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Sample records for blue tit parus

  1. Paternity analysis reveals opposing selection pressures on crown coloration in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus).

    PubMed Central

    Delhey, Kaspar; Johnsen, Arild; Peters, Anne; Andersson, Staffan; Kempenaers, Bart

    2003-01-01

    In socially monogamous species, extra-pair paternity can increase the variance in reproductive success and thereby the potential for sexual selection on male ornaments. We studied whether male secondary sexual ornaments are selected through within- and/or extra-pair reproductive success in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus). Male blue tits display a bright blue crown plumage, which reflects substantially in the ultraviolet (UV) and previously has been indicated to be an important sexual signal. We show that males with a more UV-shifted crown hue were less cuckolded, which probably resulted from female preference for more ornamented mates. By contrast, however, older males and males with a less UV-shifted hue sired more extra-pair young. This probably did not reflect direct female preference, since cuckolders were not less UV-ornamented than the males they cuckolded. Alternatively, a trade-off between UV ornamentation and other traits that enhance extra-pair success could explain this pattern. Our results might reflect two alternative male mating tactics, where more UV-ornamented males maximize within-pair success and less UV-ornamented males maximize extra-pair success. Since crown colour was selected in opposite directions by within-pair and extra-pair paternity, directional selection through extra-pair matings seemed weak, at least in this population and breeding season. Reduced intensity of sexual selection due to alternative mating tactics constitutes a potential mechanism maintaining additive genetic variance of male ornaments. PMID:14561295

  2. Survival costs of reproduction in the blue tit (Parus caeruleus): a role for blood parasites?

    PubMed Central

    Stjernman, Martin; Råberg, Lars; Nilsson, Jan-Ake

    2004-01-01

    One of the central tenets in life-history theory is that there is a trade-off between current and future reproduction (i.e. a cost of reproduction). The mechanism for this cost of reproduction is, however, largely unknown. One hypothesis is that the high workload during reproduction compromises resistance to parasites and that the resulting increase in parasitaemia has negative effects on the prospects of future survival. Although empirical evidence for a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance exists, the causal relationships between reproductive effort, parasite resistance and future reproduction are still unclear. We use a path analytical approach to investigate whether a change in parasite resistance (as measured by intensities of infections by the blood parasite Haemoproteus) after manipulation of reproductive effort, translates into altered survival in female blue tits. Our results show a negative relationship between reproductive effort and parasite resistance, although evident only in first-year breeders. Moreover, we found survival costs of reproduction in first-year breeders. These costs were, however, not mediated by the blood parasite studied. PMID:15556892

  3. Breeding success and lutein availability in great tit ( Parus major)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sillanpää, Saila; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Eeva, Tapio

    2009-11-01

    The relationship among temporal variation in the availability of carotenoid-rich food, tissue carotenoid levels and breeding success are poorly known. We studied how diet quality and quantity affect the carotenoid profile and fledging success of great tit ( Parus major) nestlings along a pollution gradient. We found declining seasonal trend in lutein concentration of caterpillars, which may be the explanation for the declining trend in nestlings' lutein concentration of plasma with season, despite the increase in caterpillar biomass. This may be because the biomass of most lutein-rich caterpillars (autumnal moths) decreased and less lutein-rich caterpillars (sawflies) increased during the breeding season. The temporal difference in occurrence of different caterpillar species means that peak lutein availability does not coincide with peak caterpillar abundance. However the positive association between total larval biomass and the number of great tit fledglings may suggest that fledging success depends more on total caterpillar availability than on lutein concentration of caterpillars.

  4. Aromatic herbs in Corsican blue tit nests: The 'Potpourri' hypothesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambrechts, Marcel M.; Dos Santos, Anabelle

    2000-05-01

    This study reports that Corsican blue tit ( Parus caeruleus ogliastrae) nests contain between one to five aromatic herb species between the onset of egg laying till the chicks' finished growth 13 d after hatching. An herb removal experiment during the chick stage shows that blue tits bring fresh aromatic material 1-5 d after herb removal. Nests with a series of distinct odour classes easily perceived by humans have never been reported in birds. A new 'Potpourri' hypothesis is proposed that may explain the functional significance of this behaviour.

  5. Inbreeding and divorce in blue and great tits.

    PubMed

    Kempenaers; Adriaensen; Dhondt

    1998-09-01

    In blue tits, Parus caeruleus, and other wild birds, matings between close relatives or between genetically similar individuals are associated with fitness costs, often in terms of lower hatching success of the eggs. If individuals cannot assess their genetic similarity to potential mates, those fitness costs may be hard to avoid; however, they may use the proportion of unhatched eggs in their clutch as a cue for their mate choice in the next season. We tested this hypothesis using data from a long-term population study on blue and great tits, Parus major. Divorce in response to inbreeding depression can be considered a special case of the 'incompatibility hypothesis'. As predicted from this hypothesis, both male and female blue tits benefited from divorce when part of their clutch failed to hatch. There was no evidence however, that divorce in blue or great tits was related to the presence of unhatched eggs in the nest. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour PMID:9784224

  6. Realized heritability of personalities in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Drent, Pieter J; van Oers, Kees; van Noordwijk, Arie J

    2003-01-01

    Behaviour under conditions of mild stress shows consistent patterns in all vertebrates: exploratory behaviour, boldness, aggressiveness covary in the same way. The existence of highly consistent individual variation in these behavioural strategies, also referred to as personalities or coping styles, allows us to measure the behaviour under standardized conditions on birds bred in captivity, link the standardized measurements to the behaviour under natural conditions and measure natural selection in the field. We have bred the great tit (Parus major), a classical model species for the study of behaviour under natural conditions, in captivity. Here, we report a realized heritability of 54 +/- 5% for early exploratory behaviour, based on four generations of bi-directional artificial selection. In addition to this, we measured hand-reared juveniles and their wild-caught parents in the laboratory. The heritability found in the mid-offspring-mid-parent regression was significantly different from zero. We have thus established the presence of considerable amounts of genetic variation for personality types in a wild bird. PMID:12590770

  7. Leptin depresses food intake in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Lõhmus, Mare; Sundström, L Fredrik; El Halawani, Mohammed; Silverin, Bengt

    2003-03-01

    Food availability for wild organisms typically varies both in time and space, requiring a mechanism that regulates the storage of excess energy and makes it possible to use stores during energy shortfall. Leptin, a protein hormone encoded by an obesity gene, has been suggested to be the signal mediator for this flux of energy. In a controlled laboratory experiment on caged great tits (Parus major) we evaluated the effect of leptin on food intake and behaviour. Experimental birds were given an intramuscular injection of 10 microg leptin dissolved in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), while the control birds were injected with PBS only at 09:00 h after a night's fasting. Within the first 20 min after injections we observed a significant difference in food intake between groups: control birds initially fed at higher rates compared to leptin treated birds. The cumulative food intake suggested that the effect of leptin disappeared after approximately 40-50 min post-injections. Similar results have previously been found in domesticated chickens. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show that leptin depresses food intake in wild birds. PMID:12620247

  8. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Stuber, Erica F.; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C.

    2016-01-01

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection. PMID:26739645

  9. Evolution of enlarged body size of coal tits Parus ater in geographic isolation from two larger competitors, the crested tit Parus cristatus and the willow tit Parus montanus, on six Scandinavian islands.

    PubMed

    Norberg, R Åke; Lindhe Norberg, Ulla M

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report that on six widely separated Scandinavian islands, the coal tit Parus ater has evolved morphologically in the direction of two absent competitors, the crested tit P. cristatus and the willow tit P. montanus, to the effect that it is up to 10% larger in linear dimensions than conspecifics on the adjacent Swedish mainland, where all three species coexist. The large size is genetically determined, as ascertained by clutch exchange experiments between island and mainland nests. We conclude that the increased size of P. ater in places where it is geographically isolated from its larger congeners is the result of evolutionary adaptation, due ultimately to relaxed interspecific competition. On the islands, P. ater has evolved into a medium-sized generalist, with selection pressures likely governed by the following causal relationships. When competitors are lacking, P. ater takes over the foraging space of the absentees. The enlarged food base allows higher population densities, which intensifies intraspecific interference competition. This, in turn, selects for increased body size. When P. ater coexists with its larger congeners, it occupies peripheral foraging sites in trees, which requires excellent manoeuvrability and energy-expensive locomotion modes. Reduction of body size increases locomotor capacity for mechanical and aerodynamic reasons and lowers energy consumption, so small size is favoured in sympatry. But in geographic isolation, P. ater exploits the tree periphery less and the inner tree regions more, and it also adopts the easier locomotion modes of the absent species. Therefore, selection for manoeuvrability and a small body size is relaxed. The new selection regime shifts the balance between opposing selection forces towards a larger body size. We were able to test 11 alternative hypotheses and available evidence conclusively eliminates them all. As a result, here, evolution could be predicted regarding both direction and amount of change

  10. Evolution of enlarged body size of coal tits Parus ater in geographic isolation from two larger competitors, the crested tit Parus cristatus and the willow tit Parus montanus, on six Scandinavian islands

    PubMed Central

    Norberg, R. Åke; Lindhe Norberg, Ulla M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Here, we report that on six widely separated Scandinavian islands, the coal tit Parus ater has evolved morphologically in the direction of two absent competitors, the crested tit P. cristatus and the willow tit P. montanus, to the effect that it is up to 10% larger in linear dimensions than conspecifics on the adjacent Swedish mainland, where all three species coexist. The large size is genetically determined, as ascertained by clutch exchange experiments between island and mainland nests. We conclude that the increased size of P. ater in places where it is geographically isolated from its larger congeners is the result of evolutionary adaptation, due ultimately to relaxed interspecific competition. On the islands, P. ater has evolved into a medium-sized generalist, with selection pressures likely governed by the following causal relationships. When competitors are lacking, P. ater takes over the foraging space of the absentees. The enlarged food base allows higher population densities, which intensifies intraspecific interference competition. This, in turn, selects for increased body size. When P. ater coexists with its larger congeners, it occupies peripheral foraging sites in trees, which requires excellent manoeuvrability and energy-expensive locomotion modes. Reduction of body size increases locomotor capacity for mechanical and aerodynamic reasons and lowers energy consumption, so small size is favoured in sympatry. But in geographic isolation, P. ater exploits the tree periphery less and the inner tree regions more, and it also adopts the easier locomotion modes of the absent species. Therefore, selection for manoeuvrability and a small body size is relaxed. The new selection regime shifts the balance between opposing selection forces towards a larger body size. We were able to test 11 alternative hypotheses and available evidence conclusively eliminates them all. As a result, here, evolution could be predicted regarding both direction and amount of

  11. Long-term variation in hemoglobin concentration in nestling great tits Parus major.

    PubMed

    Kaliński, Adam; Bańbura, Mirosława; Glądalski, Michał; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Cyżewska, Iwona; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2015-07-01

    Several studies have previously proposed that blood hemoglobin concentration in nestling passerines is a reliable index of individual condition and nutritional state. In this paper we present results concerning variation in hemoglobin concentration in the blood of ca. 14-day-old nestling great tits Parus major in central Poland in an 11-year-long period, 2003-2013, in two distinct habitat types: urban park and deciduous forest. The most important findings of the study were: (i) variation in hemoglobin concentration was consistent within broods, (ii) hemoglobin concentration of nestlings varied markedly across years, (iii) hemoglobin concentration was significantly higher in the forest study site which is richer in terms of food abundance during the short period of tits breeding season and (iv) high hemoglobin level was a predictor of nestling survival from hatching to fledging. PMID:25770667

  12. Within- and among-clutch variation of organohalogenated contaminants in eggs of great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, E; Dauwe, T; Covaci, A; Jaspers, V L B; Pinxten, R; Eens, M

    2006-11-01

    In this study we investigated the variation of organohalogenated compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), within and among clutches of a small insectivorous songbird, the great tit (Parus major), and determined whether egg laying order affects the concentrations of these compounds. PCBs were the major organohalogenated contaminants in the eggs of great tits (mean 4778 ng/g lipid weight), while PBDEs (mean 204 ng/g lipid weight) and DDTs (mean 601 ng/g lipid weight) were found at much lower concentrations. Within-clutch variability of PCBs, PBDEs, and DDTs residues in the egg samples was small (7%, 3%, and 22%, respectively) compared to among-clutch variability (93%, 97%, and 78%, respectively). The small within-clutch variability may be in part related to the small home range of great tits and low spatial heterogeneity of the contaminants. We found no laying order effects on the concentrations of PCBs, PBDEs, and DDTs. Our results show that random egg samples of great tits are suitable as a biomonitoring tool for contamination with persistent organohalogenated pollutants in terrestrial environments. PMID:16530307

  13. Natal dispersal and personalities in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed Central

    Dingemanse, Niels J; Both, Christiaan; van Noordwijk, Arie J; Rutten, Anne L; Drent, Piet J

    2003-01-01

    Dispersal is a major determinant of the dynamics and genetic structure of populations, and its consequences depend not only on average dispersal rates and distances, but also on the characteristics of dispersing and philopatric individuals. We investigated whether natal dispersal correlated with a predisposed behavioural trait: exploratory behaviour in novel environments. Wild great tits were caught in their natural habitat, tested the following morning in the laboratory using an open field test and released at the capture site. Natal dispersal correlated positively with parental and individual exploratory behaviour, using three independent datasets. First, fast-exploring parents had offspring that dispersed furthest. Second, immigrants were faster explorers than locally born birds. Third, post-fledging movements, comprising a major proportion of the variation in natal dispersal distances, were greater for fast females than for slow females. These findings suggest that parental behaviour influenced offspring natal dispersal either via parental behaviour per se (e.g. via post-fledging care) or by affecting the phenotype of their offspring (e.g. via their genes). Because this personality trait has a genetic basis, our results imply that genotypes differ in their dispersal distances. Therefore, the described patterns have profound consequences for the genetic composition of populations. PMID:12713749

  14. Spring phenology does not affect timing of reproduction in the great tit (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Schaper, Sonja V; Rueda, Carolina; Sharp, Peter J; Dawson, Alistair; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    Many seasonal breeders adjust the timing of reproduction in response to year-to-year variations in supplementary environmental cues, amongst which ambient temperature is thought to be most influential. However, it is possible that for species such as the great tit (Parus major L.), phenological cues from sprouting vegetation and the consequent abundance of invertebrate prey, although dependent on temperature, may provide supplementary environmental cues per se. This hypothesis was investigated in breeding pairs of great tits kept in outdoor aviaries. In spring, experimental pairs were provided with access to leafing birch branches and caterpillars as a visual food cue, while control pairs were provided with non-leafing branches. Observations were made on the onset of laying and on concentrations of plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) at regular intervals to monitor changes in reproductive function. The onset of egg laying was not advanced by the presence of leafing branches and caterpillars. LH concentrations increased during the course of the study, but phenological cues did not affect plasma LH levels in females and males. Early spring vegetation, such as the leafing of birch branches, and the appearance of caterpillar prey do not appear to play a significant role in fine-tuning the onset of egg laying in great tits. PMID:21993796

  15. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Yellow-bellied Tit Parus venustulus (Passeriformes, Paridae).

    PubMed

    Li, Xuejuan; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2016-09-01

    The circular mitochondrial genome of Yellow-bellied Tit Parus venustulus is 16,778 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, and a putative control region. All of the genes are encoded on the H-strand, except for one PCG (nad6) gene and eight tRNA genes (tRNA(Gln), tRNA(Ala), tRNA(Asn), tRNA(Cys), tRNA(Tyr), tRNA(Ser)(UCN), tRNA(Pro) and tRNA(Glu)). All of these PCGs are initiated with ATG, except for cox1, which began with GTG, while stopped by six types of stop codons. All tRNA genes have the potential to fold into typical clover-leaf structure, with exception of the tRNA(Ser)(AGY) which lacks the DHU stem. PMID:25693706

  16. Gender and Personality Differences in Response to Social Stressors in Great Tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    van der Meer, Esther; van Oers, Kees

    2015-01-01

    In response to stressors, animals can increase the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, resulting in elevated glucocorticoid concentrations. An increase in glucocorticoids results in an increase in heterophils and a decrease in lymphocytes, which ratio (H/L-ratio) is an indicator of stress in birds. The physiological response to a stressor can depend on individual characteristics, like dominance rank, sex and personality. Although the isolated effects of these characteristics on the response to a stressor have been well studied, little is known about the response in relation to a combination of these characteristics. In this study we investigate the relationship between social stress, dominance rank, sex and exploratory behaviour as a validated operational measure of personality in great tits (Parus major). Great tits show consistent individual differences in behaviour and physiology in response to stressors, and exploratory behaviour can be classified as fast or slow exploring. We group-housed four birds, two fast and two slow explorers, of the same sex that were previously singly housed, in an aviary and compared the H/L-ratio, lymphocyte and heterophil count before and after group housing. After experiencing the social context all birds increased their H/L-ratio and heterophil count. Females showed a stronger increase in H/L-ratio and heterophil count than males, which seemed to be related to a higher number of agonistic interactions compared to males. Dominance rank and exploration type did not affect the H/L-ratio or heterophil count. Contrary to our expectations, all birds increased their lymphocyte count. However, this increase was slower for fast than for slow explorers. Our study suggests that personality and sex related differences, but not dominance rank, are associated with changes in an individual's physiological response due to a social context. PMID:26011633

  17. Gender and Personality Differences in Response to Social Stressors in Great Tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    van der Meer, Esther; van Oers, Kees

    2015-01-01

    In response to stressors, animals can increase the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, resulting in elevated glucocorticoid concentrations. An increase in glucocorticoids results in an increase in heterophils and a decrease in lymphocytes, which ratio (H/L-ratio) is an indicator of stress in birds. The physiological response to a stressor can depend on individual characteristics, like dominance rank, sex and personality. Although the isolated effects of these characteristics on the response to a stressor have been well studied, little is known about the response in relation to a combination of these characteristics. In this study we investigate the relationship between social stress, dominance rank, sex and exploratory behaviour as a validated operational measure of personality in great tits (Parus major). Great tits show consistent individual differences in behaviour and physiology in response to stressors, and exploratory behaviour can be classified as fast or slow exploring. We group-housed four birds, two fast and two slow explorers, of the same sex that were previously singly housed, in an aviary and compared the H/L-ratio, lymphocyte and heterophil count before and after group housing. After experiencing the social context all birds increased their H/L-ratio and heterophil count. Females showed a stronger increase in H/L-ratio and heterophil count than males, which seemed to be related to a higher number of agonistic interactions compared to males. Dominance rank and exploration type did not affect the H/L-ratio or heterophil count. Contrary to our expectations, all birds increased their lymphocyte count. However, this increase was slower for fast than for slow explorers. Our study suggests that personality and sex related differences, but not dominance rank, are associated with changes in an individual's physiological response due to a social context. PMID:26011633

  18. Environmental and parental influences on offspring health and growth in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Pickett, Simon R A; Weber, Sam B; McGraw, Kevin J; Norris, Ken J; Evans, Matthew R

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection requires both that there is heritable variation in traits related to fitness, and that either some of this variation is linked to traits of the parents, and/or that there are direct benefits of choosing particular individuals as mates. This suggests that if direct benefits are important offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the rearing adults. But if indirect benefits are more significant offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the adults at the nest-of-origin. We conducted cross-fostering experiments in great tits (Parus major) over four years, in two of which we manipulated environmental conditions by providing supplemental food. In a third year, some nestlings were directly supplemented with carotenoids. Nestlings in broods whose rearing adults received supplemental food were heavier and had improved immune responses even when controlling for body mass. Nestling immune function was related to measures of the yellow plumage color of both the rearing male and the putative father. Nestling body mass was influenced by the coloration of both the rearing female and the genetic mother. Our results suggest that features of both their social and putative genetic parents influence nestling health and growth. From this it would appear that females could be gaining both direct and indirect benefits through mate choice of male plumage traits and that it would be possible for males to similarly gain through mate choice of female traits. PMID:23936081

  19. Urban environment shortens telomere length in nestling great tits, Parus major.

    PubMed

    Salmón, P; Nilsson, J F; Nord, A; Bensch, S; Isaksson, C

    2016-06-01

    Urban environments are expanding rapidly, and with urbanization come both challenges and opportunities for wildlife. Challenges include combating the anthropogenic disturbances such as light, noise and air pollution and lower availability of natural food sources. The benefits are many, including the availability of anthropogenic food sources, breeding boxes and warmer temperatures. Thus, depending on the context, urbanization can have both positive and negative effects on fitness related traits. It is well known that early-life conditions can have lifelong implications on fitness; little is however known about development in urban environments. We reciprocally cross-fostered urban and rural nestling great tits (Parus major L.) to study how growing up in an urban versus rural habitat affected telomere length (TL)-a suggested biomarker of longevity. We show, for the first time, that growing up in an urban environment significantly shortens TL, independently of natal origin (i.e. urban or rural). This implies that the urban environment imposes a challenge to developing birds, with potentially irreversible effects on lifespan. PMID:27303051

  20. Environmental and Parental Influences on Offspring Health and Growth in Great Tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Pickett, Simon R. A.; Weber, Sam B.; McGraw, Kevin J.; Norris, Ken J.; Evans, Matthew R.

    2013-01-01

    Sexual selection requires both that there is heritable variation in traits related to fitness, and that either some of this variation is linked to traits of the parents, and/or that there are direct benefits of choosing particular individuals as mates. This suggests that if direct benefits are important offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the rearing adults. But if indirect benefits are more significant offspring performance should be predicted by traits of the adults at the nest-of-origin. We conducted cross-fostering experiments in great tits (Parus major) over four years, in two of which we manipulated environmental conditions by providing supplemental food. In a third year, some nestlings were directly supplemented with carotenoids. Nestlings in broods whose rearing adults received supplemental food were heavier and had improved immune responses even when controlling for body mass. Nestling immune function was related to measures of the yellow plumage color of both the rearing male and the putative father. Nestling body mass was influenced by the coloration of both the rearing female and the genetic mother. Our results suggest that features of both their social and putative genetic parents influence nestling health and growth. From this it would appear that females could be gaining both direct and indirect benefits through mate choice of male plumage traits and that it would be possible for males to similarly gain through mate choice of female traits. PMID:23936081

  1. Effects of extreme thermal conditions on plasticity in breeding phenology and double-broodedness of Great Tits and Blue Tits in central Poland in 2013 and 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glądalski, Michał; Bańbura, Mirosława; Kaliński, Adam; Markowski, Marcin; Skwarska, Joanna; Wawrzyniak, Jarosław; Zieliński, Piotr; Bańbura, Jerzy

    2016-03-01

    Many avian species in Europe breed earlier as a result of higher temperatures caused by global climate changes. Climate change means not only higher temperatures but also more frequent extreme weather events, sometimes contrasting with the long-term trends. It was suggested that we should look closely at every extreme phenomenon and its consequences for the phenology of organisms. Examining the limits of phenotypic plasticity may be an important goal for future research. Extremely low spring temperatures in 2013 (coldest spring in 40 years) resulted in birds laying unusually late, and it was followed in 2014 by the earliest breeding season on record (warmest spring in 40 years). Here, we present results concerning breeding phenology and double-broodedness in the Great Tit (Parus major) and the Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) in 2013 and 2014 in an urban parkland and a deciduous forest in central Poland. Great Tits started laying eggs 18.2 days later in 2013 than in 2014 in the parkland, whereas the analogous difference was 21.1 days in the forest. Blue Tits started laying eggs in the parkland 18.5 days later in 2013 than in 2014, while the analogous difference was 21.6 days in the forest. The difference in the proportion of second clutches in Great Tits between 2013 (fewer second clutches) and 2014 (more second clutches) was highly significant in the parkland and in the forest. This rather large extent of breeding plasticity has developed in reaction to challenges of irregular inter-annual variability of climatic conditions. Such a buffer of plasticity may be sufficient for Blue Tits and Great Tits to adjust the timing of breeding to the upcoming climate changes.

  2. Corticosterone responses differ between lines of great tits (Parus major) selected for divergent personalities.

    PubMed

    Baugh, Alexander T; Schaper, Sonja V; Hau, Michaela; Cockrem, John F; de Goede, Piet; van Oers, Kees

    2012-02-01

    Animal 'personality' describes consistent individual differences in suites of behaviors, a phenomenon exhibited in diverse animal taxa and shown to be under natural and sexual selection. It has been suggested that variation in personality reflects underlying physiological variation; however there is limited empirical evidence to test this hypothesis in wild animals. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is hypothesized to play a central role in personality variation. Here we tested whether in great tits Parus major variation in personality traits is related to plasma concentrations of corticosterone (CORT). Using a capture-restraint protocol we examined baseline and stress-induced CORT levels in two captive experimental groups: (1) birds selected for divergent personalities ('fast-bold' and 'slow-shy' explorers); and (2) non-selected offspring of wild parents. We first tested for differences in CORT between selection lines, and second examined the relationship between responses in a canonical personality test and CORT concentrations in non-selected birds. We found support for our prediction that the slow-shy line would exhibit a higher acute stress response than the fast-bold line, indicating a genetic correlation between exploratory behavior and stress physiology. We did not, however, find that continuous variation in exploratory behavior co-varies with CORT concentrations in non-selected birds. While our results provide support for the idea that personality emerges as a result of correlated selection on behavior and underlying physiological mechanisms, they also indicate that this link may be particularly evident when composite personality traits are the target of selection. PMID:22202603

  3. Do great tits (Parus major) suppress basal metabolic rate in response to increased perceived predation danger? A field experiment.

    PubMed

    Mathot, Kimberley J; Abbey-Lee, Robin N; Kempenaers, Bart; Dingemanse, Niels J

    2016-10-01

    Several studies have shown that individuals with higher metabolic rates (MRs) feed at higher rates and are more willing to forage in the presence of predators. This increases the acquisition of resources, which in turn, may help to sustain a higher MR. Elevated predation danger may be expected to result in reduced MRs, either as a means of allowing for reduced feeding and risk-taking, or as a consequence of adaptively reducing intake rates via reduced feeding and/or risk-taking. We tested this prediction in free-living great tits (Parus major) using a playback experiment to manipulate perceived predation danger. There was evidence that changes in body mass and BMR differed as a function of treatment. In predator treatment plots, great tits tended to reduce their body mass, a commonly observed response in birds to increased predation danger. In contrast, birds from control treatment plots showed no overall changes in body mass. There was also evidence that great tits from control treatment plots increased their basal metabolic rate (BMR) over the course of the experiment, presumably due to decreasing ambient temperatures over the study period. However, there was no evidence for changes in BMR for birds from predator treatment plots. Although the directions of these results are consistent with the predicted directions of effects, the effects sizes and confidence intervals yield inconclusive support for the hypothesis that great tits would adaptively suppress BMR in response to increased perceived predation risk. The effect size observed in the present study was small (~1%) and would not be expected to result in substantive reductions in feeding rate and/or risk-taking. Whether or not ecological conditions that generate greater energetic stress (e.g. lower food availability, lower ambient temperatures) could produce an effect that produces biologically meaningful reductions in feeding activity and/or risk-taking remains an open question. PMID:27342428

  4. Plumage coloration and nutritional condition in the great tit Parus major: the roles of carotenoids and melanins differ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Figuerola, Jordi; Domènech, Jordi

    2003-05-01

    The size and coloration of some body characters seem to influence mate choice in many species. Most animal colours are either structural or based on melanin or carotenoid pigments. It has recently been suggested that carotenoid-based or structural coloration may be a condition-dependent trait, whereas melanin-based coloration is not; a difference that may be highly relevant when studying the evolution of multiple mating preferences. We tested this hypothesis in the great tit ( Parus major). The size of the melanin breast band was not correlated to nutritional condition as estimated by the rate of tail growth (ptilochronology), controlling for locality, age, sex, year and season effects. However, the correlation was significant for the hue of yellow breast (carotenoid-based coloration), and the slopes of the regressions of the two pigments to growth bars differed significantly. These results suggest that the expression of the two traits may be regulated by different mechanisms.

  5. A recipe for postfledging survival in great tits Parus major: be large and be early (but not too much).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Samuel; van Noordwijk, Arie J; Álvarez, Elena; Barba, Emilio

    2016-07-01

    Survival of juveniles during the postfledging period can be markedly low, which may have major consequences on avian population dynamics. Knowing which factors operating during the nesting phase affect postfledging survival is crucial to understand avian breeding strategies. We aimed to obtain a robust set of predictors of postfledging local survival using the great tit (Parus major) as a model species. We used mark-recapture models to analyze the effect of hatching date, temperatures experienced during the nestling period, fledging size and body mass on first-year postfledging survival probability of great tit juveniles. We used data from 5192 nestlings of first clutches ringed between 1993 and 2010. Mean first-year postfledging survival probability was 15.2%, and it was lower for smaller individuals, as well as for those born in either very early or late broods. Our results stress the importance of choosing an optimum hatching period, and raising large chicks to increase first-year local survival probability in the studied population. PMID:27386088

  6. Importance of adult survival, local recruitment and immigration in a declining boreal forest passerine, the willow tit Parus montanus.

    PubMed

    Lampila, Satu; Orell, Markku; Belda, Eduardo; Koivula, Kari

    2006-06-01

    Population growth rate (lambda) and its components (adult survival, local recruitment, immigration and their relative contributions to lambda) were studied in the declining willow tit Parus montanus in Northern Finland. Capture-recapture models for open populations were used to estimate the population parameters and their process variation. Adult survival was fairly high with low variation (0.593, CV=0.067). As expected, local recruitment was lower and more variable (0.063, CV=0.610). During the 12-year study, the population growth rate averaged to one (0.988, CV=0.197; calculated as [see text]. However, if the present processes continue, population projections show that the population is likely to decline. There was considerable temporal variation in the relative contributions of demographic parameters to lambda. In all years, adult survival had the highest relative contribution (mean 64%) to the population growth rate and it was the least variable trait. Immigration had a higher relative contribution (22%) to lambda than local recruitment (14%). Based on the results for the contributions to lambda, the main conservation concern for willow tits is adult survival. Due to low variation, adult survival may be difficult to enhance, but at least it should be prevented from declining. High stochasticity in local recruitment and immigration is probably an inherent characteristic of highly seasonal environments, making these traits difficult to address for conservation practices. PMID:16514536

  7. High Prevalence and Lineage Diversity of Avian Malaria in Wild Populations of Great Tits (Parus major) and Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens)

    PubMed Central

    Glaizot, Olivier; Fumagalli, Luca; Iritano, Katia; Lalubin, Fabrice; Van Rooyen, Juan; Christe, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Avian malaria studies have taken a prominent place in different aspects of evolutionary ecology. Despite a recent interest in the role of vectors within the complex interaction system of the malaria parasite, they have largely been ignored in most epidemiological studies. Epidemiology of the disease is however strongly related to the vector's ecology and behaviour, and there is a need for basic investigations to obtain a better picture of the natural associations between Plasmodium lineages, vector species and bird hosts. The aim of the present study was to identify the mosquito species involved in the transmission of the haemosporidian parasites Plasmodium spp. in two wild populations of breeding great tits (Parus major) in western Switzerland. Additionally, we compared Plasmodium lineages, based on mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences, between the vertebrate and dipteran hosts, and evaluated the prevalence of the parasite in the mosquito populations. Plasmodium spp. were detected in Culex pipiens only, with an overall 6.6% prevalence. Among the six cytochrome b lineages of Plasmodium identified in the mosquitoes, three were also present in great tits. The results provide evidence for the first time that C. pipiens can act as a natural vector of avian malaria in Europe and yield baseline data for future research on the epidemiology of avian malaria in European countries. PMID:22506060

  8. Effects of breeding habitat (woodland versus urban) and metal pollution on the egg characteristics of great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Hargitai, Rita; Nagy, Gergely; Nyiri, Zoltán; Bervoets, Lieven; Eke, Zsuzsanna; Eens, Marcel; Török, János

    2016-02-15

    In an urban environment, birds are exposed to metals, which may accumulate in their tissues and cause oxidative stress. Female birds may eliminate these pollutants through depositing them into eggs, thus eggs become suitable bioindicators of pollution. In this study, we aimed to analyse whether eggshell spotting pattern, egg volume, eggshell thickness and egg yolk antioxidant (lutein, tocopherol, retinol and selenium) levels were related to the breeding area (woodland versus urban) and the metal levels in the eggshell of a small passerine species, the great tit (Parus major). In the urban habitat, soil and eggshells contained higher concentrations of metals, and soil calcium level was also higher than that in the woodland. Eggshell spotting intensity and egg volume did not differ between eggs laid in the woodland and the urban park, and these traits were not related to the metal levels of the eggshell, suggesting that these egg characteristics are not sensitive indicators of metal pollution. A more aggregated eggshell spotting distribution indicated a higher Cu concentration of the eggshell. We found that eggshells were thinner in the less polluted woodland habitat, which is likely due to the limited Ca availability of the woodland area. Great tit eggs laid in the urban environment had lower yolk lutein, retinol and selenium concentrations, however, as a possible compensation for these lower antioxidant levels, urban females deposited more tocopherol into the egg yolk. It appears that females from different breeding habitats may provide similar antioxidant protection for their offspring against oxidative damage by depositing different specific dietary antioxidants. Egg yolk lutein and retinol levels showed a negative relationship with lead concentration of the eggshell, which may suggest that lead had a negative impact on the amount of antioxidants available for embryos during development in great tits. PMID:26657247

  9. Accumulation of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in the eggs and nestlings of great tits, Parus major.

    PubMed

    Dauwe, Tom; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel

    2006-09-01

    Insectivorous birds may be very useful sentinels for local point-source contamination with persistent pollutants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). Eggs have been used extensively to monitor lipophilic contaminants, as females can pass contaminants stored in their body tissues into their eggs. Concentrations and profiles in eggs therefore relate to contamination in the female. Because nestlings are raised on food items collected locally, it is expected that the body burden in nestlings would reflect their diet and local pollution levels better than eggs. In this study we compared the accumulation and the profile of PCBs, PBDEs, and OCPs in great tit (Parus major) eggs, nestlings (5-, 10-, and 15-days old), and their food in two study sites. Our results showed that concentrations in great tit eggs were 4 to 6 times higher than those in nestlings. Concentrations in nestling great tits corresponded with concentrations predicted by a bioenergetics-based model. Most of the persistent organic pollutants in 15-day old nestlings were still from maternal origin. The profile of these persistent pollutants in eggs and nestlings also gradually changed during development. With increasing age, the proportion of the most persistent compounds decreased. This study shows that most of the persistent pollutants in fully grown nestlings may still be from maternal origin. For nestlings to be suitable as indicators of local contamination, most of the POPs they accumulate should originate from dietary sources rather than from maternal transfer via the egg. Nestling birds may therefore not be good sentinels for local contamination with persistent pollutants. PMID:16999102

  10. The use of blue tit eggs as a biomonitoring tool for organohalogenated pollutants in the European environment.

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Pinxten, Rianne; Covaci, Adrian; Carere, Claudio; Eeva, Tapio; Heeb, Philipp; Kempenaers, Bart; Lifjeld, Jan T; Massa, Bruno; Norte, Ana Cláudia; Orell, Markku; Sanz, Juan José; Senar, Juan Carlos; Sorace, Alberto; Eens, Marcel

    2010-02-15

    In the present study, large scale geographical variation in the occurrence of organohalogenated pollutants (OHPs) was investigated throughout Europe using eggs of a terrestrial resident passerine species, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). Blue tit eggs from 10 sampling locations, involving suburban, rural and remote areas, in 7 European countries were collected and analysed. Sum polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels ranged from 150ng/g lipid weight (lw) to 2003ng/g lw. Sum polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) ranged from 3.95ng/g lw to 114ng/g lw. As expected, PCB and PBDE concentrations were significantly higher in the sampled suburban locations compared to the rural and remote locations. Sum organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) ranged from 122ng/g lw to 775ng/g lw. OCP concentrations were, against the expectations, found to be lower in the rural sampling locations compared to the other locations. Contamination profiles of PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs differed also among the sampling locations, which may be due to local contamination sources. Finally, we compared the results of this study with previously reported OHP concentrations in the eggs of a closely related species, the great tit (Parus major), from the same sampling locations in Europe. We found no differences in concentrations between the species. In addition, we found a significant, positive correlation between the sum PCB concentrations in blue tit eggs and great tit eggs, suggesting similar exposure pathways, mechanisms of accumulation and maternal transfer of PCBs. In conclusion, our results suggest the usefulness of eggs from passerine birds as a biomonitoring tool for OHPs on a large geographical scale. PMID:20071006

  11. Are colorful males of great tits Parus major better parents? Parental investment is a matter of quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagani-Núñez, Emilio; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2014-02-01

    Given the known influence of parental investment on breeding success of great tits Parus major, females should be expected to use male parental quality as an essential criterion in mate choice. Since parental quality cannot usually be observed directly at the time of pairing, it has been suggested that females rely on male ornaments as indicative of their ability to provide parental care. This hypothesis, called the good parent hypothesis, has been tested repeatedly assessing only parental effort as the number of feedings made by parents. However, in evaluating parental investment, the focus should also be on the quality of prey captured rather than only on its quantity. We analyzed feeding rates and the provisioning of different prey in relation to both male yellow carotenoid-based breast coloration and the size of the black melanin-based stripe in a Mediterranean great tit population. We predicted that more carotenoid ornamented individuals would feed nestlings with a diet consisting of a higher proportion of caterpillars. However, and contrary to predictions, we found that males with higher values of hue in the yellow breast feathers, fed their offspring with a lower proportion of caterpillars and a higher proportion of spiders. In addition, nestlings that received a higher proportion of spiders showed an improved body condition after controlling for tarsus length and other variables. Male feeding rates correlated positively with brood size and tended to correlate negatively with date, although we did not find any effect of male coloration. Our data therefore support the good parent hypothesis, insofar as parental investment is also a matter of quality, and that, at least in the Mediterranean area, caterpillars are not the only key food source.

  12. Funnel traps capture a higher proportion of juvenile Great Tits Parus major than automatic traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senar, J.C.; Domenech, J.; Conroy, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    We compared capture rates of Great Tits at funnel traps, where several birds can be captured at once so that some decoy effect may appear, to those obtained at automatic traps, where only one bird can be trapped at a time, at trapping stations in northeastern Spain. Juvenile birds were mainly captured at funnel traps (79% of juvenile captures), whereas adult plumaged birds were captured at both types of traps (51% of captures were at the funnel traps) (test between ages, P<0.001). Juvenile Great Tits had lower body condition as measured by ptilochronology (P<0.01). These birds are more easily trapped in funnel traps, which may be acting as decoy traps, and thus are vulnerable to the same kinds of biases (eg age or body condition) that have been previously documented for decoy traps.

  13. No delayed behavioral and phenotypic responses to experimental early-life lead exposure in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Ruuskanen, Suvi; Eeva, Tapio; Kotitalo, Päivi; Stauffer, Janina; Rainio, Miia

    2015-02-01

    Early-life exposure to pollutants, such as lead, may have long-lasting consequences on health, behavior, and cognition. However, experiments on delayed effects of specific pollutants are very rare in wild animals. We experimentally exposed wild nestling great tits (Parus major) to dietary lead (high, low, or control group) in levels relevant to exposure levels of wild populations in Europe and studied delayed effects on phenotypic and behavioral traits in captivity. We also included a group of birds from a vicinity of a copper smelter, exposed to a mixture of toxic metals and altered food supply during development. This experimental setup allowed us to compare the strength of direct (exposure to lead per se) and indirect (pollution-related changes in diet) effects of pollutants. Our experimental lead treatment significantly increased lead levels in bone and feces compared with controls. However, we found no carry-over effect of early-life dietary lead on morphology, plumage coloration, or heat shock proteins. Treatment did not affect activity, exploration, neophobia, or success in learning and spatial memory task. We conclude that with the exposure levels and relatively short exposure period used, delayed effects on the measured traits were not found. However, it is important to further study other types of behavioral traits and ultimately fitness effects. PMID:25194842

  14. Initial reactivity and magnitude of the acute stress response associated with personality in wild great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Baugh, Alexander T; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc; Hau, Michaela

    2013-08-01

    Phenotypic correlations, such as those between functionally distinct behavioral traits, can emerge through the action of selection on individual traits, on trait combinations, and through pleiotropic mechanisms. Steroid hormones are known to have pleiotropic effects on a suite of behavioral and physiological traits, including stable individual differences in coping with stress. Characterizing the stress axis in relation to personality, however, has typically focused on estimating baseline and peak levels of glucocorticoids, principally in captive animals. In contrast, the reactivity of the stress response-how quickly it turns on and persists-may better indicate the ability of an individual to cope with challenges, particularly in free-living animals. Using wild great tits (Parus major) we tested the hypothesis that cautious individuals respond to a standardized stressor with a more reactive stress response compared to bolder individuals. Wild birds were captured and tested for exploration behavior in a novel environment-an operational measure of personality in this species-and assessed separately for their glucocorticoid response to a standardized stressor. Slower explorers exhibited a greater elevation in glucocorticoid levels within the first three minutes after capture. Further, slower explorers reached a higher maximum CORT concentration and had higher total exposure to glucocorticoids during the stressor period. These data provide evidence that the temporal reactivity of the endocrine stress response, specifically its speed and magnitude, is associated with stable behavioral traits in free-living animals. PMID:23665102

  15. Genetic characterization of a densovirus isolated from great tit (Parus major) in China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen-Tao; Shi, Shao-Hua; Jiang, Yan-Long; Zhao, Liang; Chen, Hong-Liang; Huang, Ke-Yan; Yang, Gui-Lian; Wang, Chun-Feng

    2016-07-01

    During a study of ornithophilous viruses in China, a new densovirus (DNV) was isolated from the lung tissue of Parus major (PmDNV-JL). The complete genome of PmDNV-JL was cloned and sequenced. Five open reading frames (ORFs) were identified in the 5166nt sequence, on the basis of deduced amino acids. It was further shown that this virus caused cytopathic effects (CPE) in Feline kidney cells. The NS1 gene sequence of PmDNV-JL shares 70-99% nucleotide sequence identity with isolates of the Blattella germanica densovirus (BgDNV) and BgDNV-like virus. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the predicted amino acid sequences of capsid (VP) and non-structural domain (NS1) of PmDNV-JL clustered with the BgDNV and were similar to BgDNV-HB within the genus Densovirus. PMID:27051046

  16. Evolution and genetic structure of the great tit (Parus major) complex.

    PubMed

    Kvist, Laura; Martens, Jochen; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Nazarenko, Alexander A; Valchuk, Olga P; Orell, Markku

    2003-07-22

    The great tit complex is divided into four groups, each containing several subspecies. Even though the groups are known to differ markedly on morphological, vocal and behavioural characters, some hybridization occurs in the regions where they meet. The great tit has often been referred to as an example of a ring species, although this has later been questioned. Here, we have studied the genetic structure and phylogenetic relationships of the subspecies groups to clarify the evolutionary history of the complex using control region sequences of the mitochondrial DNA. The subspecies groups were found to be monophyletic and clearly distinct in mitochondrial haplotypes, and therefore must have had long-independent evolutionary histories. This conflicts with the ring species assignment and supports the formation of secondary contact zones of previously temporarily isolated groups. According to the phylogenetic species concept, all the subspecies groups could be considered as separate species, but if the definition of the biological species concept is followed, none of the subspecies groups is a true species because hybridization still occurs. PMID:12965008

  17. Mediterranean blue tits as a case study of local adaptation.

    PubMed

    Charmantier, Anne; Doutrelant, Claire; Dubuc-Messier, Gabrielle; Fargevieille, Amélie; Szulkin, Marta

    2016-01-01

    While the study of the origins of biological diversity across species has provided numerous examples of adaptive divergence, the realization that it can occur at microgeographic scales despite gene flow is recent, and scarcely illustrated. We review here evidence suggesting that the striking phenotypic differentiation in ecologically relevant traits exhibited by blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus in their southern range-edge putatively reflects adaptation to the heterogeneity of the Mediterranean habitats. We first summarize the phenotypic divergence for a series of life history, morphological, behavioural, acoustic and colour ornament traits in blue tit populations of evergreen and deciduous forests. For each divergent trait, we review the evidence obtained from common garden experiments regarding a possible genetic origin of the observed phenotypic differentiation as well as evidence for heterogeneous selection. Second, we argue that most phenotypically differentiated traits display heritable variation, a fundamental requirement for evolution to occur. Third, we discuss nonrandom dispersal, selective barriers and assortative mating as processes that could reinforce local adaptation. Finally, we show how population genomics supports isolation - by - environment across landscapes. Overall, the combination of approaches converges to the conclusion that the strong phenotypic differentiation observed in Mediterranean blue tits is a fascinating case of local adaptation. PMID:27087844

  18. Effects of experimentally sustained elevated testosterone on incubation behaviour and reproductive success in female great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    de Jong, Berber; Lens, Luc; Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; van Oers, Kees; Darras, Veerle M; Eens, Marcel; Pinxten, Rianne; Komdeur, Jan; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2016-05-01

    In many seasonally breeding birds, female and male testosterone (T) levels peak at the start of the breeding season, coinciding with pair bonding and nesting activities. Shortly after the onset of egg laying, T levels slowly decline to baseline levels in both sexes, but more rapidly so in females. During this period, T in males may still function to facilitate territorial behaviour, mate guarding and extra pair copulations, either via short lasting peaks or elevated basal levels of the hormone. In some species, however, males become insensitive to increased T after the onset of egg laying. It has been postulated that in these species bi-parental care is essential for offspring survival, as T is known to inhibit paternal care. However, only very few studies have analysed this for females. As females are heavily involved in parental care, they too might become insensitive to T after egg laying. Alternatively, because territorial defence, mate guarding and extra pair copulations are expected to be less important for females than for males, they may not have had the need to evolve a mechanism to become insensitive to T during the period of maternal care, because their natural T levels are never elevated during this part of the breeding season anyway. We tested these alternative hypotheses in female great tits (Parus major). Male great tits have previously been shown to be insensitive to T after egg laying with regard to nestling feeding behaviour (but not song rate). When females had started nest building, we experimentally elevated their T levels up to the nestling feeding phase, and measured incubation behaviour (only females incubate) and reproductive success. T did not significantly affect nest building or egg laying behaviour, although egg laying tended to be delayed in T females. Females with experimentally enhanced T maintained lower temperature during incubation but did not spend less time incubating. This might explain the reduced hatching success of their

  19. Identifying sources of heterogeneity in capture probabilities: An example using the Great Tit Parus major

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senar, J.C.; Conroy, M.J.; Carrascal, L.M.; Domenech, J.; Mozetich, I.; Uribe, F.

    1999-01-01

    Heterogeneous capture probabilities are a common problem in many capture-recapture studies. Several methods of detecting the presence of such heterogeneity are currently available, and stratification of data has been suggested as the standard method to avoid its effects. However, few studies have tried to identify sources of heterogeneity, or whether there are interactions among sources. The aim of this paper is to suggest an analytical procedure to identify sources of capture heterogeneity. We use data on the sex and age of Great Tits captured in baited funnel traps, at two localities differing in average temperature. We additionally use 'recapture' data obtained by videotaping at feeder (with no associated trap), where the tits ringed with different colours were recorded. This allowed us to test whether individuals in different classes (age, sex and condition) are not trapped because of trap shyness or because o a reduced use of the bait. We used logistic regression analysis of the capture probabilities to test for the effects of age, sex, condition, location and 'recapture method. The results showed a higher recapture probability in the colder locality. Yearling birds (either males or females) had the highest recapture prob abilities, followed by adult males, while adult females had the lowest recapture probabilities. There was no effect of the method of 'recapture' (trap or video tape), which suggests that adult females are less often captured in traps no because of trap-shyness but because of less dependence on supplementary food. The potential use of this methodological approach in other studies is discussed.

  20. Distribution and Abundance of Glucocorticoid and Mineralocorticoid Receptors throughout the Brain of the Great Tit (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Senft, Rebecca A.; Meddle, Simone L.; Baugh, Alexander T.

    2016-01-01

    The glucocorticoid stress response, regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, enables individuals to cope with stressors through transcriptional effects in cells expressing the appropriate receptors. The two receptors that bind glucocorticoids—the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR)—are present in a variety of vertebrate tissues, but their expression in the brain is especially important. Neural receptor patterns have the potential to integrate multiple behavioral and physiological traits simultaneously, including self-regulation of glucocorticoid secretion through negative feedback processes. In the present work, we quantified the expression of GR and MR mRNA throughout the brain of a female great tit (Parus major), creating a distribution map encompassing 48 regions. This map, the first of its kind for P. major, demonstrated a widespread but not ubiquitous distribution of both receptor types. In the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the hippocampus (HP)—the two brain regions that we sampled from a total of 25 birds, we found high GR mRNA expression in the former and, unexpectedly, low MR mRNA in the latter. We examined the covariation of MR and GR levels in these two regions and found a strong, positive relationship between MR in the PVN and MR in the HP and a similar trend for GR across these two regions. This correlation supports the idea that hormone pleiotropy may constrain an individual’s behavioral and physiological phenotype. In the female song system, we found moderate GR in hyperstriatum ventrale, pars caudalis (HVC), and moderate MR in robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA). Understanding intra- and interspecific patterns of glucocorticoid receptor expression can inform us about the behavioral processes (e.g. song learning) that may be sensitive to stress and stimulate future hypotheses concerning the relationships between receptor expression, circulating hormone concentrations

  1. Heterophil/lymphocyte ratios predict the magnitude of humoral immune response to a novel antigen in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Krams, Indrikis; Vrublevska, Jolanta; Cirule, Dina; Kivleniece, Inese; Krama, Tatjana; Rantala, Markus J; Sild, Elin; Hõrak, Peeter

    2012-04-01

    Animals display remarkable individual variation in their capacity to mount immune responses against novel antigens. According to the life-history theory, this variation is caused by the costs of immune responses to the hosts. We studied one of such potential costs, depletion of somatic resources in wintering wild-caught captive passerines, the great tits (Parus major) by immune challenging the birds with a novel antigen, killed Brucella abortus (BA) suspension. We found that despite mild temperature conditions in captivity and ad libitum availability of food, immune challenge depleted somatic resources (as indicated by a body mass loss) and elevated relative proportion of heterophils to lymphocytes (H/L ratio) in the peripheral blood of birds. However, body mass loss did not covary with an increase in H/L ratios between two sampling events, which indicates that these two markers of health state describe different aspects of individual physiological condition. Antibody titres were not associated with the extent of body mass loss during the development of immune response, which shows that the somatic cost of immune response was not proportional to the amount of antibody produced. Birds with high pre-immunisation H/L ratios mounted weaker antibody response, which is indicative of stress-induced suppression of humoral immune response and is consistent with the concept of an antagonistic cross-regulation between different components of the immune system. The latter finding suggests a novel diagnostic value of H/L ratios, which reinforces the utility of this simple haematological index for prediction of the outcomes of complicated immune processes. PMID:22245489

  2. Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits, Parus major

    PubMed Central

    Aplin, L.M.; Firth, J.A.; Farine, D.R.; Voelkl, B.; Crates, R.A.; Culina, A.; Garroway, C.J.; Hinde, C.A.; Kidd, L.R.; Psorakis, I.; Milligan, N.D.; Radersma, R.; Verhelst, B.L.; Sheldon, B.C.

    2015-01-01

    Despite growing interest in animal social networks, surprisingly little is known about whether individuals are consistent in their social network characteristics. Networks are rarely repeatedly sampled; yet an assumption of individual consistency in social behaviour is often made when drawing conclusions about the consequences of social processes and structure. A characterization of such social phenotypes is therefore vital to understanding the significance of social network structure for individual fitness outcomes, and for understanding the evolution and ecology of individual variation in social behaviour more broadly. Here, we measured foraging associations over three winters in a large PIT-tagged population of great tits, and used a range of social network metrics to quantify individual variation in social behaviour. We then examined repeatability in social behaviour over both short (week to week) and long (year to year) timescales, and investigated variation in repeatability across age and sex classes. Social behaviours were significantly repeatable across all timescales, with the highest repeatability observed in group size choice and unweighted degree, a measure of gregariousness. By conducting randomizations to control for the spatial and temporal distribution of individuals, we further show that differences in social phenotypes were not solely explained by within-population variation in local densities, but also reflected fine-scale variation in social decision making. Our results provide rare evidence of stable social phenotypes in a wild population of animals. Such stable social phenotypes can be targets of selection and may have important fitness consequences, both for individuals and for their social-foraging associates. PMID:26512142

  3. Brood size constrains the development of endothermy in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Andreasson, Fredrik; Nord, Andreas; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2016-07-15

    Altricial birds are unable to maintain body temperature when exposed to low ambient temperatures during the first days after hatching. Thermoregulatory capacity begins to form as postnatal development progresses, and eventually nestlings become homeothermic. Several factors may influence this development at both the level of the individual and the level of the whole brood, but to our knowledge no studies have focused on the effect of brood size per se on the development of endothermy in individual nestlings. We performed cooling experiments on blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in the field, to study how different experimental brood sizes affected the development of endothermy in individual nestlings and the thermal environment experienced by the whole brood in the nest. Nestlings from all experimental brood sizes showed a decrease in cooling rate as they grew older, but birds from reduced broods showed an earlier onset of endothermy compared with nestlings from enlarged and control broods. This difference manifested during early development and gradually disappeared as nestlings grew older. The thermal environment in the nests differed between treatments during nestling development, such that nest temperature in reduced broods was lower than that in enlarged broods during all days and during nights at the end of the experimental period. We suggest that the development of endothermy in blue tit nestlings is not ontogenetically fixed, but instead may vary according to differences in developmental, nutritional and thermal conditions as determined by brood size. PMID:27445402

  4. Mate Preference of Female Blue Tits Varies with Experimental Photoperiod

    PubMed Central

    Reparaz, Laura B.; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc; Doutrelant, Claire; Visser, Marcel E.; Caro, Samuel P.

    2014-01-01

    Organisms use environmental cues to time their life-cycles and among these cues, photoperiod is the main trigger of reproductive behaviours such as territory defence or song activity. Whether photoperiod is also important for another behaviour closely associated with reproduction, mate choice, is unknown. In many bird species, mate choice occurs at two different times during the annual cycle that strongly differ in daylength: in late winter when photoperiod is short and social mates are chosen, and again around egg-laying when photoperiod is longer and extra-pair mates are chosen. This duality makes the role that photoperiod plays on mate choice behaviours intriguing. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on mate choice using three experimental photoperiodic treatments (9 L:15 D, 14 L:10 D, 18 L:6 D), using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as a biological model. We show that female choice was stronger under long photoperiods. In addition, female blue tits spent significantly more time near males with long tarsi and long wings. This latter preference was only expressed under long photoperiods, suggesting that some indices of male quality only become significant to females when they are strongly photostimulated, and therefore that females could select their social and extra-pair mates based on different phenotypic traits. These results shed light on the roles that photoperiod may play in stimulating pair-bonding and in refining female selectivity for male traits. PMID:24671133

  5. Effects of competition on great and blue tit reproduction: intensity and importance in relation to habitat quality.

    PubMed

    Dhondt, André A

    2010-01-01

    1. In studies on the effect of competition in plant communities two terms are used to describe its effects: the absolute reduction in growth of an individual as a consequence of the presence of another one is called intensity, while the relative impact of competition on an individual as a proportion of the impact of the whole environment is called importance. One school of thought is that the role of competition remains constant across productivity gradients, while the other is that it decreases with increasing severity. J.B. Grace (1991. A clarification of the debate between grime and tilman. Functional Ecology, 5, 583-587.) suggested that the apparent contradiction might be solved if we acknowledge that the two schools are discussing different aspects of competition: the intensity of competition might remain constant while its importance declines with increasing severity. 2. There are no studies that compare intensity and importance of competition in bird populations between areas that differ in quality or productivity and hence it is not possible to make predictions how intensity or importance of competition would vary between them. 3. I compared variation in intensity and importance of competition of three demographic variables between five plots that differ strongly in quality for great Parus major L. and blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (L.). 4. Both intensity and importance of competition are larger in great than in blue tit populations meaning that the effect of competition on demographic variables is stronger in great than in blue tits and that the contribution of competition to variation in these variables is relatively higher in great than in blue tits. 5. Intensity of competition is higher in low quality than in high quality plots for both species, a result not expected from studies in plant communities. 6. Importance of competition varies strongly between plots. It is larger in oak-dominated plots than in mixed deciduous plots. 7. In birds breeding density

  6. Eggshell Spottiness Reflects Maternally Transferred Antibodies in Blue Tits

    PubMed Central

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Grégoire, Arnaud; Staszewski, Vincent; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Boulinier, Thierry; Doutrelant, Claire

    2012-01-01

    Blue-green and brown-spotted eggshells in birds have been proposed as sexual signals of female physiological condition and egg quality, reflecting maternal investment in the egg. Testing this hypothesis requires linking eggshell coloration to egg content, which is lacking for brown protoporphyrin-based pigmentation. As protoporphyrins can induce oxidative stress, and a large amount in eggshells should indicate either high female and egg quality if it reflects the female's high oxidative tolerance, or conversely poor quality if it reflects female physiological stress. Different studies supported either predictions but are difficult to compare given the methodological differences in eggshell-spottiness measurements. Using the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus as a model species, we aimed at disentangling both predictions in testing if brown-spotted eggshell could reflect the quality of maternal investment in antibodies and carotenoids in the egg, and at improving between-study comparisons in correlating several common measurements of eggshell coloration (spectral and digital measures, spotted surface, pigmentation indices). We found that these color variables were weakly correlated highlighting the need for comparable quantitative measurements between studies and for multivariate regressions incorporating several eggshell-color characteristics. When evaluating the potential signaling function of brown-spotted eggshells, we thus searched for the brown eggshell-color variables that best predicted the maternal transfer of antibodies and carotenoids to egg yolks. We also tested the effects of several parental traits and breeding parameters potentially affecting this transfer. While eggshell coloration did not relate to yolk carotenoids, the eggs with larger and less evenly-distributed spots had higher antibody concentrations, suggesting that both the quantity and distribution of brown pigments reflected the transfer of maternal immune compounds in egg yolks. As yolk antibody

  7. Eggshell spottiness reflects maternally transferred antibodies in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Grégoire, Arnaud; Staszewski, Vincent; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Boulinier, Thierry; Doutrelant, Claire

    2012-01-01

    Blue-green and brown-spotted eggshells in birds have been proposed as sexual signals of female physiological condition and egg quality, reflecting maternal investment in the egg. Testing this hypothesis requires linking eggshell coloration to egg content, which is lacking for brown protoporphyrin-based pigmentation. As protoporphyrins can induce oxidative stress, and a large amount in eggshells should indicate either high female and egg quality if it reflects the female's high oxidative tolerance, or conversely poor quality if it reflects female physiological stress. Different studies supported either predictions but are difficult to compare given the methodological differences in eggshell-spottiness measurements. Using the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus as a model species, we aimed at disentangling both predictions in testing if brown-spotted eggshell could reflect the quality of maternal investment in antibodies and carotenoids in the egg, and at improving between-study comparisons in correlating several common measurements of eggshell coloration (spectral and digital measures, spotted surface, pigmentation indices). We found that these color variables were weakly correlated highlighting the need for comparable quantitative measurements between studies and for multivariate regressions incorporating several eggshell-color characteristics. When evaluating the potential signaling function of brown-spotted eggshells, we thus searched for the brown eggshell-color variables that best predicted the maternal transfer of antibodies and carotenoids to egg yolks. We also tested the effects of several parental traits and breeding parameters potentially affecting this transfer. While eggshell coloration did not relate to yolk carotenoids, the eggs with larger and less evenly-distributed spots had higher antibody concentrations, suggesting that both the quantity and distribution of brown pigments reflected the transfer of maternal immune compounds in egg yolks. As yolk antibody

  8. Combined epigenetic and intraspecific variation of the DRD4 and SERT genes influence novelty seeking behavior in great tit Parus major.

    PubMed

    Riyahi, Sepand; Sánchez-Delgado, Marta; Calafell, Francesc; Monk, David; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is one of the main epigenetic mechanisms that can regulate gene expression and is an important means for creating phenotypic variation. In the present study, we performed methylation profiling of 2 candidate genes for personality traits, namely DRD4 and SERT, in the great tit Parus major to ascertain whether personality traits and behavior within different habitats have evolved with the aid of epigenetic variation. We applied bisulphite PCR and strand-specific sequencing to determine the methylation profile of the CpG dinucleotides in the DRD4 and SERT promoters and also in the CpG island overlapping DRD4 exon 3. Furthermore, we performed pyrosequencing to quantify the total methylation levels at each CpG location. Our results indicated that methylation was ∼1-4% higher in urban than in forest birds, for all loci and tissues analyzed, suggesting that this epigenetic modification is influenced by environmental conditions. Screening of genomic DNA sequence revealed that the SERT promoter is CpG poor region. The methylation at a single CpG dinucleotide located 288 bp from the transcription start site was related to exploration score in urban birds. In addition, the genotypes of the SERT polymorphism SNP234 located within the minimal promoter were significantly correlated with novelty seeking behavior in captivity, with the allele increasing this behavior being more frequent in urban birds. As a conclusion, it seems that both genetic and methylation variability of the SERT gene have an important role in shaping personality traits in great tits, whereas genetic and methylation variation at the DRD4 gene is not strongly involved in behavior and personality traits. PMID:25933062

  9. Habitat fragmentation influences nestling growth in Mediterranean blue and great tits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bueno-Enciso, Javier; Ferrer, Esperanza S.; Barrientos, Rafael; Serrano-Davies, Eva; Sanz, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    In patchy forest areas, the size of the forest patch where birds breed has a strong influence on their breeding success. However, the proximate effects contributing to lowering the breeding success in small forest patches remain unclear; and a shortage of crucial resources in those forest patches has been suggested to account in some degree for this failure. With the aim to further investigate this issue, we have monitored the breeding cycle of blue and great tits in three 'large' forest patches (ranging between 26.5 and 29.6 ha) and twelve 'small' forest patches (ranging between 1.1 and 2.1 ha) in a Mediterranean area in central Spain, during three years (2011-2013). We also recorded the nestling diet inside the nest-boxes with the aid of handy-cams. Only males significantly differed between forest patch size categories; being on average younger and with better body condition in small patches for great and blue tits respectively. Reproductive traits did not vary between forest patch size categories, but the body condition of blue tit nestlings and the size of great tit nestlings did, being significantly better and larger respectively in large forest patches. The recruitment rate of blue tit nestlings was also higher in large patches. Regarding nestling diet, blue tits did not differ but great tits did, delivering a larger amount of caterpillars in large forest patches. Most variation in the reproductive traits occurred between years, probably due to annual differences in environmental conditions. This study suggests that food supply could be limiting the breeding success of birds above all in small patches, but also in large patches under particular environmental conditions.

  10. Fatty acid profiles of great tit ( Parus major) eggs differ between urban and rural habitats, but not between coniferous and deciduous forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toledo, Alejandra; Andersson, Martin N.; Wang, Hong-Lei; Salmón, Pablo; Watson, Hannah; Burdge, Graham C.; Isaksson, Caroline

    2016-08-01

    Early-life nutrition is an important determinant of both short- and long-term performance and fitness. The avian embryo develops within an enclosed package of nutrients, of which fatty acids (FA) are essential for many aspects of development. The FA composition of yolk depends on maternal nutrition and condition prior to egg formation, which may be affected by the external environment. To test if maternal environment affects yolk FA composition, we investigated whether the FA composition of great tit ( Parus major) egg yolks differed between urban and rural habitats, and between deciduous and coniferous habitats. The results reveal differences in FA composition between eggs laid in urban and rural habitats, but not between eggs from the coniferous and deciduous habitats. To a large extent, this difference likely reflects dietary differences associated with urban habitats rather than dominating vegetation type. Specifically, urban yolks contained lower proportions of both ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA), which are important for chick development. We also found a positive association between the proportion of saturated fatty acids and laying date, and a negative association between the proportion of ω-6 PUFA and clutch size. Given that urbanization is expanding rapidly, future studies should investigate whether factors such as anthropogenic food in the urban environment underlie these differences and whether they impair chick development.

  11. Fatty acid profiles of great tit (Parus major) eggs differ between urban and rural habitats, but not between coniferous and deciduous forests.

    PubMed

    Toledo, Alejandra; Andersson, Martin N; Wang, Hong-Lei; Salmón, Pablo; Watson, Hannah; Burdge, Graham C; Isaksson, Caroline

    2016-08-01

    Early-life nutrition is an important determinant of both short- and long-term performance and fitness. The avian embryo develops within an enclosed package of nutrients, of which fatty acids (FA) are essential for many aspects of development. The FA composition of yolk depends on maternal nutrition and condition prior to egg formation, which may be affected by the external environment. To test if maternal environment affects yolk FA composition, we investigated whether the FA composition of great tit (Parus major) egg yolks differed between urban and rural habitats, and between deciduous and coniferous habitats. The results reveal differences in FA composition between eggs laid in urban and rural habitats, but not between eggs from the coniferous and deciduous habitats. To a large extent, this difference likely reflects dietary differences associated with urban habitats rather than dominating vegetation type. Specifically, urban yolks contained lower proportions of both ω-3 and ω-6 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFA), which are important for chick development. We also found a positive association between the proportion of saturated fatty acids and laying date, and a negative association between the proportion of ω-6 PUFA and clutch size. Given that urbanization is expanding rapidly, future studies should investigate whether factors such as anthropogenic food in the urban environment underlie these differences and whether they impair chick development. PMID:27300022

  12. The intensity threshold of colour vision in a passerine bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Gomez, Doris; Grégoire, Arnaud; Del Rey Granado, Maria; Bassoul, Marine; Degueldre, David; Perret, Philippe; Doutrelant, Claire

    2014-11-01

    Many vertebrates use colour vision for vital behaviour but their visual performance in dim light is largely unknown. The light intensity threshold of colour vision is known only for humans, horses and two parrot species. Here, we first explore this threshold in a passerine bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). Using classic conditioning of colour cues to food rewards in three individuals, we find a threshold ranging from 0.05 to 0.2 cd m(-2). Results are comparable to the two previously tested bird species. For tits, nest light conditions probably exceed that threshold, at least after sunrise. These results shed new light on the lively debate questioning the visual performance of cavity nesters and the evolutionary significance of egg and chick coloration. Although this needs further investigation, it is possible that blue tits exploit both colour and brightness cues when viewing their eggs, chicks or conspecifics in their nests. PMID:25214487

  13. Opposing effects on glutathione and reactive oxygen metabolites of sex, habitat, and spring date, but no effect of increased breeding density in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Isaksson, Caroline

    2013-08-01

    Oxidative stress (i.e., more oxidants than antioxidants) has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Therefore, the aim here was to investigate the impact of ecological and individual factors for variation in markers of oxidative stress using both experimental and correlational data. Total glutathione (tGSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma antioxidant capacity (OXY), and plasma-reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) were measured in more than 700 breeding great tits (Parus major). The main results revealed a pronounced sex difference, with females having lower ROM and OXY, but higher tGSH compared with males. In addition, birds breeding in the evergreen areas had higher tGSH compared with those in the deciduous habitat, but the experimentally manipulated breeding density had no significant effect on any of the redox markers. Independent of the sex differences, the larger the reproductive investment the lower the ROM of both males and females. Taken together, the extracellular markers - ROM and OXY - revealed similar results and were highly correlated. Interestingly, the direction of their effects was in the opposite direction to the endogenously synthesized tGSH and GSSG. This highlights the need to combine extracellular markers with endogenously synthesized antioxidants to understand its implications for the origin and evolution of trade-offs in an ecological setting. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Here multiple markers of oxidative stress were analysed in wild great tits. The results reveal that the endogenously synthesized antioxidant glutathione and markers of plasma oxidative stress are affected in opposing directions with regard to sex

  14. Opposing effects on glutathione and reactive oxygen metabolites of sex, habitat, and spring date, but no effect of increased breeding density in great tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Isaksson, Caroline

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Oxidative stress (i.e., more oxidants than antioxidants) has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Therefore, the aim here was to investigate the impact of ecological and individual factors for variation in markers of oxidative stress using both experimental and correlational data. Total glutathione (tGSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma antioxidant capacity (OXY), and plasma-reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) were measured in more than 700 breeding great tits (Parus major). The main results revealed a pronounced sex difference, with females having lower ROM and OXY, but higher tGSH compared with males. In addition, birds breeding in the evergreen areas had higher tGSH compared with those in the deciduous habitat, but the experimentally manipulated breeding density had no significant effect on any of the redox markers. Independent of the sex differences, the larger the reproductive investment the lower the ROM of both males and females. Taken together, the extracellular markers – ROM and OXY – revealed similar results and were highly correlated. Interestingly, the direction of their effects was in the opposite direction to the endogenously synthesized tGSH and GSSG. This highlights the need to combine extracellular markers with endogenously synthesized antioxidants to understand its implications for the origin and evolution of trade-offs in an ecological setting. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Here multiple markers of oxidative stress were analysed in wild great tits. The results reveal that the endogenously synthesized antioxidant glutathione and markers of plasma oxidative stress are affected in opposing directions with regard

  15. Variation, levels and profiles of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in great tit (Parus major) eggs from different types of sampling locations in Flanders (Belgium).

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Dauwe, Tom; Pinxten, Rianne; Neels, Hugo; Eens, Marcel

    2008-02-01

    Small-scale geographical variation in the occurrence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was investigated using the eggs of a terrestrial residential songbird species, the great tit (Parus major). In addition, we investigated the influence of the type of sampling location on the presence of these pollutants. To achieve this, 10 different sampling locations in Flanders (Belgium) were classified into 3 groups based on the extent of urbanisation, industrialisation and agriculture. The higher variance among sampling locations for the levels and profiles of PCBs and OCPs, suggests that local contamination sources are more important for the PCBs and OCPs compared to the PBDEs. Levels of PCBs and PBDEs were significantly higher in the industrialised sampling locations compared to the other locations. Sum PCB and sum PBDE levels reached up to 6050 and 79 ng/g lipid weight, respectively. PCBs and PBDEs were highly positively correlated for all groups, suggesting similar exposure pathways and/or mechanisms of accumulation. Significantly higher levels of OCPs (sum OCPs up to 2683 ng/g lipid weight) were detected in the rural sampling locations situated in a residential area. This suggests that local historical usage of OCPs by inhabitants may be an important source of contamination in Flanders. Contamination profiles differed also among the sampling locations. The rural sampling locations had a higher contribution of lower brominated BDE congeners, whereas the industrialised locations had a higher contribution of higher brominated congeners. The differences in contamination profiles among the sampling locations are probably due to differences in exposure. In conclusion, our results showed that the characteristics of a sampling location influence both the levels and profiles of PCBs, OCPs and PBDEs. PMID:17765970

  16. Artificial light at night disrupts sleep in female great tits (Parus major) during the nestling period, and is followed by a sleep rebound.

    PubMed

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2016-08-01

    Artificial light at night has been linked to a wide variety of physiological and behavioural consequences in humans and animals. Given that little is known about the impact of light pollution on sleep in wild animals, we tested how experimentally elevated light levels affected sleep behaviour of female songbirds rearing 10 day old chicks. Using a within-subject design, individual sleep behaviour was observed over three consecutive nights in great tits (Parus major), with females sleeping in a natural dark situation on the first and third night, whereas on the second night they were exposed to a light-emitting diode (1.6 lux). Artificial light in the nest box dramatically and significantly affected sleep behaviour, causing females to fall asleep later (95 min; while entry time was unaffected), wake up earlier (74 min) and sleep less (56%). Females spent a greater proportion of the night awake and the frequency of their sleep bouts decreased, while the length of their sleep bouts remained equal. Artificial light also increased begging of chicks at night, which may have contributed to the sleep disruption in females or vice versa. The night following the light treatment, females slept 25% more compared to the first night, which was mainly achieved by increasing the frequency of sleep bouts. Although there was a consistent pattern in how artificial light affected sleep, there was also large among-individual variation in how strongly females were affected. When comparing current results with a similar experiment during winter, our results highlight differences in effects between seasons and underscore the importance of studying light pollution during different seasons. Our study shows that light pollution may have a significant impact on sleep behaviour in free-living animals during the reproductive season, which may provide a potential mechanism by which artificial light affects fitness. PMID:27179331

  17. A model approach to project the start of egg laying of Great Tit ( Parus major L.) in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chmielewski, Frank-M.; Blümel, Klaus; Scherbaum-Heberer, Carina; Koppmann-Rumpf, Bettina; Schmidt, Karl-Heinz

    2013-03-01

    The aim of this study was to select a phenological model that is able to calculate the beginning of egg laying of Great Tit ( Parus major) for both current and future climate conditions. Four models (M1-M4) were optimised on long-term phenological observations from the Ecological Research Centre Schlüchtern (Hessen/Germany). Model M1 was a common thermal time model that accumulates growing degree days (GDD) on an optimised starting date t 1. Since egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature but also by photoperiod, model M1 was extended by a daylength term to give M2. The other two models, M3 and M4, correspond to M1 and M2, but t 1 was intentionally set to 1 January, in order to consider already rising temperatures at the beginning of the year. A comparison of the four models led to following results: model M1 had a relatively high root mean square error at verification (RMSEver) of more than 4 days and can be used only to calculate the start of egg laying for current climate conditions because of the relatively late starting date for GDD calculation. The model failed completely if the starting date was set to 1 January (M3). Consideration of a daylength term in models M2 and M4 improved the performance of both models strongly (RMSEver of only 3 days or less), increased the credibility of parameter estimation, and was a precondition to calculate reliable projections in the timing of egg laying in birds for the future. These results confirm that the start of egg laying of Great Tit is influenced not only by air temperature, but also by photoperiod. Although models M2 and M4 both provide comparably good results for current climate conditions, we recommend model M4-with a starting date of temperature accumulation on 1 January-for calculating possible future shifts in the commencement of egg laying. Our regional projections in the start of egg laying, based on five regional climate models (RCMs: REMO-UBA, ECHAM5-CLM, HadCM3-CLM, WETTREG-0

  18. Is oxidative status influenced by dietary carotenoid and physical activity after moult in the great tit (Parus major)?

    PubMed

    Vaugoyeau, Marie; Decencière, Beatriz; Perret, Samuel; Karadas, Filiz; Meylan, Sandrine; Biard, Clotilde

    2015-07-01

    In the context of sexual and natural selection, an allocation trade-off for carotenoid pigments may exist because of their obligate dietary origin and their role both in the antioxidant and immune systems and in the production of coloured signals in various taxa, particularly birds. When birds have expended large amounts of carotenoids to feather growth such as after autumn moult, bird health and oxidative status might be more constrained. We tested this hypothesis in a bird species with carotenoid-based plumage colour, by manipulating dietary carotenoids and physical activity, which can decrease antioxidant capacity and increase reactive oxygen metabolite (ROM) concentration. Great tits were captured after moult and kept in aviaries, under three treatments: physical handicap and dietary supplementation with carotenoids, physical handicap and control diet, and no handicap and control diet. We measured plasma composition (antioxidant capacity, ROM concentration, and vitamin A, vitamin E and total carotenoid concentrations), immune system activation (blood sedimentation) and stress response (heterophil/lymphocyte ratio) and predicted that handicap treatment should influence these negatively and carotenoid supplementation positively. Coloration of yellow feathers was also measured. Carotenoid supplementation increased total plasma carotenoid concentration, decreased feather carotenoid chroma and marginally increased ROM concentration. Handicap increased blood sedimentation only in males but had no clear influence on oxidative stress, which contradicted previous studies. Further studies are needed to investigate how physical activity and carotenoid availability might interact and influence oxidative stress outside the moult period, and their combined potential influence on attractiveness and reproductive investment later during the breeding season. PMID:25964421

  19. Migratory and resident blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus differ in their reaction to a novel object

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Anna L. K.; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Alerstam, Thomas; Bäckman, Johan

    2010-11-01

    Individuals differ consistently in their behavioural reactions towards novel objects and new situations. Reaction to novelty is one part of a suit of individually consistent behaviours called coping strategies or personalities and is often summarised as bold or shy behaviour. Coping strategies could be particularly important for migrating birds exposed to novel environments on their journeys. We compared the average approach latencies to a novel object among migrants and residents in partially migratory blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. In this test, we found migrating blue tits to have shorter approach latencies than had resident ones. Behavioural reactions to novelty can affect the readiness to migrate and short approach latency may have an adaptive value during migration. Individual behaviour towards novelty might be incorporated among the factors associated with migratory or resident behaviour in a partially migratory population.

  20. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) respond to an experimental change in the aromatic plant odour composition of their nest.

    PubMed

    Mennerat, A

    2008-11-01

    Although the use of olfaction by birds is now widely recognised, the olfactory abilities of passerine birds remain poorly explored, for historical reasons. Several studies however suggest that passerines can perceive volatile compounds in several biologically relevant contexts. In Corsica, recent findings suggest that cavity-nesting blue tits may use volatile compounds in the context of nest building and maintenance. Although they build their nests mainly from moss, female blue tits also frequently incorporate fragments of several species of aromatic plants in the nest cup. In field experiments, breeding female blue tits altered their nest maintenance behaviour in response to experimental addition of aromatic plants in their nest. In aviary experiments, captive male blue tits could be trained to detect lavender odour from a distance. Here I report results from a field study aimed to test whether adult blue tits altered their chick-feeding behaviour after an experimental change in nest odour composition. I experimentally added fragments of aromatic plant species that differed from those brought in the nests before the start of the experiment in a set of experimental nests and added moss, the basic nest material, in a set of control nests. Both male and female blue tits hesitated significantly longer entering the nest cavity after addition of new aromatic plant fragments, as compared to moss addition. This response was especially observed during the first visit following the experimental change in nest plant composition. Nest composition treatment had no effect on the time spent in the nest. This study demonstrates that free-ranging blue tits detect changes in nest odour from outside the nest cavity. PMID:18692552

  1. Maternal transfer of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Neels, Hugo; Eens, Marcel; Pinxten, Rianne

    2009-01-01

    Although eggs have frequently been used as a biomonitoring tool for contamination with organohalogenated pollutants (OHPs), few studies have investigated the processes of maternal transfer in birds. Here, maternal transfer of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was investigated through comparison of the concentrations and profiles between whole homogenised female blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and their eggs. In addition, we examined if there was an effect of laying order on the concentrations of PCBs, OCPs and PBDEs. PCBs were the most abundant contaminants in female blue tits and their eggs, followed by OCPs and PBDEs. Among the OCPs, p,p'-DDE was the most dominant compound and accounted for more than 80% of the sum OCPs. Egg concentrations decreased significantly in relation to the laying order from 1623+/-148 ng/g lipid weight (lw) to 1040+/-47 ng/g lw for the sum PCBs, from 342+/-24 ng/g lw to 235+/-17 ng/g lw for the sum OCPs and from 49+/-5 ng/g lw to 27+/-5 ng/g lw for the sum PBDEs. When reviewing all studies investigating laying order effects of OHPs in birds, no clear patterns emerged, which may be due to differences in study species and methodology among studies. Despite the fact that there were laying order effects in blue tit clutches, the variance in concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs was larger among clutches than within clutches. Variance in OCP concentrations among clutches was similar to the variance within clutches. These results suggest that one randomly collected blue tit egg from a clutch is useful as biomonitoring tool for PCBs and PBDEs, while for OCPs it is recommended to consistently use the same egg from the laying sequence as a biomonitoring tool. Lipid-normalized concentrations of sum PCBs, sum OCPs and sum PBDEs in female blue tits after clutch completion were comparable to the concentrations in the first-laid eggs. The egg/female lipid concentration ratios for

  2. MHC class II B diversity in blue tits: a preliminary study

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, Juan Rivero-de; Schut, Elske; Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier; Komdeur, Jan; Westerdahl, Helena

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we partly characterize major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II B in the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). A total of 22 individuals from three different European locations: Spain, The Netherlands, and Sweden were screened for MHC allelic diversity. The MHC genes were investigated using both PCR-based methods and unamplified genomic DNA with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and southern blots. A total of 13 different exon 2 sequences were obtained independently from DNA and/or RNA, thus confirming gene transcription and likely functionality of the genes. Nine out of 13 alleles were found in more than one country, and two alleles appeared in all countries. Positive selection was detected in the region coding for the peptide binding region (PBR). A maximum of three alleles per individual was detected by sequencing and the RFLP pattern consisted of 4–7 fragments, indicating a minimum number of 2–4 loci per individual. A phylogenetic analysis, demonstrated that the blue tit sequences are divergent compared to sequences from other passerines resembling a different MHC lineage than those possessed by most passerines studied to date. PMID:23919136

  3. The effect of dietary amino acid composition on egg production in blue tits

    PubMed Central

    Ramsay, S. L.; Houston, D. C.

    1998-01-01

    Most studies on the interaction between food supply and reproduction in animals have assumed that energy is likely to be the factor limiting egg number and/or size. In this paper, we investigate whether dietary protein proximately constrains egg production in birds. We provisioned breeding blue tits with two food supplements that differed only in the concentration of five essential amino acids. Birds receiving a supplementary diet containing an amino acid balance close to that required for egg protein formation laid significantly larger clutches (18% greater) than control birds, whereas birds receiving an otherwise identical supplementary diet but without a favourable amino acid balance did not increase egg production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that dietary amino acid composition may limit egg production in free-living birds.

  4. Dietary antioxidants, lipid peroxidation and plumage colouration in nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larcombe, Stephen D.; Mullen, William; Alexander, Lucille; Arnold, Kathryn E.

    2010-10-01

    Carotenoid pigments are responsible for many of the red, yellow and orange plumage and integument traits seen in birds. One idea suggests that since carotenoids can act as antioxidants, carotenoid-mediated colouration may reveal an individual's ability to resist oxidative damage. In fact, there is currently very little information on the effects of most dietary-acquired antioxidants on oxidative stress in wild birds. Here, we assessed the impacts on oxidative damage, plasma antioxidants, growth and plumage colouration after supplementing nestling blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus with one of three diets; control, carotenoid treatment or α-tocopherol treatment. Oxidative damage was assessed by HPLC analysis of plasma levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a by-product of lipid peroxidation. Contrary to predictions, we found no differences in oxidative damage, plumage colouration or growth rate between treatment groups. Although plasma lutein concentrations were significantly raised in carotenoid-fed chicks, α-tocopherol treatment had no effect on concentrations of plasma α-tocopherol compared with controls. Interestingly, we found that faster growing chicks had higher levels of oxidative damage than slower growing birds, independent of treatment, body mass and condition at fledging. Moreover, the chromatic signal of the chest plumage of birds was positively correlated with levels of MDA but not plasma antioxidant concentrations: more colourful nestlings had higher oxidative damage than less colourful individuals. Thus, increased carotenoid-mediated plumage does not reveal resistance to oxidative damage for nestling blue tits, but may indicate costs paid, in terms of oxidative damage. Our results indicate that the trade-offs between competing physiological systems for dietary antioxidants are likely to be complex in rapidly developing birds. Moreover, interpreting the biological relevance of different biomarkers of antioxidant status represents a challenge for evolutionary

  5. Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus).

    PubMed

    Ferrer, E S; García-Navas, V; Sanz, J J; Ortego, J

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the importance of host genetic diversity for coping with parasites and infectious diseases is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Here, we study the association between probability of infection by avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and individual genetic diversity in three blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations that strongly differ in prevalence of this parasite. For this purpose, we screened avian malaria infections and genotyped 789 blue tits across 26 microsatellite markers. We used two different arrays of markers: 14 loci classified as neutral and 12 loci classified as putatively functional. We found a significant relationship between probability of infection and host genetic diversity estimated at the subset of neutral markers that was not explained by strong local effects and did not differ among the studied populations. This relationship was not linear, and probability of infection increased up to values of homozygosity by locus (HL) around 0.15, reached a plateau at values of HL from 0.15 to 0.40 and finally declined among a small proportion of highly homozygous individuals (HL > 0.4). We did not find evidence for significant identity disequilibrium, which may have resulted from a low variance of inbreeding in the study populations and/or the small power of our set of markers to detect it. A combination of subtle positive and negative local effects and/or a saturation threshold in the association between probability of infection and host genetic diversity in combination with increased resistance to parasites in highly homozygous individuals may explain the observed negative quadratic relationship. Overall, our study highlights that parasites play an important role in shaping host genetic variation and suggests that the use of large sets of neutral markers may be more appropriate for the study of heterozygosity-fitness correlations. PMID:25264126

  6. Experimental evidence for state-dependent nest weight in the blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R

    2009-05-01

    Parental investment in reproduction is generally limited by food availability, and so avian life-history research has traditionally focused on the brood rearing phase, when food requirements are greatest. Only relatively recently has the focus extended to the incubation phase, and even more recently to the nest-building phase, where observational and comparative evidence suggest that avian nest building is an energetically expensive and time-consuming activity. We aimed to experimentally test the limitations on this cost in a hole-breeding passerine, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), by providing supplementary food to experimental pairs during the nest-building period. In comparison with control females, that did not receive supplementary food, experimental females constructed heavier nests, with greater amounts of moss base but similar amounts of cup lining, despite there being no differences in the time taken to build the nest. This study provides empirical support for the hypothesis that avian nest building is a costly behaviour, limited by food availability. PMID:19429209

  7. Local weather conditions have complex effects on the growth of blue tit nestlings.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R

    2016-08-01

    Adverse weather conditions are expected to result in impaired nestling development in birds, but empirical studies have provided equivocal support for such a relationship. This may be because the negative effects of adverse weather conditions are masked by parental effects. Globally, ambient temperatures, rainfall levels and wind speeds are all expected to increase in a changing climate and so there is a need for a better understanding of the relationship between weather conditions and nestling growth. Here, we describe a correlative study that examined the relationships between local temperatures, rainfall levels and wind speeds and the growth of individual blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) nestlings in relation to their hatching order and sex. We found that changes in a range of morphological characters were negatively related to both temperature and wind speed, but positively related to rainfall. These patterns were further influenced by the hatching order of the nestlings but not by nestling sex. This suggests that the predicted changes in local weather conditions may have complex effects on nestling growth, but that parents may be able to mitigate the adverse effects via adaptive parental effects. We therefore conclude that local weather conditions have complex effects on avian growth and the implications for patterns of avian growth in a changing climate are discussed. PMID:27503711

  8. Heterozygosity-based assortative mating in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus): implications for the evolution of mate choice.

    PubMed

    García-Navas, Vicente; Ortego, Joaquín; Sanz, Juan José

    2009-08-22

    The general hypothesis of mate choice based on non-additive genetic traits suggests that individuals would gain important benefits by choosing genetically dissimilar mates (compatible mate hypothesis) and/or more heterozygous mates (heterozygous mate hypothesis). In this study, we test these hypotheses in a socially monogamous bird, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We found no evidence for a relatedness-based mating pattern, but heterozygosity was positively correlated between social mates, suggesting that blue tits may base their mating preferences on partner's heterozygosity. We found evidence that the observed heterozygosity-based assortative mating could be maintained by both direct and indirect benefits. Heterozygosity reflected individual quality in both sexes: egg production and quality increased with female heterozygosity while more heterozygous males showed higher feeding rates during the brood-rearing period. Further, estimated offspring heterozygosity correlated with both paternal and maternal heterozygosity, suggesting that mating with heterozygous individuals can increase offspring genetic quality. Finally, plumage crown coloration was associated with male heterozygosity, and this could explain unanimous mate preferences for highly heterozygous and more ornamented individuals. Overall, this study suggests that non-additive genetic traits may play an important role in the evolution of mating preferences and offers empirical support to the resolution of the lek paradox from the perspective of the heterozygous mate hypothesis. PMID:19474042

  9. Distribution of vasotocin- and vasoactive intestinal peptide-like immunoreactivity in the brain of blue tit (Cyanistes coeruleus)

    PubMed Central

    Montagnese, Catherine M.; Székely, Tamás; Csillag, András; Zachar, Gergely

    2015-01-01

    Blue tits (Cyanistes coeruleus) are songbirds, used as model animals in numerous studies covering a wide field of research. Nevertheless, the distribution of neuropeptides in the brain of this avian species remains largely unknown. Here we present some of the first results on distribution of Vasotocine (AVT) and Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the brain of males and females of this songbird species, using immunohistochemistry mapping. The bulk of AVT-like cells are found in the hypothalamic supraoptic, paraventricular and suprachiasmatic nuclei, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and along the lateral forebrain bundle. Most AVT-like fibers course toward the median eminence, some reaching the arcopallium, and lateral septum. Further terminal fields occur in the dorsal thalamus, ventral tegmental area and pretectal area. Most VIP-like cells are in the lateral septal organ and arcuate nucleus. VIP-like fibers are distributed extensively in the hypothalamus, preoptic area, lateral septum, diagonal band of Broca. They are also found in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, amygdaloid nucleus of taenia, robust nucleus of the arcopallium, caudo-ventral hyperpallium, nucleus accumbens and the brainstem. Taken together, these results suggest that both AVT and VIP immunoreactive structures show similar distribution to other avian species, emphasizing evolutionary conservatism in the history of vertebrates. The current study may enable future investigation into the localization of AVT and VIP, in relation to behavioral and ecological traits in the brain of tit species. PMID:26236200

  10. Life history correlates of fecal bacterial species richness in a wild population of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus

    PubMed Central

    Benskin, Clare McW H; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Mainwaring, Mark C; Wilson, Kenneth; Hartley, Ian R

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about the normal gastrointestinal flora of wild birds, or how it might affect or reflect the host's life-history traits. The aim of this study was to survey the species richness of bacteria in the feces of a wild population of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus and to explore the relationships between bacterial species richness and various life-history traits, such as age, sex, and reproductive success. Using PCR-TGGE, 55 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified in blue tit feces. DNA sequencing revealed that the 16S rRNA gene was amplified from a diverse range of bacteria, including those that shared closest homology with Bacillus licheniformis, Campylobacter lari, Pseudomonas spp., and Salmonella spp. For adults, there was a significant negative relationship between bacterial species richness and the likelihood of being detected alive the following breeding season; bacterial richness was consistent across years but declined through the breeding season; and breeding pairs had significantly more similar bacterial richness than expected by chance alone. Reduced adult survival was correlated with the presence of an OTU most closely resembling C. lari; enhanced adult survival was associated with an OTU most similar to Arthrobacter spp. For nestlings, there was no significant change in bacterial species richness between the first and second week after hatching, and nestlings sharing the same nest had significantly more similar bacterial richness. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence that bacterial species richness was associated with several aspects of the life history of their hosts. PMID:25750710

  11. Disentangling the complex evolutionary history of the Western Palearctic blue tits (Cyanistes spp.) - phylogenomic analyses suggest radiation by multiple colonization events and subsequent isolation.

    PubMed

    Stervander, Martin; Illera, Juan Carlos; Kvist, Laura; Barbosa, Pedro; Keehnen, Naomi P; Pruisscher, Peter; Bensch, Staffan; Hansson, Bengt

    2015-05-01

    Isolated islands and their often unique biota continue to play key roles for understanding the importance of drift, genetic variation and adaptation in the process of population differentiation and speciation. One island system that has inspired and intrigued evolutionary biologists is the blue tit complex (Cyanistes spp.) in Europe and Africa, in particular the complex evolutionary history of the multiple genetically distinct taxa of the Canary Islands. Understanding Afrocanarian colonization events is of particular importance because of recent unconventional suggestions that these island populations acted as source of the widespread population in mainland Africa. We investigated the relationship between mainland and island blue tits using a combination of Sanger sequencing at a population level (20 loci; 12 500 nucleotides) and next-generation sequencing of single population representatives (>3 200 000 nucleotides), analysed in coalescence and phylogenetic frameworks. We found (i) that Afrocanarian blue tits are monophyletic and represent four major clades, (ii) that the blue tit complex has a continental origin and that the Canary Islands were colonized three times, (iii) that all island populations have low genetic variation, indicating low long-term effective population sizes and (iv) that populations on La Palma and in Libya represent relicts of an ancestral North African population. Further, demographic reconstructions revealed (v) that the Canary Islands, conforming to traditional views, hold sink populations, which have not served as source for back colonization of the African mainland. Our study demonstrates the importance of complete taxon sampling and an extensive multimarker study design to obtain robust phylogeographical inferences. PMID:25753616

  12. Pronounced Fixation, Strong Population Differentiation and Complex Population History in the Canary Islands Blue Tit Subspecies Complex

    PubMed Central

    Hansson, Bengt; Ljungqvist, Marcus; Illera, Juan-Carlos; Kvist, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary molecular studies of island radiations may lead to insights in the role of vicariance, founder events, population size and drift in the processes of population differentiation. We evaluate the degree of population genetic differentiation and fixation of the Canary Islands blue tit subspecies complex using microsatellite markers and aim to get insights in the population history using coalescence based methods. The Canary Island populations were strongly genetically differentiated and had reduced diversity with pronounced fixation including many private alleles. In population structure models, the relationship between the central island populations (La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria) and El Hierro was difficult to disentangle whereas the two European populations showed consistent clustering, the two eastern islands (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote) and Morocco weak clustering, and La Palma a consistent unique lineage. Coalescence based models suggested that the European mainland forms an outgroup to the Afrocanarian population, a split between the western island group (La Palma and El Hierro) and the central island group, and recent splits between the three central islands, and between the two eastern islands and Morocco, respectively. It is clear that strong genetic drift and low level of concurrent gene flow among populations have shaped complex allelic patterns of fixation and skewed frequencies over the archipelago. However, understanding the population history remains challenging; in particular, the pattern of extreme divergence with low genetic diversity and yet unique genetic material in the Canary Island system requires an explanation. A potential scenario is population contractions of a historically large and genetically variable Afrocanarian population, with vicariance and drift following in the wake. The suggestion from sequence-based analyses of a Pleistocene extinction of a substantial part of North Africa and a Pleistocene/Holocene eastward

  13. Physiological ecology of Mediterranean blue tits (Parus caeruleus L.): effects of ectoparasites (Protocalliphora spp.) and food abundance on metabolic capacity of nestlings.

    PubMed

    Simon, Aurélie; Thomas, Don; Blondel, Jacques; Perret, Philippe; Lambrechts, Marcel M

    2004-01-01

    The consequences of nest ectoparasites, such as Protocalliphora larvae, on nestling birds have been the subject of numerous studies. Despite observed reductions in mass and hematocrit of chicks from parasitized nests, no studies have found any effect of Protocalliphora on nestling survival, suggesting that fitness consequences of Protocalliphora are either weak or occur after fledging. From experiments on the metabolic performance of chicks, we found that parasitized chicks suffer from reduced thermogenic and metabolic capacities as a result of decreased mass and hematocrit. Hence, Protocalliphora may potentially affect nestling survival after fledging, when energetically costly activities such as flight and moult are undertaken. Previous studies have demonstrated an increase in parental feeding rate to compensate for the detrimental consequences of parasite infestation. We tested whether parasite effects on nestling aerobic capacity were dependent on food availability during the feeding period. Measures of caterpillar densities and experimental manipulations of parasite loads allowed us to investigate relationships among host, parasite, and environment. A positive relationship between chick aerobic and thermogenic performances and caterpillar density suggests that negative effects of parasitism may be offset by increased food availability. This study provides the first measurement of the effects of an ectoparasite on metabolic competence in wild birds and documentation of the effect of food availability on ectoparasite virulence using a quantitative measure of food abundance. PMID:15286922

  14. Can eggs in a cavity be a female secondary sexual signal? Male nest visits and modelling of egg visual discrimination in blue tits.

    PubMed

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Doutrelant, Claire; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Gomez, Doris; Grégoire, Arnaud

    2010-08-23

    Eggshell colouration is thought to function as a female-specific secondary sexual trait. While tests of this idea are rapidly accumulating in cavity-nesting birds, some fundamental underlying assumptions remain rarely investigated: namely, can males see eggshell coloration and perceive colour differences between the eggs of different females? We tested these two key assumptions in a natural population of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Using transponders, we tracked male nest visits and found that all males visited their nest-boxes while eggs were present and often visually accessible. Interestingly, some males also visited neighbouring nests. We then tested whether birds could detect eggshell coloration using models of avian colour vision; models were performed with and without limitations on visual performance owing to dim light. Both models found that differences in eggshell brightness were often easier to discriminate than differences in colour; there was more contrast in white eggshell background between clutches than within and its contrast against nest background was repeatable within clutches, suggesting these features could act as signals. Yet, the detectability of these contrasts depended entirely on model assumptions of visual limitations. Consequently, we need a better understanding of underlying visual mechanisms in dim-light environments and behavioural discrimination experiments before confirming the signalling potential of eggshell coloration. PMID:20164078

  15. Can eggs in a cavity be a female secondary sexual signal? Male nest visits and modelling of egg visual discrimination in blue tits

    PubMed Central

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Doutrelant, Claire; Guerreiro, Romain; Perret, Philippe; Gomez, Doris; Grégoire, Arnaud

    2010-01-01

    Eggshell colouration is thought to function as a female-specific secondary sexual trait. While tests of this idea are rapidly accumulating in cavity-nesting birds, some fundamental underlying assumptions remain rarely investigated: namely, can males see eggshell coloration and perceive colour differences between the eggs of different females? We tested these two key assumptions in a natural population of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Using transponders, we tracked male nest visits and found that all males visited their nest-boxes while eggs were present and often visually accessible. Interestingly, some males also visited neighbouring nests. We then tested whether birds could detect eggshell coloration using models of avian colour vision; models were performed with and without limitations on visual performance owing to dim light. Both models found that differences in eggshell brightness were often easier to discriminate than differences in colour; there was more contrast in white eggshell background between clutches than within and its contrast against nest background was repeatable within clutches, suggesting these features could act as signals. Yet, the detectability of these contrasts depended entirely on model assumptions of visual limitations. Consequently, we need a better understanding of underlying visual mechanisms in dim-light environments and behavioural discrimination experiments before confirming the signalling potential of eggshell coloration. PMID:20164078

  16. Influence of fine-scale habitat structure on nest-site occupancy, laying date and clutch size in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; Vedder, Oscar; Schut, Elske; de Jong, Berber; Magrath, Michael J. L.; Korsten, Peter; Komdeur, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Most birds have specific habitat requirements for breeding. The vegetation structure surrounding nest-sites is an important component of habitat quality, and can have large effects on avian breeding performance. We studied 13 years of Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus population data to determine whether characteristics of vegetation structure predict site occupancy, laying date and number of eggs laid. Measurements of vegetation structure included the density of English Oak Quercus robur, European Beech Fagus sylvatica, and other deciduous, coniferous and non-coniferous evergreen trees, within a 20-m radius of nest-boxes used for breeding. Trees were further sub-divided into specific classes of trunk circumferences to determine the densities for different maturity levels. Based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we reduced the total number of 17 measured vegetation variables to 7 main categories, which we used for further analyses. We found that the occupancy rate of sites and the number of eggs laid correlated positively with the proportion of deciduous trees and negatively with the density of coniferous trees. Laying of the first egg was advanced with a greater proportion of deciduous trees. Among deciduous trees, the English Oak appeared to be most important, as a higher density of more mature English Oak trees was associated with more frequent nest-box occupancy, a larger number of eggs laid, and an earlier laying start. Furthermore, laying started earlier and more eggs were laid in nest-boxes with higher occupancy rates. Together, these findings highlight the role of deciduous trees, particularly more mature English Oak, as important predictors of high-quality preferred habitat. These results aid in defining habitat quality and will facilitate future studies on the importance of environmental quality for breeding performance.

  17. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights.

    PubMed

    McFarlane, Laura; Altringham, John D; Askew, Graham N

    2016-05-01

    Diurnal and seasonal increases in body mass and seasonal reductions in wing area may compromise a bird's ability to escape, as less of the power available from the flight muscles can be used to accelerate and elevate the animal's centre of mass. Here, we investigated the effects of intra-specific variation in wing morphology on escape take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Flights were recorded using synchronised high-speed video cameras and take-off performance was quantified as the sum of the rates of change of the kinetic and potential energies of the centre of mass. Individuals with a lower wing loading, WL (WL=body weight/wing area) had higher escape take-off performance, consistent with the increase in lift production expected from relatively larger wings. Unexpectedly, it was found that the total power available from the flight muscles (estimated using an aerodynamic analysis) was inversely related to WL. This could simply be because birds with a higher WL have relatively smaller flight muscles. Alternatively or additionally, variation in the aerodynamic load on the wing resulting from differences in wing morphology will affect the mechanical performance of the flight muscles via effects on the muscle's length trajectory. Consistent with this hypothesis is the observation that wing beat frequency and relative downstroke duration increase with decreasing WL; both are factors that are expected to increase muscle power output. Understanding how wing morphology influences take-off performance gives insight into the potential risks associated with feather loss and seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in body mass. PMID:26994175

  18. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights

    PubMed Central

    McFarlane, Laura; Altringham, John D.; Askew, Graham N.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Diurnal and seasonal increases in body mass and seasonal reductions in wing area may compromise a bird's ability to escape, as less of the power available from the flight muscles can be used to accelerate and elevate the animal's centre of mass. Here, we investigated the effects of intra-specific variation in wing morphology on escape take-off performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Flights were recorded using synchronised high-speed video cameras and take-off performance was quantified as the sum of the rates of change of the kinetic and potential energies of the centre of mass. Individuals with a lower wing loading, WL (WL=body weight/wing area) had higher escape take-off performance, consistent with the increase in lift production expected from relatively larger wings. Unexpectedly, it was found that the total power available from the flight muscles (estimated using an aerodynamic analysis) was inversely related to WL. This could simply be because birds with a higher WL have relatively smaller flight muscles. Alternatively or additionally, variation in the aerodynamic load on the wing resulting from differences in wing morphology will affect the mechanical performance of the flight muscles via effects on the muscle's length trajectory. Consistent with this hypothesis is the observation that wing beat frequency and relative downstroke duration increase with decreasing WL; both are factors that are expected to increase muscle power output. Understanding how wing morphology influences take-off performance gives insight into the potential risks associated with feather loss and seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in body mass. PMID:26994175

  19. Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome.

    PubMed

    Laine, Veronika N; Gossmann, Toni I; Schachtschneider, Kyle M; Garroway, Colin J; Madsen, Ole; Verhoeven, Koen J F; de Jager, Victor; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Warren, Wesley C; Minx, Patrick; Crooijmans, Richard P M A; Corcoran, Pádraic; Sheldon, Ben C; Slate, Jon; Zeng, Kai; van Oers, Kees; Visser, Marcel E; Groenen, Martien A M

    2016-01-01

    For over 50 years, the great tit (Parus major) has been a model species for research in evolutionary, ecological and behavioural research; in particular, learning and cognition have been intensively studied. Here, to provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms behind these important traits, we de novo assemble a great tit reference genome and whole-genome re-sequence another 29 individuals from across Europe. We show an overrepresentation of genes related to neuronal functions, learning and cognition in regions under positive selection, as well as increased CpG methylation in these regions. In addition, great tit neuronal non-CpG methylation patterns are very similar to those observed in mammals, suggesting a universal role in neuronal epigenetic regulation which can affect learning-, memory- and experience-induced plasticity. The high-quality great tit genome assembly will play an instrumental role in furthering the integration of ecological, evolutionary, behavioural and genomic approaches in this model species. PMID:26805030

  20. Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Veronika N.; Gossmann, Toni I.; Schachtschneider, Kyle M.; Garroway, Colin J.; Madsen, Ole; Verhoeven, Koen J. F.; de Jager, Victor; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Warren, Wesley C.; Minx, Patrick; Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A.; Corcoran, Pádraic; Adriaensen, Frank; Belda, Eduardo; Bushuev, Andrey; Cichon, Mariusz; Charmantier, Anne; Dingemanse, Niels; Doligez, Blandine; Eeva, Tapio; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Fedorov, Slava; Hau, Michaela; Hille, Sabine; Hinde, Camilla; Kempenaers, Bart; Kerimov, Anvar; Krist, Milos; Mand, Raivo; Matthysen, Erik; Nager, Reudi; Norte, Claudia; Orell, Markku; Richner, Heinz; Slagsvold, Tore; Tilgar, Vallo; Tinbergen, Joost; Torok, Janos; Tschirren, Barbara; Yuta, Tera; Sheldon, Ben C.; Slate, Jon; Zeng, Kai; van Oers, Kees; Visser, Marcel E.; Groenen, Martien A. M.

    2016-01-01

    For over 50 years, the great tit (Parus major) has been a model species for research in evolutionary, ecological and behavioural research; in particular, learning and cognition have been intensively studied. Here, to provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms behind these important traits, we de novo assemble a great tit reference genome and whole-genome re-sequence another 29 individuals from across Europe. We show an overrepresentation of genes related to neuronal functions, learning and cognition in regions under positive selection, as well as increased CpG methylation in these regions. In addition, great tit neuronal non-CpG methylation patterns are very similar to those observed in mammals, suggesting a universal role in neuronal epigenetic regulation which can affect learning-, memory- and experience-induced plasticity. The high-quality great tit genome assembly will play an instrumental role in furthering the integration of ecological, evolutionary, behavioural and genomic approaches in this model species. PMID:26805030

  1. Calibration of a molecular clock in tits (Paridae)--do nucleotide substitution rates of mitochondrial genes deviate from the 2% rule?

    PubMed

    Päckert, Martin; Martens, Jochen; Tietze, Dieter Thomas; Dietzen, Christian; Wink, Michael; Kvist, Laura

    2007-07-01

    The ongoing debate on the reliability of avian molecular clocks is actually based on only a small number of calibrations carried out under different assumptions with respect to the choice and constraints of calibration points or to the use of substitution models. In this study, we provide substitution rate estimates for two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome b and the control region, and age estimates for lineage splits within four subgenera of tits (Paridae: Parus, Cyanistes, Poecile and Periparus). Overall sequence divergence between cytochrome b lineages covers a range of 0.4-1.8% per million years and is thus consistent with the frequently adopted approximation for a sequence divergence between avian lineages of 1.6-2% per my. Overall rate variation is high and encompasses the 2% value in a 95% CI for model corrected data. Mean rate estimates for cytochrome b range between 1.9 and 8.9 x 10(-3) substitutions per site per lineage. Local rates differ significantly between taxonomic levels with lowest estimates for haplotype lineages. At the population/subspecies level mean sequence divergence between lineages matches the 2% rule best for most cytochrome b datasets (1.5-1.9% per my) with maximum estimates for small isolated populations like those of the Canarian P. teneriffae complex (up to 3.9% per my). Overall rate estimates for the control region range at similar values like those for cytochrome b (2.7-8.8 x 10(-3), 0.5-1.8% per my), however, within some subgenera mean rates are higher than those for cytochrome b for uncorrected sequence data. The lowest rates for both genes were calculated for coal tits of subgenus Periparus (0.04-0.6% per my). Model-corrected sequence data tend to result in higher rate estimates than uncorrected data. Increase of the gamma shape parameter goes along with a significant decrease of rate and partly age estimates, too. Divergence times for earliest deep splits within tit subgenera Periparus and Parus were dated to the mid Miocene at

  2. Taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationship of tits based on mitogenomes and nuclear segments.

    PubMed

    Li, Xuejuan; Lin, Liliang; Cui, Aiming; Bai, Jie; Wang, Xiaoyang; Xin, Chao; Zhang, Zhen; Yang, Chao; Gao, Ruirui; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2016-11-01

    The phylogeny of tits has been studied using various molecular markers, but their phylogenetic relationships remain controversial. To further investigate their taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships, the entire mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) and five nuclear segments were sequenced from 10 species of tits and two outgroups (Sylviparus modestus and Remiz consobrinus), followed by the comparison of mitogenomic characteristics and reconstruction of phylogenetic relationship based on the different datasets. The results revealed the following: the mitogenomes of 10 ingroup tits, each 16,758-16,799bp in length, displayed typical mitogenome organization and the gene order found in most previously determined Passeriformes mitogenomes; close relationships existed between Parus major and P. monticolus, between P. montanus and P. palustris, and between P. ater and P. venustulus; and Pseudopodoces humilis was a sister group to P. spilonotus, P. cyanus, or the clade containing P. major and P. monticolus. PMID:27444707

  3. Genetic responses to seasonal variation in altitudinal stress: whole-genome resequencing of great tit in eastern Himalayas

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Yanhua; Tian, Shilin; Han, Naijian; Zhao, Hongwei; Gao, Bin; Fu, Jun; Cheng, Yalin; Song, Gang; Ericson, Per G. P.; Zhang, Yong E.; Wang, Dawei; Quan, Qing; Jiang, Zhi; Li, Ruiqiang; Lei, Fumin

    2015-01-01

    Species that undertake altitudinal migrations are exposed to a considerable seasonal variation in oxygen levels and temperature. How they cope with this was studied in a population of great tit (Parus major) that breeds at high elevations and winters at lower elevations in the eastern Himalayas. Comparison of population genomics of high altitudinal great tits and those living in lowlands revealed an accelerated genetic selection for carbohydrate energy metabolism (amino sugar, nucleotide sugar metabolism and insulin signaling pathways) and hypoxia response (PI3K-akt, mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways) in the high altitudinal population. The PI3K-akt, mTOR and MAPK pathways modulate the hypoxia-inducible factors, HIF-1α and VEGF protein expression thus indirectly regulate hypoxia induced angiogenesis, erythropoiesis and vasodilatation. The strategies observed in high altitudinal great tits differ from those described in a closely related species on the Tibetan Plateau, the sedentary ground tit (Parus humilis). This species has enhanced selection in lipid-specific metabolic pathways and hypoxia-inducible factor pathway (HIF-1). Comparative population genomics also revealed selection for larger body size in high altitudinal great tits. PMID:26404527

  4. Yolk carotenoids increase fledging success in great tit nestlings.

    PubMed

    Marri, Viviana; Richner, Heinz

    2014-10-01

    Avian mothers can influence offspring phenotype through the deposition of different compounds into eggs, such as antibodies, hormones and antioxidants. The concentration of carotenoids in yolk is larger than in maternal plasma, suggesting an important role of these compounds for offspring development. Since carotenoids have to be acquired from the diet, they may be available in limiting amounts to the mothers. Here, we investigated the role of egg carotenoids for offspring growth by experimentally increasing the concentration of yolk lutein, the main carotenoid in great tit (Parus major) yolk. We subsequently measured body condition, oxidative stress, immune response, plumage colouration and fledging success. Lutein increased body mass soon after hatching and fledging success, but did not affect tarsus length, oxidative stress, immune response and plumage colouration. The higher content of yolk lutein could have increased body mass by reducing oxidative stress caused by high metabolic rates of rapidly growing embryos or by promoting cell differentiation and proliferation. The positive effect of lutein on fledging success seems to be mediated by its influence on body mass 3 days post-hatch, since these two traits were correlated. The finding that our treatment did not affect traits measured later in the nestling period, except for fledging success, suggests that yolk lutein has short-term effects that are essential to increase survival until fledging. Our study shows the positive effect of yolk lutein on offspring survival in the great tit, and therefore suggests an important role of carotenoid-mediated maternal effects. PMID:25142046

  5. Song Trait Similarity in Great Tits Varies with Social Structure

    PubMed Central

    Snijders, Lysanne; van der Eijk, Jerine; van Rooij, Erica P.; de Goede, Piet; van Oers, Kees; Naguib, Marc

    2015-01-01

    For many animals, long-range signalling is essential to maintain contact with conspecifics. In territorial species, individuals often have to balance signalling towards unfamiliar potential competitors (to solely broadcast territory ownership) with signalling towards familiar immediate neighbours (to also maintain so-called “dear enemy” relations). Hence, to understand how signals evolve due to these multilevel relationships, it is important to understand how general signal traits vary in relation to the overall social environment. For many territorial songbirds dawn is a key signalling period, with several neighbouring individuals singing simultaneously without immediate conflict. In this study we tested whether sharing a territory boundary, rather than spatial proximity, is related to similarity in dawn song traits between territorial great tits (Parus major) in a wild personality-typed population. We collected a large dataset of automatized dawn song recordings from 72 unique male great tits, during the fertile period of their mate, and compared specific song traits between neighbours and non-neighbours. We show here that both song rate and start time of dawn song were repeatable song traits. Moreover, neighbours were significantly more dissimilar in song rate compared to non-neighbours, while there was no effect of proximity on song rate similarity. Additionally, similarity in start time of dawn song was unrelated to sharing a territory boundary, but birds were significantly more similar in start time of dawn song when they were breeding in close proximity of each other. We suggest that the dissimilarity in dawn song rate between neighbours is either the result of neighbouring great tits actively avoiding similar song rates to possibly prevent interference, or a passive consequence of territory settlement preferences relative to the types of neighbours. Neighbourhood structuring is therefore likely to be a relevant selection pressure shaping variation in

  6. Taking the Operant Paradigm into the Field: Associative Learning in Wild Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Hamblin, Steven; Cole, Ella F.; Aplin, Lucy M.; Quinn, John L.

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning is essential for resource acquisition, predator avoidance and reproduction in a wide diversity of species, and is therefore a key target for evolutionary and comparative cognition research. Automated operant devices can greatly enhance the study of associative learning and yet their use has been mainly restricted to laboratory conditions. We developed a portable, weatherproof, battery-operated operant device and conducted the first fully automated colour-associative learning experiment using free-ranging individuals in the wild. We used the device to run a colour discrimination task in a monitored population of tits (Paridae). Over two winter months, 80 individuals from four species recorded a total of 5,128 trials. Great tits (Parus major) were more likely than other species to visit the devices and engage in trials, but there were no sex or personality biases in the sample of great tits landing at the devices and registering key pecks. Juveniles were more likely than adults to visit the devices and to register trials. Individuals that were successful at solving a novel technical problem in captivity (lever-pulling) learned faster than non-solvers when at the operant devices in the wild, suggesting cross-contextual consistency in learning performance in very different tasks. There was no significant effect of personality or sex on learning rate, but juveniles’ choice accuracy tended to improve at a faster rate than adults. We discuss how customisable automated operant devices, such as the one described here, could prove to be a powerful tool in evolutionary ecology studies of cognitive traits, especially among inquisitive species such as great tits. PMID:26288131

  7. Taking the Operant Paradigm into the Field: Associative Learning in Wild Great Tits.

    PubMed

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Hamblin, Steven; Cole, Ella F; Aplin, Lucy M; Quinn, John L

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning is essential for resource acquisition, predator avoidance and reproduction in a wide diversity of species, and is therefore a key target for evolutionary and comparative cognition research. Automated operant devices can greatly enhance the study of associative learning and yet their use has been mainly restricted to laboratory conditions. We developed a portable, weatherproof, battery-operated operant device and conducted the first fully automated colour-associative learning experiment using free-ranging individuals in the wild. We used the device to run a colour discrimination task in a monitored population of tits (Paridae). Over two winter months, 80 individuals from four species recorded a total of 5,128 trials. Great tits (Parus major) were more likely than other species to visit the devices and engage in trials, but there were no sex or personality biases in the sample of great tits landing at the devices and registering key pecks. Juveniles were more likely than adults to visit the devices and to register trials. Individuals that were successful at solving a novel technical problem in captivity (lever-pulling) learned faster than non-solvers when at the operant devices in the wild, suggesting cross-contextual consistency in learning performance in very different tasks. There was no significant effect of personality or sex on learning rate, but juveniles' choice accuracy tended to improve at a faster rate than adults. We discuss how customisable automated operant devices, such as the one described here, could prove to be a powerful tool in evolutionary ecology studies of cognitive traits, especially among inquisitive species such as great tits. PMID:26288131

  8. Egg speckling patterns do not advertise offspring quality or influence male provisioning in great tits.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Fayet, Annette L; Kilner, Rebecca M; Hinde, Camilla A

    2012-01-01

    Many passerine birds lay white eggs with reddish brown speckles produced by protoporphyrin pigment. However, the function of these spots is contested. Recently, the sexually selected eggshell coloration (SSEC) hypothesis proposed that eggshell color is a sexually selected signal through which a female advertises her quality (and hence the potential quality of her future young) to her male partner, thereby encouraging him to contribute more to breeding attempts. We performed a test of the SSEC hypothesis in a common passerine, the great tit Parus major. We used a double cross-fostering design to determine whether males change their provisioning behavior based on eggshell patterns they observe at the nest. We also tested the assumption that egg patterning reflects female and/or offspring quality. Because birds differ from humans in their color and pattern perception, we used digital photography and models of bird vision to quantify egg patterns objectively. Neither male provisioning nor chick growth was related to the pattern of eggs males observed during incubation. Although heavy females laid paler, less speckled eggs, these eggs did not produce chicks that grew faster. Therefore, we conclude that the SSEC hypothesis is an unlikely explanation for the evolution of egg speckling in great tits. PMID:22815730

  9. Predicting demographically sustainable rates of adaptation: can great tit breeding time keep pace with climate change?

    PubMed Central

    Gienapp, Phillip; Lof, Marjolein; Reed, Thomas E.; McNamara, John; Verhulst, Simon; Visser, Marcel E.

    2013-01-01

    Populations need to adapt to sustained climate change, which requires micro-evolutionary change in the long term. A key question is how the rate of this micro-evolutionary change compares with the rate of environmental change, given that theoretically there is a ‘critical rate of environmental change’ beyond which increased maladaptation leads to population extinction. Here, we parametrize two closely related models to predict this critical rate using data from a long-term study of great tits (Parus major). We used stochastic dynamic programming to predict changes in optimal breeding time under three different climate scenarios. Using these results we parametrized two theoretical models to predict critical rates. Results from both models agreed qualitatively in that even ‘mild’ rates of climate change would be close to these critical rates with respect to great tit breeding time, while for scenarios close to the upper limit of IPCC climate projections the calculated critical rates would be clearly exceeded with possible consequences for population persistence. We therefore tentatively conclude that micro-evolution, together with plasticity, would rescue only the population from mild rates of climate change, although the models make many simplifying assumptions that remain to be tested. PMID:23209174

  10. Do Wild Great Tits Avoid Exposure to Light at Night?

    PubMed Central

    de Jong, Maaike; Ouyang, Jenny Q.; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Visser, Marcel E.; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2016-01-01

    Studies of wild populations have provided important insights into the effects of artificial light at night on organisms, populations and ecosystems. However, in most studies the exact amount of light at night individuals are exposed to remains unknown. Individuals can potentially control their nighttime light exposure by seeking dark spots within illuminated areas. This uncertainty makes it difficult to attribute effects to a direct effect of light at night, or to indirect effects, e.g., via an effect of light at night on food availability. In this study, we aim to quantify the nocturnal light exposure of wild birds in a previously dark forest-edge habitat, experimentally illuminated with three different colors of street lighting, in comparison to a dark control. During two consecutive breeding seasons, we deployed male great tits (Parus major) with a light logger measuring light intensity every five minutes over a 24h period. We found that three males from pairs breeding in brightly illuminated nest boxes close to green and red lamp posts, were not exposed to more artificial light at night than males from pairs breeding further away. This suggests, based on our limited sample size, that these males could have been avoiding light at night by choosing a roosting place with a reduced light intensity. Therefore, effects of light at night previously reported for this species in our experimental set-up might be indirect. In contrast to urban areas where light is omnipresent, bird species in non-urban areas may evade exposure to nocturnal artificial light, thereby avoiding direct consequences of light at night. PMID:27355354

  11. Selection based on the size of the black tie of the great tit may be reversed in urban habitats

    PubMed Central

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture–recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture–recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture–recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive local adaptation in urban habitats. We focused on the size of the black breast stripe (i.e., tie width) of the great tit (Parus major), a sexual ornament used in mate choice. Urban great tits display smaller tie sizes than forest birds. Because tie size is mostly genetically determined, it could potentially respond to selection. We analyzed capture/recapture data of male great tits in Barcelona city (N = 171) and in a nearby (7 km) forest (N = 324) from 1992 to 2008 using MARK. When modelling recapture rate, we found it to be strongly influenced by tie width, so that both for urban and forest habitats, birds with smaller ties were more trap-shy and more cautious than their larger tied counterparts. When modelling survival, we found that survival prospects in forest great tits increased the larger their tie width (i.e., directional positive selection), but the reverse was found for urban birds, with individuals displaying smaller ties showing higher survival (i.e., directional negative selection). As melanin-based tie size seems to be related to personality, and both are heritable, results may be explained by cautious personalities being favored in urban environments. More importantly, our results show that divergent selection can be an important mechanism in local adaptation to urban habitats and that capture–recapture is a powerful tool to test it. PMID:25077014

  12. Changing climate and the phenological response of great tit and collared flycatcher populations in floodplain forest ecosystems in Central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Zdeněk; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauerová, Jana; Možný, Martin; Štěpánek, Petr; Bartošová, Lenka; Žalud, Zdeněk

    2010-01-01

    This study is based on 47 years of observations (1961-2007) on two common bird species, the Great Tit ( Parus major) and the Collared Flycatcher ( Ficedula albicollis), and a dominant tree species in their habitat, the English Oak ( Quercus robur). The study took place at four research sites in the Czech Republic located in full-grown, multi-aged floodplain forests with no forestry management. An increase in air temperature over the evaluated period clearly influenced the length of phenological phases. The full foliage date of English Oak has advanced by 8.7 days during the past 47 years. Great Tit and Collared Flycatcher populations have reacted to the changing climate in the same way, with first laying date and mean laying date advancing by between 6.0 and 9.0 days. In all cases, the trends are highly significant and consistent over all sites. Despite the ongoing shift in phenological stages toward the beginning of the year, the change does not appear to have led to mistiming in the trophic food chain. Overall, this study shows almost identical rates of change in egg laying dates for both bird species in all the floodplain forests studied, and these trends are coherent with those of English Oak and peak herbivorous caterpillar activity.

  13. Individual and Population-Level Impacts of an Emerging Poxvirus Disease in a Wild Population of Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Lachish, Shelly; Bonsall, Michael B.; Lawson, Becki; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2012-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife can have severe effects on host populations and constitute a pressing problem for biodiversity conservation. Paridae pox is an unusually severe form of avipoxvirus infection that has recently been identified as an emerging infectious disease particularly affecting an abundant songbird, the great tit (Parus major), in Great Britain. In this study, we study the invasion and establishment of Paridae pox in a long-term monitored population of wild great tits to (i) quantify the impact of this novel pathogen on host fitness and (ii) determine the potential threat it poses to population persistence. We show that Paridae pox significantly reduces the reproductive output of great tits by reducing the ability of parents to fledge young successfully and rear those young to independence. Our results also suggested that pathogen transmission from diseased parents to their offspring was possible, and that disease entails severe mortality costs for affected chicks. Application of multistate mark-recapture modelling showed that Paridae pox causes significant reductions to host survival, with particularly large effects observed for juvenile survival. Using an age-structured population model, we demonstrate that Paridae pox has the potential to reduce population growth rate, primarily through negative impacts on host survival rates. However, at currently observed prevalence, significant disease-induced population decline seems unlikely, although pox prevalence may be underestimated if capture probability of diseased individuals is low. Despite this, because pox-affected model populations exhibited lower average growth rates, this emerging infectious disease has the potential to reduce the resilience of populations to other environmental factors that reduce population size. PMID:23185263

  14. Testing Local Adaptation in a Natural Great Tit-Malaria System: An Experimental Approach

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Tania; Delhaye, Jessica; Christe, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Finding out whether Plasmodium spp. are coevolving with their vertebrate hosts is of both theoretical and applied interest and can influence our understanding of the effects and dynamics of malaria infection. In this study, we tested for local adaptation as a signature of coevolution between malaria blood parasites, Plasmodium spp. and its host, the great tit, Parus major. We conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment of birds in the field, where we exposed birds from two populations to Plasmodium parasites. This experimental set-up also provided a unique opportunity to study the natural history of malaria infection in the wild and to assess the effects of primary malaria infection on juvenile birds. We present three main findings: i) there was no support for local adaptation; ii) there was a male-biased infection rate; iii) infection occurred towards the end of the summer and differed between sites. There were also site-specific effects of malaria infection on the hosts. Taken together, we present one of the few experimental studies of parasite-host local adaptation in a natural malaria system, and our results shed light on the effects of avian malaria infection in the wild. PMID:26555892

  15. Predator-Specific Effects on Incubation Behaviour and Offspring Growth in Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Basso, Alessandra; Richner, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    In birds, different types of predators may target adults or offspring differentially and at different times of the reproductive cycle. Hence they may also differentially influence incubation behaviour and thus embryonic development and offspring phenotype. This is poorly understood, and we therefore performed a study to assess the effects of the presence of either a nest predator or a predator targeting adults and offspring after fledging on female incubation behaviour in great tits (Parus major), and the subsequent effects on offspring morphological traits. We manipulated perceived predation risk during incubation using taxidermic models of two predators: the short-tailed weasel posing a risk to incubating females and nestlings, and the sparrowhawk posing a risk to adults and offspring after fledging. To disentangle treatment effects induced during incubation from potential carry-over effects of parental behaviour after hatching, we cross-fostered whole broods from manipulated nests with broods from unmanipulated nests. Both predator treatments lead to a reduced on- and off-bout frequency, to a slower decline in on-bout temperature as incubation advanced and showed a negative effect on nestling body mass gain. At the current state of knowledge on predator-induced variation in incubation patterns alternative hypotheses are feasible, and the findings of this study will be useful for guiding future research. PMID:25830223

  16. Uropygial gland size and composition varies according to experimentally modified microbiome in Great tits

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Parasites exert important selective pressures on host life history traits. In birds, feathers are inhabited by numerous microorganisms, some of them being able to degrade feathers or lead to infections. Preening feathers with secretions of the uropygial gland has been found to act as an antimicrobial defence mechanism, expected to regulate feather microbial communities and thus limit feather abrasion and infections. Here, we used an experimental approach to test whether Great tits (Parus major) modify their investment in the uropygial gland in response to differences in environmental microorganisms. Results We found that males, but not females, modified the size of their gland when exposed to higher bacterial densities on feathers. We also identified 16 wax esters in the uropygial gland secretions. The relative abundance of some of these esters changed in males and females, while the relative abundance of others changed only in females when exposed to greater bacterial loads on feathers. Conclusion Birds live in a bacterial world composed of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms. This study provides the first experimental evidence for modifications of investment in the defensive trait that is the uropygial gland in response to environmental microorganisms in a wild bird. PMID:24938652

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of yellow-browed tit (Sylviparus modestus).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyang; Huang, Yuan

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of yellow-browed tit was 17,086 bp in length, and consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and a control region. In control region, a 117 bp long tandem repeat was identified, which was the first reported tandem repeats in tits. PMID:25765087

  18. Effects of dietary lead exposure on vitamin levels in great tit nestlings - An experimental manipulation.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Sandra; Espín, Silvia; Rainio, Miia; Ruuskanen, Suvi; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Lilley, Thomas M; Eeva, Tapio

    2016-06-01

    Exposure to metal pollution negatively affects animal physiology, including nutrient metabolism, but in the wild an effect can seldom be attributed to a single metal. Moreover, little is known about how the metabolism of vitamins, essential micronutrients for developing juveniles, is affected by toxic metals. Therefore we experimentally investigated the effects of lead (Pb), a widespread toxic metal, on four fat-soluble vitamins A (total and retinol), D3, E (total and α-tocopherol) and K and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and unidentified) in great tit (Parus major) nestlings. In addition to a control group where no Pb was provided, two Pb-dosed groups were compared to a metal exposed group in the vicinity of a Ni-Cu smelter. We examined whether Pb treatment affects vitamin homeostasis and how the response of Pb-treated birds relates to that of a population under industrial exposure of Pb and other metals. For this purpose, vitamin and carotenoid levels were quantified with UPLC-MS from plasma of 7 days-old nestlings. All metal exposed groups showed increased vitamin A and retinol levels. However, vitamin levels were not directly associated with fecal Pb levels, with the exception of retinol, which was positively correlated with fecal Pb. Alpha-tocopherol, lutein and zeaxanthin levels were positively associated with body mass and wing growth rate. To conclude, Pb exposure increased plasma vitamin A and retinol levels while the levels of other vitamins and carotenoids rather reflected secondary pollution effects via differences in habitat and diet quality at the smelter site. Our findings suggest Pb exposed nestlings may allocate the vitamins needed for growth and development to fight the physiological stress thus compromising their fitness. PMID:27023278

  19. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorines in the European environment using great tit eggs as a biomonitoring tool.

    PubMed

    Van den Steen, Evi; Pinxten, Rianne; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Covaci, Adrian; Barba, Emilio; Carere, Claudio; Cichoń, Mariusz; Dubiec, Anna; Eeva, Tapio; Heeb, Philipp; Kempenaers, Bart; Lifjeld, Jan T; Lubjuhn, Thomas; Mänd, Raivo; Massa, Bruno; Nilsson, Jan-Ake; Norte, Ana Cláudia; Orell, Markku; Podzemny, Petr; Sanz, Juan José; Senar, Juan Carlos; Soler, Juan José; Sorace, Alberto; Török, János; Visser, Marcel E; Winkel, Wolfgang; Eens, Marcel

    2009-02-01

    Large-scale studies are essential to assess the emission patterns and spatial distribution of organohalogenated pollutants (OHPs) in the environment. Bird eggs have several advantages compared to other environmental media which have previously been used to map the distribution of OHPs. In this study, large-scale geographical variation in the occurrence of OHPs, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), was investigated throughout Europe using eggs of a terrestrial residential passerine species, the great tit (Parus major). Great tit eggs from 22 sampling sites, involving urban, rural and remote areas, in 14 European countries were collected and analysed (5-8 eggs per sampling site). The environmentally most important congeners/compounds of the analysed pollutants were detectable in all sampling locations. For PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs, no clear geographical contamination pattern was found. Sum PCB levels ranged from 143 ng/g lipid weight (lw) to 3660 ng/g lw. As expected, PCB concentrations were significantly higher in the sampled urban compared to the remote locations. However, the urban locations did not show significantly higher concentrations compared to the rural locations. Sum PBDEs ranged from 4.0 ng/g lw to 136 ng/g lw. PBDEs were significantly higher in the urbanized sampling locations compared to the other locations. The significant, positive correlation between PCB and PBDE concentrations suggests similar spatial exposure and/or mechanisms of accumulation. Significantly higher levels of OCPs (sum OCPs ranging from 191 ng/g lw to 7830 ng/g lw) were detected in rural sampling locations. Contamination profiles of PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs differed also among the sampling locations, which may be due to local usage and contamination sources. The higher variance among sampling locations for the PCBs and OCPs, suggests that local contamination sources are more important for the PCBs and OCPs

  20. Parental food provisioning is related to nestling stress response in wild great tit nestlings: implications for the development of personality

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Variation in early nutrition is known to play an important role in shaping the behavioural development of individuals. Parental prey selection may have long-lasting behavioural influences. In birds foraging on arthropods, for instance, the specific prey types, e.g. spiders and caterpillars, matter as they have different levels of taurine which may have an effect on personality development. Here we investigated how naturally occurring variation in the amounts of spiders and caterpillars, provisioned to nestlings at day 4 and 8 after hatching, is related to the response to handling stress in a wild passerine, the great tit (Parus major). Broods were cross-fostered in a split-brood design allowing us to separate maternal and genetic effects from early rearing effects. Adult provisioning behaviour was monitored on day four and day eight after hatching using video recordings. Individual nestlings were subjected to a handling stress test at an age of 14 days, which is a validated proxy for exploratory behaviour as an adult. Results Variation in handling stress was mainly determined by the rearing environment. We show that, contrary to our predictions, not the amount of spider biomass, but the amount of caterpillar biomass delivered per nestling significantly affected individual performance in the stress test. Chicks provisioned with lower amounts of caterpillars exhibited a stronger stress response, reflecting faster exploratory behaviour later on in life, than individuals who received larger amounts of caterpillars. Conclusions These results suggest that natural variation in parental behaviour in wild birds modulates the developmental trajectories of their offspring's personality via food provisioning. Since parental provisioning behaviour might also reflect the local environmental conditions, provisioning behaviour may influence how nestlings respond to these local environmental conditions. PMID:26913051

  1. Do feather-degrading bacteria actually degrade feather colour? No significant effects of plumage microbiome modifications on feather colouration in wild great tits.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Staffan; Colmas, Léa; Parthuisot, Nathalie; Heeb, Philipp

    2014-11-01

    Parasites are known to exert selective pressures on host life history traits since the energy and nutrients needed to mount an immune response are no longer available to invest in other functions. Bird feathers harbour numerous microorganisms, some of which are able to degrade feather keratin (keratinolytic microorganisms) and affect feather integrity and colouration in vitro. Although named "feather-degrading" microorganisms, experimental evidence for their effects on feathers of free-living birds is still lacking. Here, we tested whether (i) keratinolytic microorganisms can degrade feathers in vivo and thus modify the colour of feathers during the nesting period and (ii) whether feather microorganisms have a long-term effect on the investment in colouration of newly moulted feathers. We designed treatments to either favour or inhibit bacterial growth, thus experimentally modifying plumage bacterial communities, in a wild breeding population of great tits (Parus major). Our analyses revealed no significant effects of the treatments on feather colours. Moreover, we found that differences in bacterial exposure during nesting did not significantly affect the colouration of newly moulted feathers. Our results suggest that significant feather degradation obtained during in vitro studies could have led to an overestimation of the potential of keratinolytic microorganisms to shape feather colouration in free-living birds. PMID:25228345

  2. Characterization and 454 pyrosequencing of Major Histocompatibility Complex class I genes in the great tit reveal complexity in a passerine system

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The critical role of Major Histocompatibility Complex (Mhc) genes in disease resistance and their highly polymorphic nature make them exceptional candidates for studies investigating genetic effects on survival, mate choice and conservation. Species that harbor many Mhc loci and high allelic diversity are particularly intriguing as they are potentially under strong selection and studies of such species provide valuable information as to the mechanisms maintaining Mhc diversity. However comprehensive genotyping of complex multilocus systems has been a major challenge to date with the result that little is known about the consequences of this complexity in terms of fitness effects and disease resistance. Results In this study, we genotyped the Mhc class I exon 3 of the great tit (Parus major) from two nest-box breeding populations near Oxford, UK that have been monitored for decades. Characterization of Mhc class I exon 3 was adopted and bidirectional sequencing was carried using the 454 sequencing platform. Full analysis of sequences through a stepwise variant validation procedure allowed reliable typing of more than 800 great tits based on 214,357 reads; from duplicates we estimated the repeatability of typing as 0.94. A total of 862 alleles were detected, and the presence of at least 16 functional loci was shown - the highest number characterized in a wild bird species. Finally, the functional alleles were grouped into 17 supertypes based on their antigen binding affinities. Conclusions We found extreme complexity at the Mhc class I of the great tit both in terms of allelic diversity and gene number. The presence of many functional loci was shown, together with a pseudogene family and putatively non-functional alleles; there was clear evidence that functional alleles were under strong balancing selection. This study is the first step towards an in-depth analysis of this gene complex in this species, which will help understanding how parasite

  3. Climate change and the response of phenology of Great Tit, Summer Oak and herbivorous caterpillars on flood plain forest ecosystem during 1961-2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartosova, L.; Trnka, M.; Bauer, Z.; Bauerova, J.; Stepanek, P.; Mozny, M.; Zalud, Z.

    2009-04-01

    In this study are presented the phenophases of three animal and plant species, which were observed on research plot Vranovice during 1961 - 2007 (47 years). The observation took place at typical flood plain forest of southern Moravia. These are one common bird Great Tit (Parus major), tree Summer Oak (Quercus robur) and caterpillars Tortrix moth (Tortrix viridana) and Winter Moth (Operophthera brumata). These species are dependent on each other during their development and together create trophic chain. In case of Summer Oak the phenophases were observed since the bud break to full foliage on the same specimen during the whole 47 years. During the same period were observed nesting of 843 nesting pairs of Great Tit. We determined the first laying date (FLD), which was defined as the date when the first clutch in a given year was initiated and mean laying date (MLD), which was defined as the mean initiation date of the all first clutches in the population. The activity of caterpillars was observed indirectly using data on the intensity of caterpillars' frass fall-down that was systematically recorded throughout the study period. As the beginning of peak of excrement fall-down was taken the first day when this event was first observable. The conclusion phase was accompanied by migration of Winter Moth (Operophthera brumata) caterpillars to lower levels of the forest before the cocooning. Tortrix Moth (Tortrix viridana) caterpillars are cocooning (encapsulated) in folds of leaves. The phenophases of all three species has shifted to the earlier time during whole period of observation. The date of full foliage has advanced by 1.9 days per decade. FLD of Great Tit has shifted to the earlier time by 1.6 days and MLD has advanced by 1.5 days per decade. In both cases, the trends are statistically significant at α = 0.01. The dates of activity of caterpillars has shifted at the beginning by 2.02 and at the end by 2.06 days per decade. This trend is statictically highly

  4. Blue Note

    SciTech Connect

    Murray Gibson

    2007-04-27

    Argonne's Murray Gibson is a physicist whose life's work includes finding patterns among atoms. The love of distinguishing patterns also drives Gibson as a musician and Blues enthusiast."Blue" notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale.The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting.

  5. Blue Note

    ScienceCinema

    Murray Gibson

    2010-01-08

    Argonne's Murray Gibson is a physicist whose life's work includes finding patterns among atoms. The love of distinguishing patterns also drives Gibson as a musician and Blues enthusiast."Blue" notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale.The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting.

  6. Blue gods, blue oil, and blue people.

    PubMed

    Fairbanks, V F

    1994-09-01

    Studies of the composition of coal tar, which began in Prussia in 1834, profoundly affected the economies of Germany, Great Britain, India, and the rest of the world, as well as medicine and surgery. Such effects include the collapse of the profits of the British indigo monopoly, the growth in economic power of Germany based on coal tar chemistry, and an economic crisis in India that led to more humane tax laws and, ultimately, the independence of India and the end of the British Empire. Additional consequences were the development of antiseptic surgery and the synthesis of a wide variety of useful drugs that have eradicated infections and alleviated pain. Many of these drugs, particularly the commonly used analgesics, sulfonamides, sulfones, and local anesthetics, are derivatives of aniline, originally called "blue oil" or "kyanol." Some of these aniline derivatives, however, have also caused aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, and methemoglobinemia (that is, "blue people"). Exposure to aniline drugs, particularly when two or three aniline drugs are taken concurrently, seems to be the commonest cause of methemoglobinemia today. PMID:8065194

  7. Asymmetries in commitment in an avian communication network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randler, Christoph; Vollmer, Christian

    2013-02-01

    Mobbing of predators occurs within a conspecific and heterospecific context but has not been quantified within the framework of a communication network and analysed with respect to heterospecific reciprocity. Here, we used playbacks of mobbing calls to show that mobbing is unequally distributed within a community of deciduous forest birds. Five species (great tit Parus major, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, marsh tit Poecile palustris, nuthatch Sitta europaea and chaffinch Fringilla coelebs) responded to each other's playbacks of mobbing calls. Commitment to mob was measured by minimum distance, response latency and uttering of calls. Commitment was higher when conspecific calls were broadcast. Yet, responses to heterospecific calls were significantly different between the five species. Chaffinches had the lowest commitment, and blue tits tended to have the highest. The communication network is asymmetric. Some species invest more than they receive from other species. As mobbing might incur costs, these are unequally distributed across the community.

  8. Asymmetries in commitment in an avian communication network.

    PubMed

    Randler, Christoph; Vollmer, Christian

    2013-02-01

    Mobbing of predators occurs within a conspecific and heterospecific context but has not been quantified within the framework of a communication network and analysed with respect to heterospecific reciprocity. Here, we used playbacks of mobbing calls to show that mobbing is unequally distributed within a community of deciduous forest birds. Five species (great tit Parus major, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, marsh tit Poecile palustris, nuthatch Sitta europaea and chaffinch Fringilla coelebs) responded to each other's playbacks of mobbing calls. Commitment to mob was measured by minimum distance, response latency and uttering of calls. Commitment was higher when conspecific calls were broadcast. Yet, responses to heterospecific calls were significantly different between the five species. Chaffinches had the lowest commitment, and blue tits tended to have the highest. The communication network is asymmetric. Some species invest more than they receive from other species. As mobbing might incur costs, these are unequally distributed across the community. PMID:23325292

  9. Spatial and temporal variation in the relative contribution of density dependence, climate variation and migration to fluctuations in the size of great tit populations.

    PubMed

    Grøtan, Vidar; Saether, Bernt-Erik; Engen, Steinar; van Balen, Johan H; Perdeck, Albert C; Visser, Marcel E

    2009-03-01

    1. The aim of the present study is to model the stochastic variation in the size of five populations of great tit Parus major in the Netherlands, using a combination of individual-based demographic data and time series of population fluctuations. We will examine relative contribution of density-dependent effects, and variation in climate and winter food on local dynamics as well as on number of immigrants. 2. Annual changes in population size were strongly affected by temporal variation in number of recruits produced locally as well as by the number of immigrants. The number of individuals recruited from one breeding season to the next was mainly determined by the population size in year t, the beech crop index (BCI) in year t and the temperature during March-April in year t. The number of immigrating females in year t + 1 was also explained by the number of females present in the population in year t, the BCI in autumn year t and the temperature during April-May in year t. 3. By comparing predictions of the population model with the recorded number of females, the simultaneous modelling of local recruitment and immigration explained a large proportion of the annual variation in recorded population growth rates. 4. Environmental stochasticity especially caused by spring temperature and BCI did in general contribute more to annual fluctuations in population size than density-dependent effects. Similar effects of climate on local recruitment and immigration also caused covariation in temporal fluctuations of immigration and local production of recruits. 5. The effects of various variables in explaining fluctuations in population size were not independent, and the combined effect of the variables were generally non-additive. Thus, the effects of variables causing fluctuations in population size should not be considered separately because the total effect will be influenced by covariances among the explanatory variables. 6. Our results show that fluctuations in the

  10. Experimental study of cognitive aspects of ambivalent foraging as exemplified by the great tit.

    PubMed

    Reznikova, Zh I; Maslov, A A; Panteleeva, S N

    2015-11-01

    A hypothesis of ambivalent foraging is proposed based on ideas about dual treating of the prey by a consumer: the food value attracts while the danger repulses. The foraging strategy of the great tit was investigated experimentally with the use of artificial "food patches" with variable amounts of dangerous prey (live red wood ants) and non-dangerous prey (fly larvae). With non-dangerous prey, the behavior of the birds corresponded to the known marginal value theorem: they proceeded with foraging until the resources were exhausted. We found the threshold amount of dangerous prey that prevents tits from hunting. PMID:26725235

  11. Immune Activation Reduces Sperm Quality in the Great Tit

    PubMed Central

    Losdat, Sylvain; Richner, Heinz; Blount, Jonathan D.; Helfenstein, Fabrice

    2011-01-01

    Mounting an immune response against pathogens incurs costs to organisms by its effects on important life-history traits, such as reproductive investment and survival. As shown recently, immune activation produces large amounts of reactive species and is suggested to induce oxidative stress. Sperm are highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which can negatively impact sperm function and ultimately male fertilizing efficiency. Here we address the question as to whether mounting an immune response affects sperm quality through the damaging effects of oxidative stress. It has been demonstrated recently in birds that carotenoid-based ornaments can be reliable signals of a male's ability to protect sperm from oxidative damage. In a full-factorial design, we immune-challenged great tit males while simultaneously increasing their vitamin E availability, and assessed the effect on sperm quality and oxidative damage. We conducted this experiment in a natural population and tested the males' response to the experimental treatment in relation to their carotenoid-based breast coloration, a condition-dependent trait. Immune activation induced a steeper decline in sperm swimming velocity, thus highlighting the potential costs of an induced immune response on sperm competitive ability and fertilizing efficiency. We found sperm oxidative damage to be negatively correlated with sperm swimming velocity. However, blood resistance to a free-radical attack (a measure of somatic antioxidant capacity) as well as plasma and sperm levels of oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation) remained unaffected, thus suggesting that the observed effect did not arise through oxidative stress. Towards the end of their breeding cycle, swimming velocity of sperm of more intensely colored males was higher, which has important implications for the evolution of mate choice and multiple mating in females because females may accrue both direct and indirect benefits by mating with males having better quality sperm

  12. Personality and Information Gathering in Free-Ranging Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    One aspect of animal personality that has been well described in captivity, but received only little attention in studies in the wild, is that personality types may vary in their behavioural flexibility towards environmental changes. A fundamental factor underlying such differences is believed to be the degree to which individual behavior is guided by environmental stimuli. We tested this hypothesis in the wild using free-ranging great tits. Personality variation was quantified using exploratory behaviour in a novel environment, which has previously been shown to be repeatable and correlated with other behaviours in this and other populations of the same species. By temporarily removing food at feeding stations we examined whether birds with different personality differed in returning to visit empty feeders as this may provide information on how birds continue to sample their environment after a sudden change in conditions. In two summer experiments, we found that fast-exploring juveniles visited empty feeders less often compared to slow-exploring juveniles. In winter, sampling behaviour was sex dependent but not related to personality. In both seasons, we found that birds who sampled empty feeders more often were more likely to rediscover food after we again re-baited the feeding stations, but there was no effect of personality. Our results show that personality types may indeed differ in ways of collecting environmental information, which is consistent with the view of personalities as different styles of coping with environmental changes. The adaptive value of these alternative behavioural tactics, however, needs to be further explored. PMID:23383299

  13. Personality and information gathering in free-ranging great tits.

    PubMed

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    One aspect of animal personality that has been well described in captivity, but received only little attention in studies in the wild, is that personality types may vary in their behavioural flexibility towards environmental changes. A fundamental factor underlying such differences is believed to be the degree to which individual behavior is guided by environmental stimuli. We tested this hypothesis in the wild using free-ranging great tits. Personality variation was quantified using exploratory behaviour in a novel environment, which has previously been shown to be repeatable and correlated with other behaviours in this and other populations of the same species. By temporarily removing food at feeding stations we examined whether birds with different personality differed in returning to visit empty feeders as this may provide information on how birds continue to sample their environment after a sudden change in conditions. In two summer experiments, we found that fast-exploring juveniles visited empty feeders less often compared to slow-exploring juveniles. In winter, sampling behaviour was sex dependent but not related to personality. In both seasons, we found that birds who sampled empty feeders more often were more likely to rediscover food after we again re-baited the feeding stations, but there was no effect of personality. Our results show that personality types may indeed differ in ways of collecting environmental information, which is consistent with the view of personalities as different styles of coping with environmental changes. The adaptive value of these alternative behavioural tactics, however, needs to be further explored. PMID:23383299

  14. The mistaken manakin: a new genus-group name for Parus pipra Linnaeus, 1758 (Aves: Passeriformes: Pipridae).

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Guy M; David, Normand; Gregory, Steven M S; Jobling, James A; Steinheimer, Frank D; Brito, Guilherme Renzo Rocha

    2016-01-01

    The White-crowned Manakin Pipra pipra was long considered congeneric with other members of the genus Pipra, until Prum (1990, 1992, 1994) demonstrated that its display repertoire and syringeal morphology differ considerably from all other members of that genus. Subsequently, three different molecular phylogenies have all indicated that this manakin is more closely related to the genus Machaeropterus than to Pipra. Prum (1992) considered that the name Dixiphia Reichenbach, 1850, was available, and thus the combination Dixiphia pipra has since been in widespread use for this species. However, as first recognized more than 150 years ago, Dixiphia is a junior synonym of Arundinicola d'Orbigny, 1840. We show that no genus-group name is available for the manakin originally described as Parus pipra Linnaeus, 1758, and for which we therefore provide a new genus name. PMID:27395209

  15. Tritium release from Ti-T layers in air, in aqueous media and in animal experiments.

    PubMed

    Bíró, J; Fehér, I; Máté, L; Varga, L

    1978-01-01

    In connection with Ti-T incorporation hazard to which operators of neutron generators are exposed the release of tritium from Ti-T preparations of different ages was studied in experiments carried out in air, in aqueous media and in living animals. Samples were prepared with activities from 10 to 30 mCi and the effect of storage on the tritium release rate was also observed. In 250 days a fraction of 10(-3) of the tritium activity was absorbed by aqueous liquids. In air the release varied from 10(-6) to 10(-7) per hour. The Ti-T samples of different ages, introduced surgically into the abdominal cavity of rats, showed the tritium release rate to decrease with time. The tritium activity observable in the circulation was 5 to 6 orders of magnitude smaller compared with the introduced value. The observations permit the inference that in the case of Ti-T incorporation only a minor fraction of the tritium burden can be assessed from the activity measured in the urine. PMID:754442

  16. The Blue Bottle Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandaveer, Walter R., IV; Mosher, Mel

    1997-01-01

    Presents a modification of the classic Blue Bottle demonstration that involves the alkaline glucose reduction of methylene blue. Uses other indicators in the classic Blue Bottle to produce a rainbow of colors. (JRH)

  17. Is Tit-for-Tat the Answer? On the Conclusions Drawn from Axelrod's Tournaments

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Amnon; Seale, Darryl A.; Colman, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    Axelrod’s celebrated Prisoner’s Dilemma computer tournaments, published in the early 1980s, were designed to find effective ways of acting in everyday interactions with the strategic properties of the iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game. The winner of both tournaments was tit-for-tat, a program that cooperates on the first round and then, on every subsequent round, copies the co-player’s choice from the previous round. This has been interpreted as evidence that tit-for-tat is an effective general-purpose strategy. By re-analyzing data from the first tournament and some more recent data, we provide new results suggesting that the efficacy of tit-for-tat is contingent on the design of the tournament, the criterion used to determine success, and the particular values chosen for the Prisoner’s Dilemma payoff matrix. We argue that this places in doubt the generality of the results and the policy implications drawn from them. PMID:26225422

  18. The Blue Water

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, J. Joel

    1973-01-01

    Describes some of the advantages of an elementary science activity in which students discover that blowing through a straw into a bromthymol blue solution changes the color to yellow. Directions are provided for preparing the bromthymol blue solution. (JR)

  19. Blue nightshade poisoning

    MedlinePlus

    ... when someone eats parts of the blue nightshade plant. This article is for information only. DO NOT ... is found in the blue nightshade ( Solanum dulcamara ) plant, especially in the fruit and leaves.

  20. Gospel and Blues Improvisation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smallwood, Richard

    1980-01-01

    The similarities and differences between blues and gospel music are identified and the author suggests that both blues and gospel music have inherent improvisational qualities. Methods of capitalizing on these qualities are presented. Selected readings and recordings are included. (KC)

  1. Blue-green algae

    MedlinePlus

    ... Talk with your health provider.Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Blue-green algae might slow blood clotting. Taking blue-green algae along with medications that ...

  2. Greening the Blue Bottle.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wellman, Whitney E.; Noble, Mark E.

    2003-01-01

    Compares the revised Blue Bottle formulation to the classical Blue Bottle. Indicates that the revised formulation gives a somewhat bluer solution, but initially slower reduction when compared to the classical formulation. (Author/KHR)

  3. Blue nightshade poisoning

    MedlinePlus

    Blue nightshade poisoning occurs when someone eats parts of the blue nightshade plant. This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you ...

  4. Diurnal brooding behavior of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis)

    PubMed Central

    YU, Jin; WANG, Peng-Cheng; LÜ, Lei; ZHANG, Zheng-Wang; WANG, Yong; XU, Ji-Liang; LI, Jian-Qiang; XI, Bo; ZHU, Jia-Gui; DU, Zhi-Yong

    2016-01-01

    Brooding is a major breeding investment of parental birds during the early nestling stage, and has important effects on the development and survival of nestlings. Investigating brooding behavior can help to understand avian breeding investment strategies. From January to June in 2013 and 2014, we studied the brooding behaviors of long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus glaucogularis) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China. We analyzed the relationships between parental diurnal brooding duration and nestling age, brood size, temperature, relative breeding season, time of day and nestling frequencies during brooding duration. Results showed that female and male long-tailed tit parents had different breeding investment strategies during the early nestling stage. Female parents bore most of the brooding investment, while male parents performed most of the nestling feedings. In addition, helpers were not found to brood nestlings at the two cooperative breeding nests. Parental brooding duration was significantly associated with the food delivered to nestlings (F=86.10, df=1, 193.94, P<0.001), and was longer when the nestlings received more food. We found that parental brooding duration declined significantly as nestlings aged (F=5.99, df=1, 50.13, P=0.018). When nestlings were six days old, daytime parental brooding almost ceased, implying that longtailed tit nestlings might be able to maintain their own body temperature by this age. In addition, brooding duration was affected by both brood size (F=12.74, df=1, 32.08, P=0.001) and temperature (F=5.83, df=1, 39.59, P=0.021), with it being shorter in larger broods and when ambient temperature was higher. PMID:27029865

  5. Incorporating color into integrative taxonomy: analysis of the varied tit (Sittiparus varius) complex in East Asia.

    PubMed

    McKay, Bailey D; Mays, Herman L; Yao, Cheng-Te; Wan, Dongmei; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Nishiumi, Isao

    2014-07-01

    Species designations are critically important scientific hypotheses that serve as the foundational units in a wide range of biological subdisciplines. A growing realization that some classes of data fail to delimit species under certain conditions has led to increasingly more integrative taxonomies, whereby species discovery and hypothesis testing are based on multiple kinds of data (e.g., morphological, molecular, behavioral, ecological, etc.). However, although most taxonomic descriptions have been based on morphology, some key morphological features, such as color, are rarely quantified and incorporated into integrative taxonomic studies. In this article, we applied a new method of ultraviolet digital photography to measure plumage variation in a color-variable avian species complex, the varied tit (Sittiparus varius). Plumage measurements corroborated species limits defined by morphometric, mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA disjunctions and provided the only evidence for distinguishing two recently evolved species. Importantly, color quantification also provided a justification for lumping putative taxa with no evidence of evolutionary independence. Our revised taxonomy thus refines conservation units for listing and management and clarifies the primary units for evolutionary studies. Species tree analyses, which applied the newly delimited species as operational taxonomic units, revealed a robust phylogenetic hypothesis for the group that establishes a foundation for future biogeographic analyses. This study demonstrates how digital photography can be used to incorporate color character variation into integrative taxonomies, which should lead to more informed, more rigorous, and more accurate assessments of biodiversity. [Color, digital photography, integrative taxonomy, Sittiparus varius, species delimitation, varied tit.]. PMID:24603127

  6. Divorce in cooperatively breeding long-tailed tits: a consequence of inbreeding avoidance?

    PubMed

    Hatchwell, B J; Russell, A F; Ross, D J; Fowlie, M K

    2000-04-22

    The decision of whether to divorce a breeding partner between reproductive attempts can significantly affect individual fitness. In this paper, we report that 63% of surviving pairs of long-tailed tits Aegithalos caudatus divorced between years. We examine three likely explanations for the high divorce rate in this cooperative breeder. The 'better option' hypothesis predicts that divorce and re-pairing increases an individual's reproductive success. However, divorcees did not secure better partners or more helpers and there was no improvement in their reproductive success following divorce. The 'inbreeding avoidance' hypothesis predicts that females should disperse from their family group to avoid breeding with philopatric sons. The observed pattern of divorce was consistent with this hypothesis because, in contrast to the usual avian pattern, divorce was typical for successful pairs (81%) and less frequent in unsuccessful pairs (36-43%). The 'forced divorce' hypothesis predicts that divorce increases as the number of competitors increases. The pattern of divorce among failed breeders was consistent with this hypothesis, but it fails to explain the overall occurrence of divorce because divorcees rarely re-paired with their partners' closest competitors. We discuss long-tailed tits' unique association between divorce and reproductive success in the context of dispersal strategies for inbreeding avoidance. PMID:10819152

  7. Direct reciprocity with costly punishment: generous tit-for-tat prevails

    PubMed Central

    Rand, David G.; Ohtsuki, Hisashi; Nowak, Martin A.

    2008-01-01

    The standard model for direct reciprocity is the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma, where in each round players choose between cooperation and defection. Here we extend the standard framework to include costly punishment. Now players have a choice between cooperation, defection and costly punishment. We study the set of all reactive strategies, where the behavior depends on what the other player has done in the previous round. We find all cooperative strategies that are Nash equilibria. If the cost of cooperation is greater than the cost of punishment, then the only cooperative Nash equilibrium is generous-tit-for-tat (GTFT), which does not use costly punishment. If the cost of cooperation is less than the cost of punishment, then there are infinitely many cooperative Nash equilibria and the response to defection can include costly punishment. We also perform computer simulations of evolutionary dynamics in populations of finite size. These simulations show that in the context of direct reciprocity, (i) natural selection prefers generous tit-for-tat over strategies that use costly punishment, and (ii) that costly punishment does not promote the evolution of cooperation. We find quantitative agreement between our simulation results and data from experimental observations. PMID:18938180

  8. Introducing the Blues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinclair, Bryan

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the history of the blues and presents a list of resources that are designed to introduce the blues, both as a feeling and as an influential part of American music and culture. Includes picture books and nonfiction for young readers, nonfiction for older readers, Web sites, and compact disks. (LRW)

  9. Templated blue phases.

    PubMed

    Ravnik, Miha; Fukuda, Jun-ichi

    2015-11-21

    Cholesteric blue phases of a chiral liquid crystal are interesting examples of self-organised three-dimensional nanostructures formed by soft matter. Recently it was demonstrated that a polymer matrix introduced by photopolymerization inside a bulk blue phase not only stabilises the host blue phase significantly, but also serves as a template for blue phase ordering. We show with numerical modelling that the transfer of the orientational order of the blue phase to the surfaces of the polymer matrix, together with the resulting surface anchoring, can account for the templating behaviour of the polymer matrix inducing the blue phase ordering of an achiral nematic liquid crystal. Furthermore, tailoring the anchoring conditions of the polymer matrix surfaces can bring about orientational ordering different from those of bulk blue phases, including an intertwined complex of the polymer matrix and topological line defects of orientational order. Optical Kerr response of templated blue phases is explored, finding large Kerr constants in the range of K = 2-10 × 10(-9) m V(-2) and notable dependence on the surface anchoring strength. More generally, the presented numerical approach is aimed to clarify the role and actions of templating polymer matrices in complex chiral nematic fluids, and further to help design novel template-based materials from chiral liquid crystals. PMID:26412643

  10. Blue Willow Story Plates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fontes, Kris

    2009-01-01

    In the December 1997 issue of "SchoolArts" is a lesson titled "Blue Willow Story Plates" by Susan Striker. In this article, the author shares how she used this lesson with her middle-school students many times over the years. Here, she describes a Blue Willow plate painting project that her students made.

  11. Blue ocean strategy.

    PubMed

    Kim, W Chan; Mauborgne, Renée

    2004-10-01

    Despite a long-term decline in the circus industry, Cirque du Soleil profitably increased revenue 22-fold over the last ten years by reinventing the circus. Rather than competing within the confines of the existing industry or trying to steal customers from rivals, Cirque developed uncontested market space that made the competition irrelevant. Cirque created what the authors call a blue ocean, a previously unknown market space. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In red oceans--that is, in all the industries already existing--companies compete by grabbing for a greater share of limited demand. As the market space gets more crowded, prospects for profits and growth decline. Products turn into commodities, and increasing competition turns the water bloody. There are two ways to create blue oceans. One is to launch completely new industries, as eBay did with online auctions. But it's much more common for a blue ocean to be created from within a red ocean when a company expands the boundaries of an existing industry. In studying more than 150 blue ocean creations in over 30 industries, the authors observed that the traditional units of strategic analysis--company and industry--are of limited use in explaining how and why blue oceans are created. The most appropriate unit of analysis is the strategic move, the set of managerial actions and decisions involved in making a major market-creating business offering. Creating blue oceans builds brands. So powerful is blue ocean strategy, in fact, that a blue ocean strategic move can create brand equity that lasts for decades. PMID:15559577

  12. Sequence and organization of the complete mitochondrial genome of the marsh tit Poecile palustris (Aves: Paridae).

    PubMed

    Day, John C; Broughton, Richard K; Hinsley, Shelley A

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the marsh tit Poecile palustris (Linnaeus, 1758) was sequenced using a combined Illumina and Sanger sequencing approach. Using the known sequence of Poecile atricapillus Linnaeus, 1766 (Paridae) homologous NGS reads were identified and assembled. The genome is 16,824 bp in length and includes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and a control region. Gene order resembles that of the standard avian gene order. The base composition of the genome is A (29.15%), T (22.50%), C (33.61%) and G (14.73%). The control region between tRNA(Glu) and tRNA(Phe) is composed of 1240 bp with no obvious repetitive motifs. PMID:25845385

  13. Interpopulation Variation in Contour Feather Structure Is Environmentally Determined in Great Tits

    PubMed Central

    Broggi, Juli; Gamero, Anna; Hohtola, Esa; Orell, Markku; Nilsson, Jan-Åke

    2011-01-01

    Background The plumage of birds is important for flying, insulation and social communication. Contour feathers cover most of the avian body and among other functions they provide a critical insulation layer against heat loss. Feather structure and composition are known to vary among individuals, which in turn determines variation in the insulation properties of the feather. However, the extent and the proximate mechanisms underlying this variation remain unexplored. Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed contour feather structure from two different great tit populations adapted to different winter regimes, one northern population in Oulu (Finland) and one southern population in Lund (Sweden). Great tits from the two populations differed significantly in feather structure. Birds from the northern population had a denser plumage but consisting of shorter feathers with a smaller proportion containing plumulaceous barbs, compared with conspecifics from the southern population. However, differences disappeared when birds originating from the two populations were raised and moulted in identical conditions in a common-garden experiment located in Oulu, under ad libitum nutritional conditions. All birds raised in the aviaries, including adult foster parents moulting in the same captive conditions, developed a similar feather structure. These feathers were different from that of wild birds in Oulu but similar to wild birds in Lund, the latter moulting in more benign conditions than those of Oulu. Conclusions/Significance Wild populations exposed to different conditions develop contour feather differences either due to plastic responses or constraints. Environmental conditions, such as nutrient availability during feather growth play a crucial role in determining such differences in plumage structure among populations. PMID:21949798

  14. Past hybridization between two East Asian long-tailed tits (Aegithalos bonvaloti and A. fuliginosus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization are two major nonexclusive causes of haplotype sharing between species. Distinguishing between these two processes is notoriously difficult as they can generate similar genetic signatures. Previous studies revealed that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) differentiation between two East Asian long-tailed tits (Aegithalos bonvaloti and A. fuliginosus) was extremely low, even lower than intraspecific differentiation in some other long-tailed tits. Using a combination of multilocus and coalescent analyses, we explored the causes of the anomalous lack of mtDNA differentiation between the two species. Results The mtDNA divergence between the two species was shallow, while the nuclear DNA (nuDNA) divergence was considerably deeper. The IMa analyses based on the mtDNA dataset suggested relatively high gene flow from A. fuliginosus to A. bonvaloti, while negligible gene flow in the opposite direction. In contrast to mtDNA, the migration rates at autosomal and Z-linked nuDNA loci were negligible or much lower. The NEWHYBRIDS analysis assigned all individuals except one to pure parental species with high posterior probability. The Bayesian skyline plot showed that both species underwent population expansions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and the ecological niche modelling suggested that their ranges overlapped more during the LGM than at present. Conclusions We suggest that historical hybridization, in combination with selective sweep and/or genetic drift might be the main causes of the extremely low mtDNA differentiation between the two species. The hybridization probably occurred mainly between A. fuliginosus females and A. bonvaloti males. The LGM distribution expansion might have facilitated hybridization, while the post-LGM distribution contraction could have facilitated some mtDNA sorting. Ongoing hybridization between the two species might be very limited, but further studies with more samples from the

  15. Blue Ribbon Panel Report

    Cancer.gov

    An NCI Cancer Currents blog by the NCI acting director thanking the cancer community for contributing to the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel report, which was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board on September 7.

  16. Mongolian blue spots

    MedlinePlus

    ... bruises. This can raise a question about possible child abuse. It is important to recognize that Mongolian blue ... Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 11. Read More Benign Child abuse - physical Rashes Update Date 4/14/2015 Updated ...

  17. Methylene blue unresponsive methemoglobinemia

    PubMed Central

    Patnaik, Sibabratta; Natarajan, Manivachagan Muthappa; James, Ebor Jacob; Ebenezer, Kala

    2014-01-01

    Acquired methemoglobinemia is an uncommon blood disorder induced by exposure to certain oxidizing agents and drugs. Although parents may not give any history of toxin ingestion; with the aid of pulse-oximetry and blood gas analysis, we can diagnose methemoglobinemia. Prompt recognition of this condition is required in emergency situations to institute early methylene blue therapy. We report an unusual case of severe toxic methemoglobinemia, which did not respond to methylene blue, but was successfully managed with exchange transfusion. PMID:24872659

  18. Blue honeysuckle list 47

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This manuscript summarizes descriptions for two newly released Lonicera caerulea L., blue honeysuckle, cultivars released for northern production. This fruit is popular in Russia and in Japan, particularly Hokkaido. It has possibility as a new fruit cultivar for North America. The University of Sask...

  19. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds. PMID:26100730

  20. You mob my owl, I'll mob yours: birds play tit-for-tat game.

    PubMed

    Krama, Tatjana; Vrublevska, Jolanta; Freeberg, Todd M; Kullberg, Cecilia; Rantala, Markus J; Krams, Indrikis

    2012-01-01

    Reciprocity is fundamental to cooperative behaviour and has been verified in theoretical models. However, there is still limited experimental evidence for reciprocity in non-primate species. Our results more decisively clarify that reciprocity with a tit-for-tat enforcement strategy can occur among breeding pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca separate from considerations of byproduct mutualism. Breeding pairs living in close proximity (20-24 m) did exhibit byproduct mutualism and always assisted in mobbing regardless of their neighbours' prior actions. However, breeding pairs with distant neighbours (69-84 m) either assisted or refused to assist in mobbing a predatory owl based on whether or not the distant pair had previously helped them in their own nest defense against the predator. Clearly, these birds are aware of their specific spatial security context, remember their neighbours' prior behaviour, and choose a situation-specific strategic course of action, which could promote their longer-term security, a capacity previously thought unique to primates. PMID:23150772

  1. Degradation of Rural and Urban Great Tit Song: Testing Transmission Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Mockford, Emily J.; Marshall, Rupert C.; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2011-01-01

    Acoustic signals play a fundamental role in avian territory defence and mate attraction. Several studies have now shown that spectral properties of bird song differ between urban and rural environments. Previously this has been attributed to competition for acoustic space as a result of low-frequency noise present in cities. However, the physical structure of urban areas may have a contributory effect. Here we investigate the sound degradation properties of woodland and city environments using both urban and rural great tit song. We show that although urban surroundings caused significantly less degradation to both songs, the transmission efficiency of rural song compared to urban song was significantly lower in the city. While differences between the two songs in woodland were generally minimal, some measures of the transmission efficiency of rural song were significantly lower than those of urban song, suggesting additional benefits to singing rural songs in this setting. In an attempt to create artificial urban song, we mimicked the increase in minimum frequency found several times previously in urban song. However, this did not replicate the same transmission properties as true urban song, suggesting changes in other song characteristics, such as temporal adjustments, are needed to further increase transmission of an avian signal in the city. We suggest that the structure of the acoustic environment, in addition to the background noise, plays an important role in signal adaptation. PMID:22174781

  2. Prostatic blue nevus.

    PubMed

    Anderco, Denisa; Lazăr, Elena; Tăban, Sorina; Miclea, Fl; Dema, Alis

    2010-01-01

    We report the case of a 69-year-old patient with no significant personal urological history. The clinical and ultrasound examination revealed a prostatic gland with increased volume and homogenous appearance. After transurethral resection, multiples gray-brown-blackish prostatic chips were obtained, which could be confused with a malignant melanoma. The histological routine examination in conjunction with the histochemical (Fontana-Masson) and immunohistochemical (S100, HMB45) reactions established the diagnosis of prostatic blue nevus. The presence of melanin in prostatic tissue is an unusual aspect, being encountered three distinct lesions: blue nevus, melanosis and malignant melanoma. Recognition and correct classification of each of these three entities is fundamental, concerning the clinical and prognosis implications. PMID:20809037

  3. The Blue Emu

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Descalzi, Doug; Gillett, John; Gordon, Carlton; Keener, ED; Novak, Ken; Puente, Laura

    1993-01-01

    The primary goal in designing the Blue Emu was to provide an airline with a cost efficient and profitable means of transporting passengers between the major cities in Aeroworld. The design attacks the market where a demand for inexpensive transportation exists and for this reason the Blue Emu is an attractive investment for any airline. In order to provide a profitable aircraft, special attention was paid to cost and economics. For example, in manufacturing, simplicity was stressed in structural design to reduce construction time and cost. Aerodynamic design employed a tapered wing which reduced the induced drag coefficient while also reducing the weight of the wing. Even the propulsion system was selected with cost effectiveness in mind, yet also to maintain the marketability of the aircraft. Thus, in every aspect of the design, consideration was given to economics and marketability of the final product.

  4. Phylogeny of long-tailed tits and allies inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear markers (Aves: Passeriformes, Aegithalidae).

    PubMed

    Päckert, Martin; Martens, Jochen; Sun, Yue-Hua

    2010-06-01

    In this paper we provide a molecular phylogeny based on three mitochondrial and three nuclear markers for all long-tailed tit species of the genus Aegithalos including several doubtful subspecies (17 taxa) plus three close allies of SE Asian Leptopoecile and North American Psaltriparus. Genus Aegithalos is divided into three major clades, two of them showing only minor differentiation. Separation of two mitchondrial haploytpe clusters in the N Palearctic Long-tailed Tit, Ae. caudatus, was dated back to the Late Pleistocene, however, descendants from both lineages underwent a rapid post-Pleistocene range expansion and largely mixed over the entire distribution area. The Chinese populations of the glaucogularis subspecies group represent a slightly earlier Pleistocene split from the Ae. caudatus clade. Genetic differentiation among several doubtful SE Asian species taxa on the sister clade of the latter N Palearctic/Chinese clade matches the intraspecific differentiation within Ae. caudatus. Unexpectedly, cytochrome-b distances among Himalayan Ae. iouschistos (including the subspecies bonvaloti from China and sharpei from Myanmar) and the Chinese endemic Ae. fuliginosus range at approximately 0.5% and apparently all these extant populations separated only very recently during late Pleistocene times, too. W Himalayan Ae. niveogularis clearly appeared as the sister species of the latter taxon assemblage. Unlike the two latter major clades, Ae. concinnus shows strong intraspecific differentiation with cyt-b distances as high as 6% among two Himalayan populations of ssp. iredalei, ssp. manipurensis from Myanmar and a fourth lineage from SW and SC China including ssp. talifuensis and nominate concinnus. A sister-group relationship between all Ae. concinnus and Ae. leucogenys was strongly supported. N American bushtits of genus Psaltriparus represent the sister clade to Palearctic genus Aegithalos, including a clear split between the minimus and the plumbeus subspecies

  5. Voyager 1 'Blue Movie'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This is the original Voyager 'Blue Movie' (so named because it was built from Blue filter images). It records the approach of Voyager 1 during a period of over 60 Jupiter days. Notice the difference in speed and direction of the various zones of the atmosphere. The interaction of the atmospheric clouds and storms shows how dynamic the Jovian atmosphere is.

    As Voyager 1 approached Jupiter in 1979, it took images of the planet at regular intervals. This sequence is made from 66 images taken once every Jupiter rotation period (about 10 hours). This time-lapse movie uses images taken every time Jupiter longitude 68W passed under the spacecraft. These images were acquired in the Blue filter from Jan. 6 to Feb. 3 1979. The spacecraft flew from 58 million kilometers to 31 million kilometers from Jupiter during that time.

    This time-lapse movie was produced at JPL by the Image Processing Laboratory in 1979.

  6. Brood Reduction via Intra-clutch Variation in Testosterone - An Experimental Test in the Great Tit

    PubMed Central

    Podlas, Katarzyna; Helfenstein, Fabrice; Richner, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    In birds, yolk androgen concentrations in eggs can increase or decrease over the laying sequence and common hypotheses hold that this serves to favour the competitive ability of either first- or last-hatched chicks depending on the prevailing conditions, and thus promote brood reduction or maintenance of original brood size respectively. Intra-clutch variation of testosterone can shift relative competitive ability of siblings and hence competitive dynamics. In a natural population of great tits, we experimentally investigated the effects and function of maternal testosterone on offspring phenotype in relation to the laying position of the egg in a context of hatching asynchrony. To this end, we created three types of clutches where either the first three or the last three eggs of a clutch were injected with testosterone (T) dissolved in sesame oil, and the remaining eggs with sesame oil only, or where all eggs of a clutch were injected with sesame oil. Increased levels of yolk T in the last-laid eggs resulted in the last-hatched chicks being significantly lighter and smaller than their siblings, while increased levels of T in the first-laid eggs had no direct effect on the first-hatched chicks, but an indirect negative effect on their siblings. Our results suggest that females can potentially adjust offspring phenotype by modulating, over the laying sequence, the amounts of T deposited in the eggs. These results are in contradiction, however, with current hypotheses and previous findings, which suggest that under good conditions higher levels of maternally derived T in the last-laid eggs should mitigate the negative effects of hatching asynchrony. PMID:23437207

  7. An improved phylogeny of the Andean tit-tyrants (Aves, Tyrannidae): More characters trump sophisticated analyses

    PubMed Central

    DuBay, Shane G.; Witt, Christopher C.

    2012-01-01

    The phylogeny of the flycatcher genus Anairetes was previously inferred using short fragments of mitochondrial DNA and parsimony and distance-based methods. The resulting topology spurred taxonomic revision and influenced understanding of Andean biogeography. More than a decade later, we revisit the phylogeny of Anairetes tit-tyrants using more mtDNA characters, seven unlinked loci (3 mitochondrial genes, 6 nuclear loci), more closely related outgroup taxa, partitioned Bayesian analyses, and two coalescent species-tree approaches (Bayesian estimation of species trees, BEST; Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees, *BEAST). Of these improvements in data and analyses, the fourfold increase in mtDNA characters was both necessary and sufficient to incur a major shift in the topology and near-complete resolution. The species-tree analyses, while theoretically preferable to concatenation or single gene approaches, yielded topologies that were compatible with mtDNA but with weaker statistical resolution at nodes. The previous results that had led to taxonomic and biogeographic reappraisal were refuted, and the current results support the resurrection of the genus Uromyias as the sister clade to Anairetes. The sister relationship between these two genera corresponds to an ecological dichotomy between a depauperate humid cloudforest clade and a diverse dry-tolerant clade that has diversified along the latitudinal axis of the Andes. The species-tree results and the concatenation results each reaffirm the primacy of mtDNA to provide phylogenetic signal for avian phylogenies at the species and subspecies level. This is due in part to the abundance of informative characters in mtDNA, and in part to its lower effective population size that causes it to more faithfully track the species tree. PMID:22525942

  8. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species

    PubMed Central

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Durant, Joël M.; Fowler, Mike S.; Matthysen, Erik; Adriaensen, Frank; Jonzén, Niclas; Chan, Kung-Sik; Liu, Hai; De Laet, Jenny; Sheldon, Ben C.; Visser, Marcel E.; Dhondt, André A.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is expected to have profound ecological effects, yet shifts in competitive abilities among species are rarely studied in this context. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) compete for food and roosting sites, yet coexist across much of their range. Climate change might thus change the competitive relationships and coexistence between these two species. Analysing four of the highest-quality, long-term datasets available on these species across Europe, we extend the textbook example of coexistence between competing species to include the dynamic effects of long-term climate variation. Using threshold time-series statistical modelling, we demonstrate that long-term climate variation affects species demography through different influences on density-dependent and density-independent processes. The competitive interaction between blue tits and great tits has shifted in one of the studied sites, creating conditions that alter the relative equilibrium densities between the two species, potentially disrupting long-term coexistence. Our analyses show that long-term climate change can, but does not always, generate local differences in the equilibrium conditions of spatially structured species assemblages. We demonstrate how long-term data can be used to better understand whether (and how), for instance, climate change might change the relationships between coexisting species. However, the studied populations are rather robust against competitive exclusion. PMID:25904659

  9. The Blue Marble

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This spectacular Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 'blue marble' image is based on the most detailed collection of true-color imagery of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. Most of the information contained in this image came from MODIS, illustrating MODIS' outstanding capacity to act as an integrated tool for observing a variety of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric features of the Earth. The land and coastal ocean portions of this image is based on surface observations collected from June through September 2001 and combined, or composited, every eight days to compensate for clouds that might block the satellite's view on any single day. Global ocean color (or chlorophyll) data was used to simulate the ocean surface. MODIS doesn't measure 3-D features of the Earth, so the surface observations were draped over topographic data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center. MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's AVHRR sensor-the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. The cloud image is a composite of two days of MODIS imagery collected in visible light wavelengths and a third day of thermal infra-red imagery over the poles. A large collection of imagery based on the blue marble in a variety of sizes and formats, including animations and the full (1 km) resolution imagery, is available at the Blue Marble page. Image by Reto Stockli, Render by Robert Simmon. Based on data from the MODIS Science Team

  10. Blue emitting undecaplatinum clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Indranath; Bhuin, Radha Gobinda; Bhat, Shridevi; Pradeep, T.

    2014-07-01

    A blue luminescent 11-atom platinum cluster showing step-like optical features and the absence of plasmon absorption was synthesized. The cluster was purified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) suggest a composition, Pt11(BBS)8, which was confirmed by a range of other experimental tools. The cluster is highly stable and compatible with many organic solvents.A blue luminescent 11-atom platinum cluster showing step-like optical features and the absence of plasmon absorption was synthesized. The cluster was purified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) suggest a composition, Pt11(BBS)8, which was confirmed by a range of other experimental tools. The cluster is highly stable and compatible with many organic solvents. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Details of experimental procedures, instrumentation, chromatogram of the crude cluster; SEM/EDAX, DLS, PXRD, TEM, FT-IR, and XPS of the isolated Pt11 cluster; UV/Vis, MALDI MS and SEM/EDAX of isolated 2 and 3; and 195Pt NMR of the K2PtCl6 standard. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr02778g

  11. Blue ocean leadership.

    PubMed

    Kim, W Chan; Mauborgne, Renée

    2014-05-01

    Ten years ago, two INSEAD professors broke ground by introducing "blue ocean strategy," a new model for discovering uncontested markets that are ripe for growth. In this article, they apply their concepts and tools to what is perhaps the greatest challenge of leadership: closing the gulf between the potential and the realized talent and energy of employees. Research indicates that this gulf is vast: According to Gallup, 70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs. If companies could find a way to convert them into engaged employees, the results could be transformative. The trouble is, managers lack a clear understanding of what changes they could make to bring out the best in everyone. Here, Kim and Mauborgne offer a solution to that problem: a systematic approach to uncovering, at each level of the organization, which leadership acts and activities will inspire employees to give their all, and a process for getting managers throughout the company to start doing them. Blue ocean leadership works because the managers' "customers"-that is, the people managers oversee and report to-are involved in identifying what's effective and what isn't. Moreover, the approach doesn't require leaders to alter who they are, just to undertake a different set of tasks. And that kind of change is much easier to implement and track than changes to values and mind-sets. PMID:24956870

  12. Pluto’s Blue Haze

    NASA Video Gallery

    The sky on Pluto is blue! Kind of. This is Pluto in an Minute. So it’s not exactly the case that the sky on Pluto is blue, rather, what the New Horizons science team has found in recent images do...

  13. Do experiments with captive non-domesticated animals make sense without population field studies? A case study with blue tits' breeding time

    PubMed Central

    Lambrechts, M. M.; Perret, P.; Maistre, M.; Blondel, J.

    1999-01-01

    A complete understanding of the spatio-temporal variation in phenotypic traits in natural populations requires a combination long-term field studies with experiments using captive animals. Field studies allow the formulation of realistic hypotheses, but have the disadvantage that they do not allow the complete control of many potential confounding variables. Studies with captive animals allow tests of hypotheses that cannot be examined in the field, but have the disadvantage that artificial environments may provoke abnormal behaviour. Long-term studies that follow simultaneously captive and wild bird populations are rare. In a study lasting several years, we show here the unexpected patterns that two populations with a similar breeding time in the wild have non-overlapping breeding times in outdoor aviaries, and that two wild populations separated by a short geographical distance show differences in the expression of natural behaviour in captivity. The experimental design used is exceptional in the sense that the captive populations were held at similar latitudes and altitudes as the wild populations. Our case study shows that studies with captive animals can lead to wrong conclusions if they are carried out without population field studies, and without knowledge of the natural habits and habitats of the species involved. To examine the reliability of experiments with captive animals, comparisons with findings from population field studies are essential.

  14. Blue ellipticals in compact groups

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zepf, Stephen E.; Whitmore, Bradley C.

    1990-01-01

    By studying galaxies in compact groups, the authors examine the hypothesis that mergers of spiral galaxies make elliptical galaxies. The authors combine dynamical models of the merger-rich compact group environment with stellar evolution models and predict that roughly 15 percent of compact group ellipticals should be 0.15 mag bluer in B - R color than normal ellipticals. The published colors of these galaxies suggest the existence of this predicted blue population, but a normal distribution with large random errors can not be ruled out based on these data alone. However, the authors have new ultraviolet blue visual data which confirm the blue color of the two ellipticals with blue B - R colors for which they have their own colors. This confirmation of a population of blue ellipticals indicates that interactions are occurring in compact groups, but a blue color in one index alone does not require that these ellipticals are recent products of the merger of two spirals. The authors demonstrate how optical spectroscopy in the blue may distinguish between a true spiral + spiral merger and the swallowing of a gas-rich system by an already formed elliptical. The authors also show that the sum of the luminosity of the galaxies in each group is consistent with the hypothesis that the final stage in the evolution of compact group is an elliptical galaxy.

  15. Blue moons and Martian sunsets.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Kurt; Chakrabarty, Rajan; Moosmüller, Hans

    2014-03-20

    The familiar yellow or orange disks of the moon and sun, especially when they are low in the sky, and brilliant red sunsets are a result of the selective extinction (scattering plus absorption) of blue light by atmospheric gas molecules and small aerosols, a phenomenon explainable using the Rayleigh scattering approximation. On rare occasions, dust or smoke aerosols can cause the extinction of red light to exceed that for blue, resulting in the disks of the sun and moon to appear as blue. Unlike Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is dominated by micron-size dust aerosols, and the sky during sunset takes on a bluish glow. Here we investigate the role of dust aerosols in the blue Martian sunsets and the occasional blue moons and suns on Earth. We use the Mie theory and the Debye series to calculate the wavelength-dependent optical properties of dust aerosols most commonly found on Mars. Our findings show that while wavelength selective extinction can cause the sun's disk to appear blue, the color of the glow surrounding the sun as observed from Mars is due to the dominance of near-forward scattering of blue light by dust particles and cannot be explained by a simple, Rayleigh-like selective extinction explanation. PMID:24663457

  16. Blue upconversion thulium laser

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, D.C.; Faulkner, G.E.; Weber, M.E.; Dulick, M.

    1990-01-01

    Upconversion has been an active area of research for at least two decades, mainly because of its wide ranging applications from infrared quantum counters, visible-emitting phosphors, to upconversion lasers. The upconversion lasers have recently become attractive with the advent of semiconductor laser diodes as the pump source. In an upconversion laser, the laser active ion is excited by internal upconversion of near-ir or red light via multiphoton excitation or cooperative processes and emits anti-Stokes visible light. Since the laser diode output wavelength can be composition turned to match the upconversion laser ion absorption lines, a substantial fraction of the ions can be driven into higher energy levels, thus enhancing the upconversion process. These upconversion solid-state lasers offer a potentially simple and compact source of visible coherent light with semiconductor laser diode excitation. We recently reported a novel upconversion thulium laser that emits blue light at 77 K. In this paper additional data on this 77 K upconversion laser as well as preliminary results on the room temperature upconversion laser are presented. In these demonstrations, dye lasers were used instead of diode lasers because they were more readily available than high power semiconductor laser diodes and their wavelengths could be adjusted easily. 14 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  17. Blue metal complex pigments involved in blue flower color

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Kosaku

    2006-01-01

    The blue pigment of cornflower, protocyanin, has been investigated for a long time, but its precise structure was not entirely explained until recently. The molecular structure of the pigment was recently shown to be a metal complex of six molecules each of anthocyanin and flavone glycoside, with one ferric iron, one magnesium and two calcium ions by X-ray crystallographic analysis. The studies provided the answer to the question posed in the early part of the last century, “why is the cornflower blue and rose red when both flowers contain the same anthocyanin?” This work was achieved on the basis of the results of long years of the studies made by many researchers. In this review, the author focuses on the investigations of the blue metal complex pigments involved in the bluing of flowers, commelinin from Commelina commusis, protocyanin from Centaurea cyanus, protodelphin from Salvia patens and hydrangea blue pigment. PMID:25792777

  18. Predicting bird phenology from space: satellite-derived vegetation green-up signal uncovers spatial variation in phenological synchrony between birds and their environment.

    PubMed

    Cole, Ella F; Long, Peter R; Zelazowski, Przemyslaw; Szulkin, Marta; Sheldon, Ben C

    2015-11-01

    Population-level studies of how tit species (Parus spp.) track the changing phenology of their caterpillar food source have provided a model system allowing inference into how populations can adjust to changing climates, but are often limited because they implicitly assume all individuals experience similar environments. Ecologists are increasingly using satellite-derived data to quantify aspects of animals' environments, but so far studies examining phenology have generally done so at large spatial scales. Considering the scale at which individuals experience their environment is likely to be key if we are to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes acting on reproductive phenology within populations. Here, we use time series of satellite images, with a resolution of 240 m, to quantify spatial variation in vegetation green-up for a 385-ha mixed-deciduous woodland. Using data spanning 13 years, we demonstrate that annual population-level measures of the timing of peak abundance of winter moth larvae (Operophtera brumata) and the timing of egg laying in great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) is related to satellite-derived spring vegetation phenology. We go on to show that timing of local vegetation green-up significantly explained individual differences in tit reproductive phenology within the population, and that the degree of synchrony between bird and vegetation phenology showed marked spatial variation across the woodland. Areas of high oak tree (Quercus robur) and hazel (Corylus avellana) density showed the strongest match between remote-sensed vegetation phenology and reproductive phenology in both species. Marked within-population variation in the extent to which phenology of different trophic levels match suggests that more attention should be given to small-scale processes when exploring the causes and consequences of phenological matching. We discuss how use of remotely sensed data to study within-population variation

  19. Hazards of solar blue light

    SciTech Connect

    Okuno, Tsutomu

    2008-06-01

    Short-wavelength visible light (blue light) of the Sun has caused retinal damage in people who have stared fixedly at the Sun without adequate protection. The author quantified the blue-light hazard of the Sun according to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines by measuring the spectral radiance of the Sun. The results showed that the exposure limit for blue light can be easily exceeded when people view the Sun and that the solar blue-light hazard generally increases with solar elevation, which is in accordance with a model of the atmospheric extinction of sunlight. Viewing the Sun can be very hazardous and therefore should be avoided except at very low solar elevations.

  20. Changes in infestation rate and age structure of Dermanyssus hirundinis and Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Acarina) during nidification and breeding period of penduline tit.

    PubMed

    Masán, P

    1997-11-01

    Populations of 2 parasitic mites, Dermanyssus hirundinis (Hermann) (63,169 collected individuals) and Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini et Fanzago) (3,425 collected individuals), in 305 penduline tit, Remiz pendulinus L., nests were studied in 1993 and 1994. The nests were divided into 4 groups: nests without eggs, nests with eggs, nests with nestlings, and nests just after fledging. The average percentage of infested nests increased from the nests without eggs to the nests after fledging (at 20% in both years of investigation), and the increase of mite abundance was exponential. Presence of nestlings in the nests stimulated intensive reproduction of parasitic mites. An increasing infestation intensity in nests was observed during the host breeding period. The 2 mite species exhibited similar age structure patterns in the nests of all the groups and during the entire penduline tit breeding period as well. A decrease in the proportion of adult mites (mainly females) and an increase of nymphs (above all of protonymphs) occurred at the time of fledging and at the end of host breeding period. The percentage of the ovigerous females increased in the individual nests, but decreased during the breeding period of penduline tit. The quantitative parameters of D. hirundinis populations in the highly infested nests depended on the individual nidification and nidobiology of the host, whereas the qualitative parameters (age structure) of these populations depended more on abiotic factors and life strategy of the ectoparasite. PMID:9439114

  1. Methylene blue related sterile endophthalmitis.

    PubMed

    Lim, A K E; Ulagantheran V, V; Siow, Y C; Lim, K S

    2008-08-01

    To report a case of methylene blue related endophthalmitis. Observational case report. Review of clinical record, photographs. A 60 year old man developed endophthalmitis after methylene blue was accidentally used to stain the anterior capsule during phacoemulsification of cataract. His left visual acuity deteriorated from 6/12 to 6/36 two weeks after the operation. Despite intensive treatment with topical and intravitreal antibiotics, his condition deteriorated. A vitrectomy and silicone oil injection eventually managed to control the progression of the disease and salvage the eye. However the visual outcome remained poor due to corneal decompensation and retinal ischemia. Both vitreous tap and vitreous biopsy were negative for any organism. Methylene blue is extremely toxic to ocular structures and should not be used intraocularly. PMID:19248701

  2. The Blue-Collar Brain

    PubMed Central

    Van Orden, Guy; Hollis, Geoff; Wallot, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    Much effort has gone into elucidating control of the body by the brain, less so the role of the body in controlling the brain. This essay develops the idea that the brain does a great deal of work in the service of behavior that is controlled by the body, a blue-collar role compared to the white-collar control exercised by the body. The argument that supports a blue-collar role for the brain is also consistent with recent discoveries clarifying the white-collar role of synergies across the body’s tensegrity structure, and the evidence of critical phenomena in brain and behavior. PMID:22719730

  3. The blue-collar brain.

    PubMed

    Van Orden, Guy; Hollis, Geoff; Wallot, Sebastian

    2012-01-01

    Much effort has gone into elucidating control of the body by the brain, less so the role of the body in controlling the brain. This essay develops the idea that the brain does a great deal of work in the service of behavior that is controlled by the body, a blue-collar role compared to the white-collar control exercised by the body. The argument that supports a blue-collar role for the brain is also consistent with recent discoveries clarifying the white-collar role of synergies across the body's tensegrity structure, and the evidence of critical phenomena in brain and behavior. PMID:22719730

  4. Blue-green upconversion laser

    DOEpatents

    Nguyen, D.C.; Faulkner, G.E.

    1990-08-14

    A blue-green laser (450--550 nm) uses a host crystal doped with Tm[sup 3+]. The Tm[sup 3+] is excited through upconversion by a red pumping laser and an IR pumping laser to a state which transitions to a relatively lower energy level through emissions in the blue-green band, e.g., 450.20 nm at 75 K. The exciting laser may be tunable dye lasers or may be solid-state semiconductor laser, e.g., GaAlAs and InGaAlP. 3 figs.

  5. Crater Lake: blue through time

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Buktenica, Mark; Collier, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Blue is the color of constancy, hence the term true blue. The unearthly blueness of Crater Lake reflects its pristine character and gives scientists a focal point for studying human impacts on aquatic environments over long periods of time. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Park Service, and Oregon State University have systematically studied the lake for the last two decades. Long-term monitoring of this lake is a priority of Crater Lake National Park and will continue far into the future.

  6. Blue light emitting thiogallate phosphor

    DOEpatents

    Dye, Robert C.; Smith, David C.; King, Christopher N.; Tuenge, Richard T.

    1998-01-01

    A crystalline blue emitting thiogallate phosphor of the formula RGa.sub.2 S.sub.4 :Ce.sub.x where R is selected from the group consisting of calcium, strontium, barium and zinc, and x is from about 1 to 10 atomic percent, the phosphor characterized as having a crystalline microstructure on the size order of from about 100 .ANG. to about 10,000 .ANG. is provided together with a process of preparing a crystalline blue emitting thiogallate phosphor by depositing on a substrate by CVD and resultant thin film electroluminescent devices including a layer of such deposited phosphor on an ordinary glass substrate.

  7. Blue-green upconversion laser

    DOEpatents

    Nguyen, Dinh C.; Faulkner, George E.

    1990-01-01

    A blue-green laser (450-550 nm) uses a host crystal doped with Tm.sup.3+. The Tm.sup.+ is excited through upconversion by a red pumping laser and an IR pumping laser to a state which transitions to a relatively lower energy level through emissions in the blue-green band, e.g., 450.20 nm at 75 K. The exciting laser may be tunable dye lasers or may be solid-state semiconductor laser, e.g., GaAlAs and InGaAlP.

  8. Extreme variation in patterns of tandem repeats in mitochondrial control region of yellow-browed tits (Sylviparus modestus, Paridae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyang; Liu, Nian; Zhang, Hongli; Yang, Xiao-Jun; Huang, Yuan; Lei, Fumin

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the evolutionary pattern and origins of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region of the yellow-browed tit (Sylviparus modestus), the control region and another four mitochondrial loci from fifteen individuals were analyzed. A 117-bp tandem repeat unit that repeated once, twice or three times in different individuals was found, and a rarely reported arrangement for this tandem repeats region that a 5′ imperfect copy at its downstream and a 3′ imperfect copy at its upstream was observed. The haplotype network, phylogenetic trees, and ancestral state reconstruction of the combined dataset of five loci suggested multiple origins of the same repeat number. The turnover model via slipped-strand mispairing was introduced to interpret the results, because mispairing occurred so frequently that multiple origins of certain repeat number were observed. Insertion via recombination should be a better explanation for the origin of this tandem repeat unit, considering characteristics of the combined sequence of the 3′ and 5′ imperfect copy, including identification of its homolog in other passerines and its predicted secondary structure. PMID:26288099

  9. Infinite-dimensional p-adic groups, semigroups of double cosets, and inner functions on Bruhat-Tits buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neretin, Yu A.

    2015-06-01

    We construct p-adic analogues of operator colligations and their characteristic functions. Consider a p-adic group \\mathbf G={GL}(α+k∞, Q_p), a subgroup L= O(k∞, Z_p) of \\mathbf G and a subgroup \\mathbf K= O(∞, Z_p) which is diagonally embedded in L. We show that the space Γ=\\mathbf K\\setminus\\mathbf G/\\mathbf K of double cosets admits the structure of a semigroup and acts naturally on the space of \\mathbf K-fixed vectors of any unitary representation of \\mathbf G. With each double coset we associate a `characteristic function' that sends a certain Bruhat-Tits building to another building (the buildings are finite-dimensional) in such a way that the image of the distinguished boundary lies in the distinguished boundary. The second building admits the structure of a (Nazarov) semigroup, and the product in Γ corresponds to the pointwise product of characteristic functions.

  10. Blue light hazard and aniridia.

    PubMed Central

    Abadi, R. V.; Dickinson, C. M.

    1985-01-01

    The fundi of three patients with aniridia were photographed with a 470 nm illuminating light source. No apparent change in contrast was observable throughout the macular region. This would suggest an absence of the macular pigment. The likelihood of aniridics being more susceptible than normal persons to blue light damage is discussed. Images PMID:3978071

  11. Singing' the Black and Blues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Diane

    2004-01-01

    It is so obvious that the sky is blue in the daytime and black at night, but it took the smartest humans thousands of years of observation, thought, discussion, conjecture, and analysis to finally come up with answers that make scientific sense as to why the sky is these colors. This article discusses light and the scientific research…

  12. The Taos Blue Lake Ceremony.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bodine, John J.

    1988-01-01

    Describes the Blue Lake Ceremony of the Taos Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. Reproduces the 1906 account of the ceremony by anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson and notes modern verification and change. Discusses the importance of this annual August pilgrimage and initiation rite to the preservation of Taos culture. (SV)

  13. Nobel Prize for blue LEDs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraftmakher, Yaakov

    2015-05-01

    A brief review of lighting technologies is presented. Unavoidable restrictions for incandescent light bulbs caused by the Planck distribution and properties of the human eye are illustrated. The efficiency and luminous efficacy of thermal radiation are calculated for various temperatures; the results clearly show the limitations for thermal radiators. The only way to overcome these limitations is using non-thermal radiators, such as fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Unique advantages of LEDs undoubtedly made a revolution in this field. A crucial element of this progress is the blue LEDs (Nobel Prize 2014). Some experiments with a blue and a green LED are described: (i) the luminescence triggered in a green-yellow phosphor inside a white LED by the blue LED; (ii) radiant spectra and ‘efficiency droop’ in the LEDs; (iii) modulation of the blue LED up to 4 MHz; and (iv) the h/e ratio from the turn-on voltage of the green LED. The experiments are suitable for undergraduate laboratories and usable as classroom demonstrations.

  14. Flying the Blue Ribbon Flag.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDaniel, Lynda

    2000-01-01

    Guntersville Elementary School, a preK-2 school in Alabama, earned the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Schools award through creative programs addressing school readiness, parent education, and the need for extended-day and summer activities; a progressive curriculum; and various community partnerships. (SV)

  15. The Blues Poetry of Langston Hughes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldron, Edward E.

    1971-01-01

    The author discusses the criteria of the blues as an American art form. He then shows how Langston Hughes captures the mood, the feeling, the rhythm and the impact of the blues in his poetry. (Author/LF)

  16. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  17. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  18. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  19. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  20. 21 CFR 73.50 - Ultramarine blue.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... ultramarine blue is a blue pigment obtained by calcining a mixture of kaolin, sulfur, sodium carbonate, and... order to vary the shade. The pigment is a complex sodium aluminum sulfo-silicate having the...

  1. Practical utility of the blue spectral region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, D. S.

    1972-01-01

    Some aspects of multispectral photography in the blue region are discussed briefly, and sample images are submitted to demonstrate the potential utility of the blue multispectral record for oceanography.

  2. On Seeing Reddish Green and Yellowish Blue.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Hewitt D.; Piantanida, Thomas P.

    1983-01-01

    Stabilization of the retinal image of the boundary between a pair of red/green or yellow/blue stripes, but not their outer edges, results in the entire region being perceived simultaneously as both red/green or yellow/blue. This suggests that the percepts of reddish-green/yellowish-blue apparently are possible in corticocortical color vision…

  3. 75 FR 65525 - Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Claim Management Services, Inc. Operations, a Division of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-25

    ... on September 3, 2010 (75 FR 54187). The workers supply claims processing services and customer... Employment and Training Administration Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Claim Management Services, Inc... Adjustment Assistance (TAA), applicable to workers and former workers of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield,...

  4. Status of Blue Ridge Reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-09-01

    This is one in a series of reports prepared by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for those interested in the conditions of TVA reservoirs. This overview of Blue Ridge Reservoir summarizes reservoir and watershed characteristics, reservoir uses and use impairments, water quality and aquatic biological conditions, and activities of reservoir management agencies. This information was extracted from the most current reports and data available, as well as interview with water resource professionals in various federal, state, and local agencies. Blue Ridge Reservoir is a single-purpose hydropower generating project. When consistent with this primary objective, the reservoir is also operated to benefit secondary objectives including water quality, recreation, fish and aquatic habitat, development of shoreline, aesthetic quality, and other public and private uses that support overall regional economic growth and development. 8 refs., 1 fig.

  5. Food habits of blue grouse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, R.E.

    1944-01-01

    The food habits of Blue Grouse vary from a simple winter diet that is made up predominantly of coniferous needles to a complex diet during the summer months, characterized by great variety of foods including green leaves, fruits and seeds, flowers, animal matter and coniferous needles. The spring and fall, which represent the transition periods between these two, are characterized by feeding habits that are generally intermediate. The diets of the two species of Blue Grouse, Dendrugapus obscurus and Dendragapus juliginosus, are quite similar as far as major types of food are concerned, but they differ considerably in the species that are taken. Such differences reflect differences in the vegetation within the ecologic and geographic ranges occupied by the two species.

  6. The Physics of the Blues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, J. Murray

    2009-03-01

    In looking at the commonalities between music and science, one sees that the musician's palette is based on the principles of physics. The pitch of a musical note is determined by the frequency of the sound wave. The scales that musicians use to create and play music can be viewed as a set of rules. What makes music interesting is how musicians develop those rules and create ambiguity with them. I will discuss the evolution of western musical scales in this context. As a particular example, ``Blue'' notes are very harmonic notes that are missing from the equal temperament scale. The techniques of piano blues and jazz represent the melding of African and Western music into something totally new and exciting. Live keyboard demonstrations will be used. Beyond any redeeming entertainment value the talk will emphasize the serious connections between science and art in music. Nevertheless tips will be accepted.

  7. Ol' Blue Eyes, in Focus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Scholarly books with "identity" and "culture" in the title have loomed large on academic publishing lists for several years. Scholarly books with "Sinatra" in the title are a more recent phenomenon. Despite his six-decade career as the Voice (the 1940s), the Chairman of the Board (the 50s and 60s), and Ol' Blue Eyes (the 70s through his death, in…

  8. Uncovering Blue Diffuse Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-01-01

    Extremely metal-poor galaxies (XMPs) and the star-formation within their chemically pristine environments are fundamental to our understanding of the galaxy formation process at early times. However, traditional emission-line surveys detect only the brightest metal-poor galaxies where star-formation occurs in compact, starbursting environments, and thereby give us only a partial view of the dwarf galaxy population. To avoid such biases, we have developed a new search algorithm based on the morphological, rather then spectral, properties of XMPs and have applied to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database of images. Using this novel approach, we have discovered ~100 previously undetected, faint blue galaxies, each with isolated HII regions embedded in a diffuse continuum. In this talk I will present the first results from follow-up optical spectroscopy of this sample, which reveals these blue diffuse dwarfs (BDDs) to be young, very metal-poor and actively forming stars despite their intrinsically low luminosities. I will present evidence showing that BDDs appear to bridge the gap between quiescent dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies and blue compact galaxies (BCDs) and as such offer an ideal opportunity to assess how star-formation occurs in more `normal' metal-poor systems.

  9. Models of Individual Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sills, Alison

    This chapter describes the current state of models of individual blue stragglers. Stellar collisions, binary mergers (or coalescence), and partial or ongoing mass transfer have all been studied in some detail. The products of stellar collisions retain memory of their parent stars and are not fully mixed. Very high initial rotation rates must be reduced by an unknown process to allow the stars to collapse to the main sequence. The more massive collision products have shorter lifetimes than normal stars of the same mass, while products between low mass stars are long-lived and look very much like normal stars of their mass. Mass transfer can result in a merger, or can produce another binary system with a blue straggler and the remnant of the original primary. The products of binary mass transfer cover a larger portion of the colour-magnitude diagram than collision products for two reasons: there are more possible configurations which produce blue stragglers, and there are differing contributions to the blended light of the system. The effects of rotation may be substantial in both collision and merger products, and could result in significant mixing unless angular momentum is lost shortly after the formation event. Surface abundances may provide ways to distinguish between the formation mechanisms, but care must be taken to model the various mixing mechanisms properly before drawing strong conclusions. Avenues for future work are outlined.

  10. The Cryptochrome Blue Light Receptors.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xuhong; Liu, Hongtao; Klejnot, John; Lin, Chentao

    2010-09-23

    Cryptochromes are photolyase-like blue light receptors originally discovered in Arabidopsis but later found in other plants, microbes, and animals. Arabidopsis has two cryptochromes, CRY1 and CRY2, which mediate primarily blue light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic control of floral initiation, respectively. In addition, cryptochromes also regulate over a dozen other light responses, including circadian rhythms, tropic growth, stomata opening, guard cell development, root development, bacterial and viral pathogen responses, abiotic stress responses, cell cycles, programmed cell death, apical dominance, fruit and ovule development, seed dormancy, and magnetoreception. Cryptochromes have two domains, the N-terminal PHR (Photolyase-Homologous Region) domain that bind the chromophore FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide), and the CCE (CRY C-terminal Extension) domain that appears intrinsically unstructured but critical to the function and regulation of cryptochromes. Most cryptochromes accumulate in the nucleus, and they undergo blue light-dependent phosphorylation or ubiquitination. It is hypothesized that photons excite electrons of the flavin molecule, resulting in redox reaction or circular electron shuttle and conformational changes of the photoreceptors. The photoexcited cryptochrome are phosphorylated to adopt an open conformation, which interacts with signaling partner proteins to alter gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranslational levels and consequently the metabolic and developmental programs of plants. PMID:21841916

  11. Localized Eruptive Blue Nevi after Herpes Zoster

    PubMed Central

    Colson, Fany; Arrese, Jorge E.; Nikkels, Arjen F.

    2016-01-01

    A 52-year-old White man presented with a dozen small, well-restricted, punctiform, asymptomatic, blue-gray macules on the left shoulder. A few months earlier, he had been treated with oral acyclovir for herpes zoster (HZ) affecting the left C7–C8 dermatomes. All the blue macules appeared over a short period of time and then remained stable. The patient had not experienced any previous trauma or had tattooing in this anatomical region. The clinical diagnosis suggested blue nevi. Dermatoscopy revealed small, well-limited, dark-blue, compact, homogeneous areas evoking dermal blue nevi. An excisional biopsy was performed and the histological examination confirmed a blue nevus. As far as we are aware of, this is the first report of eruptive blue nevi following HZ, and it should be included in the differential diagnosis of zosteriform dermatoses responding to an isotopic pathway. In addition, a brief review concerning eruptive nevi is presented. PMID:27462219

  12. Inflation and alternatives with blue tensor spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yi; Xue, Wei E-mail: wei.xue@sissa.it

    2014-10-01

    We study the tilt of the primordial gravitational waves spectrum. A hint of blue tilt is shown from analyzing the BICEP2 and POLARBEAR data. Motivated by this, we explore the possibilities of blue tensor spectra from the very early universe cosmology models, including null energy condition violating inflation, inflation with general initial conditions, and string gas cosmology, etc. For the simplest G-inflation, blue tensor spectrum also implies blue scalar spectrum. In general, the inflation models with blue tensor spectra indicate large non-Gaussianities. On the other hand, string gas cosmology predicts blue tensor spectrum with highly Gaussian fluctuations. If further experiments do confirm the blue tensor spectrum, non-Gaussianity becomes a distinguishing test between inflation and alternatives.

  13. Polish Terms for "Blue" in the Perspective of Vantage Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanulewicz, Danuta

    2010-01-01

    The Polish set of terms for blue includes, inter alia, the following adjectives: "niebieski" "blue", "blekitny" "(sky) blue", "granatowy" "navy blue", "lazurowy" "azure", "modry" "(intense) blue" and "siny" "(grey) violet-blue". The adjective "niebieski" is the basic term; however, it shares some of its functions with "blekitny", which is…

  14. Adsorption of Methylene Blue, Bromophenol Blue, and Coomassie Brilliant Blue by α-chitin nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Dhananasekaran, Solairaj; Palanivel, Rameshthangam; Pappu, Srinivasan

    2015-01-01

    Expelling of dyestuff into water resource system causes major thread to the environment. Adsorption is the cost effective and potential method to remove the dyes from the effluents. Therefore, an attempt was made to study the adsorption of dyestuff (Methylene Blue (MB), Bromophenol Blue (BPB) and Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB)) by α-chitin nanoparticles (CNP) prepared from Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798) shell waste. On contrary to the most recognizable adsorption studies using chitin, this is the first study using unique nanoparticles of ⩽50 nm used for the dye adsorption process. The results showed that the adsorption process increased with increase in the concentration of CNP, contact time and temperature with the dyestuff, whereas the adsorption process decreased with increase in the initial dye concentration and strong acidic pH. The results from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the interaction between dyestuff and CNP involved physical adsorption. The adsorption process obeys Langmuir isotherm (R2 values were 0.992, 0.999 and 0.992 for MB, BPB and CBB, and RL value lies between 0 and 1 for all the three dyes) and pseudo second order kinetics (R2 values were 0.996, 0.999 and 0.996 for MB, BPB and CBB) more effectively. The isotherm and kinetic models confirmed that CNP can be used as a suitable adsorbent material for the removal of dyestuff from effluents. PMID:26843977

  15. Adsorption of Methylene Blue, Bromophenol Blue, and Coomassie Brilliant Blue by α-chitin nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Dhananasekaran, Solairaj; Palanivel, Rameshthangam; Pappu, Srinivasan

    2016-01-01

    Expelling of dyestuff into water resource system causes major thread to the environment. Adsorption is the cost effective and potential method to remove the dyes from the effluents. Therefore, an attempt was made to study the adsorption of dyestuff (Methylene Blue (MB), Bromophenol Blue (BPB) and Coomassie Brilliant Blue (CBB)) by α-chitin nanoparticles (CNP) prepared from Penaeus monodon (Fabricius, 1798) shell waste. On contrary to the most recognizable adsorption studies using chitin, this is the first study using unique nanoparticles of ⩽50 nm used for the dye adsorption process. The results showed that the adsorption process increased with increase in the concentration of CNP, contact time and temperature with the dyestuff, whereas the adsorption process decreased with increase in the initial dye concentration and strong acidic pH. The results from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the interaction between dyestuff and CNP involved physical adsorption. The adsorption process obeys Langmuir isotherm (R (2) values were 0.992, 0.999 and 0.992 for MB, BPB and CBB, and RL value lies between 0 and 1 for all the three dyes) and pseudo second order kinetics (R (2) values were 0.996, 0.999 and 0.996 for MB, BPB and CBB) more effectively. The isotherm and kinetic models confirmed that CNP can be used as a suitable adsorbent material for the removal of dyestuff from effluents. PMID:26843977

  16. Social learning in birds and its role in shaping a foraging niche

    PubMed Central

    Slagsvold, Tore; Wiebe, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    We briefly review the literature on social learning in birds, concluding that strong evidence exists mainly for predator recognition, song, mate choice and foraging. The mechanism of local enhancement may be more important than imitation for birds learning to forage, but the former mechanism may be sufficient for faithful transmission depending on the ecological circumstances. To date, most insights have been gained from birds in captivity. We present a study of social learning of foraging in two passerine birds in the wild, where we cross-fostered eggs between nests of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus and great tits, Parus major. Early learning causes a shift in the foraging sites used by the tits in the direction of the foster species. The shift in foraging niches was consistent across seasons, as showed by an analysis of prey items, and the effect lasted for life. The fact that young birds learn from their foster parents, and use this experience later when subsequently feeding their own offspring, suggests that foraging behaviour can be culturally transmitted over generations in the wild. It may therefore have both ecological and evolutionary consequences, some of which are discussed. PMID:21357219

  17. Uncovering blue diffuse dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan L.; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel P.; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-04-01

    Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies are known to be very rare, despite the large numbers of low-mass galaxies predicted by the local galaxy luminosity function. This paper presents a subsample of galaxies that were selected via a morphology-based search on Sloan Digital Sky Survey images with the aim of finding these elusive XMP galaxies. By using the recently discovered XMP galaxy, Leo P, as a guide, we obtained a collection of faint, blue systems, each with isolated H II regions embedded in a diffuse continuum, that have remained optically undetected until now. Here we show the first results from optical spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 of ˜100 of these blue diffuse dwarf (BDD) galaxies yielded by our search algorithm. Oxygen abundances were obtained via the direct method for eight galaxies, and found to be in the range 7.45 < 12 + log (O/H) < 8.0, with two galaxies being classified as XMPs. All BDDs were found to currently have a young star-forming population (<10 Myr) and relatively high ionization parameters of their H II regions. Despite their low luminosities (-11 ≲ MB ≲ -18) and low surface brightnesses (˜23-25 mag arcsec-2), the galaxies were found to be actively star forming, with current star formation rates between 0.0003 and 0.078 M⊙ yr-1. From our current subsample, BDD galaxies appear to be a population of non-quiescent dwarf irregular galaxies, or the diffuse counterparts to blue compact galaxies and as such may bridge the gap between these two populations. Our search algorithm demonstrates that morphology-based searches are successful in uncovering more diffuse metal-poor star-forming galaxies, which traditional emission-line-based searches overlook.

  18. The mixing of blue stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafka, Stella; De Propris, Roberto

    2012-08-01

    We propose to obtain high resolution spectroscopy for a sample of 17 blue stragglers in M67, in order to measure abundances of Beryllium, Carbon, Oxygen and the Carbon isotope (13C/12C) abundance ratio. The main aim of this project is to measure indications of deep mixing and therefore elucidate the processes responsible for the formation of these stars, whether stellar collisions, WUMa type mass transfer or Algol-like binary evolution. The data will also allow us to measure the importance of magnetic fields and search for faint companions via their effect on other spectral lines

  19. Geothermal Technologies Program Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2011-06-17

    The Geothermal Technologies Program assembled a geothermal Blue Ribbon Panel on March 22-23, 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a guided discussion on the future of geothermal energy in the United States and the role of the DOE Program. The Geothermal Blue Ribbon Panel Report captures the discussions and recommendations of the experts. An addendum is available here: http://www.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/pdfs/gtp_blue_ribbon_panel_report_addendum10-2011.pdf

  20. The Blue Marble 43 Years Later

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2016-02-18

    article title:  The Blue Marble 43 Years Later View larger image Here ... points over more than four decades apart. The iconic "Blue Marble" view on the left was taken 43 years ago on December 7, 1972 from Apollo ... points over more than four decades apart. The iconic "Blue Marble" view on the left was taken 43 years ago on December 7, 1972 from Apollo ...

  1. The Blue Dots Initiative and Roadmapping Exercise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coudé du Foresto, V.

    2010-10-01

    The Blue Dots initiative (a grassroot effort to build a scientific community in Europe around the exoplanet theme) is introduced. The Blue Dots activities include the elaboration of a roadmap towards the spectroscopic characterization of habitable exoplanets, a summary of which is presented here. While the roadmap will need to be updated regularly, it is expected that the methodology developed within Blue Dots will provide a durable framework for the elaboration of future revisions.

  2. Optically tuneable blue phase photonic band gaps

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, H.-Y.; Wang, C.-T.; Hsu, C.-Y.; Lin, T.-H.; Liu, J.-H.

    2010-03-22

    This study investigates an optically switchable band gap of photonic crystal that is based on an azobenzene-doped liquid crystal blue phase. The trans-cis photoisomerization of azobenzene deforms the cubic unit cell of the blue phase and shifts the photonic band gap. The fast back-isomerization of azobenzene was induced by irradiation with different wavelengths light. The crystal structure is verified using Kossel diffraction diagram. An optically addressable blue phase display, based on Bragg reflection from the photonic band gap, is also demonstrated. The tunable ranges are around red, green, and blue wavelengths and exhibit a bright saturated color.

  3. Morphological responses of wheat to blue light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, C.; Bugbee, B.

    1992-01-01

    Blue light significantly increased tillering in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants grown at the same photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Plants were grown under two levels of blue light (400-500 nm) in a controlled environment with continuous irradiation. Plants received either 50 micromoles m-2 s-1 of blue light or 2 micromoles m-2 s-1 blue light from filtered metal halide lamps at a total irradiance of 200 micromoles m-2 s-1 PPF (400-700 nm). Plants tillered an average of 25% more under the higher level of blue light. Blue light also caused a small, but consistent, increase in main culm development, measured as Haun stage. Leaf length was reduced by higher levels of blue light, while plant dry-mass was not significantly affected by blue light. Applying the principle of equivalent light action, the results suggest that tillering and leaf elongation are mediated by the blue-UV light receptor(s) because phytochrome photoequilibrium for each treatment were nearly identical.

  4. Polymer stabilized and dispersed blue phases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemiklioglu, Emine

    Blue phase liquid crystal (BPLC) materials have potential for advanced applications of display material and technology based on their optical behaviors, such as field-induced birefringence and sub-millisecond response time, which is at least one order of magnitude faster than the present nematic liquid crystal based displays. Since blue phases appear in the narrow temperature range between the chiral nematic and the isotropic phases, there is a temperature range limitation for the application of blue phase liquid crystal. In this dissertation, we have developed blue phase liquid crystal materials with a wide temperature range and low driving voltage. The first goal was to develop wide-temperature range blue phase liquid crystal materials using several stabilization methods notably polymer stabilization, doping of carbon-nanotubes and bent-core molecules. The temperature range could be expanded more than 54°C via the polymer stabilization. The second goal was to explore the polymer dispersed blue phase liquid crystal combining the advantages of the polymer dispersion method and blue phase materials. Polymer encapsulated blue phase films showed a large Kerr constant, low switching voltage and fast response time. Moreover, the temperature range of encapsulated blue phase films were successfully expanded from 9°C to 54°C .

  5. The effects of latitude and day length on fattening strategies of wintering coal tits Periparus ater (L.): a field study and aviary experiment.

    PubMed

    Polo, Vicente; Carrascal, Luis M; Metcalfe, Neil B

    2007-09-01

    1. Cyclic daily fattening routines are very common in wintering small wild birds, and are thought to be the consequence of a trade-off between different environmental and state-dependent factors. According to theory, these trajectories should range from accelerated (i.e. mass increases exponentially towards dusk) when mass-dependent predation costs are the most important cause of mortality risk, to decelerated (i.e. the rate of mass gain is highest at dawn and decreases afterward) when starvation is the greater risk. 2. We examine if geographically separate populations of coal tits, wintering in Scotland and central Spain under contrasting photoperiods, show differences in their strategies of daily mass regulation. We describe population differences in wild birds under natural conditions, and experimentally search for interpopulation variation in diurnal body mass increase under common, manipulated, photoperiod conditions (LD 9 : 15 h vs. 7 : 17 h), controlling for temperature, food availability, predator pressure and foraging arena. 3. Winter diurnal mass gain of wild coal tits was more delayed towards the latter part of the daylight period in central Spain (i.e. the locality with longer winter days) than in Scotland. In both localities, the pattern was linked to the average mass at dawn, with mass increasing more rapidly in lighter birds. However, under the controlled photoperiod situation the pattern of daily mass gain was similar in both populations. Diurnal body mass gain was more accelerated at the end of the day, and the increase in body mass in the first hour of the day was considerably lower under the long (9 h) than under the short (7 h) photoperiod in both populations. 4. Wintering coal tits show patterns of mass gain through the day that are compatible with current theories of the costs and benefits of fat storage, with birds at lower latitudes (with longer winter days) having a greater tendency to delay mass gain until late in the day. The experimental

  6. Long-persistence blue phosphors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, William M. (Inventor); Jia, Weiyi (Inventor); Lu, Lizhu (Inventor); Yuan, Huabiao (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    This invention relates to phosphors including long-persistence blue phosphors. Phosphors of the invention are represented by the general formula: MO . mAl.sub.2 O.sub.3 :Eu.sup.2+,R.sup.3+ wherein m is a number ranging from about 1.6 to about 2.2, M is Sr or a combination of Sr with Ca and Ba or both, R.sup.3+ is a trivalent metal ion or trivalent Bi or a mixture of these trivalent ions, Eu.sup.2+ is present at a level up to about 5 mol % of M, and R.sup.3+ is present at a level up to about 5 mol % of M. Phosphors of this invention include powders, ceramics, single crystals and single crystal fibers. A method of manufacturing improved phosphors and a method of manufacturing single crystal phosphors are also provided.

  7. Delta Blues Scholarship and Imperialist Nostalgia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nye, William P.

    When Delta blues are considered to be "folk music," the genre is inextricably tied to the neocolonial, sharecropping system of cotton production characteristic of the Mississippi Delta region between the Civil War and World War II. "Imperialist nostalgia," then, arises in accounts which pay primary and positive tribute to blues performances…

  8. Blue Skies, Coffee Creamer, and Rayleigh Scattering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The first physical explanation of Earths blue sky was fashioned in 1871 by Lord Rayleigh. Many discussions of Rayleigh scattering and approaches to studying it both in and out of the classroom are available. Rayleigh scattering accounts for the blue color of the sky and the orange/red color of the Sun near sunset and sunrise, and a number of…

  9. Blue collection bag after ileal diversion.

    PubMed

    Hildreth, T A; Cass, A S

    1978-02-01

    Five children with ileal diversions have shown asymptomatic blue staining of the urine collection bags. A tryptophan derivative (indican) in the urine that oxidizes to indigo blue on exposure to air is thought to be the cause of this benign transient phenomenon. PMID:628994

  10. Blue enhanced light sources: opportunities and risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Dieter

    2012-03-01

    Natural daylight is characterized by high proportions of blue light. By proof of a third type of photoreceptor in the human eye which is only sensitive in this spectral region and by subsequent studies it has become obvious that these blue proportions are essential for human health and well being. In various studies beneficial effects of indoor lighting with higher blue spectral proportions have been proven. On the other hand with increasing use of light sources having enhanced blue light for indoor illumination questions are arising about potential health risks attributed to blue light. Especially LED are showing distinct emission characteristics in the blue. Recently the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health & safety ANSES have raised the question on health issues related to LED light sources and have claimed to avoid use of LED for lighting in schools. In this paper parameters which are relevant for potential health risks will be shown and their contribution to risk factors will quantitatively be discussed. It will be shown how to differentiate between photometric parameters for assessment of beneficial as well as hazardous effects. Guidelines will be discussed how blue enhanced light sources can be used in applications to optimally support human health and well being and simultaneously avoid any risks attributed to blue light by a proper design of lighting parameters. In the conclusion it will be shown that no inherent health risks are related to LED lighting with a proper lighting design.

  11. Featured Molecules: Ascorbic Acid and Methylene Blue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William F.; Wildman, Randall J.

    2003-05-01

    The WebWare molecules of the month for May are featured in several articles in this issue. "Arsenic: Not So Evil After All?" discusses the pharmaceutical uses of methylene blue and its development as the first synthetic drug used against a specific disease. The JCE Classroom Activity "Out of the Blue" and the article "Greening the Blue Bottle" feature methylene blue and ascorbic acid as two key ingredients in the formulation of the blue bottle. You can also see a colorful example of these two molecules in action on the cover. "Sailing on the 'C': A Vitamin Titration with a Twist" describes an experiment to determine the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content of citrus fruits and challenges students, as eighteenth-century sea captains, to decide the best fruit to take on a long voyage. Fully manipulable (Chime) versions of these and other molecules are available at Only@JCE Online.

  12. Elementary theorems regarding blue isocurvature perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Daniel J. H.; Yoo, Hojin

    2015-04-01

    Blue CDM-photon isocurvature perturbations are attractive in terms of observability and may be typical from the perspective of generic mass relations in supergravity. We present and apply three theorems useful for blue isocurvature perturbations arising from linear spectator scalar fields. In the process, we give a more precise formula for the blue spectrum associated with the axion model of Kasuya and Kawasaki [Axion Isocurvature Fluctuations with Extremely Blue Spectrum, Phys. Rev. D 80, 023516 (2009).], which can in a parametric corner give a factor of O (10 ) correction. We explain how a conserved current associated with Peccei-Quinn symmetry plays a crucial role and explicitly plot several example spectra including the breaks in the spectra. We also resolve a little puzzle arising from a naive multiplication of isocurvature expression that sheds light on the gravitational imprint of the adiabatic perturbations on the fields responsible for blue isocurvature fluctuations.

  13. Does Ti+4 Ratio Improve the Physical Properties of CdxCo1-x+tTitFe2-2tO4?

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmed, M. A.; El-Dek, S. I.; Mansour, S. F.

    2007-02-14

    The microstructure and magnetic properties of Ti substituted CoCd ferrites of the general formula CdxCo1-x+tTitFe2-2tO4, x = 0.20, 0.00{<=}t{<=}0.25 have been reported. The ferrite samples were prepared by standard double sintering ceramic technique and structural analysis was carried out using X-ray diffraction. The spinel structure is confirmed for all concentration. Some physical properties (such as lattice parameter, density and porosity) have been also calculated. Temperature and magnetic field dependence of susceptibility is illustrated for all Ti contents. Both experimental and theoretical values of the effective magnetic moment were increased with increasing Ti content. The Curie temperature increases with the addition of Ti up to t = 0.15 after which it decreases. The effect of mechanical pressure on the dc resistivity at room temperature enhances the use of the samples in some applications.

  14. Biparental incubation in the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum: Mates devote equal time, but males keep eggs warmer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Auer, S.K.; Bassar, R.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2007-01-01

    Biparental care in birds is less common during incubation than in other nesting stages. Males share in incubating eggs in a minority of bird species, and male effort is generally thought to be lower than females when sharing does occur. However, male assistance and incubation efficacy is poorly studied in such species. We examined sex differences in incubation effort in 12 pairs of a species with biparental incubation, the chestnut-vented tit-babbler Parisoma subcaeruleum. Males and females did not differ in the amount of time spent incubating during the day, time of day spent incubating, nor in their ability to rewarm eggs. Yet, males consistently maintained eggs at higher temperatures than their female partners, despite the absence of a brood patch. ?? Journal of Avian Biology.

  15. Profound Climatic Effects on Two East Asian Black-Throated Tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), Revealed by Ecological Niche Models and Phylogeographic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis–concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis–concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory. PMID:22195047

  16. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The distribution of genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife is of interest to understand the transmission of this parasite in the environment. Limited information on T. gondii genotypes has been reported in wildlife in China. The objective of this study was to carry out the genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from wild animals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Methods Using PCR and multilocous polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technology, we detected genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit in these regions. Results In total, 183 brain tissues of different wild animals, including 48 Qinghai vole (Microtus fuscus), 101 Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and 34 Tibetan ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis), were tested for T. gondii infection. 11 of these were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 10 genetic markers, including 9 nuclear loci (SAG1, 5’-and 3’-SAG2, alternative SAG2, BTUB, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8, c29-2), and an apicoplast locus Apico. Six were successfully genotyped at eight or more genetic loci, and were grouped to three distinct genotypes. Four samples belonged to ToxoDB Genotype #10 and the other two samples were identified as two new genotypes (http://toxodb.org/toxo/). Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates in wildlife on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The results show that there is a potential risk for the transmission of this parasite through the wildlife in this region. PMID:24192458

  17. Cool Stars Sing the Blues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luttermoser, D. G.

    2005-12-01

    A high-dispersion spectral atlas of cool red giant stars in the blue and violet is presented. The spectra were obtained over a six-year time period with the stellar spectrograph of the McMath-Pierce Telescope on Kitt Peak. Both N-type carbon stars and M-type oxygen-rich stars are presented from 3900 to 4600 Å, with the M-type stars containing both semiregular and Mira-type variables. The dominant absorption features in these stars at these wavelength result primarily from neutral metals, especially iron, and the CH and CN diatomic molecules. The Miras also show strong emission lines during some of their pulsation cycle. Many of these emission lines result from fluorescence from the Mg II h & k lines in the UV. For these fluoresced features, comparisons are made between the Miras and the semiregular carbon-rich and oxygen-rich variables. Where the oxygen-rich semiregulars show no hint of fluorescence in these features, the carbon stars show a definite ``filling-in'' of the absorption lines.

  18. Semiconducting layered blue phosphorus: a computational study.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zhen; Tománek, David

    2014-05-01

    We investigate a previously unknown phase of phosphorus that shares its layered structure and high stability with the black phosphorus allotrope. We find the in-plane hexagonal structure and bulk layer stacking of this structure, which we call "blue phosphorus," to be related to graphite. Unlike graphite and black phosphorus, blue phosphorus displays a wide fundamental band gap. Still, it should exfoliate easily to form quasi-two-dimensional structures suitable for electronic applications. We study a likely transformation pathway from black to blue phosphorus and discuss possible ways to synthesize the new structure. PMID:24836265

  19. Retinal Effects Of Blue Light Exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, William T.; Mueller, Harold A.; Ruffolo, J. J.

    1980-10-01

    Recent research has shown that blue light exposure is an important factor in certain types of retinal injury. The mammalian ocular media transmits the spectral band 400-1400 nm to the retina. The short wavelengths (400-550 nm) produce a photochemical or actinic type of damage, while the longer wavelengths (550-1400 nm) produce thermal damage. Distinction between the two types of retinal damage are discussed briefly and the importance of the blue light effect for solar retinitis and eclipse blindness is emphasized. The significance of blue light retinal injury is summarized for various environmental and occupational exposures.

  20. Blue jays nest in an unusual structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Lyons, Curtis P.; Sedgwick, James A.

    2007-01-01

    We describe a successful Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) nest in an unusual structure on the side of a building.  The nest was located near the edge of the species' range along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  The nest was completely obvious, suggesting that the structure itself provided adequate cover and sercurity for the jays.  Blue Jays appear to be declining in some areas of the United States such as the Southeast.  Structures such as the one we describe may be more useful in attracting Blue Jays than the nesting platforms available commercially.

  1. Blue outliers among intermediate redshift quasars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marziani, P.; Sulentic, J. W.; Stirpe, G. M.; Dultzin, D.; Del Olmo, A.; Martínez-Carballo, M. A.

    2016-01-01

    [OIII]λ 5007 "blue outliers"—that are suggestive of outflows in the narrow line region of quasars—appear to be much more common at intermediate z (high luminosity) than at low z. About 40~% of quasars in a Hamburg ESO intermediate z sample of 52 sources qualify as "blue outliers" (i.e., quasars with [OIII]λλ 4959,5007 lines showing large systematic blueshifts with respect to rest frame). We discuss major findings on what has become an intriguing field in active galactic nuclei research and stress the relevance of "blue outliers" to feedback and host galaxy evolution.

  2. Blue Origin Conducts Pad Escape Test

    NASA Video Gallery

    Blue Origin conducted a successful pad escape test Oct. 19 at the company's West Texas launch site, firing its pusher escape motor and launching a full-scale suborbital crew capsule from a simulate...

  3. Blue Ribbon Panel Report - BRP - Cancer Moonshot

    Cancer.gov

    The Blue Ribbon Panel Report outlines 10 recommendations to accelerate progress against cancer. The panel was established to ensure that the Cancer Moonshot's approaches are grounded in the best science.

  4. Blue Origin Tests BE-3 Engine

    NASA Video Gallery

    Blue Origin successfully fires the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine. As part of the company's Reusable Booster System (RBS)...

  5. Prussian Blue as a Prebiotic Reagent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Bermejo, M.; Menor-Salván, C.; Osuna-Esteban, S.; Veintemillas-Verdaguer, S.

    2009-12-01

    Ferrocyanide has been proposed as a potential prebiotic reagent and the complex salt Prussian Blue, Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3, might be an important reservoir of HCN, in the early Earth. HCN is considered the main precursor of amino acids and purine and pyrimidine bases under prebiotic conditions. Recently, we observed the formation of Prussian Blue in spark discharge experiments using saline solutions of ferrous chloride, FeCl2. Using Prussian Blue as starting material in ammonium suspensions, we obtained organic compounds containing nitrogen. These results seem to indicate that Prussian Blue could have been first, a sink of HCN, and then in subsequent reactions, triggered by pH fluctuations, it might have lead to organic life precursors.

  6. Blue Ribbon Commission Tour of Hanford Site

    ScienceCinema

    Paul Saueressig

    2010-09-01

    The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future toured the Department of Energy's Hanford Site on July 14, 2010. Commission members, invited guests, and members of the public visited facilities that store high-level, radioactive waste.

  7. Blue Ribbon Panel 2016 Video Playlist

    Cancer.gov

    Blue Ribbon Panel members discuss recommendations from the panel report that was presented to the National Cancer Advisory Board on September 7, 2016. The playlist includes an overview video and 10 videos on the specific recommendations.

  8. Barium Enhancement in NGC 6819 Blue Stragglers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milliman, Katelyn; Mathieu, Robert D.; Schuler, Simon C.

    2015-01-01

    Possible formation pathways for blue straggler stars include mergers in hierarchical triple systems, stellar collisions during dynamical encounters, and mass transfer from a giant companion. Extensive work on the blue stragglers in the old open cluster NGC 188 (7 Gyr) has led to exciting discoveries including a binary secondary mass distribution peaked at 0.5 MSolar and the detection of three young white dwarf binary companions. These indicate that mass transfer from an asymptotic giant branch star is the dominant mechanism for blue straggler formation in open clusters. Such mass transfer events should pollute the surface abundance of the blue straggler with nucleosynthesis products from the evolved donor. The other formation pathways, mergers and collisions, are predicted to produce no such enhancements. In an effort to move beyond NGC 188 and into other open clusters we present the first results of a surface abundance study of the blue stragglers in the intermediate-aged open cluster NGC 6819 (2.5 Gyr) using the Hydra multi-object spectrograph on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope. This part of our study centers on the s-process element barium as a tracer of formation via mass transfer. We compare the blue straggler surface abundance of barium to that of a sample of main-sequence stars in NGC 6819 and find multiple blue stragglers with anomalous abundances. Surprising, most of the blue stragglers with barium anomalies show no radial-velocity evidence for a companion. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation under grant AST- 0908082 and the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium.

  9. Blue irradiance intercomparison in the medical field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Antonio F. G.

    2012-10-01

    This work presents the results of a blue irradiance intercomparison among industrial laboratories of medical devices companies. This intercomparison aims to support the metrological issues of medical equipment manufactures regarding the blue irradiance infant phototherapy equipment requirements on the international standard IEC 60601-2-50:2000. The results showed a low agreement of participants' measurements according to normalized error criterion. The major explanation for this result is associated to an incorrect equipment choice and long recalibration period.

  10. Studies on plasma processing of blue dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samal, S. K.; P, Sindhoora L.; Mishra, S. C.; Mishra, B.

    2015-02-01

    Plasma smelting was carried out using blue dust and petroleum coke mixtures for five different compositions. By altering percentage of reductant and type of plasma forming gas, recovery rate and degree of metallization were calculated in order to examine the extent of reduction of blue dust. The products were characterized by XRD and optical microscopy techniques. The results of these investigations exhibited that highest degree of metallization and recovery rate of about 98% and 86% respectively, were achieved for nitrogen plasma smelted products.

  11. Axion isocurvature fluctuations with extremely blue spectrum

    SciTech Connect

    Kasuya, Shinta; Kawasaki, Masahiro

    2009-07-15

    We construct an axion model for generating isocurvature fluctuations with blue spectrum, n{sub iso}=2-4, which is suggested by recent analyses of admixture of adiabatic and isocurvature perturbations with independent spectral indices, n{sub ad}{ne}n{sub iso}. The distinctive feature of the model is that the spectrum is blue at large scales while scale invariant at small scales. This is naturally realized by the dynamics of the Peccei-Quinn scalar field.

  12. Stylish or safe blue-block eyewear

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciosek, Jerzy

    1998-10-01

    The subject of modern, save and stylish eyewear is entertaining not only to people with unwell eyesight. Many people use glasses with anti-UV or blue-block coatings, glasses for driving or working with a computer. There were investigated the blue-block eyewear. There were analyzed reflected radiation at 300 - 400 nm wavelengths with cross- incidence. The traditional eyewear with classical or stylish frame may not protect sight against the UV radiation.

  13. MitoBlue: a nontoxic and photostable blue-emitting dye that selectively labels functional mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Mateo I; Martínez-Costas, José; Mascareñas, José L; Vázquez, M Eugenio

    2014-12-19

    We report the discovery of a fluorogenic dye, N(1),N(3)-di(2-aminidonaphthalen-6-yl) propane-1,3-diamine, MitoBlue, which selectively stains functional mitochondria while displaying low toxicity, bright blue emission, and high resistance to photobleaching. Additionally, we show that a biotin-labeled MitoBlue derivative can be used as a handle for the delivery of streptavidin-tagged species to the mitochondria. PMID:25325672

  14. MitoBlue: A Nontoxic and Photostable Blue-Emitting Dye That Selectively Labels Functional Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We report the discovery of a fluorogenic dye, N1,N3-di(2-aminidonaphthalen-6-yl) propane-1,3-diamine, MitoBlue, which selectively stains functional mitochondria while displaying low toxicity, bright blue emission, and high resistance to photobleaching. Additionally, we show that a biotin-labeled MitoBlue derivative can be used as a handle for the delivery of streptavidin-tagged species to the mitochondria. PMID:25325672

  15. Blue-white screening liquid can eliminate false positives in blue-white colony screening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y S

    2016-01-01

    Although blue-white screening based on α-complementation has been widely used in the screening of genetically modified bacteria, only a single blue-white screening is typically not enough to eliminate false positives. Sometimes, a secondary blue-white screening for the target colonies is required. In this study, two methods were used to investigate the feasibility of secondary blue-white screening for target colonies on lysogeny broth (LB)-ampicillin agar plates. The first method consisted of covering the target colonies grown on LB-ampicillin plate medium with a sterilized filter paper soaked in a solution of 60 μL 20 mg/mL X-gal and 8 μL 20% IPTG. The second method was that blue and white colonies were randomly selected from the blue-white screening plate medium and then re-streaked onto the blue-white screening medium. The colonies were then treated by two methods and incubated at 37°C for 12 h. The results showed that some of the white colonies treated by the two methods showed results similar to the colonies grown on the blue-white screening medium. These results indicate that the target colonies grown on blue-white screening medium can still be used to carry out a secondary blue-white screening. Thus, a blue-white screening liquid was successfully developed. Using the blue-white screening liquid, false positives can be eliminated directly based on the color of the target colonies. This will greatly improve the screening efficiency of positive clones and has important practical implications. PMID:27323169

  16. Blue space geographies: Enabling health in place.

    PubMed

    Foley, Ronan; Kistemann, Thomas

    2015-09-01

    Drawing from research on therapeutic landscapes and relationships between environment, health and wellbeing, we propose the idea of 'healthy blue space' as an important new development Complementing research on healthy green space, blue space is defined as; 'health-enabling places and spaces, where water is at the centre of a range of environments with identifiable potential for the promotion of human wellbeing'. Using theoretical ideas from emotional and relational geographies and critical understandings of salutogenesis, the value of blue space to health and wellbeing is recognised and evaluated. Six individual papers from five different countries consider how health can be enabled in mixed blue space settings. Four sub-themes; embodiment, inter-subjectivity, activity and meaning, document multiple experiences within a range of healthy blue spaces. Finally, we suggest a considerable research agenda - theoretical, methodological and applied - for future work within different forms of blue space. All are suggested as having public health policy relevance in social and public space. PMID:26238330

  17. Blue-phase liquid crystal droplets

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-González, José A.; Zhou, Ye; Rahimi, Mohammad; Bukusoglu, Emre; Abbott, Nicholas L.; de Pablo, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    Blue phases of liquid crystals represent unique ordered states of matter in which arrays of defects are organized into striking patterns. Most studies of blue phases to date have focused on bulk properties. In this work, we present a systematic study of blue phases confined into spherical droplets. It is found that, in addition to the so-called blue phases I and II, several new morphologies arise under confinement, with a complexity that increases with the chirality of the medium and with a nature that can be altered by surface anchoring. Through a combination of simulations and experiments, it is also found that one can control the wavelength at which blue-phase droplets absorb light by manipulating either their size or the strength of the anchoring, thereby providing a liquid–state analog of nanoparticles, where dimensions are used to control absorbance or emission. The results presented in this work also suggest that there are conditions where confinement increases the range of stability of blue phases, thereby providing intriguing prospects for applications. PMID:26460039

  18. Safe thyroidectomy with intraoperative methylene blue spraying

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background We aimed to minimalize operative complications by spraying of methylene blue stain on thyroid glands and the perithyroidal area. Material and methods The intra-operative methylene blue spraying technique was used prospectively on a total of 56 patients who had undergone primary (not recurrent) thyroid surgery for a variety of thyroid diseases. Bilateral total thyroidectomy was performed in all cases. After superior but before inferior pole ligation, 0.5ml of methylene blue was sprayed over the thyroid lobe and perilober area. Tissues, especially parathyroides, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, and the inferior thyroid artery, were identified and evaluated. Results Recurrent laryngeal nerve and arteries were not stained and thus they remained white in all cases while all other tissues were stained blue. Within three minutes parathyroid glands washed out the blue stain and the original yellow color was regained. Thyroid tissue wash-out time was not less than 15 minutes; perithyroideal muscles, tendinous and lipoid structures took no less than 25 minutes. Conclusion The safety of intravascular methylene blue guidance on thyroid surgery is known. This research demonstrates the effectiveness of the spraying technique, a new technique which ensures not only identification of parathyroid glands within three minutes, but also identification of recurrent laryngeal nerves and inferior thyroid arteries. PMID:23148801

  19. 49 CFR 218.23 - Blue signal display.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Blue signal display. 218.23 Section 218.23..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RAILROAD OPERATING PRACTICES Blue Signal Protection of Workers § 218.23 Blue signal display. (a) Blue signals displayed in accordance with § 218.25, 218.27, or 218.29 signify...

  20. 49 CFR 218.23 - Blue signal display.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Blue signal display. 218.23 Section 218.23..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RAILROAD OPERATING PRACTICES Blue Signal Protection of Workers § 218.23 Blue signal display. (a) Blue signals displayed in accordance with § 218.25, 218.27, or 218.29 signify...

  1. Comparison of Alcian Blue, Trypan Blue, and Toluidine Blue for Visualization of the Primo Vascular System Floating in Lymph Ducts

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Da-Un; Han, Jae Won; Jung, Sharon Jiyoon; Lee, Seung Hwan; Cha, Richard; Chang, Byung-Soo; Soh, Kwang-Sup

    2015-01-01

    The primo vascular system (PVS), floating in lymph ducts, was too transparent to be observed by using a stereomicroscope. It was only detectable with the aid of staining dyes, for instance, Alcian blue, which was injected into the lymph nodes. Some dyes were absorbed preferentially by the PVS than the lymph wall. It remains a standing problem to know what dyes are absorbed better by the PVS than the lymph walls. Such information would be useful to unravel the biochemical properties of the PVS that are badly in need for obtaining large amount of PVS specimens. In the current work we tried two other familiar dyes which were used in PVS research before. We found that Trypan blue and toluidine blue did not visualize the PVS. Trypan blue was cleared by the natural washing. Toluidine blue did not stain the PVS, but it did leave stained spots in the lymph wall and its surrounding tissues, and it leaked out of the lymph wall to stain surrounding connective tissues. These completely different behaviors of the three dyes were found for the first time in the current work and provide valuable information to elucidate the mechanism through which some special dyes stained the PVS preferentially compared to the lymphatic wall. PMID:26379749

  2. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by the blue pigment VINAMON® Blue BX FW - a phthalocyanine blue in a vinyl glove.

    PubMed

    Weimann, Stefanie; Skudlik, Christoph; John, Swen Malte

    2010-10-01

    A 44-year-old metalworker suffered from severe hand eczema in spite of treatment with corticosteroid ointments. He had been using protective cotton gloves with blue PVC anti-slip dots on the finger tips. On clinical examination, the backs of both hands were erythematous and thickened while the finger tips showed vesicles. There was a positive patch test reaction to the blue PVC dots of an unworn cotton glove at 72, 96, 120 hours. To identify the causative chemicals, we carried out further patch tests using ingredients of the glove and cupric sulfate. The patient reacted to the blue dye VYNAMON(®) Blue BX FW (PB 15) at two concentrations - 10% at 72 and 96 hours, and 50% at 48 and 72 hours. This dye is a very strong and brilliant blue with red-copper tones and resistant to fire and weathering. The cupric-phthalocyanine complexes are used as pigments in cosmetics (e. g. CI 74160, 74180, 74260). To the best of our knowledge, no allergic reactions to this dye have been described, particularly not in gloves. PMID:20163502

  3. Variations on the "Blue-Bottle" Demonstration Using Food Items That Contain FD&C Blue #1

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staiger, Felicia A.; Peterson, Joshua P.; Campbell, Dean J.

    2015-01-01

    Erioglaucine dye (FD&C Blue #1) can be used instead of methylene blue in the classic "blue-bottle" demonstration. Food items containing FD&C Blue #1 and reducing species such as sugars can therefore be used at the heart of this demonstration, which simply requires the addition of strong base such as sodium hydroxide lye.

  4. 76 FR 19466 - Wellpoint, Inc. D/B/A/Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, et al.; Amended Certification Regarding...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-07

    ... January 26, 2011 (76 FR 4731). At the request of the State agency, the Department reviewed the... Employment and Training Administration Wellpoint, Inc. D/B/A/Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, et al.; Amended.../Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield Enterprise Provider Data Management Team Including On-Site Leased...

  5. Formation Channels for Blue Straggler Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Melvyn B.

    In this chapter we consider two formation channels for blue straggler stars: (1) the merger of two single stars via a collision, and (2) those produced via mass transfer within a binary. We review how computer simulations show that stellar collisions are likely to lead to relatively little mass loss and are thus effective in producing a young population of more-massive stars. The number of blue straggler stars produced by collisions will tend to increase with cluster mass. We review how the current population of blue straggler stars produced from primordial binaries decreases with increasing cluster mass. This is because exchange encounters with third, single stars in the most massive clusters tend to reduce the fraction of binaries containing a primary close to the current turn-off mass. Rather, their primaries tend to be somewhat more massive and have evolved off the main sequence, filling their Roche lobes in the past, often converting their secondaries into blue straggler stars (but more than 1 Gyr or so ago and thus they are no longer visible today as blue straggler stars).

  6. Triboelectric Nanogenerators for Blue Energy Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Khan, Usman; Kim, Sang-Woo

    2016-07-26

    Blue energy in the form of ocean waves offers an enormous energy resource. However, it has yet to be fully exploited in order to make it available for the use of mankind. Blue energy harvesting is a challenging task as the kinetic energy from ocean waves is irregular in amplitude and is at low frequencies. Though electromagnetic generators (EMGs) are well-known for harvesting mechanical kinetic energies, they have a crucial limitation for blue energy conversion. Indeed, the output voltage of EMGs can be impractically low at the low frequencies of ocean waves. In contrast, triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) are highly suitable for blue energy harvesting as they can effectively harvest mechanical energies from low frequencies (<1 Hz) to relatively high frequencies (∼kHz) and are also low-cost, lightweight, and easy to fabricate. Several important steps have been taken by Wang's group to develop TENG technology for blue energy harvesting. In this Perspective, we describe some of the recent progress and also address concerns related to durable packaging of TENGs in consideration of harsh marine environments and power management for an efficient power transfer and distribution for commercial applications. PMID:27408982

  7. GEMS: The destiny of Blue Spheroidal Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häußler, Boris; Bell, Eric F.; Barden, Marco; McIntosh, Daniel H.; Rix, Hans-Walter; Borch, Andrea; Beckwith, Steven V. W.; Caldwell, John A. R.; Heymans, Catherine; Jahnke, Knud; Jogee, Shardha; Koposov, Sergey E.; Meisenheimer, Klaus; Peng, Chien Y.; Sánchez, Sebastian F.; Somerville, Rachel S.; Wisotzki, Lutz; Wolf, Christian

    2007-05-01

    One of the key predictions of hierarchical galaxy formation models is that a significant fraction of elliptical galaxies form in late merging events. One of the most important observations of such an assembly is the existence of blue spheroidal galaxies, which have spheroid-dominated morphologies and blue colors indicating recent star formation, as an intermediate step in the evolution of elliptical galaxies. We present results from the GEMS survey showing the properties of these galaxies derived from 2-D galaxy fitting of the ˜8000 galaxies with photometric redshifts in the 28'x28' HST mosaic. For the first time we were able to divide the observed population of blue elliptical galaxies into sub-populations of different stellar masses. We found that massive blue ellipticals are likely to be the progenitors of red elliptical galaxies while low-mass blue ellipticals have half-light radii considerably in excess of those measured for low-mass present day elliptical galaxies and instead have larger sizes similar to present-day disk-dominated systems with substantial bulges (see Figure)

  8. "Blue and seven phenomena" among Japanese students.

    PubMed

    Saito, M

    1999-10-01

    To investigate color and number preferences in Japan, 586 university undergraduates (239 men and 347 women; M age = 20.9 yr.) were asked to name a color (Question 1), to name their preferred color (Question 2), and to name their preferred number between zero and nine (Question 3). The results showed that Japanese students chose blue (33.5%) or red (26.0%) when asked to name a color but that red was not chosen as frequently as blue as a preferred color (red: 11.1%, blue: 37.1%). Sex differences were found on both Questions 1 and 2 by chi-squared test. Black was chosen more by men, while pink was selected more by women. 22.5% subjects also selected the number seven, supporting Simon's observation of the "blue-seven phenomenon." The reasons given for the choice showed that seven was "a lucky number" and "represented happiness" among Japanese students. Four colors (blue, red, white, and black) accounted for 76.8% and 65.1% of responses to Questions 1 and 2, respectively, and odd numbers 68.4% for Question 3. PMID:10597589

  9. Blue-green atomic mercury photodissociation laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fill, E.; Gerck, E.

    The accomplishment of a blue-green Hg laser after dissociating HgI2 with a KrF laser is reported. The iodide was contained in a cell with an aluminum mirror, and heating with the KrF laser caused green laser emission at 180 C and a blue line above 210 C, with total emission increasing up to 260 C and then tailing off. The emitted wavelengths were measured at 435-8 and 546.1 nm, with the pulse shape having a duration of 1 ns with peak power of 3 kW for the blue and an order of magnitude less for the green. The KrF laser was tuned to emit at 248 nm, and no decrease in the resulting emissions were detected after 10,000 pulses in the iodide laser.

  10. Blue light inhibits proliferation of melanoma cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Anja; Distler, Elisabeth; Klapczynski, Anna; Arpino, Fabiola; Kuch, Natalia; Simon-Keller, Katja; Sticht, Carsten; van Abeelen, Frank A.; Gretz, Norbert; Oversluizen, Gerrit

    2016-03-01

    Photobiomodulation with blue light is used for several treatment paradigms such as neonatal jaundice, psoriasis and back pain. However, little is known about possible side effects concerning melanoma cells in the skin. The aim of this study was to assess the safety of blue LED irradiation with respect to proliferation of melanoma cells. For that purpose we used the human malignant melanoma cell line SK-MEL28. Cell proliferation was decreased in blue light irradiated cells where the effect size depended on light irradiation dosage. Furthermore, with a repeated irradiation of the melanoma cells on two consecutive days the effect could be intensified. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting with Annexin V and Propidium iodide labeling did not show a higher number of dead cells after blue light irradiation compared to non-irradiated cells. Gene expression analysis revealed down-regulated genes in pathways connected to anti-inflammatory response, like B cell signaling and phagosome. Most prominent pathways with up-regulation of genes were cytochrome P450, steroid hormone biosynthesis. Furthermore, even though cells showed a decrease in proliferation, genes connected to the cell cycle were up-regulated after 24h. This result is concordant with XTT test 48h after irradiation, where irradiated cells showed the same proliferation as the no light negative control. In summary, proliferation of melanoma cells can be decreased using blue light irradiation. Nevertheless, the gene expression analysis has to be further evaluated and more studies, such as in-vivo experiments, are warranted to further assess the safety of blue light treatment.