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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed: February 2015, Week 2

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PubMed Results

1. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 13;10(2):e0117071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117071.

Temporal Trends in Metal Pollution: Using Bird Excrement as Indicator.

Berglund ÅM1, Rainio MJ1, Eeva T1.
Author information:
Section of Ecology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


Past mining and smelting activities have resulted in metal polluted environments all over the world, but long-term monitoring data is often scarce, especially in higher trophic levels. In this study we used bird (Parus major and Ficedula hypoleuca) excrement to monitor metal pollution in the terrestrial environment following 16 years of continuously reduced emissions from a copper/nickel smelter in Finland. In the early 1990s, lead and cadmium concentrations dropped significantly in excrement, but the reduction did not directly reflect the changes in atmospheric emission from the smelter. This is likely due to a continuous contribution of metals also from the soil pool. We conclude that bird excrement can be used to assess changes in the environment as a whole but not specifically changes in atmospheric emission. Inter-annual variation in excrement concentration of especially copper and nickel demonstrates the importance of long-term monitoring to discern significant trends.
PMID: 25680108 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2015 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/plb.12312. [Epub ahead of print]

Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination.

Nunes CE1, Amorim FW, Mayer JL, Sazima M.
Author information:
Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil.


Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit sets in hand-pollination experiments were more than twice those under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these synchronopatric species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinaria to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to the knowledge of orchids. In E. crinipes, pollinaria attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around the bill. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25678071 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3. Br Poult Sci. 2015 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print]

The reproductive response of female ostriches to dietary protein.

Brand TS1, Olivier TR, Gous RM.
Author information:
1 Institute for Animal Production: Elsenburg , Western Cape Department of Agriculture , Private Bag X1, Elsenburg , 7607 , South Africa.


1. A study was conducted with breeding ostriches over two consecutive breeding seasons to determine their response to different concentrations of a well-balanced dietary protein. 2. Five concentrations of protein were fed to both females and males at an intake of 2.5 kg/bird d. The respective diets contained 75, 91, 108, 123 and 140 g protein/kg feed with energy held constant at 9.2 MJ metabolisable energy/kg feed. 3. Egg production (mean ± SE, 39.1 ± 3.6 eggs/female/season) was unaffected by dietary protein concentration. Similarly, no significant trends were found for the number of unfertilised eggs (9.1 ± 1.8), dead-in-shell chicks (8.2 ± 1.3), the number of chicks hatched (19.5 ± 2.5) and change in the mass of females (-16.3 ± 10.2 kg). Egg weight decreased linearly as dietary protein content increased. 4. Age of the ostrich female had a highly significant effect on the number of eggs laid, the number of chicks hatched, the number of dead-in-shell and infertile eggs produced per hen, as well as the mass change of female breeding birds, but did not affect the response of any of these variables to dietary protein content. 5. It was concluded that ostriches do not benefit from dietary protein contents greater than about 75 g/kg when this is fed at a daily total feed intake rate of 2.5 kg/bird during the breeding season.
PMID: 25677946 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

4. Mol Ecol. 2015 Feb 9. doi: 10.1111/mec.13105. [Epub ahead of print]

Post-fragmentation population structure in a cooperative breeding Afrotropical cloud forest bird: emergence of a source-sink population network.

Husemann M1, Cousseau L, Callens T, Matthysen E, Vangestel C, Hallmann C, Lens L.
Author information:
General Zoology, Institute of Biology, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.


The impact of demographic parameters on the genetic population structure and viability of organisms is a long-standing issue in the study of fragmented populations. Demographic and genetic tools are now readily available to estimate census and effective population sizes and migration and gene flow rates with increasing precision. Here we analyzed the demography and genetic population structure over a recent fifteen year time span in five remnant populations of Cabanis's greenbul (Phyllastrephus cabanisi), a cooperative breeding bird in a severely fragmented cloud forest habitat. Contrary to our expectation, genetic admixture and effective population sizes slightly increased, rather than decreased between our two sampling periods. In spite of small effective population sizes in tiny forest remnants, none of the populations showed evidence of a recent population bottleneck. Approximate Bayesian modeling, however, suggested that differentiation of the populations coincided at least partially with an episode of habitat fragmentation. The ratio of meta-Ne to meta-Nc was relatively low for birds, which is expected for cooperative breeding species, while Ne /Nc ratios strongly varied among local populations. While the overall trend of increasing population sizes and genetic admixture may suggest that Cabanis's greenbuls increasingly cope with fragmentation, the time period over which these trends were documented is rather short relative to the average longevity of tropical species. Furthermore, the critically low Nc in the small forest remnants keep the species prone to demographic and environmental stochasticity, and it remains open if, and to what extent, its cooperative breeding behavior helps to buffer such effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25677704 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

5. Am Nat. 2015 Mar;185(3):390-405. doi: 10.1086/679613. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

The Level of an Intracellular Antioxidant during Development Determines the Adult Phenotype in a Bird Species: A Potential Organizer Role for Glutathione.

Romero-Haro AA1, Alonso-Alvarez C.
Author information:
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain.


Abstract Life-history traits are often involved in trade-offs whose outcome would depend on the availability of resources but also on the state of specific molecular signals. Early conditions can influence trade-offs and program the phenotype throughout the lifetime, with oxidative stress likely involved in many taxa. Here we address the potential regulatory role of a single intracellular antioxidant in life-history trade-offs. Blood glutathione levels were reduced in a large sample of birds (zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata) during development using the synthesis inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine (BSO). Results revealed several modifications in the adult phenotype. BSO-treated nestlings showed lower glutathione and plasma antioxidant levels. In adulthood, BSO birds endured greater oxidative damage in erythrocytes but stronger expression of a sexual signal. Moreover, adult BSO females also showed weaker resistance to oxidative stress but were heavier and showed better body condition. Results suggest that low glutathione values during growth favor the investment in traits that should improve fitness returns, probably in the form of early reproduction. Higher oxidative stress in adulthood may be endured if this cost is paid later in life. Either the presence of specific signaling mechanisms or the indirect effect of increased oxidative stress can explain our findings.
PMID: 25674693 [PubMed - in process]

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6. Am Nat. 2015 Mar;185(3):380-9. doi: 10.1086/679612. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Postnatal Growth Rates Covary Weakly with Embryonic Development Rates and Do Not Explain Adult Mortality Probability among Songbirds on Four Continents.

Martin TE1, Oteyza JC, Mitchell AE, Potticary AL, Lloyd P.
Author information:
US Geological Survey, Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812.


Abstract Growth and development rates may result from genetic programming of intrinsic processes that yield correlated rates between life stages. These intrinsic rates are thought to affect adult mortality probability and longevity. However, if proximate extrinsic factors (e.g., temperature, food) influence development rates differently between stages and yield low covariance between stages, then development rates may not explain adult mortality probability. We examined these issues based on study of 90 songbird species on four continents to capture the diverse life-history strategies observed across geographic space. The length of the embryonic period explained little variation (ca. 13%) in nestling periods and growth rates among species. This low covariance suggests that the relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic influences on growth and development rates differs between stages. Consequently, nestling period durations and nestling growth rates were not related to annual adult mortality probability among diverse songbird species within or among sites. The absence of a clear effect of faster growth on adult mortality when examined in an evolutionary framework across species may indicate that species that evolve faster growth also evolve physiological mechanisms for ameliorating costs on adult mortality. Instead, adult mortality rates of species in the wild may be determined more strongly by extrinsic environmental causes.
PMID: 25674692 [PubMed - in process]

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7. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Mar 22;282(1803). pii: 20142523. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2523.

Experimental food supplementation reveals habitat-dependent male reproductive investment in a migratory bird.

Kaiser SA1, Sillett TS2, Risk BB3, Webster MS4.
Author information:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20013, USA.
Department of Statistical Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.


Environmental factors can shape reproductive investment strategies and influence the variance in male mating success. Environmental effects on extrapair paternity have traditionally been ascribed to aspects of the social environment, such as breeding density and synchrony. However, social factors are often confounded with habitat quality and are challenging to disentangle. We used both natural variation in habitat quality and a food supplementation experiment to separate the effects of food availability-one key aspect of habitat quality-on extrapair paternity (EPP) and reproductive success in the black-throated blue warbler, Setophaga caerulescens. High natural food availability was associated with higher within-pair paternity (WPP) and fledging two broods late in the breeding season, but lower EPP. Food-supplemented males had higher WPP leading to higher reproductive success relative to controls, and when in low-quality habitat, food-supplemented males were more likely to fledge two broods but less likely to gain EPP. Our results demonstrate that food availability affects trade-offs in reproductive activities. When food constraints are reduced, males invest in WPP at the expense of EPP. These findings imply that environmental change could alter how individuals allocate their resources and affect the selective environment that drives variation in male mating success.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25673677 [PubMed - in process]

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8. Gigascience. 2014 Dec 11;3(1):26. doi: 10.1186/2047-217X-3-26. eCollection 2014.

Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Project.

Zhang G1, Li B2, Li C3, Gilbert MT4, Jarvis ED5, Wang J6; Avian Genome Consortium.
Author information:
China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; Centre for Social Evolution, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.
China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China.
China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark ; Trace and Environmental DNA laboratory, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6102 Australia.
Department of Neurobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710 USA.
China National GeneBank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083 China ; Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, DK-1165 Copenhagen, Denmark ; Princess Al Jawhara Center of Excellence in the Research of Hereditary Disorders, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 21589 Saudi Arabia ; Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai long, Taipa, Macau, 999078 China ; Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



The evolutionary relationships of modern birds are among the most challenging to understand in systematic biology and have been debated for centuries. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae and two of the five Palaeognathae orders, and used the genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomics analyses (Jarvis et al. in press; Zhang et al. in press). Here we release assemblies and datasets associated with the comparative genome analyses, which include 38 newly sequenced avian genomes plus previously released or simultaneously released genomes of Chicken, Zebra finch, Turkey, Pigeon, Peregrine falcon, Duck, Budgerigar, Adelie penguin, Emperor penguin and the Medium Ground Finch. We hope that this resource will serve future efforts in phylogenomics and comparative genomics.


The 38 bird genomes were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled using a whole genome shotgun strategy. The 48 genomes were categorized into two groups according to the N50 scaffold size of the assemblies: a high depth group comprising 23 species sequenced at high coverage (>50X) with multiple insert size libraries resulting in N50 scaffold sizes greater than 1 Mb (except the White-throated Tinamou and Bald Eagle); and a low depth group comprising 25 species sequenced at a low coverage (~30X) with two insert size libraries resulting in an average N50 scaffold size of about 50 kb. Repetitive elements comprised 4%-22% of the bird genomes. The assembled scaffolds allowed the homology-based annotation of 13,000 ~ 17000 protein coding genes in each avian genome relative to chicken, zebra finch and human, as well as comparative and sequence conservation analyses.


Here we release full genome assemblies of 38 newly sequenced avian species, link genome assembly downloads for the 7 of the remaining 10 species, and provide a guideline of genomic data that has been generated and used in our Avian Phylogenomics Project. To the best of our knowledge, the Avian Phylogenomics Project is the biggest vertebrate comparative genomics project to date. The genomic data presented here is expected to accelerate further analyses in many fields, including phylogenetics, comparative genomics, evolution, neurobiology, development biology, and other related areas.
PMCID: PMC4322804 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25671091 [PubMed]

9. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 10;10(2):e0117920. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117920. eCollection 2015.

Yet another empty forest: considering the conservation value of a recently established tropical nature reserve.

Sreekar R1, Zhang K2, Xu J3, Harrison RD3.
Author information:
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, China; University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Ecology, Conservation, and Environment Center (ECEC), State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China; University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China; World Agroforestry Centre, East Asia Node, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan, China.


The primary approach used to conserve tropical biodiversity is in the establishment of protected areas. However, many tropical nature reserves are performing poorly and interventions in the broader landscape may be essential for conserving biodiversity both within reserves and at large. Between October 2010 and 2012, we conducted bird surveys in and around a recently established nature reserve in Xishuangbanna, China. We constructed a checklist of observed species, previously recorded species, and species inferred to have occurred in the area from their distributions and habitat requirements. In addition, we assessed variation in community composition and habitat specificity at a landscape-scale. Despite the fact that the landscape supports a large area of natural forest habitat (~50,000 ha), we estimate that >40% of the bird fauna has been extirpated and abundant evidence suggests hunting is the primary cause. A large proportion (52%) of the bigger birds (>20 cm) were extirpated and for large birds there was a U-shaped relationship between habitat breadth and extirpation probability. Habitat specificity was low and bird communities were dominated by widespread species of limited conservation concern. We question whether extending tropical protected area networks will deliver desired conservation gains, unless much greater effort is channeled into addressing the hunting problem both within existing protected areas and in the broader landscape.
Free Article
PMID: 25668338 [PubMed - in process]

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10. Sci Total Environ. 2015 Feb 6;514C:77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.095. [Epub ahead of print]

Accumulation of Dechlorane Plus flame retardant in terrestrial passerines from a nature reserve in South China: The influences of biological and chemical variables.

Peng Y1, Wu JP2, Tao L1, Mo L3, Zheng XB1, Tang B1, Luo XJ4, Mai BX4.
Author information:
State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China. Electronic address:
Hainan Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Haikou 571126, China.
State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China.


Although a number of studies have addressed the bioaccumulation of Dechlorane Plus (DP) flame retardant in wildlife, few data are available on terrestrial organisms. This study examined the presence of DP isomers in the muscle tissue of seven terrestrial resident passerine species, i.e., the great tit (Parus major), the oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis), the red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), the light-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis), the streak-breasted scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis), the long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach), and the orange-headed thrush (Zoothera citrina), from a national nature reserve located in South China. The ∑DP (sum of syn-DP and anti-DP) concentrations ranged from 1.2 to 104ng/g lipid weight, with significantly higher levels in insectivorous birds than in omnivorous birds. The overall exposure to DP isomers of the current passerines may be attributed to the intensive release of this pollutant from electronic waste recycling sites and industrial zones in the vicinity of the nature reserve. Species-specific DP isomeric profiles were also found, with significantly greater fanti values (the isomer fractions of anti-DP) in the red-whiskered bulbul and the oriental magpie-robin. Additionally, the fanti values were significantly negatively correlated to ∑DP concentrations for the individual bird samples, suggesting the influence of DP concentrations on the isomeric profiles.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 25666277 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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11. J Evol Biol. 2015 Feb 9. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12595. [Epub ahead of print]

Visual modelling suggests a weak relationship between the evolution of ultraviolet vision and plumage colouration in birds.

Lind O1, Delhey K.
Author information:
Department of Philosophy, Lund University; Department of optometry and Vision Science, The University of Auckland.


Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cones types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV-sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400-425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV-sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather colouration are "matched". This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhance the discrimination of plumage colours of UVS-birds while such an advantage is absent or less pronounced for VS-bird colouration. We test this hypothesis using knowledge of the complex distribution of UVS-cones among birds combined with mathematical modelling of colour discrimination during different viewing conditions. We find no support for the hypothesis, which, combined with previous studies suggests only a weak relationship between UVS-cone vision and plumage colour evolution. Instead we suggest that UVS-cone vision generally favours colour discrimination, which creates a non-specific selection pressure for the evolution of UVS-cones. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25664902 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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12. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015 Feb 7. doi: 10.1002/etc.2925. [Epub ahead of print]

Adverse effects of thiram treated seed ingestion on the reproductive performance and the offspring immune function of the red-legged partridge.

Lopez-Antia A1, Ortiz-Santaliestra ME, García-De Blas E, Camarero PR, Mougeot F, Mateo R.
Author information:
Institute of Research in Game Resources (IREC) CSIC-UCLM-JCCM, Ciudad Real, Spain.


Pesticide research has traditionally focused on compounds with high acute toxicity and/or persistence, but the adverse sublethal effects of pesticides with different properties may also have important consequences on exposed wildlife. The authors studied the effects of thiram, a fungicide used for seed coating with known effects as endocrine disruptor. Red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) (n=16 pairs/treatment group) were feeding wheat treated with 0%, 20% or 100% of the thiram application rate used in autumn (25 days) and late winter (10 days) mimicking cereal sowing periods. The authors studied the effects on reproductive performance, carotenoid-based ornamentation and cellular immune responsiveness of adult partridges, and their relationship with changes in oxidative stress biomarkers and plasma biochemistry. The authors also studied the effect of parental exposure on egg antioxidant content and on the survival, growth and cellular immune response of offspring. Exposure to thiram coated seeds delayed egg laying, reduced clutch size, and affected egg size and eggshell thickness. Partridges exposed to 20% thiram dose exhibited reduced egg fertility and brood size (55% and 28% of controls, respectively). Chick survival was unaffected by parental exposure to treated seeds, but adverse effects on their growth rate and cellular immune response were apparent. These effects on reproduction and immune function may have important demographic consequences on farmland bird populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25663614 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

13. Int J Biometeorol. 2015 Feb 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Empirical evidence of cold stress induced cell mediated and humoral immune response in common myna (Sturnus tristis).

Sandhu MA1, Zaib A, Anjum MS, Qayyum M.
Author information:
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, 46300, Pakistan,


Common myna (Sturnus tristis) is a bird indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that has invaded many parts of the world. At the onset of our investigation, we hypothesized that the immunological profile of myna makes it resistant to harsh/new environmental conditions. In order to test this hypothesis, a number of 40 mynas were caught and divided into two groups, i.e., 7 and 25 °C for 14 days. To determine the effect of cold stress, cell mediated and humoral immune responses were assessed. The macrophage engulfment percentage was significantly (P < 0.05) higher at 25 °C rather than 7 °C either co-incubated with opsonized or unopsonized sheep red blood cells (SRBC). Macrophage engulfment/cell and nitric oxide production behaved in a similar manner. However, splenic cells plaque formation, heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, and serum IgM or IgG production remained non-significant. There was a significant increase of IgG antibody production after a second immunization by SRBC. To the best of our knowledge, these findings have never been reported in the progression of this bird's invasion in frosty areas of the world. The results revealed a strengthened humoral immune response of myna and made this bird suitable for invasion in the areas of harsh conditions.
PMID: 25663442 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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14. Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Feb 3. pii: S0169-5347(15)00006-3. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.01.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Autumn, the neglected season in climate change research.

Gallinat AS1, Primack RB2, Wagner DL3.
Author information:
Department of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Biology, Boston University, 5 Cummington Mall, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-43 Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


Autumn remains a relatively neglected season in climate change research in temperate and arctic ecosystems. This neglect occurs despite the importance of autumn events, including leaf senescence, fruit ripening, bird and insect migration, and induction of hibernation and diapause. Changes in autumn phenology alter the reproductive capacity of individuals, exacerbate invasions, allow pathogen amplification and higher disease-transmission rates, reshuffle natural enemy-prey dynamics, shift the ecological dynamics among interacting species, and affect the net productivity of ecosystems. We synthesize some of our existing understanding of autumn phenology and identify five areas ripe for future climate change research. We provide recommendations to address common pitfalls in autumnal research as well as to support the conservation and management of vulnerable ecosystems and taxa.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25662784 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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15. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2014 Sep;33(3):110-5.

Dermatoses associated with mites other than Sarcoptes.

Ken KM1, Shockman SC, Sirichotiratana M, Lent MP, Wilson ML.
Author information:
Department of Internal Medicine, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, IL, USA.


Mites are arthropods of the subclass Acari (Acarina). Although Sarcoptes is the mite most commonly recognized as a cause of human skin disease in the United States, numerous other mite-associated dermatoses have been described, and merit familiarity on the part of physicians treating skin disease. This review discusses several non-scabies mites and their associated diseases, including Demodex, chiggers, Cheyletiella, bird mites, grain itch, oak leaf itch, grocer's itch, tropical rat mite, snake mite, and Psoroptes.
PMID: 25577848 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

16. Euro Surveill. 2014 Oct 23;19(42). pii: 20937.

Multiple human-to-human transmission from a severe case of psittacosis, Sweden, January-February 2013.

Wallensten A1, Fredlund H, Runehagen A.
Author information:
Public Health Agency of Sweden, Solna, Sweden.


Proven transmission of Chlamydia psittaci between humans has been described on only one occasion previously. We describe an outbreak which occurred in Sweden in early 2013, where the epidemiological and serological investigation suggests that one patient, severely ill with psittacosis after exposure to wild bird droppings, transmitted the disease to ten others: Two family members, one hospital roommate and seven hospital caregivers. Three cases also provided respiratory samples that could be analysed by PCR. All the obtained C. psittaci sequences were indistinguishable and clustered within genotype A. The finding has implications for the management of severely ill patients with atypical pneumonia, because these patients may be more contagious than was previously thought. In order to prevent nosocomial person-to-person transmission of C. psittaci, stricter hygiene measures may need to be applied.
Free Article
PMID: 25358043 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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17. Sci Total Environ. 2015 Jan 1;502:60-9. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.006. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Brominated flame retardant trends in aquatic birds from the Salish Sea region of the west coast of North America, including a mini-review of recent trends in marine and estuarine birds.

Miller A1, Elliott JE2, Elliott KH3, Guigueno MF3, Wilson LK4, Lee S5, Idrissi A6.
Author information:
Department of Applied Biology, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Science and Technology, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada.
Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada.
Science and Technology, Environment Canada, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada.
Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3, Canada.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) increased in many matrices during the 1990s and early 2000s. Since voluntary restrictions and regulations on PBDEs were implemented in North America circa early 2000s, decreases in PBDEs have occurred in many of these same matrices. To examine temporal trends in the North Pacific, we retrospectively analysed PBDEs and eight non-PBDE flame retardants (FR) in eggs of two aquatic bird species, great blue herons, Ardea herodias, and double-crested cormorants, Phalacrocorax auritus, collected along the British Columbia coast, Canada from 1979 to 2012. Increasing PBDE concentrations were observed in both species followed by significant decreases post-2000 for all dominant congeners and ΣPBDE. Non-PBDE FRs were generally undetected in cormorant eggs, or detected at very low levels in heron eggs, except for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). HBCDD, currently unregulated in North America, was not detected in early sampling years; however low concentrations were observed in both species in recent sampling years (2003-2012). Dietary tracers (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) did not change significantly over time, indicating that temporal changes in PBDEs are likely caused by implemented regulations. A comparison with recently published temporal trends of ΣPBDE in marine birds from North America and Europe is given.
Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25241209 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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18. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2014 Aug 5;369(1648). pii: 20130349. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0349.

Identification of major quantitative trait loci underlying floral pollination syndrome divergence in Penstemon.

Wessinger CA1, Hileman LC1, Rausher MD2.
Author information:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.
Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA


Distinct floral pollination syndromes have emerged multiple times during the diversification of flowering plants. For example, in western North America, a hummingbird pollination syndrome has evolved more than 100 times, generally from within insect-pollinated lineages. The hummingbird syndrome is characterized by a suite of floral traits that attracts and facilitates pollen movement by hummingbirds, while at the same time discourages bee visitation. These floral traits generally include large nectar volume, red flower colour, elongated and narrow corolla tubes and reproductive organs that are exerted from the corolla. A handful of studies have examined the genetic architecture of hummingbird pollination syndrome evolution. These studies find that mutations of relatively large effect often explain increased nectar volume and transition to red flower colour. In addition, they suggest that adaptive suites of floral traits may often exhibit a high degree of genetic linkage, which could facilitate their fixation during pollination syndrome evolution. Here, we explore these emerging generalities by investigating the genetic basis of floral pollination syndrome divergence between two related Penstemon species with different pollination syndromes--bee-pollinated P. neomexicanus and closely related hummingbird-pollinated P. barbatus. In an F2 mapping population derived from a cross between these two species, we characterized the effect size of genetic loci underlying floral trait divergence associated with the transition to bird pollination, as well as correlation structure of floral trait variation. We find the effect sizes of quantitative trait loci for adaptive floral traits are in line with patterns observed in previous studies, and find strong evidence that suites of floral traits are genetically linked. This linkage may be due to genetic proximity or pleiotropic effects of single causative loci. Interestingly, our data suggest that the evolution of floral traits critical for hummingbird pollination was not constrained by negative pleiotropy at loci that show co-localization for multiple traits.
© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMCID: PMC4071523 [Available on 2015-08-05]
PMID: 24958923 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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19. J Environ Radioact. 2014 Sep;135:108-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.04.008. Epub 2014 May 7.

(210)Polonium and (210)lead content of marine birds from Southeastern Brazil.

Godoy JM1, Siciliano S2, de Carvalho ZL3, Tavares DC4, de Moura JF2, Godoy ML3.
Author information:
Instituto de Radioproteção e Dosimetria (IRD), Caixa Postal 37750, Barra da Tijuca, 22642-970 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Departamento de Química, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Rua Marquês de São Vicente 225, 22453-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Electronic address:
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, FIOCRUZ, Dept° de Endemias, Grupo de Estudos de Mamíferos Marinhos da Região dos Lagos (GEMM-Lagos), Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480-6° andar, Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21410-210, Brazil.
Departamento de Química, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Rua Marquês de São Vicente 225, 22453-900 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense-UENF, CBB, Laboratório de Ciências Ambientais, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ 28013-602, Brazil.


In this study, we report the (210)Po and (210)Pb concentrations of bone, muscle and liver samples that were obtained from twelve different marine bird species stranded on beaches in the central-north region of Rio de Janeiro State. Both radionuclides were highly concentrated in the liver samples; however, the lowest mean (210)Po/(210)Pb activity ratio (1.3) was observed in bones compared with liver and muscle (16.8 and 13.8, respectively). Among the species that were studied, Fregata magnificens, with a diet based exclusively on fish, had the lowest (210)Pb and (210)Po concentrations and the lowest (210)Po/(210)Pb activity ratio. The (210)Po concentrations in Puffinus spp. liver samples followed a log-normal distribution, with a geometric mean of 300 Bq kg(-1)wet weight. Only two references pertaining to (210)Po in marine birds were found in a Web of Science search of the literature, and each study reported a different concentration value. The values determined in this experiment are consistent with those in one of the previous studies, which also included one of the species studied in this work. No values for (210)Pb in marine birds have been published previously.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 24814720 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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