2.Author information:
1Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.
2Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address:


Consumption of contaminated poultry meat is still an important cause of Salmonella infections in humans and there is a need for control methods that protect broilers from day-of-hatch until slaughter age against infection with Salmonella. Colonisation-inhibition, a concept in which a live Salmonella strain is orally administered to day-old chickens and protects against subsequent challenge, can potentially be used as control method. In this study, the efficacy of a Salmonella Typhimurium ΔhilAssrAfliG strain as a colonisation-inhibition strain for protection of broilers against Salmonella Typhimurium was evaluated. Administration of a Salmonella Typhimurium ΔhilAssrAfliG strain to day-old broiler chickens decreased faecal shedding and strongly reduced caecal and internal organ colonisation of a Salmonella Typhimurium challenge strain administered one day later using a seeder bird model. In addition, it was verified whether a colonisation-inhibition culture could be developed that protects against both Salmonella Enteritidis and Typhimurium. Therefore, the Salmonella Typhimurium ΔhilAssrAfliG strain was orally administered simultaneously with a Salmonella Enteritidis ΔhilAssrAfliG strain to day-old broiler chickens, which resulted in a decreased caecal and internal organ colonisation for both a Salmonella Enteritidis and a Salmonella Typhimurium challenge strain short after hatching, using a seeder bird model. The combined culture was not protective against Salmonella Paratyphi B varietas Java challenge, indicating serotype-specific protection mechanisms. The data suggest that colonisation-inhibition can potentially be used as a versatile control method to protect poultry against several Salmonella serotypes.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
PMID: 24975814 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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9. Conserv Biol. 2014 Jun 27. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12319. [Epub ahead of print]

Optimal Management of a Multispecies Shorebird Flyway under Sea-Level Rise.

Iwamura T1, Fuller RA, Possingham HP.Author information:
1Department of Biology and Department of Environmental Earth System Science, 473 Via Ortega, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, U.S.A.; Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, 4072, Australia.


Every year, millions of migratory shorebirds fly through the East Asian-Australasian Flyway between their arctic breeding grounds and Australasia. This flyway includes numerous coastal wetlands in Asia and the Pacific that are used as stopover sites where birds rest and feed. Loss of a few important stopover sites through sea-level rise (SLR) could cause sudden population declines. We formulated and solved mathematically the problem of how to identify the most important stopover sites to minimize losses of bird populations across flyways by conserving land that facilitates upshore shifts of tidal flats in response to SLR. To guide conservation investment that minimizes losses of migratory bird populations during migration, we developed a spatially explicit flyway model coupled with a maximum flow algorithm. Migratory routes of 10 shorebird taxa were modeled in a graph theoretic framework by representing clusters of important wetlands as nodes and the number of birds flying between 2 nodes as edges. We also evaluated several resource allocation algorithms that required only partial information on flyway connectivity (node strategy, based on the impacts of SLR at nodes; habitat strategy, based on habitat change at sites; population strategy, based on population change at sites; and random investment). The resource allocation algorithms based on flyway information performed on average 15% better than simpler allocations based on patterns of habitat loss or local bird counts. The Yellow Sea region stood out as the most important priority for effective conservation of migratory shorebirds, but investment in this area alone will not ensure the persistence of species across the flyway. The spatial distribution of conservation investments differed enormously according to the severity of SLR and whether information about flyway connectivity was used to guide the prioritizations. With the rapid ongoing loss of coastal wetlands globally, our method provides insight into efficient conservation planning for migratory species. Gestión Óptima de una Ruta Migratoria de Múltiples Especies de Aves Costeras Sometida a Incremento del Nivel del Mar.
© 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
PMID: 24975747 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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