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Sample records for house sparrow passer

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The granivorous house sparrow Passer domesticus is thought to have developed its commensal relationship with humans with the rise of agriculture in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago, and to have expanded with the spread of agriculture in Eurasia during the last few thousand years. One subspecies, P. d. bactrianus, residing in Central Asia, has apparently maintained the ancestral ecology, however. This subspecies is not associated with human settlements; it is migratory and lives in natural grass- and wetland habitats feeding on wild grass seeds. It is well documented that the agricultural revolution was associated with an increase in grain size and changes in seed structure in cultivated cereals, the preferred food source of commensal house sparrow. Accordingly, we hypothesize that correlated changes may have occurred in beak and skull morphology as adaptive responses to the change in diet. Here, we test this hypothesis by comparing the skull shapes of 101 house sparrows from Iran, belonging to five different subspecies, including the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus, using geometric morphometrics. Results The various commensal house sparrow subspecies share subtle but consistent skeletal features that differ significantly from those of the non-commensal P. d. bactrianus. Although there is a marked overall size allometry in the data set, the shape difference between the ecologically differentiated sparrows cannot be explained by differences in size alone. Relative to the size allometry commensal house sparrows exhibit a skull shape consistent with accelerated development (heterochrony), resulting in a more robust facial cranium and a larger, more pointed beak. Conclusion The difference in skull shape and robustness of the beak between commensal and non-commensal house sparrows is consistent with adaptations to process the larger and rachis encapsulated seeds of domesticated cereals among human associated populations. PMID:24044497

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

    PubMed

    Jimenez, Ana G; Williams, Joseph B

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Diversifying selection on MHC class I in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Richard, Murielle; Garnier, Stéphane; Chastel, Olivier; Julliard, Romain; Zoorob, Rima; Sorci, Gabriele

    2009-04-01

    Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are the most polymorphic loci known in vertebrates. Two main hypotheses have been put forward to explain the maintenance of MHC diversity: pathogen-mediated selection and MHC-based mate choice. Host-parasite interactions can maintain MHC diversity via frequency-dependent selection, heterozygote advantage, and diversifying selection (spatially and/or temporally heterogeneous selection). In this study, we wished to investigate the nature of selection acting on the MHC class I across spatially structured populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in France. To infer the nature of the selection, we compared patterns of population differentiation based on two types of molecular markers: MHC class I and microsatellites. This allowed us to test whether the observed differentiation at MHC genes merely reflects demographic and/or stochastic processes. At the global scale, diversifying selection seems to be the main factor maintaining MHC diversity in the house sparrow. We found that (i) overall population differentiation at MHC was stronger than for microsatellites, (ii) MHC marker showed significant isolation by distance. In addition, the slope of the regression of F(ST) on geographical distance was significantly steeper for MHC than for microsatellites due to a stronger pairwise differentiation between populations located at large geographical distances. These results are in agreement with the hypothesis that spatially heterogeneous selective pressures maintain different MHC alleles at local scales, possibly resulting in local adaptation. PMID:19368641

  4. Seasonal variation in glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in metabolic tissues of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Lattin, Christine R; Romero, L Michael

    2015-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones like corticosterone (CORT) play essential metabolic roles at both baseline and stress-induced concentrations, and CORT titers vary seasonally in patterns occurring across many different vertebrate species. It has been hypothesized that CORT may vary seasonally due to changing energy requirements at different times of year. However, hormone effects are dependent on binding to receptors in target tissues, and receptors might also vary seasonally. CORT alters metabolism primarily through binding to two receptors, the high-affinity mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and low-affinity glucocorticoid receptor (GR). We quantified GR and MR in metabolic tissues (liver, kidney, omental and subcutaneous fat, and gastrocnemius and pectoralis muscle) of wild-caught house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to assess these tissues' capacity to respond to CORT-mediated metabolic demands. We quantified receptors using radioligand binding assays in early and late winter, pre-egg-laying, breeding, late breeding and molt (n=12 at each stage). MR binding did not vary significantly in any tissue over the course of the year. Because MR is associated with baseline CORT effects, this suggests that changing hormone titers may primarily regulate baseline CORT effects on metabolism. Seasonal modulation of GR binding occurred in every tissue but omental fat, though peak receptor density did not coincide with peak stress-induced CORT concentrations measured previously. Because GR is associated with stress-induced CORT effects, these data demonstrate seasonal patterns in stress-induced CORT are not driven by metabolic needs alone, although at different times of year sparrows may vary which tissue types respond to increased energy demands resulting from exposure to stressors. PMID:24929232

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vinod; Gwinner, Eberhard

    2005-09-01

    In many birds periodic melatonin secretion by the pineal organ is essential for the high-amplitude self-sustained output of the circadian pacemaker, and thus for the persistence of rhythmicity in 24 h oscillations controlled by it. The elimination of the pineal melatonin rhythm, or a reduction of its amplitude, renders the circadian pacemaker a less self-sustained, often highly damped, oscillatory system. A reduction in the degree of self-sustainment of a rhythm should not only increase its range of entrainment but also shorten the resynchronization times following phase-shifts of the zeitgeber. This hypothesis has not yet been directly tested. We therefore carried out the present study in which house sparrows (Passer domesticus) were subjected to both 6-h advance and 6-h delay phase-shifts of the light-dark cycle before and after the pinealectomy, and the rhythms in locomotion and feeding were recorded. The results indicate that following the delay, but not the advance, phase shift, resynchronization times were significantly shorter after pinealectomy. The dependence of resynchronization times on the presence or absence of the pineal organ is not only of theoretical interest but might also be of functional significance in the natural life of birds. A reduction or elimination of the amplitude of the melatonin secretion rhythm by the pineal organ might be responsible for faster adjustment to changes in zeitgeber conditions in nature. PMID:16151793

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Small and isolated populations usually exhibit low levels of genetic variability, and thus, they are expected to have a lower capacity to adapt to changes in environmental conditions, such as exposure to pathogens and parasites. Comparing the genetic variability of selectively neutral versus functional loci allows one to assess the evolutionary history of populations and their future evolutionary potential. The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) control immune recognition of parasites, and their unusually high diversity is genes which is likely driven by parasite-mediated balancing selection. Here, we examined diversity and differentiation of neutral microsatellite loci and functional MHC class I genes in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), living in six insular and six mainland populations, and we aimed to determine whether their diversity or differentiation correlates with the diversity and the prevalence of infection of hemosporidian parasites. We found that island bird populations tended to have lower neutral genetic variability, whereas MHC variability gene was similar between island and mainland populations. Similarly, island populations tended to show greater genetic differentiation than mainland populations, especially at microsatellite markers. The maintenance of MHC genetic diversity and its less marked structure in the island populations could be attributed to balancing-selection. The greater MHC differentiation among populations was negatively correlated with similarity in blood parasites (prevalence and diversity of parasite strains) between populations. Even at low prevalence and small geographical scale, haemosporidian parasites might contribute to structure the variability of immune genes among populations of hosts. PMID:25937907

  7. Organochlorine pesticide residues in eggs and tissues of house sparrow, Passer domesticus, from Tamil Nadu, India.

    PubMed

    Dhananjayan, V; Muralidharan, S; Ranapratap, S

    2011-12-01

    This study provides information on the current status of contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in eggs and tissues of House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, in Tamil Nadu, India. The mean concentration of total hexachlorocyclohexane (∑HCH) and total dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (∑DDT) in eggs ranged from 0.01 to 1.81 μg/g and 0.02 to 1.29 μg/g, respectively. Concentration of 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p'-DDE) ranged from below detectable limit (BDL) to 0.64 μg/g, representing more than 60% of the ∑DDTs. About 28% of samples had p,p'-DDE levels above the critical concentration associated with reproductive impairment. However, the mean concentrations of cyclodiene insecticides were less than 0.5 μg/g. Although OCPs levels detected in tissues are not indicative of toxicity, continuous monitoring is recommended. PMID:21979140

  8. Wounding alters blood chemistry parameters and skin mineralocorticoid receptors in house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Lattin, Christine R; DuRant, Sarah E; Romero, L Michael

    2015-06-01

    Because skin is an important physical barrier against pathogens, the ability to quickly and effectively heal wounds directly impacts an animal's health. The hormone corticosterone (CORT) has many complex effects on immune function and can slow wound healing. It has been suggested that CORT's role during wound healing may be to act as a "brake" on inflammation and cell proliferation. This project aimed to clarify the role of CORT in the healing process by quantifying concentrations of its two intracellular receptors, glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR), in the skin of wounded (n = 9) or unwounded (n = 8) house sparrows (Passer domesticus) using radioligand binding assays. We also quantified GR and MR in liver, spleen and pectoralis muscle, as well as several blood chemistry parameters, hypothesizing that wounding would alter whole-body energy use. One day post-wounding, wounded birds had higher blood glucose and lower aspartate aminotransferase (a marker indicating muscle damage or catabolism) compared to controls, which may be related to animals' changing metabolic needs in response to lymphocyte and macrophage recruitment at the wound site. Birds had significantly decreased MR, but not GR, in the skin of wounded legs compared to the skin of unwounded legs. There was also a trend towards lower MR in wounded skin compared to unwounded birds. Receptors in the three other tissues did not differ between groups. This study suggests that decreasing the skin's sensitivity to CORT immediately after wounding may be a necessary part of the normal healing process in wild birds. PMID:25802121

  9. LEARNING TO CHOOSE AMONG SOCIAL FORAGING STRATEGIES IN ADULT HOUSE SPARROWS (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Belmaker, Amos; Motro, Uzi; Feldman, Marcus W; Lotem, Arnon

    2012-11-01

    Social foragers may be regarded as being engaged in a producer-scrounger game in which they can search for food independently or join others who have discovered food. Research on the producer-scrounger game has focused mainly on the different factors influencing its ESS solution, but very little is known about the actual mechanisms that shape players' decisions. Recent work has shown that early experience can affect producer-scrounger foraging tendencies in young house sparrows, and that in nutmeg mannikins learning is involved in reaching the ESS. Here we show that direct manipulation of the success rate experienced by adult sparrows when following others can change their strategy choice on the following day. We presented to live sparrows an experimental regime, where stuffed adult house sparrows in a feeding position were positioned on a foraging grid that included two reward regimes: a positive one, in which the stuffed models were placed near food, and a negative one, in which the models were placed away from food. There was a significant increase in joining behavior after the positive treatment (exhibited by 84% of the birds), but no change after the negative treatment. Further analysis demonstrated that sparrows more frequently used the strategy with which they were more successful (usually joining), and that differences in strategy use were correlated with differences in success. These results suggest that adult birds can monitor their success and learn to choose among social foraging strategies in the producer-scrounger game. PMID:23226911

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Experimental test of a trade-off between moult and immune response in house sparrows Passer domesticus.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Rueda, G

    2010-10-01

    A trade-off between immune system and moulting is predicted in birds, given that both functions compete for resources. However, it is unclear whether such a trade-off exists during post-breeding moult. This study tests such a trade-off in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Males injected with an antigen (lipopolysaccharide) significantly moulted slower than sham-injected males. Moreover, males whose seventh primaries were plucked to simulate moult showed smaller immune response to phytohaemagglutinin than control males, in which seventh primaries were clipped. A trade-off between moult speed and body mass was also found. The results show a clear trade-off between moult and immune response in the house sparrow: immune response negatively affected moult and moult negatively affected immune response. These findings suggest that only individuals in good condition may have an efficient moult and simultaneously respond effectively in terms of immunity to pathogens, which could explain how plumage traits honestly indicate parasite resistance in birds. PMID:20840312

  13. Growth of the pectoralis muscle of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed Central

    Jones, M M

    1982-01-01

    The pectoralis muscle from growing house sparrows was investigated using linear, gravimetric, histological and ultrastructural techniques. The structure of the muscle at different stages of development was discussed in relation to known behavioural activities, such as the onset of regular wing exercising and thermogenic shivering in the nestlings. Fibres in the pectoralis muscle of birds about to fledge (15 day nestlings) were similar in composition to fibres in muscles from fully fledged juveniles, with two exceptions. Firstly, numerous lipid droplets had accumulated adjacent to mitochondria in fibres from the pectoralis muscle of the nestlings. This lipid could act as a readily available source of energy for the birds on fledging. Secondly, masses of ribosomes and irregularly shaped myofibrils were present, indicating the continued elaboration of the contractile apparatus in fibres from the pectoralis muscle of the 15 day nestlings. The inefficient flight of newly fledged house sparrows may be accounted for by the size of the pectoralis muscle relative to total body weight. The total contractile material in the muscle of the birds about to fledge was estimated to be 60% or less of that found in fully fledged juveniles, while the body weight was nearly that of an adult bird. Images Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13 Fig. 14 PMID:6305900

  14. Seasonal changes in adrenocortical responses to acute stress in Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) on the Tibetan Plateau: comparison with house sparrow (P. domesticus) in North America and with the migratory P. domesticus in Qinghai Province.

    PubMed

    Li, Dongming; Wang, Gang; Wingfield, John C; Zhang, Zhi; Ding, Changqing; Lei, Fumin

    2008-08-01

    Seasonal modulation of the adrenocortical response to stress appears to be ubiquitous in arctic-breeding and temperate-zone-breeding birds, but has not been well investigated in alpine-breeding species at mid-latitude. We examined the adrenocortical response to acute stress (capture, handling and restraint) in populations of Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) among seasons and migratory house sparrow (P. domesticus bactrianus) in pre-breeding on the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau (the Tibetan Plateau). A population of house sparrow (Passer domesticus domesticus) was also sampled in lowland Phoenix, Arizona during breeding and wintering stages. In Eurasian tree sparrows, baseline corticosterone (CORT) does not differ among life history stages, but stress-induced CORT level (maximal CORT, total and corrected integrated CORT) is significantly higher in late breeding stage than those in early breeding and prebasic molt stages. In house sparrows, stress-induced CORT level does not differ between sites and life history stages, but baseline CORT is significantly lower in pre-breeding from Qinghai compared with those in breeding and wintering stages from Phoenix. Interestingly, both baseline CORT and maximal CORT do not differ between the populations of Eurasian tree sparrow and house sparrow in early/pre-breeding stage although tree sparrow is resident species whereas house sparrow is migratory in Qinghai. Our results suggest that the extreme environment of the Tibetan Plateau does not have significant effects on adrenocortical responses to acute stress in Eurasian tree sparrows and house sparrows, which may be a result of masking by human activities. These invasive human commensals may have a unique HPA axis response to different environments because they can take advantage of human food sources and shelter (i.e. buildings). PMID:18588892

  15. Experimental infection of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with West Nile virus isolates of Euro-Mediterranean and North American origins

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) is a zoonotic arboviral pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes in a cycle involving wild birds as reservoir hosts. The virus has recently emerged in North America and re-emerged in Europe. North American WNV outbreaks are often accompanied by high mortality in wild birds, a feature that is uncommon in Europe. The reason for this difference is unknown, but the intrinsic virulence of the viruses circulating in each continent and/or the susceptibility to the disease of Palearctic as opposed to Nearctic wild bird species could play a role. To assess this question, experimental inoculations with four lineage 1 WNV strains, three from southern Europe (Italy/2008, Italy/2009 and Spain/2007) and one from North America (NY99) were performed on house sparrows (Passer domesticus), a wild passerine common in both continents. Non-significant differences which ranged from 0% to 25% were observed in mortality for the different WNV strains. Viremias lasted from 1 to 5–6 days post-inoculation (dpi) in all cases; individuals inoculated with NY99 had significantly higher titres than those inoculated with any of the Euro-Mediterranean strains. Remarkably, host competence was found to be higher for NY99 than for the other strains. Consequently, albeit being pathogenic for house sparrows, some Euro-Mediterranean strains had reduced capacity for replication in -and transmission from- this host, as compared to the NY99 strain. If applicable also to other wild bird host species, this relatively reduced transmission capacity of the Euro-Mediterranean strains could explain the lower incidence of this disease in wild birds in the Euro-Mediterranean area. PMID:24641615

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    Over the short-term and at physiological doses, acute increases in corticosterone (CORT) titres can enhance immune function. There are predictable seasonal patterns in both circulating CORT and immune function across many animal species, but whether CORT receptor density in immune tissues varies seasonally is currently unknown. Using radioligand binding assays, we examined changes in concentrations of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in spleen and skin in wild-caught house sparrows in Massachusetts during six different life-history stages: moult, early winter, late winter, pre-egg-laying, breeding and late breeding. Splenic GR and MR binding were highest during the pre-laying period. This may help animals respond to immune threats through increased lymphocyte proliferation and/or an increase in delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions, both of which CORT can stimulate and in which spleen is involved. A decrease in splenic GR and MR during the late breeding period coincides with low baseline and stress-induced CORT, suggesting immune function in spleen may be relatively CORT-independent during this period. We saw no seasonal patterns in GR or MR in skin, suggesting skin's response to CORT is modulated primarily via changes in circulating CORT titres and/or via local production of CORT in response to wounding and other noxious stimuli. PMID:23407837

  17. There is no correlation between glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression and protein binding in the brains of house sparrows (Passer domesticus).

    PubMed

    Medina, Carlos O; Lattin, Christine R; McVey, M; Romero, L Michael

    2013-11-01

    The stress response represents an animal's attempt to cope with a noxious stimulus through a rapid release of corticosterone or cortisol (CORT) into the bloodstream, resulting in a suite of physiological and behavioral changes. These changes are mediated in large part through CORT's binding to two different intracellular receptors, the high-affinity mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and the lower-affinity glucocorticoid receptor (GR). We tested the hypothesis that GR and MR mRNA expression would correlate with functional protein expression in neuronal tissue of wild-caught house sparrows (Passer domesticus). To test this hypothesis, we performed a parallel procedure in which protein concentrations were quantified in one half of house sparrow brains (n=16) using radioligand binding assays, and mRNA levels were quantified in the other brain half using reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Two reference genes, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and TATA-box binding protein (TBP), were used for relative quantification of GR and MR mRNA. Quantifications showed that these two reference genes were not correlated with each other. Furthermore, there was no correlation between mRNA and protein levels for GR or MR using either reference gene, suggesting that regulation of mRNA and protein levels for MR and GR is not tightly linked. This study provides insight into the importance of regulatory steps between mRNA expression and the creation and stability of a functional protein. The overall conclusion is that mRNA expression cannot be used as a proxy for GR or MR binding in house sparrows. PMID:23892014

  18. Evaluating the Stress Response as a Bioindicator of Sub-Lethal Effects of Crude Oil Exposure in Wild House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Lattin, Christine R.; Ngai, Heather M.; Romero, L. Michael

    2014-01-01

    Petroleum can disrupt endocrine function in humans and wildlife, and interacts in particularly complex ways with the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, responsible for the release of the stress hormones corticosterone and cortisol (hereafter CORT). Ingested petroleum can act in an additive fashion with other stressors to cause increased mortality, but it is not clear exactly why—does petroleum disrupt feedback mechanisms, stress hormone production, or both? This laboratory study aimed to quantify the effects of ingested Gulf of Mexico crude oil on the physiological stress response of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We examined baseline and stress-induced CORT, negative feedback, and adrenal sensitivity in house sparrows given a 1% oil or control diet (n = 12 in each group). We found that four weeks on a 1% oil diet did not alter baseline CORT titers or efficacy of negative feedback, but significantly reduced sparrows' ability to secrete CORT in response to a standardized stressor and adrenocorticotropin hormone injection, suggesting that oil damages the steroid-synthesizing cells of the adrenal. In another group of animals on the same 1% oil (n = 9) or control diets (n = 8), we examined concentrations of eight different blood chemistry parameters, and CORT in feathers grown before and during the feeding experiments as other potential biomarkers of oil exposure. None of the blood chemistry parameters differed between birds on the oil and control diets after two or four weeks of feeding, nor did feather CORT differ between the two groups. Overall, this study suggests that the response of CORT to stressors, but not baseline HPA function, may be a particularly sensitive bioindicator of sub-lethal chronic effects of crude oil exposure. PMID:25029334

  19. Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) Upregulates Expression of Pattern Recognition Receptors and Interferons in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Barak, Virginia A.; Rainwater, Ellecia L.; Altrichter, Ashley M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Birds serve as reservoirs for at least 10 arthropod-borne viruses, yet specific immune responses of birds to arboviral infections are relatively unknown. Here, adult House Sparrows were inoculated with an arboviral alphavirus, Buggy Creek virus (BCRV), or saline, and euthanized between 1 and 3 days postinoculation. Virological dynamics and gene expression dynamics were investigated. Birds did not develop viremia postinoculation, but cytopathic virus was found in the skeletal muscle and spleen of birds 1 and 3 days postinoculation (DPI). Viral RNA was detected in the blood of BCRV-infected birds 1 and 2 DPI, in oral swabs 1–3 DPI, and in brain, heart, skeletal muscle, and spleen 1–3 DPI. Multiple genes were significantly upregulated following BCRV infection, including pattern recognition receptors (TLR7, TLR15, RIG-1), type I interferon (IFN-α), and type II interferon (IFN-γ). This is the first study to report avian immunological gene expression profiles following an arboviral infection. PMID:24866749

  20. Cross-training in birds: cold and exercise training produce similar changes in maximal metabolic output, muscle masses and myostatin expression in house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yufeng; Eyster, Kathleen; Liu, Jin-Song; Swanson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Maximal metabolic outputs for exercise and thermogenesis in birds presumably influence fitness through effects on flight and shivering performance. Because both summit (Msum, maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and maximum (MMR, maximum exercise metabolic rate) metabolic rates are functions of skeletal muscle activity, correlations between these measurements and their mechanistic underpinnings might occur. To examine whether such correlations occur, we measured the effects of experimental cold and exercise training protocols for 3 weeks on body (Mb) and muscle (Mpec) masses, basal metabolic rate (BMR), Msum, MMR, pectoralis mRNA and protein expression for myostatin, and mRNA expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2 (metalloproteinase activators of myostatin) in house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Both training protocols increased Msum, MMR, Mb and Mpec, but BMR increased with cold training and decreased with exercise training. No significant differences occurred for pectoralis myostatin mRNA expression, but cold and exercise increased the expression of TLL-1 and TLL-2. Pectoralis myostatin protein levels were generally reduced for both training groups. These data clearly demonstrate cross-training effects of cold and exercise in birds, and are consistent with a role for myostatin in increasing pectoralis muscle mass and driving organismal increases in metabolic capacities. PMID:25987736

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    A stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) is known as Passer italiae from the Italian Peninsula and a few Mediterranean islands. The growing attention for the Italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from North Africa. Our study provides new data on the breeding biology and variation of mitochondrial DNA in three Algerian populations of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, and phenotypical hybrids. In two field seasons, the two species occupied different breeding habitats: Spanish sparrows were only found in rural areas outside the cities and bred in open-cup nests built in large jujube bushes. In contrast, house sparrows bred only in the town centers and occupied nesting holes in walls of buildings. Phenotypical hybrids were always associated with house sparrow populations. House sparrows and phenotypical hybrids started breeding mid of March, and most pairs had three successive clutches, whereas Spanish sparrows started breeding almost one month later and had only two successive clutches. Mitochondrial introgression is strongly asymmetric because about 75% of the rural Spanish sparrow population carried house sparrow haplotypes. In contrast, populations of the Italian hybrid form, P. italiae, were genetically least diverse among all study populations and showed a near-fixation of house sparrow haplotypes that elsewhere were extremely rare or that were even unique for the Italian Peninsula. Such differences between mitochondrial gene pools of Italian and North African hybrid sparrow populations provide first evidence that different demographic histories have shaped the extant genetic diversity observed on both continents. PMID:27551376

  2. Chronic exposure to a low dose of ingested petroleum disrupts corticosterone receptor signalling in a tissue-specific manner in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    PubMed Central

    Lattin, Christine R.; Romero, L. Michael

    2014-01-01

    Stress-induced concentrations of glucocorticoid hormones (including corticosterone, CORT) can be suppressed by chronic exposure to a low dose of ingested petroleum. However, endocrine-disrupting chemicals could interfere with CORT signalling beyond the disruption of hormone titres, including effects on receptors in different target tissues. In this study, we examined the effects of 6 weeks of exposure to a petroleum-laced diet (1% oil weight:food weight) on tissue mass and intracellular CORT receptors in liver, fat, muscle and kidney (metabolic tissues), spleen (an immune tissue) and testes (a reproductive tissue). In the laboratory, male house sparrows were fed either a 1% weathered crude oil (n = 12) or a control diet (n = 12); glucocorticoid receptors and mineralocorticoid receptors were quantified using radioligand binding assays. In oil-exposed birds, glucocorticoid receptors were lower in one metabolic tissue (liver), higher in another metabolic tissue (fat) and unchanged in four other tissues (kidney, muscle, spleen and testes) compared with control birds. We saw no differences in mineralocorticoid receptors between groups. We also saw a trend towards reduced mass of the testes in oil-exposed birds compared with controls, but no differences in fat, kidney, liver, muscle or spleen mass between the two groups. This is the first study to examine the effects of petroleum on CORT receptor density in more than one or two target tissues. Given that a chronic low dose of ingested petroleum can affect stress-induced CORT titres as well as receptor density, this demonstrates that oil can act at multiple levels to disrupt an animal’s response to environmental stressors. This also highlights the potential usefulness of the stress response as a bioindicator of chronic crude oil exposure. PMID:27293679

  3. BLOOD GAS, LACTATE, AND HEMATOLOGY EFFECTS OF VENIPUNCTURE TIMING AND LOCATION AFTER MIST-NET CAPTURE OF MOURNING DOVES (ZENAIDA MACROURA), BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES (QUISCALUS MAJOR), AND HOUSE SPARROWS (PASSER DOMESTICUS).

    PubMed

    Harms, Craig A; Jinks, Maggie R; Harms, Ronald V

    2016-04-01

    Venous blood gas partial pressures, pH, bicarbonate and lactate concentrations, packed cell volume, white blood cell differential counts, and heterophil/lymphocyte ratios were measured from Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), Boat-tailed Grackles (Quiscalus major), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Birds were bled promptly after mist-net capture and banding or following a targeted delay of 45-60 min, in order to assess the impacts of a brief holding period commonly practiced in large-scale bird banding operations. Additionally, effects of venipuncture location (basilic [=ulnar] vein versus jugular vein) were evaluated in male Boat-tailed Grackles sampled promptly after capture and banding. All comparisons were with unpaired samples; no birds were subjected to more than one venipuncture. All three species exhibited moderate improvements in blood gas and acid-base status after the delay, with reductions in lactate concentrations with or without concurrent increases in pH and bicarbonate. Boat-tailed Grackles exhibited an increased proportion of heterophils in the differential white blood cell count following a delay in sampling, suggestive of a stress leukogram. There were no significant differences between basilic and jugular venipuncture results from male Boat-tailed Grackles. Most metabolic, respiratory, and acid-base alterations were minor, but a small number of birds exhibited values (e.g., temperature-corrected pH <7.3, lactate >10 mmol/L) that could be of concern if combined with other adverse conditions. For such birds, a short delay between capture and processing could benefit their blood gas and acid-base status, although loss of time foraging or feeding young and greater activation of the hypophyseal-pituitary-adrenal axis are additional considerations. PMID:26845300

  4. House sparrows benefit from the conservation of white storks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosicki, Jakub Z.; Sparks, Tim H.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2007-05-01

    As with many farmland bird species, the house sparrow Passer domesticus is declining in Europe, mainly due to intensification of agriculture reducing nest sites and food supplies. During 2002-2005, we studied the population size and nest site characteristics of house sparrows breeding within white stork Ciconia ciconia nests in a large area of agricultural landscape within western Poland. To explain sparrow density within stork nests, we examined characteristics of white stork nests (position, age, productivity) and the farm type around the nest. House sparrow density was greatest in the longest established (and hence larger) white stork nests located on traditionally managed farms. Two recent changes appear to have adverse effects on house sparrows. The first is the intensification of farming and the second is active management of white stork nests on electric poles to reduce nest size and thus avoid both disruption to the electrical supply and electrocution of white storks. Because the white stork has such a high profile in Poland, there are numerous schemes to conserve and enhance this species. In conclusion, we clearly show that protecting one species can have valuable, although unplanned, benefits to another species of conservation interest, the house sparrow.

  5. Contrasting egg recognition between European and Asian populations of tree sparrows (Passer montanus).

    PubMed

    Yang, Canchao; Wang, Longwu; Liang, Wei; Møller, Anders P

    2016-04-01

    Although many biological phenotypes are generally regarded as consistent across the distributional range of a species, some traits such as egg discrimination behavior have been shown to display extensive intraspecific variation as a response to selection from brood parasitism. We investigated the egg recognition ability in an Asian population of tree sparrows (Passer montanus), and we compared that with the ability to recognize and reject intraspecific foreign eggs in a population in Europe. Extensive artificial parasitism with model eggs and real eggs of eight sympatric birds that vary in background color and markings revealed that egg recognition capacity is completely absent in this Asian population of tree sparrows. This result contrasts with previous studies in European populations showing extensive ability for discriminating between own and foreign eggs. Different evolutionary equilibria or differences in the risk of conspecific parasitism may account for differences in egg discrimination ability between European and Asian populations of tree sparrows. PMID:26912482

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

    PubMed Central

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Lens, Luc; Haesendonck, Roel; Teyssier, Aimeric; Hudin, Noraine Salleh; Strubbe, Diederik; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013–2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: <1.3%) of a reservoir in healthy house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines. PMID:27168186

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Uropygial gland and bib colouration in the house sparrow.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2016-01-01

    Birds frequently signal different qualities by plumage colouration, mainly during mating. However, plumage colouration is determined during the moult, and therefore it would indicate the quality of individual birds during the moult, not its current quality. Recent studies, however, suggest that birds could modify plumage colouration by using cosmetic preen oil produced by the uropygial gland. In this study, I show that bib colouration is related to uropygial gland size and body condition in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Moreover, I conducted an experiment in which a group of sparrows were inoculated with an antigen, mimicking an illness. In control birds, short-term changes in bib colouration were related to both body condition and change in uropygial gland size. Therefore, birds that reduced uropygial gland size showed a greater colouration change. However, bib colouration did not change with the change in uropygial gland size in experimental birds inoculated with the antigen. Given that the experiment did not affect preen oil production or consumption, this finding tentatively suggests that the immune challenge provoked a change in the composition of preen oil, affecting its cosmetic properties. In short, the results of this study suggest that (1) male house sparrows produce cosmetic preen oil that alters the colouration of their bibs; (2) the more change in uropygial gland size, the more change in bib colouration; and (3) in this way, bib colouration has the potential to signal current health status, since less healthy birds showed less capacity to change bib colouration. PMID:27280079

  9. Uropygial gland and bib colouration in the house sparrow

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Birds frequently signal different qualities by plumage colouration, mainly during mating. However, plumage colouration is determined during the moult, and therefore it would indicate the quality of individual birds during the moult, not its current quality. Recent studies, however, suggest that birds could modify plumage colouration by using cosmetic preen oil produced by the uropygial gland. In this study, I show that bib colouration is related to uropygial gland size and body condition in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Moreover, I conducted an experiment in which a group of sparrows were inoculated with an antigen, mimicking an illness. In control birds, short-term changes in bib colouration were related to both body condition and change in uropygial gland size. Therefore, birds that reduced uropygial gland size showed a greater colouration change. However, bib colouration did not change with the change in uropygial gland size in experimental birds inoculated with the antigen. Given that the experiment did not affect preen oil production or consumption, this finding tentatively suggests that the immune challenge provoked a change in the composition of preen oil, affecting its cosmetic properties. In short, the results of this study suggest that (1) male house sparrows produce cosmetic preen oil that alters the colouration of their bibs; (2) the more change in uropygial gland size, the more change in bib colouration; and (3) in this way, bib colouration has the potential to signal current health status, since less healthy birds showed less capacity to change bib colouration. PMID:27280079

  10. Lower intestinal modification of ureteral urine in hydrated house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, D L; Braun, E J

    1986-01-01

    The ureters of birds empty into the posterior portion of the lower intestine, thereby providing the possibility for modification of ureteral urine by this latter organ. We have used in vivo perfusion to measure the transport of Na+, K+, and water across the lower intestine (colon and coprodaeum) of anesthetized house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Na+ was reabsorbed from (Vmax = approximately 22 mu eq . cm-2 . h-1, Km = approximately 69 meq/l) and K+ was secreted (at variable rates) into all saline perfusion fluids. The osmotic permeability of the intestinal epithelium was 0.39 microliter . cm-2 . h-1 . mosM-1 in the mucosal-to-serosal direction and 0.43 microliter . cm-2 . h-1 . mosM-1 in the serosal-to-mucosal direction. At isosmotic perfusion, Na+-linked water transport occurred at a rate of 1.7 microliter/mu eq Na+. In hydrated house sparrows the composition of ureteral urine (osmolarity = 351 mosM, Na+ = 86.5 meq/l, K+ = 60.5 meq/l) was significantly modified by transport in the lower intestine (voided fluid osmolarity = 344 mosM, Na+ = 60 meq/l, K+ = 90 meq/l). Interspecific comparisons of lower intestinal resorptive surface area and transport parameters at the level of the tissue, organ, and whole animal reveal no consistent pattern of adaptation related to habitat. PMID:3942257

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Wild animals living in proximity to humans may benefit from recognizing people individually and adjusting their behaviour to the potential risk or gain expected from each person. Although several urban-dwelling species exhibit such skills, it is unclear whether this is due to pre-existing advanced cognitive abilities of taxa predisposed for city life or arises specifically in urban populations either by selection or through ontogenetic changes facilitated by exposure to humans. To test these alternatives, we studied populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) along the urbanization gradient. We manipulated the birds' experience (hostile or not) associated with humans with different faces (masks) and measured their behavioural responses to the proximity of each person. Contrary to our expectations, we found that while rural birds showed less fear of the non-hostile than of the hostile or an unfamiliar person, urban birds made no distinction. These results indicate that house sparrows are less able to recognize individual humans or less willing to behaviourally respond to them in more urbanized habitats with high human population density. We propose several mechanisms that may explain this difference, including reduced pay-off of discrimination due to a low chance of repeated interactions with city people, or a higher likelihood that city people will ignore them. PMID:25164623

  12. How will climate change affect the potential distribution of Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus in North America?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jim; Jarnevich, Catherine; Young, Nick; Newman, Greg; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Habitat suitability models have been used to predict the present and future potential distribution of a variety of species. Eurasian tree sparrows Passer montanus, native to Eurasia, have established populations in other parts of the world. In North America, their current distribution is limited to a relatively small region around its original introduction to St. Louis, Missouri. We combined data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility with current and future climate data to create habitat suitability models using Maxent for this species. Under projected climate change scenarios, our models show that the distribution and range of the Eurasian tree sparrow could increase as far as the Pacific Northwest and Newfoundland. This is potentially important information for prioritizing the management and control of this non-native species.

  13. Group Size and Nest Spacing Affect Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) Infection in Nestling House Sparrows

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Valerie A.; Brown, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    The transmission of parasites and pathogens among vertebrates often depends on host population size, host species diversity, and the extent of crowding among potential hosts, but little is known about how these variables apply to most vector-borne pathogens such as the arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus) is an RNA arbovirus transmitted by the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) to the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) that has recently invaded swallow nesting colonies. The virus has little impact on cliff swallows, but house sparrows are seriously affected by BCRV. For house sparrows occupying swallow nesting colonies in western Nebraska, USA, the prevalence of BCRV in nestling sparrows increased with sparrow colony size at a site but decreased with the number of cliff swallows present. If one nestling in a nest was infected with the virus, there was a greater likelihood that one or more of its nest-mates would also be infected than nestlings chosen at random. The closer a nest was to another nest containing infected nestlings, the greater the likelihood that some of the nestlings in the focal nest would be BCRV-positive. These results illustrate that BCRV represents a cost of coloniality for a vertebrate host (the house sparrow), perhaps the first such demonstration for an arbovirus, and that virus infection is spatially clustered within nests and within colonies. The decreased incidence of BCRV in sparrows as cliff swallows at a site increased reflects the “dilution effect,” in which virus transmission is reduced when a vector switches to feeding on a less competent vertebrate host. PMID:21966539

  14. Prevalence of filarioid nematodes and trypanosomes in American robins and house sparrows, Chicago USA☆

    PubMed Central

    Hamer, Gabriel L.; Anderson, Tavis K.; Berry, Garrett E.; Makohon-Moore, Alvin P.; Crafton, Jeffrey C.; Brawn, Jeffrey D.; Dolinski, Amanda C.; Krebs, Bethany L.; Ruiz, Marilyn O.; Muzzall, Patrick M.; Goldberg, Tony L.; Walker, Edward D.

    2012-01-01

    Hosts are commonly infected with a suite of parasites, and interactions among these parasites can affect the size, structure, and behavior of host–parasite communities. As an important step to understanding the significance of co-circulating parasites, we describe prevalence of co-circulating hemoparasites in two important avian amplification hosts for West Nile virus (WNV), the American robin (Turdus migratorius) and house sparrow (Passer domesticus), during the 2010–2011 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Rates of nematode microfilariemia were 1.5% of the robins (n = 70) and 4.2% of the house sparrows (n = 72) collected during the day and 11.1% of the roosting robins (n = 63) and 0% of the house sparrows (n = 11) collected at night. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes from these parasites resolved two clades of filarioid nematodes. Microscopy revealed that 18.0% of American robins (n = 133) and 16.9% of house sparrows (n = 83) hosted trypanosomes in the blood. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from the 18s rRNA gene revealed that the trypanosomes fall within previously described avian trypanosome clades. These results document hemoparasites in the blood of WNV hosts in a center of endemic WNV transmission, suggesting a potential for direct or indirect interactions with the virus. PMID:24533314

  15. Genetic diversity and population structure in contemporary house sparrow populations along an urbanization gradient

    PubMed Central

    Vangestel, C; Mergeay, J; Dawson, D A; Callens, T; Vandomme, V; Lens, L

    2012-01-01

    House sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have suffered major declines in urban as well as rural areas, while remaining relatively stable in suburban ones. Yet, to date no exhaustive attempt has been made to examine how, and to what extent, spatial variation in population demography is reflected in genetic population structuring along contemporary urbanization gradients. Here we use putatively neutral microsatellite loci to study if and how genetic variation can be partitioned in a hierarchical way among different urbanization classes. Principal coordinate analyses did not support the hypothesis that urban/suburban and rural populations comprise two distinct genetic clusters. Comparison of FST values at different hierarchical scales revealed drift as an important force of population differentiation. Redundancy analyses revealed that genetic structure was strongly affected by both spatial variation and level of urbanization. The results shown here can be used as baseline information for future genetic monitoring programmes and provide additional insights into contemporary house sparrow dynamics along urbanization gradients. PMID:22588131

  16. An immunological cost of begging in house sparrow nestlings.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio

    2010-07-01

    Parent-offspring conflict predicts that offspring should demand a greater parental investment than is optimal for their parents to deliver. This would escalate the level of offspring demand ad infinitum, but most of the models on the evolution of parent-offspring communication predict that begging must be costly, such costs limiting the escalation and defining an optimal level of begging. However, empirical evidence on this issue is mixed. A potential begging cost that remains to be accurately explored is a decrease in immunocompetence for offspring begging fiercely. This study experimentally analyses this cost in house sparrow (Passer domesticus) nestlings. A group of nestlings was forced to beg fiercely for a prolonged time while a control group begged at low levels, both groups receiving the same quantity of food. At the same time, the nestling response to an antigen (phytohaemagglutinin) was measured. Nestlings forced to beg fiercely showed a reduction in immunocompetence with respect to control chicks, but the two groups showed no difference in growth rate. The largest and the smallest nestlings in each brood showed a similar response to the treatment. These results strongly suggest a trade-off between begging and immunocompetence in this species. This trade-off may be a consequence either of resources from the immune system being reallocated to begging behaviour, or of adaptive immunosuppression in order to avoid oxidative stress. Steroid hormones are proposed as mediators of such a trade-off. PMID:20219741

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    In a consistently urbanizing world, anthropogenic noise has become almost omnipresent, and there are increasing evidence that high noise levels can have major impacts on wildlife. While the effects of anthropogenic noise exposure on adult animals have been widely studied, surprisingly, there has been little consideration of the effects of noise pollution on developing organisms. Yet, environmental conditions experienced in early life can have dramatic lifelong consequences for fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated the acoustic environment of free-living house sparrows (Passer domesticus) breeding in nest boxes. We focused on the impact of such disturbance on nestlings' telomere length and fledging success, as telomeres (the protective ends of chromosomes) appear to be a promising predictor of longevity. We showed that despite the absence of any obvious immediate consequences (growth and fledging success), nestlings reared under traffic noise exposure exhibited reduced telomere lengths compared with their unexposed neighbours. Although the mechanisms responsible for this effect remain to be determined, our results provide the first experimental evidence that noise alone can affect a wild vertebrate's early-life telomere length. This suggests that noise exposure may entail important costs for developing organisms. PMID:26382074

  18. Seasonality in circadian locomotor activity and serum testosterone level in the subtropical tree sparrow (Passer montanus).

    PubMed

    Dixit, Anand S; Singh, Namram S

    2016-05-01

    Seasonality in daily locomotor activity pattern was investigated in the subtropical tree sparrow by exposing a group of birds to natural day lengths (NDL) for 30days and another group to 12L/12D for 14days followed by transfer to constant dim light (LLdim) for another 15days in four different seasons of the year. Serum testosterone levels were also measured during different seasons. Sparrows, under NDL, exhibited distinct circadian rhythmicity in their locomotor activity with almost similar general pattern in different seasons that restricted mainly to the light hours. However, they showed season-dependent differences in the characteristics of circadian locomotor activity rhythm. Birds, when exposed to 12L/12D, showed entrainment of their locomotor activity rhythm with the activity confined mainly during the light phase. Though, tau (τ) under free run conditions did not show any significant difference, the activity period varied significantly in different seasons. The highest level of testosterone was recorded in the spring season that corresponded with the maximum locomotor activity in spring months. The seasonality in daily locomotor activity correlates with the seasonal changes in testosterone levels suggesting the influence of gonadal steroids on endogenous circadian system which is indicative of adaptation of tree sparrow to local photoperiodic conditions. PMID:26945648

  19. Photoperiod as a proximate factor in control of seasonality in the subtropical male Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Most species of birds exhibit well-defined seasonality in their various physiological and behavioral functions like reproduction, molt, bill color etc. such that they occur at the most appropriate time of the year. Day length has been shown to be a major source of temporal information regulating seasonal reproduction and associated events in a number of avian species. The present study aims to investigate the role of photoperiod in control of seasonal cycles in the subtropical male tree sparrow (Passer montanus) and to compare its responses at Shillong (Latitude 25°34'N, Longitude 91°53'E) with those exhibited by its conspecifics and related species at other latitudes. Results Initial experiment involving study of seasonal cycles revealed that the wild tree sparrows posses definite seasonal cycles of testicular volume, molt and bill color. These cycles were found remarkably linked to annual solar cycle suggesting the possibility of their photoperiodic control. To confirm this possibility in the next experiment, the photosensitive birds were exposed to three different light-dark regimes that were close to what they experience at this latitude: 9L/15D (close to shortest day length), 12L/12D (equinox day length) and 14L/10D (close to longest day length) for 18 months. Tree sparrows showed testicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness, molting and bill color changes only under long daily photoperiods (12 L and 14 L) but not under short daily photoperiod (9 L). Birds, under stimulatory photoperiods, did not show reinitiation of the above responses after the completion of initiation regression cycle even after their exposure to these photoperiods for 18 months. This precludes the possibility of circannual rhythm generation and suggests the involvement of photoperiodic mechanism in control of their seasonal cycles. Further, replacement of body and primary feathers progressed with gonadal regression only under long days

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Bergmann's rule predicts that individuals are larger in more poleward populations and that this size gradient has an adaptive basis. Hence, phenotypic divergence in size traits between populations (PST ) is expected to exceed the level of divergence by drift alone (FST ). We measured 16 skeletal traits, body mass and wing length in 409 male and 296 female house sparrows Passer domesticus sampled in 12 populations throughout Finland, where the species has its northernmost European distributional margin. Morphometric differentiation across populations (PST ) was compared with differentiation in 13 microsatellites (FST ). We find that twelve traits phenotypically diverged more than FST in both sexes, and an additional two traits diverged in males. The phenotypic divergence exceeded FST in several traits to such a degree that findings were robust also to strong between-population environmental effects. Divergence was particularly strong in dimensions of the bill, making it a strong candidate for the study of adaptive molecular genetic divergence. Divergent traits increased in size in more northern populations. We conclude that house sparrows show evidence of an adaptive latitudinal size gradient consistent with Bergmann's rule on the modest spatial scale of ca. 600 km. PMID:24571622

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    Rectal smears of calves, cows and young bulls, as well as cloacal smears of house sparrows (Passer domesticus), from farms at the villages of Sumice and Troskotovice, Czech Republic, were examined for E. coli resistant to 12 antimicrobials. The resistant isolates were tested for antimicrobial-resistance genes and integrons. Totals of 40% (n=183), 3% (n=95), 0% (n=33), and 9% (n=54) of Escherichia coli isolates from calves, cows, young bulls and house sparrows, respectively, were antimicrobial resistant. The following genes were identified in cattle E. coli isolates: tetA, tetB (isolates resistant to tetracycline), bla(TEM) (beta-lactams), strA, aadA (streptomycin), sul1, sul2 (sulphonamides), and cat, floR (chloramphenicol). Seven of 16 antimicrobial-resistant calf isolates from the Sumice farm possessed class 1 integrons with the aadA1 gene cassette integrated, 1 kb in size. On the Troskotovice farm, eight of 57 antimicrobial-resistant calf isolates possessed class 1 integrons. Integrons of 1.5kb with the dhfr1- aadA1 gene cassette were found in four isolates, followed by a 1kb integron with the aadA1 gene found in three isolates, and a 1.7kb integron with the dhfr17-aadA5 gene cassette and the phenotype ASSuTSxtNaCipCCfG. The prevalence of resistant E. coli in calves compared to adult cattle was much higher and probably was influenced by oral antimicrobial usage in calves, feeding with milk and colostrum from treated cows, as well as mechanisms unrelated to antimicrobial drug selection. Although house sparrows lived together with the cattle and came into contact with cattle waste on the farm, they were not infected by resistant E. coli isolates with the same characteristics as those found in cattle. PMID:18471838

  2. Immune activity elevates energy expenditure of house sparrows: a link between direct and indirect costs?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Lynn B; Scheuerlein, Alex; Wikelski, Martin

    2003-01-01

    The activation of an immune response is beneficial for organisms but may also have costs that affect fitness. Documented immune costs include those associated with acquisition of special nutrients, as well as immunopathology or autoimmunity. Here, we test whether an experimental induction of the immune system with a non-pathological stimulant can elevate energy turnover in passerine birds. We injected phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), a commonly used mitogen that activates the cell-mediated immune response, into the wing web of house sparrows, Passer domesticus. We then examined energetic costs resulting from this immune activity and related those costs to other physiological activities. We found that PHA injection significantly elevated resting metabolic rate (RMR) of challenged sparrows relative to saline controls. We calculated the total cost of this immune activity to be ca. 4.20 kJ per day (29% RMR), which is equivalent to the cost of production of half of an egg (8.23 kJ egg(-1)) in this species. We suggest that immune activity in wild passerines increases energy expenditure, which in turn may influence important life-history characteristics such as clutch size, timing of breeding or the scheduling of moult. PMID:12590753

  3. Spatial heterogeneity in the effects of climate and density-dependence on dispersal in a house sparrow metapopulation

    PubMed Central

    Pärn, Henrik; Ringsby, Thor Harald; Jensen, Henrik; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2012-01-01

    Dispersal plays a key role in the response of populations to climate change and habitat fragmentation. Here, we use data from a long-term metapopulation study of a non-migratory bird, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus), to examine the influence of increasing spring temperature and density-dependence on natal dispersal rates and how these relationships depend on spatial variation in habitat quality. The effects of spring temperature and population size on dispersal rate depended on the habitat quality. Dispersal rate increased with temperature and population size on poor-quality islands without farms, where house sparrows were more exposed to temporal fluctuations in weather conditions and food availability. By contrast, dispersal rate was independent of spring temperature and population size on high-quality islands with farms, where house sparrows had access to food and shelter all the year around. This illustrates large spatial heterogeneity within the metapopulation in how population density and environmental fluctuations affect the dispersal process. PMID:21613299

  4. Radioactive contamination of nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus due to the Fukushima nuclear accident: The significance in the first year.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Shin; Kasahara, Satoe; Morimoto, Gen; Mikami, Osamu K; Watanabe, Mamoru; Ueda, Keisuke

    2015-11-01

    The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, releasing vast amounts of radiation. Here we investigated radioactive contamination of the nest materials of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus from the breeding season of 2011 directly after the accident to the next breeding season of 2012 at two sites. In Tokyo (222 km southwest of the plant), ambient dose rates in the nestboxes were lower than those in Ibaraki (175 km southwest of the plant), where the levels of 2011 were higher than those of 2012. Further, the amount of radioactive Cs in each nest increased with the increase in nest weight, with a higher increment at Ibaraki than at Tokyo. These data suggested higher nest contamination levels in the breeding season directly after a nuclear accident than in later seasons, and an increment of nest contamination levels via nest materials of birds. PMID:26162335

  5. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows ( Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions.

  6. Urbanization, Trace Metal Pollution, and Malaria Prevalence in the House Sparrow

    PubMed Central

    Bichet, Coraline; Scheifler, Renaud; Cœurdassier, Michaël; Julliard, Romain; Sorci, Gabriele; Loiseau, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic pollution poses a threat for the environment and wildlife. Trace metals (TMs) are known to have negative effects on haematological status, oxidative balance, and reproductive success in birds. These pollutants particularly increase in concentration in industrialized, urbanized and intensive agricultural areas. Pollutants can also interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system and, as such, alter the dynamics of host-parasite interactions. Nevertheless, the impact of pollution on infectious diseases has been largely neglected in natural populations of vertebrates. Here, we used a large spatial scale monitoring of 16 house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations to identify environmental variables likely to explain variation in TMs (lead, cadmium, zinc) concentrations in the feathers. In five of these populations, we also studied the potential link between TMs, prevalence of infection with one species of avian malaria, Plasmodium relictum, and body condition. Our results show that lead concentration is associated with heavily urbanized habitats and that areas with large woodland coverage have higher cadmium and zinc feather concentrations. Our results suggest that lead concentration in the feathers positively correlates with P. relictum prevalence, and that a complex relationship links TM concentrations, infection status, and body condition. This is one of the first studies showing that environmental pollutants are associated with prevalence of an infectious disease in wildlife. The mechanisms underlying this effect are still unknown even though it is tempting to suggest that lead could interfere with the normal functioning of the immune system, as shown in other species. We suggest that more effort should be devoted to elucidate the link between pollution and the dynamics of infectious diseases. PMID:23342022

  7. Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Pap, Péter László; Czirják, Gábor Arpád; Vágási, Csongor István; Barta, Zoltán; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2010-10-01

    Difference between sexes in parasitism is a common phenomenon among birds, which may be related to differences between males and females in their investment into immune functions or as a consequence of differential exposure to parasites. Because life-history strategies change sex specifically during the annual cycle, immunological responses of the host aiming to reduce the impact of parasites may be sexually dimorphic. Despite the great complexity of the immune system, studies on immunoecology generally characterise the immune status through a few variables, often overlooking potentially important seasonal and gender effects. However, because of the differences in physiological and defence mechanisms among different arms of the immune system, we expect divergent responses of immune components to environmental seasonality. In male and female house sparrows (Passer domesticus), we measured the major components of the immune system (innate, acquired, cellular and humoral) during four important life-history stages across the year: (1) mating, (2) breeding, (3) moulting and (4) during the winter capture and also following introduction to captivity in aviary. Different individuals were sampled from the same population during the four life cycle stages. We found that three out of eight immune variables showed a significant life cycle stage × sex interaction. The difference in immune response between the sexes was significant in five immune variables during the mating stage, when females had consistently stronger immune function than males, while variables varied generally non-significantly with sex during the remaining three life cycle stages. Our results show that the immune system is highly variable between life cycle stages and sexes, highlighting the potential fine tuning of the immune system to specific physiological states and environmental conditions. PMID:20706704

  8. Females tend to prefer genetically similar mates in an island population of house sparrows

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background It is often proposed that females should select genetically dissimilar mates to maximize offspring genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding. Several recent studies have provided mixed evidence, however, and in some instances females seem to prefer genetically similar males. A preference for genetically similar mates can be adaptive if outbreeding depression is more harmful than inbreeding depression or if females gain inclusive fitness benefits by mating with close kin. Here, we investigated genetic compatibility and mating patterns in an insular population of house sparrow (Passer domesticus), over a three-year period, using 12 microsatellite markers and one major histocompability complex (MHC) class I gene. Given the small population size and the distance from the mainland, we expected a reduced gene flow in this insular population and we predicted that females would show mating preferences for genetically dissimilar mates. Results Contrary to our expectation, we found that offspring were less genetically diverse (multi-locus heterozygosity) than expected under a random mating, suggesting that females tended to mate with genetically similar males. We found high levels of extra-pair paternity, and offspring sired by extra-pair males had a better fledging success than those sired by the social male. Again, unexpectedly, females tended to be more closely related to extra-pair mates than to their social mates. Our results did not depend on the type of genetic marker used, since microsatellites and MHC genes provided similar results, and we found only little evidence for MHC-dependent mating patterns. Conclusions These results are in agreement with the idea that mating with genetically similar mates can either avoid the disruption of co-adapted genes or confer a benefit in terms of kin selection. PMID:24621140

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

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan

    2006-12-01

    If there is a cost to producing a dark color patch, the size of a patch may not correspond with its pigment concentration. The plumage of male house sparrows represents a case of dark, melanin-based ornamentation, but also a case of neglecting the composite nature of dark signals in birds. Here, I investigated what kind of associations exist between the brightness, chroma, and hue of dark integumentary patches and the size of a secondary sexual trait, the bib, in male house sparrows. I found that males with a larger bib also had a darker bib and bill, and a more saturated bib, bill, epaulets, head crown, and breast than small-bibbed males. Male bib coloration in terms of brightness and chroma was more strongly related to bib size than the coloration of other integumentary patches. However, with respect to hue, only the hue of the bill and cheeks was related to bib size. My results indicate that size, brightness, and chroma of the bib, but also chroma of other deeply colored patches, convey redundant information about the signaler's quality in male house sparrows. PMID:17261920

  10. Developmental plasticity of cutaneous water loss and lipid composition in stratum corneum of desert and mesic nestling house sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B.

    2008-01-01

    Intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, form a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. Previously, we measured cutaneous water loss (CWL) and lipid composition of the SC of adult house sparrows from two populations, one living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and another living in mesic Ohio. Adult desert house sparrows had a lower CWL, a lower proportion of free fatty acids, and a higher proportion of ceramides and cerebrosides in the SC compared with mesic sparrows. In this study, we investigated developmental plasticity of CWL and lipid composition of the SC in desert and mesic nestling house sparrows reared in low and high humidity and compared our results with previous work on adults. We measured CWL of nestlings and analyzed the lipid composition of the SC using thin-layer chromatography. We showed that nestling house sparrows from both localities had higher CWL than adults in their natural environment, a result of major modifications of the lipid composition of the SC. The expression of plasticity in CWL seems to be a response to opposed selection pressures, thermoregulation and water conservation, at different life stages, on which regulation of CWL plays a crucial role. Desert nestlings showed a greater degree of plasticity in CWL and lipid composition of the SC than did mesic nestlings, a finding consistent with the idea that organisms exposed to more environmental stress ought to be more plastic than individuals living in more benign environments. PMID:18838693

  11. Endoparasite Infection Has Both Short- and Long-Term Negative Effects on Reproductive Success of Female House Sparrows, as Revealed by Faecal Parasitic Egg Counts

    PubMed Central

    Holand, Håkon; Jensen, Henrik; Tufto, Jarle; Pärn, Henrik; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; Ringsby, Thor Harald

    2015-01-01

    Parasites have the potential to severely reduce host reproductive success. However, the effects of endoparasites on reproductive success have not received the same amount of attention as the effects of parasites on host survival. We investigated the relationship between an avian endoparasite (gapeworm, Syngamus trachea) and both current and future reproductive success of female house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in a population on the coast of Helgeland, northern Norway. We found that the proportion of eggs in a nest that failed to develop into fledglings increased as the faecal parasitic egg count of the mothers increased. We also found that juvenile females with high numbers of parasitic eggs in their faeces had lower lifetime reproductive success as adults. However, we did not find a relationship between maternal parasite infection and clutch size or recruitment rate of offspring. To our knowledge this is the first study to find a relationship between reproductive success of an avian host and faecal egg count of an endoparasite. The present study indicates that infection by an endoparasite may be associated with lower individual reproductive success in both the short-term and long-term in a wild population of hosts. PMID:25933371

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

    PubMed Central

    Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Bailey, Richard I.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of reproductive isolation between homoploid hybrid species and their parent species have rarely been carried out. Here we investigate reproductive barriers between a recently recognized hybrid bird species, the Italian sparrow Passer italiae and its parent species, the house sparrow P. domesticus and Spanish sparrow P. hispaniolensis. Reproductive barriers can be difficult to study in hybrid species due to lack of geographical contact between taxa. However, the Italian sparrow lives parapatrically with the house sparrow and both sympatrically and parapatrically with the Spanish sparrow. Through whole-transcriptome sequencing of six individuals of each of the two parent species we identified a set of putatively parent species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. After filtering for coverage, genotyping success (>97%) and multiple SNPs per gene, we retained 86 species-informative, genic, nuclear and mitochondrial SNP markers from 84 genes for analysis of 612 male individuals. We show that a disproportionately large number of sex-linked genes, as well as the mitochondria and nuclear genes with mitochondrial function, exhibit sharp clines at the boundaries between the hybrid and the parent species, suggesting a role for mito-nuclear and sex-linked incompatibilities in forming reproductive barriers. We suggest that genomic conflict via interactions between mitochondria and sex-linked genes with mitochondrial function (“mother's curse”) at one boundary and centromeric drive at the other may best explain our findings. Hybrid speciation in the Italian sparrow may therefore be influenced by mechanisms similar to those involved in non-hybrid speciation, but with the formation of two geographically separated species boundaries instead of one. Spanish sparrow alleles at some loci have spread north to form reproductive barriers with house sparrows, while house sparrow alleles at different loci, including some on the same chromosome, have spread

  13. The role of beginner’s luck in learning to prefer risky patches by socially foraging house sparrows

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Although there has been extensive research on the evolution of individual decision making under risk (when facing variable outcomes), little is known on how the evolution of such decision-making mechanisms has been shaped by social learning and exploitation. We presented socially foraging house sparrows with a choice between scattered feeding wells in which millet seeds were hidden under 2 types of colored sand: green sand offering ~80 seeds with a probability of 0.1 (high risk–high reward) and yellow sand offering 1 seed with certainty (low risk–low reward). Although the expected benefit of choosing variable wells was 8 times higher than that of choosing constant wells, only some sparrows developed a preference for variable wells, whereas others developed a significant preference for constant wells. We found that this dichotomy could be explained by stochastic individual differences in sampling success during foraging, rather than by social foraging strategies (active searching vs. joining others). Moreover, preference for variable or constant wells was related to the sparrows’ success during searching, rather than during joining others or when picking exposed seeds (i.e., they learn when actively searching in the sand). Finally, although for many sparrows learning resulted in an apparently maladaptive risk aversion, group living still allowed them to enjoy profitable variable wells by occasionally joining variable-preferring sparrows. PMID:24137046

  14. Individual Variation in Cone Photoreceptor Density in House Sparrows: Implications for Between-Individual Differences in Visual Resolution and Chromatic Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Ensminger, Amanda L.; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    Between-individual variation has been documented in a wide variety of taxa, especially for behavioral characteristics; however, intra-population variation in sensory systems has not received similar attention in wild animals. We measured a key trait of the visual system, the density of retinal cone photoreceptors, in a wild population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We tested whether individuals differed from each other in cone densities given within-individual variation across the retina and across eyes. We further tested whether the existing variation could lead to individual differences in two aspects of perception: visual resolution and chromatic contrast. We found consistent between-individual variation in the densities of all five types of avian cones, involved in chromatic and achromatic vision. Using perceptual modeling, we found that this degree of variation translated into significant between-individual differences in visual resolution and the chromatic contrast of a plumage signal that has been associated with mate choice and agonistic interactions. However, there was no evidence for a relationship between individual visual resolution and chromatic contrast. The implication is that some birds may have the sensory potential to perform “better” in certain visual tasks, but not necessarily in both resolution and contrast simultaneously. Overall, our findings (a) highlight the need to consider multiple individuals when characterizing sensory traits of a species, and (b) provide some mechanistic basis for between-individual variation in different behaviors (i.e., animal personalities) and for testing the predictions of several widely accepted hypotheses (e.g., honest signaling). PMID:25372039

  15. Differential transcriptional responses underlie dietary induction of intestinal carbohydrase activities in house sparrow nestlings.

    PubMed

    Gatica-Sosa, C; Brzęk, P; Chediack, J G; Cid, F D; Karasov, W H; Caviedes-Vidal, E

    2016-04-01

    Many species show diet-induced flexibility of activity of intestinal enzymes; however, molecular and genetic mechanisms responsible for such modulation are less known, particularly in altricial birds. The goal of our study was to test whether a diet-induced increase in activity of intestinal maltase and sucrase in house sparrow nestlings is matched with an increase in maltase-glucoamylase (MG) and sucrase-isomaltase (SI) complex mRNAs respectively. Both enzyme activities were significantly higher in mid-intestine of nestlings fed a medium-starch (MS) diet compared to those fed a starch-free (SF) diet. In contrast to the similar pattern of dietary induction for both enzyme activities, diet MS elevated significantly only the level of MG mRNA, but not SI mRNA. The coordinated increase in activity of maltase and in MG mRNA is consistent with the hypothesis that dietary induction of this enzyme is under transcriptional control. In contrast, the lack of such coordination for changes in activity of sucrase and SI mRNA suggests that upregulation of this enzyme may be achieved by post-translational factor(s). We conclude that genetic mechanisms responsible for diet-induced flexibility of digestive enzymes in birds may differ from that observed in mammals. PMID:26122561

  16. Condition-dependent effects of corticosterone on a carotenoid-based begging signal in house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Fellous, Simon; Haussy, Claudy; Chastel, Olivier; Sorci, Gabriele

    2008-01-01

    Begging is a complex display involving a variety of different visual and auditory signals. Parents are thought to use these signals to adjust their investment in food provisioning. The mechanisms that ensure the honesty of begging displays as indicators of need have been recently investigated. It has been shown that levels of corticosterone (Cort), the hormone released during the stress response, increase during food shortage and are associated with an increased begging rate. In a recent study in house sparrows, although exogenous Cort increased begging rate, parents did not accordingly adjust their provisioning rate. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Cort might affect the expression of other components of begging displays, such as flange color (a carotenoid-based trait). We experimentally increased levels of circulating Cort and investigated the effects of the treatment on (1) the flange coloration of the nestlings, (2) the behavioral response and (3) the parental allocation of food and (4) nestling condition and cell-mediated immune response. We found that Cort affected flange coloration in a condition-dependent way. Cort-injected nestlings had less yellow flanges than controls only when in poor body condition. Parental feeding rate was also affected by the Cort treatment in interaction with flange color. Feeding rate of Cort-injected nestlings was negatively and significantly correlated with flange color (nestlings with yellower flanges receiving more food), whereas feeding rate and flange color were not correlated in control chicks. We also found that nestlings injected with Cort showed a weaker immune response than controls. These results suggest that, indeed, Cort has the potential to affect multiple components of the begging display. As Cort levels naturally raise during fasting, parents have to take into account these multiple components to take a decision as to optimally share their investment among competing nestlings. PMID:18029282

  17. Genetic variation and structure of house sparrow populations: is there an island effect?

    PubMed

    Jensen, Henrik; Moe, Rune; Hagen, Ingerid Julie; Holand, Anna Marie; Kekkonen, Jaana; Tufto, Jarle; Saether, Bernt-Erik

    2013-04-01

    Population genetic structure and intrapopulation levels of genetic variation have important implications for population dynamics and evolutionary processes. Habitat fragmentation is one of the major threats to biodiversity. It leads to smaller population sizes and reduced gene flow between populations and will thus also affect genetic structure. We use a natural system of island and mainland populations of house sparrows along the coast of Norway to characterize the different population genetic properties of fragmented populations. We genotyped 636 individuals distributed across 14 populations at 15 microsatellite loci. The level of genetic differentiation was estimated using F-statistics and specially designed Mantel tests were conducted to study the influence of population type (i.e. mainland or island) and geographic distance on the genetic population structure. Furthermore, the effects of population type, population size and latitude on the level of genetic variation within populations were examined. Our results suggest that genetic processes on islands and mainland differed in two important ways. First, the intrapopulation level of genetic variation tended to be lower and the occurrence of population bottlenecks more frequent on islands than the mainland. Second, although the general level of genetic differentiation was low to moderate, it was higher between island populations than between mainland populations. However, differentiation increased in mainland populations somewhat faster with geographical distance. These results suggest that population bottleneck events and genetic drift have been more important in shaping the genetic composition of island populations compared with populations on the mainland. Such knowledge is relevant for a better understanding of evolutionary processes and conservation of threatened populations. PMID:23379682

  18. Infectious and lethal doses of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus for house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and rock pigeons (Columbia livia)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Terrestrial wild birds commonly associated with poultry farms have the potential to contribute to the spread of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus within or between poultry facilities or between domesticated and wild bird populations. This potential, however, varies between species and is...

  19. Dynamics of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Newcastle disease virus transmission within the avifaunal-poultry interface: an epidemiological modeling approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As emerging and persistent pathogens increase in prevalence, the agriculture-wildlife interface has been identified as a field requiring further research. Acceleration of wildlife urbanization, exotic species introductions, and habitat encroachment are disrupting barriers that once separated microb...

  20. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for horned larks, house finches, and white-crowned sparrows in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for horned... horticultural crops. Take of birds under this order must be done under the supervision of the county agriculture... bird species, or for take of horned larks or white-crowned sparrows from May 1 through October 31....

  1. Bagaza virus is pathogenic and transmitted by direct contact in experimentally infected partridges, but is not infectious in house sparrows and adult mice.

    PubMed

    Llorente, Francisco; Pérez-Ramírez, Elisa; Fernández-Pinero, Jovita; Elizalde, Maia; Figuerola, Jordi; Soriguer, Ramón C; Jiménez-Clavero, Miguel Ángel

    2015-01-01

    Bagaza virus (BAGV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus belonging to the Ntaya serocomplex. In 2010, a disease outbreak was reported in Cádiz (Southern Spain) affecting game birds (red-legged partridges and common pheasants). In this work, red-legged partridges were inoculated experimentally with infectious BAGV isolated from this outbreak in order to make a complete clinical and analytical assessment of the disease caused by the pathogen in this species. Viral load (by real-time RT-PCR) in blood, oral and cloacal swabs, and feathers, and neutralizing antibody titres (by VNT) were measured. In order to determine direct contact transmission, non-inoculated partridges were caged together with the inoculated ones. To assess infectiousness in other species, house sparrows and mice were also inoculated with the virus. All the inoculated partridges were clinically affected, and 30% of them died. All the infected individuals lost weight, with larger losses being recorded in females. Conversely, no mortality or disease symptoms were observed in the sparrows or mice. Remarkably, all the contact partridges acquired the infection by direct (non-vectored) transmission. This study confirms that the red-legged partridge is a susceptible host for BAGV infection, and that this pathogen is transmitted by direct contact. Long-lasting viral loads detected in calami of immature feathers demonstrate that feather sampling could be a useful strategy in active surveillance programs for early detection of BAGV. PMID:26338714

  2. Between-female variation in house sparrow yolk testosterone concentration is negatively associated with CYP19A1 (aromatase) mRNA expression in ovarian follicles.

    PubMed

    Egbert, Jeremy R; Jackson, Melissa F; Rodgers, Buel D; Schwabl, Hubert

    2013-03-01

    Maternally-derived yolk androgens influence the development and long-term phenotype of offspring in oviparous species. Between-female variation in the amounts of these yolk androgens has been associated with a number of social and environmental factors, suggesting that the variation is adaptive, but the mechanisms behind it are unknown. Using two different approaches, we tested the hypothesis that variation in yolk androgen levels across individuals is associated with variation in their capacity to synthesize androgens. First, we injected female house sparrows with exogenous gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to maximally stimulate ovarian steroidogenesis. Second, we collected pre-ovulatory follicle tissue and quantified the mRNA expression of four key enzymes of the steroid synthesis pathway: steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cytochrome P450-side chain cleavage enzyme (CYP11A1), 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD17B1), and aromatase (CYP19A1). Thirty minutes after GnRH injection, androgen concentrations in both the plasma and in the yolks of pre-ovulatory follicles were significantly elevated compared to controls. However, this measure of steroidogenic capacity did not explain variation in yolk testosterone levels, although physiological differences between house sparrows and more widely studied poultry models were revealed by this approach. Steroidogenic enzyme mRNA levels were detectable in all samples and were significantly lower in the most mature pre-ovulatory follicles. Of the four measured genes, CYP19A1 expression exhibited a significant negative relationship with yolk testosterone concentrations in laid eggs, revealing a key mechanism for between-female variation in yolk testosterone. Furthermore, this suggests that any factors which alter the expression of CYP19A1 within an individual female could have dramatic effects on offspring phenotype. PMID:23247271

  3. SPARROW REGIONAL NUTRIENT MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This is the second year of funding for the New England SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes) model. Funds in the first year (along with funds allocated for projects supporting Nutrient-Criteria development) were used to analyze regional results ...

  4. Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, D.K.

    1983-01-01

    Many of the known recoverable coal reserves in the Western United States occur within the breeding and wintering range of the Brewer's sparrow. Although the species is common throughout much of its breeding range, local and regional populations may be adversely affected due to mining-related disturbances and habitat loss. The species may serve as a valuable indicator of the impacts of surface-mining activities because it is restricted primarily to the sagebrush type during the breeding season and is known to be sensitive to habitat change. Recommendations for mitigating impacts focus on minimizing disturbance during the breeding season and re-establishing preferred native vegetation on mined sites. Monitoring populations on and adjacent to mine sites will give a better understanding of the effects of disturbance and the success of mitigation efforts.

  5. Additional records of aspergillosis among passerine birds in Maryland and the Washington, DC metropolitan area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Locke, L.N.

    1965-01-01

    Two cases of aspergillosis involving four adult cowbirds (Molothrus ater) collected during the nesting season are reported. Aspergillosis was found in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) on two occasions.

  6. TokenPasser: A petri net specification tool. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittmann, Michael

    1991-01-01

    In computer program design it is essential to know the effectiveness of different design options in improving performance, and dependability. This paper provides a description of a CAD tool for distributed hierarchical Petri nets. After a brief review of Petri nets, Petri net languages, and Petri net transducers, and descriptions of several current Petri net tools, the specifications and design of the TokenPasser tool are presented. TokenPasser is a tool to allow design of distributed hierarchical systems based on Petri nets. A case study for an intelligent robotic system is conducted, a coordination structure with one dispatcher controlling three coordinators is built to model a proposed robotic assembly system. The system is implemented using TokenPasser, and the results are analyzed to allow judgment of the tool.

  7. Exposure of resident sparrows to West Nile virus evidenced in South Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Hammouda, A; Lecollinet, S; Hamza, F; Nasri, I; Neb, A; Selmi, S

    2015-12-01

    During the last few years, several cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in humans have been reported in Tunisia. However, detailed information on WNV infection in wild birds, the primary amplifying host of WNV, are lacking. In this work, we investigated the exposure of wild sparrows (hybrid Passer domesticus × hispaniolensis) living in two oases in southern Tunisia (Gabès and Kébili oases) to WNV, through the detection of WNV-specific antibodies by using ELISA and microneutralization tests. In total, 208 birds were sampled (54 from Kébili, 154 from Gabès). Anti-WNV antibodies were detected in two birds, corresponding to an overall seroprevalence of 1%. There was no significant difference between the two sampled populations [1·85% (1/54) in Kébili, 0·65% (1/154) in Gabès]. These data provide indirect evidence of the exposure of resident sparrows in southern Tunisia to WNV. PMID:25994421

  8. Analysis of the Habitat of Henslow's Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows Compared to Random Grassland Areas

    SciTech Connect

    Maier, K.; Walton, R.; Kasper, P.

    2006-01-01

    ABSTRAC T Henslow’s Sparrows are endangered prairie birds, and Grasshopper Sparrows are considered rare prairie birds. Both of these birds were abundant in Illinois, but their populations have been declining due to loss of the grasslands. This begins an ongoing study of the birds’ habitat so Fermilab can develop a land management plan for the Henslow’s and Grasshoppers. The Henslow’s were found at ten sites and Grasshoppers at eight sites. Once the birds were located, the vegetation at their sites was studied. Measurements of the maximum plant height, average plant height, and duff height were taken and estimates of the percent of grass, forbs, duff, and bare ground were recorded for each square meter studied. The same measurements were taken at ten random grassland sites on Fermilab property. Several t-tests were performed on the data, and it was found that both Henslow’s Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows preferred areas with a larger percentage of grass than random areas. Henslow’s also preferred areas with less bare ground than random areas, while Grasshoppers preferred areas with more bare ground than random areas. In addition, Grasshopper Sparrows preferred a lower percentage of forbs than was found in random areas and a shorter average plant height than the random locations. Two-sample variance tests suggested significantly less variance for both Henslow’s Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows for maximum plant height in comparison to the random sites.

  9. Analysis of the habitat of Henslow's sparrows and Grasshopper sparrows compared to random grassland areas

    SciTech Connect

    Maier, Kristen; Walton, Rod; Kasper, Peter; /Fermilab

    2005-01-01

    Henslow's Sparrows are endangered prairie birds, and Grasshopper Sparrows are considered rare prairie birds. Both of these birds were abundant in Illinois, but their populations have been declining due to loss of the grasslands. This begins an ongoing study of the birds habitat so Fermilab can develop a land management plan for the Henslow's and Grasshoppers. The Henslow's were found at ten sites and Grasshoppers at eight sites. Once the birds were located, the vegetation at their sites was studied. Measurements of the maximum plant height, average plant height, and duff height were taken and estimates of the percent of grass, forbs, duff, and bare ground were recorded for each square meter studied. The same measurements were taken at ten random grassland sites on Fermilab property. Several t-tests were performed on the data, and it was found that both Henslow's Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows preferred areas with a larger percentage of grass than random areas. Henslow's also preferred areas with less bare ground than random areas, while Grasshoppers preferred areas with more bare ground than random areas. In addition, Grasshopper Sparrows preferred a lower percentage of forbs than was found in random areas and a shorter average plant height than the random locations. Two-sample variance tests suggested significantly less variance for both Henslow's Sparrows and Grasshopper Sparrows for maximum plant height in comparison to the random sites. For both birds, the test suggested a significant difference in the variance of the percentage of bare ground compared to random sites, but only the Grasshopper Sparrow showed significance in the variation in the percentage of forbs.

  10. A comparative study on photoperiodic control of seasonal cycles in the females of migratory yellow breasted bunting and the resident tree sparrow.

    PubMed

    Dixit, Anand S; Singh, Namram S; Sougrakpam, Ramita

    2014-11-01

    We studied the detailed pattern of seasonality in reproduction and the associated functions in the females of migratory yellow breasted bunting (Emberiza aureola) and resident tree sparrow (Passer montanus) under natural and artificial photoperiods. They exhibited seasonal cycles of ovarian development, moult and bill colour under natural photoperiods which were found linked to the annual solar cycle. Photosensitive birds of both the species, when exposed to 9L/15D, 12L/12D and 14L/10D for 18 months, showed follicular growth followed by regression and development of photorefractoriness only under artificial long photoperiods (12L/12D and 14L/10D). Fattening and body weight increase were noticed only in bunting exposed to long natural and artificial photoperiods. Both species exhibited complete postnuptial moult of body and primary feathers under long natural and artificial photoperiods (except primaries moult under 12L/12D in bunting) that progressed with gonadal regression suggesting their photoperiodic control. In addition, bunting also showed an incomplete prenuptial moult of body feathers during gonadal stimulation. Thus, the moult and body weight responses of bunting differed significantly when compared with those of sparrows. Exposure of photosensitive birds to 24 h light-dark cycles with increasing photophase suggested that the threshold photoperiods of about 12 h in bunting and about 11 h in sparrow initiate follicular growth exceeding which the rate of growth increases with increasing photoperiods. However, the threshold photoperiod was found to be response specific in bunting. PMID:25246220

  11. Recent work and results on sparrow project

    SciTech Connect

    Harvey, Neal R

    2010-12-23

    This briefing describes recent work undertaken on the Sparrow Project and results of this work. It describes experiments comparing the use of Genie with 2 classes with 3 classes for the problem of ship delineation. It also describes some preliminary work in the area of the optimization of segmentation techniques.

  12. Reply to Cicchetti, Kaufman, and Sparrow

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisglas-Kuperus, Nynke; Vreugdenhil, Hestien J. I.; Mulder, Paul G. H.

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the review of D.V. Cicchetti, A.S. Kaufman, and S.S. Sparrow (funded by the General Electric Company; this issue) is to "evaluate [the] literature relating the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) upon neurobehavioral, health-related, and cognitive deficits in neonates, developing infants,…

  13. SPARROW MODELING - Enhancing Understanding of the Nation's Water Quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Stephen D.; Alexander, Richard B.; Woodside, Michael D.; Hamilton, Pixie A.

    2009-01-01

    The information provided here is intended to assist water-resources managers with interpretation of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) SPARROW model and its products. SPARROW models can be used to explain spatial patterns in monitored stream-water quality in relation to human activities and natural processes as defined by detailed geospatial information. Previous SPARROW applications have identified the sources and transport of nutrients in the Mississippi River basin, Chesapeake Bay watershed, and other major drainages of the United States. New SPARROW models with improved accuracy and interpretability are now being developed by the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program for six major regions of the conterminous United States. These new SPARROW models are based on updated geospatial data and stream-monitoring records from local, State, and other federal agencies.

  14. A Method for Counting Multidirection Passer-by by Using Circular Space-Time Image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terada, Kenji; Matsubara, Kazutaka

    Recently, the importance of understanding the number of people and the flow of the persons at public accommodation or department stores have increased more and more. This information is useful for congestion reducing, efficient promotion of the institution management and sales improvement, etc. The conventional methods of counting number of people are carried out by human viewing and by a machine of rotary stick-type counter. Therefore, we have already proposed an automatic system for counting number of people by the image processing to use a straight measurement line and a space-time image. However, these methods are not suitable for the counting at a wide place. In this paper, we propose a method of counting multidirection passer-by by using circular space-time image. In this method, a circular measurment line is set on a sequence of the background subtraction images. All pixels on this line is transformed to the space-time image. The number of passer-by can be counted by using this space-time image. But the direction information of passer-by cannot be obtained from this space-time image. Therefore, two circular measurment lines are set on a sequence of the background subtraction images. Two space-time images are generated from the outside line and the inside line. The directions of passer-by can be obtained by detecting which line passer-by passed previously.

  15. A comprehensive multilocus assessment of sparrow (Aves: Passerellidae) relationships.

    PubMed

    Klicka, John; Keith Barker, F; Burns, Kevin J; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J; Chaves, Jaime A; Bryson, Robert W

    2014-08-01

    The New World sparrows (Emberizidae) are among the best known of songbird groups and have long-been recognized as one of the prominent components of the New World nine-primaried oscine assemblage. Despite receiving much attention from taxonomists over the years, and only recently using molecular methods, was a "core" sparrow clade established allowing the reconstruction of a phylogenetic hypothesis that includes the full sampling of sparrow species diversity. In this paper, we use mitochondrial DNA gene sequences from all 129 putative species of sparrow and four additional (nuclear) loci for a subset of these taxa to resolve both generic and species level relationships. Hypotheses derived from our mitochondrial (2184 base pairs) and nuclear (5705 base pairs) DNA data sets were generally in agreement with respect to clade constituency but differed somewhat with respect to among-clade relationships. Sparrow diversity is defined predominantly by eight well-supported clades that indicate a lack of monophyly for at least three currently recognized genera. Ammodramus is polyphyletic and requires the naming of two additional genera. Spizella is also polyphyletic with Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea) as a taxonomic "outlier". Pselliophorus is embedded within a larger Atlapetes assemblage and should be merged with that group. This new hypothesis of sparrow relationships will form the basis for future comparative analyses of variation within songbirds. PMID:24792084

  16. 78 FR 19530 - RG Steel Sparrows Point LLC, Formerly Known as Severstal Sparrows Point LLC, a Subsidiary of RG...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-01

    ...), TekSystems, URS Corporation, B More Industrial Services LLC, and Recycling & Treatment Technologies of... firm. The Department has received information that workers leased from Recycling & Treatment... Sparrows Point LLC. The Department has determined that these workers from Recycling &...

  17. Complete mitogenomes of King angelfish (Holacanthus passer) and Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) (Teleostei: Pomacanthidae).

    PubMed

    Shen, Kang-Ning; Chang, Chih-Wei; Chen, Ching-Hung; Hsiao, Chung-Der

    2016-07-01

    In this study, we used the next-generation sequencing method to deduce two complete mitogenomes of King angelfish (Holacanthus passer) and Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) for the first time. The assembled mitogenome consists of 16,620 bp in H. passer and 16,606 bp in H. ciliaris, showing 95% identities each other. Both mitogenomes follow the typical vertebrate arrangement, including 13 protein coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs genes, and a non-coding control region of D-loop. D-loop contains 903 bp in H. passer and 888 bp in H. ciliaris and locates between tRNA-Pro and tRNA-Phe. The overall GC content is 45.8% for H. passer and 46.2% for H. ciliaris. Complete mitogenomes of King angelfish and Queen angelfish deduced in this study provide essential and important DNA molecular data for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis for marine angelfish. PMID:26119118

  18. Factors associated with arrival densities of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus Savannarum) and baird's sparrow (A. Bairdii) in the upper great plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ahlering, M.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, J.

    2009-01-01

    Although critical to habitat and population management, the proximate cues that birds use to establish territories are largely unknown. Understanding these cues is important for birds, such as many grassland birds, that exhibit high annual variability in population density and make new habitat-selection decisions annually. Identifying the actual cues used is difficult in the field, but the factors associated with the arrival densities of birds can help uncover variables that are involved in or correlated with cues used for selection. During the summers of 2002-2004, we investigated how weather and local vegetation factors were related to arrival densities of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and Baird's Sparrows (A. bairdii) at three locations across North Dakota and Saskatchewan. Spring densities of Grasshopper Sparrows were positively correlated with concurrent May precipitation, whereas densities of Baird's Sparrows were negatively correlated with the previous winter's snowfall. We used a model-selection approach to evaluate the vegetation characteristics associated with arrival densities of birds. Grasshopper Sparrow densities showed a strong negative relationship to woody cover, and Baird's Sparrow densities showed a negative relationship to vegetation height and vegetation density near the ground. Our results provide a first detailed look at habitat and weather associations immediately after arrival in spring and an important first step in uncovering factors that may be involved in habitat selection in two grassland species. Received 13 August 2008, accepted 20 April 2009. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2009.

  19. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in resident Eurasian Tree Sparrow from Shanghai: geographical distribution and implication for potential sources.

    PubMed

    Tang, Wei-biao; Huang, Kai; Zhao, Jian-hua; Zhang, Zheng; Liang, Si; Liu, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Lin, Kuang-fei

    2015-05-01

    An investigation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) samples (n=37) collected from different land use areas in Shanghai provided information about the levels, compositional patterns, geographical distribution, potential sources of PBDEs and the evaluation of contamination status in Shanghai. The concentrations of BDE 209 and Sum-PBDEs were within the range of 8.20-292.0 ng g(-1) lw (median: 47.0 ng g(-1) lw) and 33.16-375.63 ng g(-1) lw (median: 78.7 ng g(-1) lw), respectively. As the predominant individual congener, BDE 209 was detected in all samples with a mean percentage of 62.8%, followed by BDE 47, 99 and 100 sequentially. The geographical distribution of PBDEs in ETS muscles followed the order below: landfill>urban>industrial parks>suburban>rural>remote, indicating that Shanghai Laogang Municipal Landfill was an important emission source of PBDEs in Shanghai, and also the PBDE levels were in association with urbanization and industrialization. Compared with other regions, contamination status in Shanghai was relatively good with the exception of these high concentration areas. There was significant correlation (r(2)=0.89, P<0.01) between PBDEs concentrations in soil and ETS, indicating ETS could be used as a useful biomonitoring tool for PBDEs in Shanghai. PMID:25665899

  20. Population dynamics of the endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curnutt, J.L.; Mayer, A.L.; Brooks, T.M.; Manne, L.; Bass, O.L., Jr.; Fleming, D.M.; Philip, Nott M.; Pimm, S.L.

    1998-01-01

    The Cape Sable seaside-sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) has disappeared from its only known breeding areas episodically since its discovery early this century. Systematic surveys across its range in the southern Everglades find the sparrow's range to be fragmented into six subpopulations. The sparrow population decreased by 58% between 1992 and 1995, with the near extinction of the western half of the population and the temporary local extinction of some eastern populations. Other similar grassland sparrows have populations that vary considerably from year to year. Yet the decline in the western subpopulation and the local extinction of some of the peripheral populations cannot be explained by natural variability alone. Hurricane Andrew passed over several subpopulations prior to the particularly poor year of 1993. However, the geographical and temporal patterns of subpopulation decline are not consistent with what would be expected following a hurricane. Frequent fires prevent successful breeding as does flooding during the breeding season. Better management can prevent frequent fires and episodic flooding. However, the long-term survival of the sparrow depends on managing the unanticipated risks that attend its small, fragmented population.

  1. Distribution and migration of seaside sparrows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.

    1983-01-01

    The majority of the nine presently recognized races of the Seaside Sparrow (Ammospiza maritima) are so similar to neighboring races that individual birds outside their known breeding range cannot be subspecifically identified with certainty. The northern race, A. m. maritima, is partially migratory, with most individuals departing in autumn from Chesapeake Bay and from all the coastal marshes that lie to the north of the mouth of this bay. No banded bird has been recaptured in winter south of its breeding locality, however, so even the major wintering ground of this subspecies cannot be defined. The other subspecies are presumed to be primarily sedentary. Median arrival and departure dates at Fairfield, Connecticut, are 18 May and 19 September. On Long Island, New York, the spring peak occurs in the third week of May, and the autumn peak in mid-October. Postbreeding wanderers of unknown origin move north and east in August and September to the coastal marshes of Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The remarkably few records away from tidewater are from North Carolina, eastern Pennsylvania, the lower Hudson River, and eastern Massachusetts.

  2. 78 FR 17996 - MCM Rail Services LLC-Petition for Retroactive Exemption-In Sparrows Point, Md.

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-25

    ... Surface Transportation Board MCM Rail Services LLC--Petition for Retroactive Exemption--In Sparrows Point... MCM Rail Services LLC (MCM) regarding 12 miles of rail line in Sparrows Point, Md. (the Line). DATES..., is located at 1430 Sparrows Point Boulevard, Sparrows Point, Baltimore County, Md. MCM...

  3. Introduced and native congeners use different resource allocation strategies to maintain performance during infection.

    PubMed

    Coon, Courtney A C; Brace, Amber J; McWilliams, Scott R; McCue, Marshall D; Martin, Lynn B

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Hosts can manage parasitic infections using an array of tactics, which are likely to vary contingent on coevolutionary history between the host and the parasite. Here we asked whether coping ability of congeners that differ in host-parasite coevolutionary history differed in response to experimental infections with a coccidian parasite. House sparrows (Passer domesticus) and gray-headed sparrows (Passer griseus) are sympatric and ecologically similar, but house sparrows are recent colonizers of Kenya, the site of our comparison, whereas gray-headed sparrows are native. We evaluated three variables as barometers of infection coping ability: vertical flight, pectoral muscle size, and fat score. We also measured routing of a dose of (13)C-labeled leucine, an essential amino acid, among tissues to compare resource allocation strategies in response to infection. We found that burden effects on performance were minimal in both species, but house sparrows maintained considerably higher burdens than gray-headed sparrows regardless of exposure. House sparrows also had more exogeneous leucine tracer in all tissues after 24 h, demonstrating a difference in the way the two species allocate or distribute resources. We argue that house sparrows may be maintaining larger resource reserves to mitigate costs associated with exposure and infection. Additionally, in response to increased parasite exposure, gray-headed sparrows had less leucine tracer in their spleens and more in their gonads, whereas house sparrows did not change allocation, perhaps indicating a trade-off that is not experienced by the introduced species. PMID:24940920

  4. Vehicular emissions and fuel consumption estimation in passer IV. Research report

    SciTech Connect

    Chaudhary, N.A.

    1995-04-01

    Gasoline consumed by vehicles traveling within urban signalized networks constitutes a large portion of the total fuel usage in the United States. In addition, pollutants emitted by these vehicles degrade urban air quality. It is well known that the optimal coordination of traffic signals on urban signalized arterials improves traffic flow and reduces gasoline consumption and vehicular emissions. The research performed in this project incorporated fuel consumption and emissions estimation procedures into PASSER IV, a program for optimizing bandwidth-based signal timings in traffic networks. The enhanced PASSER IV software will allow Traffic Engineers to better assess the impacts of alternate signal timing plans on fuel consumption and emissions of vehicles traveling in a signalized network.

  5. Automatic Generation of Passer-by Record Images using Internet Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terada, Kenji; Atsuta, Koji

    Recently, many brutal crimes have shocked us. On the other hand, we have seen a decline in the number of solved crimes. Therefore, the importance of security and self-defense has increased more and more. As an example of self-defense, many surveillance cameras are set up in the buildings, homes and offices. But even if we want to detect a suspicious person, we cannot check the surveillance videos immediately so that huge number of image sequences is stored in each video system. In this paper, we propose an automatic method of generating passer-by record images by using internet camera. In first step, the process of recognizing passer-by is carried out using an image sequence obtained from the internet camera. Our method classifies the subject region into each person by using the space-time image. In addition, we obtain the information of the time, direction and number of passey-by persons from this space-time image. Next, the present method detects five characteristics: the gravity of center, the position of person's head, the brightness, the size, and the shape of person. Finaly, an image of each person is selected among the image sequence by integrating five characteristics, and is added into the passer-by record image. Some experimental results using a simple experimental system are also reported, which indicate effectiveness of the proposed method. In most scenes, the every persons was able to be detected by the proposed method and the passer-by record image was generated.

  6. Dieldrin and DDT: effects on sparrow hawk eggshells and reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Porter, Ron; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1969-01-01

    Patterns of reproductive failure in declining populations of several European and North American raptorial species were duplicated experimentally with captive American sparrow hawks Falco sparverius that were given a diet containing two commonly used organochlorine insecticides. Major effects on reproduction were increased egg disappearance, increased egg destruction by parent birds, and reduced eggshell thickness.

  7. Cassin's Sparrow (Aimophila cassinii) status assessment and conservation plan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2000-01-01

    The greatest needs are for determining of the causes of significant declines where they occur, determining of the effects of various management activities on Cassin’s Sparrow throughout its range, improved assessments of population and trends, and a better understanding of the annual population and distribution dynamics of this species, which shows such dramatic annual distributional fluctuations.

  8. Helping at a Henslow's Sparrow nest in Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guzy, M.J.; Ribic, C.A.; Sample, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    We document the first reported observation of helping at the nest of a Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii). Video surveillance recorded two unbanded adults (a presumed male and female) and one banded adult male feeding chicks. No intraspecific aggression among the adults was observed.

  9. Differentiation of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar in cyst-passers by immunoblot.

    PubMed

    Lee, M; Hong, S T

    1996-12-01

    Differentiation of invasive strains of Entamoeba histolytica according to their pathogenicity has been a topic of long debate, but now the pathogenic species only is regarded as E. histolytica while the non pathogenic species is E. dispar. The present study applied immunoblot to differentiate infections of the two species among microscopically-detected cyst-passers in Korea. The crude extract of E. histolytica separated in 5.20% gradient gels, revealed many fractions of 94, 81, 71, 50, 44, 38.5, 37.5, 29, 19, and 18 kDa when the cysteine proteinase inhibitor, E64, was supplemented. The scrum IgG antibody of 3 proven E, histolytica cases reacted with the antigenic fractions of 117, 110, 99, 68, 66, 60, 54, 52, 46, and 45 kDa. Sera of PCR confirmed 3 cases of E. dispar reacted only to the 117 kDa fraction of the E. histolytica crude extract which was regarded as non-specific. To the antigen of monoxenic E. dispar, sera of E. dispar and E. histolytica cases showed the same immunoblot reactions. The serum IgA antibody reacted with several antigenic fractions of both E. histolytica and E. dispar, but IgM and IgE antibodies showed no reaction to either antigen. Sera of 24 symptomless amebic cyst passers were screened with the E. histolytica antigen; two were found to be infected by E. histolytica and 22 were by E. dispar. The present findings suggest that in Korea most of asymptomatic cyst passers of E. histolytica are carriers of E. dispar. Immunoblot using E. histolytica antigen is a good technique for the differentiation of E. histolytica and E. dispar infections. PMID:9017910

  10. Real-time application of PASSER IV: Project summary and guidelines. Research report, September 1994--August 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Chaudhary, N.A.

    1997-10-01

    PASSER IV is a program for timing traffic signals in networks based on progression bandwidth optimization. It is capable of optimizing signals timings for arterials as well as multi-arterial closed-loop networks. This report presents a summary of work conducted under a three-year research project funded by TxDOT. It provides guidelines for using PASSER IV as a 1.5 generation real-time traffic control system using a test-bed from the city of Richardson, Texas. In addition, the report addresses the issue of signal timing transition and provides the description of a preliminary algorithm for finding the cost of transition. Finally, the report provides new PASSER IV developments and describes new features.

  11. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.

  12. Reinforcing property of music in Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora).

    PubMed

    Watanabe, S; Nemoto, M

    1998-05-01

    The reinforcing property of music for Java sparrows was examined in a chamber with three perches. One of the end perches produced music by Bach while the other perch produced music by Schoenberg. Two of four birds significantly stayed longer on the perch associated with Bach music and retained their preference of Bach to Schoenberg when other pieces of music by Bach and Schoenberg were used. These two birds also preferred Vivaldi to Carter, suggesting preference for classical music over modern music. One of the two birds that did not show a preference between Bach and Schoenberg preferred Bach to a white noise, but the remaining one did not show any musical preference to noise. These results suggest that Java sparrows have musical preference and that the reinforcing properties depend on individuals. PMID:24896007

  13. Conspecific attraction in a grassland bird, the Baird's Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ahlering, M.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, J.

    2006-01-01

    Territorial songbirds generally use song to defend territories and attract mates, but conspecific song may also serve as a cue to attract other male songbirds to a breeding site. Although known to occur in some colonial and forest-associated species, only recently have investigators examined conspecific attraction in grassland species. We used a playback experiment to examine the possible role of conspecific attraction for males searching for potentially suitable breeding habitat in a grassland specialist, the Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii). Experimental playback plots and control plots with similar landscape and vegetation characteristics were established at two sites in North Dakota. Baird's Sparrows colonized three of six experimental plots and none of six control plots. Males on experimental plots established territories adjacent to the playback stations and were sometimes observed counter-singing with the playback of conspecific songs. Vegetation characteristics were similar on all study plots, and did not explain differences in bird density on our treatment plots. Although we found that playback of conspecific songs attracted male Baird's Sparrows to previously unoccupied, potentially suitable habitat, further experiments are needed to examine the importance of conspecific attraction relative to other cues that birds may use, such as vegetation features. The conservation and management implications of conspecific attraction are not completely understood, but the presence of conspecifics should be considered as a potential cue in habitat selection by all species of birds. ?? 2006 The Author(s).

  14. Patterns and causes of change in a cliff swallow colony during a 17-year period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.

    1986-01-01

    The number of cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonata) nests at a farmstead in southeastern North Dakota increased at an average annual rate of 87% with house sparrow (Passer domesticus) removal during 1957-60 and 1970-72. Harassment of nesting cliff swallows by house sparrows, adult swallow mortality from cold weather in late May, and collapse of nests were the principal observed factors limiting swallow population growth during a 17-year period.

  15. SPECIES PROFILE: BACHMAN'S SPARROW (AIMOPHILA AESTIVALIS) ON MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Bachman's sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis) is a small ground-nesting sparrow that is endemic to the southeastern United States. The former breeding range extended into the midwestern and northeastern States but has contracted to its current general limits of North Carolina, Ken...

  16. Biolayer modeling and optimization for the SPARROW biosensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Ke

    2007-12-01

    Biosensor direct detection of molecular binding events is of significant interest in applications from molecular screening for cancer drug design to bioagent detection for homeland security and defense. The Stacked Planar Affinity Regulated Resonant Optical Waveguide (SPARROW) structure based on coupled waveguides was recently developed to achieve increased sensitivity within a fieldable biosensor device configuration. Under ideal operating conditions, modification of the effective propagation constant of the structure's sensing waveguide through selective attachment of specific targets to probes on the waveguide surface results in a change in the coupling characteristics of the guide over a specifically designed interaction length with the analyte. Monitoring the relative power in each waveguide after interaction enables 'recognition' of those targets which have selectively bound to the surface. However, fabrication tolerances, waveguide interface roughness, biolayer surface roughness and biolayer partial coverage have an effect on biosensor behavior and achievable limit of detection (LOD). In addition to these influences which play a role in device optimization, the influence of the spatially random surface loading of molecular binding events has to be considered, especially for low surface coverage. In this dissertation an analytic model is established for the SPARROW biosensor which accounts for these nonidealities with which the design of the biosensor can be guided and optimized. For the idealized case of uniform waveguide transducer layers and biolayer, both theoretical simulation (analytical expression) and computer simulation (numerical calculation) are completed. For the nonideal case of an inhomogeneous transducer with nonideal waveguide and biolayer surfaces, device output power is affected by such physical influences as surface scattering, coupling length, absorption, and percent coverage of binding events. Using grating and perturbation techniques we

  17. Mercury in Nelson's Sparrow Subspecies at Breeding Sites

    PubMed Central

    Winder, Virginia L.; Emslie, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Background Mercury is a persistent, biomagnifying contaminant that can cause negative effects on ecosystems. Marshes are often areas of relatively high mercury methylation and bioaccumulation. Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni) use marsh habitats year-round and have been documented to exhibit tissue mercury concentrations that exceed negative effects thresholds. We sought to further characterize the potential risk of Nelson's Sparrows to mercury exposure by sampling individuals from sites within the range of each of its subspecies. Methodology/Principal Findings From 2009 to 2011, we captured adult Nelson's Sparrows at sites within the breeding range of each subspecies (A. n. nelsoni: Grand Forks and Upham, North Dakota; A. n. alterus: Moosonee, Ontario; and A. n. subvirgatus: Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick) and sampled breast feathers, the first primary feather (P1), and blood for total mercury analysis. Mean blood mercury in nelsoni individuals captured near Grand Forks ranged from 0.84±0.37 to 1.65±1.02 SD ppm among years, between 2.0 and 4.9 times as high as concentrations at the other sites (P<0.01). Breast feather mercury did not vary among sites within a given sampling year (site means ranged from 0.98±0.69 to 2.71±2.93 ppm). Mean P1 mercury in alterus (2.96±1.84 ppm fw) was significantly lower than in any other sampled population (5.25±2.24–6.77±3.51 ppm; P≤0.03). Conclusions/Significance Our study further characterized mercury in Nelson's Sparrows near Grand Forks; we documented localized and potentially harmful mercury concentrations, indicating that this area may represent a biological mercury hotspot. This finding warrants further research to determine if wildlife populations of conservation or recreational interest in this area may be experiencing negative effects due to mercury exposure. We present preliminary conclusions about the risk of each sampled population to mercury exposure. PMID:22384194

  18. Comparison of a Stool Antigen Detection Kit and PCR for Diagnosis of Entamoeba histolytica and Entamoeba dispar Infections in Asymptomatic Cyst Passers in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Solaymani-Mohammadi, Shahram; Rezaian, Mostafa; Babaei, Zahra; Rajabpour, Azam; Meamar, Ahmad R.; Pourbabai, Ahmad A.; Petri, William A.

    2006-01-01

    The present study was conducted to compare stool antigen detection with PCR for the diagnosis of Entamoeba sp. infection in asymptomatic cyst passers from Iran. Entamoeba dispar and, in one case, E. moshkovskii were the Entamoeba spp. found in the amebic cyst passers. There was a 100% correlation between the results from the TechLab E. histolytica II stool antigen kit and those from nested PCR. We concluded that E. dispar is much more common in asymptomatic cyst passers in Iran and that antigen detection and PCR are comparable diagnostic modalities. PMID:16757634

  19. Distribution, abundance, and habitat affinities of the Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beadell, J.; Greenberg, R.; Droege, S.; Royle, J. Andrew

    2003-01-01

    We examined the distribution and abundance of the Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens) at previously occupied sites and points within potential habitat. We found Swamp Sparrows throughout their formerly documented range except in southern Chesapeake Bay. Swamp Sparrows were most common in the Mullica River region of New Jersey where we detected individuals at 78% of systematically chosen points with a mean count of 4.1 birds/point. The percentages of points with positive detections in. the regions of Delaware River (39%), eastern Delaware Bay (23%), western Delaware Bay (34%), and Tuckahoe River (31%) were lower. The mean count of birds/point was between 0.4 and 0.6 in these regions. A higher resolution Poisson model of relative abundance suggested that the greatest concentrations of Swamp Sparrows occurred not only in the Mullica River area but also along northwestern Delaware Bay. Regression analysis of Swamp Sparrow counts and habitat features identified shrubs (Iva frutescens and Baccharis halimifolia) as a key habitat component. By applying density estimates generated by DISTANCE (Thomas et al. 1998) to the approximate area of potential shrub habitat along Delaware Bay, we estimated that the core population of Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrows was less than 28,000 pairs. We recommend that the Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow be listed as a subspecies of concern by state and local governments because of its relatively small population size, restricted distribution in the mid-Atlantic region, and narrow habitat requirements.

  20. Geographic analysis of nucleotide diversity and song sparrow (Aves: Emberizidae) population history.

    PubMed

    Fry, A J; Zink, R M

    1998-10-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control-region (CR) sequences were analysed to address three questions regarding the evolution of geographical variation in song sparrows. (i) Are mtDNA sequences more informative about phylogenetic relationships and population history than previously published restriction fragment (RFLP) data? (ii) Are song sparrow CR sequences evolving in a selectively neutral manner? (iii) What do the haplotype cladogram and geographical pattern of nucleotide diversity (pi) suggest about the recent evolutionary history of song sparrow populations? Results from phylogenetic analyses of CR sequences corroborate RFLP results and reveal instances in which haplotypes do not group by locality. Neutrality tests (Tajima 1989a) suggest that song sparrow mtDNA is evolving in a selectively neutral manner, although exceptions are noted. A novel geographical pattern of pi suggests a model of song sparrow population history involving multiple Pleistocene refugia and colonization of some formerly glaciated regions from multiple sources. Moreover, application of coalescence theory to the haplotype cladogram suggests that two different haplotypes (48NF and 151HA) may have predominated in different parts of the song sparrow's range. This model provides insight into the current distribution of song sparrow mtDNA haplotypes and may explain the discordance between evolutionary history inferred from mtDNA and morphology in this species. PMID:9787442

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

    PubMed

    Winder, Virginia L; Michaelis, Adriane K; Emslie, Steven D

    2012-03-01

    We analyzed nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios and mercury (Hg) in breast feathers from three species of closely related sparrows, Saltmarsh, Seaside, and Nelson's Sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus, A. maritimus, and A. nelsoni, respectively), to assess if trophic position and food web structure influence Hg exposure in these species. Sparrows were captured during the non-breeding season from 2006 to 2008 in North Carolina salt marshes near Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County. Generalized linear models were used to test for the influence of species, δ(15)N, and δ(13)C on breast feather Hg. The most parsimonious model included species, δ(15)N, and their interaction term and explained 36% of the variation in breast feather Hg. Each species exhibited a different association between breast feather δ(15)N and Hg with Seaside Sparrows showing a positive correlation (r=0.27, P=0.03), Nelson's Sparrows a negative correlation (r=-0.28, P=0.01), and Saltmarsh Sparrows with no significant association. For Saltmarsh Sparrows, δ(15)N and Hg revealed decoupling between breast feather Hg and trophic position. Our results demonstrate that the influence of δ(15)N on breast feather Hg is likely indicative of geographic variation in δ(15)N baselines rather than trophic position. PMID:22285218

  2. Nests and nest sites of the San Miguel Island Song Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kern, Michael D.; Sogge, Mark K.; Kern, Robert B.; Van Riper, Charles, III

    1993-01-01

    Nests and nest sites of the San Miguel Island (SMI) Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia micronyx) are described; nests are compared with those of 16 other races of Song Sparrows. Bush lupins (Lupinus albifrons), coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) and golden bush (Haplopappus venetus) were the shrubs used most commonly as nest sites by Song Sparrows on SMI. As a result of its location, the nest was effectively concealed from gray foxes (Urocyon littoralis), the major predator of this sparrow. Nest and nest site also moderated the combined chilling effects of cool air temperatures and strong northwesterly winds on the eggs and nestlings. Even in the absence of these moderating effects of the nest site, the energetic cost of incubation, estimated at 41-53% of the sparrow's resting metabolic rate, was modest. Twenty-nine percent of the canopy above the nest was open and as much as 73% of the nest cup was in the sun at midday, a time when surface temperatures of foliage, nest and nestlings sometimes exceeded 40 C. Whereas this exposure did not apparently reduce fledging success, it may explain why the incidence of addled eggs was so high in this population of Song Sparrows compared to others. Significant differences existed among races of Song Sparrows in the size, porosity and insulation of the nest. In most cases, these differences were not related to the latitude of the races' nesting areas.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Seasonal movements and environmental triggers to fall migration of Sage Sparrows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fesenmyer, K.A.; Knick, S.T.

    2011-01-01

    Post-breeding ecology of shrubland passerines prior to onset of migration is unknown relative to dynamics of breeding areas. We radiomarked and monitored 38 Sage Sparrows (Amphispiza belli ssp. nevadensis) at one site in Oregon and two in Nevada from September to mid-November 2007 to track local movements, estimate seasonal range sizes, and characterize weather patterns triggering onset of migration. Median area used by Sage Sparrows monitored between 3 and 18 days during or prior to migration was 14 ha; maximum daily movement was 15 km. Radio-marked Sage Sparrows at each location departed individually, rather than en masse, corresponding with passage of cold front weather systems. Conventional telemetry techniques limited our ability to monitor Sage Sparrows beyond pre-migratory periods and precluded detecting and tracking actual movements during migration. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  5. Discriminative stimulus properties of music in Java sparrows.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, S; Sato, K

    1999-08-01

    Seven adult Java sparrows were trained to discriminate music by Bach and that by Schoenberg. In the Bach S+ group perching response was reinforced when piano music by Bach was played but not when piano music by Schoenberg played. The Schoenberg S+ group received reversed training. Five of seven birds reached the criterion. Novel orchestra music by Bach and that by Schoenberg were played in the first test after the discriminative training. They showed generalization to new music by Bach and Schoenberg. When Vivaldi and Carter were played in the second test, all five birds showed significant discrimination. Bach S+ group responded to Vivaldi and Schoenberg S+ group responded to Carter. Vivaldi and Bach belonged to the same category, namely classical music, while Carter belongs to the modern music properties common to humans and birds. PMID:24896693

  6. Using Cape Sable seaside sparrow distribution data for water management decision support

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, James; Romanach, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    The Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis; hereafter sparrow) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, the most diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Marl prairie habitat is shaped by intermediate levels of disturbances such as flooding, drying, and fire, which maintain periphyton production (Gaiser et al. 2011), vegetation composition (Sah et al. 2011), and habitat structure for wildlife (Lockwood et al. 2003). Historically, patches of marl prairie shifted in response to changing climatic conditions,; however, habitat loss and hydrologic alteration have restricted the sparrow’s range and increased their sensitivity to changing hydropatterns. As a result, sparrow numbers have declined as much as 60% range-wide since 1992 (Curnutt et al. 1998, Nott et al. 1998). Currently, the sparrow is restricted to the freshwater prairies of the Everglades National Park (ENP) and Big Cypress Preserve (Lockwood et al. 1997). Because this non-migratory bird is restricted in its range it was among the first species to be listed as endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on March 11, 1967 (Pimm et al. 2000). Now protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the sparrow is listed as an endangered species, and the marl prairies that it resides in are listed as critical habitat. Since its designation as an endangered species, federal agencies have a statutory obligation to not jeopardize the survival of the species or modify its critical habitat. However, there are still uncertainties in how to increase suitable habitat within and surrounding the six existing sparrow subpopulations (Fig. 1) which are vulnerable to environmental stochasticity because of their small population size and restricted range. Since Because maintenance and creation of suitable habitat is seen as the most important pathway to the persistence of sparrow subpopulations (Sustainable Ecosystems Institute 2007), emphasis should be on

  7. To flock or fight: neurochemical signatures of divergent life histories in sparrows.

    PubMed

    Goodson, James L; Wilson, Leah C; Schrock, Sara E

    2012-06-26

    Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), which are territorial year-round in much of their range. Spring collections were preceded by field-based assessments of aggression. Tissue series were immunofluorescently multilabeled for vasotocin, mesotocin (MT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, tyrosine hydroxylase, and aromatase, and labeling densities were measured in many socially relevant brain areas. Extensive seasonal differences are shared by both species. Many measures correlate significantly with both individual and species differences in aggression, likely reflecting evolved mechanisms that differentiate the less aggressive field sparrow from the more aggressive song sparrow. Winter-specific species differences include a substantial increase of MT and CRH immunoreactivity in the dorsal lateral septum (LS) and medial amygdala of field sparrows but not song sparrows. These species differences likely relate to flocking rather than the suppression of winter aggression in field sparrows, because similar winter differences were found for two other emberizids that are not territorial in winter--dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), which seasonally flock, and eastern towhees (Pipilo erythropthalmus), which do not flock. MT signaling in the dorsal LS is also associated with year-round species differences in grouping in estrildid finches, suggesting that common mechanisms are targeted during the evolution of different life histories. PMID:22723363

  8. Growth and development of thermoregulation in nestling San Miguel Island Song Sparrows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sogge, Mark K.; Kern, Michael D.; Kern, Robert; van Riper, Charles, III

    1991-01-01

    Patterns of growth (reviewed by Ricklefs 1968, 1969; O'Connor 1984) and the development of endothermy (reviewed by Dawson and Hudson 1970, Dunn 1975, Hill and Beaver 1982) have been well-studied in altricial wild birds, especially passerines. But few studies compare grown and thermogenesis in separate populations of the same species. Results of such studies with emberizids varied among species. King and Hubbard (1981), for example, found that nestlings from subarctic, subalpine, and low-altitude montane populations of White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) grew at similar rates. In contrast, Rogers (1985) reported that the growth rates of nestlings in different populations of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) varied in response to the different environmental constraints of the localities in which they were reared. Nice (1937) and Smith et al. (1982) documented patterns of nestling growth in mainland (Ohio) and insular (Mandarte Island, British Columbia, Canada) populations of Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), respectively, and found that they were similar to those reported for most other passerines by Ricklefs (1968, 1969) and O'Connor (1984). In 1985-1986, we had the opportunity to examine the growth of nestlings from a third race of Song Sparrows, M. m. micronyx, which is endemic to San Miguel Island near Santa Barbara, California. We also studied the development of endothermy in these young birds, a process not hitherto described for nestling Song Sparrows. We report both in this paper.

  9. Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism of the Black-throated Sparrow in central Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, M.J.; van Riper, Charles, III

    2004-01-01

    From 1994-1996 we investigated effects of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism on Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) nesting success in the Verde Valley of central Arizona. Of 56 Black-throated Sparrow nests, 52% were parasitized. Black-throated Sparrows appear to respond to natural parasitism by accepting the cowbird egg, deserting the nest, or burying the cowbird egg. Removal and damage of host eggs by female cowbirds effectively reduced clutch size from an average of 3.4 to 1.9 eggs. Because of this reduced clutch size, Black-throated Sparrow reproductive success was significantly lower in parasitized nests (0.2 young fledged/ nest) as compared to nonparasitized nests (1.6 young fledged/nest). When comparing cowbird parasitism between two habitat types, we found significantly higher parasitism frequencies in crucifixion-thorn (Canotia holacantha) versus creosote-bush (Larrea divaricata) habitat. We argue that this difference in parasitism is due to the greater number of tall perches (e.g., shrubs >4 m) available in crucifixion-thorn habitat, providing vantage points for female cowbirds to better find Black-throated Sparrow nests.

  10. 75 FR 11169 - AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC; Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Revised...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-10

    ... Sparrows Point LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project March 1, 2010. The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory... operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline proposed by AES Sparrows... LNG terminal and natural gas pipeline facilities: A ship unloading facility, with two berths,...

  11. 75 FR 20591 - AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Final General Conformity...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-20

    ... General Conformity Determination for Pennsylvania for the Proposed Sparrows Point LNG Terminal and... liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline proposed by AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC... quality impacts from the construction and operation of the following LNG terminal and natural gas...

  12. Survival and reproductive biology of the Bachman's Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stober, J.M.; Krementz, D.G.

    2000-01-01

    We estimated breeding season survival rates and nest success for Bachman's Sparrows at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina, using radio telemetry. The 1995 breeding season (2 May-9 Aug) survival rate was 0.905 (95% C. I. 0.779-1.03) with 2 mortalities out of 20 individuals. The 1996 breeding season (10 May-25 Jul) survival rate was 0.882 (95% C. I. 0.729-1.04) with 2 mortalities out of 18 individuals. No significant differences in survival rates were detected between years, sexes, or habitat types. The overall breeding season survival rate was 0.893 (95%, C. I. 0.794-0.992). Daily nest survival rate in 1995 was 0.952 (0.013 SE N=26) and 0.889 (0.027 SE N=15) in 1996. Daily nest survival was significantly greater during 1995, with only 1 of 15 nests fledging a single individual in 1996. Nests attempts initiated before 15 June (0.975 [0.012], N=15) had higher survival rates than later nest attempts (0.914 [0.029] N=11, C2=3.77, 1 df, P=0.05).

  13. Water levels, rapid vegetational changes, and the endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nott, M.P.; Bass, O.L., Jr.; Fleming, D.M.; Killeffer, S.E.; Fraley, N.; Manne, L.; Curnutt, J.L.; Brooks, T.M.; Powell, R.; Pimm, S.L.

    1998-01-01

    The legally endangered Cape Sable seaside-sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) is restricted to short-hydroperiod, marl prairies within Florida's Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. Marl prairies are typified by dense, mixed stands of graminoid species usually below 1 m in height, naturally inundated by freshwater for 3-7 months annually. Water levels affect the birds directly, by flooding their nests, and indirectly by altering the habitat on which they depend. Managed redistribution of water flows flooded nearly half of the sparrow's geographical range during several consecutive breeding seasons starting in 1993. Furthermore, these high water levels rapidly changed plant communities, so jeopardizing the sparrow's survival by reducing the availability of nesting habitat.

  14. Characterization of Mercury and Its Risk in Nelson’s, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Winder, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

    Background Nelson’s, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively) depend on marsh and wetland habitats – ecosystems in which mercury (Hg) bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. Methods and Principal Findings Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006–2010). Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1) Threshold Component – examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2) Hg Dynamics Component – examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3) Capture Frequency and Survival Component – tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42–77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663) were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson’s (n = 9) and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23). Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson’s Sparrows (n = 315). However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. Conclusion and Significance This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform

  15. Factors affecting nest survival of Henslow's Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) in southern Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crimmins, Shawn M.; McKann, Patrick C.; Robb, Joseph R.; Lewis, Jason P.; Vanosdol, Teresa; Walker, Benjamin A.; Williams, Perry J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

    2016-01-01

    Populations of Henslow’s Sparrows have declined dramatically in recent decades, coinciding with widespread loss of native grassland habitat. Prescribed burning is a primary tool for maintaining grassland patches, but its effects on nest survival of Henslow’s Sparrows remains largely unknown, especially in conjunction with other factors. We monitored 135 nests of Henslow’s Sparrows at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in southern Indiana from 1998–2001 in an effort to understand factors influencing nest survival, including prescribed burning of habitat. We used a mixed-effects implementation of the logistic exposure model to predict daily nest survival in an information theoretic framework. We found that daily survival declined near the onset of hatching and increased with the height of standing dead vegetation, although this relationship was weak. We found only nominal support to suggest that time since burn influenced nest survival. Overall, nest age was the most important factor in estimating daily nest survival rates. Our daily survival estimate from our marginal model (0.937) was similar to that derived from the Mayfield method (0.944) suggesting that our results are comparable to previous studies using the Mayfield approach. Our results indicate that frequent burning to limit woody encroachment into grassland habitats might benefit Henslow’s Sparrow, but that a variety of factors ultimately influence daily nest survival. However, we note that burning too frequently can also limit occupancy by Henslow’s Sparrows. We suggest that additional research is needed to determine the population-level consequences of habitat alteration and if other extrinsic factors influence demographics of Henslow’s Sparrows.

  16. A quantile count model of water depth constraints on Cape Sable seaside sparrows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cade, B.S.; Dong, Q.

    2008-01-01

    1. A quantile regression model for counts of breeding Cape Sable seaside sparrows Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis (L.) as a function of water depth and previous year abundance was developed based on extensive surveys, 1992-2005, in the Florida Everglades. The quantile count model extends linear quantile regression methods to discrete response variables, providing a flexible alternative to discrete parametric distributional models, e.g. Poisson, negative binomial and their zero-inflated counterparts. 2. Estimates from our multiplicative model demonstrated that negative effects of increasing water depth in breeding habitat on sparrow numbers were dependent on recent occupation history. Upper 10th percentiles of counts (one to three sparrows) decreased with increasing water depth from 0 to 30 cm when sites were not occupied in previous years. However, upper 40th percentiles of counts (one to six sparrows) decreased with increasing water depth for sites occupied in previous years. 3. Greatest decreases (-50% to -83%) in upper quantiles of sparrow counts occurred as water depths increased from 0 to 15 cm when previous year counts were 1, but a small proportion of sites (5-10%) held at least one sparrow even as water depths increased to 20 or 30 cm. 4. A zero-inflated Poisson regression model provided estimates of conditional means that also decreased with increasing water depth but rates of change were lower and decreased with increasing previous year counts compared to the quantile count model. Quantiles computed for the zero-inflated Poisson model enhanced interpretation of this model but had greater lack-of-fit for water depths > 0 cm and previous year counts 1, conditions where the negative effect of water depths were readily apparent and fitted better with the quantile count model.

  17. Eurasian Tree Sparrows, Risk for H5N1 Virus Spread and Human Contamination through Buddhist Ritual: An Experimental Approach

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez, Ramona Alikiiteaga; Sorn, San; Nicholls, John M.; Buchy, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Background The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 virus has dramatically spread throughout Southeast Asia since its first detection in 1997. Merit Release Birds, such as the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, are believed to increase one's positive karma when kissed and released during Buddhist rituals. Since these birds are often in close contact with both poultry and humans, we investigated their potential role in the spread of H5N1 virus. Methodology/Principal Findings Seven series of experiments were conducted in order to investigate the possible interactions between inoculated and exposed birds, including sparrow/sparrow, sparrow/chicken, duck/sparrow. Daily and post-mortem samples collected were tested for H5N1 virus by real-time RT-PCR and egg inoculation. When directly inoculated, Eurasian Tree Sparrows were highly susceptible to the H5N1 virus, with a fatality rate approaching 100% within 5 days post-inoculation. Although transmission of fatal infection between sparrows did not occur, seroconversion of the exposed birds was observed. Up to 100% chickens exposed to inoculated sparrows died of H5N1 infection, depending on the caging conditions of the birds, while a fatality rate of 50% was observed on sparrows exposed to infected ducks. Large quantities of H5N1 virus were detected in the sparrows, particularly in their feathers, from which infectious particles were recovered. Conclusions/Significance Our study indicates that under experimental conditions, Eurasian Tree Sparrows are susceptible to H5N1 infection, either by direct inoculation or by contact with infected poultry. Their ability to transmit H5N1 infection to other birds is also demonstrated, suggesting that the sparrows may play a role in the dissemination of the virus. Finally, the presence of significant quantities of H5N1 virus on sparrows' feathers, including infectious particles, would suggest that Merit Release Birds represent a risk for human contamination in countries where avian influenza virus

  18. SPECIES PROFILE: HENSLOW'S SPARROW (AMMODRAMUS HENSLOWII) ON MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) is a small passerine bird that breeds in the eastern and midwestern United States and southern Canada and winters in the mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast States. Its breeding range extends from New England and southern Ontario through the G...

  19. Predicting Ecosystem Services in Northeastern Lakes From Monitoring Data and USGS SPARROW Nutrient Load Estimates

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reduction of nitrogen inputs to estuaries can be achieved by the control of agricultural, atmospheric, and urban sources. We use the USGS MRB1 SPARROW model to estimate reductions necessary to decrease nitrogen loads to estuaries by 10%. As a first approximation we looked at s...

  20. Population Status of the Seaside Sparrow in Rhode Island: A 25-Year Assessment.

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess long-term changes in the population status of breeding Ammodramus maritimus Wilson (Seaside Sparrow) in Rhode Island, we repeated surveys conducted in 1982 by Stoll and Golet (1983). In June and July of 2007 and 2008, we surveyed 20 of Rhode Island’s largest salt ...

  1. Population Status of the Seaside Sparrow in Rhode Island: A 25-Year Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) is currently listed as a species of ‘special concern’ in Rhode Island and has been designated as a ‘watch list’ species in the Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan. To assess the population status of breeding Seas...

  2. Migratory Sleeplessness in the White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)

    PubMed Central

    Rattenborg, Niels C; Mandt, Bruce H; Obermeyer, William H; Winsauer, Peter J; Huber, Reto; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Twice a year, normally diurnal songbirds engage in long-distance nocturnal migrations between their wintering and breeding grounds. If and how songbirds sleep during these periods of increased activity has remained a mystery. We used a combination of electrophysiological recording and neurobehavioral testing to characterize seasonal changes in sleep and cognition in captive white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) across nonmigratory and migratory seasons. Compared to sparrows in a nonmigratory state, migratory sparrows spent approximately two-thirds less time sleeping. Despite reducing sleep during migration, accuracy and responding on a repeated-acquisition task remained at a high level in sparrows in a migratory state. This resistance to sleep loss during the prolonged migratory season is in direct contrast to the decline in accuracy and responding observed following as little as one night of experimenter-induced sleep restriction in the same birds during the nonmigratory season. Our results suggest that despite being adversely affected by sleep loss during the nonmigratory season, songbirds exhibit an unprecedented capacity to reduce sleep during migration for long periods of time without associated deficits in cognitive function. Understanding the mechanisms that mediate migratory sleeplessness may provide insights into the etiology of changes in sleep and behavior in seasonal mood disorders, as well as into the functions of sleep itself. PMID:15252455

  3. Adaptations to tidal marshes in breeding populations of the swamp sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, R.; Droege, S.

    1990-01-01

    The Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens) was originally described from a small number of specimens from the tidal marshes of the Nanticoke River in southeastern Maryland. Based on our quantitative analysis of a larger series of specimens, we found that Swamp Sparrows collected during the breeding season from the Chesapeak and Delaware bays (and tributaries) and near the mouth of the Hudson River are generally less rusty, have more black in the crown and nape, and have larger bills than other Swamp Sparrows. Contrary to earlier accounts, we found M. g. nigrescens to be migratory, arriving after the spring migration and departing before the fall migration of the inland subspecies through the tidal marshes. The location of the wintering groups of M. g. nigrescens is unknown. We argue that the morphological and life history differences characterizing M. g. nigrescens reflect adaptation to tidal marshes. We base this hypothesis on the nature of the morphological differences, which are convergent with other tidal marsh breeding sparrows and other terrestrial vertebrates.

  4. Breeding biology of Henslow's Sparrows on reclaimed coal mine grasslands in Kentucky

    SciTech Connect

    Monroe, M.S.; Ritchison, G.

    2005-04-01

    Populations of Henslow's Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) arc declining, and loss of habitat is a likely factor. Coal mine reclamation has created grassland habitat in Kentucky and elsewhere, and information is needed concerning the use of these areas by Henslow's Sparrows. We compared the behavior and ecology of populations on reclaimed sites and non-mined sites in west-central Kentucky during the 2000 and 2001 breeding seasons. Territories were smaller on the reclaimed sites than unmined sites, perhaps due to differences in habitat quality. Insect sweeps revealed more prey biomass on reclaimed sites than unmined sites. Twenty-eight of 48 nests (58%) fledged at least one young, and nesting success was similar on reclaimed and unmined sites. Mean clutch size was 3.75, with no difference between reclaimed and unmined sites. Similarly, the mean number of fledglings per nest was similar on reclaimed and unmined sites. Multivariate analysis revealed differences in the characteristics of vegetation on reclaimed areas and unmined areas. Reclaimed areas had more grass cover and greater vegetation density, probably due to differences in management history (i.e., mowing or burning) and species composition. Our results indicate that the nesting success of Henslow's Sparrows on reclaimed surface mines in Kentucky is comparable to that on unmined areas. As such, the thousand of hectares of reclaimed surface mines in Kentucky and elsewhere could play an important role in stabilizing populations of Henslow's Sparrows.

  5. Characterization of the nest site preferences of Saltmarsh and Nelson's Sparrows, and hybrids

    EPA Science Inventory

    Saltmarsh Sparrows (hereafter SALS) are named on the National Audubon Society’s current WatchList as a species of global conservation concern (National Audubon Society 2007). Anthropogenic climate change is perhaps the largest threat to SALS populations because sea level ri...

  6. Habitat and nesting of Le Conte's Sparrows in the northern tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Shaffer, J.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Donovan, T.M.; Svedarsky, W.D.; Jones, P.W.; Euliss, B.R.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the breeding biology of the Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii), probably because of its secretive nature. We provide new information on several aspects of Le Conte's Sparrow breeding biology, including rates of nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and potential factors affecting breeding densities and nesting success of the species. Our study was conducted in the tallgrass prairie of northwestern Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during 1998-2002. Breeding densities varied among years, but this variation was not clearly linked to climatic patterns. Vegetation had some influence on densities of Le Conte's Sparrows; densities were highest in grasslands with moderate amounts of bare ground. Prairie patch size and the percentage of shrubs and trees in the landscape had no recognizable influence on density. Nesting success was highly variable among sites and years and increased slightly with distance from trees. Rates of nest parasitism were low (1 of 50 nests parasitized), and clutch sizes were similar to those of other studies of Le Conte's Sparrows.

  7. Is Residential Development Adjacent to Salt Marshes Causing Declines in Seaside Sparrows?

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the possible effects of residential development on nesting populations of Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus), we repeated a 1982 survey conducted by Stoll and Golet. In June and July 2007, 23 RI salt marshes were surveyed in their entirety for the presenc...

  8. Reading, Laterality, and the Brain: Early Contributions on Reading Disabilities by Sara S. Sparrow

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, Jack M.; Morris, Robin D.

    2014-01-01

    Although best known for work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, training in speech pathology and a doctorate in clinical psychology and neuropsychology was the foundation for Sara Sparrow's long-term interest in reading disabilities. Her first papers were on dyslexia and laterality, and the…

  9. Status assessment and conservation plan for the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruth, Janet M.

    2015-01-01

    The Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) breeds in grassland habitats throughout much of the U.S., southern and southeastern Canada, and northern Mexico. Additional subspecies are resident in Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean. It winters primarily in the coastal states of the southeastern U.S., southern portions of the southwestern states, and in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The species prefers relatively open grassland with intermediate grass height and density and patchy bare ground; because it is widely distributed across different grassland types in North America, it selects different vegetation structure and species composition depending on what is available. In the winter, they use a broader range of grassland habitats including open grasslands, as well as weedy fields and grasslands with woody vegetation. Analyses show significant range-wide population declines from the late 1960s through the present, primarily caused by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. Grasshopper Sparrow is still a relatively common and broadly distributed species, but because of significant population declines and stakeholder concerns, the species is considered of conservation concern nationally and at the state level for numerous states. Many factors, often related to different grassland management practices (e.g., grazing, burning, mowing, management of shrub encroachment, etc.) throughout the species’ range, have impacts on Grasshopper Sparrow distribution, abundance, and reproduction and may represent limiting factors or threats given steep declines in this species’ population. Because of the concerns for this species, Grasshopper Sparrow has been identified as a focal species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and this Status Assessment and Conservation Plan for Grasshopper Sparrow has been developed. Through literature searches and input from stakeholders across its range, this plan presents information about

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

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason M; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-06-01

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

  11. The distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in song sparrows along Arizona's upper Santa Cruz River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles, III

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals are persistent environmental contaminants, and transport of metals into the environment poses a threat to ecosystems, as plants and wildlife are susceptible to long-term exposure, bioaccumulation, and potential toxicity. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in southwestern song sparrows (Melospiza melodia fallax), a resident riparian bird species that occurs along the US/Mexico border in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to a 2009 international wastewater facility upgrade, and (3) assess the condition of song sparrows among sites with differing potential levels of exposure. We examined five study sites along with a reference site that reflect different potential sources of contamination. Body mass residuals and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Birds at our study sites typically had higher metal concentrations than birds at the reference site. Copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium in song sparrows did exceed background levels, although most metals were below background concentrations determined from previous studies. Song sparrows generally showed lower heavy metal concentrations compared to studies conducted prior to the 2009 wastewater facility upgrade. We found no cascading effects as a result of metal exposure.

  12. Acephate affects migratory orientation of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vyas, N.B.; Kuenzel, W.J.; Hill, E.F.; Sauer, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    Migratory white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) were exposed to acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), an organophosphorus pesticide, to determine its effects on migratory orientation and behavior. Birds were also exposed to polarizer sheets to determine the mechanism by which acephate may affect migratory orientation. Adult birds exposed to 256 ppm acephate a.i. were not able to establish a preferred migratory orientation and exhibited random activity. All juvenile treatment groups displayed a seasonally correct southward migratory orientation. We hypothesize that acephate may have produced aberrant migratory behavior by affecting the memory of the migratory route and wintering ground. This experiment reveals that an environmentally relevant concentration of a common organophosphorus pesticide can alter migratory orientation, but its effect is markedly different between adult and juvenile sparrows. Results suggest that the survival of free-flying adult passerine migrants may be compromised following organophosphorus pesticide exposure.

  13. Studying wildlife at local and landscape scales: Bachman's Sparrows at the Savannah River Site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dunning, J.B., Jr.; Danielson, B.J.; Watts, B.D.; Liu, L.; Krementz, D.G.

    2000-01-01

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, mutual research interests between land managers at the Savannah River Site and biologists at the University of Georgia resulted in a landscape-ecology study of the Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis). This species had been declining throughout its range for several decades and was considered a species of management concern by the U.S. Forest Service. The reasons for its decline were obscure, but the distribution of suitable habitat across complex landscapes was a possible factor. Thus the species seemed well suited for a pioneer study on landscape influences on avian population dynamics. A cooperative research program developed from these mutual interests, including quantifying the landscape and local habitat patterns shown by the sparrow, spatially explicit modeling of population response to landscape change, and demographic field studies of reproductive success, survivorship and dispersal. These studies are summarized, and the value of the research to both management and research interests is discussed.

  14. Water-vapor pressure in nests of the San Miguel Island Song Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kern, Michael D.; Sogge, Mark K.; van Riper, Charles, III

    1990-01-01

    The water-vapor pressure (PN) in nests of the San Miguel Island race of Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia micronyx) averaged 16 torr, but varied considerable between nests and within individual nests during successive days of incubation. Large daily fluctuations occurred throughout the incubation period and did not parallel concurrent changes in ambien vapor pressure (P1). Daily rates of water loss from nest eggs (MH2O) averaged 28 mg day-1, but also varied considerable within and between nests and did not correlate with changes in P1. MH2O increased 6-33% after the third day of incubation. PN was significantly higher and MH2O significantly lower in nests located in sheltered gullies than in nests from a windswept slope. These data suggest that Song Sparrows do not regulate PN to achieve hatching success.

  15. Studying Wildlife at Local and Landscape Scales: Bachman's Sparrow at the Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Dunning, J.B.; Danielson, B.J.; Watts, B.D.; Liu, J.; Krementz, D.R.

    2000-10-01

    Mutual interests between land managers at SRS and scientists resulted in a landscape ecology study of Bachman's sparrow. The species is declining throughout it's range. The distribution of suitable habitats across the landscape may provide an explanation. The species occupies early successional and late successional savanna habitat. Modeling was closely linked to field observations to demonstrate how the species demographics change with the distribution and dynamics of habitats.

  16. A W-linked palindrome and gene conversion in New World sparrows and blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Davis, Jamie K; Thomas, Pamela J; Thomas, James W

    2010-07-01

    A hallmark feature of the male-specific region of the human Y chromosome is the presence of large and near-identical palindromes. These palindromes are maintained in a state of near identity via gene conversion between the arms of the palindrome, and both neutral and selection-based theories have been proposed to explain their enrichment on the human Y and X chromosomes. While those proposed theories would be applicable to sex chromosomes in other species, it has not been established whether near-identical palindromes are a common feature of sex chromosomes in a broader range of taxa, including other tetrapods. Here, we report the genomic sequencing and features of a 279-kb region of the non-recombining portion of the W chromosome spanning the CHD1W locus in a New World sparrow, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), and the corresponding region on the Z chromosome. As has been observed for other Y and W chromosomes, we detected a high repetitive element content (51%) and low gene content on the white-throated sparrow W chromosome. In addition, we identified a 22-kb near-identical (>99%) palindrome on the W chromosome that flanks the 5' end of the CHD1W gene. Signatures of gene conversion were readily detected between the arms of this palindrome, as was the presence of this palindrome in other New World sparrows and blackbirds. Near-identical palindromes are therefore present on the avian W chromosome and may persist due to the same forces proposed for the enrichment of these elements on the human sex chromosomes. PMID:20535633

  17. Sensory Constraints on Birdsong Syntax: Neural Responses to Swamp Sparrow Songs with Accelerated Trill Rates

    PubMed Central

    Prather, JF; Peters, S; Mooney, R; Nowicki, S

    2013-01-01

    Both sensory and motor mechanisms can constrain behavioral performance. Sensory mechanisms may be especially important for constraining behaviors that depend on experience, such as learned birdsongs. Swamp sparrows learn to sing by imitating the song of a tutor, but sparrows fail to accurately imitate artificial tutor songs with abnormally accelerated trills, instead singing brief and rapid trills interrupted by silent gaps. This “broken syntax” has been proposed to arise from vocal-motor limitations. Here we consider whether sensory limitations exist that could also contribute to broken syntax. We tested this idea by recording auditory-evoked activity of sensorimotor neurons in the swamp sparrow’s brain that are known to be important for the learning, performance and perception of song. In freely behaving adult sparrows that sang songs with normal syntax, neurons were detected that exhibited precisely time-locked activity to each repetition of the syllable in a trill when presented at a natural rate. Those cells failed to faithfully follow syllables presented at an accelerated rate, however, and their failure to respond to consecutive syllables increased as a function of trill rate. This “flickering” auditory representation in animals performing normal syntax reveals a central constraint on the sensory processing of rapid trills. Furthermore, because these neurons are implicated in both song learning and perception, and because auditory flickering began to occur at accelerated trill rates previously associated with the emergence of broken song syntax, these sensory constraints may contribute to the emergence of broken syntax. PMID:23976787

  18. Grasshopper sparrow reproductive success and habitat use on reclaimed surface mines varies by age of reclamation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra; Ammer, Frank K.

    2015-01-01

    We studied 3 mountaintop mining–valley fill (MTMVF) complexes in southern West Virginia, USA to examine grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum pratensis) demographic response to different age classes of mine land reclamation. For 71 nests monitored during the 2001–2002 breeding seasons, overall nest success (36%) was within the range of nest success rates previously reported for this species, but it was highest on more recently reclaimed sites (56%). Nest density and clutch size did not differ (P > 0.30) among reclamation age classes, whereas number of fledglings was greater (P = 0.01) on more recently reclaimed sites. We measured vegetation variables at 70 nest subplots and at 96 systematic subplots to compare nest vegetation with vegetation available on the plots. We found that nests occurred in areas with more bare ground near the nest, greater vegetation height–density surrounding the nest site, lower grass height, and fewer woody stems, similar to previous studies. As postreclamation age increased, vegetation height–density and maximum grass height increased, and sericea (Lespedeza cuneata) became more dominant. Nest success declined with increasing vegetation height–density at the nest. The grasslands available on these reclaimed mine complexes are of sufficient quality to support breeding populations of grasshopper sparrows, but nest success decreased on the older reclaimed areas. Without active management, grasslands on reclaimed MTMVF mines become less suitable for nesting grasshopper sparrows about 10 years after reclamation.

  19. Morphological adaptation with no mitochondrial DNA differentiation in the coastal plain swamp sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenberg, R.; Cordero, P.J.; Droege, S.; Fleischer, R.C.

    1998-01-01

    We estimated genetic differentiation between morphologically distinct tidal marsh populations of Swamp Sparrows (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens) and the more wide-spread inland populations (M. g. georgiana and M. g. ericrypta). The tidal marsh populations are consistently grayer with more extensive black markings (particularly in the crown), and their bills are larger. These differences are variously shared with other species of salt marsh birds and small mammals. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA sequences (5' end of control region, COII/tlys/ATPase8, and ND2) of Swamp Sparrows and found low levels of genetic variation and no evidence of geographic structure. These results suggest a rapid and recent geographic expansion of Swamp Sparrows from restricted Pleistocene populations. Morphological differentiation has occurred without long-term genetic isolation, suggesting that selection on the divergent traits is intense. The grayer and more melanistic plumage is probably cryptic coloration for foraging on tidal mud, which tends to be grayish as a result of the formation of iron sulfides, rather than iron oxides, under anaerobic conditions.

  20. Evaluating water management scenarios to support habitat management for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, James M.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; McKelvy, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, a highly diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Maintenance and creation of suitable habitat is seen as the most important pathway to the persistence of the six existing sparrow subpopulations; however, major uncertainties remain in how to increase suitable habitat within and surrounding these subpopulations, which are vulnerable to environmental stochasticity. Currently, consistently suitable conditions for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow are only present in two of these subpopulations (B and E). The water management scenarios evaluated herein were intended to lower water levels and improve habitat conditions in subpopulation A and D, raise water levels to improve habitat conditions in subpopulations C and F, and minimize impacts to subpopulations B and E. Our objective in this analysis was to compare these scenarios utilizing a set of metrics (short- to long-time scales) that relate habitat suitability to hydrologic conditions. Although hydrologic outputs are similar across scenarios in subpopulation A, scenario R2H reaches the hydroperiod and depth suitability targets more than the other scenarios relative to ECB, while minimizing negative consequences to subpopulation E. However, although R2H hydroperiods are longer than those for ECB during the wet season in subpopulations C and F, depths during the breeding season are predicted to decrease in suitability (less than -50 cm) relative to existing conditions.

  1. Song environment affects singing effort and vasotocin immunoreactivity in the forebrain of male Lincoln’s sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Sewall, Kendra B.; Dankoski, Elyse C.; Sockman, Keith W.

    2010-01-01

    Male songbirds often establish territories and attract mates by singing, and some song features can reflect the singer’s condition or quality. The quality of the song environment can change, so male songbirds should benefit from assessing the competitiveness of the song environment and appropriately adjusting their own singing behavior and the neural substrates by which song is controlled. In a wide range of taxa social modulation of behavior is partly mediated by the arginine vasopressin or vasotocin (AVP/AVT) systems. To examine the modulation of singing behavior in response to the quality of the song environment we compared the song output of laboratory-housed male Lincoln’s sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii) exposed to one week of chronic playback of songs categorized as either high or low quality, based on song length, complexity and trill performance. To explore the neural basis of any facultative shifts in behavior, we also quantified the subjects’ AVT immunoreactivity (AVT-IR) in three forebrain regions that regulate socio-sexual behavior: the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm), the lateral septum (LS) and the preoptic area. We found that high quality songs increased singing effort and reduced AVT-IR in the BSTm and LS, relative to low quality songs. The effect of the quality of the song environment on both singing effort and forebrain AVT-IR raises the hypothesis that AVT within these brain regions plays a role in the modulation of behavior in response to competition that individual males may assess from the prevailing song environment. PMID:20399213

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Johnson, D.H.

    1999-01-01

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

  3. Reproductive effects in hybrid sparrow from a polluted area in Tunisia: Oxidative damage and altered testicular histomorphology.

    PubMed

    Amri, Nahed; Hammouda, Abdessalem; Rahmouni, Fatma; Chokri, Med Ali; Chaabane, Rim; Selmi, Slaheddine; Rebai, Tarek; Badraoui, Riadh

    2016-07-01

    Air pollution is a threat for human health and wildlife. The aim of this study is to assess the pathophysiological changes and the oxidative-antioxidative status in testicular tissues of 40 Hybrid sparrows collected from four areas in Gabès city, one of the most polluted areas in Tunisia. The testis histopathological analysis revealed alterations in birds from Ghannouche, the polluted area. The thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) levels were higher in testis of birds from the contaminated site compared to less polluted areas indicating oxidative damage to membrane lipids. Antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase and catalase) were lower in testis sparrows from the polluted site compared with the reference site, suggesting deficiency of the antioxidant system to compensate for oxidative stress. Overall, our results suggest that the hybrid sparrow offers a suitable model for biomonitoring programs of atmosphere pollutants and the selected biomarkers could be useful tool to evaluate pollution impacts in living organisms. PMID:27039245

  4. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater: a critique of Sparrow's inclusive definition of the term 'in vitro eugenics'.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Misao; Yashiro, Yoshimi; Suzuki, Mika

    2014-11-01

    Sparrow highlights three potential applications of in vitro eugenics, that is, (a) research into the heredity of genetic disorders, (b) production of cell lines with specific genotypes, and (c) breeding better babies, and points to the need for researchers to discuss in advance the potential ethical problems that may emerge if the realization of this technology occurs in the near future. In this commentary, we pose a question for the sake of discussion. Is it, in fact, appropriate to label all three applications raised by Sparrow as eugenics? By doing so, an unnecessary level of concern might be borne among the public, and as a result, the sound development of this specialized technology would be affected. If the label of eugenics is to be applied to all three of these applications, then Sparrow must justify how he perceives (a) and (b) as not inherently different from (c). PMID:23986606

  5. Nest survival of clay-colored and vesper sparrows in relation to woodland edge in mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, T.A.; Madden, E.M.; Shaffer, T.L.; Pietz, P.J.; Berkey, G.B.; Kadrmas, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    The quantity and quality of northern mixed-grass prairie continues to decline because of conversion to agriculture, invasion of woody and exotic plants, and disruption of important ecological processes that shape grasslands. Declines in grassland bird populations in North Dakota, USA, have coincided with these largely anthropogenic alterations to prairie habitat. In grasslands of north-central and northwestern North Dakota, woody plants have increased due primarily to fire suppression, extirpation of bison (Bos bison), and widescale planting of tree shelter belts. In northern grasslands, effects of woody vegetation on survival of grassland birds are poorly understood, and conclusions are based mainly on studies conducted outside the region. We examined nest survival of clay-colored sparrows (Spizella pallida) and vesper sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) relative to the distance nests were located from aspen (Populus tremuloides,) woodland edges and relative to other habitat features near the nest. Clay-colored and vesper sparrow nest survival was higher for nests located near woodland edges, nests with greater cover of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and nests more concealed by vegetation. Vesper sparrow nest survival increased as the percent cover of tall shrubs near the nest increased. Based on video-camera data, the 13-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus,) was the most common predator of sparrow eggs and young. Thirteen-lined ground squirrels were more common far from woodland edges than near, and this pattern may, in part, explain clay-colored and vesper sparrow nest survival in relation to woodland edges. In contrast to our results, studies conducted in other grassland systems generally report lower nest survival for grassland birds nesting near trees and shrubs. This disparity in results demonstrates the need to identify specific nest predators and their distributions with respect to important habitat features because these data can be

  6. Evaluation of a reproductive index to estimate grasshopper sparrow and eastern meadowlark reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Althoff, D.P.; Gipson, P.S.; Pontius, J.S.; Japuntich, R.D.

    2009-01-01

    We compared an index of reproductive success based on breeding behavior to actual nest fates of grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and eastern meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) on 12 plots (4-ha). Concordance of results between the two methods was 58% for grasshopper sparrows and 42% for eastern meadowlarks on a plot-by-plot basis. The indirect method yielded higher estimates of reproductive activity than nest monitoring for the balance of the plots,. There was little evidence that brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism influenced the estimates of reproductive success using the indirect method. We concluded that nests and about-to-fledge nestlings were missed during searches on some plots. It may be appropriate to use an indirect method to more efficiently survey territories and/or plots for species with hard-to-find nests or when monitoring large areas. Use of a reproductive index may be appropriate and more time-efficient than nest searching and monitoring for comparing management effects such as burning, grazing, haying, military training, and other localized disturbances that are likely to affect reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows and eastern meadowlarks. However, nest monitoring may be necessary for more precise estimates of productivity necessary for long-term monitoring. Nest monitoring results are also likely to allow for direct comparisons to results from other studies because the index method requires intimate knowledge of the species being evaluated - a factor that could lead to reduced precision because the experience level of technicians relying only on behavioral cues from study-to-study is likely to vary considerably.

  7. A microsatellite-based linkage map for song sparrows (Melospiza melodia).

    PubMed

    Nietlisbach, Pirmin; Camenisch, Glauco; Bucher, Thomas; Slate, Jon; Keller, Lukas F; Postma, Erik

    2015-11-01

    Although linkage maps are important tools in evolutionary biology, their availability for wild populations is limited. The population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) on Mandarte Island, Canada, is among the more intensively studied wild animal populations. Its long-term pedigree data, together with extensive genetic sampling, have allowed the study of a range of questions in evolutionary biology and ecology. However, the availability of genetic markers has been limited. We here describe 191 new microsatellite loci, including 160 high-quality polymorphic autosomal, 7 Z-linked and 1 W-linked markers. We used these markers to construct a linkage map for song sparrows with a total sex-averaged map length of 1731 cM and covering 35 linkage groups, and hence, these markers cover most of the 38-40 chromosomes. Female and male map lengths did not differ significantly. We then bioinformatically mapped these loci to the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genome and found that linkage groups were conserved between song sparrows and zebra finches. Compared to the zebra finch, marker order within small linkage groups was well conserved, whereas the larger linkage groups showed some intrachromosomal rearrangements. Finally, we show that as expected, recombination frequency between linked loci explained the majority of variation in gametic phase disequilibrium. Yet, there was substantial overlap in gametic phase disequilibrium between pairs of linked and unlinked loci. Given that the microsatellites described here lie on 35 of the 38-40 chromosomes, these markers will be useful for studies in this species, as well as for comparative genomics studies with other species. PMID:25865627

  8. Female Lincoln's sparrows modulate their behavior in response to variation in male song quality

    PubMed Central

    Sewall, Kendra B.; Salvante, Katrina G.

    2010-01-01

    Sexually reproducing organisms should mate with the highest quality individuals that they can. When female songbirds choose a mate, they are thought to use several aspects of male song that reflect his quality. Under resource-limited environmental conditions, male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii) vary among one another in several aspects of song quality, including song length, song complexity, and trill performance. In a 2-pronged approach, we tested whether variation in song quality of male Lincoln's sparrows influences the behavior of females that are in a reproductive-like state. Over two trials, we exposed females to songs from the high and low ends of the distribution of naturally occurring song quality variation and found a higher level of behavioral activity in females exposed to high-quality songs, especially when they had first been exposed to low-quality songs. We also examined female phonotaxis toward antiphonally played songs with experimentally elevated and reduced trill performance and found that females moved preferentially toward the songs with elevated trill performance. Contrary to most studies investigating the behavioral responses of wild, female songbirds to variation in male song, we obtained our results without administering exogenous estradiol, which can artificially perturb the female's physiology. Our results demonstrate that the behavior of female Lincoln's sparrows is modulated by the quality of male songs to which they are exposed and that trill performance plays a significant role in this behavioral modulation. Furthermore, as the order of song quality presentation matters, it appears that recent song experience also influences female behavior. PMID:22476505

  9. SPARROW Models Used to Understand Nutrient Sources in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Dale M; Saad, David A

    2013-09-01

    Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) has been linked to hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. To describe where and from what sources those loads originate, SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were constructed for the MARB using geospatial datasets for 2002, including inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and calibration sites throughout the MARB. Previous studies found that highest N and P yields were from the north-central part of the MARB (Corn Belt). Based on the MARB SPARROW models, highest N yields were still from the Corn Belt but centered over Iowa and Indiana, and highest P yields were widely distributed throughout the center of the MARB. Similar to that found in other studies, agricultural inputs were found to be the largest N and P sources throughout most of the MARB: farm fertilizers were the largest N source, whereas farm fertilizers, manure, and urban inputs were dominant P sources. The MARB models enable individual N and P sources to be defined at scales ranging from SPARROW catchments (∼50 km) to the entire area of the MARB. Inputs of P from WWTPs and urban areas were more important than found in most other studies. Information from this study will help to reduce nutrient loading from the MARB by providing managers with a description of where each of the sources of N and P are most important, thus providing a basis for prioritizing management actions and ultimately reducing the extent of Gulf hypoxia. PMID:24216420

  10. Historic Houses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Nancy

    1997-01-01

    Reviews some of the efforts of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (SPNEA) to preserve, conserve, and interpret historic houses to the public. Examines the history and some of the specific preservation problems concerning the Beauport Cottage, the Sayward-Wheeler House, and the Gropius House. (MJP)

  11. Postfledging survival of Grasshopper Sparrows in grasslands managed with fire and grazing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hovick, Torre J.; Miller, James R.; Koford, Rolf R.; Engle, David M.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2011-01-01

    More accurate estimates of survival after nestlings fledge are needed for population models to be parameterized and population dynamics to be understood during this vulnerable life stage. The period after fledging is the time when chicks learn to fly, forage, and hide from predators. We monitored postfledging survival, causespecific mortality, and movements of Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) in grassland managed with fire and grazing. In 2009, we attached radio transmitters to 50 nestlings from 50 different broods and modeled their survival in response to climatic, biological, and ecological variables. There was no effect of treatment on survival. The factor most influencing postfledging survival was age; no other variable was significant. The majority of chicks (74%) died within 3 days of radio-transmitter attachment. We attributed most mortality to mesopredators (48%) and exposure (28%). Fledglings' movements increased rapidly for the first 4 days after they left the nest and were relatively stable for the remaining 10 days we tracked them. On average, fledglings took flight for the first time 4 days after fledging and flew ≥10 m 9 days after fledging. Our data show that the Grasshopper Sparrow's survival rates may be less than most models relying on nest-success estimates predict, and we emphasize the importance of incorporating estimates of survival during the postfledging period in demographic models.

  12. Variation in Bachman's Sparrow home-range size at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stober, J.M.; Krementz, D.G.

    2006-01-01

    Using radiotelemetry, we studied variation in home-range size of the Bachman's Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis) at the Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina, during the 1995 breeding season. At SRS, sparrows occurred primarily in two habitats: mature pine habitats managed for Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) and pine plantations 1 to 6 years of age. The mean 95% minimum convex polygon home-range size for males and females combined (n = 14) was 2.95 ha + 0.57 SE, across all habitats. Mean homerange size for males in mature pine stands (4.79 ha + 0.27, n = 4) was significantly larger than that in 4-year-old (3.00 ha + 0.31, n = 3) and 2-year-old stands (1.46 ha + 0.31, it = 3). Home-range sizes of paired males and females (it = 4 pairs) were similar within habitat type; mean distances between consecutive locations differed by habitat type and sex. We hypothesize that a gradient in food resources drives home-range dynamics.

  13. Application of SPARROW modeling to understanding contaminant fate and transport from uplands to streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ator, Scott; Garcia, Ana Maria.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding spatial variability in contaminant fate and transport is critical to efficient regional water-quality restoration. An approach to capitalize on previously calibrated spatially referenced regression (SPARROW) models to improve the understanding of contaminant fate and transport was developed and applied to the case of nitrogen in the 166,000 km2 Chesapeake Bay watershed. A continuous function of four hydrogeologic, soil, and other landscape properties significant (α = 0.10) to nitrogen transport from uplands to streams was evaluated and compared among each of the more than 80,000 individual catchments (mean area, 2.1 km2) in the watershed. Budgets (including inputs, losses or net change in storage in uplands and stream corridors, and delivery to tidal waters) were also estimated for nitrogen applied to these catchments from selected upland sources. Most (81%) of such inputs are removed, retained, or otherwise processed in uplands rather than transported to surface waters. Combining SPARROW results with previous budget estimates suggests 55% of this processing is attributable to denitrification, 23% to crop or timber harvest, and 6% to volatilization. Remaining upland inputs represent a net annual increase in landscape storage in soils or biomass exceeding 10 kg per hectare in some areas. Such insights are important for planning watershed restoration and for improving future watershed models.

  14. Vocal tract motor patterns and resonance during constant frequency song: the white-throated sparrow.

    PubMed

    Riede, Tobias; Suthers, Roderick A

    2009-02-01

    Bird song is a complex behavior that requires the coordination of several motor systems. Sound is produced in the syrinx and then modified by the upper vocal tract. Movements of the hyoid skeleton have been shown in the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) to be extensively involved in forming an oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity (OEC), which contributes a major resonance to the vocal tract transfer function. Here we report that a similar relationship exists between the volume of the OEC and the fundamental frequency in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) whose song, unlike that of the cardinal, consists of a series of almost constant frequency notes. Cineradiography of singing sparrows shows that the oropharyngeal cavity and cranial end of the esophagus expand abruptly at the start of each note and maintain a relatively constant volume until the end of the note. Computation of the vocal tract transfer function suggests a major resonance of the OEC follows the fundamental frequency, making sound transmission more efficient. The presence of similar prominent song-related vocal tract motor patterns in two Oscine families suggests that the active control of the vocal tract resonance by varying the volume of the OEC may be widespread in songbirds. PMID:19082607

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2008-01-01

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

  16. POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF A FOREST MANAGEMENT PLAN ON BACHMAN'S SPARROWS (AIMOPHILA AESTIVALIS): LINKING A SPATIALLY EXPLICIT MODEL WITH GIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    By combining a spatially explicit, individual-based population simulation model with a geographic information system, this study simulated the potential effects of a U.S. Forest management plan on the population dynamics of Bachman's Sparrow at the Savannah River Site, South Caro...

  17. Patterns of Seasonal Abundance and Social Segregation in Inland and Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrows in a Delaware Tidal Marsh

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Coastal Plain Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana nigrescens, CPSS) breeds in the coastal brackish marshes of the North American Mid-Atlantic States. During the non-breeding season, coastal brackish marshes are occupied by both this subspecies and two far more widespread inte...

  18. Strong Opinions Are No Substitute for Balanced Arguments: Comments on Cicchetti, Kaufman, and Sparrow's Critical Appraisal of PCB Cohort Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winneke, Gerhard; Walkowiak, Jens; Kramer, Ursula

    2004-01-01

    This paper comments on a critical review of cohort studies on PCB-related neurodevelopmental deficit in young children by D.V. Cicchetti, A.S. Kaufman, and S.S. Sparrow (CKS). Major points of criticism of CKS, namely alleged violation of statistical principles, presumed lack of clinical significance of findings, and alleged insufficient control of…

  19. 75 FR 353 - AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid-Atlantic Express, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-05

    ... Terminal and Pipeline Project December 29, 2009. The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission... natural gas (LNG) import terminal and natural gas pipeline proposed by AES Sparrows Point LNG, LLC and Mid... operation of the following LNG terminal and natural gas pipeline facilities: A ship unloading facility,...

  20. Seasonal influences on sleep and executive function in the migratory White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background We have previously shown that the White-crowned Sparrow (WCS) decreases sleep by 60% during a period of migratory restlessness relative to a non-migratory period when housed in a 12 h light: 12 h dark cycle. Despite this sleep reduction, accuracy of operant performance was not impaired, and in fact rates of responding were elevated during the migratory period, effects opposite to those routinely observed following enforced sleep deprivation. To determine whether the previously observed increases in operant responding were due to improved performance or to the effects of migration on activity level, here we assessed operant performance using a task in which optimal performance depends on the bird's ability to withhold a response for a fixed interval of time (differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate-behavior, or DRL); elevated response rates ultimately impair performance by decreasing access to food reward. To determine the influence of seasonal changes in day length on sleep and behavioral patterns, we recorded sleep and assessed operant performance across 4 distinct seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) under a changing photoperiod. Results Sleep amount changed in response to photoperiod in winter and summer, with longest sleep duration in the winter. Sleep duration in the spring and fall migratory periods were similar to what we previously reported, and were comparable to sleep duration observed in summer. The most striking difference in sleep during the migratory periods compared to non-migratory periods was the change from discrete day-night temporal organization to an almost complete temporal fragmentation of sleep. The birds' ability to perform on the DRL task was significantly impaired during both migratory periods, but optimal performance was sustained during the two non-migratory periods. Conclusions Birds showed dramatic changes in sleep duration across seasons, related to day length and migratory status. Migration was associated with changes

  1. Battery housing

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, N. G.

    1985-03-19

    The present invention comprises a battery housing suitable for holding a battery which may generate a dangerously high level of internal pressure. The housing includes a receptacle having a vent passage covered by a rupture disc, the rupture disc in turn covered by a diffuser head having a longitudinal bore therein extending from the rupture disc to a blind end, the bore being traversed by at least one lateral passage leading to the exterior of the housing. Upon reaching a predetermined internal pressure level, the rupture disc ruptures and vents the interior of the housing safely to the exterior through the lateral passage.

  2. Dynamic SPARROW Modeling of Nitrogen Flux with Climate and MODIS Vegetation Indices as Drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. A.; Brakebill, J.; Schwarz, G.; Alexander, R. B.; Hirsch, R. M.; Nolin, A. W.; Macauley, M.; Zhang, Q.; Shih, J.; Wang, W.; Sproles, E.

    2011-12-01

    SPARROW models are widely used to identify and quantify the sources of contaminants in watersheds and to predict their flux and concentration at specified locations downstream. Conventional SPARROW models are statistically calibrated and describe the average relationship between sources and stream conditions based on long-term water quality monitoring data and spatially-referenced explanatory information. But many watershed management issues stem from intra- and inter-annual changes in contaminant sources, hydrologic forcing, or other environmental conditions which cause a temporary imbalance between inputs and stream water quality. Dynamic behavior of the system relating to changes in watershed storage and processing then becomes important. In this study, we describe a dynamically calibrated SPARROW model of total nitrogen flux in the Potomac River Basin based on seasonal water quality and watershed input data for 80 monitoring stations over the period 2000 to 2008. One challenge in dynamic modeling of reactive nitrogen is obtaining frequently-reported, spatially-detailed input data on the phenology of agricultural production and terrestrial vegetation. In this NASA-funded research, we use the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and gross primary productivity data from the Terra Satellite-borne MODIS sensor to parameterize seasonal uptake and release of nitrogen. The spatial reference frame of the model is a 16,000-reach, 1:100,000-scale stream network, and the computational time step is seasonal. Precipitation and temperature data are from PRISM. The model formulation allows for separate storage compartments for nonpoint sources including fertilized cropland, pasture, urban land, and atmospheric deposition. Removal of nitrogen from watershed storage to stream channels and to "permanent" sinks (deep groundwater and the atmosphere) occur as parallel first-order processes. We use the model to explore an important issue in nutrient management in the Potomac and other

  3. Use of MODIS Vegetation Data in Dynamic SPARROW Modeling of Reactive Nitrogen Flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. A.; Brakebill, J.; Schwarz, G. E.; Nolin, A. W.; Shih, J.; Blomquist, J.; Alexander, R. B.; Macauley, M.

    2012-12-01

    SPARROW models are widely used to identify and quantify the sources of contaminants in watersheds and to predict their flux and concentration at specified locations downstream. Conventional SPARROW models are steady-state in form, and describe the average relationship between sources and stream conditions based on non-linear regression of long-term water quality monitoring data on spatially-referenced explanatory information. But many watershed management issues involve intra- and inter-annual changes in contaminant sources, hydrologic forcing, or other environmental conditions which cause a temporary imbalance between watershed inputs and outputs. Dynamic behavior of the system relating to changes in watershed storage and processing then becomes important. We describe the results of dynamic statistical calibration of a SPARROW model of total reactive nitrogen flux in the Potomac River Basin based on seasonal water quality and watershed explanatory data for 80 monitoring stations over the period 2000 to 2008. One challenge in dynamic modeling of reactive nitrogen is obtaining frequently-reported, spatially-detailed input data on the phenology of agricultural production and growth of other terrestrial vegetation. In this NASA-funded research, we use the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and gross primary productivity (GPP) data from the Terra Satellite-borne MODIS sensor to parameterize seasonal uptake and release of nitrogen. The spatial reference frame of the model is a 16,000-reach, 1:100,000-scale stream network, and the computational time step is seasonal. Precipitation and temperature data are from PRISM. The model describes transient storage and transport of nitrogen from multiple nonpoint sources including fertilized cropland, pasture, urban/suburban land, and atmospheric deposition. Removal of nitrogen from watershed storage to stream channels and to "permanent" sinks (deep groundwater and the atmosphere) occurs as parallel first-order processes. Point

  4. Seasonally-Dynamic SPARROW Modeling of Nitrogen Flux Using Earth Observation Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Brakebill, J. W.; Hoos, A. B.; Moore, R. B.; Shih, J.; Nolin, A. W.; Macauley, M.; Alexander, R. B.

    2013-12-01

    SPARROW models are widely used to identify and quantify the sources of contaminants in watersheds and to predict their flux and concentration at specified locations downstream. Conventional SPARROW models describe the average relationship between sources and stream conditions based on long-term water quality monitoring data and spatially-referenced explanatory information. But many watershed management issues stem from intra- and inter-annual changes in contaminant sources, hydrologic forcing, or other environmental conditions which cause a temporary imbalance between inputs and stream water quality. Dynamic behavior of the system relating to changes in watershed storage and processing then becomes important. In this study, we describe dynamically calibrated SPARROW models of total nitrogen flux in three sub-regional watersheds: the Potomac River Basin, Long Island Sound drainage, and coastal South Carolina drainage. The models are based on seasonal water quality and watershed input data for a total 170 monitoring stations for the period 2001 to 2008. Frequently-reported, spatially-detailed input data on the phenology of agricultural production, terrestrial vegetation growth, and snow melt are often challenging requirements of seasonal modeling of reactive nitrogen. In this NASA-funded research, we use Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), gross primary production and snow/ice cover data from MODIS to parameterize seasonal uptake and release of nitrogen from vegetation and snowpack. The spatial reference frames of the models are 1:100,000-scale stream networks, and the computational time steps are 0.25-year seasons. Precipitation and temperature data are from PRISM. The model formulation accounts for storage of nitrogen from nonpoint sources including fertilized cropland, pasture, urban land, and atmospheric deposition. Model calibration is by non-linear regression. Once calibrated, model source terms based on previous season export allow for recursive dynamic

  5. Clay Houses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pedro, Cathy

    2011-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a project designed for fourth-graders that involves making clay relief sculptures of houses. Knowing the clay houses will become a family heirloom makes this lesson even more worth the time. It takes three classes to plan and form the clay, and another two to underglaze and glaze the final products.

  6. Rental Housing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Association of Retired Persons, Washington, DC. Consumer Housing Information Service for Seniors.

    This is one of a series of booklets prepared as a resource for trained Housing Information Volunteers to provide impartial information to older people who have questions of concern about how to find safe, comfortable, affordable housing; how to cut household expenses or use their homes to earn extra income; home maintenance and home improvement;…

  7. AMERICAN HOUSING SURVEY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The American Housing Survey (AHS) collects data on the Nation's housing, including apartments, single-family homes, mobile homes, vacant housing units, household characteristics, income, housing and neighborhood quality, housing costs, equipment and fuels, size of housing unit, a...

  8. Gender identification of Grasshopper Sparrows comparing behavioral, morphological, and molecular techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ammer, F.K.; Wood, P.B.; McPherson, R.J.

    2008-01-01

    Correct gender identification in monomorphic species is often difficult especially if males and females do not display obvious behavioral and breeding differences. We compared gender specific morphology and behavior with recently developed DNA techniques for gender identification in the monomorphic Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Gender was ascertained with DNA in 213 individuals using the 2550F/2718R primer set and 3% agarose gel electrophoresis. Field observations using behavior and breeding characteristics to identify gender matched DNA analyses with 100% accuracy for adult males and females. Gender was identified with DNA for all captured juveniles that did not display gender specific traits or behaviors in the field. The molecular techniques used offered a high level of accuracy and may be useful in studies of dispersal mechanisms and winter assemblage composition in monomorphic species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory, and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. In a previous study, we discovered striking social complexity and stability in a wintering population of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) - individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. Here, we test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. We examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. We found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship. Relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower). Genetic networks based on relatedness do not correspond to the social networks, and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex), and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. PMID:26334186

  10. Modeling suspended sediment sources and transport in the Ishikari River Basin, Japan using SPARROW

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, W.; He, B.; Takara, K.; Luo, P.; Nover, D.; Hu, M.

    2014-10-01

    It is important to understand the mechanisms that control suspended sediment (SS) fate and transport in rivers as high suspended sediment loads have significant impacts on riverine hydroecology. In this study, the watershed model SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes) was applied to estimate the sources and transport of SS in surface waters of the Ishikari River Basin (14 330 km2), the largest watershed on Hokkaido Island, Japan. The final developed SPARROW model has four source variables (developing lands, forest lands, agricultural lands, and stream channels), three landscape delivery variables (slope, soil permeability, and precipitation), two in-stream loss coefficients including small stream (streams with drainage area < 200 km2), large stream, and reservoir attenuation. The model was calibrated using measurements of SS from 31 monitoring sites of mixed spatial data on topography, soils and stream hydrography. Calibration results explain approximately 95.96% (R2) of the spatial variability in the natural logarithm mean annual SS flux (kg km-2 yr-1) and display relatively small prediction errors at the 31 monitoring stations. Results show that developing-land is associated with the largest sediment yield at around 1006.27 kg km-2 yr-1, followed by agricultural-land (234.21 kg km-2 yr-1). Estimation of incremental yields shows that 35.11% comes from agricultural lands, 23.42% from forested lands, 22.91% from developing lands, and 18.56% from stream channels. The results of this study improve our understanding of sediments production and transportation in the Ishikari River Basin in general, which will benefit both the scientific and the management community in safeguarding water resources.

  11. Modeling suspended sediment sources and transport in the Ishikari River basin, Japan, using SPARROW

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, W. L.; He, B.; Takara, K.; Luo, P. P.; Nover, D.; Hu, M. C.

    2015-03-01

    It is important to understand the mechanisms that control the fate and transport of suspended sediment (SS) in rivers, because high suspended sediment loads have significant impacts on riverine hydroecology. In this study, the SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes) watershed model was applied to estimate the sources and transport of SS in surface waters of the Ishikari River basin (14 330 km2), the largest watershed in Hokkaido, Japan. The final developed SPARROW model has four source variables (developing lands, forest lands, agricultural lands, and stream channels), three landscape delivery variables (slope, soil permeability, and precipitation), two in-stream loss coefficients, including small streams (streams with drainage area < 200 km2) and large streams, and reservoir attenuation. The model was calibrated using measurements of SS from 31 monitoring sites of mixed spatial data on topography, soils and stream hydrography. Calibration results explain approximately 96% (R2) of the spatial variability in the natural logarithm mean annual SS flux (kg yr-1) and display relatively small prediction errors at the 31 monitoring stations. Results show that developing land is associated with the largest sediment yield at around 1006 kg km-2 yr-1, followed by agricultural land (234 kg km-2 yr-1). Estimation of incremental yields shows that 35% comes from agricultural lands, 23% from forested lands, 23% from developing lands, and 19% from stream channels. The results of this study improve our understanding of sediment production and transportation in the Ishikari River basin in general, which will benefit both the scientific and management communities in safeguarding water resources.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brakebill, J.W.; Terziotti, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United States. These regions correspond with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Major River Basin (MRB) study units 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 (Preston and others, 2009). MRB2, covers the South Atlantic-Gulf and Tennessee River basins. MRB3, covers the Great Lakes, Ohio, Upper Mississippi, and Souris-Red-Rainy River basins. MRB4, covers the Missouri River basins. MRB5, covers the Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River basins. MRB7, covers the Pacific Northwest River basins. The digital hydrologic network described here represents surface-water pathways (MRB_E2RF1) and associated catchments (MRB_E2RF1WS). It serves as the fundamental framework to spatially reference and summarize explanatory information supporting nutrient SPARROW models (Brakebill and others, 2011; Wieczorek and LaMotte, 2011). The principal geospatial dataset used to support this regional effort was based on an enhanced version of a 1:500,000 scale digital stream-reach network (ERF1_2) (Nolan et al., 2002). Enhancements included associating over 3,500 water-quality monitoring sites to the reach network, improving physical locations of stream reaches at or near monitoring locations, and generating drainage catchments based on 100m elevation data. A unique number (MRB_ID) identifies each reach as a single unit. This unique number is also shared by the catchment area drained by the reach, thus spatially linking the hydrologically connected streams and the respective drainage area characteristics. In addition, other relevant physical, environmental, and monitoring information can be associated to the common network and accessed using the unique identification number.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brakebill, J.W.; Terziotti, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    A digital hydrologic network was developed to support SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models within selected regions of the United States. These regions correspond with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program Major River Basin (MRB) study units 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 (Preston and others, 2009). MRB2, covers the South Atlantic-Gulf and Tennessee River basins. MRB3, covers the Great Lakes, Ohio, Upper Mississippi, and Souris-Red-Rainy River basins. MRB4, covers the Missouri River basins. MRB5, covers the Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River basins. MRB7, covers the Pacific Northwest River basins. The digital hydrologic network described here represents surface-water pathways (MRB_E2RF1) and associated catchments (MRB_E2RF1WS). It serves as the fundamental framework to spatially reference and summarize explanatory information supporting nutrient SPARROW models (Brakebill and others, 2011; Wieczorek and LaMotte, 2011). The principal geospatial dataset used to support this regional effort was based on an enhanced version of a 1:500,000 scale digital stream-reach network (ERF1_2) (Nolan et al., 2002). Enhancements included associating over 3,500 water-quality monitoring sites to the reach network, improving physical locations of stream reaches at or near monitoring locations, and generating drainage catchments based on 100m elevation data. A unique number (MRB_ID) identifies each reach as a single unit. This unique number is also shared by the catchment area drained by the reach, thus spatially linking the hydrologically connected streams and the respective drainage area characteristics. In addition, other relevant physical, environmental, and monitoring information can be associated to the common network and accessed using the unique identification number.

  14. Estimating the time to extinction in an island population of song sparrows.

    PubMed Central

    Saether, B E; Engen, S; Lande, R; Arcese, P; Smith, J N

    2000-01-01

    We estimated and modelled how uncertainties in stochastic population dynamics and biases in parameter estimates affect the accuracy of the projections of a small island population of song sparrows which was enumerated every spring for 24 years. The estimate of the density regulation in a theta-logistic model (theta = 1.09 suggests that the dynamics are nearly logistic, with specific growth rate r1 = 0.99 and carrying capacity K = 41.54. The song sparrow population was strongly influenced by demographic (ŝigma2(d) = 0.66) and environmental (ŝigma2(d) = 0.41) stochasticity. Bootstrap replicates of the different parameters revealed that the uncertainties in the estimates of the specific growth rate r1 and the density regulation theta were larger than the uncertainties in the environmental variance sigma2(e) and the carrying capacity K. We introduce the concept of the population prediction interval (PPI), which is a stochastic interval which includes the unknown population size with probability (1 - alpha). The width of the PPI increased rapidly with time because of uncertainties in the estimates of density regulation as well as demographic and environmental variance in the stochastic population dynamics. Accepting a 10% probability of extinction within 100 years, neglecting uncertainties in the parameters will lead to a 33% overestimation of the time it takes for the extinction barrier (population size X = 1) to be included into the PPI. This study shows that ignoring uncertainties in population dynamics produces a substantial underestimation of the extinction risk. PMID:10787168

  15. Infection and transmission of live recombinant Newcastle disease virus vaccines in Rock Pigeons, European House Sparrows, and Japanese Quail

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In China and Mexico, engineered recombinant Newcastle disease virus (rNDV) strains are used as live vaccines for the control of Newcastle disease and as vectors to express the avian influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) gene to control avian influenza in poultry. In this study, non-target species wer...

  16. Tech House

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The members of the Swain family- Dr. Charles "Bill" Swain, wife Elaine, daughter Carol, 17, son "Chuck", 12, and dog Susie have an interesting assignment. They are active participants in an important NASA research program involving the application of space-age technology to home construction. b' Transplanted Floridians, the Swains now reside in NASA's Tech House, loatedat Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. Their job is to use and help evaluate the variety of advanced technology systems in Tech House. A contemporary three-bedroom home, Tech House incorporates NASA technology, the latest commercial building techniques and other innovations, all designed to reduce energy and water consumption and to provide new levels of comfort, convenience, security and fire safety. Tech House equipment performed well in initial tests, but a house is not a home until it has people. That's where the Swains come in. NASA wants to see how the various systems work under actual living conditions, to confirm the effectiveness of the innovations or to determine necessary modifications for improvement. The Swains are occupying the house for a year, during which NASA engineers are computer monitoring the equipment and assembling a record of day-to-day performance. . Tech House is a laboratory rather than a mass production prototype, but its many benefits may influence home design and construction. In a period of sharply rising utility costs, widespread adoption of Tech House features could provide large-scale savings to homeowners and potentially enormous national benefit in resources conservation. Most innovations are aerospace spinoffs: Some of the equipment is now commercially available; other systems are expected to be in production within a few years. Around 1980, a Tech House-type of home could be built for $45-50,000 (1 976 dollars). It is estimated that the homeowner would save well over $20,000 (again 1976 dollars) in utility costs over the average mortgage span of 20 years.

  17. White House

    MedlinePlus

    ... Check out the most popular infographics and videos Photos View the photo of the day and other galleries Video Gallery ... your questions or your story with President Obama. Photo of the Day Explore the White House Photo ...

  18. House Rules.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hammel, Bette

    2001-01-01

    Discusses the "house" concept architectural design at Albert Lea High School (Minnesota) and how the design addresses the community's 21st Century educational goals. Photos and a floor plan are included. (GR)

  19. White-throated sparrows calibrate their magnetic compass by polarized light cues during both autumn and spring migration.

    PubMed

    Muheim, Rachel; Phillips, John B; Deutschlander, Mark E

    2009-11-01

    The interaction and hierarchy of celestial and magnetic compass cues used by migratory songbirds for orientation has long been the topic of an intense debate. We have previously shown that migratory Savannah sparrows, Passerculus sandwichensis, use polarized light cues near the horizon at sunrise and sunset to recalibrate their magnetic compass. Birds exposed to a +/-90 deg. shifted artificial polarization pattern at sunrise or sunset recalibrated their magnetic compass, but only when given full access to celestial cues, including polarized light cues near the horizon. In the current study, we carried out cue conflict experiments with white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, during both spring and autumn migration in a transition zone between the species' breeding and wintering areas on the south shore of Lake Ontario. We show that white-throated sparrows also recalibrate their magnetic compass by polarized light cues at sunrise and sunset. Sunrise exposure to an artificial polarization pattern shifted relative to the natural magnetic field or exposure to a shift of the magnetic field relative to the natural sky both led to recalibration of the magnetic compass, demonstrating that artificial polarizing filters do not create an anomalous, unnatural orientation response. Our results further indicate that there is no evidence for a difference in compass hierarchy between different phases of migration, confirming previous work showing that polarized light cues near the horizon at sunrise and sunset provide the primary calibration reference both in the beginning and at the end of migration. PMID:19837888

  20. Timing of feather molt related to date of spring migration in male white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis.

    PubMed

    Cristol, Daniel Aaron; Johnson, Karen Michelle; Jenkins, Kendell Daly; Hawley, Dana Michelle

    2014-12-01

    In migratory birds, the ability to depart wintering grounds at the appropriate time is an important determinant of fitness. Understanding the regulation of this timing will be essential for predicting whether timing of bird migration keeps up with global climate change. We examined whether the timing of the late-winter molt, in which white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) replace head and body feathers in advance of mating, may constrain the timing of northward migratory departure. In an observational study, we found a significant correlation between timing of molt and the date on which free-living male white-throated sparrows disappeared from our study site during migration. The following year, we tested whether experimentally manipulating molt date by advancing photoperiod during temporary captivity would subsequently advance disappearance date once the birds were released. Sparrows that were experimentally induced to molt early disappeared from the wintering site before controls. However, the captive control birds also molted and disappeared from the site earlier than free-living controls, suggesting that the diet during captivity had played a role. In the third winter we completed the study by advancing or delaying molt using only dietary manipulation. Together, these results show that the ability to molt early in spring is related to early disappearance from the wintering site. Early molt likely has carry-over effects on reproduction and the requirements of molt may prevent populations from adjusting migration timing in response to global climate change. PMID:25287905

  1. Neural responses to territorial challenge and nonsocial stress in male song sparrows: segregation, integration, and modulation by a vasopressin V1 antagonist.

    PubMed

    Goodson, James L; Evans, Andrew K

    2004-11-01

    The present experiments were conducted to determine (1) which basal forebrain regions and/or their peptidergic components are responsive to social challenge and nonsocial stress, and (2) the influence of an arginine vasopressin V(1) antagonist (AVPa) on these responses. Experiments were conducted in wild-caught male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were housed on seminatural territories (field-based flight cages). Subjects were each fitted with a chronic guide cannula directed at the lateral ventricle and exposed to one of five conditions before sacrifice and histochemistry: saline + simulated territorial intrusion (STI; consisting of song playback and presentation of a caged conspecific male), AVPa + STI, saline + empty cage, AVPa + empty cage, unhandled. Two tissue series were prepared and immunofluorescently double-labeled for ZENK (egr-1) protein and either arginine vasotocin (AVT; avian homologue of AVP) or corticotropin releasing factor (CRF). The results indicate that the neuronal populations that are sensitive to nonsocial stress (capture, handling and infusion) and STI are at least partially segregated. Increases in ZENK-immunoreactive (-ir) nuclei following handling and infusion were observed in a large number of areas, whereas neural responses that were specific to STI were more limited. However, multiple areas showed responses to both handling and STI. AVPa infusions significantly reduced or eliminated most experimental increases in ZENK-ir, suggesting a broad role for endogenous AVT in the modulation of baseline activity and/or stress responsivity, and a much more limited role in the specific response to social challenge. Particular attention is given to the numerous zones of the lateral septum (LS), which are differentially responsive to handling, STI, and V(1)-like receptor blockade. These data suggest that septal AVT modulates neural responses to general stressors, not social stimuli specifically. Thus, species differences in septal AVT

  2. Evaluation of Stream Loads Used to Calibrate a SPARROW Model for California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagalski, J. L.; Saleh, D.

    2012-12-01

    A SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes) Model is being developed for California. The model will be used to understand how Total Nitrogen (TN) and Total Phosphorus (TP) are transported from land to water from sources such as the atmosphere, fertilizer, soils, wastewater treatment facilities, etc., and relies on accurate calibration of mass loads obtained from water sampling at gauging stations in order to link mass at a location to upstream sources. Prior to input to the SPARROW model, the mass loads are calculated separately using a five-parameter log linear multi-regression model utilizing discharge, chemical measurements, time, and seasonal adjustments to obtain the best fit for the relationship of discharge and concentration. The gauging stations are situated in three ecological management zones as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: the Western Forested Mountains, the Central Valley, and the Xeric West. Load models for nitrogen have at times been shown to be positively biased when the form of TN is predominately nitrate. The regions under study have different sources of nitrogen, which will affect the form of TN transported. Some stream segments are natural settings (forested), while others are highly influenced by agriculture and urban (Central Valley) settings and others by arid climate (Xeric). These differences affect the form of TN transported (dissolved as nitrate or suspended in the form of organic nitrogen), and hence it is expected that the efficiency of the discharge-load model may not be uniform at all locations. Less than 10% of the TN is in the form of nitrate in streams of the western forested mountains, but about 30% is nitrate in the Central Valley and about 40% in the arid region. Model efficiency was evaluated using the Nash Sutcliffe (NS) equation, which examines the square of the residuals of modeled results and observed values after transforming the logarithm of loads back to the actual data

  3. First report of genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from wild birds in China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Si-Yang; Cong, Wei; Zhou, Peng; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Wu, Song-Ming; Xu, Min-Jun; Zou, Feng-Cai; Song, Hui-Qun; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2012-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important cosmopolitan opportunistic protozoan parasite, which threatens the health of human beings and animals. Genetic characterization of isolates from South America has revealed high genetic diversity. In contrast, isolates from North America and Europe were highly clonal, with 3 major lineages known as the Types I, II, and III. However, limited information on T. gondii genotypes has been reported in The People's Republic of China. Here we conducted a survey to determine genetic diversity of this parasite in wild birds of China. In total, tissues from breast muscle of 178 wild birds, including 98 common pheasants ( Phasianus colchicus ), 35 tree sparrows ( Passer montanus ), 22 house sparrows ( Passer domesticus ), 20 saxaul sparrows ( Passer ammodendri ), and 1 cinnamon sparrow ( Passer rutilans ), were tested for T. gondii infection, 4 of which 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, i.e., SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alternative SAG2, SAG3, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8, c29-2, and an apicoplast locus Apico. Of these, 3 isolates were genotyped with complete data for all loci, and 2 genotypes (Type I and Type II variant) were identified. This is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates from wild birds from different regions in China. The results suggest that the Type I and II variant strains are circulating in wild birds in China, and these birds are potential reservoirs for T. gondii transmission. PMID:22263675

  4. Housing Projects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmalz, Georgann

    1985-01-01

    Building specifications for birdhouses (nesting boxes) are given for 11 species (chickadee, titmouse, nuthatch, Carolina wren, house wren, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, flicker, bluebird, screech owl, and wood duck) including length, width, depth, entrance diameter, and height above the ground. Pointers for construction, materials, and…

  5. Inbreeding effects on immune response in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Elliott, Kyle H; Sampson, Laura; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    The consequences of inbreeding for host immunity to parasitic infection have broad implications for the evolutionary and dynamical impacts of parasites on populations where inbreeding occurs. To rigorously assess the magnitude and the prevalence of inbreeding effects on immunity, multiple components of host immune response should be related to inbreeding coefficient (f) in free-living individuals. We used a pedigreed, free-living population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to test whether individual responses to widely used experimental immune challenges varied consistently with f. The patagial swelling response to phytohaemagglutinin declined markedly with f in both females and males in both 2002 and 2003, although overall inbreeding depression was greater in males. The primary antibody response to tetanus toxoid declined with f in females but not in males in both 2004 and 2005. Primary antibody responses to diphtheria toxoid were low but tended to decline with f in 2004. Overall inbreeding depression did not solely reflect particularly strong immune responses in outbred offspring of immigrant–native pairings or weak responses in highly inbred individuals. These data indicate substantial and apparently sex-specific inbreeding effects on immune response, implying that inbred hosts may be relatively susceptible to parasitic infection to differing degrees in males and females. PMID:17254994

  6. Regulation of vernal migration in Gambel's white-crowned sparrows: Role of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Jonathan H; Furlow, J David; Wingfield, John C; Ramenofsky, Marilyn

    2016-08-01

    Appropriate timing of migratory behavior is critical for migrant species. For many temperate zone birds in the spring, lengthening photoperiod is the initial cue leading to morphological, physiological and behavior changes that are necessary for vernal migration and breeding. Strong evidence has emerged in recent years linking thyroid hormone signaling to the photoinduction of breeding in birds while more limited information suggest a potential role in the regulation of vernal migration in photoperiodic songbirds. Here we investigate the development and expression of the vernal migratory life history stage in captive Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) in a hypothyroidic state, induced by chemical inhibition of thyroid hormone production. To explore possible variations in the effects of the two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, we subsequently performed a thyroid inhibition coupled with replacement therapy. We found that chemical inhibition of thyroid hormones resulted in complete abolishment of mass gain, fattening, and muscle hypertrophy associated with migratory preparation as well as resulting in failure to display nocturnal restlessness behavior. Replacement of thyroxine rescued all of these elements to near control levels while triiodothyronine replacement displayed partial or delayed rescue. Our findings support thyroid hormones as being necessary for the expression of changes in morphology and physiology associated with migration as well as migratory behavior itself. PMID:27234300

  7. Regional cholinesterase activity in white-throated sparrow brain is differentially affected by acephate (Orthene?)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vyas, N.B.; Kuenzel, W.J.; Hill, E.F.; Romo, G.A.; Komaragiri, M.V.S.

    1996-01-01

    Effects of a 14-day dietary exposure to an organophosphorus pesticide, acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), were determined on cholinesterase activity in three regions (basal ganglia, hippocampus, and hypothalamus) of the white-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, brain. All three regions experienced depressed cholinesterase activity between 0.5-2 ppm acephate. The regions exhibited cholinesterase recovery at 2-16 ppm acephate; however, cholinesterase activity dropped and showed no recovery at higher dietary levels (>16 ppm acephate). Evidence indicates that the recovery is initiated by the magnitude of depression, not the duration. In general, as acephate concentration increased, differences in ChE activity among brain regions decreased. Three terms are introduced to describe ChE response to acephate exposure: (1) ChE resistance threshold, (2) ChE compensation threshold, and (3) ChE depression threshold. It is hypothesized that adverse effects to birds in the field may occur at pesticide exposure levels customarily considered negligible.

  8. Brain contrasts between migratory and nonmigratory North American lark sparrows (Chondestes grammacus).

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Roman; Bingman, Verner P; Ross, Jeremy D; Bernroider, Gustav

    2015-12-01

    The impact of evolving migratory behavior on brain organization in birds has been a foundational question in the emerging field of neuroecology. One generalization that seems to be approaching consensus is that migratory species/populations have smaller brain volumes than their nonmigratory comparison groups. The lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) is a North American species characterized by migratory and nonmigratory populations. Consistent with what has been observed in other species/population comparisons, we found that, relative to body weight, migratory females from Nebraska have smaller brain volumes than nonmigratory females from Texas. We also carried out an exploratory, higher-order analysis of possible differences in the volumes of a number of telencephalic subdivisions. Although our small sample size precluded statistical verification of any difference, noteworthy was that, although there seemed to be no indication of a difference in the relative hippocampal volume between the two populations, the migratory birds from Nebraska showed a clear trend toward a smaller nidopallium. The importance of higher-resolution, brain subdivisional analyses has been discussed. PMID:26426857

  9. Dramatic orientation shift of white-crowned sparrows displaced across longitudes in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Akesson, Susanne; Morin, Jens; Muheim, Rachel; Ottosson, Ulf

    2005-09-01

    Advanced spatial-learning adaptations have been shown for migratory songbirds, but it is not well known how the simple genetic program encoding migratory distance and direction in young birds translates to a navigation mechanism used by adults. A number of convenient cues are available to define latitude on the basis of geomagnetic and celestial information, but very few are useful to defining longitude. To investigate the effects of displacements across longitudes on orientation, we recorded orientation of adult and juvenile migratory white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, after passive longitudinal displacements, by ship, of 266-2862 km across high-arctic North America. After eastward displacement to the magnetic North Pole and then across the 0 degrees declination line, adults and juveniles abruptly shifted their orientation from the migratory direction to a direction that would lead back to the breeding area or to the normal migratory route, suggesting that the birds began compensating for the displacement by using geomagnetic cues alone or together with solar cues. In contrast to predictions by a simple genetic migration program, our experiments suggest that both adults and juveniles possess a navigation system based on a combination of celestial and geomagnetic information, possibly declination, to correct for eastward longitudinal displacements. PMID:16139216

  10. The determination of neutron energy spectrum in reactor core C1 of reactor VR-1 Sparrow

    SciTech Connect

    Vins, M.

    2008-07-15

    This contribution overviews neutron spectrum measurement, which was done on training reactor VR-1 Sparrow with a new nuclear fuel. Former nuclear fuel IRT-3M was changed for current nuclear fuel IRT-4M with lower enrichment of 235U (enrichment was reduced from former 36% to 20%) in terms of Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program. Neutron spectrum measurement was obtained by irradiation of activation foils at the end of pipe of rabit system and consecutive deconvolution of obtained saturated activities. Deconvolution was performed by computer iterative code SAND-II with 620 groups' structure. All gamma measurements were performed on Canberra HPGe. Activation foils were chosen according physical and nuclear parameters from the set of certificated foils. The Resulting differential flux at the end of pipe of rabit system agreed well with typical spectrum of light water reactor. Measurement of neutron spectrum has brought better knowledge about new reactor core C1 and improved methodology of activation measurement. (author)

  11. Local song elements indicate local genotypes and predict physiological condition in song sparrows Melospiza melodia.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kathryn A; MacDougall-Shackleton, Elizabeth A

    2008-06-23

    Geographical variation in birdsong is taxonomically widespread and behaviourally salient, with females often preferring local over non-local song. However, the benefits associated with this preference remain poorly understood. One potential explanation is that song may reflect a male's place of origin and thus allow females to obtain genes well adapted to the local environment. We studied naturally occurring variation in the degree to which the elements of a male's song repertoire matched those of the local population ('syllable sharing') in migratory song sparrows (Melospiza melodia melodia). Syllable sharing was correlated with genetic similarity to the local population, suggesting that song reflects population of origin. Males sharing more syllables also had larger testosterone-dependent traits, fewer blood-borne parasites and reduced indicators of stress. Our findings are consistent with locally good genes models. Alternatively, immigrants' condition may suffer due to unfamiliarity with the breeding site or inability to match song elements during territorial interactions. Females preferring 'local-sounding' males may thus obtain genetic and/or direct benefits for their offspring. PMID:18331976

  12. Nutrient Inputs to the Laurentian Great Lakes by Source and Watershed Estimated Using SPARROW Watershed Models.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Dale M; Saad, David A

    2011-10-01

    Nutrient input to the Laurentian Great Lakes continues to cause problems with eutrophication. To reduce the extent and severity of these problems, target nutrient loads were established and Total Maximum Daily Loads are being developed for many tributaries. Without detailed loading information it is difficult to determine if the targets are being met and how to prioritize rehabilitation efforts. To help address these issues, SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were developed for estimating loads and sources of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) from the United States (U.S.) portion of the Great Lakes, Upper Mississippi, Ohio, and Red River Basins. Results indicated that recent U.S. loadings to Lakes Michigan and Ontario are similar to those in the 1980s, whereas loadings to Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie decreased. Highest loads were from tributaries with the largest watersheds, whereas highest yields were from areas with intense agriculture and large point sources of nutrients. Tributaries were ranked based on their relative loads and yields to each lake. Input from agricultural areas was a significant source of nutrients, contributing ∼33-44% of the P and ∼33-58% of the N, except for areas around Superior with little agriculture. Point sources were also significant, contributing ∼14-44% of the P and 13-34% of the N. Watersheds around Lake Erie contributed nutrients at the highest rate (similar to intensively farmed areas in the Midwest) because they have the largest nutrient inputs and highest delivery ratio. PMID:22457580

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    How honest or reliable signaling can evolve and be maintained has been a major question in evolutionary biology. The question is especially puzzling for a particular class of signals used in aggressive interactions: threat signals. Here, we report a study on song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in which we assayed males with playbacks on their territories to quantify their aggressiveness (flights and close proximity) and aggressive signaling levels (rates of soft song, a close-range signal reliably predicting attack) and asked whether these traits affect individuals' survival on territory. We found that the effect of aggressive signaling via soft song interacted with aggressive behaviors such that there was a negative correlational selection: among males with low aggression, those males that signaled at higher levels (over-signalers) had higher survival whereas among males with high aggression those that signaled at low levels (under-signalers) survived longer. In other words, males that deviate from reliable signaling have a survival advantage. These results, along with previous research that suggested most of the deviation from reliable signaling in this system is in the form of under-signaling (high-aggression males signaling at low levels) pose a puzzle for future research on how this reliable signaling system is maintained. PMID:26573880

  14. Population Genetics of Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) Subspecies along the Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Woltmann, Stefan; Stouffer, Philip C.; Bergeon Burns, Christine M.; Woodrey, Mark S.; Cashner, Mollie F.; Taylor, Sabrina S.

    2014-01-01

    Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus maritimus) along the Gulf of Mexico are currently recognized as four subspecies, including taxa in Florida (A. m. juncicola and A. m. peninsulae) and southern Texas (Ammodramus m. sennetti), plus a widespread taxon between them (A. m. fisheri). We examined population genetic structure of this “Gulf Coast” clade using microsatellite and mtDNA data. Results of Bayesian analyses (Structure, GeneLand) of microsatellite data from nine locations do not entirely align with current subspecific taxonomy. Ammodramus m. sennetti from southern Texas is significantly differentiated from all other populations, but we found evidence of an admixture zone with A. m. fisheri near Corpus Christi. The two subspecies along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida are significantly differentiated from both A. m. sennetti and A. m. fisheri, but are not distinct from each other. We found a weak signal of isolation by distance within A. m. fisheri, indicating this population is not entirely panmictic throughout its range. Although continued conservation concern is warranted for all populations along the Gulf Coast, A. m. fisheri appears to be more secure than the far smaller populations in south Texas and the northern Florida Gulf Coast. In particular, the most genetically distinct populations, those in Texas south of Corpus Christi, occupy unique habitats within a very small geographic range. PMID:25412194

  15. Smart Houses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    GWS takes plans for a new home and subjects them to intensive computerized analysis that does 10,000 calculations relative to expected heat loss and heat gain, then provides specifications designed specifically for each structure as to heating, cooling, ventilation and insulation. As construction progresses, GWS inspects the work of the electrical, plumbing and insulation contractors and installs its own Smart House Radiant Barrier. On completion of the home, GWS technicians use a machine that creates a vacuum in the house and enables computer calculation of the air exchanged, a measure of energy efficiency. Key factor is the radiant barrier, borrowed from the Apollo program. This is an adaptation of a highly effective aluminized heat shield as a radiation barrier holding in or keeping out heat, cold air and water vapor.

  16. Estimating Summer Nutrient Concentrations in Northeastern Lakes from SPARROW Load Predictions and Modeled Lake Depth and Volume

    PubMed Central

    Milstead, W. Bryan; Hollister, Jeffrey W.; Moore, Richard B.; Walker, Henry A.

    2013-01-01

    Global nutrient cycles have been altered by the use of fossil fuels and fertilizers resulting in increases in nutrient loads to aquatic systems. In the United States, excess nutrients have been repeatedly reported as the primary cause of lake water quality impairments. Setting nutrient criteria that are protective of a lakes ecological condition is one common solution; however, the data required to do this are not always easily available. A useful solution for this is to combine available field data (i.e., The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) National Lake Assessment (NLA)) with average annual nutrient load models (i.e., USGS SPARROW model) to estimate summer concentrations across a large number of lakes. In this paper we use this combined approach and compare the observed total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TN) concentrations in Northeastern lakes from the 2007 National Lake Assessment to those predicted by the Northeast SPARROW model. We successfully adjusted the SPARROW predictions to the NLA observations with the use of Vollenweider equations, simple input-output models that predict nutrient concentrations in lakes based on nutrient loads and hydraulic residence time. This allows us to better predict summer concentrations of TN and TP in Northeastern lakes and ponds. On average we improved our predicted concentrations of TN and TP with Vollenweider models by 18.7% for nitrogen and 19.0% for phosphorus. These improved predictions are being used in other studies to model ecosystem services (e.g., aesthetics) and dis-services (e.g. cyanobacterial blooms) for ~18,000 lakes in the Northeastern United States. PMID:24260579

  17. Application of the SPARROW watershed model to describe nutrient sources and transport in the Missouri River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Juliane B.

    2011-01-01

    Spatially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models were developed to provide spatially explicit information on local and regional total nitrogen and total phosphorus sources and transport in the Missouri River Basin. Model results provide estimates of the relative contributions from various nutrient sources and delivery factors. The models also describe instream decay and reservoir and lake attenuation of nutrients. Results aid in the prioritization of nutrient-reduction strategies by identifying major sources and delivery factors contributing to instream nutrient loads and stream reaches carrying the largest nutrient loads in the Missouri River Basin.

  18. Comprehensive paternity assignment: genotype, spatial location and social status in song sparrows, Melospiza Melodia.

    PubMed

    Sardell, Rebecca J; Keller, Lukas F; Arcese, Peter; Bucher, Thomas; Reid, Jane M

    2010-10-01

    Comprehensive, accurate paternity assignment is critical to answering numerous questions in evolutionary ecology. Yet, most studies of species with extra-pair paternity (EPP) fail to assign sires to all offspring. Common limitations include incomplete and biased sampling of offspring and males, particularly with respect to male location and social status, potentially biasing estimated patterns of paternity. Studies that achieve comprehensive sampling and paternity assignment are therefore required. Accordingly, we genotyped virtually all males and >99% of 6-day-old offspring over 16 years in a song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) population and used three complementary statistical methodologies to attempt complete paternity assignment for all 2207 offspring. Assignments were highly consistent across maximum likelihood methods that used solely genotype data, and heuristic and integrated Bayesian analyses that included data describing individual locations. Sires were assigned to >99% of all genotyped offspring with ≥95% confidence, revealing an EPP rate of c. 28%. Extra-pair sires primarily occupied territories neighbouring their extra-pair offspring; spatial location was therefore highly informative for paternity assignment. EPP was biased towards paired territorial males, although unpaired territorial and floater males sired c. 13% of extra-pair offspring. Failing to sample and include unpaired males as candidate sires would therefore substantially reduce assignment rates. These analyses demonstrate the integration of genetic and ecological information to achieve comprehensive paternity assignment and direct biological insight, illustrate the potential biases that common forms of incomplete sampling could have on estimated patterns of EPP, and provide an essential basis for understanding the evolutionary causes and consequences of EPP. PMID:20819155

  19. Supplementary testosterone inhibits paternal care in a tropically breeding sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Sharon E; Prince, Leslie E; Schook, Derek M; Moore, Ignacio T

    2009-01-01

    In most male birds that exhibit paternal care, elevation in testosterone above the breeding baseline reduces nestling provisioning, which can be detrimental to offspring survival. Mechanisms that may allow some males to avoid this detrimental effect of elevated testosterone include (1) decreased sensitivity to testosterone's effects on behavior and (2) uncoupling of testosterone secretion from territorial challenges (thus reducing the number of transient elevations in testosterone above the breeding baseline). Both of these "cost-avoidance" mechanisms have been documented, but whether selection for these mechanisms is correlated or independent is unknown. We investigated the relationship between elevated testosterone and paternal care in a tropical bird, the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis). Zonotrichia capensis males exhibit an uncoupling of testosterone secretion from territorial aggression, and this species has a flexible breeding season and a clutch size smaller than those of temperate congeners. We implanted males with testosterone or empty implants and observed paternal behavior 2-3 and 6-7 d posthatch. During both observation periods, 100% of control males fed chicks, whereas 22% and 0% of testosterone-implanted males fed chicks on days 2-3 and 6-7, respectively. Chicks of testosterone-implanted males weighed less than control chicks, but tarsus growth, wing growth, and fledging success did not differ. Thus, we demonstrate a robust negative effect of testosterone on nestling provisioning that may not ultimately affect reproductive success. We suggest that these results relate to extreme flexibility in breeding schedule and the small clutch size in this tropical species. Our data also suggest that selection for the two mechanisms to avoid deleterious effects of elevations in testosterone above the breeding baseline likely occurs independently. PMID:19799502

  20. Prevalence of Bordetella bronchiseptica in certain central Iowa.

    PubMed

    Farrington, D O; Jorgenson, R D

    1976-10-01

    Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from 6 of 13 short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 1 of 47 house sparrows (Passer domesticus) trapped in the vicinity of a swine Bordetella rhinitis experimental area. The organism was found in four of 50 foxes (Vulpes fulva), 2 of 36 opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) and 1 of 37 raccoons (Procyon lotor) trapped in the Ames, Iowa area. This bacterium was not culturally isolated from 14 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), 64 house mice (Mus Musculus), 10 masked shrews (Sorex cinereus) and 54 starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). PMID:16502690

  1. Hamilton and Zuk meet heterozygosity? Song repertoire size indicates inbreeding and immunity in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia).

    PubMed

    Reid, Janem; Arcese, Peter; Cassidy, Alicel E V; Marr, Amyb; Smith, Jamesn M; Keller, Lukasf

    2005-03-01

    Hamilton and Zuk's influential hypothesis of parasite-mediated sexual selection proposes that exaggerated secondary sexual ornaments indicate a male's addictive genetic immunity to parasites. However, genetic correlated of ornaments and immunity have rarely been explicitly identified. Evidence supporting Hamilton and Zuk's hypothesis has instead been gathered by looking for positive phenotypic correlations between ornamentation and immunity; such correlations are assumed to reflect causal, addictive relationships between these traits. We show that in a song sparrows, Melospiza melodia, male's song repertoire size, a secondary sexual trait, increased with his cell-mediated immune response (CMI) to an experimental challenge. However, this phenotypic correlation could be explained because both repertoire size and CMI declined with a male's inbreeding level. Repertoire size therefore primarily indicated a male's relative heterozygosity, a non-addictive genetic predictor of immunity. Caution may therefore be required when interpreting phenotypic correlations as support for Hamilton and Zuk's addictive model of sexual selection. However, our results suggest that female song sparrows choosing with large repertoires would on average acquire more outbred and therefore more heterozygous mates. Such genetic dominance effects on ornamentation are likely to influence evolutionary trajectories of female choice, and should be explicitly incorporated into genetic models of sexual selection. PMID:15799943

  2. A Multi-Agency Nutrient Dataset Used to Estimate Loads, Improve Monitoring Design, and Calibrate Regional Nutrient SPARROW Models.

    PubMed

    Saad, David A; Schwarz, Gregory E; Robertson, Dale M; Booth, Nathaniel L

    2011-10-01

    Stream-loading information was compiled from federal, state, and local agencies, and selected universities as part of an effort to develop regional SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to help describe the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout much of the United States. After screening, 2,739 sites, sampled by 73 agencies, were identified as having suitable data for calculating long-term mean annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These sites had a wide range in nutrient concentrations, loads, and yields, and environmental characteristics in their basins. An analysis of the accuracy in load estimates relative to site attributes indicated that accuracy in loads improve with increases in the number of observations, the proportion of uncensored data, and the variability in flow on observation days, whereas accuracy declines with increases in the root mean square error of the water-quality model, the flow-bias ratio, the number of days between samples, the variability in daily streamflow for the prediction period, and if the load estimate has been detrended. Based on compiled data, all areas of the country had recent declines in the number of sites with sufficient water-quality data to compute accurate annual loads and support regional modeling analyses. These declines were caused by decreases in the number of sites being sampled and data not being entered in readily accessible databases. PMID:22457576

  3. Typical versions of learned swamp sparrow song types are more effective signals than are less typical versions

    PubMed Central

    Lachlan, R. F.; Anderson, R. C.; Peters, S.; Searcy, W. A.; Nowicki, S.

    2014-01-01

    The learned songs of songbirds often cluster into population-wide types. Here, we test the hypothesis that male and female receivers respond differently to songs depending on how typical of those types they are. We used computational methods to cluster a large sample of swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana) songs into types and to estimate the degree to which individual song exemplars are typical of these types. We then played exemplars to male and female receivers. Territorial males responded more aggressively and captive females performed more sexual displays in response to songs that are highly typical than to songs that are less typical. Previous studies have demonstrated that songbirds distinguish song types that are typical for their species, or for their population, from those that are not. Our results show that swamp sparrows also discriminate typical from less typical exemplars within learned song-type categories. In addition, our results suggest that more typical versions of song types function better, at least in male–female communication. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that syllable type typicality serves as a proxy for the assessment of song learning accuracy. PMID:24807252

  4. Application of the SPARROW model to assess surface-water nutrient conditions and sources in the United States Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wise, Daniel R.; Johnson, Henry M.

    2013-01-01

    The watershed model SPARROW (Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed attributes) was used to estimate mean annual surface-water nutrient conditions (total nitrogen and total phosphorus) and to identify important nutrient sources in catchments of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States for 2002. Model-estimated nutrient yields were generally higher in catchments on the wetter, western side of the Cascade Range than in catchments on the drier, eastern side. The largest source of locally generated total nitrogen stream load in most catchments was runoff from forestland, whereas the largest source of locally generated total phosphorus stream load in most catchments was either geologic material or livestock manure (primarily from grazing livestock). However, the highest total nitrogen and total phosphorus yields were predicted in the relatively small number of catchments where urban sources were the largest contributor to local stream load. Two examples are presented that show how SPARROW results can be applied to large rivers—the relative contribution of different nutrient sources to the total nitrogen load in the Willamette River and the total phosphorus load in the Snake River. The results from this study provided an understanding of the regional patterns in surface-water nutrient conditions and should be useful to researchers and water-quality managers performing local nutrient assessments.

  5. Factors affecting stream nutrient loads: A synthesis of regional SPARROW model results for the continental United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Stephen D.; Alexander, Richard B.; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Crawford, Charles G.

    2011-01-01

    We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models - 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus - all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. A multi-agency sutrient dataset used to estimate loads, improve monitoring design, and calibrate regional sutrient SPARROW models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saad, David A.; Schwarz, Gregory; Robertson, Dale M.; Booth, Nathaniel

    2011-01-01

    Stream-loading information was compiled from federal, state, and local agencies, and selected universities as part of an effort to develop regional SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to help describe the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout much of the United States. After screening, 2,739 sites, sampled by 73 agencies, were identified as having suitable data for calculating long-term mean annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These sites had a wide range in nutrient concentrations, loads, and yields, and environmental characteristics in their basins. An analysis of the accuracy in load estimates relative to site attributes indicated that accuracy in loads improve with increases in the number of observations, the proportion of uncensored data, and the variability in flow on observation days, whereas accuracy declines with increases in the root mean square error of the water-quality model, the flow-bias ratio, the number of days between samples, the variability in daily streamflow for the prediction period, and if the load estimate has been detrended. Based on compiled data, all areas of the country had recent declines in the number of sites with sufficient water-quality data to compute accurate annual loads and support regional modeling analyses. These declines were caused by decreases in the number of sites being sampled and data not being entered in readily accessible databases.

  7. A Multi-Agency Nutrient Dataset Used to Estimate Loads, Improve Monitoring Design, and Calibrate Regional Nutrient SPARROW Models1

    PubMed Central

    Saad, David A; Schwarz, Gregory E; Robertson, Dale M; Booth, Nathaniel L

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Stream-loading information was compiled from federal, state, and local agencies, and selected universities as part of an effort to develop regional SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to help describe the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout much of the United States. After screening, 2,739 sites, sampled by 73 agencies, were identified as having suitable data for calculating long-term mean annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These sites had a wide range in nutrient concentrations, loads, and yields, and environmental characteristics in their basins. An analysis of the accuracy in load estimates relative to site attributes indicated that accuracy in loads improve with increases in the number of observations, the proportion of uncensored data, and the variability in flow on observation days, whereas accuracy declines with increases in the root mean square error of the water-quality model, the flow-bias ratio, the number of days between samples, the variability in daily streamflow for the prediction period, and if the load estimate has been detrended. Based on compiled data, all areas of the country had recent declines in the number of sites with sufficient water-quality data to compute accurate annual loads and support regional modeling analyses. These declines were caused by decreases in the number of sites being sampled and data not being entered in readily accessible databases. PMID:22457576

  8. Female, but not male, tropical sparrows respond more strongly to the local song dialect: implications for population divergence.

    PubMed

    Danner, Julie E; Danner, Raymond M; Bonier, Frances; Martin, Paul R; Small, Thomas W; Moore, Ignacio T

    2011-07-01

    In addition to the observed high diversity of species in the tropics, divergence among populations of the same species exists over short geographic distances in both phenotypic traits and neutral genetic markers. Divergence among populations suggests great potential for the evolution of reproductive isolation and eventual speciation. In birds, song can evolve quickly through cultural transmission and result in regional dialects, which can be a critical component of reproductive isolation through variation in female preference. We examined female and male behavioral responses to local and nonlocal dialects in two allopatric populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Here we show that female sparrows prefer their natal song dialect to the dialect of an allopatric population that is just 25 km away and separated by an unsuitable higher-elevation habitat (pass of 4,200 m), thus providing evidence of prezygotic reproductive isolation among populations. Males showed similar territorial responses to all conspecific dialects with no consistent difference with respect to distance, making male territoriality uninformative for estimating reproductive isolation. This study provides novel evidence for culturally based prezygotic isolation over very short distances in a tropical bird. PMID:21670577

  9. Factors Affecting Stream Nutrient Loads: A Synthesis of Regional SPARROW Model Results for the Continental United States1

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Stephen D; Alexander, Richard B; Schwarz, Gregory E; Crawford, Charles G

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models – 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus – all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. PMID:22457574

  10. Science & education: Genetic analysis of winter social structure and social traits in a migratory sparrow & teaching argumentation in STEM education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnberg, Nina N.

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. A previous study detected striking social complexity and stability in wintering populations of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla)---individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. In chapter one I test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. I examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. I found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship---relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower) and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex) and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. Although the complex social structure detected in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not predicted by kinship, genetic variation may play a role in variation of winter social traits. In chapter two, I investigate the genetic causes of variation in fitness-related traits in a winter population of golden-crowned sparrows. Individuals show great variation in morphological and behavioral traits that may play

  11. Distribution and extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia), upper Santa Cruz River watershed, southern Arizona, 2011-12

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lester, Michael B.; van Riper, Charles, III

    2014-01-01

    Riparian ecosystems in arid environments provide critical habitat for breeding, migratory, and wintering birds, yet are often at risk of contamination by heavy metals. Birds and other animals living in contaminated areas are susceptible to adverse health effects as a result of long-term exposure and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. We investigated the distribution and cascading extent of heavy metal accumulation in Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) in Arizona’s upper Santa Cruz River watershed. This study had three goals: (1) quantify the degree of heavy metal accumulation in sparrows and determine the distributional patterns among study sites, (2) compare concentrations of metals found in this study to those found in studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade, and (3) assess sparrow condition among sites with differing potential sources of contamination exposure. We examined six study sites that reflected different potential sources of contamination. Hematocrit values, body mass residuals, and leukocyte counts were used to assess sparrow condition. Cadmium, copper, mercury, nickel, and selenium exceeded background concentrations at some sites, but generally were lower than or similar to concentrations found in earlier studies performed prior to the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Concentrations were higher in recaptured birds in 2012 than in 2011 for 7 metals in feathers and 14 metals in blood, suggesting possible bioaccumulation. We found no cascading effects as a result of heavy metal exposure, but did find that heavy metal concentrations were reduced following the 2009 international wastewater treatment plant upgrade.

  12. Supersonic aerodynamic characteristics of a Sparrow 3 type missile model with wing controls and comparison with existing tail-control results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monta, W. J.

    1977-01-01

    An experimental investigation was conducted on a model of a wing control version of the Sparrow III type missile to determine the static aerodynamic characteristics over an angle of attack range from 0 deg to 40 deg for Mach numbers from 1.50 to 4.60.

  13. Susceptibility and antibody response of Vesper Sparrows (Pooecetes gramineus) to West Nile virus: A potential amplification host in sagebrush-grassland habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J. Christian

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV.

  14. Adaptation to Ephemeral Habitat May Overcome Natural Barriers and Severe Habitat Fragmentation in a Fire-Dependent Species, the Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis)

    PubMed Central

    Cerame, Blain; Cox, James A.; Brumfield, Robb T.; Tucker, James W.; Taylor, Sabrina S.

    2014-01-01

    Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a fire-dependent species that has undergone range-wide population declines in recent decades. We examined genetic diversity in Bachman's Sparrows to determine whether natural barriers have led to distinct population units and to assess the effect of anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation. Genetic diversity was examined across the geographic range by genotyping 226 individuals at 18 microsatellite loci and sequencing 48 individuals at mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Multiple analyses consistently demonstrated little genetic structure and high levels of genetic variation, suggesting that populations are panmictic. Based on these genetic data, separate management units/subspecies designations or translocations to promote gene flow among fragmented populations do not appear to be necessary. Panmixia in Bachman's Sparrow may be a consequence of an historical range expansion and retraction. Alternatively, high vagility in Bachman's Sparrow may be an adaptation to the ephemeral, fire-mediated habitat that this species prefers. In recent times, high vagility also appears to have offset inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in highly fragmented habitat. PMID:25180939

  15. SUSCEPTIBILITY AND ANTIBODY RESPONSE OF VESPER SPARROWS (POOECETES GRAMINEUS) TO WEST NILE VIRUS: A POTENTIAL AMPLIFICATION HOST IN SAGEBRUSH-GRASSLAND HABITAT.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Erik K; Dusek, Robert J; Fassbinder-Orth, Carol; Owen, Benjamin; Franson, J Christian

    2016-04-28

    West Nile virus (WNV) spread to the US western plains states in 2003, when a significant mortality event attributed to WNV occurred in Greater Sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ). The role of avian species inhabiting sagebrush in the amplification of WNV in arid and semiarid regions of the North America is unknown. We conducted an experimental WNV challenge study in Vesper Sparrows ( Pooecetes gramineus ), a species common to sagebrush and grassland habitats found throughout much of North America. We found Vesper Sparrows to be moderately susceptible to WNV, developing viremia considered sufficient to transmit WNV to feeding mosquitoes, but the majority of birds were capable of surviving infection and developing a humoral immune response to the WNV nonstructural 1 and envelope proteins. Despite clearance of viremia, after 6 mo, WNV was detected molecularly in three birds and cultured from one bird. Surviving Vesper Sparrows were resistant to reinfection 6 mo after the initial challenge. Vesper sparrows could play a role in the amplification of WNV in sagebrush habitat and other areas of their range, but rapid clearance of WNV may limit their importance as competent amplification hosts of WNV. PMID:26981692

  16. Faculty Housing Assistance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fink, Ira

    1982-01-01

    Some of the creative financing programs currently used to provide faculty housing assistance in California and elsewhere in the United States are described. Generally, the programs fall into one of four categories: rental housing, owner housing, mortgage assistance, and housing stipends. Institutions with a comprehensive housing program often have…

  17. Housing the Elderly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodward, Anne

    1982-01-01

    Innovative housing designs are needed for the growing number of elderly Americans who suffer because of the limited living options provided by inflexible housing. Creative alternatives include double houses, shared living, intergenerational housing, and adaptable houses. Long-term planning is needed to construct an attractive environment that does…

  18. Use of MODIS Data in Dynamic SPARROW Analysis of Watershed Loading Reductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, R. A.; Schwarz, G. E.; Brakebill, J. W.; Hoos, A.; Moore, R. B.; Nolin, A. W.; Shih, J. S.; Journey, C. A.; Macauley, M.

    2014-12-01

    Predicting the temporal response of stream water quality to a proposed reduction in contaminant loading is a major watershed management problem due to temporary storage of contaminants in groundwater, vegetation, snowpack, etc. We describe the response of dynamically calibrated SPARROW models of total nitrogen (TN) flux to hypothetical reductions in reactive nitrogen inputs in three sub-regional watersheds: Potomac River Basin (Chesapeake Bay drainage), Long Island Sound drainage, and South Carolina coastal drainage. The models are based on seasonal water quality and watershed input data from 170 monitoring stations for the period 2002 to 2008.The spatial reference frames of the three models are stream networks containing an average 38,000 catchments and the time step is seasonal. We use MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and snow/ice cover data to parameterize seasonal uptake and release of nitrogen from vegetation and snowpack. The model accounts for storage of total nitrogen inputs from fertilized cropland, pasture, urban land, and atmospheric deposition. Model calibration is by non-linear regression. Model source terms based on previous season export allow for recursive simulation of stream flux and can be used to estimate the approximate residence times of TN in the watersheds. Catchment residence times in the Long Island Sound Basin are shorter (typically < 1 year) than in the Potomac or South Carolina Basins (typically > 1 year), in part, because a significant fraction of nitrogen flux derives from snowmelt and occurs within one season of snowfall. We use the calibrated models to examine the response of TN flux to hypothetical step reductions in source inputs at the beginning of the 2002-2008 period and the influence of observed fluctuations in precipitation, temperature, vegetation growth and snow melt over the period. Following non-point source reductions of up to 100%, stream flux was found to continue to vary greatly for several years as a function of

  19. Avian Hosts of West Nile Virus in Arizona

    PubMed Central

    Komar, Nicholas; Panella, Nicholas A.; Young, Ginger R.; Brault, Aaron C.; Levy, Craig E.

    2013-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) causes sporadic outbreaks of human encephalitis in Phoenix, Arizona. To identify amplifying hosts of WNV in the Phoenix area, we blood-sampled resident birds and measured antibody prevalence following an outbreak in the East Valley of metropolitan Phoenix during summer, 2010. House sparrow (Passer domesticus), house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus), great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus), and mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) accounted for most WNV infections among locally resident birds. These species roost communally after early summer breeding. In September 2010, Culex vector-avian host contact was 3-fold greater at communal bird roosts compared with control sites, as determined by densities of resting mosquitoes with previous vertebrate contact (i.e., blood-engorged or gravid mosquitoes). Because of the low competence of mourning doves, these were considered weak amplifiers but potentially effective free-ranging sentinels. Highly competent sparrows, finches, and grackles were predicted to be key amplifying hosts for WNV in suburban Phoenix. PMID:23857022

  20. Proximity to a high traffic road: glucocorticoid and life history consequences for nestling white-crowned sparrows.

    PubMed

    Crino, O L; Van Oorschot, B Klaassen; Johnson, E E; Malisch, J L; Breuner, C W

    2011-09-01

    Roads have been associated with decreased reproductive success and biodiversity in avian communities and increased physiological stress in adult birds. Alternatively, roads may also increase food availability and reduce predator pressure. Previous studies have focused on adult birds, but nestlings may also be susceptible to the detrimental impacts of roads. We examined the effects of proximity to a road on nestling glucocorticoid activity and growth in the mountain white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha). Additionally, we examined several possible indirect factors that may influence nestling corticosterone (CORT) activity secretion in relation to roads. These indirect effects include parental CORT activity, nest-site characteristics, and parental provisioning. And finally, we assessed possible fitness consequences of roads through measures of fledging success. Nestlings near roads had increased CORT activity, elevated at both baseline and stress-induced levels. Surprisingly, these nestlings were also bigger. Generally, greater corticosterone activity is associated with reduced growth. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis matures through the nestling period (as nestlings get larger, HPA-activation is greater). Although much of the variance in CORT responses was explained by body size, nestling CORT responses were higher close to roads after controlling for developmental differences. Indirect effects of roads may be mediated through paternal care. Nestling CORT responses were correlated with paternal CORT responses and paternal provisioning increased near roads. Hence, nestlings near roads may be larger due to increased paternal attentiveness. And finally, nest predation was higher for nests close to the road. Roads have apparent costs for white-crowned sparrow nestlings--increased predation, and apparent benefits--increased size. The elevation in CORT activity seems to reflect both increased size (benefit) and elevation due to road

  1. The Songbird as a Percussionist: Syntactic Rules for Non-Vocal Sound and Song Production in Java Sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Soma, Masayo; Mori, Chihiro

    2015-01-01

    Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora), a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication. PMID:25992841

  2. Using Nocturnal Flight Calls to Assess the Fall Migration of Warblers and Sparrows along a Coastal Ecological Barrier

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Adam D.; Paton, Peter W. C.; McWilliams, Scott R.

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric conditions fundamentally influence the timing, intensity, energetics, and geography of avian migration. While radar is typically used to infer the influence of weather on the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of nocturnal bird migration, monitoring the flight calls produced by many bird species during nocturnal migration represents an alternative methodology and provides information regarding the species composition of nocturnal migration. We used nocturnal flight call (NFC) recordings of at least 22 migratory songbirds (14 warbler and 8 sparrow species) during fall migration from eight sites along the mainland and island coasts of Rhode Island to evaluate five hypotheses regarding NFC detections. Patterns of warbler and sparrow NFC detections largely supported our expectations in that (1) NFC detections associated positively and strongly with wind conditions that influence the intensity of coastal bird migration and negatively with regional precipitation; (2) NFCs increased during conditions with reduced visibility (e.g., high cloud cover); (3) NFCs decreased with higher wind speeds, presumably due mostly to increased ambient noise; and (4) coastal mainland sites recorded five to nine times more NFCs, on average, than coastal nearshore or offshore island sites. However, we found little evidence that (5) nightly or intra-night patterns of NFCs reflected the well-documented latitudinal patterns of migrant abundance on an offshore island. Despite some potential complications in inferring migration intensity and species composition from NFC data, the acoustic monitoring of NFCs provides a viable and complementary methodology for exploring the spatiotemporal patterns of songbird migration as well as evaluating the atmospheric conditions that shape these patterns. PMID:24643060

  3. Variation in preen oil composition pertaining to season, sex, and genotype in the polymorphic white-throated sparrow.

    PubMed

    Tuttle, Elaina M; Sebastian, Peter J; Posto, Amanda L; Soini, Helena A; Novotny, Milos V; Gonser, Rusty A

    2014-09-01

    Evidence for the the ability of birds to detect olfactory signals is now well documented, yet it remains unclear whether birds secrete chemicals that can be used as social cues. A potential source of chemical cues in birds is the secretion from the uropygial gland, or preen gland, which is thought to waterproof, maintain, and protect feathers from ectoparasites. However, it is possible that preen oil also may be used for individual recognition, mate choice, and signalling social/sexual status. If preen oil secretions can be used as socio-olfactory signals, we should be able to identify the volatile components that could make the secretions more detectable, determine the seasonality of these secretions, and determine whether olfactory signals differ among relevant social groups. We examined the seasonal differences in volatile compounds of the preen oil of captive white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis. This species is polymorphic and has genetically determined morphs that occur in both sexes. Mating is almost exclusively disassortative with respect to morph, suggesting strong mate choice. By sampling the preen oil from captive birds in breeding and non-breeding conditions, we identified candidate chemical signals that varied according to season, sex, morph, and species. Linear alcohols with a 10-18 carbon chains, as well as methyl ketones and carboxylic acids, were the most abundant volatile compounds. Both the variety and abundances of some of these compounds were different between the sexes and morphs, with one morph secreting more volatile compounds in the non-breeding season than the other. In addition, 12 compounds were seasonally elevated in amount, and were secreted in high amounts in males. Finally, we found that preen oil signatures tended to be species-specific, with white-throated sparrows differing from the closely related Junco in the abundances and/or prevalence of at least three compounds. Our data suggest roles for preen oil secretions and

  4. A Multi-Agency Nutrient Dataset Used to Estimate Loads, Improve Monitoring Design, and Calibrate Regional Nutrient SPARROW Models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saad, D.A.; Schwarz, G.E.; Robertson, D.M.; Booth, N.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stream-loading information was compiled from federal, state, and local agencies, and selected universities as part of an effort to develop regional SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) models to help describe the distribution, sources, and transport of nutrients in streams throughout much of the United States. After screening, 2,739 sites, sampled by 73 agencies, were identified as having suitable data for calculating long-term mean annual nutrient loads required for SPARROW model calibration. These sites had a wide range in nutrient concentrations, loads, and yields, and environmental characteristics in their basins. An analysis of the accuracy in load estimates relative to site attributes indicated that accuracy in loads improve with increases in the number of observations, the proportion of uncensored data, and the variability in flow on observation days, whereas accuracy declines with increases in the root mean square error of the water-quality model, the flow-bias ratio, the number of days between samples, the variability in daily streamflow for the prediction period, and if the load estimate has been detrended. Based on compiled data, all areas of the country had recent declines in the number of sites with sufficient water-quality data to compute accurate annual loads and support regional modeling analyses. These declines were caused by decreases in the number of sites being sampled and data not being entered in readily accessible databases. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Song Competition Affects Monoamine Levels in Sensory and Motor Forebrain Regions of Male Lincoln's Sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii)

    PubMed Central

    Sewall, Kendra B.; Caro, Samuel P.; Sockman, Keith W.

    2013-01-01

    Male animals often change their behavior in response to the level of competition for mates. Male Lincoln's sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii) modulate their competitive singing over the period of a week as a function of the level of challenge associated with competitors' songs. Differences in song challenge and associated shifts in competitive state should be accompanied by neural changes, potentially in regions that regulate perception and song production. The monoamines mediate neural plasticity in response to environmental cues to achieve shifts in behavioral state. Therefore, using high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, we compared levels of monoamines and their metabolites from male Lincoln's sparrows exposed to songs categorized as more or less challenging. We compared levels of norepinephrine and its principal metabolite in two perceptual regions of the auditory telencephalon, the caudomedial nidopallium and the caudomedial mesopallium (CMM), because this chemical is implicated in modulating auditory sensitivity to song. We also measured the levels of dopamine and its principal metabolite in two song control nuclei, area X and the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), because dopamine is implicated in regulating song output. We measured the levels of serotonin and its principal metabolite in all four brain regions because this monoamine is implicated in perception and behavioral output and is found throughout the avian forebrain. After controlling for recent singing, we found that males exposed to more challenging song had higher levels of norepinephrine metabolite in the CMM and lower levels of serotonin in the RA. Collectively, these findings are consistent with norepinephrine in perceptual brain regions and serotonin in song control regions contributing to neuroplasticity that underlies socially-induced changes in behavioral state. PMID:23555809

  6. Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function associated with captivity in Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii).

    PubMed

    Romero, L M; Wingfield, J C

    1999-01-01

    Gambel's white-crowned sparrows were captured and brought into captivity in order to study seasonal changes in the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in captive birds. 30 min of restraint elicited a rise in corticosterone titers that varied depending upon the season and physiological state of the birds. Restraint elevated corticosterone titers significantly more during the fall (within 2 weeks of capture from the wild) than during either the winter or during a prealternate or prebasic molt. We also examined what changes in the HPA axis could account for altered corticosterone levels. Exogenous ACTH significantly elevated corticosterone levels beyond the response to restraint during the fall, indicating a dramatic enhancement of the adrenal's ability to secrete corticosterone. Exogenous ACTH was ineffective at other times, suggesting that the adrenal's ability to release corticosterone often limits circulating levels. We further inferred the pituitary's ACTH secretory ability by injecting exogenous corticotrophin-releasing factor, arginine vasotocin, and mesotocin and measuring corticosterone release. Pituitaries failed to respond to any exogenous releasing factor during the fall, suggesting that the pituitary may be the site in the HPA axis regulating corticosterone release at this time. When compared to wild-caught birds, these results suggest that captivity alters both adrenal and pituitary function during restraint in white-crowned sparrows, and that this change depends upon the season and/or physiological state of the animal. Captivity thus appears to have a profound affect on the function of the HPA axis, and these results reiterate the caution that must be used to extrapolate laboratory data to field conditions. PMID:10327590

  7. Using nocturnal flight calls to assess the fall migration of warblers and sparrows along a coastal ecological barrier.

    PubMed

    Smith, Adam D; Paton, Peter W C; McWilliams, Scott R

    2014-01-01

    Atmospheric conditions fundamentally influence the timing, intensity, energetics, and geography of avian migration. While radar is typically used to infer the influence of weather on the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of nocturnal bird migration, monitoring the flight calls produced by many bird species during nocturnal migration represents an alternative methodology and provides information regarding the species composition of nocturnal migration. We used nocturnal flight call (NFC) recordings of at least 22 migratory songbirds (14 warbler and 8 sparrow species) during fall migration from eight sites along the mainland and island coasts of Rhode Island to evaluate five hypotheses regarding NFC detections. Patterns of warbler and sparrow NFC detections largely supported our expectations in that (1) NFC detections associated positively and strongly with wind conditions that influence the intensity of coastal bird migration and negatively with regional precipitation; (2) NFCs increased during conditions with reduced visibility (e.g., high cloud cover); (3) NFCs decreased with higher wind speeds, presumably due mostly to increased ambient noise; and (4) coastal mainland sites recorded five to nine times more NFCs, on average, than coastal nearshore or offshore island sites. However, we found little evidence that (5) nightly or intra-night patterns of NFCs reflected the well-documented latitudinal patterns of migrant abundance on an offshore island. Despite some potential complications in inferring migration intensity and species composition from NFC data, the acoustic monitoring of NFCs provides a viable and complementary methodology for exploring the spatiotemporal patterns of songbird migration as well as evaluating the atmospheric conditions that shape these patterns. PMID:24643060

  8. Housing, Design, and Furnishings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock. Home Economics Curriculum Center.

    This document contains teacher's materials for a six-unit secondary education vocational home economics course on housing, design, and furnishings. The units cover: (1) the societal aspects of housing (including the relationship between housing and the economy, population trends, and culture-related housing characteristics); (2) family housing…

  9. 24 CFR 982.609 - Congregate housing: Housing quality standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Congregate housing: Housing quality standards. 982.609 Section 982.609 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING TO HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (CONTINUED) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTION...

  10. 24 CFR 982.618 - Shared housing: Housing quality standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Shared housing: Housing quality standards. 982.618 Section 982.618 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING TO HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (CONTINUED) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTION 8...

  11. 24 CFR 982.618 - Shared housing: Housing quality standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Shared housing: Housing quality standards. 982.618 Section 982.618 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING TO HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (CONTINUED) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTION 8...

  12. 24 CFR 982.618 - Shared housing: Housing quality standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Shared housing: Housing quality standards. 982.618 Section 982.618 Housing and Urban Development REGULATIONS RELATING TO HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (CONTINUED) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTION...

  13. 24 CFR 982.618 - Shared housing: Housing quality standards.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 24 Housing and Urban Development 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Shared housing: Housing quality standards. 982.618 Section 982.618 Housing and Urban Development Regulations Relating to Housing and Urban Development (Continued) OFFICE OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECTION 8...

  14. Definition of squatter housing.

    PubMed

    Gedik, A

    1993-01-01

    One of the most critical urban problems of developing countries is squatter housing. Squatter housing was defined as housing illegally established and roughly constructed. The initial structure was small in size, made of low-quality materials, and built with nominal labor costs on squatter land with a nominal rent. The basic housing unit may be expanded over time. Squatter housing arises out of a variety of circumstances, including an inadequate supply of old depleted formal housing near the central business district. Squatter housing is attractive to migrants and others in low-income and insecure employment. Improvements in squatter housing locations are possible when spatial location problems are not a concern. Policies concerning squatter housing have changed over time. Most government policies accept the inevitability of squatter housing and seek to improve and upgrade housing and public service conditions. The literature on squatter housing spans a variety of forms of housing. The variety of forms was due to the variety of levels of development within countries, changes over time, and changes toward a more permanent population in the labor force rather then temporary migrants. The forms of housing were identified as legal-formal residential housing which excluded slums, residential slums, squatter housing, and other residential housing. Set theory was used to clarify, with explicitness and a minimum of redundancies, 14 different sets. The 14 sets revolved around socioeconomic levels, housing and environmental conditions, construction process, land ownership, zoning regulations, subdivision regulations, and building construction regulations. Legal-formal housing meant legal land ownership and conformity to legal zoning, subdivision, and building construction regulations. Usually housing was of higher quality and construction was according to a time schedule. Slum housing also conformed to legal status and a regular time span for construction, but the

  15. Science & education: Genetic analysis of winter social structure and social traits in a migratory sparrow & teaching argumentation in STEM education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnberg, Nina N.

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. A previous study detected striking social complexity and stability in wintering populations of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla)---individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. In chapter one I test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. I examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. I found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship---relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower) and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex) and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. Although the complex social structure detected in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not predicted by kinship, genetic variation may play a role in variation of winter social traits. In chapter two, I investigate the genetic causes of variation in fitness-related traits in a winter population of golden-crowned sparrows. Individuals show great variation in morphological and behavioral traits that may play

  16. Influence of Urbanization on Body Size, Condition, and Physiology in an Urban Exploiter: A Multi-Component Approach.

    PubMed

    Meillère, Alizée; Brischoux, François; Parenteau, Charline; Angelier, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Consistent expanding urbanization dramatically transforms natural habitats and exposes organisms to novel environmental challenges, often leading to reduced species richness and diversity in cities. However, it remains unclear how individuals are affected by the urban environment and how they can or cannot adjust to the specific characteristics of urban life (e.g. food availability). In this study, we used an integrative multi-component approach to investigate the effects of urbanization on the nutritional status of house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We assessed several morphological and physiological indices of body condition in both juveniles (early post-fledging) and breeding adults from four sites with different levels of urbanization in France, Western Europe. We found that sparrows in more urbanized habitats have reduced body size and body mass compared to their rural conspecifics. However, we did not find any consistent differences in a number of complementary indices of condition (scaled mass index, muscle score, hematocrit, baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels) between urban and rural birds, indicating that urban sparrows may not be suffering nutritional stress. Our results suggest that the urban environment is unlikely to energetically constrain adult sparrows, although other urban-related variables may constrain them. On the other hand, we found significant difference in juvenile fat scores, suggesting that food types provided to young sparrows differed highly between habitats. In addition to the observed smaller size of urban sparrows, these results suggest that the urban environment is inadequate to satisfy early-life sparrows' nutritional requirements, growth, and development. The urban environment may therefore have life-long consequences for developing birds. PMID:26270531

  17. Student-Initiated Housing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feild, Robert M.

    1973-01-01

    Summarizes a report that describes housing where student groups lease, purchase, or even develop their own living quarters. Considers the birth of the movement, federal student housing programs, and a view to future programs. (Author/DN)

  18. ICI Showcase House Prototype

    SciTech Connect

    2009-02-16

    Building Science Corporation collaborated with ICI Homes in Daytona Beach, FL on a 2008 prototype Showcase House that demonstrates the energy efficiency and durability upgrades that ICI currently promotes through its in-house efficiency program called EFactor.

  19. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows.

    PubMed

    Ross, Jeremy D; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Bridge, Eli S; Engel, Michael H; Reinking, Dan L; Boyle, W Alice

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44%) of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed "pallid bands") across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum) captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado <8 km to the south of the site. We hypothesized that this stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation). We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ (15)N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ (15)N and δ (13)C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25-0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region) would show significantly higher δ (15)N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ (15)N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant within

  20. Pallid bands in feathers and associated stable isotope signatures reveal effects of severe weather stressors on fledgling sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Jeffrey F.; Bridge, Eli S.; Engel, Michael H.; Reinking, Dan L.; Boyle, W. Alice

    2015-01-01

    In August 2013, we observed a high incidence (44%) of synchronous bands of reduced melanin (a type of fault bar we have termed “pallid bands”) across the rectrices of juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodrammus savannarum) captured near El Reno, Oklahoma. Earlier that year, on May 31, the site was struck by a severe storm which rained hailstones exceeding 5.5 cm diameter and spawned an historic 4.2 km-wide tornado <8 km to the south of the site. We hypothesized that this stressor had induced the pallid bands. An assessment of Grasshopper Sparrow nesting phenology indicated that a large number of nestlings were likely growing tail feathers when the storm hit. The pallid bands were restricted to the distal half of feathers and their widths significantly increased as a function of distance from the tip (i.e., age at formation). We predicted that if stress had caused these pallid bands, then a spike in circulating δ15N originating from tissue catabolism during the stress response would have been incorporated into the developing feather. From 18 juveniles captured at the site in August we measured δ15N and δ13C stable isotope ratios within four to five 0.25–0.40 mg feather sections taken from the distal end of a tail feather; the pallid band, if present, was contained within only one section. After accounting for individual and across-section variation, we found support for our prediction that feather sections containing or located immediately proximal to pallid bands (i.e., the pallid band region) would show significantly higher δ15N than sections outside this region. In contrast, the feathers of juveniles with pallid bands compared to normal appearing juveniles showed significantly lower δ15N. A likely explanation is that the latter individuals hatched after the May 31 storm and had consumed a trophically-shifted diet relative to juveniles with pallid bands. Considering this, the juveniles of normal appearance were significantly less abundant within our

  1. A spatially referenced regression model (SPARROW) for suspended sediment in streams of the conterminous U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwarz, Gregory E.; Smith, Richard A.; Alexander, Richard B.; Gray, John R.

    2001-01-01

    meter resolution land-use information from the National Land Cover Data set (NLCD) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2000a). More than 76,000 reservoirs from the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1996) are identified as potential sediment sinks. Other, non-anthropogenic sources and sinks are identified using soil information from the State Soil Survey Geographic (STATSGO) data base (Schwarz and Alexander, 1995) and spatial coverages representing surficial rock type and vegetative cover. The SPARROW model empirically relates these diverse spatial datasets to estimates of long-term, mean annual sediment flux computed from concentration and flow measurements collected over the period 1985-95 from more than 400 monitoring stations maintained by the National Stream Quality Accounting Network (Alexander and others, 1998), the National Water Quality Assessment Program, and U.S. Geological Survey District offices (Turcios and Gray, in press). The calibrated model is used to estimate sediment flux for over 60,000 stream segments included in the River Reach File 1 (RF1) stream network (Alexander and others, 1999). SPARROW uses statistical methods to calibrate a simple, structural model of riverine water quality, one that imposes mass balance in accounting for changes in contaminant flux. As applied here, the mass-balance approach facilitates the interpretation of model results in terms of physical processes affecting sediment transport, and makes possible the estimation of various rates of sediment generation and loss associated with stream channels and features of the landscape. The statistical approach provides a basis for assessing the error of these inferred rates and of the error in extrapolated estimates of sediment flux made for streams in the RF1 network. An important implication of the holistic modeling approach adopted in this analysis is that estimates of sediment production and loss are based on, and therefore consistent with, measurements of

  2. Insulator for laser housing

    DOEpatents

    Duncan, David B.

    1992-01-01

    The present invention provides a heat-resistant electrical insulator adapted for joining laser housing portions, which insulator comprises: an annulus; a channel in the annulus traversing the circumference and length of the housing; at least two ports, each communicating with the channel and an outer surface of the housing; and an attachment for securely attaching each end of the annulus to a laser housing member.

  3. Insulator for laser housing

    DOEpatents

    Duncan, D.B.

    1992-12-29

    The present invention provides a heat-resistant electrical insulator adapted for joining laser housing portions, which insulator comprises: an annulus; a channel in the annulus traversing the circumference and length of the housing; at least two ports, each communicating with the channel and an outer surface of the housing; and an attachment for securely attaching each end of the annulus to a laser housing member. 3 figs.

  4. Ecological divergence of two sympatric lineages of Buggy Creek virus, an arbovirus associated with birds.

    PubMed

    Brown, Charles R; Padhi, Abinash; Moore, Amy T; Brown, Mary Bomberger; Foster, Jerome E; Pfeffer, Martin; O'Brien, Valerie A; Komar, Nicholas

    2009-11-01

    Most arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) show distinct serological subtypes or evolutionary lineages, with the evolution of different strains often assumed to reflect differences in ecological selection pressures. Buggy Creek virus (BCRV) is an unusual RNA virus (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) that is associated primarily with a cimicid swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) as its vector and the Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the introduced House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) as its amplifying hosts. There are two sympatric lineages of BCRV (lineages A and B) that differ from each other by > 6% at the nucleotide level. Analysis of 385 BCRV isolates all collected from bug vectors at a study site in southwestern Nebraska, USA, showed that the lineages differed in their peak times of seasonal occurrence within a summer. Lineage A was more likely to be found at recently established colonies, at those in culverts (rather than on highway bridges), and at those with invasive House Sparrows, and in bugs on the outsides of nests. Genetic diversity of lineage A increased with bird colony size and at sites with House Sparrows, while that of lineage B decreased with colony size and was unaffected by House Sparrows. Lineage A was more cytopathic on mammalian cells than was lineage B. These two lineages have apparently diverged in their transmission dynamics, with lineage A possibly more dependent on birds and lineage B perhaps more a bug virus. The long-standing association between Cliff Swallows and BCRV may have selected for immunological resistance to the virus by swallows and thus promoted the evolution of the more bug-adapted lineage B. In contrast, the recent arrival of the introduced House Sparrow and its high competence as a BCRV amplifying host may be favoring the more bird-dependent lineage A. PMID:19967872

  5. The Tarascan Indian House.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Joyce

    1989-01-01

    This lesson plan introduces K-grade three students to Mexican Indian architecture. Students will become familiar with the cultural context of the Indian treasure house; discuss the use of wood as the sole building material; compare the treasure house with present day structures; and create miniature treasure houses using wood materials. (GEA)

  6. The Hispanic Housing Crisis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolbeare, Cushing N.; Canales, Judith A.

    This report examines the housing characteristics and needs of Hispanic households in the United States, drawing on information from the 1980 Census and the 1983 Annual Housing Survey. Among the conclusions are the following: (1) housing quality is a major problem for more than one in six Hispanic families; (2) among Hispanic subgroups, Puerto…

  7. Equal Opportunity in Housing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, DC.

    This overview of developments in housing opportunities for minorities and women includes an historical review of housing discrimination, its nature, and its effects. Federal legislation and Federal actions which were taken to assure equal housing opportunities for women and minorities are described. Other topic areas addressed include minority…

  8. [Accessible Rural Housing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Nick, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    This issue of the quarterly newsletter "Rural Exchange" provides information and resources on accessible rural housing for the disabled. "Accessible Manufactured Housing Could Increase Rural Home Supply" (Nick Baker) suggests that incorporation of access features such as lever door handles and no-step entries into manufactured housing could help…

  9. Housing: Topic Paper F.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Council on the Handicapped, Washington, DC.

    This paper, one of a series of topic papers assessing federal laws and programs affecting persons with disabilities, addresses the issue of housing. Major federal responsibilities are to develop additional housing opportunities for persons with disabilities and to assure that currently available housing is equally open to individuals with…

  10. Genetic covariance between components of male reproductive success: within-pair vs. extra-pair paternity in song sparrows

    PubMed Central

    Reid, J M; Arcese, P; Losdat, S

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary trajectories of reproductive systems, including both male and female multiple mating and hence polygyny and polyandry, are expected to depend on the additive genetic variances and covariances in and among components of male reproductive success achieved through different reproductive tactics. However, genetic covariances among key components of male reproductive success have not been estimated in wild populations. We used comprehensive paternity data from socially monogamous but genetically polygynandrous song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to estimate additive genetic variance and covariance in the total number of offspring a male sired per year outside his social pairings (i.e. his total extra-pair reproductive success achieved through multiple mating) and his liability to sire offspring produced by his socially paired female (i.e. his success in defending within-pair paternity). Both components of male fitness showed nonzero additive genetic variance, and the estimated genetic covariance was positive, implying that males with high additive genetic value for extra-pair reproduction also have high additive genetic propensity to sire their socially paired female's offspring. There was consequently no evidence of a genetic or phenotypic trade-off between male within-pair paternity success and extra-pair reproductive success. Such positive genetic covariance might be expected to facilitate ongoing evolution of polygyny and could also shape the ongoing evolution of polyandry through indirect selection. PMID:25186454