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Sample records for achieve reproductive success

  1. Mismatched partners that achieve postpairing behavioral similarity improve their reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Laubu, Chloé; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Motreuil, Sébastien; Schweitzer, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral similarity between partners is likely to promote within-pair compatibility and to result in better reproductive success. Therefore, individuals are expected to choose a partner that is alike in behavioral type. However, mate searching is very costly and does not guarantee finding a matching partner. If mismatched individuals pair, they may benefit from increasing their similarity after pairing. We show in a monogamous fish species—the convict cichlid—that the behavioral similarity between mismatched partners can increase after pairing. This increase resulted from asymmetrical adjustment because only the reactive individual became more alike its proactive partner, whereas the latter did not change its behavior. The mismatched pairs that increased their similarity not only improved their reproductive success but also raised it up to the level of matched pairs. While most studies assume that assortative mating results from mate choice, our study suggests that postpairing adjustment could be an alternative explanation for the high behavioral similarity between partners observed in the field. It also explains why interindividual behavioral differences can be maintained within a given population. PMID:26973869

  2. Achieving cooperative success

    Treesearch

    Kimberly Zeuli

    2006-01-01

    Success of a cooperative depends on the foundation built during its organization. Successful businesses are not started overnight. Careful and deliberate planning must be started long before the co-op opens its doors. This chapter begins with an outline of six fundamental steps that should be followed when organizing any cooperative. From initial concept to the start...

  3. How to measure reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2003-01-01

    To date there have been few empirical comparisons between alternative methods for measuring reproductive success (RS). We consider the pros and cons of alternative measures of RS to provide guidance for the design of field studies in human behavioral ecology. We compare cross-sectional measures that count offspring alive at the time of the interview and retrospective measures that require data on offspring age at death or censoring. We consider analyses that include adult women (yielding age-specific estimates of RS) as well as analyses restricted to postreproductive women (yielding data on lifetime RS). These methods are applied to reproductive data for the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Reproductive success of Potomac River ospreys--1970

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1971-01-01

    Osprey reproductive success on the Potomac River during 1970 is described. Thirty-five percent of the accessible active nests fledged young and only 0.70 young were fledged per active nest. Egg failure was the major cause of poor success. Reproduction was below that considered normal for a stable population.

  5. Reproductive success and failure: the role of winter body mass in reproductive allocation in Norwegian moose.

    PubMed

    Milner, Jos M; van Beest, Floris M; Solberg, Erling J; Storaas, Torstein

    2013-08-01

    A life history strategy that favours somatic growth over reproduction is well known for long-lived iteroparous species, especially in unpredictable environments. Risk-sensitive female reproductive allocation can be achieved by a reduced reproductive effort at conception, or the subsequent adjustment of investment during gestation or lactation in response to unexpected environmental conditions or resource availability. We investigated the relative importance of reduced investment at conception compared with later in the reproductive cycle (i.e. prenatal, perinatal or neonatal mortality) in explaining reproductive failure in two high-density moose (Alces alces) populations in southern Norway. We followed 65 multiparous, global positioning system (GPS)-collared females throughout the reproductive cycle and focused on the role of maternal nutrition during gestation in determining reproductive success using a quasi-experimental approach to manipulate winter forage availability. Pregnancy rates in early winter were normal (≥0.8) in all years while spring calving rates ranged from 0.4 to 0.83, with prenatal mortality accounting for most of the difference. Further losses over summer reduced autumn recruitment rates to 0.23-0.69, despite negligible predation. Over-winter mass loss explained variation in both spring calving and autumn recruitment success better than absolute body mass in early or late winter. Although pregnancy was related to body mass in early winter, overall reproductive success was unrelated to pre-winter body condition. We therefore concluded that reproductive success was limited by winter nutritional conditions. However, we could not determine whether the observed reproductive allocation adjustment was a bet-hedging strategy to maximise reproduction without compromising survival or whether females were simply unable to invest more resources in their offspring.

  6. Life-history theory, fertility and reproductive success in humans.

    PubMed

    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2002-03-22

    According to life-history theory, any organism that maximizes fitness will face a trade-off between female fertility and offspring survivorship. This trade-off has been demonstrated in a variety of species, but explicit tests in humans have found a positive linear relationship between fitness and fertility. The failure to demonstrate a maximum beyond which additional births cease to enhance fitness is potentially at odds with the view that human fertility behaviour is currently adaptive. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first clear evidence for the predicted nonlinear relationship between female fertility and reproductive success in a human population, the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. The predicted maximum reproductive success of 4.1+/-0.3 surviving offspring was attained at a fertility of 10.5 births. Eighty-three per cent of the women achieved a lifetime fertility level (7-13 births) for which the predicted mean reproductive success was within the confidence limits (3.4 to 4.8) for reproductive success at the optimal fertility level. Child mortality, rather than fertility, was the primary determinant of fitness. Since the Dogon people are farmers, our results do not support the assumptions that: (i) contemporary foragers behave more adaptively than agriculturalists, and (ii) that adaptive fertility behaviour ceased with the Neolithic revolution some 9000 years ago. We also present a new method that avoids common biases in measures of reproductive success.

  7. Life-history theory, fertility and reproductive success in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2002-01-01

    According to life-history theory, any organism that maximizes fitness will face a trade-off between female fertility and offspring survivorship. This trade-off has been demonstrated in a variety of species, but explicit tests in humans have found a positive linear relationship between fitness and fertility. The failure to demonstrate a maximum beyond which additional births cease to enhance fitness is potentially at odds with the view that human fertility behaviour is currently adaptive. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first clear evidence for the predicted nonlinear relationship between female fertility and reproductive success in a human population, the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. The predicted maximum reproductive success of 4.1+/-0.3 surviving offspring was attained at a fertility of 10.5 births. Eighty-three per cent of the women achieved a lifetime fertility level (7-13 births) for which the predicted mean reproductive success was within the confidence limits (3.4 to 4.8) for reproductive success at the optimal fertility level. Child mortality, rather than fertility, was the primary determinant of fitness. Since the Dogon people are farmers, our results do not support the assumptions that: (i) contemporary foragers behave more adaptively than agriculturalists, and (ii) that adaptive fertility behaviour ceased with the Neolithic revolution some 9000 years ago. We also present a new method that avoids common biases in measures of reproductive success. PMID:11916470

  8. Achieving Information Dominance: Seven Imperatives for Success

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-06-01

    ACHIEVING INFORMATION DOMINANCE : SEVEN IMPERATIVES FOR SUCCESS Topical Area: C4ISR and Space Dr. Tom Kaye and Mr. George Galdorisi Dr. Tom Kaye Mr...00-00-2002 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Achieving Information Dominance : Seven Imperatives for Success 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...time. 3 ACHIEVING INFORMATION DOMINANCE : SEVEN IMPERATIVES FOR SUCCESS by Dr. Tom Kaye and Mr. George Galdorisi An integrated joint and combined C4ISR

  9. Failures of reproduction: problematising 'success' in assisted reproductive technology.

    PubMed

    Peters, Kathleen; Jackson, Debra; Rudge, Trudy

    2007-06-01

    This paper scrutinises the many ways in which 'success' is portrayed in representing assisted reproductive technology (ART) services and illuminates how these definitions differ from those held by participant couples. A qualitative approach informed by feminist perspectives guided this study and aimed to problematise the concept of 'success' by examining literature from ART clinics, government reports on ART, and by analysing narratives of couples who have accessed ART services. As many ART services have varying definitions of 'success' and as statistics are manipulated to promote further patronage of ART services, the likelihood of 'success' is often overstated. This paper is concerned with the effects this promotion has on the participants. We suggest that this very mobilisation of statistical success changes the ability of those who access ART services to make productive decisions about themselves inside these treatment regimes, as the basis for decision-making is hidden by the way numbers, objectivity and clinical reasoning operate to maintain participation in the program. In such an operation, the powerful mix of hope and technology kept participants enrolled far longer than they originally planned. Moreover, how success rates are manipulated raises ethical issues for all involved: clients, counsellors, and nursing and medical professionals.

  10. Teaching for Successful Intelligence Raises School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sternberg, Robert J.; Torff, Bruce; Grigorenko, Elena

    1998-01-01

    A "successful intelligence" intervention improved school achievement for a group of 225 ethnically diverse third-graders, both on performance assessments measuring analytical, creative, and practical achievements and on conventional multiple-choice memory assessments. Teaching for triarchic thinking facilitates factual recall, because learning…

  11. Alliances and reproductive success in Camargue stallions.

    PubMed

    Feh

    1999-03-01

    A study of a herd of Camargue horses Equus caballus, showed that while the majority of high-ranking stallions held single-male harems, some sons of low-ranking mares, being low ranking themselves, formed alliances that could last a lifetime. The two stallions were each other's closest associate and preferential grooming partner. Alliances were based on coalitions in which either both partners confronted an intruder synchronously or the dominant of the pair tended the female(s) while the subordinate simultaneously displayed towards the rival. Alliance partners were of similar age but were not more closely related to each other than to other stallions in the herd. Long-term paternity data revealed that subordinates sired close to a quarter of the foals born into the alliance group, and significantly more foals than low-ranking stallions in the herd adopting a 'sneak'-mating strategy. The dominant appeared to benefit from the presence of his subordinate partner. Fights occurred all year round, and the subordinate stallion of each alliance pair fought outside competitors more than twice as often as the dominant. Forming short-term alliances before defending mares on their own may enhance long-term reproductive success for both partners. Other benefits to both partners include higher survivorship of their foals and increased access to proven reproductive mares. These results suggest that the relationship between alliance partners is based on mutualism, but several conditions for reciprocity seem to be fulfilled: the benefit to the dominant (assistance in fights), and the benefit to the subordinate (access to reproduction), are both costly to the other partner and delayed in time. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  12. Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Kenji; Vargo, Edward L; Kawatsu, Kazutaka; Labadie, Paul E; Nakano, Hiroko; Yashiro, Toshihisa; Tsuji, Kazuki

    2009-03-27

    The evolution and maintenance of sexual reproduction may involve important tradeoffs because asexual reproduction can double an individual's contribution to the gene pool but reduces diversity. Moreover, in social insects the maintenance of genetic diversity among workers may be important for colony growth and survival. We identified a previously unknown termite breeding system in which both parthenogenesis and sexual reproduction are conditionally used. Queens produce their replacements asexually but use normal sexual reproduction to produce other colony members. These findings show how eusociality can lead to extraordinary reproductive systems and provide important insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sex.

  13. Successful Black Farmers: Factors in Their Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Minnie M.; Larson, Olaf F.

    This paper identifies individual and institutional factors which have facilitated or inhibited the achievement of successful black farmers. The information derived from the case studies is used to develop a model which can be used in working effectively with black farmers. The thirteen case studies discussed focus on the following: (1) reasons for…

  14. Implementing Strategies to Achieve Successful Student Transitions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), 2010

    2010-01-01

    This is the fourth in a series of eight newsletters highlighting best practices presented at the 2009 HSTW Staff Development Conference in Atlanta. These newsletters contain information about successful actions schools across the nation are taking to join hands-on and heads-on learning in ways that increase student motivation and achievement. This…

  15. Implementing Strategies to Achieve Successful Student Transitions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), 2010

    2010-01-01

    This is the fourth in a series of eight newsletters highlighting best practices presented at the 2009 HSTW Staff Development Conference in Atlanta. These newsletters contain information about successful actions schools across the nation are taking to join hands-on and heads-on learning in ways that increase student motivation and achievement. This…

  16. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success.

  17. Lifetime reproductive success of female mountain gorillas.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Andrew M; Stoinski, Tara; Fawcett, Katie; Robbins, Martha M

    2011-12-01

    Studies of lifetime reproductive success (LRS) are important for understanding population dynamics and life history strategies, yet relatively little information is available for long-lived species. This study provides a preliminary assessment of LRS among female mountain gorillas in the Virunga volcanoes region. Adult females produced an average of 3.6 ± 2.1 surviving offspring during their lifetime, which indicates a growing population that contrasts with most other great apes. The standardized variance in LRS (variance/mean(2) = 0.34) was lower than many other mammals and birds. When we excluded the most apparent source of environmental variability (poaching), the average LRS increased to 4.3 ± 1.8 and the standardized variance dropped in half. Adult lifespan was a greater source of variance in LRS than fertility or offspring survival. Females with higher LRS had significantly longer adult lifespans and higher dominance ranks. Results for LRS were similar to another standard fitness measurement, the individually estimated finite rate of increase (λ(ind) ), but λ(ind) showed diminishing benefits for greater longevity.

  18. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity–pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship. PMID:23034701

  19. Decomposing variation in male reproductive success: age-specific variances and covariances through extra-pair and within-pair reproduction.

    PubMed

    Lebigre, Christophe; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2013-07-01

    Age-specific variances and covariances in reproductive success shape the total variance in lifetime reproductive success (LRS), age-specific opportunities for selection, and population demographic variance and effective size. Age-specific (co)variances in reproductive success achieved through different reproductive routes must therefore be quantified to predict population, phenotypic and evolutionary dynamics in age-structured populations. While numerous studies have quantified age-specific variation in mean reproductive success, age-specific variances and covariances in reproductive success, and the contributions of different reproductive routes to these (co)variances, have not been comprehensively quantified in natural populations. We applied 'additive' and 'independent' methods of variance decomposition to complete data describing apparent (social) and realised (genetic) age-specific reproductive success across 11 cohorts of socially monogamous but genetically polygynandrous song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). We thereby quantified age-specific (co)variances in male within-pair and extra-pair reproductive success (WPRS and EPRS) and the contributions of these (co)variances to the total variances in age-specific reproductive success and LRS. 'Additive' decomposition showed that within-age and among-age (co)variances in WPRS across males aged 2-4 years contributed most to the total variance in LRS. Age-specific (co)variances in EPRS contributed relatively little. However, extra-pair reproduction altered age-specific variances in reproductive success relative to the social mating system, and hence altered the relative contributions of age-specific reproductive success to the total variance in LRS. 'Independent' decomposition showed that the (co)variances in age-specific WPRS, EPRS and total reproductive success, and the resulting opportunities for selection, varied substantially across males that survived to each age. Furthermore, extra-pair reproduction increased

  20. Neonatal manipulation of oxytocin influences female reproductive behavior and success.

    PubMed

    Cushing, Bruce S; Levine, Karyn; Cushing, Nancy L

    2005-01-01

    During early neonatal development, oxytocin (OT) may influence the expression of adult behavior and physiology. Here we test the prediction that early postnatal exposure to OT or an oxytocin antagonist (OTA) can affect the subsequent expression of sexual receptivity and reproductive success of females. To test this hypothesis, female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) received one of four treatments within 24 h of birth. Three groups received an intraperitoneal injection of OT, OTA, or isotonic saline. A fourth group was handled, but not injected. Around 75 days of age, females were paired with sexually experienced males for 72 h and sexual activity was recorded. Treatment had no effect on the probability of mating. Injection, regardless of treatment, reduced latency to mate compared with handled controls. OT and OTA treatment decreased mating bout frequency compared to saline and handled controls, while OTA treatment increased reproductive success, probability of successfully producing a litter. The results suggest that neonatally OT, both endogenous and exogenous, can affect the expression of adult female reproductive activity and that blocking the effects of endogenous OT during neonatal development can affect female reproductive success. Finally, the results suggest that a number of aspects of reproduction are regulated by OT during the postnatal period, but that the mechanism of action may differ depending upon the reproductive activity.

  1. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females

    PubMed Central

    Newcomer, Scott D.; Zeh, Jeanne A.; Zeh, David W.

    1999-01-01

    Although it is generally accepted that females can gain material benefits by mating with more than one male, the proposal that polyandry provides genetic benefits remains controversial, largely because direct experimental support is lacking. Here, we report the results of a study testing for genetic benefits to polyandry in the pseudoscorpion Cordylochernes scorpioides. In an experiment that controlled for male mating experience and the number of spermatophores accepted by a female, twice-mated females received either one sperm-packet from each of two different males (the “DM” treatment) or two sperm-packets from a single male (the same male or “SM” treatment). Over their lifetime, DM females gave birth to 32% more offspring than did SM females, primarily because of a significantly reduced rate of spontaneous abortion. This result could not be attributed to male infertility nor to lack of sexual receptivity in males paired with previous mates. Spermatophore and sperm numbers did not differ between males presented with a previous mate and males paired with a new female. Because SM and DM females received the same quantity of ejaculate, it was possible to eliminate material benefits as a contributor to the enhanced reproductive success of DM females. The reduction in embryo failure rate achieved by DM females is most consistent with the genetic incompatibility avoidance hypothesis, i.e., that polyandry enables females to exploit postcopulatory mechanisms for reducing the risk and/or cost of fertilization by genetically incompatible sperm. This study, which rigorously controlled for material benefits and excluded inbreeding effects, demonstrates that polyandry provides genetic benefits that significantly enhance female lifetime reproductive success. PMID:10468592

  2. Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches

    PubMed Central

    Crino, Ondi L.; Prather, Colin T.; Driscoll, Stephanie C.; Good, Jeffrey M.; Breuner, Creagh W.

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that exposure to stress during development can have sustained effects on animal phenotype and performance across life-history stages. For example, developmental stress has been shown to decrease the quality of sexually selected traits (e.g. bird song), and therefore is thought to decrease reproductive success. However, animals exposed to developmental stress may compensate for poor quality sexually selected traits by pursuing alternative reproductive tactics. Here, we examine the effects of developmental stress on adult male reproductive investment and success in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We tested the hypothesis that males exposed to developmental stress sire fewer offspring through extra-pair copulations (EPCs), but invest more in parental care. To test this hypothesis, we fed nestlings corticosterone (CORT; the dominant avian stress hormone) during the nestling period and measured their adult reproductive success using common garden breeding experiments. We found that nestlings reared by CORT-fed fathers received more parental care compared with nestlings reared by control fathers. Consequently, males fed CORT during development reared nestlings in better condition compared with control males. Contrary to the prediction that developmental stress decreases male reproductive success, we found that CORT-fed males also sired more offspring and were less likely to rear non-genetic offspring compared with control males, and thus had greater overall reproductive success. These data are the first to demonstrate that developmental stress can have a positive effect on fitness via changes in reproductive success and provide support for an adaptive role of developmental stress in shaping animal phenotype. PMID:25297860

  3. Floral visual signal increases reproductive success in a sexually deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Rakosy, Demetra; Streinzer, Martin; Paulus, Hannes F; Spaethe, Johannes

    2012-12-01

    Sexually deceptive orchids mimic signals emitted by female insects in order to attract mate-searching males. Specific attraction of the targeted pollinator is achieved by sex pheromone mimicry, which constitutes the major attraction channel. In close vicinity of the flower, visual signals may enhance attraction, as was shown recently in the sexually deceptive orchid Ophrys heldreichii. Here, we conducted an in situ manipulation experiment in two populations of O. heldreichii on Crete to investigate whether the presence/absence of the conspicuous pink perianth affects reproductive success in two natural orchid populations. We estimated reproductive success of three treatment groups (with intact, removed and artificial perianth) throughout the flowering period as pollinaria removal (male reproductive success) and massulae deposition (female reproductive success). Reproductive success was significantly increased by the presence of a strong visual signal-the conspicuous perianth-in one study population, however, not in the second, most likely due to the low pollinator abundance in the latter population. This study provides further evidence that the coloured perianth in O. heldreichii is adaptive and thus adds to the olfactory signal to maximise pollinator attraction and reproductive success.

  4. Achieving Successful School-University Collaboration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borthwick, Arlene C.; Stirling, Terry; Nauman, April D.; Cook, Dale L.

    2003-01-01

    Investigated essential elements required to establish and maintain successful school-university partnerships as reported by principals, teachers, and university coordinators involved in both voluntary and mandated partnerships. Results identified five factors representing different perspectives on key elements for successful partnerships, with…

  5. Photosynthesis in relation to reproductive success of Cypripedium flavum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shibao; Hu, Hong; Zhou, Zhekun; Xu, Kun; Yan, Ning; Li, Shuyun

    2005-07-01

    Cypripedium flavum is a rare, endemic alpine slipper orchid of China, which is under threat from excessive collection and habitat changes. Conservation and re-introduction of C. flavum is restricted by lack of knowledge of the plant's photosynthesis and how that affects reproductive success. The hypothesis is tested that reproductive success is determined by photosynthetic production. * To understand the photosynthetic characteristics and adaptation of C. flavum to alpine environments, and the relation to reproductive success, measurements were made at four field sites with varying degrees of forest cover in the Hengduan Mountains, south-west China. * Both photosynthetic capacity and reproductive traits of C. flavum are affected by light availability. Photosynthetic rate (A) is greatest around noon, following the pattern of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at all sites. Cypripedium flavum has highest daily mean photosynthetic rate (A(daily)) and light-saturated photosynthetic rate (A(max)) under a half to a third of full sunlight. High radiation decreased A. However, the optimum temperature for photosynthesis was similar (18-20 degrees C) at all sites. * The quotient of daily mean photosynthetic rate to light saturated photosynthesis (A(daily)/A(max)) is positively correlated with the ramet number m(-2) and percentage of fruiting of C. flavum. The A(daily)/A(max) ratio is a useful proxy for evaluating reproductive success of C. flavum.

  6. Alternative reproductive tactics and reproductive success in male Carollia perspicillata (Seba's short-tailed bat).

    PubMed

    Fasel, N; Saladin, V; Richner, H

    2016-11-01

    The use of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) is widespread in animals. Males of some species may change tactics depending on age, body condition and social environment. Many bat species are polygynous where a fraction of males only have access to fertile females. For polygynous bats, knowledge of the reproductive success of males using different ARTs is scarce, and it remains unclear how age of males is related to switching decisions between social statuses. We studied a large captive population of Carollia perspicillata, where males are either harem holders, bachelors or peripheral males. Using a multistate procedure, we modelled the age-related switches in reproductive tactics and in survival probability. From the model, we calculated the reproductive success and the frequencies of males displaying different reproductive tactics. As in mammals, the switch between social statuses is often related to age, we predicted that the transition probability of bachelor and peripheral males to harem status would increase with age. We show, however, that social status transition towards a harem holding position was not related to age. Reproductive success changed with age and social status. Harem males had a significantly higher reproductive success than bachelor males except between a short period from 3.8 to 4.4 years of age where success was similar, and a significantly higher reproductive success than peripheral males between 2.6 and 4.4 years of age. Harem males showed a clear decrease in the probability of maintaining social status with age, which suggests that senescence reduces resource holding potential.

  7. Early reproductive investment, senescence and lifetime reproductive success in female Asian elephants

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, A D; Mar, K U; Lahdenperä, M; Lummaa, V

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary theory of senescence posits that as the probability of extrinsic mortality increases with age, selection should favour early-life over late-life reproduction. Studies on natural vertebrate populations show early reproduction may impair later-life performance, but the consequences for lifetime fitness have rarely been determined, and little is known of whether similar patterns apply to mammals which typically live for several decades. We used a longitudinal dataset on Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to investigate associations between early-life reproduction and female age-specific survival, fecundity and offspring survival to independence, as well as lifetime breeding success (lifetime number of calves produced). Females showed low fecundity following sexual maturity, followed by a rapid increase to a peak at age 19 and a subsequent decline. High early life reproductive output (before the peak of performance) was positively associated with subsequent age-specific fecundity and offspring survival, but significantly impaired a female's own later-life survival. Despite the negative effects of early reproduction on late-life survival, early reproduction is under positive selection through a positive association with lifetime breeding success. Our results suggest a trade-off between early reproduction and later survival which is maintained by strong selection for high early fecundity, and thus support the prediction from life history theory that high investment in reproductive success in early life is favoured by selection through lifetime fitness despite costs to later-life survival. That maternal survival in elephants depends on previous reproductive investment also has implications for the success of (semi-)captive breeding programmes of this endangered species. PMID:24580655

  8. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa

    PubMed Central

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollinated compared with 74.15 % for naturally pollinated flowers. The pollinator visitation rate and the proportion of fruit produced were not significantly different between tall and short plants or between small and large flowers. Furthermore, the increase in plant size and floral display did not increase the frequency of pollinator visitations and so did not increase the fruit set. Thus, despite the widespread effects of flowering plant size on pollinator attraction and plant reproduction in other species, these effects are lacking in I. tuberosa. This study quantifies the role of pollinators in the reproductive success of I. tuberosa. Pollinators visited tall/short plants and large/small flowers in equal proportion, suggesting that plant and floral display size do not affect pollinator attraction and reproductive success in I. tuberosa. These results suggest that sexual reproduction of I. tuberosa is fairly limited by pollinators and not by resource limitation. PMID:25527476

  9. Leadership Strategies: Achieving Personal and Professional Success.

    PubMed

    Menaker, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    Physicians and allied health staff in healthcare are finding themselves in situations characterized by uncertainty, chaos, and ambiguity, with high levels of burnout. A major influence is an aging U.S. population, resulting in increasing cost and reimbursement pressures. Medical group practices need leaders who have the capability to thrive in this environment. This article presents an integrated leadership model offering strategies and insights gained from keeping a journal for 40 years. Strategies to be shared include leading self through learning, leading others by developing relationships, leading organizations by achieving excellence, and achieving work-life integration and synergy.

  10. Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Trathan, Phil N; Fox, Derren S; Dawson, Alistair; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Williams, Tony D

    2012-04-01

    Physiological mechanisms mediating carryover effects, wherein events or activities occurring in one season, habitat, or life-history stage affect important processes in subsequent life-history stages, are largely unknown. The mechanism most commonly invoked to explain carryover effects from migration centres on the acquisition and utilization of resources (e.g. body mass, or individual 'condition'). However, other mechanisms are plausible, e.g. trade-offs reflecting conflict or incompatibility between physiological regulatory systems required for different activities or life-history stages (migration vs. reproduction). Here we show that in female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) the decision to reproduce or to defer reproduction, made prior to their arrival at breeding colonies after long-distance migration, is associated with condition-related (body mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations) and hormonal (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen-dependent yolk precursors) traits. In contrast, reproductive success showed little association with condition but showed significant associations with the steroidogenic processes underlying follicle development. Specifically, success was determined by reproductive readiness via differences in steroid hormones and hormone-dependent traits. Successful albatrosses were characterized by high progesterone and high estradiol-dependent yolk precursor levels, whereas failed albatrosses had high testosterone and low yolk precursor levels. Results are discussed with reference to migratory carryover effects and how these can differentially affect the physiologies influencing reproductive decisions and reproductive success. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Achieving Successful School-University Collaboration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borthwick, Arlene C.; Stirling, Terry; Cook, Dale

    This study investigated participant perceptions of essential elements for establishing and maintaining successful school-university partnerships for school improvement, noting differences in perceptions of participants involved in voluntary partnerships versus those involved in partnerships required by the school district (schools placed on…

  12. Rock sparrow song reflects male age and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Nemeth, Erwin; Kempenaers, Bart; Matessi, Giuliano; Brumm, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of mating signals is closely linked to sexual selection. Acoustic ornaments are often used as secondary sexual traits that signal the quality of the signaller. Here we show that song performance reflects age and reproductive success in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia). In an Alpine population in south-east France, we recorded the songs of males and assessed their genetic breeding success by microsatellite analysis. In addition to temporal and spectral song features, we also analysed for the first time whether the sound pressure level of bird song reflects reproductive success. Males with higher breeding success sang at a lower rate and with a higher maximum frequency. We found also that older males gained more extra-pair young and had a higher overall breeding success, although they also differed almost significantly by having a higher loss of paternity in their own nests. Older males could be distinguished from yearlings by singing at lower rate and higher amplitudes. Our findings suggest that song rate may be used as a signal of age and together with song pitch as a signal of reproductive success in this species. Alternatively, younger and less successful males might try to compensate their inferior status by increased song rates and lower pitch. Independent of age and quality, high-amplitude songs correlated with paternity loss in the own nest, suggesting that in this species song amplitude is not an indicator of male quality but high-intensity songs may be rather a response to unfaithful social mates.

  13. Achieving Small School Success in Washington State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyle, Martin

    2003-01-01

    Of Washington State's 296 school districts, two-thirds have 2,000 or fewer students. These small school districts provide unique learning opportunities for Washington's children, but also present special challenges to achieving the higher standards called for in the state education reform bill and recent federal legislation. This report provides…

  14. Impact of Supplementary Feeding on Reproductive Success of White Storks

    PubMed Central

    Hilgartner, Roland; Stahl, Daniel; Zinner, Dietmar

    2014-01-01

    European white stork (Ciconia ciconia) populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany) collected from 1990–2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1) reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2) pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3) reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats. PMID:25119566

  15. Impact of supplementary feeding on reproductive success of white storks.

    PubMed

    Hilgartner, Roland; Stahl, Daniel; Zinner, Dietmar

    2014-01-01

    European white stork (Ciconia ciconia) populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany) collected from 1990-2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1) reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2) pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3) reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats.

  16. DINS - Lessons learned and successes achieved

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Traeger, J.; Quasius, G.

    It is pointed out that the Dormant Inertial Navigation System (DINS) is the first Ring Laser gyro system developed for maneuvering reentry vehicles. The DINS is a pure strapdown system. It provides attitude reference, navigation, and flight control information to the maneuvering reentry vehicle. Two flight tests in which DINS was aboard the Advanced Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle were highly successful. The tests involved the launch of the vehicle by a Minuteman I for a flight from VAFB to Kwajalein. Attention is given to a DINS mission description, a DINS system description, ground test programs, and the flight test program.

  17. Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR): An Assessment of Success1

    PubMed Central

    Ascoli, Mario; Mebane, Dorianne; Fazleabas, Asgerally T.

    2016-01-01

    The Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course has been held annually since 1998 at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The primary purpose of the course is to train young reproductive biologists in cutting-edge techniques that would strengthen their career opportunities. An initial evaluation of the FIR course was conducted by surveying the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2002. The findings of this survey were published in Biology of Reproduction in 2006, which highlighted the overall positive impact the course had on the training and upward career trajectory of the participants during the first 5 yr. The current study was designed to access the continued impact of FIR at the 10-yr mark by evaluating the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2008 using two different survey mechanisms. Based on these evaluations and feedback from the participants, it was evident that 1) FIR continues to have a significant positive impact on the careers of the participants, 2) the majority of the participants continue to be involved in research or administration related to the reproductive sciences, 3) nearly 90% of the attendees have been successful in obtaining funding for their research, and 4) most alumni have published at least five manuscripts in higher impact journals since they took the course. Therefore, it is evident that FIR participants are highly successful and continue to significantly impact the advances in the reproductive sciences worldwide. PMID:27335071

  18. Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR): An Assessment of Success.

    PubMed

    Ascoli, Mario; Mebane, Dorianne; Fazleabas, Asgerally T

    2016-07-01

    The Frontiers in Reproduction (FIR) course has been held annually since 1998 at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The primary purpose of the course is to train young reproductive biologists in cutting-edge techniques that would strengthen their career opportunities. An initial evaluation of the FIR course was conducted by surveying the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2002. The findings of this survey were published in Biology of Reproduction in 2006, which highlighted the overall positive impact the course had on the training and upward career trajectory of the participants during the first 5 yr. The current study was designed to access the continued impact of FIR at the 10-yr mark by evaluating the participants who took the course between 1998 and 2008 using two different survey mechanisms. Based on these evaluations and feedback from the participants, it was evident that 1) FIR continues to have a significant positive impact on the careers of the participants, 2) the majority of the participants continue to be involved in research or administration related to the reproductive sciences, 3) nearly 90% of the attendees have been successful in obtaining funding for their research, and 4) most alumni have published at least five manuscripts in higher impact journals since they took the course. Therefore, it is evident that FIR participants are highly successful and continue to significantly impact the advances in the reproductive sciences worldwide.

  19. Why do good hunters have higher reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Smith, Eric Alden

    2004-12-01

    Anecdotal evidence from many hunter-gatherer societies suggests that successful hunters experience higher prestige and greater reproductive success. Detailed quantitative data on these patterns are now available for five widely dispersed cases (Ache, Hadza, !Kung, Lamalera, and Meriam) and indicate that better hunters exhibit higher age-corrected reproductive success than other men in their social group. Leading explanations to account for this pattern are: (1) direct provisioning of hunters' wives and offspring, (2) dyadic reciprocity, (3) indirect reciprocity, (4) costly signaling, and (5) phenotypic correlation. I examine the qualitative and quantitative evidence bearing on these explanations and conclude that although none can be definitively rejected, extensive and apparently unconditional sharing of large game somewhat weakens the first three explanations. The costly signaling explanation has support in some cases, although the exact nature of the benefits gained from mating or allying with or deferring to better hunters needs further study.

  20. Organochlorine residues in brown pelican eggs: Relation to reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Neely, B.S.; Belisle, A.A.; Prouty, R.M.

    1974-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the influence of residues of organochlorine pollutants on reproductive success in the brown pelican. A sample egg was taken from each of 93 marked nests in the nesting colony in South Carolina. Periodic visits were made to determine the fate of marked nests. Each sample egg was analysed for residues of organochlorine pollutants. Nest success in the brown pelican was related to residues of DDE and dieldrin in sample eggs. DDE seemed primarily responsible for nest failure; however, deleterious effects of this pollutant on nest success were not satisfactorily separated from those induced by dieldrin. Significant intercorrelation of all five organochlorine residues identified in the eggs complicated the relationship of residues to nest success. Maximum DDE residues in an egg from a successful nest were 2.37 ?g/g and 8.48 ?g/g in an egg from an unsuccessful nest. Comparable maximum residues for dieldrin in sample eggs were 0.54 ?g/g (successful) and 0.99 ?g/g (unsuccessful). Nineteen of the 26 eggs from unsuccessful nests contained DDE residues that exceeded 2.37 ?g/g, and 14 of these 26 eggs contained dieldrin residues that exceeded O.54 ?g/g. Residues of DDD, DDT or PCBs in sample eggs were not significantly related to nest success. Reproductive success in the brown pelican colony was subnormal in the years of study--1971 and 1972--but reproductive success was normal in those nests in which the sample egg contained either <2,5 ?g/g of DDE or 0.54 ?g/g of dieldrin.

  1. Redefining reproductive success in songbirds: Moving beyond the nest success paradigm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most commonly estimated parameters in studies of songbird ecology is reproductive success, as a measure of either individual fitness or population productivity. Traditionally, the “success” in reproductive success refers to whether, or how many, nestlings leave nests. Here, we advocate that “reproductive success” in songbirds be redefined as full-season productivity, orthe number of young raised to independence from adult care in a breeding season. A growing body of evidence demonstrates interdependence between nest success and fledgling survival, and emphasizes that data from either life stage alone can produce misleading measures of individual fitness and population productivity. Nest success, therefore, is an insufficient measure of reproductive success, and songbird ecology needs to progress beyond this long-standing paradigm. Full-season productivity, an evolutionarily rational measure of reproductive success, provides the framework for appropriately addressing unresolved questions about the adaptive significance of many breeding behaviors and within which effective breeding-grounds conservation and management can be designed.

  2. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J.; Chandler, Jane N.; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  3. Female gonadal hormones and reproductive behaviors as key determinants of successful reproductive output of breeding whooping cranes (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    Brown, Megan E; Converse, Sarah J; Chandler, Jane N; Shafer, Charles; Brown, Janine L; Keefer, Carol L; Songsasen, Nucharin

    2016-05-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production.

  4. Factors influencing brown trout reproductive success in Ozark tailwater rivers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pender, D.R.; Kwak, T.J.

    2002-01-01

    The reproductive success of brown trout Salmo trutta in White River, Arkansas, tailwater reaches is highly variable, resulting in the need for supplemental stocking. A better understanding of the physical and biotic factors affecting reproduction and survival would enhance the contribution of wild fish. We compared fecundity, reproductive chronology, physical habitat, water quality, trout density, food availability, diet, predation, and competitive interactions among four tailwater reaches to identify factors influencing brown trout reproductive success. The fecundity and condition factor of prespawning brown trout were significantly lower at Beaver Tailwater, a reach known for reproductive failure, than at other sites, among which no differences were found. Brown trout spawning was observed from 11 October to 23 November 1996, and juvenile emergence began on 28 February 1997. Significant among-site differences were detected for spawning and juvenile microhabitat variables, but the variables fell within or near suitable or optimal ranges reported in the literature for this species. Age-0 brown trout density differed significantly among sites, but growth and condition did not. Predation by Ozark sculpin Cottus hypselurus on trout eggs or age-0 trout of any species was not observed among the 418 stomachs examined. Ozark sculpin density and diet overlap with age-0 brown trout were highest and invertebrate food availability and water fertility were lowest at Beaver Tailwater relative to the other reaches. Our findings indicate that differences in trophic conditions occur among tailwater reaches, and a lower system productive capacity was identified at Beaver Tailwater. We suggest that management efforts include refining the multispecies trout stocking regime to improve production efficiency, enhancing flow regulation, and increasing habitat complexity to increase invertebrate and fish productivity. Such efforts may lead to improved natural reproduction and the

  5. Hunter-Gatherer Social Networks and Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    Page, Abigail E; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Viguier, Sylvain; Dyble, Mark; Thompson, James; Smith, Daniel; Salali, Gul D; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2017-04-25

    Individuals' centrality in their social network (who they and their social ties are connected to) has been associated with fertility, longevity, disease and information transmission in a range of taxa. Here, we present the first exploration in humans of the relationship between reproductive success and different measures of network centrality of 39 Agta and 38 BaYaka mothers. We collected three-meter contact ('proximity') networks and reproductive histories to test the prediction that individual centrality is positively associated with reproductive fitness (number of living offspring). Rather than direct social ties influencing reproductive success, mothers with greater indirect centrality (i.e. centrality determined by second and third degree ties) produced significantly more living offspring. However, indirect centrality is also correlated with sickness in the Agta, suggesting a trade-off. In complex social species, the optimisation of individuals' network position has important ramifications for fitness, potentially due to easy access to different parts of the network, facilitating cooperation and social influence in unpredictable ecologies.

  6. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics.

  7. Captive Ancestry Upwardly Biases Estimates of Relative Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    Willoughby, Janna R; Christie, Mark R

    2017-07-01

    Supplementation programs, which release captive-born individuals into the wild, are commonly used to demographically bolster declining populations. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs, the reproductive success of captive-born individuals released into the wild is often compared to the reproductive success of wild-born individuals in the recipient population (relative reproductive success, RRS). However, if there are heritable reductions in fitness associated with captive breeding, gene flow from captive-born individuals into the wild population can reduce the fitness of the wild population. Here, we show that when captive ancestry in the wild population reduces mean population fitness, estimates of RRS are upwardly biased, meaning that the relative fitness of captive-born individuals is over-estimated. Furthermore, the magnitude of this bias increases with the length of time that a supplementation program has been releasing captive-born individuals. This phenomenon has long-term conservation impacts since management decisions regarding the design of a supplementation program and the number of individuals to release can be based, at least in part, on RRS estimates. Therefore, we urge caution in the interpretation of relative fitness measures when the captive ancestry of the wild population cannot be precisely measured. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Reproduction success of American kestrels exposed to dietary polychlorinated biphenyls.

    PubMed

    Fernie, K J; Smits, J E; Bortolotti, G R; Bird, D M

    2001-04-01

    While reproduction of wild birds is adversely affected by multiple environmental contaminants, we determined that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alone alter reproduction. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius), fed PCB-spiked (Aroclor 1248:1254:1260) food (7 mg/kg body weight/d) prior to and during the first breeding season only (100 d) laid eggs with environmentally relevant levels of total PCBs (34.0 microg/g whole egg wet wt vs 0 microg/g for controls). Reproduction changed during, not after, PCB exposure in this two-year study. The PCB-exposed pairs laid smaller clutches later in the season and laid more totally infertile clutches. Hatching success was reduced in PCB-exposed pairs, and 50% of PCB nestlings died within 3 d of hatching. Nearly 60% of PCB-exposed pairs with hatchlings failed to produce fledglings. Higher levels of total PCB residues and congeners were associated with later clutch initiation and fewer fertile eggs, hatchlings, and fledglings. We suggest that nonpersistent PCB congeners have a greater influence on reproduction than do persistent congeners.

  9. Invasive Fire Ants Reduce Reproductive Success and Alter the Reproductive Strategies of a Native Vertebrate Insectivore

    PubMed Central

    Ligon, Russell A.; Siefferman, Lynn; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    Background Introduced organisms can alter ecosystems by disrupting natural ecological relationships. For example, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have disrupted native arthropod communities throughout much of their introduced range. By competing for many of the same food resources as insectivorous vertebrates, fire ants also have the potential to disrupt vertebrate communities. Methodology/Principal Findings To explore the effects of fire ants on a native insectivorous vertebrate, we compared the reproductive success and strategies of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) inhabiting territories with different abundances of fire ants. We also created experimental dyads of adjacent territories comprised of one territory with artificially reduced fire ant abundance (treated) and one territory that was unmanipulated (control). We found that more bluebird young fledged from treated territories than from adjacent control territories. Fire ant abundance also explained significant variation in two measures of reproductive success across the study population: number of fledglings and hatching success of second clutches. Furthermore, the likelihood of bluebird parents re-nesting in the same territory was negatively influenced by the abundance of foraging fire ants, and parents nesting in territories with experimentally reduced abundances of fire ants produced male-biased broods relative to pairs in adjacent control territories. Conclusions/Significance Introduced fire ants altered both the reproductive success (number of fledglings, hatching success) and strategies (decision to renest, offspring sex-ratio) of eastern bluebirds. These results illustrate the negative effects that invasive species can have on native biota, including species from taxonomically distant groups. PMID:21799904

  10. Invasive fire ants reduce reproductive success and alter the reproductive strategies of a native vertebrate insectivore.

    PubMed

    Ligon, Russell A; Siefferman, Lynn; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2011-01-01

    Introduced organisms can alter ecosystems by disrupting natural ecological relationships. For example, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) have disrupted native arthropod communities throughout much of their introduced range. By competing for many of the same food resources as insectivorous vertebrates, fire ants also have the potential to disrupt vertebrate communities. To explore the effects of fire ants on a native insectivorous vertebrate, we compared the reproductive success and strategies of eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) inhabiting territories with different abundances of fire ants. We also created experimental dyads of adjacent territories comprised of one territory with artificially reduced fire ant abundance (treated) and one territory that was unmanipulated (control). We found that more bluebird young fledged from treated territories than from adjacent control territories. Fire ant abundance also explained significant variation in two measures of reproductive success across the study population: number of fledglings and hatching success of second clutches. Furthermore, the likelihood of bluebird parents re-nesting in the same territory was negatively influenced by the abundance of foraging fire ants, and parents nesting in territories with experimentally reduced abundances of fire ants produced male-biased broods relative to pairs in adjacent control territories. Introduced fire ants altered both the reproductive success (number of fledglings, hatching success) and strategies (decision to renest, offspring sex-ratio) of eastern bluebirds. These results illustrate the negative effects that invasive species can have on native biota, including species from taxonomically distant groups.

  11. Assessing relative abundance and reproductive success of shrubsteppe raptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lehman, Robert N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.

    1998-01-01

    From 1991-1994, we quantified relative abundance and reproductive success of the Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus), Burrowing Owl (Speotytoc unicularia), and Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) on the shrubsteppe plateaus (benchlands) in and near the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho. To assess relative abundance, we searched randomly selected plots using four sampling methods: point counts, line transects, and quadrats of two sizes. On a persampling-effort basis, transects were slightly more effective than point counts and quadrats for locating raptor nests (3.4 pairs detected/100 h of effort vs. 2.2-3.1 pairs). Random sampling using quadrats failed to detect a Short-eared Owl population increase from 1993 to 1994. To evaluate nesting success, we tried to determine reproductive outcome for all nesting attempts located during random, historical, and incidental nest searches. We compared nesting success estimates based on all nesting attempts, on attempts found during incubation, and the Mayfield model. Most pairs used to evaluate success were pairs found incidentally. Visits to historical nesting areas yielded the highest number of pairs per sampling effort (14.6/100 h), but reoccupancy rates for most species decreased through time. Estimates based on all attempts had the highest sample sizes but probably overestimated success for all species except the Ferruginous Hawk. Estimates of success based on nesting attempts found during incubation had the lowest sample sizes. All three methods yielded biased nesting snccess estimates for the Northern Harrier and Short-eared Owl. The estimate based on pairs found during incubation probably provided the least biased estimate for the Burrowing Owl. Assessments of nesting success were hindered by difficulties in confirming egg laying and nesting success for all species except the Ferruginous hawk.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  13. 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

  14. Linking genotoxic responses and reproductive success in ecotoxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.L.; Wild, G.C.

    1994-12-01

    The potential of genotoxicity biomarkers as predictors of detrimental environmental effects, such as altered reproductive success of wild organisms, must be rigorously determined. Recent research to evaluate relationships between genotoxic responses and indicators of reproductive success in model animals is described from an ecotoxicological perspective. Genotoxicity can be correlated with reproductive effects such as gamete loss due to cell death; embryonic mortality; and heritable mutations in a range of model animals including polychaete worms, nematodes, sea urchins, amphibians, and fish. In preliminary studies, the polychaete worm, Neanthes arenaceodentata, and the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, have also shown the potential for cumulative DNA damage in gametes. If DNA repair capacity is limited in gametes, then selected life history traits such as long and synchronous periods of gametogenesis may confer vulnerability to genotoxic substances in chronic exposures. Recommendations for future research include strategic development of animal models that can be used to elucidate multiple mechanisms of effect (multiend point) at varying levels of biological organization (multilevel). 27 refs., 2 tabs.

  15. Do "helpers at the nest" increase their parents' reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Crognier, E; Baali, A; Hilali, M K

    2001-01-01

    "Helpers at the nest," usually offspring of a preceding litter who contribute by feeding the young to increase the reproductive success of a breeding pair, are known in many species of birds and mammals. Although similar behaviors were described by ethnological observations in several human societies, there is a lack of data on their existence and role. This study of 794 reproductive life histories of post-menopausal Berber women of Southern Morocco aims to provide such information. Results show that the presence of "probable helpers" in the household is related to higher fertility scores and is associated with improved survival of offspring to sexual maturity. In contrast to sparse observations from other human societies, there is no indication that child caretaking would be specific to eldest daughters. Although the association between offspring survival and helping patterns seems highly probable, there is no confirmation that child caretaking per se is the relevant variable. Contrary to nonhuman helpers at the nest, workloads of children range from housekeeping to light agricultural tasks, and are not focused on assisting younger siblings. The improvement of reproductive success is probably the result of multiple interactions, among which the network of kinship would play a role at both the levels of economy and reciprocal assistance.

  16. Determinants of reproductive success in dominant female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Hodge, Sarah J; Manica, A; Flower, T P; Clutton-Brock, T H

    2008-01-01

    1. In cooperative societies with high reproductive skew, selection on females is likely to operate principally through variation in the probability of acquiring dominant status and variation in reproductive success while dominant. Despite this, few studies of cooperative societies have investigated the factors that influence which females become dominant, and/or their reproductive output while in the dominant position. 2. Here we use long-term data from a wild meerkats population to describe variation in the breeding success of dominant female meerkats Suricata suricatta and investigate its causes. 3. Female meerkats compete intensely for breeding positions, and the probability of acquiring the breeding role depends upon a female's age in relation to competitors and her weight, both at the time of dominance acquisition and early in life. 4. Once dominant, individual differences in breeding success depend principally on the duration of dominance tenure. Females remain for longer in the dominant position if they are heavier than their competitors at the start of dominance, and if the number of adult female competitors at the start is low. 5. Female breeding success is also affected by variation in fecundity and pup survival, both of which increase with group size. After controlling for these effects, female body weight has a positive influence on breeding rate and litter size, while the number of adult female competitors reduces litter survival. 6. These findings suggest that selection for body weight and competitive ability will be high in female meerkats, which may moderate their investment in cooperative activities. We suggest that similar consequences of competition may occur among females in other cooperative societies where the benefits of attaining dominance status are high.

  17. 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.

  18. Reproductive endocrinology and weight change in relation to reproductive success in the magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus).

    PubMed

    Fowler, G S; Wingfield, J C; Boersma, P D; Sosa, R A

    1994-06-01

    The Magellanic penguin is a colonial monogamous species that lays only a single clutch of two eggs per year. However, failed breeders remain at the colony and engage in nest building, fights, and copulations without relaying. The seasonal changes in reproductive hormones and body weight through the nesting cycle were studied, with respect to the reproductive success or failure of individuals. Body weight changed dramatically in both sexes through the season, in response to fasting during incubation, and high body weight in males at the onset of incubation was a strong predictor of eventual reproductive success. Circulating steroid hormones had a biphasic seasonal pattern, with elevated levels during the sexual phase of breeding (prior to egg laying), declining to low, stable levels during the parental phase after eggs were laid. Luteinizing hormone levels were elevated in females, but not in males, prior to egg laying. Both sexes responded to reproductive failure by increasing the secretion of testosterone, and females also increased the secretion of estradiol, a response that would be expected of a species that can renest following failure. However, renesting is extremely rare, and this hormonal response to failure may instead serve to promote maintenance of pair bonds and also territory ownership across years.

  19. Reproductive success in wild and hatchery male coho salmon

    PubMed Central

    Neff, Bryan D.; Garner, Shawn R.; Fleming, Ian A.; Gross, Mart R.

    2015-01-01

    Salmon produced by hatcheries have lower fitness in the wild than naturally produced salmon, but the factors underlying this difference remain an active area of research. We used genetic parentage analysis of alevins produced by experimentally mixed groups of wild and hatchery coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) to quantify male paternity in spawning hierarchies. We identify factors influencing paternity and revise previously published behavioural estimates of reproductive success for wild and hatchery males. We observed a strong effect of hierarchy size and hierarchy position on paternity: in two-male hierarchies, the first male sired 63% (±29%; s.d.) of the alevins and the second male 37% (±29%); in three-male hierarchies, the first male sired 64% (±26%), the second male 24% (±20%) and the third male 12% (±10%). As previously documented, hatchery males hold inferior positions in spawning hierarchies, but we also discovered that hatchery males had only 55–84% the paternity of wild males when occupying the same position within a spawning hierarchy. This paternity difference may result from inferior performance of hatchery males during sperm competition, female mate choice for wild males, or differential offspring survival. Regardless of its cause, the combination of inferior hierarchical position and inferior success at a position resulted in hatchery males having only half (51%) the reproductive success of wild males. PMID:26361548

  20. Habitat fragmentation and reproductive success: a structural equation modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Le Tortorec, Eric; Helle, Samuli; Käyhkö, Niina; Suorsa, Petri; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2013-09-01

    1. There is great interest on the effects of habitat fragmentation, whereby habitat is lost and the spatial configuration of remaining habitat patches is altered, on individual breeding performance. However, we still lack consensus of how this important process affects reproductive success, and whether its effects are mainly due to reduced fecundity or nestling survival. 2. The main reason for this may be the way that habitat fragmentation has been previously modelled. Studies have treated habitat loss and altered spatial configuration as two independent processes instead of as one hierarchical and interdependent process, and therefore have not been able to consider the relative direct and indirect effects of habitat loss and altered spatial configuration. 3. We investigated how habitat (i.e. old forest) fragmentation, caused by intense forest harvesting at the territory and landscape scales, is associated with the number of fledged offspring of an area-sensitive passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the complex hierarchical associations between habitat loss and altered spatial configuration on the number of fledged offspring, by controlling for individual condition and weather conditions during incubation. 4. Against generally held expectations, treecreeper reproductive success did not show a significant association with habitat fragmentation measured at the territory scale. Instead, our analyses suggested that an increasing amount of habitat at the landscape scale caused a significant increase in nest predation rates, leading to reduced reproductive success. This effect operated directly on nest predation rates, instead of acting indirectly through altered spatial configuration. 5. Because habitat amount and configuration are inherently strongly collinear, particularly when multiple scales are considered, our study demonstrates the usefulness of a SEM approach for hierarchical partitioning

  1. Sexual selection leads to a tenfold difference in reproductive success of alternative reproductive tactics in male Atlantic salmon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tentelier, Cédric; Lepais, Olivier; Larranaga, Nicolas; Manicki, Aurélie; Lange, Frédéric; Rives, Jacques

    2016-06-01

    The precocious maturation of some male Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar L.) has become a textbook example of alternative mating tactics, but the only estimates of reproductive success available so far are either the collective contribution of precocious males to reproduction in the wild or individual reproductive success in oversimplified experimental conditions. Using genetic parentage analysis on anadromous and precocious potential spawners and their offspring, we quantified components of individual reproductive success of both tactics in a natural population. On average, precocious males produced 2.24 (variance 67.62) offspring, against 27.17 (3080) for anadromous males. For both tactics, most of the variance in reproductive success was due to mating success, with 83 % of precocious males having no mate, against 50 % for anadromous males. Body size increased reproductive success of anadromous males and tended to decrease precocious males' reproductive success. Although these results do not solve the coexistence of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in Atlantic salmon, their inclusion in comprehensive models of lifetime reproductive success should shed light on the evolution of precocious maturation in Atlantic salmon and its effect on the selection of phenotypic traits.

  2. Sexual selection leads to a tenfold difference in reproductive success of alternative reproductive tactics in male Atlantic salmon.

    PubMed

    Tentelier, Cédric; Lepais, Olivier; Larranaga, Nicolas; Manicki, Aurélie; Lange, Frédéric; Rives, Jacques

    2016-06-01

    The precocious maturation of some male Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) has become a textbook example of alternative mating tactics, but the only estimates of reproductive success available so far are either the collective contribution of precocious males to reproduction in the wild or individual reproductive success in oversimplified experimental conditions. Using genetic parentage analysis on anadromous and precocious potential spawners and their offspring, we quantified components of individual reproductive success of both tactics in a natural population. On average, precocious males produced 2.24 (variance 67.62) offspring, against 27.17 (3080) for anadromous males. For both tactics, most of the variance in reproductive success was due to mating success, with 83% of precocious males having no mate, against 50% for anadromous males. Body size increased reproductive success of anadromous males and tended to decrease precocious males' reproductive success. Although these results do not solve the coexistence of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in Atlantic salmon, their inclusion in comprehensive models of lifetime reproductive success should shed light on the evolution of precocious maturation in Atlantic salmon and its effect on the selection of phenotypic traits.

  3. Warfare and reproductive success in a tribal population.

    PubMed

    Glowacki, Luke; Wrangham, Richard

    2015-01-13

    Intergroup conflict is a persistent feature of many human societies yet little is known about why individuals participate when doing so imposes a mortality risk. To evaluate whether participation in warfare is associated with reproductive benefits, we present data on participation in small-scale livestock raids among the Nyangatom, a group of nomadic pastoralists in East Africa. Nyangatom marriages require the exchange of a significant amount of bridewealth in the form of livestock. Raids are usually intended to capture livestock, which raises the question of whether and how these livestock are converted into reproductive opportunities. Over the short term, raiders do not have a greater number of wives or children than nonraiders. However, elders who were identified as prolific raiders in their youth have more wives and children than other elders. Raiders were not more likely to come from families with fewer older maternal sisters or a greater number of older maternal brothers. Our results suggest that in this cultural context raiding provides opportunities for increased reproductive success over the lifetime.

  4. Warfare and reproductive success in a tribal population

    PubMed Central

    Glowacki, Luke; Wrangham, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Intergroup conflict is a persistent feature of many human societies yet little is known about why individuals participate when doing so imposes a mortality risk. To evaluate whether participation in warfare is associated with reproductive benefits, we present data on participation in small-scale livestock raids among the Nyangatom, a group of nomadic pastoralists in East Africa. Nyangatom marriages require the exchange of a significant amount of bridewealth in the form of livestock. Raids are usually intended to capture livestock, which raises the question of whether and how these livestock are converted into reproductive opportunities. Over the short term, raiders do not have a greater number of wives or children than nonraiders. However, elders who were identified as prolific raiders in their youth have more wives and children than other elders. Raiders were not more likely to come from families with fewer older maternal sisters or a greater number of older maternal brothers. Our results suggest that in this cultural context raiding provides opportunities for increased reproductive success over the lifetime. PMID:25548190

  5. Leadership Effects on Student Achievement and Sustained School Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobson, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of leadership on student achievement and sustained school success, especially in challenging, high-poverty schools. Design/methodology/approach: The paper combines a review of the leadership literature with findings drawn from longitudinal studies of the International Successful School…

  6. Transfer, Retention, and Achievement as Measures of School Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuethe, James L.

    The frequent claim that programs have failed and that the schools themselves have failed are largely based on one measure of success: achievement scores. This paper raises the question of whether or not alternative criteria of success might not be more appropriate. Gains in learning and the extent to which school learning is transferred to…

  7. Helping Students Improve Academic Achievement and School Success Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brigman, Greg; Campbell, Chari

    2003-01-01

    This article describes a study evaluating the impact of school-counselor-led interventions on student academic achievement and school success behavior. A group counseling and classroom guidance model called student success skills (SSS) was the primary intervention. The focus of the SSS model was on three sets of skills identified in several…

  8. Leadership Effects on Student Achievement and Sustained School Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobson, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of leadership on student achievement and sustained school success, especially in challenging, high-poverty schools. Design/methodology/approach: The paper combines a review of the leadership literature with findings drawn from longitudinal studies of the International Successful School…

  9. Helping Students Improve Academic Achievement and School Success Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brigman, Greg; Campbell, Chari

    2003-01-01

    This article describes a study evaluating the impact of school-counselor-led interventions on student academic achievement and school success behavior. A group counseling and classroom guidance model called student success skills (SSS) was the primary intervention. The focus of the SSS model was on three sets of skills identified in several…

  10. Management Succession, School Socioeconomic Context, and Basic Skills Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowan, Brian; Denk, Charles E.

    1984-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of a change in principals (management succession) on school level basic skills achievement using longitudinal data on 149 San Francisco Bay Area Schools. The findings indicate that changes can affect school achievement, but that leadership effects develop slowly and are conditioned by a schools' socioeconomic…

  11. Building Capability, Empowering Students, and Achieving Success: The Financial Empowerment for Student Success Initiative

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Broun, Dan

    2014-01-01

    The Financial Empowerment for Student Success (FESS) Initiative was a two-year initiative focused on increasing student success through the provision of financial services. Achieving the Dream, Inc. and MDC, Inc. joined together, with funding from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, to support three Achieving the Dream Leader Colleges to…

  12. Limits to reproductive success of Sarracenia purpurea (Sarraceniaceae).

    PubMed

    Ne'eman, Gidi; Ne'eman, Rina; Ellison, Aaron M

    2006-11-01

    Plant biologists have an enduring interest in assessing components of plant fitness and determining limits to seed set. Consequently, the relative contributions of resource and pollinator availability have been documented for a large number of plant species. We experimentally examined the roles of resource and pollen availability on seed set by the northern pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. We were able to distinguish the relative contributions of carbon (photosynthate) and mineral nutrients (nitrogen) to reproductive success. We also determined potential pollinators of this species. The bees Bombus affinis and Augochlorella aurata and the fly Fletcherimyia fletcheri were the only floral visitors to S. purpurea that collected pollen. Supplemental pollination increased seed set by <10%, a much lower percentage than would be expected, given data from noncarnivorous, animal-pollinated taxa. Seed set was reduced by 14% in plants that could not capture prey and by another 23% in plants whose pitcher-shaped leaves were also prevented from photosynthesizing. We conclude that resources are more important than pollen availability in determining seed set by this pitcher plant and that reproductive output may be another "cost" of the carnivorous habit.

  13. Correlates of reproductive success in a Caribbean village.

    PubMed

    Flinn, M V

    1986-06-01

    The concept of individual reproductive success was investigated in a rural Trinidadian village by analyzing genealogical, economic and demographic data. The author conducted field research in the village of Grand Anse, on the northern coast of Trinidad, with 342 inhabitants, collecting accurate genealogies, information on economic assets and occupations, residence, horticultural productivity, flow of material resources between individuals, and past and current mating and marriage relationships. Individuals with more land had more offspring, especially so for males. Males with land had more offspring by more mates than less prosperous males. Although this may have occurred because females desired males who were well dressed, gave them presents, and appeared to be able to support children, in fact, the village elders exerted considerable control over mating relationships. Young males with a father resident in the village had more children. Fathers helped their sons get jobs, controlled land, conferred social standing. The findings were surprisingly congruent with current evolutionary models of mating systems developed from the study of nonhuman organisms: specifically the hypothesis that organisms evolve to amass resources in ways that maximize the reproduction of their genetic materials.

  14. Mating system and reproductive success in eastern Pacific harbour seals.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Sean A; Pearse, Devon E; Costa, Daniel P; Harvey, James T; Le Boeuf, Burney J; Garza, John Carlos

    2006-09-01

    Harbour seals sometimes breed along inland travel corridors where females become clustered in space and time and males establish underwater acoustic display territories similar to terrestrial arenas known as resource-based leks. Under these conditions, we predicted that higher levels of polygyny would be observed than has been previously reported for this species mating in open coast environments without travel corridors. Reproductive success (RS) of 70 males was measured using 20 microsatellite DNA loci and likelihood-based paternity analysis of 136 offspring collected over 3 years. Most males were assigned either zero or one paternity with 80% confidence. The greatest number of pups assigned to one male in a season was two. Variance in RS was higher for males than females (which are biologically limited to one offspring per year) indicating low to mild polygyny. In addition, distributions of relatedness values among pups within year classes did not differ significantly from a simulated distribution with R = 0, indicating that half-siblings were uncommon. Overall, polygyny levels were low relative to terrestrial pinniped mating systems and similar to observations from a harbour seal population along an open coast. Due to large confidence intervals associated with our results, we cannot rule out the hypothesis that a travel corridor might increase the degree of polygyny skew relative to that observed in open coast environments. Habitat appeared to influence male strategies as the most successful males in open coast environments patrolled offshore, while the most successful male in this study defended a territory along the travel corridor.

  15. Reproductive success of belted kingfishers on the upper Hudson River.

    PubMed

    Bridge, Eli S; Kelly, Jeffrey F

    2013-08-01

    Belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) are predators in many North American aquatic ecosystems; as such, they are prone to bioaccumulation of certain environmental contaminants. In 2002 and 2004, kingfisher eggs collected near the upper Hudson River in New York had elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the kingfisher population in this area was reported to be at risk because of PCB exposure. From 2007 to 2009, the authors monitored 69 kingfisher nests on the Hudson River to track both nest success and survival of individual nestlings. The study site consisted of 2 adjacent sections of the Hudson River, 1 upstream and 1 downstream of a historic PCB source. The authors compared models of nest success that differentially incorporated the following 4 variables that they deemed most likely to affect reproductive output: 1) river section (upstream vs downstream of PCB source), 2) year, 3) hatch date, and 4) abandonment by 1 parent. After ranking models according to Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes, it was clear that parental abandonment was the most important of the factors examined. River section was not an important parameter, and overall nesting success was slightly higher in the PCB-contaminated section than in the upstream area. These findings support the conclusion that kingfisher productivity is not adversely impacted by PCB contamination in the upper Hudson River.

  16. Breeding experience, alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success in a captive colony of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches.

  17. Breeding Experience, Alternative Reproductive Strategies and Reproductive Success in a Captive Colony of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    PubMed Central

    Baran, Nicole M.; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a remarkable diversity of different reproductive strategies both between and within species. Species such as the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) may evolve the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, as well as benefit from prior breeding experience, which allows them to adaptively respond to unpredictable environments. In birds, the flexible use of alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair mating, has been reported to be associated with fast reproduction, high mortality and environmental variability. However, little is known about the role of previous breeding experience in the adaptive use of alternative reproductive strategies. Here we performed an in-depth study of reproductive outcomes in a population of domesticated zebra finches, testing the impact of prior breeding experience on the use of alternative reproductive strategies and reproductive success. We provide evidence that older females with prior breeding experience are quicker to initiate a clutch with a new partner and have increased success in chick rearing, even in a captive colony of zebra finches with minimal foraging demands. We also find evidence that the breeding experience of other females in the same social group influences reproductive investment by female zebra finches. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the use of alternative reproductive strategies in female zebra finches is associated with previous failed breeding attempts with the same pair partner. The results provide evidence that age and breeding experience play important roles in the flexible use of both facultative and adaptive reproductive strategies in female zebra finches. PMID:24587051

  18. Incorporating Results of Avian Toxicity Tests into a Model of Annual Reproductive Success

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript presents a modeling approach for translating results from laboratory avian reproduction tests into an estimate of pesticide-caused change in the annual reproductive success of birds, also known as fecundity rate.

  19. Incorporating Results of Avian Toxicity Tests into a Model of Annual Reproductive Success

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript presents a modeling approach for translating results from laboratory avian reproduction tests into an estimate of pesticide-caused change in the annual reproductive success of birds, also known as fecundity rate.

  20. Variance in the reproductive success of dominant male mountain gorillas.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Andrew M; Gray, Maryke; Uwingeli, Prosper; Mburanumwe, Innocent; Kagoda, Edwin; Robbins, Martha M

    2014-10-01

    Using 30 years of demographic data from 15 groups, this study estimates how harem size, female fertility, and offspring survival may contribute to variance in the siring rates of dominant male mountain gorillas throughout the Virunga Volcano Region. As predicted for polygynous species, differences in harem size were the greatest source of variance in the siring rate, whereas differences in female fertility and offspring survival were relatively minor. Harem size was positively correlated with offspring survival, even after removing all known and suspected cases of infanticide, so the correlation does not seem to reflect differences in the ability of males to protect their offspring. Harem size was not significantly correlated with female fertility, which is consistent with the hypothesis that mountain gorillas have minimal feeding competition. Harem size, offspring survival, and siring rates were not significantly correlated with the proportion of dominant tenures that occurred in multimale groups versus one-male groups; even though infanticide is less likely when those tenures end in multimale groups than one-male groups. In contrast with the relatively small contribution of offspring survival to variance in the siring rates of this study, offspring survival is a major source of variance in the male reproductive success of western gorillas, which have greater predation risks and significantly higher rates of infanticide. If differences in offspring protection are less important among male mountain gorillas than western gorillas, then the relative importance of other factors may be greater for mountain gorillas. Thus, our study illustrates how variance in male reproductive success and its components can differ between closely related species.

  1. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  2. Closing the Achievement Gap: Lessons from Successful Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Billig, Shelley H.; Jaime, Ivonne I.; Abrams, Andrew; Fitzpatrick, Matthew; Kendrick, Ellen

    2005-01-01

    This report recounts how four high schools were able to narrow or completely close the achievement gap and sustain their success over time. The four schools are all large, comprehensive public high schools that serve large percentages of minority students. They were selected based on their four-year record of narrowing or closing the achievement…

  3. Raising Academic Achievement: A Study of 20 Successful Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jurich, Sonia; Estes, Steve

    This document contains information about the methodology and findings of a study that identified 20 programs across the United States that have been successful in raising student's academic achievement. Part 1 contains the following items: (1) an explanation of the process and criteria used to select the 20 examples of excellence drawn from the 96…

  4. The reproductive cycle of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) and factors associated with reproductive success in captivity.

    PubMed

    Keeley, T; O'Brien, J K; Fanson, B G; Masters, K; McGreevy, P D

    2012-04-01

    Numbers of wild Tasmanian devils are declining as a result of the fatal, transmissible Devil Facial Tumor Disease. A captive insurance population program has been initiated but current captive breeding rates are sub-optimal and therefore the goal of this project was to increase our understanding of the estrous cycle of the devil and elucidate potential causes of failed male-female pairings. Temporal patterns of fecal progestagen and corticosterone metabolite concentrations were examined for females (n=41) in three categories of reproductive status (successful: viable young, n=20 estrous cycles; unsuccessful: paired with a male but no young confirmed, n=44 estrous cycles; non-mated: no access to a male during estrus, n=8 estrous cycles) but substantial differences were not found. Females were more likely to produce pouch young if pairing with the male extended into late proestrus (P<0.05), thereby decreasing the time between pairing and presumed ovulation. The interval between the end of proestrous elevation in progestagen metabolite concentrations and the beginning of the luteal phase was 7.6±2.3 days in successful females. The length of the luteal phase in successful females was 12.5±1.4 days which was not different from unsuccessful or non-mated females (P>0.05). Unsuccessful females had 1-3 estrous cycles within a single year. Successful females were predominantly wild-caught (17/19, 90%) and most produced young following the first estrous cycle of the season (18/20, 90%). Unsuccessful females were predominantly captive born (20/27, 74%) in this study. It is possible that a proportion of females that do not produce pouch young achieve conception but the timing of reproductive failure continues to be elusive in this species. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. International Conference on Population and Development at 15 Years: Achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for All?

    PubMed Central

    Roseman, Mindy Jane

    2010-01-01

    Sexual and reproductive health remains the contentious concept it was at the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt. In light of the recent 15-year review of ICPD, we suggest several areas where advocates, practitioners, and researchers can inform future progress for sexual and reproductive health. These include the following: improving measurement and accountability related to the evidence base for sexual and reproductive health, indicators of program success, and the tracking of resource flows; creating and renewing alliances to strengthen advocacy; and employing new resource mobilization strategies. Given the 20-year goals established at ICPD, now is the time to move toward finally achieving the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda. PMID:20075310

  6. International Conference on Population and Development at 15 years: achieving sexual and reproductive health and rights for all?

    PubMed

    Roseman, Mindy Jane; Reichenbach, Laura

    2010-03-01

    Sexual and reproductive health remains the contentious concept it was at the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo, Egypt. In light of the recent 15-year review of ICPD, we suggest several areas where advocates, practitioners, and researchers can inform future progress for sexual and reproductive health. These include the following: improving measurement and accountability related to the evidence base for sexual and reproductive health, indicators of program success, and the tracking of resource flows; creating and renewing alliances to strengthen advocacy; and employing new resource mobilization strategies. Given the 20-year goals established at ICPD, now is the time to move toward finally achieving the sexual and reproductive health and rights agenda.

  7. Accurate Alternative Measurements for Female Lifetime Reproductive Success in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Trinh T. X.; Moehring, Amanda J.

    2015-01-01

    Fitness is an individual’s ability to survive and reproduce, and is an important concept in evolutionary biology. However, accurately measuring fitness is often difficult, and appropriate fitness surrogates need to be identified. Lifetime reproductive success, the total progeny an organism can produce in their lifetime, is thought to be a suitable proxy for fitness, but the measure of an organism’s reproductive output across a lifetime can be difficult or impossible to obtain. Here we demonstrate that the short-term measure of reproductive success across five days provides a reasonable prediction of an individual's total lifetime reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster. However, the lifetime reproductive success of a female that has only mated once is not correlated to the lifetime reproductive success of a female that is allowed to mate multiple times, demonstrating that these measures should not serve as surrogates nor be used to make inferences about one another. PMID:26125633

  8. Steelhead Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success, 2008 Annul Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Hatch, Douglas R.

    2009-04-02

    Iteroparity, the ability to repeat spawn, is a natural life history strategy that is expressed by some species from the family Salmonidae. Current rates of observed steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss iteroparity rates in the Columbia River Basin are severely depressed due to anthropogenic development which includes operation of the hydropower system and other habitat degradations. Artificial reconditioning, which is the process of culturing post-spawned fish (kelts) in a captive environment until they are able to reinitiate feeding, growth, and redevelop mature gonads, is evaluated in this study as method to restore depressed steelhead populations. To test the efficacy of steelhead kelt reconditioning as a management and recovery tool different scenarios were investigated ranging from very low intensity (collect and transport fish) to high intensity (collect and feed fish in captivity until rematuration). Examinations of gamete and progeny viability were performed for first-time spawners and reconditioned kelt steelhead. We have continued to examine reproductive success of reconditioned kelt steelhead in Omak Creek using microsatellite loci to perform parentage analysis on juvenile O. mykiss . The groundwork has also begun on developing a genetic analysis of the Yakima subbasin in order to determine steelhead kelt contribution by utilizing parentage analysis on a larger scale. A research and study plan has been developed cooperatively with the University of Idaho to determine the feasibility of steelhead kelt reconditioning program in the Snake River Basin. Analysis of management scenarios indicated that while no-term and short-term reconditioned kelts continue to perform well outmigrating to the ocean but returns from these groups have been low ranging from 0-12% during 2002-2008. Survival (56%) of fish in the long-term treatment in 2008 was the highest we have observed in this project. Analyzing the three different management scenarios within the Yakima River subbasin

  9. miR-124 controls male reproductive success in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Ruifen; Chin, Jacqueline SR; Yew, Joanne Y; Bushati, Natascha; Cohen, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

    Many aspects of social behavior are controlled by sex-specific pheromones. Gender-appropriate production of the sexually dimorphic transcription factors doublesex and fruitless controls sexual differentiation and sexual behavior. miR-124 mutant males exhibited increased male–male courtship and reduced reproductive success with females. Females showed a strong preference for wild-type males over miR-124 mutant males when given a choice of mates. These effects were traced to aberrant pheromone production. We identified the sex-specific splicing factor transformer as a functionally significant target of miR-124 in this context, suggesting a role for miR-124 in the control of male sexual differentiation and behavior, by limiting inappropriate expression of the female form of transformer. miR-124 is required to ensure fidelity of gender-appropriate pheromone production in males. Use of a microRNA provides a secondary means of controlling the cascade of sex-specific splicing events that controls sexual differentiation in Drosophila. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00640.001 PMID:23795292

  10. When do we eat? Ingestive behavior, survival, and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Jill E; Wise, Justina D; Benton, Noah A; Brozek, Jeremy M; Keen-Rhinehart, Erin

    2013-09-01

    The neuroendocrinology of ingestive behavior is a topic central to human health, particularly in light of the prevalence of obesity, eating disorders, and diabetes. The study of food intake in laboratory rats and mice has yielded some useful hypotheses, but there are still many gaps in our knowledge. Ingestive behavior is more complex than the consummatory act of eating, and decisions about when and how much to eat usually take place in the context of potential mating partners, competitors, predators, and environmental fluctuations that are not present in the laboratory. We emphasize appetitive behaviors, actions that bring animals in contact with a goal object, precede consummatory behaviors, and provide a window into motivation. Appetitive ingestive behaviors are under the control of neural circuits and neuropeptide systems that control appetitive sex behaviors and differ from those that control consummatory ingestive behaviors. Decreases in the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels enhance the stimulatory effects of peripheral hormones on appetitive ingestive behavior and the inhibitory effects on appetitive sex behavior, putting a new twist on the notion of leptin, insulin, and ghrelin "resistance." The ratio of hormone concentrations to the availability of oxidizable metabolic fuels may generate a critical signal that schedules conflicting behaviors, e.g., mate searching vs. foraging, food hoarding vs. courtship, and fat accumulation vs. parental care. In species representing every vertebrate taxa and even in some invertebrates, many putative "satiety" or "hunger" hormones function to schedule ingestive behavior in order to optimize reproductive success in environments where energy availability fluctuates.

  11. Factors influencing territorial occupancy and reproductive success in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population.

    PubMed

    León-Ortega, Mario; Jiménez-Franco, María V; Martínez, José E; Calvo, José F

    2017-01-01

    Modelling territorial occupancy and reproductive success is a key issue for better understanding the population dynamics of territorial species. This study aimed to investigate these ecological processes in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population in south-eastern Spain during a seven-year period. A multi-season, multi-state modelling approach was followed to estimate the probabilities of occupancy and reproductive success in relation to previous state, time and habitat covariates, and accounting for imperfect detection. The best estimated models showed past breeding success in the territories to be the most important factor determining a high probability of reoccupation and reproductive success in the following year. In addition, alternative occupancy models suggested the positive influence of crops on the probability of territory occupation. By contrast, the best reproductive model revealed strong interannual variations in the rates of breeding success, which may be related to changes in the abundance of the European Rabbit, the main prey of the Eurasian Eagle-owl. Our models also estimated the probabilities of detecting the presence of owls in a given territory and the probability of detecting evidence of successful reproduction. Estimated detection probabilities were high throughout the breeding season, decreasing in time for unsuccessful breeders but increasing for successful breeders. The probability of detecting reproductive success increased with time, being close to one in the last survey. These results suggest that reproduction failure in the early stages of the breeding season is a determinant factor in the probability of detecting occupancy and reproductive success.

  12. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population.

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were 'good' prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  13. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  14. Replete vitamin D stores predict reproductive success following IVF

    PubMed Central

    Ozkan, Sebiha; Jindal, Sangita; Greenseid, Keri; Shu, Jun; Zeitlian, Gohar; Hickmon, Cheryl; Pal, Lubna

    2009-01-01

    Objective Hypothesizing that levels of 25OH-D in body fluids are reflective of vitamin repletion status, we aimed to determine if 25OH-D levels in the follicular fluid (FF) of infertile women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) demonstrate a relationship with IVF cycle parameters and outcome. Design Prospective Cohort study Setting Academic tertiary care center Patients 84 infertile women undergoing IVF Interventions FF from follicles ≥14mm; serum (n=10) and FF levels of 25OH-D Main outcome measures Clinical pregnancy (CP) (defined as evidence of intrauterine gestation sac on ultrasound) following IVF; IVF cycle parameters. Results Serum and FF levels of 25OH-D were highly correlated (r=0.94, p<0.001). In a predominantly Caucasian population (66%), significantly lower FF 25OH-D levels were noted in Black versus non-Black patients (p=0.001). Significant inverse correlations were seen between FF 25OH-D levels and BMI (r−0.25, p=0.035). Significantly higher CP and implantation rates were observed across tertiles of FF25OH-D (p=0.029 and p=0.041 respectively); patients achieving CP following IVF (n=26) exhibited significantly higher FF levels of 25OH-D (p=0.005). Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed FF 25OH-D levels as an independent predictor to success of an IVF cycle; adjusting for age, BMI, ethnicity and number of embryos transferred (ET) each ng/ml increase in FF 25OH-D increased the likelihood for achieving CP by 6% (p=0.030). Conclusion Our findings that women with higher vitamin D level in their serum and FF are significantly more likely to achieve CP following IVF-ET are novel. A potential for benefit of vitamin D supplementation on treatment success in infertile patients undergoing IVF is suggested that merits further investigation. PMID:19589516

  15. Classical Markov Chains: A Unifying Framework for Understanding Avian Reproductive Success

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditional methods for monitoring and analysis of avian nesting success have several important shortcomings, including 1) inability to handle multiple classes of nest failure, and 2) inability to provide estimates of annual reproductive success (because birds can, and typically ...

  16. Classical Markov Chains: A Unifying Framework for Understanding Avian Reproductive Success

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditional methods for monitoring and analysis of avian nesting success have several important shortcomings, including 1) inability to handle multiple classes of nest failure, and 2) inability to provide estimates of annual reproductive success (because birds can, and typically ...

  17. Reproductive success is energetically linked to foraging efficiency in Antarctic fur seals

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The efficiency with which individuals extract energy from their environment defines their survival and reproductive success, and thus their selective contribution to the population. Individuals that forage more efficiently (i.e., when energy gained exceeds energy expended) are likely to be more successful at raising viable offspring than individuals that forage less efficiently. Our goal was to test this prediction in large long-lived mammals under free-ranging conditions. To do so, we equipped 20 lactating Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) breeding on Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean with tags that recorded GPS locations, depth and tri-axial acceleration to determine at-sea behaviours and detailed time-activity budgets during their foraging trips. We also simultaneously measured energy spent at sea using the doubly-labeled water (DLW) method, and estimated the energy acquired while foraging from 1) type and energy content of prey species present in scat remains, and 2) numbers of prey capture attempts determined from head acceleration. Finally, we followed the growth of 36 pups from birth until weaning (of which 20 were the offspring of our 20 tracked mothers), and used the relative differences in body mass of pups at weaning as an index of first year survival and thus the reproductive success of their mothers. Our results show that females with greater foraging efficiencies produced relatively bigger pups at weaning. These mothers achieved greater foraging efficiency by extracting more energy per minute of diving rather than by reducing energy expenditure. This strategy also resulted in the females spending less time diving and less time overall at sea, which allowed them to deliver higher quality milk to their pups, or allowed their pups to suckle more frequently, or both. The linkage we demonstrate between reproductive success and the quality of individuals as foragers provides an individual-based quantitative framework to investigate how

  18. Condition dependence of male and female reproductive success: insights from a simultaneous hermaphrodite.

    PubMed

    Janicke, Tim; Chapuis, Elodie

    2016-02-01

    Sexually selected traits are predicted to show condition dependence by capturing the genetic quality of its bearer. In separate-sexed organisms, this will ultimately translate into condition dependence of reproductive success of the sex that experiences sexual selection, which is typically the male. Such condition dependence of reproductive success is predicted to be higher in males than females under conditions promoting intense sexual selection. For simultaneous hermaphrodites, however, sex allocation theory predicts that individuals in poor condition channel relatively more resources into the male sex function at the expense of the female function. Thus, male reproductive success is expected to be less condition dependent than female reproductive success. We subjected individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Physa acuta to two feeding treatments to test for condition dependence of male and female reproductive success under varying levels of male-male competition. Condition dependence was found for female, but not for male, reproductive success, meaning that selection on condition is relatively stronger through the female sex function. This effect was consistent over both male-male competition treatments. Decomposition of male and female reproductive performance revealed that individuals in poor condition copulated more in their male role, indicating an increased male allocation to mate acquisition. These findings suggest that sex-specific condition dependence of reproductive success is at least partially driven by condition-dependent sex allocation. We discuss the implications of condition-dependent sex allocation for the evolution of sexually selected traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites.

  19. Group size and composition influence male and female reproductive success in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra).

    PubMed

    Van Belle, Sarie; Estrada, Alejandro

    2008-06-01

    It has been argued that grouping patterns might influence the reproductive performance of individuals. Increasing group size results in greater travel costs and competition over depletable food resources, which could lead to reduced individual reproductive success. However, in groups with an increasing number of males, female reproductive success is predicted to augment because larger male groups might better protect immatures from infanticidal attacks. In contrast, male reproductive success is predicted to decrease with number of males in a group because fertilization cannot be shared between males. In this paper, we test these predictions on the Mesoamerican black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) with data on group size and composition for 120 groups from eight populations of black howler monkeys existing in eight protected forests in Mexico and Guatemala. Male and female reproductive success were calculated as a deviation of the observed number of infants (or immatures) from the expected number of infants (or immatures), relative to the number of males and females in a group. Results indicate that both male and female reproductive success decreased with group size. Male reproductive success decreased with an increasing number of males in a group and with increasing proportion of males relative to females in a group. Decreased female reproductive success was associated with increasing number of females in a group, and female reproductive success had a tendency to increase with increasing number of males in a group. These results suggest that in black howler monkeys, living in larger groups might negatively affect the reproductive success of each member. Our findings are similar to those reported for a population of a sister species, Alouatta palliata, living in larger groups.

  20. Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population

    PubMed Central

    Alvergne, Alexandra; Jokela, Markus; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-01-01

    The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences of personality differences in nonhuman animals has recently undergone a surge of interest, our understanding of whether and how personality influences reproductive decisions in humans has remained limited and informed primarily by modern societies with low mortality–fertility schedules. Taking an evolutionary approach, we use data from a contemporary polygynous high-fertility human population living in rural Senegal to investigate whether personality dimensions are associated with key life-history traits in humans, i.e., quantity and quality of offspring. We show that personality dimensions predict reproductive success differently in men and women in such societies and, in women, are associated with a trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. In women, neuroticism positively predicts the number of children, both between and within polygynous families. Furthermore, within the low social class, offspring quality (i.e., child nutritional status) decreases with a woman's neuroticism, indicating a reproductive trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. Consistent with this, maximal fitness is achieved by women at an intermediate neuroticism level. In men, extraversion was found to be a strong predictor of high social class and polygyny, with extraverted men producing more offspring than their introverted counterparts. These results have implications for the consideration of alternative adaptive hypotheses in the current debate on the maintenance of personality differences and the role of individual factors in fertility patterns in contemporary humans. PMID:20538974

  1. Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population.

    PubMed

    Alvergne, Alexandra; Jokela, Markus; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-06-29

    The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences of personality differences in nonhuman animals has recently undergone a surge of interest, our understanding of whether and how personality influences reproductive decisions in humans has remained limited and informed primarily by modern societies with low mortality-fertility schedules. Taking an evolutionary approach, we use data from a contemporary polygynous high-fertility human population living in rural Senegal to investigate whether personality dimensions are associated with key life-history traits in humans, i.e., quantity and quality of offspring. We show that personality dimensions predict reproductive success differently in men and women in such societies and, in women, are associated with a trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. In women, neuroticism positively predicts the number of children, both between and within polygynous families. Furthermore, within the low social class, offspring quality (i.e., child nutritional status) decreases with a woman's neuroticism, indicating a reproductive trade-off between offspring quantity and quality. Consistent with this, maximal fitness is achieved by women at an intermediate neuroticism level. In men, extraversion was found to be a strong predictor of high social class and polygyny, with extraverted men producing more offspring than their introverted counterparts. These results have implications for the consideration of alternative adaptive hypotheses in the current debate on the maintenance of personality differences and the role of individual factors in fertility patterns in contemporary humans.

  2. Variance in male lifetime reproductive success and estimation of the degree of polygyny in a primate.

    PubMed

    Dubuc, Constance; Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina; Widdig, Anja

    2014-07-01

    The degree of polygyny is predicted to influence the strength of direct male-male competition, leading to a high variance in male lifetime reproductive success and to reproduction limited to the prime period of adulthood. Here, we explore the variance in male lifetime reproductive success and reproductive time in an anthropoid primate forming multimale-multifemale groups. Males of this species form dominance hierarchies, which are expected to skew reproduction toward few high-ranking males. At the same time, however, females mate with multiple males (polygynandry), which should limit the degree of polygyny. Using 20 years of genetic and demographic data, we calculated lifetime reproductive success for the free-ranging rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) population of Cayo Santiago for subjects that died naturally or reached senescence. Our results show that 1) male lifetime reproductive success was significantly skewed (range: 0-47 offspring; males reproducing below average: 62.8%; nonbreeders: 17.4%), 2) variance in male lifetime reproductive success was 5 times larger than in females, and 3) male lifetime reproductive success was more influenced by variation in fecundity (60%) than longevity (25%), suggesting that some direct male-male competition takes place. However, the opportunity for selection (i.e., standardized variance in male lifetime reproductive success) is low compared with that in other large mammal species characterized by a high degree of polygyny. Moreover, male reproductive life extended much beyond the prime period, showing that physical strength was not required to acquire mates. We conclude that rhesus macaques exhibit a moderate degree of polygyny and, therefore, low levels of direct male-male competition for fertile females, despite the fact that males form linear dominance hierarchies.

  3. Interactions and trade-offs among physiological determinants of performance and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Moore, Ignacio T; Hopkins, William A

    2009-10-01

    How an animal performs in its natural environment ultimately plays a key role in its reproductive success. While a number of studies have investigated how selection acts on performance-related traits, far fewer studies have examined the mechanisms responsible for variation in performance. Among mechanisms, variable morphology has received the most attention. Although physiological traits have received less attention, they are intrinsically related to performance and ultimately to reproductive success. We present a framework whereby investigators can link some basic physiological functions with organismal performance and ultimately with reproductive success. We propose that performance and ultimately reproductive success are strongly influenced by hormones, immune functions, and energetics. We further argue that no physiological function can be considered in isolation and thus our model emphasizes interactions and trade-offs both within each physiological function as well as among them. Some of the most commonly studied trade-offs are between reproduction and immune functions, with energetics as one of the key common currencies for these trade-offs. From an evolutionary perspective, the largest gaps in our knowledge lie in how these interactions and trade-offs influence reproductive success. We believe that a full understanding of how hormones, immune functions, and energetics influence performance traits related to reproduction and, ultimately, lifetime reproductive success requires recognition of the complex relationships, interactions, and trade-offs among these processes.

  4. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-02-02

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  5. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  6. Costs and benefits of competitive traits in females: aggression, maternal care and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Cain, Kristal E; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression.

  7. Costs and Benefits of Competitive Traits in Females: Aggression, Maternal Care and Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Cain, Kristal E.; Ketterson, Ellen D.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has shown that female expression of competitive traits can be advantageous, providing greater access to limited reproductive resources. In males increased competitive trait expression often comes at a cost, e.g. trading off with parental effort. However, it is currently unclear whether, and to what extent, females also face such tradeoffs, whether the costs associated with that tradeoff overwhelm the potential benefits of resource acquisition, and how environmental factors might alter those relationships. To address this gap, we examine the relationships between aggression, maternal effort, offspring quality and reproductive success in a common songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), over two breeding seasons. We found that compared to less aggressive females, more aggressive females spent less time brooding nestlings, but fed nestlings more frequently. In the year with better breeding conditions, more aggressive females produced smaller eggs and lighter hatchlings, but in the year with poorer breeding conditions they produced larger eggs and achieved greater nest success. There was no relationship between aggression and nestling mass after hatch day in either year. These findings suggest that though females appear to tradeoff competitive ability with some forms of maternal care, the costs may be less than previously thought. Further, the observed year effects suggest that costs and benefits vary according to environmental variables, which may help to account for variation in the level of trait expression. PMID:24204980

  8. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Saul J.; Eyre, Simon; Kimble, Catherine H.; Arcos-Burgos, Mauricio; Hogg, Carolyn; Easteal, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Kin and group interactions are important determinants of reproductive success in many species. Their optimization could, therefore, potentially improve the productivity and breeding success of managed populations used for agricultural and conservation purposes. Here we demonstrate this potential using a novel approach to measure and predict the effect of kin and group dynamics on reproductive output in a well-known species, the meerkat Suricata suricatta. Variation in social dynamics predicts 30% of the individual variation in reproductive success of this species in managed populations, and accurately forecasts reproductive output at least two years into the future. Optimization of social dynamics in captive meerkat populations doubles their projected reproductive output. These results demonstrate the utility of a quantitative approach to breeding programs informed by social and kinship dynamics. They suggest that this approach has great potential for improvements in the management of social endangered and agricultural species. PMID:27990255

  9. Reproductive success is predicted by social dynamics and kinship in managed animal populations.

    PubMed

    Newman, Saul J; Eyre, Simon; Kimble, Catherine H; Arcos-Burgos, Mauricio; Hogg, Carolyn; Easteal, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Kin and group interactions are important determinants of reproductive success in many species. Their optimization could, therefore, potentially improve the productivity and breeding success of managed populations used for agricultural and conservation purposes. Here we demonstrate this potential using a novel approach to measure and predict the effect of kin and group dynamics on reproductive output in a well-known species, the meerkat Suricata suricatta. Variation in social dynamics predicts 30% of the individual variation in reproductive success of this species in managed populations, and accurately forecasts reproductive output at least two years into the future. Optimization of social dynamics in captive meerkat populations doubles their projected reproductive output. These results demonstrate the utility of a quantitative approach to breeding programs informed by social and kinship dynamics. They suggest that this approach has great potential for improvements in the management of social endangered and agricultural species.

  10. Imagining Success: Multiple Achievement Goals and the Effectiveness of Imagery

    PubMed Central

    Blankert, Tim; Hamstra, Melvyn R. W.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Imagery (richly imagining carrying out a task successfully) is a popular performance-enhancement tool in many domains. This experiment sought to test whether pursuing two achievement goals (vs. one) benefits performance after an imagery exercise. We examined mastery goals (aiming to improve skill level) and performance goals (aiming to outperform others) among 65 tennis players who were assigned to a mastery goal condition, a performance goal condition, or a mastery goal and performance goal condition. After reading instructions for a service task, which included the goal manipulation, participants completed 20 tennis services. They then completed an imagery exercise and, finally, completed another 20 services. Postimagery service performance was better in the dual-goal condition than in the other conditions. PMID:28366970

  11. Reproductive success in the Lusitanian toadfish: Influence of calling activity, male quality and experimental design.

    PubMed

    Amorim, M Clara P; Conti, Carlotta; Sousa-Santos, Carla; Novais, Bruno; Gouveia, Maria D; Vicente, Joana R; Modesto, Teresa; Gonçalves, Amparo; Fonseca, Paulo J

    2016-03-01

    Acoustic signals are sexual ornaments with an established role on mate choice in several taxa, but not in fish. Recent studies have suggested that fish vocal activity may signal male quality and influence male's reproductive success but experimental evidence is lacking. Here we made two experiments to test the hypothesis that vocal activity is essential for male breeding success in a highly vocal fish, the Lusitanian toadfish. We first compared the reproduction success between muted and vocal males. In a second experiment we related male reproduction success with acoustic activity and male quality, including biometric, condition and physiological features. As a proxy for reproductive success we tallied both total number and number of sired eggs, which were correlated. Muting experiments showed that successful mating was dependent on vocalizing. In addition, the number of eggs was positively associated with the male's maximum calling rate. In the second experiment male's reproductive success was positively associated with male condition and negatively related with circulating androgen levels and relative gonad mass, but was not associated with vocal activity. Differences in results may be related with nest design which could have influenced mate choice costs and intra-sexual competition. In the muting experiment nests had a small opening that restrained the large nest-holder but allowed smaller fish, such as females, to pass while in the second experiment fish could move freely. These experiments suggest that a combination of factors, including vocal activity, influence reproductive success in this highly vocal species.

  12. Factors influencing territorial occupancy and reproductive success in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population

    PubMed Central

    León-Ortega, Mario; Jiménez-Franco, María V.; Martínez, José E.

    2017-01-01

    Modelling territorial occupancy and reproductive success is a key issue for better understanding the population dynamics of territorial species. This study aimed to investigate these ecological processes in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population in south-eastern Spain during a seven-year period. A multi-season, multi-state modelling approach was followed to estimate the probabilities of occupancy and reproductive success in relation to previous state, time and habitat covariates, and accounting for imperfect detection. The best estimated models showed past breeding success in the territories to be the most important factor determining a high probability of reoccupation and reproductive success in the following year. In addition, alternative occupancy models suggested the positive influence of crops on the probability of territory occupation. By contrast, the best reproductive model revealed strong interannual variations in the rates of breeding success, which may be related to changes in the abundance of the European Rabbit, the main prey of the Eurasian Eagle-owl. Our models also estimated the probabilities of detecting the presence of owls in a given territory and the probability of detecting evidence of successful reproduction. Estimated detection probabilities were high throughout the breeding season, decreasing in time for unsuccessful breeders but increasing for successful breeders. The probability of detecting reproductive success increased with time, being close to one in the last survey. These results suggest that reproduction failure in the early stages of the breeding season is a determinant factor in the probability of detecting occupancy and reproductive success. PMID:28399175

  13. Melatonin and the circadian system: contributions to successful female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reiter, Russel J; Tamura, Hiroshi; Tan, Dun Xian; Xu, Xiao-Ying

    2014-08-01

    To summarize the role of melatonin and circadian rhythms in determining optimal female reproductive physiology, especially at the peripheral level. Databases were searched for the related English-language literature published up to March 1, 2014. Only papers in peer-reviewed journals are cited. Not applicable. Not applicable. Melatonin treatment, alterations of the normal light:dark cycle and light exposure at night. Melatonin levels in the blood and in the ovarian follicular fluid and melatonin synthesis, oxidative damage and circadian rhythm disturbances in peripheral reproductive organs. The central circadian regulatory system is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The output of this master clock is synchronized to 24 hours by the prevailing light-dark cycle. The SCN regulates rhythms in peripheral cells via the autonomic nervous system and it sends a neural message to the pineal gland where it controls the cyclic production of melatonin; after its release, the melatonin rhythm strengthens peripheral oscillators. Melatonin is also produced in the peripheral reproductive organs, including granulosa cells, the cumulus oophorus, and the oocyte. These cells, along with the blood, may contribute melatonin to the follicular fluid, which has melatonin levels higher than those in the blood. Melatonin is a powerful free radical scavenger and protects the oocyte from oxidative stress, especially at the time of ovulation. The cyclic levels of melatonin in the blood pass through the placenta and aid in the organization of the fetal SCN. In the absence of this synchronizing effect, the offspring may exhibit neurobehavioral deficits. Also, melatonin protects the developing fetus from oxidative stress. Melatonin produced in the placenta likewise may preserve the optimal function of this organ. Both stable circadian rhythms and cyclic melatonin availability are critical for optimal ovarian physiology and placental function. Because light exposure after darkness onset

  14. Are tetraploids more successful? Floral signals, reproductive success and floral isolation in mixed-ploidy populations of a terrestrial orchid.

    PubMed

    Gross, Karin; Schiestl, Florian P

    2015-02-01

    Polyploidization, the doubling of chromosome sets, is common in angiosperms and has a range of evolutionary consequences. Newly formed polyploid lineages are reproductively isolated from their diploid progenitors due to triploid sterility, but also prone to extinction because compatible mating partners are rare. Models have suggested that assortative mating and increased reproductive fitness play a key role in the successful establishment and persistence of polyploids. However, little is known about these factors in natural mixed-ploidy populations. This study investigated floral traits that can affect pollinator attraction and efficiency, as well as reproductive success in diploid and tetraploid Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae) plants in two natural, mixed-ploidy populations. Ploidy levels were determined using flow cytometry, and flowering phenology and herbivory were also assessed. Reproductive success was determined by counting fruits and viable seeds of marked plants. Pollinator-mediated floral isolation was measured using experimental arrays, with pollen flow tracked by means of staining pollinia with histological dye. Tetraploids had larger floral displays and different floral scent bouquets than diploids, but cytotypes differed only slightly in floral colour. Significant floral isolation was found between the two cytotypes. Flowering phenology of the two cytotypes greatly overlapped, and herbivory did not differ between cytotypes or was lower in tetraploids. In addition, tetraploids had higher reproductive success compared with diploids. The results suggest that floral isolation and increased reproductive success of polyploids may help to explain their successful persistence in mixed-ploidy populations. These factors might even initiate transformation of populations from pure diploid to pure tetraploid. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  15. Are tetraploids more successful? Floral signals, reproductive success and floral isolation in mixed-ploidy populations of a terrestrial orchid

    PubMed Central

    Gross, Karin; Schiestl, Florian P.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Polyploidization, the doubling of chromosome sets, is common in angiosperms and has a range of evolutionary consequences. Newly formed polyploid lineages are reproductively isolated from their diploid progenitors due to triploid sterility, but also prone to extinction because compatible mating partners are rare. Models have suggested that assortative mating and increased reproductive fitness play a key role in the successful establishment and persistence of polyploids. However, little is known about these factors in natural mixed-ploidy populations. This study investigated floral traits that can affect pollinator attraction and efficiency, as well as reproductive success in diploid and tetraploid Gymnadenia conopsea (Orchidaceae) plants in two natural, mixed-ploidy populations. Methods Ploidy levels were determined using flow cytometry, and flowering phenology and herbivory were also assessed. Reproductive success was determined by counting fruits and viable seeds of marked plants. Pollinator-mediated floral isolation was measured using experimental arrays, with pollen flow tracked by means of staining pollinia with histological dye. Key Results Tetraploids had larger floral displays and different floral scent bouquets than diploids, but cytotypes differed only slightly in floral colour. Significant floral isolation was found between the two cytotypes. Flowering phenology of the two cytotypes greatly overlapped, and herbivory did not differ between cytotypes or was lower in tetraploids. In addition, tetraploids had higher reproductive success compared with diploids. Conclusions The results suggest that floral isolation and increased reproductive success of polyploids may help to explain their successful persistence in mixed-ploidy populations. These factors might even initiate transformation of populations from pure diploid to pure tetraploid. PMID:25652914

  16. Genetic variation of male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae

    PubMed Central

    Voordouw, Maarten J; Koella, Jacob C

    2007-01-01

    Background For Anopheline mosquitoes, the vectors of human malaria, genetic variation in male reproductive success can have important consequences for any control strategy based on the release of transgenic or sterile males. Methods A quantitative genetics approach was used to test whether there was a genetic component to variation in male reproductive success in a laboratory population of Anopheles gambiae. Swarms of full sibling brothers were mated with a fixed number of females and their reproductive success was measured as (1) proportion of ovipositing females, (2) proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae, (3) proportion of females that produced larvae, (4) number of eggs laid per female, (5) number of larvae per ovipositing female and (6) number of larvae per female. Results The proportion of ovipositing females (trait 1) and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae (trait 2) differed among full sib families, suggesting a genetic basis of mating success. In contrast, the other measures of male reproductive success showed little variation due to the full sib families, as their variation are probably mostly due to differences among females. While age at emergence and wing length of the males were also heritable, they were not associated with reproductive success. Larger females produced more eggs, but males did not prefer such partners. Conclusion The first study to quantify genetic variation for male reproductive success in A. gambiae found that while the initial stages of male reproduction (i.e. the proportion of ovipositing females and the proportion of ovipositing females that produced larvae) had a genetic basis, the overall reproductive success (i.e. the mean number of larvae per female) did not. PMID:17663767

  17. Parental provisioning behaviour plays a key role in linking personality with reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Mutzel, A; Dingemanse, N J; Araya-Ajoy, Y G; Kempenaers, B

    2013-08-07

    Repeatable behavioural traits ('personality') have been shown to covary with fitness, but it remains poorly understood how such behaviour-fitness relationships come about. We applied a multivariate approach to reveal the mechanistic pathways by which variation in exploratory and aggressive behaviour is translated into variation in reproductive success in a natural population of blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus. Using path analysis, we demonstrate a key role for provisioning behaviour in mediating the link between personality and reproductive success (number of fledged offspring). Aggressive males fed their nestlings at lower rates than less aggressive individuals. At the same time, their low parental investment was associated with increased female effort, thereby positively affecting fledgling production. Whereas male exploratory behaviour was unrelated to provisioning behaviour and reproductive success, fast-exploring females fed their offspring at higher rates and initiated breeding earlier, thus increasing reproductive success. Our findings provide strong support for specific mechanistic pathways linking components of behavioural syndromes to reproductive success. Importantly, relationships between behavioural phenotypes and reproductive success were obscured when considering simple bivariate relationships, underlining the importance of adopting multivariate views and statistical tools as path analysis to the study of behavioural evolution.

  18. The effect of sediment on survival, growth, reproductive success and bioaccumulation in Neanthes: Summary report

    SciTech Connect

    Gerlinger, T.V.; Fanizzi, M.; Soong, K.; Armstrong, J.; Reish, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    Sediments taken from the vicinity of the County Sanitation Districts of Orange County ocean outfall were tested for survival, growth, reproduction and bioaccumulation of toxicants on the polychaete, Neanthes arenaceodentata. The end points were survival, growth (dry weight), reproductive success (as number of emerged larvae) and bioaccumulation (metals, DDT, PCBs). Ten experiments have been conducted over a 2 year period of which 2 measured reproductive success. The experiments for survival and growth utilized 2--3 week old post-emergence juvenile worms and subjected them to different test sediments including an inert sediment and plain sea water control. Worms were fed during the experiments. Experiments for reproductive success and bioaccumulation consisted of placing 100 juvenile worms each in 10 gallon aquaria together with test sediment for a 35--40 day period. After which, 10--15 pairs were made and each pair was placed in a separate 1 liter beaker together with sediment for the reproductive experiment. The remaining worms in each aquarium were used for chemical analysis. No toxic responses, as measured by survival, growth and reproductive success, were noted at any station during the 2 year study. Growth was generally lower in the inert sediment and sea water controls compared to test sediments indicating that worms were obtaining some nutrients from the sediment. No difference was noted in the number of emerged juveniles in any test container. While worms accumulated metals and organics in their tissue, there was neither a relationship to the station location nor to survival, growth or reproduction.

  19. A Framework for Achieving e-Business Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, U.; Maheshwari, M.; Kumar, V.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of an empirical study of critical factors associated with e-business success. An a priori model relating the success factors to e-business success is developed. The study uses the "balanced scorecard" methodology to measure the success of e-business organizations, as the authors believe that financial measures are…

  20. A Framework for Achieving e-Business Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, U.; Maheshwari, M.; Kumar, V.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of an empirical study of critical factors associated with e-business success. An a priori model relating the success factors to e-business success is developed. The study uses the "balanced scorecard" methodology to measure the success of e-business organizations, as the authors believe that financial measures are…

  1. Experimental evidence of environmental effects on age-specific reproductive success: the importance of resource quality.

    PubMed Central

    Pärt, T.

    2001-01-01

    Age-specific access to high-quality resources (e.g. territory or nest site) might be an important determinant for improved reproductive performance with increasing age. I experimentally investigated the effects of territory quality versus other age-related improvements in breeding competence (e.g. foraging skills, breeding experience and local knowledge) on age-specific reproductive success. Territory quality (i.e. territory field layer height) was manipulated in year 2 of northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) that were breeding in the same territory in two consecutive years. Changing territory quality by changing field layer height had a strong effect on within-individual change in the reproductive success of wheatears. This effect was mainly due to a corresponding change in nest predation risk. When territory quality was kept constant (i.e. no between-year change in territory field layer height), within-individual reproductive success did not change between subsequent years. Thus, age-related improvements in foraging skills, breeding experience and local familiarity had no significant effect on within-individual changes in reproductive success. Increased reproductive success with increased age in northern wheatears is therefore mainly explained by an improved access to high-quality territories with increasing age. I conclude that age-dependent access to high-quality breeding resources might be a widespread phenomenon in nature. PMID:11674875

  2. Effects of forest fragmentation on male and female reproductive success in Cestrum parqui (Solanaceae).

    PubMed

    Aguilar, Ramiro; Galetto, Leonardo

    2004-03-01

    In this paper we evaluate the effects of forest fragmentation on male (pollen removal, pollen load, and pollen tubes) and female reproductive success (fruit- and seed-set) of Cestrum parqui, a self-incompatible, pollination-specialist plant species. We also measure focal individual conspecific density to account for possible density-related effects that could influence the response variables. We calculate an index which incorporates male and female fitness and gives an integrated assessment of overall reproductive success. Forest fragmentation strongly affected the amount of pollen grains on stigmas and number of pollen tubes as well as seed-set, decreasing from continuous forest to small forest fragments, whereas focal individual conspecific density failed to explain any of the variability for the studied variables. Declines in overall reproductive success (i.e. male and female) in small forest fragments are ascribed to decreases in both the quality and quantity of pollination. Self-incompatibility coupled with a specialist pollination system may be particularly important traits determining the negative fragmentation effects observed in C. parqui. Logarithmic regression models described the behaviour of the variables along the fragmentation size gradient, allowing us to detect a threshold below which the effects of fragmentation begin to negatively affect reproductive success in C. parqui. Our results emphasize the importance of evaluating both components of the total plant fitness, as well as including simultaneously several aspects of pollination and reproduction processes when assessing the effects of forest fragmentation on plant reproductive success.

  3. Effects of chronic avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) infection on reproductive success of Hawaii Amakihi (Hemignathus virens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kilpatrick, A.M.; Lapointe, D.A.; Atkinson, C.T.; Woodworth, B.L.; Lease, J.K.; Reiter, M.E.; Gross, K.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of chronic avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) infections on the reproductive success of a native Hawaiian honeycreeper, Hawaii Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). Chronic malaria infections in male and female parents did not significantly reduce reproductive success as measured by clutch size, hatching success, fledging mass, number of nestlings fledged, nesting success (daily survival rate), and minimum fledgling survival. In fact, nesting success of pairs with chronically infected males was significantly higher than those with uninfected males (76% vs. 38%), and offspring that had at least one parent that had survived the acute phase of malaria infection had a significantly greater chance of being resighted the following year (25% vs. 10%). The reproduction and survival of infected birds were sufficient for a per-capita population growth rate >1, which suggests that chronically infected Hawaii Amakihi could support a growing population. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006.

  4. ALMA Achieves Major Milestone With Antenna-Link Success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-03-01

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international telescope project, reached a major milestone on March 2, when two ALMA prototype antennas were first linked together as an integrated system to observe an astronomical object. The milestone achievement, technically termed "First Fringes," came at the ALMA Test Facility (ATF) on the grounds of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's (NRAO) Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. NRAO is a facility of the National Science Foundation (NSF), managed by Associated Universities, Incorporated (AUI). AUI also is designated by NSF as the North American Executive for ALMA. ALMA Test Facility ALMA Test Facility, New Mexico: VertexRSI antenna, left; AEC antenna, right. CREDIT: Drew Medlin, NRAO/AUI/NSF Click on image for page of graphics and full information Faint radio waves emitted by the planet Saturn were collected by the two ALMA antennas, then processed by new, state-of-the-art electronics to turn the two antennas into a single, high-resolution telescope system, called an interferometer. Such pairs of antennas are the basic building blocks of multi-antenna imaging systems such as ALMA and the VLA. In such a system, each antenna is combined electronically with every other antenna to form a multitude of pairs. Each pair contributes unique information that is used to build a highly-detailed image of the astronomical object under observation. When completed in 2012, ALMA will have 66 antennas. The successful Saturn observation began at 7:13 p.m., U.S. Mountain Time Friday (0213 UTC Saturday). The planet's radio emissions at a frequency of 104 GigaHertz (GHz) were tracked by the ALMA system for more than an hour. "Our congratulations go to the dedicated team of scientists, engineers and technicians who produced this groundbreaking achievement for ALMA. Much hard work and many long hours went into this effort, and we appreciate it all. This team should be very proud today," said NRAO

  5. Reproductive success of screech owls fed Aroclor 1248

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLane, M.A.R.; Hughes, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    Aroclor? 1248 was fed to captive screech owls (Otus asio) at the rate of three ppm in the diet to determine if reproductive effects such as fewer eggs per clutch, lower hatchability, malformation of the chicks, or higher mortality rates of chicks would appear in this raptorial species as they did in chickens. There were no effects on eggshell thickness, number of eggs laid, young hatched, and young fledged from feeding a low level of Aroclor? 1248 to captive screech owls. The polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues found in the eggs of the dosed birds ranged from 3.9 ppm to 17.8 ppm. Background PCB residues in the diet of all experimental birds ranged from non-detected to 0.62 ppm.

  6. Triennial Reproduction Symposium: sperm characteristics that limit success of fertilization.

    PubMed

    Flowers, W L

    2013-07-01

    Current industry estimates of reproductive performance for cattle, sheep, and swine operations indicate that males contribute significantly to fertility failures. This appears to be due to the use of subfertile individuals and emphasizes the need for additional research in identifying characteristics of sperm that compromise fertilization. In theory, sperm characteristics, such as motility or the percentage of normal sperm, form a positive relationship with fertility that reaches a certain maximal fertility (i.e., an asymptotic relationship). It is clear that variation exists among males in terms of how fertility responds to increasing sperm dosage or numbers of normal sperm, both in the slope of the curve and the point at which the fertility reaches a maximum. Variations along the linear portion of fertility curves are due to compensable traits that are involved with the ability of sperm to penetrate the zona pellucida. It appears that most fertility curves reach their plateau when 70% of sperm possess a given compensable trait. The level of fertility at which the plateau occurs is determined by noncompensable traits that are associated with binding of sperm to the oolemma, syngamy, and subsequent development of the zygote. Several studies have shown differences in fertility among males that have similar levels of compensable traits but differed in their noncompensable characteristics. Compensable and noncompensable traits can estimate either individual or functional characteristics of sperm. Intuitively, functional traits such as in vitro penetration should provide a better indication of fertilization than individual ones such as motility. However, correlations of both types with fertility are very similar. Reasons for this may be related to how characteristics of sperm cells are influenced by the female reproductive tract after insemination. Sperm capacitation is a functional trait in boars that is quite different in vitro versus in vivo. If this relationship

  7. Acadian flycatcher nest placement: Does placement influence reproductive success?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, R.R.; Cooper, R.J.

    1998-01-01

    We located 511 Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nests in bottomland hardwood forest of eastern Arkansas. Microhabitat characteristics were measured and their relationship with nest success evaluated. Fifty-two percent of all nesting attempts resulted in predation. Attributes of nest placement were similar between successful and unsuccessful nests, although successful nests were placed higher. Similarly, nonparasitized nests were typically higher than parasitized nests. Nests initiated late in the breeding season were placed in larger trees with higher canopy bases resulting in increased vegetation around the nest. Fifteen different tree species were used for nesting. Acadian Flycatchers chose nest trees in a nonrandom fashion, selecting Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii) and possumhaw (Ilex decidua) in greater proportions than their availability. However, there was no relationship between tree species used for nesting and nest success. Nest height was positively correlated with concealment at the nest site, supporting the predator-avoidance theory. No other attribute of nest placement differentiated successful nest sites, suggesting that nest predation is likely a function of random events in space and time.

  8. Men’s status and reproductive success in 33 nonindustrial societies: Effects of subsistence, marriage system, and reproductive strategy

    PubMed Central

    von Rueden, Christopher R.; Jaeggi, Adrian V.

    2016-01-01

    Social status motivates much of human behavior. However, status may have been a relatively weak target of selection for much of human evolution if ancestral foragers tended to be more egalitarian. We test the “egalitarianism hypothesis” that status has a significantly smaller effect on reproductive success (RS) in foragers compared with nonforagers. We also test between alternative male reproductive strategies, in particular whether reproductive benefits of status are due to lower offspring mortality (parental investment) or increased fertility (mating effort). We performed a phylogenetic multilevel metaanalysis of 288 statistical associations between measures of male status (physical formidability, hunting ability, material wealth, political influence) and RS (mating success, wife quality, fertility, offspring mortality, and number of surviving offspring) from 46 studies in 33 nonindustrial societies. We found a significant overall effect of status on RS (r = 0.19), though this effect was significantly lower than for nonhuman primates (r = 0.80). There was substantial variation due to marriage system and measure of RS, in particular status associated with offspring mortality only in polygynous societies (r = −0.08), and with wife quality only in monogamous societies (r = 0.15). However, the effects of status on RS did not differ significantly by status measure or subsistence type: foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture. These results suggest that traits that facilitate status acquisition were not subject to substantially greater selection with domestication of plants and animals, and are part of reproductive strategies that enhance fertility more than offspring well-being. PMID:27601650

  9. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    SciTech Connect

    Garabedian, James E.

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  10. Use of social indices to predict reproductive success in canvasbacks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Serie, J.R.; Cowardin, L.M.

    1990-01-01

    We correlated temporal changes in social groupings of canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) breeding near Minnedosa, Manitoba, with an independent estimate of hen success during 1974-80. Roadside counts of pairs, lone males, and flocked males were made along transects at 5-day intervals, normalized to percentages to allow comparisons among years, and plotted to obtain measurements of selected areas between and under the curves. An estimate of hen success was regressed on these selected graph areas each year to derive a predictive equation. Graph areas (social indices) determined from temporal changes in the proportion of pairs, lone males, and flocked males correlated (ri?? = 0.69-0.93) with hen success. This technique avoids the need for pair counts, nest searches, and brood counts and provides managers with a useful index to evaluate local management practices and to predict yearly production in time for setting hunting regulations.

  11. Early growth, dominance acquisition and lifetime reproductive success in male and female cooperative meerkats.

    PubMed

    English, Sinead; Huchard, Elise; Nielsen, Johanna F; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2013-11-01

    In polygynous species, variance in reproductive success is higher in males than females. There is consequently stronger selection for competitive traits in males and early growth can have a greater influence on later fitness in males than in females. As yet, little is known about sex differences in the effect of early growth on subsequent breeding success in species where variance in reproductive success is higher in females than males, and competitive traits are under stronger selection in females. Greater variance in reproductive success has been documented in several singular cooperative breeders. Here, we investigated consequences of early growth for later reproductive success in wild meerkats. We found that, despite the absence of dimorphism, females who exhibited faster growth until nutritional independence were more likely to become dominant, whereas early growth did not affect dominance acquisition in males. Among those individuals who attained dominance, there was no further influence of early growth on dominance tenure or lifetime reproductive success in males or females. These findings suggest that early growth effects on competitive abilities and fitness may reflect the intensity of intrasexual competition even in sexually monomorphic species.

  12. Early growth, dominance acquisition and lifetime reproductive success in male and female cooperative meerkats

    PubMed Central

    English, Sinead; Huchard, Elise; Nielsen, Johanna F; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2013-01-01

    In polygynous species, variance in reproductive success is higher in males than females. There is consequently stronger selection for competitive traits in males and early growth can have a greater influence on later fitness in males than in females. As yet, little is known about sex differences in the effect of early growth on subsequent breeding success in species where variance in reproductive success is higher in females than males, and competitive traits are under stronger selection in females. Greater variance in reproductive success has been documented in several singular cooperative breeders. Here, we investigated consequences of early growth for later reproductive success in wild meerkats. We found that, despite the absence of dimorphism, females who exhibited faster growth until nutritional independence were more likely to become dominant, whereas early growth did not affect dominance acquisition in males. Among those individuals who attained dominance, there was no further influence of early growth on dominance tenure or lifetime reproductive success in males or females. These findings suggest that early growth effects on competitive abilities and fitness may reflect the intensity of intrasexual competition even in sexually monomorphic species. PMID:24340181

  13. The relationship between sex change and reproductive success in a protandric marine gastropod

    PubMed Central

    Brante, Antonio; Quiñones, Adriana; Silva, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Protandric species switch sex during their lifetime. According to theory, the time (body size) at which sex change occurs is determined by the reproductive success of individuals affected by social interactions as well as by post-copulatory factors. Experimental evidence is biased to few social systems making the exploration of general patterns difficult. We used the protandric marine gastropod Crepidula coquimbensis that partakes in intrabrood sibling cannibalism to test the following hypotheses: 1. Male-male competition for access to females and sibling cannibalism determine male reproductive success; 2. Males with greater access to females and with higher reproductive success will have reduced growth rates and will delay sex change. Artificial aggregations with different social structures were constructed and male reproductive success was estimated by paternity analysis. The results supported our expectations showing that male competitive ability for access to the female, time spent by males in the copulatory position, and sibling cannibalism affect reproductive success and influence time to sex change, with less successful males hastening sex change. Also, males that spent more time in the copulatory position had reduced growth rates. Comparing these results with those reported for other sequential hermaphrodites provides evidence supporting general patterns of sex change in nature. PMID:27385040

  14. Breeding chronology and reproductive success of Richardson's merlins in southeastern Montana

    Treesearch

    Dale M. Becker; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    1985-01-01

    Breeding chronology and reproductive success of the Merlin (Falco columbarius richarsonii) were studied in southeastern Montana from 1978 - 1981. Breeding activity spanned 5 mo from the earliest observation of adults to the latest dispersal of adults and young from nesting areas. Clutch size, brood size and fledging success at active nests were...

  15. An association between male homosexuality and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Dewar, Colin S

    2003-02-01

    The existence of homosexuality in humans poses a problem for evolutionary theory. Exclusive male homosexuality has a catastrophic effect on reproduction and yet inherited factors appear to contribute to it. Previous attempts to resolve this conundrum are inconsistent with aspects of evolutionary theory. Additional limitations are as follows. Until recently, accounts of homosexuality have paid little attention to the probable existence of adaptive bisexuality in ancestral populations, from which further variations in sexual orientation may have evolved. Secondly, previous explanations have concentrated on the ancestral environment of two to three million years ago as the determinant of modern sexuality, when more recent influences are likely to have had considerable impact. I argue in favour of a longitudinal rather than cross-sectional model of the ancestral environment. Thirdly, they have often ignored the possibility of variable phenotypic expression, whereby those individuals with a genetic propensity for homosexuality exhibit different and adaptive qualities on most other occasions. It has been demonstrated in previous studies that homosexual men have superior linguistic skills compared to heterosexual men. This may be the result of an adaptive feminising effect on the male brain and apply to many practising heterosexuals. Other adaptations to the recent ancestral environment may include enhanced empathy, fine motor skills and impulse control. By drawing together these contributing factors an evolutionary basis for homosexuality can be demonstrated.

  16. Discussing Women's Reproductive Health, Religion, Roles and Rights: Achieving Women's Empowerment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sousa, Isabela Cabral Felix de

    1995-01-01

    A health education program in Brazil trained 26 women as community health educators. Only four used their roles to foster social change. Discussing women's reproductive health in the context of religion and social values contributed to successful training; economic and political empowerment was hampered by perpetuation of traditional role…

  17. Further interpretation of the relation of organochlorine residues in brown pelican eggs to reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.

    1982-01-01

    This study was conducted to provide additional interpretation of the relation of organochlorine pollutants to reproductive success and population stability of brown pelicans Pelecanus occidentalis in the southeastern United States from 1969 to 1977. The sample egg technique was employed in South Carolina; it involved collecting an egg from each of 156 marked nests, analysing the eggs for residues and relating residue levels to nest success. All of the organochlorines appeared to induce adverse effects on reproductive success of brown pelicans, but the correlative evidence indicated that DDE was responsible for most of the pollutant-related nest failure. Close intercorrelation of each of the organochlorines presented a problem in the separation of the effects of each pollutant. The critical level of DDE in brown pelican eggs was 3 :g g-1, this level was associated with substantially impaired reproductive success and 4 :g g-1 of DDE was associated with sotal reproductive failure. The critical level for dieldrin was not determined, but it appeared to exceed 1 :g g-1. Dieldrin, DDT, DDD and the PCBs apparently exerted a minor effect on reproductive success of brown pelicans in South Carolina. Endrin seemed to induce reproductive impairment in brown pelicans in Louisiana in 1975. The critical level in eggs is only roughly estimated at <0?5 :g g-1 because it was not possible to use the sample egg technique in this small population. Significant declines in organochlorine residues in South Carolina during this study were associated with increases in eggshell thickness, reproductive success and the breeding population. Of those avian species studied, the brown pelican remains the most sensitive to organochlorine contaminants, particularly DDE and endrin; factors related to this sensitivity are poorly known.

  18. Baculum morphology predicts reproductive success of male house mice under sexual selection

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Diversity in penile morphology is characterised by extraordinary variation in the size and shape of the baculum (penis bone) found in many mammals. Although functionally enigmatic, diversity in baculum form is hypothesised to result from sexual selection. According to this hypothesis, the baculum should influence the outcome of reproductive competition among males within promiscuous mating systems. However, a test of this key prediction is currently lacking. Results Here we show that baculum size explains significant variation in the reproductive success of male house mice under competitive conditions. After controlling for body size and other reproductive traits, the width (but not length) of the house mouse baculum predicts both the mean number of offspring sired per litter and total number of offspring sired. Conclusions By providing the first evidence linking baculum morphology to male reproductive success, our results support the hypothesis that evolutionary diversity in baculum form is driven by sexual selection. PMID:23800051

  19. Baculum morphology predicts reproductive success of male house mice under sexual selection.

    PubMed

    Stockley, Paula; Ramm, Steven A; Sherborne, Amy L; Thom, Michael D F; Paterson, Steve; Hurst, Jane L

    2013-06-26

    Diversity in penile morphology is characterised by extraordinary variation in the size and shape of the baculum (penis bone) found in many mammals. Although functionally enigmatic, diversity in baculum form is hypothesised to result from sexual selection. According to this hypothesis, the baculum should influence the outcome of reproductive competition among males within promiscuous mating systems. However, a test of this key prediction is currently lacking. Here we show that baculum size explains significant variation in the reproductive success of male house mice under competitive conditions. After controlling for body size and other reproductive traits, the width (but not length) of the house mouse baculum predicts both the mean number of offspring sired per litter and total number of offspring sired. By providing the first evidence linking baculum morphology to male reproductive success, our results support the hypothesis that evolutionary diversity in baculum form is driven by sexual selection.

  20. Impact of gene polymorphisms of gonadotropins and their receptors on human reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Casarini, Livio; Santi, Daniele; Marino, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Gonadotropins and their receptors' genes carry several single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in endocrine genotypes modulating reproductive parameters, diseases, and lifespan leading to important implications for reproductive success and potential relevance during human evolution. Here we illustrate common genotypes of the gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors' genes and their clinical implications in phenotypes relevant for reproduction such as ovarian cycle length, age of menopause, testosterone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We then discuss their possible role in human reproduction and adaptation to the environment. Gonadotropins and their receptors' variants are differently distributed among human populations. Some hints suggest that they may be the result of natural selection that occurred in ancient times, increasing the individual chance of successful mating, pregnancy, and effective post-natal parental cares. The gender-related differences in the regulation of the reproductive endocrine systems imply that many of these genotypes may lead to sex-dependent effects, increasing the chance of mating and reproductive success in one sex at the expenses of the other sex. Also, we suggest that sexual conflicts within the FSH and LH-choriogonadotropin receptor genes contributed to maintain genotypes linked to subfertility among humans. Because the distribution of polymorphic markers results in a defined geographical pattern due to human migrations rather than natural selection, these polymorphisms may have had only a weak impact on reproductive success. On the contrary, such genotypes could acquire relevant consequences in the modern, developed societies in which parenthood attempts often occur at a later age, during a short, suboptimal reproductive window, making clinical fertility treatments necessary.

  1. Success and Interactive Learning: Sailing toward Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Midcap, Richard; Seitzer, Joan; Holliday, Randy; Childs, Amy; Bowser, Dana

    2008-01-01

    Success and Interactive Learning's (SAIL) front-loaded retention activities and unique financial incentives have combined to improve retention, persistence, and success of first-time college students. Its effectiveness has been validated through a comparison of retention rates and aggregate quality-point averages of SAIL cohorts with those rates…

  2. Conspecific reproductive success and breeding habitat selection: Implications for the study of coloniality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danchin, E.; Boulinier, T.; Massot, M.

    1998-01-01

    Habitat selection is a crucial process in the life cycle of animals because it can affect most components of fitness. It has been proposed that some animals cue on the reproductive success of conspecifics to select breeding habitats. We tested this hypothesis with demographic and behavioral data from a 17-yr study of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a cliff-nesting seabird. As the hypothesis assumes, the Black-legged Kittiwake nesting environment was patchy, and the relative quality of the different patches (i.e., breeding cliffs) varied in time. The average reproductive success of the breeders of a given cliff was predictable from one year to the next, but this predictability faded after several years. The dynamic nature of cliff quality in the long term is partly explained by the autocorrelation of the prevalence of an ectoparasite that influences reproductive success. As predicted by the performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis, the reproductive success of current breeders on a given cliff was predictive of the reproductive success of new recruits on the cliff in the following year. Breeders tended to recruit to the previous year's most productive cliffs and to emigrate from the least productive ones. Consequently, the dynamics of breeder numbers on the cliffs were explained by local reproductive success on a year-to-year basis. Because, on average, young Black-legged Kittiwakes first breed when 4 yr old, such a relationship probably results from individual choices based on the assessment of previous-year local quality. When breeders changed breeding cliffs between years, they selected cliffs of per capita higher reproductive success. Furthermore, after accounting for the potential effects of age and sex as well as between-year variations, the effect of individual breeding performance on breeding dispersal was strongly influenced by the average reproductive success of other breeders on the same cliff. Individual breeding performance did

  3. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, S.L.; Pearsons, T.N.; Knudsen, C.M.

    2006-05-01

    Reproductive success in wild- and first generation hatchery-origin spring Chinook males was examined by allowing the fish to compete for spawning opportunities in two sections of an observation stream. Behavioral observations were used to characterize the frequency of aggression and courting activities. Microsatellite DNA from each male and fry collected from the observation stream were used in pedigree analyses to estimate reproductive success. The coefficient of variation in male reproductive success equaled 116 and 86% in the two populations. No differences were detected in reproductive success due to hatchery or wild origin. Nor were any behavioral differences found between hatchery and wild males. Although statistical power was low due to intrinsic variation a great deal of overlap existed in the reproductive success values of hatchery and wild males. Significant disparities existed among the males on their ability to produce offspring. Males achieving high reproductive success mated with numerous females, were socially dominant, aggressive, and tended to stay in localized areas, courting and spawning with females that were adjacent to one another.

  4. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    PubMed

    Maldonado, María Belén; Lomáscolo, Silvia Beatriz; Vázquez, Diego Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae). We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact) is determined by the pollinator's degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators' degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator's impact on plant reproduction.

  5. The Importance of Pollinator Generalization and Abundance for the Reproductive Success of a Generalist Plant

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, María Belén; Lomáscolo, Silvia Beatriz; Vázquez, Diego Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae). We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact) is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator’s impact on plant reproduction. PMID:24116049

  6. Achieving succession planning and implementation: one healthcare network's story.

    PubMed

    Capuano, Terry Ann; MacKenzie, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Frequent transitions in leadership can cause inefficiency, inconsistency, and lack of alignment with priorities and strategy. Retaining management talent and collaboratively planning their succession can help ensure organizational survival. Succession planning, in healthcare and other industries, addresses some of these concerns; however, there is a dearth of descriptive articles emphasizing "how to." This article demonstrates one healthcare network's comprehensive system for succession planning and implementation. Leaders looking to plan their human resource processes for organizational sustainability would be able to emulate and adapt practices for their networks.

  7. Lifetime reproductive success, longevity, and reproductive life history of female yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus) of Mikumi National Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Rhine, R J; Norton, G W; Wasser, S K

    2000-08-01

    The relationship between longevity and lifetime reproductive success (LRS) was studied in free-ranging female baboons of Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. A severe population decline occurred between the 12th and 20th years of the study. The total sample consisted of 72 females born and reaching adulthood before the start of the population decline. There were 27 females who were adult at the start of the study and 45 who became adult within the 12 years prior to the decline. The subjects were studied until all 72 were dead and all of their offspring were either dead or at least six years old; this took 24 years. The relationship of longevity to LRS was statistically significant for the total sample and for both sub-samples, with 70% of the total variance in LRS accounted for by longevity. Longevity was linked to LRS via a chain of statistically significant relationships: The longer the life span, the longer the reproductive life; the longer the reproductive life, the more offspring produced; the more offspring produced, the higher the LRS. Mean LRS, life span, and reproductive longevity all differed between the two sub-samples. Since the sub-samples were time-linked to a population decline affecting longevity, either sub-sample separately would fail to reflect the broader picture. This illustrates the importance of appreciable sample sizes from long-term studies in helping understand the dynamics between life history estimates and ecological conditions in variable environments.

  8. Beyond lifetime reproductive success: the posthumous reproductive dynamics of male Trinidadian guppies

    PubMed Central

    López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Gordon, Swanne P.; Paterson, Ian G.; Bentzen, Paul; Reznick, David N.

    2013-01-01

    In semelparous populations, dormant germ banks (e.g. seeds) have been proposed as important in maintaining genotypes that are adaptive at different times in fluctuating environments. Such hidden storage of genetic diversity need not be exclusive to dormant banks. Genotype diversity may be preserved in many iteroparous animals through sperm-storage mechanisms in females. This allows males to reproduce posthumously and increase the effective sizes of seemingly female-biased populations. Although long-term sperm storage has been demonstrated in many organisms, the understanding of its importance in the wild is very poor. We here show the prevalence of male posthumous reproduction in wild Trinidadian guppies, through the combination of mark–recapture and pedigree analyses of a multigenerational individual-based dataset. A significant proportion of the reproductive population consisted of dead males, who could conceive up to 10 months after death (the maximum allowed by the length of the dataset), which is more than twice the estimated generation time. Demographic analysis shows that the fecundity of dead males can play an important role in population growth and selection. PMID:23740786

  9. A generalist brood parasite modifies use of a host in response to reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Louder, Matthew I. M.; Schelsky, Wendy M.; Albores, Amber N.; Hoover, Jeffrey P.

    2015-01-01

    Avian obligate brood parasites, which rely solely on hosts to raise their young, should choose the highest quality hosts to maximize reproductive output. Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are extreme host generalists, yet female cowbirds could use information based on past reproductive outcomes to make egg-laying decisions thus minimizing fitness costs associated with parasitizing low-quality hosts. We use a long-term (21 years) nest-box study of a single host, the prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea), to show that local cowbird reproductive success, but not host reproductive success, was positively correlated with the probability of parasitism the following year. Experimental manipulations of cowbird success corroborated that female cowbirds make future decisions about which hosts to use based on information pertaining to past cowbird success, both within and between years. The within-year pattern, in particular, points to local cowbird females selecting hosts based on past reproductive outcomes. This, coupled with high site fidelity of female cowbirds between years, points to information use, rather than cowbird natal returns alone, increasing parasitism rates on highly productive sites between years. PMID:26336180

  10. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  11. Do Phoretic Mites Influence the Reproductive Success of Ips grandicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)?

    PubMed

    Pfammatter, Jesse A; Raffa, Kenneth F

    2015-12-01

    Ips grandicollis (Eichhoff) can be an important pest of plantation trees in the Great Lakes region. Mites commonly occur in phoretic association with this beetle, but little is known about their effects on beetle population dynamics. We assessed the effects of phoretic mites on the reproductive success of I. grandicollis using complementary correlative and manipulative approaches. First, we allowed beetles to colonize Pinus resinosa (Ait) logs from sites across Wisconsin, reared them in a common environment, and related the species identities and abundances of mites with beetle production from each log. We found a positive relationship between I. grandicollis abundance and the presence of five mite species, Histiostoma spp., Dendrolaelaps quadrisetus (Berlese), Iponemus confusus (Lindquist), Trichouropoda australis Hirschmann, and Tarsonemus spp. While the abundance of individual mite species was positively correlated with beetle abundance, assessments of mite community structure did not explain beetle reproduction. Next, we introduced beetles that either had a natural complement of mites or whose mites were mechanically reduced into logs, and compared reproductive success between these beetles. We found no difference in colonization rates or beetle emergence between mite-present and mite-reduced treatments. Collectively, these results suggest a correlative, rather than causal, link between beetle reproductive success and mite incidence and abundances. These mites and beetles likely benefit from mutually suitable environments rather than exerting strong reciprocal impacts. Although mites may have some effects on I. grandicollis reproductive success, they likely play a minimal role compared to factors such as tree quality, beetle predation, and weather.

  12. Aroclor 1242 and reproductive success of adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haseltine, S.D.; Prouty, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    Twenty-four pairs of adult mallards were fed a diet containing 0 or 150 ppm of the PCB Aroclor 1242 for 12 weeks during which egg laying was induced. Laying started in both groups an average of 33 days after PCB treatment began. All hens were allowed to lay a 20-egg clutch; 15 eggs from each clutch were artificially incubated. Eleven hens from each group completed the clutch. There was no difference between the two groups in the time taken to lay the clutch, nor was there a difference in fertility, embryo mortality, or hatching success. Eggshell thickness decreased 8.9% with PCB ingestion; eggs from hens fed PCB contained an average of 105 ppm PCB wet wt. No difference in survival or weight gain to 3 weeks of age was observed between young mallards from eggs laid by PCB-treated hens and control hens.

  13. Male Seminal Fluid Substances Affect Sperm Competition Success and Female Reproductive Behavior in a Seed Beetle

    PubMed Central

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females’ initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females’ initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species. PMID:25893888

  14. Male seminal fluid substances affect sperm competition success and female reproductive behavior in a seed beetle.

    PubMed

    Yamane, Takashi; Goenaga, Julieta; Rönn, Johanna Liljestrand; Arnqvist, Göran

    2015-01-01

    Male seminal fluid proteins are known to affect female reproductive behavior and physiology by reducing mating receptivity and by increasing egg production rates. Such substances are also though to increase the competitive fertilization success of males, but the empirical foundation for this tenet is restricted. Here, we examined the effects of injections of size-fractioned protein extracts from male reproductive organs on both male competitive fertilization success (i.e., P2 in double mating experiments) and female reproduction in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found that extracts of male seminal vesicles and ejaculatory ducts increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 1 day after the females' initial mating, while extracts from accessory glands and testes increased competitive fertilization success when males mated with females 2 days after the females' initial mating. Moreover, different size fractions of seminal fluid proteins had distinct and partly antagonistic effects on male competitive fertilization success. Collectively, our experiments show that several different seminal fluid proteins, deriving from different parts in the male reproductive tract and of different molecular weight, affect male competitive fertilization success in C. maculatus. Our results highlight the diverse effects of seminal fluid proteins and show that the function of such proteins can be contingent upon female mating status. We also document effects of different size fractions on female mating receptivity and egg laying rates, which can serve as a basis for future efforts to identify the molecular identity of seminal fluid proteins and their function in this model species.

  15. Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, J L; Nichols, H J; Marshall, H H; Vitikainen, E I K; Thompson, F J; Walker, S L; Cant, M A; Young, A J

    2015-10-01

    Dominant females in social species have been hypothesized to reduce the reproductive success of their subordinates by inducing elevated circulating glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations. However, this 'stress-related suppression' hypothesis has received little support in cooperatively breeding species, despite evident reproductive skews among females. We tested this hypothesis in the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), a cooperative mammal in which multiple females conceive and carry to term in each communal breeding attempt. As predicted, lower ranked females had lower reproductive success, even among females that carried to term. While there were no rank-related differences in faecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations prior to gestation or in the first trimester, lower ranked females had significantly higher fGC concentrations than higher ranked females in the second and third trimesters. Finally, females with higher fGC concentrations during the third trimester lost a greater proportion of their gestated young prior to their emergence from the burrow. Together, our results are consistent with a role for rank-related maternal stress in generating reproductive skew among females in this cooperative breeder. While studies of reproductive skew frequently consider the possibility that rank-related stress reduces the conception rates of subordinates, our findings highlight the possibility of detrimental effects on reproductive outcomes even after pregnancies have become established.

  16. Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in subordinate female banded mongooses

    PubMed Central

    Sanderson, J. L.; Nichols, H. J.; Marshall, H. H.; Vitikainen, E. I. K.; Thompson, F. J.; Walker, S. L.; Cant, M. A.; Young, A. J.

    2015-01-01

    Dominant females in social species have been hypothesized to reduce the reproductive success of their subordinates by inducing elevated circulating glucocorticoid (GC) concentrations. However, this ‘stress-related suppression' hypothesis has received little support in cooperatively breeding species, despite evident reproductive skews among females. We tested this hypothesis in the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), a cooperative mammal in which multiple females conceive and carry to term in each communal breeding attempt. As predicted, lower ranked females had lower reproductive success, even among females that carried to term. While there were no rank-related differences in faecal glucocorticoid (fGC) concentrations prior to gestation or in the first trimester, lower ranked females had significantly higher fGC concentrations than higher ranked females in the second and third trimesters. Finally, females with higher fGC concentrations during the third trimester lost a greater proportion of their gestated young prior to their emergence from the burrow. Together, our results are consistent with a role for rank-related maternal stress in generating reproductive skew among females in this cooperative breeder. While studies of reproductive skew frequently consider the possibility that rank-related stress reduces the conception rates of subordinates, our findings highlight the possibility of detrimental effects on reproductive outcomes even after pregnancies have become established. PMID:26510673

  17. An Examination of the Impact of Successive and Non-Successive Geometry Classes on High School Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sugg, Steven L.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the impact of successive versus non-successive scheduling of mathematics courses on the achievement of ninth-grade students in a suburban Oregon high school. The Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills and student performance on the geometry course final exam were employed to compare the achievement of intact groups of…

  18. Agonistic reciprocity is associated with reduced male reproductive success within haremic social networks

    PubMed Central

    Solomon-Lane, Tessa K.; Pradhan, Devaleena S.; Willis, Madelyne C.; Grober, Matthew S.

    2015-01-01

    While individual variation in social behaviour is ubiquitous and causes social groups to differ in structure, how these structural differences affect fitness remains largely unknown. We used social network analysis of replicate bluebanded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) harems to identify the reproductive correlates of social network structure. In stable groups, we quantified agonistic behaviour, reproduction and steroid hormones, which can both affect and respond to social/reproductive cues. We identified distinct, optimal social structures associated with different reproductive measures. Male hatching success (HS) was negatively associated with agonistic reciprocity, a network structure that describes whether subordinates ‘reciprocated’ agonism received from dominants. Egg laying was associated with the individual network positions of the male and dominant female. Thus, males face a trade-off between promoting structures that facilitate egg laying versus HS. Whether this reproductive conflict is avoidable remains to be determined. We also identified different social and/or reproductive roles for 11-ketotestosterone, 17β-oestradiol and cortisol, suggesting that specific neuroendocrine mechanisms may underlie connections between network structure and fitness. This is one of the first investigations of the reproductive and neuroendocrine correlates of social behaviour and network structure in replicate, naturalistic social groups and supports network structure as an important target for natural selection. PMID:26156769

  19. Achieving restoration success: myths in bottomland hardwood forests

    Treesearch

    John A. Stanturf; Stephen H. Schoenholtz; Callie Jo Schweitzer; James P. Shepard

    2001-01-01

    Restoration of bottomland hardwood forests is the subject of considerable interest in the Southern United States, but restoration success is elusive. Techniques for establishing bottomland tree species are well developed, yet problems have occurred in operational programs. Current plans for restoration on public and private land suggest that as many as 200,000 ha could...

  20. Achieving Solution Success: An Investigation of User Participation Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattia, Angela Marie

    2009-01-01

    User participation and its relationship to system success have been discussed in the information systems (IS) literature from many theoretical and practical perspectives. In reality, most of this discussion is grounded in empirical research that has yielded mixed results on the importance of user participation and its relationship to system…

  1. An Analysis of How Multicultural Adult Orphans Achieve Economic Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simonee, Saundra W.

    2014-01-01

    Successful multicultural adult orphans who were not adopted pose an interesting challenge in their history, their physical, psychological, social emotional and personal identity development. One must understand their journey from orphanhood to adulthood and their current prominent status in life to build a contextualized personal story (Banks,…

  2. Achieving Success in Obtaining Grant Funding as a Research Scholar

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherubini, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The process of writing successful grant proposals has received not so dubious attention in the last several decades. This article provides contextual significance resulting from a review of literature spanning 1975 to 2013. I identify essential vocabulary stemming from the literature review to familiarize the reader with the terminology associated…

  3. Achieving Success in Obtaining Grant Funding as a Research Scholar

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherubini, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    The process of writing successful grant proposals has received not so dubious attention in the last several decades. This article provides contextual significance resulting from a review of literature spanning 1975 to 2013. I identify essential vocabulary stemming from the literature review to familiarize the reader with the terminology associated…

  4. Orchestrating ACO success: how top performers achieve shared savings.

    PubMed

    Harris, John M; Elizondo, Idette; Brown, Amanda M

    2016-03-01

    Leaders of the top-performing accountable care organizations in the Medicare Shared Savings Program attribute the success of their organizations in large part to seven strategies: Seek action-oriented leadership. Transform primary care physician practices. Keep patients out of the emergency department. Ensure all transitions are smooth. Make effective use of available data. Share information on physician performance. Keep patients engaged.

  5. Defining and Achieving Student Success: University Faculty and Student Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Anne M.; Camp, William G.

    The question of how agricultural education students and faculty define and hope to foster student success was studied at a large southeastern land-grant university with a college of agriculture that included 1,497 students and 193 faculty. The study questions were explored in 2 focus groups containing a total of 7 faculty members and 8 focus…

  6. Future Achievement Orientations: Job Training and Economic Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Robert L.

    The research had four purposes: describe the concept of future orientation; develop measures of future constructs; determine the impact of background, labor markets, and job training on future orientations; and evaluate the validity of the measures as predictors of training outcomes and economic success. Data were collected from a sample of men in…

  7. An Analysis of How Multicultural Adult Orphans Achieve Economic Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simonee, Saundra W.

    2014-01-01

    Successful multicultural adult orphans who were not adopted pose an interesting challenge in their history, their physical, psychological, social emotional and personal identity development. One must understand their journey from orphanhood to adulthood and their current prominent status in life to build a contextualized personal story (Banks,…

  8. Cutting edge assessment of the impact of autoimmunity on female reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Gleicher, Norbert; Weghofer, Andrea; Barad, David H

    2012-05-01

    There, likely, is no more controversial issue in reproductive medicine than the effects of autoimmunity on female reproductive success. Published studies are, therefore, often biased. We performed PubMed, Google Scholar and Medline searches for the years 2000-2010 under various key words and phrases, referring to effects of autoimmunity/autoimmune diseases on pregnancy/pregnancy outcomes/pregnancy rates/reproduction/reproductive outcomes/fertility/infertility/fertility treatments/infertility treatments, and a number of similar terms. Reference lists of selected manuscripts were evaluated for additional, potential references. All selected manuscripts were reviewed by at least one author (N.G.). Opinions were reached based on preferential review of only selected studies, which offered data, primarily developed in pursuit of unrelated scientific questions. Data from various medical fields point, surprisingly effectively, toward significant impacts of autoimmunity on female reproductive success. Autoimmunity not only increases miscarriage risks but also reduces female fecundity and infertility treatment success. A, likely, reason why differences of opinion have persisted is that effects are primarily observed in genetically predisposed women, with specific fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) genotypes. This discovery coincides with recently increasing appreciation of the importance of the long arm of the X chromosome (Xq) in control of functional ovarian reserve (reflective of female fertility) and autoimmunity, with FMR1at Xq27.3, located at cross roads of both. Autoimmune effects on female reproductive success deserve recognition. Further investigations must not ignore patient stratification, based on ovarian FMR1 genotypes. Genetic definition of high-risk patients should lead to development of successful therapeutic interventions.

  9. Carotenoid supplementation enhances reproductive success in captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio).

    PubMed

    Dugas, Matthew B; Yeager, Justin; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are currently experiencing the most severe declines in biodiversity of any vertebrate, and their requirements for successful reproduction are poorly understood. Here, we show that supplementing the diet of prey items (fruit flies) with carotenoids has strong positive effects on the reproduction of captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio), substantially increasing the number of metamorphs produced by pairs. This improved reproduction most likely arose via increases in the quality of both the fertilized eggs from which tadpoles develop and trophic eggs that are fed to tadpoles by mothers. Frogs in this colony had previously been diagnosed with a Vitamin A deficiency, and this supplementation may have resolved this issue. These results support growing evidence of the importance of carotenoids in vertebrate reproduction and highlight the nuanced ways in which nutrition constrains captive populations.

  10. The Balanced Reading Program: Helping All Students Achieve Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair-Larsen, Susan M., Ed.; Williams, Kathryn A., Ed.

    This book explains the methodologies, techniques, strategies, and knowledge base necessary to achieve a balanced reading program. The book's contributors define the key elements in a balanced reading program and provide guidelines for implementing a balanced instructional program in the classroom. Following an introduction which addresses…

  11. A Successful Community-based Partnership: Formation and Achievements.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rothman, Nancy L.; Lourie, Rita; Dyer, Annette; Gass, Diane L.

    2000-01-01

    Describes the formation and achievements of an academic-community partnership between the Department of Nursing, Temple University, and two Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, public housing developments. Focuses on the community-developed, community-based public health initiative, "Lead Awareness: North Philly Style," which demonstrates the…

  12. The Balanced Reading Program: Helping All Students Achieve Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair-Larsen, Susan M., Ed.; Williams, Kathryn A., Ed.

    This book explains the methodologies, techniques, strategies, and knowledge base necessary to achieve a balanced reading program. The book's contributors define the key elements in a balanced reading program and provide guidelines for implementing a balanced instructional program in the classroom. Following an introduction which addresses…

  13. Diseases and reproductive success in a wild mammal: example in the alpine chamois.

    PubMed

    Pioz, Maryline; Loison, Anne; Gauthier, Dominique; Gibert, Philippe; Jullien, Jean-Michel; Artois, Marc; Gilot-Fromont, Emmanuelle

    2008-04-01

    Density-dependent and climatic factors affect reproduction and dynamics of wild ungulates. Parasites can also decrease reproductive success through either a direct abortive effect or a negative impact on host growth and body condition. However, few studies have investigated the effect of parasitism on fecundity of ungulates in natural conditions. We studied three bacterial infections caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Abortusovis, Chlamydophila abortus and Coxiella burnetii. These bacteria are leading causes of reproductive failure in sheep, goat and cattle, which raises the question of their influence on population dynamics of wild ungulates. A long-term study of demography and epidemiology of an alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra, L.) population (Les Bauges Reserve, France) and a generalized linear modeling approach were used to analyze the reproductive success of chamois according to population density, weather conditions and the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria in females. This approach enabled us to identify the confounding effect of weather and parasitism on fecundity in a natural population. After accounting for density, the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria explained 36% of the annual variation in reproductive success, and weather conditions explained an additional 31%. This study was, to our knowledge, the first to compare the decrease in fecundity due to bacterial infections and weather conditions in a population of wild mountain ungulates.

  14. Influence of reproductive traits on pollination success in two Daphne species (Thymelaeaceae).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2011-03-01

    Taxonomically related species can differ in a number of reproductive traits, which may translate into a differential mating system and pollination success. Here we compare two hermaphroditic insect-pollinated Daphne species (D. rodriguezii and D. gnidium) which differ in distribution (island endemic vs. mediterranean) and floral traits (long- vs. short-tube corolla). We investigated their mating system and pollen limitation by means of hand-pollination experiments and quantified the diversity and abundance of flower visitors by direct observations. Plant size and five reproductive traits (flower production, proportion of viable anthers, pollen production, flower tube length and tepal area) were studied to assess how they contribute to reproductive success, measured as proportion of pollen grains germinated per stigma and fruit set. Selfing was very low and pollen limitation existed in both species, though was higher in D. rodriguezii probably due to the scarcity of flower visitors. The low fruit set in both species suggests that most of the pollen grains found on stigmas are self-pollen. Pollinators appeared to favour some floral traits (specifically, flower tube length or tepal area) in both species, although flower crop in D. rodriguezii was the only reproductive trait influencing fruit set. In both species, the highest variability in reproductive traits and pollination success was within individuals. Our findings suggest that despite both species showed similar mating system, dependency on outcrossing pollen and selection of floral traits, pollen limitation was higher in D. rodriguezii, probably as a higher proportion of self-pollen arrives to its stigmas.

  15. Local density regulates migratory songbird reproductive success through effects on double-brooding and nest predation.

    PubMed

    Woodworth, Bradley K; Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Newman, Amy E M; Norris, D Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Knowledge of the density-dependent processes that regulate animal populations is key to understanding, predicting, and conserving populations. In migratory birds, density-dependence is most often studied during the breeding season, yet we still lack a robust understanding of the reproductive traits through which density influences individual reproductive success. We used 27-yr of detailed, individual-level productivity data from an island-breeding population of Savannah sparrows Passerculus sandwichensis to evaluate effects of local and total annual population density on female reproductive success. Local density (number of neighbors within 50 m of a female's nest) had stronger effects on the number of young fledged than did total annual population density. Females nesting in areas of high local density were more likely to suffer nest predation and less likely to initiate and fledge a second clutch, which led to fewer young fledged in a season. Fledging fewer young subsequently decreased the likelihood of a female recruiting offspring into the breeding population in a subsequent year. Collectively, these results provide insight into the scale and reproductive mechanisms mediating density-dependent reproductive success and fitness in songbirds. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Life as a bachelor: quantifying the success of an alternative reproductive tactic in male blue monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Cords, Marina

    2015-01-01

    In species that live in one-male groups, resident males monopolize access to a group of females and are assumed to have higher reproductive success than bachelors. We tested this assumption using genetic, demographic, and behavioral data from 8 groups of wild blue monkeys observed over 10 years to quantify reproduction by residents and bachelors and compare the success of the two tactics. We used maximum-likelihood methods to assign sires to 104 offspring born in the study groups, 36 of which were sired by extra-group males, i.e., residents of neighboring groups and bachelors. Among these extra-group males, high-ranking males (many of whom were neighboring residents) were more likely to sire offspring than low-ranking males, but the time these visiting males spent in the mother’s group when she conceived (male presence) did not predict their relative success. When bachelors competed for reproduction with other bachelors, neither rank nor male presence during the mother’s conceptive period affected the probability of siring an offspring, suggesting that highly opportunistic mating with conceptive females is important in bachelor reproduction. In a second analysis, we used long-term data to estimate resident and bachelor reproductive success over the long term, and particularly to determine if there are any circumstances in which a typical bachelor may sire as many offspring as a typical resident during one or two periods of residency. Our findings generally support the assumption of a resident reproductive advantage because in most circumstances, a lifelong bachelor would be unable to sire as many offspring as a resident. However, a bachelor who performs at the average rate in the average number of groups for several years may have similar lifetime reproductive success as a male whose reproduction is limited to one short period of residency, especially in a small group. Our findings suggest that one should not assume a resident reproductive advantage for males

  17. Student achievement and NCLEX-RN success: Problems that persist.

    PubMed

    Carrick, Jo Anne

    2011-01-01

    While most nurse graduates are successful on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination, certain students continue to be at risk for failure. To understand the complexity of at-risk students and NCLEX-RN failure, systems theory was used to analyze the interdependency of the nursing education system and the nursing student learning system. From this perspective, these problems relate to flaws in perceived learning gaps and student outcome measures. Predicting NCLEX-RN success is further complicated because students leave the teaching system prior to taking the exam, making them vulnerable to other influencing variables. The student's approach to learning (SAL) theory was used to aid in identifying effective strategies. The literature supports this theoretical approach, which targets changing the teaching and learning environment. However, there is limited research on the nursing student's approach to learning, on the benefits of innovative student-centered learning environments, and the most effective use of NCLEX-RN assessment products.

  18. Environmental contaminants and the reproductive success of lake trout in the Great Lakes: An epidemiological approach

    SciTech Connect

    Mac, M.J.; Edsall, C.C. )

    1991-08-01

    Epidemiological criteria were used to examine the influence of environmental contamination on reproductive success of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Most of the information was obtained from lake trout eggs collected in southeastern Lake Michigan and reared in the laboratory. Two separate end points that measure reproductive success--egg hatchability and fry survival--were used in the evaluation. Strong evidence for maternally derived polychlorinated biphenyls causing reduced egg hatchability were observed for the time order, strength of association, and coherence criteria. Equally strong evidence for organic environmental contaminants, also of maternal origin, causing a swim-up fry mortality syndrome were presented for the strength of association, specificity, replication, and coherence criteria. The epidemiological approach for demonstrating cause-and-effect relations was useful because of the difficulty in demonstrating definite proof of causality between specific environmental contaminants and reproductive dysfunction in feral fish.

  19. Environmental contaminants and the reproductive success of lake trout in the Great Lakes: an epidemiological approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mac, Michael J.; Edsall, Carol C.

    1991-01-01

    Epidemiological criteria were used to examine the influence of environmental contamination on reproductive success of lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Most of the information was obtained from lake trout eggs collected in southeastern Lake Michigan and reared in the laboratory. Two separate end points that measure reproductive success - egg hatchability and fry survival - were used in the evaluation. Strong evidence for maternally derived polychlorinated biphenyls causing reduced egg hatchability were observed for the time order, strength of association, and coherence criteria. Equally strong evidence for organic environmental contaminants, also of maternal origin, causing a swim-up fry mortality syndrome were presented for the strength of association, specificity, replication, and coherence criteria. The epidemiological approach for demonstrating cause-and-effect relations was useful because of the difficulty in demonstrating definite proof of causality between specific environmental contaminants and reproductive dysfunction in feral fish.

  20. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds.

    PubMed

    Etterson, Matthew A; Bennett, Richard S

    2013-10-01

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide-use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg laying, incubation, nestling rearing), and results from avian toxicity tests are used to represent the types of effects possible in the field during each breeding phase. The expected exposure dose each day throughout the breeding season can be compared to the toxicity thresholds assigned to each breeding phase to determine whether the nest attempt is at risk. The primary output of the model is an estimate of the number of successful nest attempts per female per year, which is multiplied by the number of fledglings per successful nest to estimate the number of fledglings per female per breeding season (i.e., annual reproductive success). In this article, we present a series of MCnest simulations to demonstrate the extent to which the magnitude of change in annual reproductive success can be affected by considering life history attributes and the timing of pesticide applications relative to a species' typical breeding phenology. For a given pesticide-use scenario, MCnest can identify which species are at greatest risk. By allowing multiple species to be run under a single scenario, it can also help to identify the life-history traits that contribute to a species' vulnerability to a given pesticide-use scenario. It also can determine which application dates have the greatest impact and demonstrate the extent to which pesticide characteristics (e.g., residue half-life, mode of action) affect productivity. MCnest goes beyond the current qualitative screening-level assessments of risks to avian reproduction to provide an approach for quantifying the reduction in annual reproductive success by integrating species life history and timing of pesticide exposures, despite limitations in existing information

  1. Height and reproductive success : How a Gambian population compares with the west.

    PubMed

    Sear, Rebecca

    2006-12-01

    In Western societies, height is positively correlated with reproductive success (RS) for men but negatively correlated with RS for women. These relationships have been attributed to sexual selection: women prefer tall men, and men prefer short women. It is this success in the marriage market which leads to higher RS for tall men and short women. We have already shown that the relationship between height and RS for women is quite different in a non-Western context. In a subsistence farming community in rural Gambia, height is positively correlated with reproductive success for women, largely owing to the higher survival of the children of tall women. Here, the relationship between height and reproductive success is analyzed for men in the same community. For these Gambian men, there is no significant relationship between height and the number of children they produce, although tall men do contract more marriages than shorter men. We conclude that environmental context needs to be taken into account when analyzing human reproductive behavior.

  2. Reproductive success of the Puerto Rican vireo in a montane habitat

    Treesearch

    A.G. Tossas

    2008-01-01

    studied the reproductive success of the Puerto Rican Vireo (Vireo latimeri) from 1998 to 2000 in Maricao State Forest, a montane reserve in the southwestern part of Puerto Rico. No parasitism by the Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) was found but 63% of 38 active nests were depredated with an overall daily nest survival of 0.932

  3. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds (presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide‐use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg ...

  4. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide-use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg layin...

  5. Dominance, body size and internal relatedness influence male reproductive success in eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus).

    PubMed

    Miller, Emily J; Eldridge, Mark D B; Cooper, Desmond W; Herbert, Catherine A

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge of the determinants of reproductive success is essential for understanding the adaptive significance of particular traits. The present study examined whether particular behavioural, morphological, physiological or genetic traits were correlated with male dominance and reproductive success using three semi-free-ranging captive populations (n = 98) of the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). The morphological traits measured included bodyweight, head, forearm, tail, pes and leg length, forearm and bicep circumference, and testis size. Blood samples were collected to determine serum testosterone concentrations. All individuals were typed for 10 microsatellite loci and paternity determined for each pouch young. To determine the influence of relatedness and genetic diversity on male reproductive success, internal relatedness, standardised heterozygosity and mean d(2) were calculated. Dominant males sired a significantly higher proportion of offspring than smaller, lower-ranked males and had higher testosterone concentrations. Males that sired offspring were significantly heavier and had larger body size. Sires were significantly more heterozygous and genetically dissimilar to breeding females than non-sires. Despite the wealth of knowledge on the social organisation of kangaroos, this is the first study to assign parentage and male reproductive success using molecular evidence.

  6. Effects of nectar robbing on male and female reproductive success of a pollinator-dependent plant

    PubMed Central

    Rojas-Nossa, Sandra V.; Sánchez, José María; Navarro, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Nectar robbers affect host fitness in different ways and by different magnitudes, both directly and indirectly, and potentially constitute an important part of pollination interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nectar robbing on several variables that characterize the reproductive success of Lonicera etrusca, a pollinator-dependent plant with long, tubular flowers that produce abundant nectar. Methods Using fluorescent powder dye as a proxy for pollen, the distance of pollen dispersal was compared for robbed and non-robbed flowers. Artificial nectar robbing treatments were applied to test its effects on four additional measures of reproductive success, namely the quantity of pollen exported, fruit set, seed/ovule ratio and seed weight. Key Results Nectar robbing was not found to have any significant negative consequences on female and male components of reproductive success as determined through the five variables that were measured. Conclusions Although L. etrusca exhibits high levels of nectar robbing and nectar robbers are common floral visitors, no evidence was found of detrimental changes in the components of reproductive success. A combination of morphological and ecological mechanisms is proposed to explain how plants may compensate for the energetic loss caused by the nectar robbers. PMID:26482653

  7. Effects of two-age management and clearcutting on songbird density and reproductive success

    Treesearch

    Jeffery V. Nichols; Petra Bohall Wood

    1995-01-01

    We examined density and reproductive success of passerine species on 7 uncut forest stands and on 12 stands harvested 10-14 years ago on the Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia (6 clearcut stands and 6 stands harvested using 2-age management). In 2-age management, stands resemble a shelterwood cut with 10-30 overstory trees/acre left uncut. Uncut periphery...

  8. Supergene Gp-9 is associated polyandry and male reproductive success in fire ants

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Supergenes are groups of loci inherited together to facilitate the co-segregation of adaptive variation. We demonstrate that facultative polyandry and male reproductive success have a simple genetic basis in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta and depend solely on male genotype within the Gp-9 supergene...

  9. Impacts of habitat alterations and predispersal seed predation on the reproductive success of Great Basin forbs

    Treesearch

    Robert L. Johnson

    2008-01-01

    Sexual reproductive success in wild plant populations is dependent upon the ability to bank seed for when environmental conditions favor seedling recruitment. Seed production in many plant populations requires the pollination services of local bee populations. A loss in bee diversity as a result of exotic plant invasion or revegetation practices which do not adequately...

  10. Selecting surrogate endpoints for estimating pesticide effects on avian reproductive success

    EPA Science Inventory

    A Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) has been developed for projecting the effects of a specific pesticide-use scenario on the annual reproductive success of avian species of concern. A critical element in MCnest is the use of surrogate endpoints, defined as measured ...

  11. Plumage coloration and reproductive success in male chestnut-sided warblers

    Treesearch

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin

    2001-01-01

    We studied Chestnut-sided Warblers (Dendroica pensylvanica) to determine whether there exists any relationship between plumage coloration and reproductive success in this species. We observed that males with more extensive chestnut breast coloration initiated nests significantly earlier than males with less chestnut, and had marginally larger...

  12. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide-use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg layin...

  13. Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds (presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) was developed for quantifying the effects of specific pesticide‐use scenarios on the annual reproductive success of simulated populations of birds. Each nesting attempt is divided into a series of discrete phases (e.g., egg ...

  14. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success

    Treesearch

    James E. Garabedian; Christopher E. Moorman; M. Nils Peterson; John C. Kilgo

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides...

  15. Secondary forest succession following reproduction cutting on the Upper Coastal Plain of southeastern Arkansas, USA

    Treesearch

    Michael D. Cain; Michael G. Shelton

    2001-01-01

    To contribute to an understanding of forest management on secondary forest succession, we conducted vegetation surveys in a chronosequence of pine stands ranging in age from 1 to 59 years. Adjacent areas were compared at 1, 7, 12, and 17 years following two reproduction cutting methods (clearcuts or pine seed-tree cuts); a 59-year-old pine stand that...

  16. Effects of nectar robbing on male and female reproductive success of a pollinator-dependent plant.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Nossa, Sandra V; Sánchez, José María; Navarro, Luis

    2016-02-01

    Nectar robbers affect host fitness in different ways and by different magnitudes, both directly and indirectly, and potentially constitute an important part of pollination interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nectar robbing on several variables that characterize the reproductive success of Lonicera etrusca, a pollinator-dependent plant with long, tubular flowers that produce abundant nectar. Using fluorescent powder dye as a proxy for pollen, the distance of pollen dispersal was compared for robbed and non-robbed flowers. Artificial nectar robbing treatments were applied to test its effects on four additional measures of reproductive success, namely the quantity of pollen exported, fruit set, seed/ovule ratio and seed weight. Nectar robbing was not found to have any significant negative consequences on female and male components of reproductive success as determined through the five variables that were measured. Although L. etrusca exhibits high levels of nectar robbing and nectar robbers are common floral visitors, no evidence was found of detrimental changes in the components of reproductive success. A combination of morphological and ecological mechanisms is proposed to explain how plants may compensate for the energetic loss caused by the nectar robbers. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Early experience and parent-of-origin-specific effects influence female reproductive success in mice

    PubMed Central

    Hager, Reinmar; Johnstone, Rufus A

    2006-01-01

    Recent studies on mammals investigating parent-of-origin-specific effects such as genomic imprinting and maternal effects have demonstrated their impact on short-term measures of fitness, for example offspring growth. However, the long-term fitness consequences of parent-of-origin-specific effects and their role outside the immediate mother–offspring interaction remain largely unexplored. Here, we show that female mice mated to males that inherited the same set of paternal and maternal genes as themselves have a higher reproductive success than females mated to males of reciprocal genotype. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the early social environment experienced by an individual influences its reproductive success. Females raised with unrelated siblings in a mixed litter had a subsequent lower reproductive success than those that were fostered together with all their biological siblings in unmixed litters. Our results highlight the important influence of parent-of-origin-specific effects and conditions in early development on long-term reproductive success in mammals and suggest that parent-of-origin-specific effects may provide the underlying mechanism for beneficial coadaptation between genotypes, for example, in mate choice. PMID:17148376

  18. On the reproductive success of early-generation hatchery fish in the wild

    PubMed Central

    Christie, Mark R; Ford, Michael J; Blouin, Michael S

    2014-01-01

    Large numbers of hatchery salmon spawn in wild populations each year. Hatchery fish with multiple generations of hatchery ancestry often have heritably lower reproductive success than wild fish and may reduce the fitness of an entire population. Whether this reduced fitness also occurs for hatchery fish created with local- and predominantly wild-origin parents remains controversial. Here, we review recent studies on the reproductive success of such ‘early-generation’ hatchery fish that spawn in the wild. Combining 51 estimates from six studies on four salmon species, we found that (i) early-generation hatchery fish averaged only half the reproductive success of their wild-origin counterparts when spawning in the wild, (ii) the reduction in reproductive success was more severe for males than for females, and (iii) all species showed reduced fitness due to hatchery rearing. We review commonalities among studies that point to possible mechanisms (e.g., environmental versus genetic effects). Furthermore, we illustrate that sample sizes typical of these studies result in low statistical power to detect fitness differences unless the differences are substantial. This review demonstrates that reduced fitness of early-generation hatchery fish may be a general phenomenon. Future research should focus on determining the causes of those fitness reductions and whether they lead to long-term reductions in the fitness of wild populations. PMID:25469167

  19. Selecting surrogate endpoints for estimating pesticide effects on avian reproductive success

    EPA Science Inventory

    A Markov chain nest productivity model (MCnest) has been developed for projecting the effects of a specific pesticide-use scenario on the annual reproductive success of avian species of concern. A critical element in MCnest is the use of surrogate endpoints, defined as measured ...

  20. Resource availability, breeding site selection, and reproductive success of red-winged blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Turner, Andrew M; McCarty, John P

    1997-12-01

    Red-winged blackbirds are polygynous and show strong breeding site preferences, but it is unclear which environmental factors regulate their reproductive success and are ultimately responsible for shaping their patterns of habitat selection and their mating system. We evaluated the effect of variation in insect emergence rates on the reproductive success of male and female redwings nesting on replicate ponds. The number of male and female redwings that settled on a pond varied two- to three-fold among ponds, but was not related to insect emergence rates. Insect emergence rates had a positive effect on the number of nestlings successfully fledged by females, the number of nestlings fledged from male territories, and on the mass of nestlings at fledging. Typha stem density also varied widely among ponds, and was positively related to male and female settling density and mass of nestlings at fledging, but not to the number of nestlings fledged by females or males. We conclude that alternative breeding sites differ in their ability to support redwing reproduction, and that the availability of emerging odonates is an important environmental factor influencing the reproductive success of both male and female red-winged blackbirds.

  1. The impact of parental investment on lifetime reproductive success in Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Emily C.

    2017-01-01

    Background Demonstrating the impact that parents have on the fitness of their children is a crucial step towards understanding how parental investment has affected human evolution. Parents not only transfer genes to their children, they also influence their environments. By analyzing reproductive patterns within and between different categories of close relatives, this study provides insight into the genetic and environmental effects that parents have on the fitness of their offspring. Methods We use data spanning over two centuries from an exceptionally accurate Icelandic genealogy, Íslendingabók, to analyze the relationship between the fertility rates of close relatives. Also, using genetic data, we determine narrow sense heritability estimates (h2) to further explore the genetic impact on lifetime reproductive success. Finally, we construct four simulations to model the expected contribution of genes and resources on reproductive success. Results The relationship between the reproduction of all full sibling pairs was significant and positive across all birth decades (r = 0.19) while the reproductive relationship between parents and offspring was often negative across many decades and undetectable overall (r = 0.00) (Fig. 1 and Table 1). Meanwhile, genetic data among 8,456 pairs of full siblings revealed a narrow sense heritability estimate (h2) of 0.00 for lifetime reproductive success. A resources model (following the rule that resources are transmitted from parents to children, distributed equally among siblings, and are the only factor affecting reproductive success) revealed a similar trend: a negative relationship between parent and offspring reproduction (r =  − 0.35) but a positive relationship among full siblings (r = 0.28). The relationship between parent and offspring lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and full sibling LRS was strongly and positively correlated across time (r = 0.799, p < 0.001). Similarly, the LRS among full

  2. External tissue expansion successfully achieved using negative pressure.

    PubMed

    Lasheen, Ahmed E; Salim, Aiman; Hefny, Mohamad R; Al-Bakly, Esam

    2004-01-01

    The practice of internal tissue expansion by implanting a silicone balloon into the soft tissue under the skin is now known to be associated with a significant risk of complications. Therefore, we designed and developed a new technique of mechanical external tissue expansion achieved by using negative pressure created through special valved cups. The subjects were 60 patients suffering from postburn scar contractures in different parts of their bodies. A valved cup was applied to the healthy skin on both sides of the scar and negative pressure of -100 to -200 mbar was connected to the cup through a special valve for 5 h out of every 12 h for 2-3 weeks preoperatively. During the subsequent operation, the scar was excised, and then the expanded skin was dissected followed by wound closure. We were able to excise the scars and close the wounds directly in 14 patients, but needed to perform Z-plasty in the other 46 patients. Some ecchymosis appeared on the skin at the site of application of the cup in the initial stages, when the negative pressure exceeded the upper limits of -100 to -200 mbar. The clinical application of external tissue expansion achieved by creating negative pressure shows great promise.

  3. Spatially variable habitat quality contributes to within-population variation in reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Norelli, Alexandra P

    2015-04-01

    Variation in habitat quality is common across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats. We investigated how habitat quality influenced the reproductive potential of mud crabs across 30 oyster reefs that were degraded to different extents. We further coupled this field survey with a laboratory experiment designed to mechanistically determine the relationship between resource consumption and reproductive performance. We show a >10-fold difference in average reproductive potential for crabs across reefs of different quality. Calculated consumption rates for crabs in each reef, based on a type II functional response, suggest that differences in reproductive performance may be attributed to resource limitation in poor quality reefs. This conclusion is supported by results of our laboratory experiment where crabs fed a higher quality diet of abundant animal tissue had greater reproductive performance. Our results demonstrate that spatial variation in habitat quality can be a considerable contributor to within-population individual variation in reproductive success (i.e., demographic heterogeneity). This finding has important implications for assessing population extinction risk.

  4. Evolution of reproductive effort in a metapopulation with local extinctions and ecological succession.

    PubMed

    Ronce, O; Olivieri, I

    1997-08-01

    Using a metapopulation model, we study how local extinctions, limited population life span, and local demographic disequilibrium affect the evolution of the reproductive effort in a species with overlapping generations but no senescence. We show that in a metapopulation with saturation of all sites and an infinite deme maximal life span (no succession), local extinctions simply constitute an additional source of extrinsic mortality. When either the hypothesis of an infinite deme maximal life span or the saturation hypothesis is relaxed, nontrivial predictions arise. in particular, we find interactions between the evolutionarily stable reproductive effort strategy and the demographic dynamics in the metapopulation. We predict that larger reproductive effort may be selected for in habitats of poorer productivity, contrary to what would be predicted in a single population. Also, we predict that higher dispersal rates should favor selection for lower reproductive efforts. However, metapopulation parameters that favor high dispersal rates also favor larger reproductive efforts. Conflicting selection pressures in the metapopulation also allow maintaining evolutionarily stable polymorphism between a low and high reproductive effort for particular trade-offs between survival and fecundity.

  5. Voice and Handgrip Strength Predict Reproductive Success in a Group of Indigenous African Females

    PubMed Central

    Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Sorokowski, Piotr; Mberira, Mara; Bartels, Astrid; Gallup, Gordon G.

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of Darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of Darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis. PMID:22870251

  6. Voice and handgrip strength predict reproductive success in a group of indigenous African females.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Jeremy; Pipitone, R Nathan; Sorokowska, Agnieszka; Sorokowski, Piotr; Mberira, Mara; Bartels, Astrid; Gallup, Gordon G

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary accounts of human traits are often based on proxies for genetic fitness (e.g., number of sex partners, facial attractiveness). Instead of using proxies, actual differences in reproductive success is a more direct measure of darwinian fitness. Certain voice acoustics such as fundamental frequency and measures of health such as handgrip strength correlate with proxies of fitness, yet there are few studies showing the relation of these traits to reproduction. Here, we explore whether the fundamental frequency of the voice and handgrip strength account for differences in actual reproduction among a population of natural fertility humans. Our results show that both fundamental frequency and handgrip strength predict several measures of reproductive success among a group of indigenous Namibian females, particularly amongst the elderly, with weight also predicting reproductive outcomes among males. These findings demonstrate that both hormonally regulated and phenotypic quality markers can be used as measures of darwinian fitness among humans living under conditions that resemble the evolutionary environment of Homo sapiens. We also argue that these findings provide support for the Grandmother Hypothesis.

  7. Role of lipids for the reproductive success of the Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatlebakk, M. K.; Graeve, M.; Niehoff, B.; Johnsen, G.; Søreide, J.

    2016-02-01

    Extensive energy storage is common among polar animals, and a range of reproductive strategies have evolved from pure capital breeders, relying on stored energy only, to 100% income breeders where freshly ingested food fuel reproduction. The Arctic calanoid copepod Calanus glacialis is primarily a grazer that accumulates large lipid stores during spring and summer. The breeding strategy to this relatively large and lipid-rich copepod is somewhere on the continuum from pure capital to 100% income breeder. To investigate the importance of stored lipids versus freshly ingested food for the reproductive success of this key copepod we conducted a combined laboratory and field study on a high-Arctic population of C. glacialis in Svalbard from January to May. Total lipids, lipid composition, gonad maturation, egg production and egg hatching success were carefully followed for starved and algal fed females in the laboratory and for females in situ. Lipid stores decreased significantly over time even when food was available, both in laboratory and in field, suggesting that the females largely depended on stored resources for reproduction no matter of the food availability. Lipid reduction was most rapid during gonad maturation prior to first egg production. Almost all fed females spawned compared to only half of the starved ones, and number of eggs and the egg hatching success were significantly improved for fed females. When food was scarce, females produced fewer but more lipid-rich eggs as opposed to more eggs with less lipids when food was abundant - a strategy not previously described for C. glacialis. The fatty acid composition appeared to be more important than the total lipid content for ensuring high egg hatching success, and the polyunsaturated fatty acids 20:5(n-3) and 22:6(n-3), as well as the saturated fatty acids 16:0 and 18:0 seemed to be particularly important. We conclude that C. glacialis is capable of capital breeding, but primarily rely on fresh food for

  8. Conflict and cooperation over sex: the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success in dunnocks.

    PubMed

    Santos, Eduardo S A; Santos, Luana L S; Lagisz, Malgorzata; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2015-11-01

    Conflict and cooperation within and between the sexes are among the driving forces that lead to the evolution of mating systems. Among mating strategies, female genetic polyandry and male reproductive cooperation pose challenging evolutionary questions regarding the maintenance of systems where one sex suffers from reduced fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success of females and males in a population of the dunnock, Prunella modularis. We show that female multiple mating ameliorates the negative effects of inbreeding. We, however, found little evidence that females engage in extra-group (pair) mating with less related or more heterozygous males. Breeding in socially polyandrous groups reduced the amount of paternity lost to extra-group males, such that, on average, cobreeding and monogamous males fledged a similar number of young. Importantly, c. 30% of cobreeding male dyads were related, suggesting they could gain indirect fitness benefits. Taken together, cobreeding males achieve equivalent reproductive success to monogamous counterparts under most circumstances. Our study has revealed unexpected complexities in the variable mating system of dunnocks in New Zealand. Our results differ from the well-known Cambridge dunnock study and can help our understanding of the evolution and maintenance of various breeding systems in the animal kingdom.

  9. Relationship between reproductive success and male plasma vitellogenin concentrations in cunner, Tautogolabrus adspersus.

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Lesley J; Gutjahr-Gobell, Ruth E; Horowitz, Doranne Borsay; Denslow, Nancy D; Chow, Marjorie C; Zaroogian, Gerald E

    2003-01-01

    The gene for vitellogenin, an egg yolk protein precursor, is usually silent in male fish but can be induced by estrogen exposure. For this reason, vitellogenin production in male fish has become a widely used indicator of exposure to exogenous estrogens or estrogen mimics in the aquatic environment. The utility of this indicator to predict impacts on fish reproductive success is unclear because information on the relationship between male plasma vitellogenin and reproductive end points in male and female fish is limited. In the research reported in this article, we investigated whether the presence of male plasma vitellogenin is a reliable indicator of decreased reproductive success in mature fish. Adult and sexually mature male and female cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus) were exposed to 17ss-estradiol, ethynylestradiol, or estrone, three steroidal estrogens that elicit the vitellogenic response. Data were gathered and pooled on egg production, egg viability, egg fertility, sperm motility, and male plasma vitellogenin concentrations. All males, including two with plasma vitellogenin levels exceeding 300 mg/mL, produced motile sperm. Neither percent fertile eggs nor percent viable eggs produced by reproductively active fish demonstrated a significant correlation with male plasma vitellogenin concentrations. Male gonadosomatic index and average daily egg production by females showed significant, but weak, negative correlation with male plasma vitellogenin concentrations. Results suggest that male plasma vitellogenin expression is not a reliable indicator of male reproductive dysfunction in adult cunner exposed to estrogens for 2-8 weeks during their reproductive season, at least in relation to capacity to produce motile sperm or fertilize eggs. Male plasma vitellogenin expression may serve as an indicator of reduced female reproductive function caused by estrogen exposure. PMID:12515685

  10. Determinants and Patterns of Reproductive Success in the Greater Horseshoe Bat during a Population Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Helen L.; Ransome, Roger D.; Jones, Gareth; Rossiter, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    An individual's reproductive success will depend on traits that increase access to mates, as well as the number of mates available. In most well-studied mammals, males are the larger sex, and body size often increases success in intra-sexual contests and thus paternity. In comparison, the determinants of male success in species with reversed sexual size dimorphism (RSD) are less well understood. Greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) exhibit RSD and females appear to exert mate choice when they visit and copulate with males in their underground territories. Here we assessed putative determinants of reproductive success in a colony of greater horseshoe bats during a 19-year period of rapid population growth. We genotyped 1080 bats with up to 40 microsatellite loci and assigned maternity to 99.5% of pups, and paternity to 76.8% of pups. We found that in spite of RSD, paternity success correlated positively with male size, and, consistent with our previous findings, also with age. Female reproductive success, which has not previously been studied in this population, was also age-related and correlated positively with individual heterozygosity, but not with body size. Remarkable male reproductive skew was detected that initially increased steadily with population size, possibly coinciding with the saturation of suitable territories, but then levelled off suggesting an upper limit to a male's number of partners. Our results illustrate that RSD can occur alongside intense male sexual competition, that male breeding success is density-dependent, and that male and female greater horseshoe bats are subject to different selective pressures. PMID:24551052

  11. Pairing and reproductive success in two sympatric species of Hyalella (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Dogielinotidae) from southern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva Castiglioni, Daniela; Bond-Buckup, Georgina

    2008-01-01

    This study aimed at characterizing pairing and reproductive success in relation to male and female sizes of the sympatric freshwater gammarideans Hyalella pleoacuta and H. castroi from southern Brazil. These amphipods exhibit precopulatory mate guarding, in which a male will carry a potential mate beneath its ventral surface, guarding the female for several days until it molts and lays its eggs. The specimens were collected monthly with nets, from November 2003 to July 2004 in two trout aquaculture ponds at Sítio Vale das Trutas locality, São José dos Ausentes County, southern Brazil. The precopulatory pairs and ovigerous females were identified and separated in the field. In the laboratory, they were measured (cephalothorax length in mm), using a micrometer eyepiece in a stereoscopic microscope. Pairing success was estimated from the proportion of mating males and females related to their respective non-pairing individuals by size classes. Reproductive success was estimated from egg production. The mean cephalothorax length of paired males was larger than that of the unpaired males. For females, however, body size not affect pairing success for either species, because mean cephalothorax length of paired females did not differ significantly from unpaired females. Paired and unpaired males of both species of Hyalella were larger than the females. Positive assortative mating by size was observed in both species; i.e., larger males tended to pair with larger females. Male pairing success increased sharply with size. In both species, reproductive success in males increased with body size; however, the females of intermediate size classes showed greater reproductive success. This result supports the hypothesis that loading constraints play a part in structuring size-assortative pairing in these species.

  12. Linking biomarkers to reproductive success of caged fathead minnows in streams with increasing urbanization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crago, J.; Corsi, S.R.; Weber, D.; Bannerman, R.; Klaper, R.

    2011-01-01

    Reproductive and oxidative stress biomarkers have been recommended as tools to assess the health of aquatic organisms. Though validated in the laboratory, there are few studies that tie a change in gene expression to adverse reproductive or population outcomes in the field. This paper looked at 17 streams with varying degrees of urbanization to assess the use of biomarkers associated with reproduction or stress in predicting reproductive success of fathead minnows. In addition, the relationship between biomarkers and water quality measures in streams with varying degrees of urbanization was examined. Liver vitellogenin mRNA was correlated with reproduction within a period of 11. d prior to sampling irrespective of habitat, but its correlation with egg output declined at 12. d and beyond indicating its usefulness as a short-term biomarker but its limits as a biomarker of total reproductive output. Stress biomarkers such as glutathione S-transferase may be better correlated with factors affecting reproduction over a longer term. There was a significant correlation between GST mRNA and a variety of anthropogenic pollutants. There was also an inverse correlation between glutathione S-transferase and the amount of the watershed designated as wetland. Egg production over the 21-d was negatively correlated with the amount of urbanization and positively correlated to wetland habitats. This study supports the development of multiple biomarkers linking oxidative stress and other non-reproductive endpoints to changes in aquatic habitats will be useful for predicting the health of fish populations and identifying the environmental factors that may need mitigation for sustainable population management. ?? 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Effects of male social status on reproductive success and on behavior in mice (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    D'Amato, F R

    1988-06-01

    Differences in reproduction as well as in behavior in the presence of females were evaluated according to dominant and subordinate male rank in albino mice, in the temporary absence of each male's antagonist. Dominant males reproduced more successfully than subordinate males. Subordinate males were generally inactive, except for displacement activities, during the first 15 min they were exposed to female partners. These findings suggest that mechanisms other than male-male interference or mating order may be operating or influencing behavior and reproductive results.

  14. The ART of mating: alternative reproductive tactics and mating success in a nest-guarding fish.

    PubMed

    Mascolino, S; Benvenuto, C; Gubili, C; Sacchi, C; Boufana, B; Mariani, S

    2016-12-01

    Behavioural observations in the field of male Mediterranean damselfish Chromis chromis were combined with molecular analyses, using bi-parentally and maternally inherited markers, to investigate reproductive success patterns of alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) in terms of number of eggs sired and number of females contributing to each nest. Cuckoldry was observed in every nest sampled, with at least two and up to seven sneaker males per nest. The nesting male, however, always significantly fertilized the greater number of eggs (on average 49%) in each clutch, whereas each sneaker fertilized around 7% of the clutch. The average number of females whose eggs were fertilized by nesting males was 6·76 (range 2-13), while each sneaker on average fertilized the eggs of 1·74 (range 1-8) females. Using this sibship reconstruction, some of the factors involved in the regulation of the dynamic equilibrium of reproductive success were investigated between the two ARTs shown by C. chromis males. Results show that the sneakers' reproductive success was positively linked to egg clutch size; the density of individuals in the nesting area negatively affected the size of egg clutches; the rate of defence behaviours performed by nesting males negatively influenced the number of females contributing to each nest.

  15. Experimental reduction of intromittent organ length reduces male reproductive success in a bug

    PubMed Central

    Dougherty, Liam R.; Rahman, Imran A.; Burdfield-Steel, Emily R.; Greenway, E. V. (Ginny); Shuker, David M.

    2015-01-01

    It is now clear in many species that male and female genital evolution has been shaped by sexual selection. However, it has historically been difficult to confirm correlations between morphology and fitness, as genital traits are complex and manipulation tends to impair function significantly. In this study, we investigate the functional morphology of the elongate male intromittent organ (or processus) of the seed bug Lygaeus simulans, in two ways. We first use micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and flash-freezing to reconstruct in high resolution the interaction between the male intromittent organ and the female internal reproductive anatomy during mating. We successfully trace the path of the male processus inside the female reproductive tract. We then confirm that male processus length influences sperm transfer by experimental ablation and show that males with shortened processi have significantly reduced post-copulatory reproductive success. Importantly, male insemination function is not affected by this manipulation per se. We thus present rare, direct experimental evidence that an internal genital trait functions to increase reproductive success and show that, with appropriate staining, micro-CT is an excellent tool for investigating the functional morphology of insect genitalia during copulation. PMID:25972470

  16. Late snowmelt delays plant development and results in lower reproductive success in the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Elisabeth J; Dullinger, Stefan; Semenchuk, Philipp

    2011-01-01

    In tundra areas where the growing season is short, any delay in the start of summer may have a considerable effect on plant development, growth and reproductive success. Climate models suggest long-term changes in winter precipitation in the Arctic, which may lead to deeper snow cover and a resultant delay in date of snow melt. In this paper, we investigated the role of snow depth and melt out date on the phenological development and reproductive success of vascular plants in Adventdalen, Svalbard (78° 10'N, 16° 06'E). Effects of natural variations in snow accumulation were demonstrated using two vegetation types (snow depth: meadow 21 cm, heath 32 cm), and fences were used to experimentally increase snow depth by over 1m. Phenological delay was greatest directly after snowmelt in the earlier phenological phases, and had the largest effect on the early development of those species which normally green-up early (i.e. Dryas, Papaver, Salix, Saxifraga). Compressed growing seasons and length of the reproductive period led to a reduced reproductive success in some of the study species. There were fewer flowers, fewer plots with dispersing seeds, and lower germination rates. This can have consequences for plant establishment and community composition in the long-term.

  17. Geographic variation in reproductive success of Stenocereus thurberi (Cactaceae): Effects of pollination timing and pollinator guild.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Enriquena; Casas, Alejandro; Búrquez, Alberto

    2010-12-01

    It has been proposed that species of columnar cacti from dry tropical areas depend on bats for their reproduction, whereas species from dry subtropical areas are also pollinated by other species. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effects of pollinator guild and of variation in time and space on the reproductive success of a widespread species. • Changes in fruit set, seed set, and pollinator activity through time were recorded in three widely separated populations of Stenocereus thurberi. Breeding system and sources of pollination limitation were determined by controlled pollinator exclusions in each population. • Significant differences were found in the timing of activity and in the effectiveness of pollinators among sites. In the northern and central populations, reproductive success depends on bats, whereas in the southern population a combination of pollinators was more effective. No difference between open and hand cross-pollination treatments was found in the northern and central populations, which suggests no pollen limitation. However, significant differences were detected in the southern population, which indicates temporal differences in pollinator abundance or arrival time. • Local variation in pollinator assemblages and reproductive success could greatly affect the evolution of pollination systems. The pattern of generalist pollination in the southernmost populations and specialized pollination in the central and northern populations contradicts the hypothesis of latitudinal variation. In the absence of nocturnal pollinators, the accumulated nectar can sustain visits by diurnal pollinators, a bet-hedging strategy that increases the chances of fruit set in some populations.

  18. Conspecific reproductive success affects age of recruitment in a great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, colony.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, M; Bregnballe, T

    2001-07-22

    Few studies have addressed the proximate factors affecting the age at which individuals of long-lived bird species are recruited into the breeding population. We use capture-recapture analysis of resightings of 16 birth cohorts of colour-ringed great cormorants, Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis, in a Danish colony to assess the evidence for two hypotheses: conspecific attraction (earlier recruitment when the colony is large) and conspecific reproductive success (earlier recruitment following years of high breeding success). For both males and females, conspecific reproductive success was the most important covariate explaining the interannual variation in age of recruitment; colony size was also important for females. These covariates explained nearly 60% of the year-to-year variation for both sexes. The age of recruitment increased for cohorts born after 1990, and this increase was correlated with a decline in breeding success in the colony; we interpret this as an indirect and delayed density-dependent effect. Females were recruited earlier than males (mean age of recruitment for cohorts born before 1990: 2.98 years versus 3.53 years); the most plausible reason for this is a skewed sex ratio in favour of males in the adult population. Recruitment of males may thus, to some extent, be constrained by the availability of females. This study provides the first evidence that conspecific reproductive success can affect the age at which individual birds start to breed.

  19. Achieving Success Connecting Academic and Practicing Clinicians Through Telemedicine

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez-Espada, Wilson J.; Hall-Barrow, Julie; Hall, R. Whit; Burke, Bryan L.; Smith, Christopher E.

    2017-01-01

    Objective Practicing clinicians, especially in rural areas, are often isolated from learning opportunities and interaction with subspecialty providers. The Pediatric Physician Learning and Collaborative Education (Peds PLACE), an interactive educational telemedicine program, was developed to address this need. We evaluated the success of this program through surveys with practicing and academic physicians. Methods Peds PLACE was assessed using two evaluation forms collected from October 2007 to May 2008. One of them was completed by 197 attendees from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and 172 from remote sites. Another form was completed by 131 participants from Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH), an academic free standing children's hospital. Both evaluation forms asked participants to use a 5-point Likert scale to rank a number of criteria and included a section for participants to write comments and recommendations. Additional data was collected through an open-response email survey of participants. Results 95% of the participants agreed that the presentations related to their professional needs, 98% agreed that it increased their subject matter knowledge, 81% evaluated the presentations as some of the best they have attended, and 93% agreed that the information would translate into professional practice, enhancing patient care. Health personnel from UAMS evaluated the presentations significantly higher than remote participants. Nursing staff evaluated the presentations significantly higher than medical staff. Comments were generally positive and correlated with the Likert scale data. Conclusion Participants reported being highly satisfied with Peds PLACE and considered it an effective way to address the continuing education needs of practitioners throughout Arkansas, especially in rural and underserved areas. PMID:19204057

  20. Nutrigerontology: a key for achieving successful ageing and longevity.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Anna; Accardi, Giulia; Candore, Giuseppina; Carruba, Giuseppe; Davinelli, Sergio; Passarino, Giuseppe; Scapagnini, Giovanni; Vasto, Sonya; Caruso, Calogero

    2016-01-01

    During the last two centuries the average lifespan has increased at a rate of approximately 3 months/year in both sexes, hence oldest old people are becoming the population with the fastest growth in Western World. Although the average life expectancy is increasing dramatically, the healthy lifespan is not going at the same pace. This underscores the importance of studies on the prevention of age-related diseases, in order to satisfactorily decrease the medical, economic and social problems associated to advancing age, related to an increased number of individuals not autonomous and affected by invalidating pathologies. In particular, data from experimental studies in model organisms have consistently shown that nutrient signalling pathways are involved in longevity, affecting the prevalence of age-related loss of function, including age-related diseases. Accordingly, nutrigerontology is defined as the scientific discipline that studies the impact of nutrients, foods, macronutrient ratios, and diets on lifespan, ageing process, and age-related diseases. To discuss the potential relevance of this new science in the attainment of successful ageing and longevity, three original studies performed in Sicily with local foods and two reviews have been assembled in this series. Data clearly demonstrate the positive effects of nutraceuticals, functional foods and Mediterranean Diet on several biological parameters. In fact, they could represent a prevention for many age-related diseases, and, although not a solution for this social plague, at least a remedy to alleviate it. Thus, the possibility to create a dietary pattern, based on the combined strategy of the use of both nutraceuticals and functional foods should permit to create a new therapeutic strategy, based not only on a specific bioactive molecule or on a specific food but on a integrated approach that, starting from the local dietary habits, can be led to a "nutrafunctional diet" applicable worldwide.

  1. Effects of Extreme Weather on Reproductive Success in a Temperate-Breeding Songbird

    PubMed Central

    Pipoly, Ivett; Bókony, Veronika; Seress, Gábor; Szabó, Krisztián; Liker, András

    2013-01-01

    The frequency of extreme meteorological events such as heat waves and rainstorms is predicted to increase with climate change. However, there is still little information about how extreme weather influences reproduction in animals. It may not only affect breeding success but might also alter offspring sex ratio if males and females are differentially sensitive to meteorological conditions during development. We investigated the relationship between meteorological conditions and reproductive success over 6 years in a house sparrow population in central Europe. We found that hatching success increased with the number of extremely hot days (daily maximum >31°C) and decreased with the number of extremely cold days (<16°C) during incubation, although the latter effect held only for clutches with relatively short incubation periods. Fledging success was unrelated to weather variables. However, the frequency of extremely hot days had a negative effect on fledglings’ body mass and tarsus length, although both of these traits were positively related to average temperature. Additionally, fledglings’ body mass increased with the length of period without rainfall before fledging. Male to female ratio among fledglings did not differ from 1:1 and did not vary with weather variables. The magnitude of the effects of extreme meteorological events was usually small, although in some cases comparable to those of ecologically relevant predictors of reproductive success. Our results indicate that meteorological conditions have complex effects on breeding success, as the effects of extreme weather can differ between different aspects of reproduction and also from the effects of overall meteorological conditions. PMID:24224033

  2. Problem-solving performance and reproductive success of great tits in urban and forest habitats.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

    Success in problem solving, a form of innovativeness, can help animals exploit their environments, and recent research suggests that it may correlate with reproductive success. Innovativeness has been proposed to be especially beneficial in urbanized habitats, as suggested by superior problem-solving performance of urban individuals in some species. If there is stronger selection for innovativeness in cities than in natural habitats, we expect problem-solving performance to have a greater positive effect on fitness in more urbanized habitats. We tested this idea in great tits (Parus major) breeding at two urban sites and two forests by measuring their problem-solving performance in an obstacle-removal task and a food-acquisition task. Urban pairs were significantly faster problem-solvers in both tasks. Solving speed in the obstacle-removal task was positively correlated with hatching success and the number of fledglings, whereas performance in the food-acquisition task did not correlate with reproductive success. These relationships did not differ between urban and forest habitats. Neophobia, sensitivity to human disturbance, and risk taking in the presence of a predator did not explain the relationships of problem-solving performance either with habitat type or with reproductive success. Our results suggest that the benefit of innovativeness in terms of reproductive success is similar in urban and natural habitats, implying that problem-solving skills may be enhanced in urban populations by some other benefits (e.g. increased survival) or reduced costs (e.g. more opportunities to gain practice with challenging tasks).

  3. Estimating differential reproductive success from nests of related individuals, with application to a study of the Mottled Sculpin, Cottus bairdi

    Treesearch

    Beatrix Jones; Gary D. Grossman; Daniel C.I. Walsh; Brady A. Porter; John C. Avise; Anthony C. Flumera

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how variation in reproductive success is related to demography is a critical component in understanding the life history of an organism. Parentage analysis using molecular markers can be used to estimate the reproductive success of different groups of individuals in natural populations. Previous models have been developed for cases where offspring are...

  4. Pulsed resources affect the timing of first breeding and lifetime reproductive success of tawny owls.

    PubMed

    Millon, A; Petty, S J; Lambin, X

    2010-03-01

    1. According to life-history theory, environmental variability and costs of reproduction account for the prevalence of delayed reproduction in many taxa. Empirical estimates of the fitness consequences of different ages at first breeding in a variable environment are few however such that the contributions of environmental and individual variability remains poorly known. 2. Our objectives were to elucidate processes that underpin variation in delayed reproduction and to assess lifetime consequences of the age of first breeding in a site-faithful predator, the tawny owl Strix aluco L. subjected to fluctuating selection linked to cyclical variation in vole density (typically 3-year cycles with low, increasing and decreasing vole densities in successive years). 3. A multistate capture-recapture model revealed that owl cohorts had strikingly different juvenile survival prospects, with estimates ranging from 0.08 to 0.33 respectively for birds born in Decrease and Increase phases of the vole cycle. This resulted in a highly skewed population structure with >75% of local recruits being reared during Increase years. In contrast, adult survival remained constant throughout a vole cycle. The probability of commencing reproduction was lower at age 1 than at older ages, and especially so for females. From age 2 onwards, pre-breeders had high probabilities of entering the breeding population. 4. Variation in lifetime reproductive success was driven by the phase of the vole cycle in which female owls started their breeding career (26-47% of variance explained, whether based on the number of local recruits or fledglings), more than by age at first breeding or by conditions experienced at birth. Females who postponed reproduction to breed for the first time at age 3 during an Increase phase, produced more recruits, even when accounting for birds that may have died before reproduction. No such effects were detected for males. 5. Sex-specific costs of early reproduction may have

  5. Effects of fire on golden eagle territory occupancy and reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kochert, Michael N.; Steenhof, Karen; Marzluff, J.M.; Carpenter, L.B.

    1999-01-01

    We examined effects of fire on golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) territory occupancy and reproductive success in southwestern Idaho because wildfires since 1980 have resulted in large-scale losses of shrub habitat in the Snake River Plain. Success (percentage of pairs that raised young) at burned territories declined after major fires (P = 0.004). Pairs in burned areas that could expand into adjacent vacant territories were as successful as pairs in unburned territories and more successful than pairs in burned territories that could not expand. Success at extensively burned territories was lowest 4-6 years after burning but increased 4-5 years later. The incidence and extent of fires did not help predict territories that would have low occupancy and success rates in postburn years. The presence of a vacant neighboring territory and the amount of agriculture and proportion of shrubs within 3 km of the nesting centroid best predicted probability of territory occupancy. Nesting success during preburn years best predicted the probability of a territory being successful in postburn years. Burned territories with high success rates during preburn years continued to have high success rates during postburn years, and those with low success in preburn years continued to be less successful after burning. In areas where much shrub habitat has been lost to fire, management for golden eagles should include active fire suppression and rehabilitation of burned areas.

  6. Patients' Perceptions of the Causes of Their Success and Lack of Success in Achieving Their Potential in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belciug, Marian P.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the patients' perception of the causes of their success and lack of success in achieving their potential in rehabilitation and their emotional reactions to the outcome of their rehabilitation. Thirty-five patients with spinal cord injury who were participating in the Rehabilitation Program at Hamilton…

  7. Patients' Perceptions of the Causes of Their Success and Lack of Success in Achieving Their Potential in Spinal Cord Rehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belciug, Marian P.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the patients' perception of the causes of their success and lack of success in achieving their potential in rehabilitation and their emotional reactions to the outcome of their rehabilitation. Thirty-five patients with spinal cord injury who were participating in the Rehabilitation Program at Hamilton…

  8. Differential reproductive success favours strong host preference in a highly specialized brood parasite.

    PubMed

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-11-07

    Obligate avian brood parasites show dramatic variation in the degree to which they are host specialists or host generalists. The screaming cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris is one of the most specialized brood parasites, using a single host, the bay-winged cowbird (Agelaioides badius) over most of its range. Coevolutionary theory predicts increasing host specificity the longer the parasite interacts with a particular avian community, as hosts evolve defences that the parasite cannot counteract. According to this view, host specificity can be maintained if screaming cowbirds avoid parasitizing potentially suitable hosts that have developed effective defences against parasitic females or eggs. Specialization may also be favoured, even in the absence of host defences, if the parasite's reproductive success in alternative hosts is lower than that in the main host. We experimentally tested these hypotheses using as alternative hosts two suitable but unparasitized species: house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) and chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus). We assessed host defences against parasitic females and eggs, and reproductive success of the parasite in current and alternative hosts. Alternative hosts did not discriminate against screaming cowbird females or eggs. Egg survival and hatching success were similarly high in current and alternative hosts, but the survival of parasitic chicks was significantly lower in alternative hosts. Our results indicate that screaming cowbirds have the potential to colonize novel hosts, but higher reproductive success in the current host may favour host fidelity.

  9. Differential reproductive success favours strong host preference in a highly specialized brood parasite

    PubMed Central

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-01-01

    Obligate avian brood parasites show dramatic variation in the degree to which they are host specialists or host generalists. The screaming cowbird Molothrus rufoaxillaris is one of the most specialized brood parasites, using a single host, the bay-winged cowbird (Agelaioides badius) over most of its range. Coevolutionary theory predicts increasing host specificity the longer the parasite interacts with a particular avian community, as hosts evolve defences that the parasite cannot counteract. According to this view, host specificity can be maintained if screaming cowbirds avoid parasitizing potentially suitable hosts that have developed effective defences against parasitic females or eggs. Specialization may also be favoured, even in the absence of host defences, if the parasite's reproductive success in alternative hosts is lower than that in the main host. We experimentally tested these hypotheses using as alternative hosts two suitable but unparasitized species: house wrens (Troglodytes aedon) and chalk-browed mockingbirds (Mimus saturninus). We assessed host defences against parasitic females and eggs, and reproductive success of the parasite in current and alternative hosts. Alternative hosts did not discriminate against screaming cowbird females or eggs. Egg survival and hatching success were similarly high in current and alternative hosts, but the survival of parasitic chicks was significantly lower in alternative hosts. Our results indicate that screaming cowbirds have the potential to colonize novel hosts, but higher reproductive success in the current host may favour host fidelity. PMID:18647716

  10. Stress and success: individual differences in the glucocorticoid stress response predict behavior and reproductive success under high predation risk.

    PubMed

    Vitousek, Maren N; Jenkins, Brittany R; Safran, Rebecca J

    2014-11-01

    A fundamental element of how vertebrates respond to stressors is by rapidly elevating circulating glucocorticoid hormones. Individual variation in the magnitude of the glucocorticoid stress response has been linked with reproductive success and survival. But while the adaptive value of this response is believed to stem in part from changes in the expression of hormone-mediated behaviors, it is not clear how the behavior of stronger and weaker glucocorticoid responders differs during reproduction, or during exposure to ecologically relevant stressors. Here we report that in a population of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) experiencing high rates of nest predation, circulating levels of corticosterone (the primary avian glucocorticoid) during exposure to a standardized stressor predict aspects of subsequent behavior and fitness. Individuals that mounted a stronger corticosterone stress response during the early reproductive period did not differ in clutch size, but fledged fewer offspring. Parents with higher stress-induced corticosterone during the early reproductive period later provisioned their nestlings at lower rates. Additionally, in the presence of a model predator stress-induced corticosterone was positively associated with the latency to return to the nest, but only among birds that were observed to return. Model comparisons revealed that stress-induced hormones were better predictors of the behavioral and fitness effects of exposure to transient, ecologically relevant stressors than baseline corticosterone. These findings are consistent with functional links between individual variation in the hormonal and behavioral response to stressors. If such links occur, then selection on the heritable components of the corticosterone stress response could promote adaptation to novel environments or predation regimes.

  11. Effects of dietary uranium on reproductive endpoints--fecundity, survival, reproductive success--of the fish Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Simon, Olivier; Mottin, Elmina; Geffroy, Benjamin; Hinton, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to metal-contaminated water has been shown to result in a number of reproductive abnormalities in adult and larvae fish, such as failure of oocyte maturation and teratogenic effects. Recently, dietary uptake of metals by fish has been recognized as a critical route of exposure, however, the mechanisms of metal uptake and toxicity are poorly understood and in need of further investigation. The objectives of the present study are to quantify uranium (U dietary transfers from spiked artificial diets) in Danio rerio tissues and embryos, as well as establish its effect on reproduction and embryonic development. Uranium's environmental prominence is currently increasing because of new mining and milling activities. Uranium concentrations range from 0.02 µg/L in natural waters to 2 mg/L. The focus of this study was to examine the trophic transfer and effects of U following exposure modalities (dose, exposure duration 1 to 20 d). Two different isotopes were used to distinguish between chemical and radioactivity toxicity of U. Results showed that U trophic transfer was low (0.52%). Uranium tissue distributions showed that accumulation occurred in digestive organs (liver, digestive tract) following dietary exposure. High levels of U were measured in the gonads (female in particular, >20% of relative burden). High U accumulation levels in eggs indicated maternal transfer of the contaminant. Moreover, U trophic exposure led to a reduction in reproduction success as a function of U accumulated levels. High U exposure conditions strongly reduced the total number of eggs (50%) and their viability at 10 d (reduction of the clutch number, low quality of eggs).

  12. The Achievement Gap: Factors That Influenced the Achievement of Successful Black Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morton, Kwame R., Sr.

    2011-01-01

    The academic underperformance of Black students when compared to their White peers has confounded educators nationwide. This discrepancy in academic performance commonly referred to as the achievement gap has become a national crisis which has led to one of the most significant educational reforms undertaken in the United States of America in the…

  13. The Achievement Gap: Factors That Influenced the Achievement of Successful Black Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morton, Kwame R., Sr.

    2011-01-01

    The academic underperformance of Black students when compared to their White peers has confounded educators nationwide. This discrepancy in academic performance commonly referred to as the achievement gap has become a national crisis which has led to one of the most significant educational reforms undertaken in the United States of America in the…

  14. Parasitism, immune response and reproductive success in the house martin Delichonurbica.

    PubMed

    de Lope, F; Møller, A P; de la Cruz, C

    1998-04-01

    Parasites often exert strong selection pressures on their hosts that have evolved anti-parasite defences to counter the negative effects of parasites. We studied the relationship between intensity of parasitism, one aspect of host immune response, and host reproductive success, using the house martin bug Oeciacushirundinis and its house martin Delichonurbica host as a model system. Experimental manipulation of parasite load of nests during laying of the first clutch altered the intensity of parasitism. Parasites reduced the reproductive success of their hosts measured in terms of body condition and survival of nestlings. Host immune response, measured as the concentration of gammaglobulins and total plasma proteins, was positively associated with parasite reproduction, estimated as the number of juvenile parasites, but was only weakly related to the intensity of adult parasites. The concentration of gammaglobulins was negatively related to nestling body mass, implying a trade-off between immune function and body condition. Parasite reproduction thus exerts a cost on hosts by increasing the immune response.

  15. Voluntary exercise at the expense of reproductive success in Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus).

    PubMed

    Petri, Ines; Scherbarth, Frank; Steinlechner, Stephan

    2010-09-01

    Energy demands of gestation and lactation represent a severe challenge for small mammals. Therefore, additional energetic burdens may compromise successful breeding. In small rodents, food restriction, cold exposure (also in combination) and wheel running to obtain food have been shown to diminish reproductive outcome. Although exhibited responses such as lower incidence of pregnancy, extended lactation periods and maternal infanticide were species dependent, their common function is to adjust energetic costs to the metabolic state reflecting the trade-off between maternal investment and self-maintenance. In the present study, we sought to examine whether voluntary exercise affects reproduction in Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus), which are known for their high motivation to run in a wheel. Voluntary exercise resulted in two different effects on reproduction; in addition to increased infanticide and cannibalism, which was evident across all experiments, the results of one experiment provided evidence that free access to a running wheel may prevent successful pregnancy. It seems likely that the impact of voluntary wheel running on reproduction was associated with a reduction of internal energy resources evoked by extensive exercise. Since the hamsters were neither food-restricted nor forced to run in the present study, an energetic deficit as reason for infanticide in exercising dams would emphasise the particularly high motivation to run in a wheel.

  16. Voluntary exercise at the expense of reproductive success in Djungarian hamsters ( Phodopus sungorus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petri, Ines; Scherbarth, Frank; Steinlechner, Stephan

    2010-09-01

    Energy demands of gestation and lactation represent a severe challenge for small mammals. Therefore, additional energetic burdens may compromise successful breeding. In small rodents, food restriction, cold exposure (also in combination) and wheel running to obtain food have been shown to diminish reproductive outcome. Although exhibited responses such as lower incidence of pregnancy, extended lactation periods and maternal infanticide were species dependent, their common function is to adjust energetic costs to the metabolic state reflecting the trade-off between maternal investment and self-maintenance. In the present study, we sought to examine whether voluntary exercise affects reproduction in Djungarian hamsters ( Phodopus sungorus), which are known for their high motivation to run in a wheel. Voluntary exercise resulted in two different effects on reproduction; in addition to increased infanticide and cannibalism, which was evident across all experiments, the results of one experiment provided evidence that free access to a running wheel may prevent successful pregnancy. It seems likely that the impact of voluntary wheel running on reproduction was associated with a reduction of internal energy resources evoked by extensive exercise. Since the hamsters were neither food-restricted nor forced to run in the present study, an energetic deficit as reason for infanticide in exercising dams would emphasise the particularly high motivation to run in a wheel.

  17. Male dominance rank and reproductive success in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii.

    PubMed

    Wroblewski, Emily E; Murray, Carson M; Keele, Brandon F; Schumacher-Stankey, Joann C; Hahn, Beatrice H; Pusey, Anne E

    2009-01-01

    Competition for fertile females determines male reproductive success in many species. The priority of access model predicts that male dominance rank determines access to females, but this model has been difficult to test in wild populations, particularly in promiscuous mating systems. Tests of the model have produced variable results, probably because of the differing socioecological circumstances of individual species and populations. We tested the predictions of the priority of access model in the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Chimpanzees are an interesting species in which to test the model because of their fission-fusion grouping patterns, promiscuous mating system and alternative male mating strategies. We determined paternity for 34 offspring over a 22-year period and found that the priority of access model was generally predictive of male reproductive success. However, we found that younger males had higher success per male than older males, and low-ranking males sired more offspring than predicted. Low-ranking males sired offspring with younger, less desirable females and by engaging in consortships more often than high-ranking fathers. Although alpha males never sired offspring with related females, inbreeding avoidance of high-ranking male relatives did not completely explain the success of low-ranking males. While our work confirms that male rank typically predicts male chimpanzee reproductive success, other factors are also important; mate choice and alternative male strategies can give low-ranking males access to females more often than would be predicted by the model. Furthermore, the success of younger males suggests that they are more successful in sperm competition.

  18. Male dominance rank and reproductive success in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii

    PubMed Central

    Wroblewski, Emily E.; Murray, Carson M.; Keele, Brandon F.; Schumacher-Stankey, Joann C.; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Pusey, Anne E.

    2009-01-01

    Competition for fertile females determines male reproductive success in many species. The priority of access model predicts that male dominance rank determines access to females, but this model has been difficult to test in wild populations, particularly in promiscuous mating systems. Tests of the model have produced variable results, probably because of the differing socioecological circumstances of individual species and populations. We tested the predictions of the priority of access model in the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Chimpanzees are an interesting species in which to test the model because of their fission–fusion grouping patterns, promiscuous mating system and alternative male mating strategies. We determined paternity for 34 offspring over a 22-year period and found that the priority of access model was generally predictive of male reproductive success. However, we found that younger males had higher success per male than older males, and low-ranking males sired more offspring than predicted. Low-ranking males sired offspring with younger, less desirable females and by engaging in consortships more often than high-ranking fathers. Although alpha males never sired offspring with related females, inbreeding avoidance of high-ranking male relatives did not completely explain the success of low-ranking males. While our work confirms that male rank typically predicts male chimpanzee reproductive success, other factors are also important; mate choice and alternative male strategies can give low-ranking males access to females more often than would be predicted by the model. Furthermore, the success of younger males suggests that they are more successful in sperm competition. PMID:19498952

  19. Pollinator diversity and reproductive success of Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz (Orchidaceae) in anthropogenic and natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Rewicz, Agnieszka; Jaskuła, Radomir; Rewicz, Tomasz; Tończyk, Grzegorz

    2017-01-01

    Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production). However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside) and natural (forest) habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones) in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits) in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators' mouth-parts, chewing (39%), sponging (34%) and chewing-sucking (20%) pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55%) and chewing mouth-parts (32%) dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively. We suggest that higher reproductive

  20. Pollinator diversity and reproductive success of Epipactis helleborine (L.) Crantz (Orchidaceae) in anthropogenic and natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Jaskuła, Radomir; Rewicz, Tomasz; Tończyk, Grzegorz

    2017-01-01

    Background Epipactis helleborine is an Eurasian orchid species which prefers woodland environments but it may also spontaneously and successfully colonise human-made artificial and disturbed habitats such as roadsides, town parks and gardens. It is suggested that orchids colonising anthropogenic habitats are characterised by a specific set of features (e.g., large plant size, fast flower production). However, as it is not well known how pollinator diversity and reproductive success of E. helleborine differs in populations in anthropogenic habitats compared to populations from natural habitats, we wanted to compare pollinator diversity and reproductive success of this orchid species between natural and anthropogenic habitat types. Methods Pollination biology, reproductive success and autogamy in populations of E. helleborine from anthropogenic (roadside) and natural (forest) habitats were compared. Eight populations (four natural and four human-disturbed ones) in two seasons were studied according to height of plants, length of inflorescences, as well as numbers of juvenile shoots, flowering shoots, flowers, and fruits. The number and diversity of insect pollinators were studied in one natural and two human-disturbed populations. Results Reproductive success (the ratio of the number of flowers to the number of fruits) in the populations from anthropogenic habitats was significantly higher than in the natural habitats. Moreover, plants from anthropogenic habitats were larger than those from natural ones. In both types of populations, the main insect pollinators were Syrphidae, Culicidae, Vespidae, Apidae and Formicidae. With respect to the type of pollinators’ mouth-parts, chewing (39%), sponging (34%) and chewing-sucking (20%) pollinators prevailed in anthropogenic habitats. In natural habitats, pollinators with sponging (55%) and chewing mouth-parts (32%) dominated, while chewing-sucking and piercing-sucking insects accounted for 9% and 4% respectively

  1. Reproductive health in Iran: pragmatic achievements, unmet needs, and ethical challenges in a theocratic system.

    PubMed

    Mehryar, Amir H; Ahmad-Nia, Shirin; Kazemipour, Shahla

    2007-12-01

    Since its revival in 1989, the reproductive health and family planning program of Iran has made great strides in raising the contraceptive prevalence rate and reducing fertility. The majority of couples are using modern methods promoted and provided by the national program, although a sizable proportion of couples continue to depend on the traditional method of withdrawal. The longstanding urban-rural gap in contraceptive prevalence rates has been reduced to about 10 percent, which is mainly the result of better-educated urban couples' continued practice of withdrawal. Despite its enormous success in meeting the needs of married couples, in narrowing the urban-rural gap in access to and use of modern contraceptives, and in reducing fertility, the Iranian family planning program is open to criticism for confining its target audience to married couples and failing to address the issue of abortion. The restrictive aspects of the program are often justified on the grounds of religious values and fear of encouraging sexual promiscuity. Because of the theocratic nature of the political system and the immense power enjoyed by Shiite ulama (religious leaders), no step can be taken to address these restrictions without their implicit support and approval. This study describes some of the ethical issues facing the reproductive health program of Iran and indicates how pragmatic approaches adopted by the ruling Shiite ulama to solve some of the social and medical challenges of a rapidly modernizing society may be extended to overcome ethical hurdles faced by the reproductive health program.

  2. Combining site occupancy, breeding population sizes and reproductive success to calculate time-averaged reproductive output of different habitat types: an application to Tricolored Blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Holyoak, Marcel; Meese, Robert J; Graves, Emily E

    2014-01-01

    In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005-2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent investigation. The method we

  3. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird

    PubMed Central

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H.; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R.

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage) such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous interpretation of

  4. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird.

    PubMed

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage) such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous interpretation of

  5. Nest sites and reproductive success of the Barred Owls (Strix varia) in Michigan

    Treesearch

    Sergej Postupalsky; Joseph M. Papp; Lewis Scheller

    1997-01-01

    During 1976-1995 we monitored 114 Barred Owl (Strix varia) breeding attempts in northern Michigan. We describe nest sites and report reproductive success for different types of nest sites. Most natural nest sites were tree cavities caused by decay at places where a limb or tree top had broken off. The mean d.b.h. of cavity trees (N = 18) was 48 cm...

  6. Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand: cumulative live birth rates as measures of success.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Georgina M; Paul, Repon C; Harris, Katie; Fitzgerald, Oisin; Boothroyd, Clare V; Rombauts, Luk; Chapman, Michael G; Jorm, Louisa

    2017-08-07

    To estimate cumulative live birth rates (CLBRs) following repeated assisted reproductive technology (ART) ovarian stimulation cycles, including all fresh and frozen/thaw embryo transfers (complete cycles). Prospective follow-up of 56 652 women commencing ART in Australian and New Zealand during 2009-2012, and followed until 2014 or the first treatment-dependent live birth. CLBRs and cycle-specific live birth rates were calculated for up to eight cycles, stratified by the age of the women (< 30, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, > 44 years). Conservative CLBRs assumed that women discontinuing treatment had no chance of achieving a live birth if had they continued treatment; optimal CLBRs assumed that they would have had the same chance as women who continued treatment. The overall CLBR was 32.7% (95% CI, 32.2-33.1%) in the first cycle, rising by the eighth cycle to 54.3% (95% CI, 53.9-54.7%) (conservative) and 77.2% (95% CI, 76.5-77.9%) (optimal). The CLBR decreased with age and number of complete cycles. For women who commenced ART treatment before 30 years of age, the CLBR for the first complete cycle was 43.7% (95% CI, 42.6-44.7%), rising to 69.2% (95% CI, 68.2-70.1%) (conservative) and 92.8% (95% CI, 91.6-94.0) (optimal) for the seventh cycle. For women aged 40-44 years, the CLBR was 10.7% (95% CI, 10.1-11.3%) for the first complete cycle, rising to 21.0% (95% CI, 20.2-21.8%) (conservative) and 37.9% (95% CI, 35.9-39.9%) (optimal) for the eighth cycle. CLBRs based on complete cycles are meaningful estimates of ART success, reflecting contemporary clinical practice and encouraging safe practice. These estimates can be used when counselling patients and to inform public policy on ART treatment.

  7. Influence of inflorescence size on sexual expression and female reproductive success in a monoecious species.

    PubMed

    Torices, R; Méndez, M

    2011-01-01

    Sex allocation theory forecasts that larger plant size may modify the balance in fitness gain in both genders, leading to uneven optimal male and female allocation. This reasoning can be applied to flowers and inflorescences, because the increase in flower or inflorescence size can differentially benefit different gender functions, and thus favour preferential allocation to specific floral structures. We investigated how inflorescence size influenced sexual expression and female reproductive success in the monoecious Tussilago farfara, by measuring patterns of biomass, and N and P allocation. Inflorescences of T. farfara showed broad variation in sex expression and, according to expectations, allocation to different sexual structures showed an allometric pattern. Unexpectedly, two studied populations had a contrasting pattern of sex allocation with an increase in inflorescence size. In a shaded site, larger inflorescences were female-biased and had disproportionately more allocation to attraction structures; while in an open site, larger inflorescences were male-biased. Female reproductive success was higher in larger, showier inflorescences. Surprisingly, male flowers positively influenced female reproductive success. These allometric patterns were not easily interpretable as a result of pollen limitation when naïvely assuming an unequivocal relationship between structure and function for the inflorescence structures. In this and other Asteraceae, where inflorescences are the pollination unit, both male and female flowers can play a role in pollinator attraction. © 2009 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  8. Culled males, infant mortality and reproductive success in a pre-industrial Finnish population

    PubMed Central

    Bruckner, Tim A.; Helle, Samuli; Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical and empirical literature asserts that the sex ratio (i.e. M/F) at birth gauges the strength of selection in utero and cohort quality of males that survive to birth. We report the first individual-level test in humans, using detailed life-history data, of the ‘culled cohort’ hypothesis that males born to low annual sex ratio cohorts show lower than expected infant mortality and greater than expected lifetime reproductive success. We applied time-series and structural equation methods to a unique multigenerational dataset of a natural fertility population in nineteenth century Finland. We find that, consistent with culled cohorts, a 1 s.d. decline in the annual cohort sex ratio precedes an 8% decrease in the risk of male infant mortality. Males born to lower cohort sex ratios also successfully raised 4% more offspring to reproductive age than did males born to higher cohort sex ratios. The offspring result, however, falls just outside conventional levels of statistical significance. In historical Finland, the cohort sex ratio gauges selection against males in utero and predicts male infant mortality. The reproductive success findings, however, provide weak support for an evolutionarily adaptive explanation of male culling in utero. PMID:25621334

  9. Culled males, infant mortality and reproductive success in a pre-industrial Finnish population.

    PubMed

    Bruckner, Tim A; Helle, Samuli; Bolund, Elisabeth; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-01-22

    Theoretical and empirical literature asserts that the sex ratio (i.e. M/F) at birth gauges the strength of selection in utero and cohort quality of males that survive to birth. We report the first individual-level test in humans, using detailed life-history data, of the 'culled cohort' hypothesis that males born to low annual sex ratio cohorts show lower than expected infant mortality and greater than expected lifetime reproductive success. We applied time-series and structural equation methods to a unique multigenerational dataset of a natural fertility population in nineteenth century Finland. We find that, consistent with culled cohorts, a 1 s.d. decline in the annual cohort sex ratio precedes an 8% decrease in the risk of male infant mortality. Males born to lower cohort sex ratios also successfully raised 4% more offspring to reproductive age than did males born to higher cohort sex ratios. The offspring result, however, falls just outside conventional levels of statistical significance. In historical Finland, the cohort sex ratio gauges selection against males in utero and predicts male infant mortality. The reproductive success findings, however, provide weak support for an evolutionarily adaptive explanation of male culling in utero.

  10. Physical attractiveness and reproductive success in humans: Evidence from the late 20 century United States.

    PubMed

    Jokela, Markus

    2009-09-01

    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53-56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants' increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings.

  11. Effects of Seasonal Weather on Breeding Phenology and Reproductive Success of Alpine Ptarmigan in Colorado

    PubMed Central

    Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Braun, Clait E.

    2016-01-01

    Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures. PMID:27420478

  12. Effects of Seasonal Weather on Breeding Phenology and Reproductive Success of Alpine Ptarmigan in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Wann, Gregory T; Aldridge, Cameron L; Braun, Clait E

    2016-01-01

    Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures.

  13. Physical and neuro-behavioural determinants of reproductive onset and success

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Lynda M.; Loh, Po-Ru; Scott, Robert A.; Helgason, Agnar; Kong, Augustine; Masson, Gisli; Magnusson, Olafur Th.; Gudbjartsson, Daniel; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Buring, Julie E.; Ridker, Paul M.; Sulem, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    The ages of puberty, first sexual intercourse and first birth signify the onset of reproductive ability, behaviour and success, respectively. These sequenced events have behavioural, physiological and health significance, and may also influence overall reproductive fitness. In a genome-wide association study of 125,667 white men and women aged 40-69 in the UK Biobank Study, we identify 38 sequence variants with association P-values <5×10-8 with age at first sexual intercourse. Findings were taken forward in up to 241,910 men and women from deCODE Iceland and 20,187 from Women’s Genome Health Study. Several of these loci also exhibit strong associations with behavioural traits (rs4856591 in CADM2 and risk taking propensity: P=4.3×10-10; rs73195303 in MSRA and irritable temperament: P=5.8×10-11) and other reproductive traits (rs67229052 in ESR1 and both age at first birth: P=1.2x10-13 and number of children: P=4.8×10-12; rs2188151 in SEMA3F and age at first birth: P=8.76×10-15). In Mendelian randomisation analyses, we demonstrate likely causal influences of earlier puberty timing on earlier first sexual intercourse, earlier first birth and fewer years of education. In turn, likely causal consequences of earlier first sexual intercourse include reproductive, educational, psychiatric and cardiometabolic outcomes. These findings point to the existence of developmental and neuro-behavioural regulators of reproductive activity and success. PMID:27089180

  14. Retrospective investigation of captive red wolf reproductive success in relation to age and inbreeding.

    PubMed

    Lockyear, K M; Waddell, W T; Goodrowe, K L; MacDonald, S E

    2009-05-01

    The critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been subject to a strictly managed captive breeding program for three decades. A retrospective demographic analysis of the captive population was performed based on data from the red wolf studbook. Data analyses revealed a decrease in the effective population size relative to the total population size, and changes in age structure and inbreeding coefficients over time. To varying degrees, the probability of successful breeding and litter sizes declined in association with increasing dam age and sire inbreeding coefficients. Neonate survival also declined with increasing dam age. Recent changes in strategies regarding breed-pair recommendations have resulted in moderate increases in reproductive success.

  15. IT Project Success w\\7120 and 7123 NPRs to Achieve Project Success

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walley, Tina L.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews management techniques to assure information technology development project success. Details include the work products, the work breakdown structure (WBS), system integration, verification and validation (IV&V), and deployment and operations. An example, the NASA Consolidated Active Directory (NCAD), is reviewed.

  16. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

  17. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens.

    PubMed

    Harwood, James F; Chen, Kehui; Liedo, Pablo; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Morice, Amy E; Carey, James R

    2015-03-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males' access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability.

  18. Individualised controlled ovarian stimulation (iCOS): maximising success rates for assisted reproductive technology patients

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    characteristics. As new objective endocrine, paracrine, functional and/or genetic biomarkers of response are developed, iCOS can be refined further still, and this will be a significant step towards a personalised approach for IVF. Conclusions A variety of COS protocols have been adopted, with mixed success, but no single approach is appropriate for all patients within a given population. We suggest that treatment protocols should be adapted for individual patients through iCOS; this approach promises to be one of the first steps towards implementing personalised medicine in reproductive science. PMID:21693025

  19. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Picoides borealis Microhabitat Characteristics and Reproductive Success in a Loblolly-Shortleaf Pine Forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Douglas R.; Burger, L. Wesley; Vilella, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) reproductive success and microhabitat characteristics in a southeastern loblolly (Pinus taeda) and shortleaf (P. echinata) pine forest. From 1997 to 1999, we recorded reproductive success parameters of 41 red-cockaded woodpecker groups at the Bienville National Forest, Mississippi. Microhabitat characteristics were measured for each group during the nesting season. Logistic regression identified understory vegetation height and small nesting season home range size as predictors of red-cockaded woodpecker nest attempts. Linear regression models identified several variables as predictors of red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success including group density, reduced hardwood component, small nesting season home range size, and shorter foraging distances. Red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success was correlated with habitat and behavioral characteristics that emphasize high quality habitat. By providing high quality foraging habitat during the nesting season, red-cockaded woodpeckers can successfully reproduce within small home ranges.

  20. A Successful Crayfish Invader Is Capable of Facultative Parthenogenesis: A Novel Reproductive Mode in Decapod Crustaceans

    PubMed Central

    Buřič, Miloš; Hulák, Martin; Kouba, Antonín

    2011-01-01

    Biological invasions are impacting biota worldwide, and explaining why some taxa tend to become invasive is of major scientific interest. North American crayfish species, particularly of the family Cambaridae, are prominent invaders in freshwaters, defying the “tens rule” which states that only a minority of species introduced to new regions become established, and only a minority of those become invasive and pests. So far, success of cambarid invaders has largely been attributed to rapid maturation, high reproductive output, aggressiveness, and tolerance to pollution. We provide experimental evidence that females of one cambarid species particularly widespread in Europe, the spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, are capable of facultative parthenogenesis. Such reproductive mode has never before been recognized in decapods, the most diverse crustacean order. As shown by analysis of seven microsatellite loci, crayfish females kept physically separated from males produced genetically homogeneous offspring identical with maternal individuals; this suggests they reproduced by apomixis, unlike those females which mated with males and had a diverse offspring. Further research is needed to clarify what environmental conditions are necessary for a switch to parthenogenesis in O. limosus, and what role it plays in natural crayfish populations. However, if such reproductive plasticity is present in other cambarid crayfish species, it may contribute to the overwhelming invasive success of this group. PMID:21655282

  1. Effect of Testosterone Administration and Spiking on Reproductive Success of Broiler Breeder Flocks.

    PubMed

    Ordas, B; Vahedi, S; Seidavi, A; Rahati, M; Laudadio, V; Tufarelli, V

    2015-10-01

    Age negatively affects reproductive success of broiler breeder flocks. One of the main hormones involved in the change of fertility with the age is testosterone (TT). The introduction of young males at later production stages of broiler flocks is known as spiking and is expected to reduce the fertility decline with age. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of injection of different levels of TT and the effect of spiking on reproductive fitness of broiler breeder flocks. Two experiments were conducted on Ross 308 breeder flocks for 10 weeks (41-50 weeks of age). The experiment 1 included a control and three treatments corresponding to three doses of TT (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 cc), while the experiment 2 included a control and one treatment corresponding to spiking. The lower dose of TT (0.1 cc) and the spiking clearly slowed down the decline in hatchability. Therefore, either the external administration of TT to the males when the natural concentration of TT starts to decline or spiking the breeder flock with young roosters could contribute to improve reproductive success in later stages of the production cycle in broiler breeder flocks.

  2. Host adaptations reduce the reproductive success of Varroa destructor in two distinct European honey bee populations.

    PubMed

    Locke, Barbara; Conte, Yves Le; Crauser, Didier; Fries, Ingemar

    2012-06-01

    Honey bee societies (Apis mellifera), the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, and honey bee viruses that are vectored by the mite, form a complex system of host-parasite interactions. Coevolution by natural selection in this system has been hindered for European honey bee hosts since apicultural practices remove the mite and consequently the selective pressures required for such a process. An increasing mite population means increasing transmission opportunities for viruses that can quickly develop into severe infections, killing a bee colony. Remarkably, a few subpopulations in Europe have survived mite infestation for extended periods of over 10 years without management by beekeepers and offer the possibility to study their natural host-parasite coevolution. Our study shows that two of these "natural" honey bee populations, in Avignon, France and Gotland, Sweden, have in fact evolved resistant traits that reduce the fitness of the mite (measured as the reproductive success), thereby reducing the parasitic load within the colony to evade the development of overt viral infections. Mite reproductive success was reduced by about 30% in both populations. Detailed examinations of mite reproductive parameters suggest these geographically and genetically distinct populations favor different mechanisms of resistance, even though they have experienced similar selection pressures of mite infestation. Compared to unrelated control colonies in the same location, mites in the Avignon population had high levels of infertility while in Gotland there was a higher proportions of mites that delayed initiation of egg-laying. Possible explanations for the observed rapid coevolution are discussed.

  3. Male dominance rank, mating and reproductive success in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus).

    PubMed

    Marvan, R; Stevens, J M G; Roeder, A D; Mazura, I; Bruford, M W; de Ruiter, J R

    2006-01-01

    In the recent past, application of DNA genotyping techniques has enabled researchers to more accurately test relationships between dominance rank (DR), mating success (MS) and reproductive success (RS). Paternity studies often reveal that reproductive outcome does not always correlate with male DR and/or MS and thus open room for discussion and interpretation of alternative reproductive tactics of both sexes. In this study, we analysed male DR, MS and RS in a group of bonobos at Twycross Zoo (UK). Genetic relationships were determined using 8 tetrameric microsatellite loci. Despite clear and asymmetric dominance relationships, analysed using normalised David's scores based on a dyadic index of dominance among the group's 3 mature males, we found that the most dominant male did not sire the most offspring. In fact, both infants conceived during the observation period were found to be sired by the lower-ranking males. Although the alpha male had almost exclusive mating access to one of the females during the time she was showing a maximal anogenital swelling, her infant was sired by the lowest-ranking male who mostly mated with her when outside the maximal swelling period. This result suggests that either sperm competition operates and/or ovulation is decoupled from the phase of maximal anogenital swelling which could allow greater female choice.

  4. Ivermectin alters reproductive success, body condition and sexual trait expression in dung beetles.

    PubMed

    González-Tokman, Daniel; Martínez M, Imelda; Villalobos-Ávalos, Yesenia; Munguía-Steyer, Roberto; Ortiz-Zayas, María Del Rosario; Cruz-Rosales, Magdalena; Lumaret, Jean-Pierre

    2017-07-01

    Ivermectin is a very common parasiticide used in livestock. It is excreted in the dung and has negative effects on survival and reproduction of dung-degrading organisms, including dung beetles. Here we exposed the dung beetle Euoniticellus intermedius to different concentrations of ivermectin in the food and evaluated reproductive success and the expression of traits associated with survival and reproduction under laboratory conditions. It is the first time the effects of ivermectin were evaluated on offspring physiological condition and the expression of a secondary sexual trait. We also registered the number of emerged beetles, sex ratio and body size of emerged adult beetles. Besides reducing the number of emerged beetles and body size, as found in the same and other insects, ivermectin at high doses reduced muscle mass while at intermediate doses it increased lipid mass. Ivermectin changed offspring sex ratio and at high doses increased the size of male horn, which is an important trait defining the male mating success. Our results highlight the importance of regulating parasiticide usage in livestock in order to maintain ecosystem services provided by dung beetles and confirm that contaminants impose new environmental conditions that not only impact on wild animal survival, but also on evolutionary processes such as sexual selection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Early reproductive success of the hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) from Five Sites in Long Island Sound

    SciTech Connect

    Stiles, S.; Choromanski, J.; Nelson, D.; Miller, J.; Greig, R.; Sennefelder, G. )

    1991-09-01

    Early reproductive success of hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) in Long Island Sound was measured to determine whether pollution may have adverse effects on fragile recruitment to fisheries. Clams were collected at five sites in 1987 when ready to spawn naturally, along with water from within 39 cm of the bottom. Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), copper, and cadmium were measured in the mature gonad and were found to be generally low. Clams were spawned and the gametes were collected and cultured both in their respective site waters and in reference laboratory seawater. In both site and reference seawater, embryos of clams from the most highly industrialized area (Bridgeport) with higher contaminant levels exhibited more irregularity in chromosome numbers and greater larval abnormality, possible indicators of long-term sublethal effects. Fertilization and early meiotic success at 1 to 1 1/2 h were significantly lower for clams from Norwalk than for those from Greenwich. At 48 h, mortality was lowest for Greenwich larvae and highest for Norwalk larvae in their respective site waters, but the mortality for these two sites was significantly lower than for other sites in reference water. This suggests sporadically poor environmental quality. Milford larvae also had significant mortality. Population-level significance of pollution effects on clam reproduction will depend on how contaminated the environment is over the entire reproductive season of the clams in Long Island Sound, and over how large a portion of the spawning grounds.

  6. Host adaptations reduce the reproductive success of Varroa destructor in two distinct European honey bee populations

    PubMed Central

    Locke, Barbara; Conte, Yves Le; Crauser, Didier; Fries, Ingemar

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee societies (Apis mellifera), the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, and honey bee viruses that are vectored by the mite, form a complex system of host–parasite interactions. Coevolution by natural selection in this system has been hindered for European honey bee hosts since apicultural practices remove the mite and consequently the selective pressures required for such a process. An increasing mite population means increasing transmission opportunities for viruses that can quickly develop into severe infections, killing a bee colony. Remarkably, a few subpopulations in Europe have survived mite infestation for extended periods of over 10 years without management by beekeepers and offer the possibility to study their natural host–parasite coevolution. Our study shows that two of these “natural” honey bee populations, in Avignon, France and Gotland, Sweden, have in fact evolved resistant traits that reduce the fitness of the mite (measured as the reproductive success), thereby reducing the parasitic load within the colony to evade the development of overt viral infections. Mite reproductive success was reduced by about 30% in both populations. Detailed examinations of mite reproductive parameters suggest these geographically and genetically distinct populations favor different mechanisms of resistance, even though they have experienced similar selection pressures of mite infestation. Compared to unrelated control colonies in the same location, mites in the Avignon population had high levels of infertility while in Gotland there was a higher proportions of mites that delayed initiation of egg-laying. Possible explanations for the observed rapid coevolution are discussed. PMID:22833790

  7. A successful crayfish invader is capable of facultative parthenogenesis: a novel reproductive mode in decapod crustaceans.

    PubMed

    Buřič, Miloš; Hulák, Martin; Kouba, Antonín; Petrusek, Adam; Kozák, Pavel

    2011-01-01

    Biological invasions are impacting biota worldwide, and explaining why some taxa tend to become invasive is of major scientific interest. North American crayfish species, particularly of the family Cambaridae, are prominent invaders in freshwaters, defying the "tens rule" which states that only a minority of species introduced to new regions become established, and only a minority of those become invasive and pests. So far, success of cambarid invaders has largely been attributed to rapid maturation, high reproductive output, aggressiveness, and tolerance to pollution. We provide experimental evidence that females of one cambarid species particularly widespread in Europe, the spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, are capable of facultative parthenogenesis. Such reproductive mode has never before been recognized in decapods, the most diverse crustacean order. As shown by analysis of seven microsatellite loci, crayfish females kept physically separated from males produced genetically homogeneous offspring identical with maternal individuals; this suggests they reproduced by apomixis, unlike those females which mated with males and had a diverse offspring. Further research is needed to clarify what environmental conditions are necessary for a switch to parthenogenesis in O. limosus, and what role it plays in natural crayfish populations. However, if such reproductive plasticity is present in other cambarid crayfish species, it may contribute to the overwhelming invasive success of this group.

  8. The special programme of research in human reproduction: forty years of activities to achieve reproductive health for all.

    PubMed

    Benagiano, Giuseppe; d'Arcangues, Catherine; Harris Requejo, Jennifer; Schafer, Alessandra; Say, Lale; Merialdi, Mario

    2012-01-01

    The Special Programme of Research in Human Reproduction (HRP), co-sponsored by the UNDP, UNFPA, WHO, and the World Bank, is celebrating 40 years of activities with an expansion of its mandate and new co-sponsors. When it began, in 1972, the main focus was on evaluating the acceptability, effectiveness, and safety of existing fertility-regulating methods, as well as developing new, improved modalities for family planning. In 1994, HRP not only made major contributions to the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD); it also broadened its scope of work to include other aspects of health dealing with sexuality and reproduction, adding a specific perspective on gender issues and human rights. In 2002, HRP's mandate was once again broadened to include sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS and in 2003 it was further expanded to research activities on preventing violence against women and its many dire health consequences. Today, the work of the Programme includes research on: the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, women, and men; maternal and perinatal health; reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS); family planning; infertility; unsafe abortion; sexual health; screening for cancer of the cervix in developing countries, and gender and reproductive rights. Additional activities by the Programme have included: fostering international cooperation in the field of human reproduction; the elaboration of WHO's first Global Reproductive Health Strategy; work leading to the inclusion of ICPD's goal 'reproductive health for all by 2015' into the Millennium Development Goal framework; the promotion of critical interagency statements on the public health, legal, and human rights implications of female genital mutilation and gender-biased sex selection. Finally, HRP has been involved in the creation of guidelines and tools, such as the 'Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use

  9. The effects of West Nile virus on the reproductive success and overwinter survival of eastern bluebirds in Alabama.

    PubMed

    Hill, Geoffrey E; Siefferman, Lynn; Liu, Mark; Hassan, Hassan; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2010-03-01

    We tested for negative effects of West Nile virus (WNV) on a breeding population of eastern bluebirds in Alabama by comparing fecundity and reproductive success in years before and after the arrival of WNV and by comparing fecundity, reproductive success, and overwinter survival of seropositive and seronegative individuals within the same population in the same years. We found that female bluebirds were more likely to be seropositive than male bluebirds. Age and individual condition did not affect likelihood of being seropositive. Being seropositive for WNV was not associated with any negative effects on reproduction or survival. However, female fecundity was higher in years after WNV compared to years before the arrival of WNV. The reproductive success of males who tested positive for WNV exposure was higher than that of males that were seronegative. Overall, we found no negative effects on reproduction or survival after exposure to WNV.

  10. The Effects of West Nile Virus on the Reproductive Success and Overwinter Survival of Eastern Bluebirds in Alabama

    PubMed Central

    Siefferman, Lynn; Liu, Mark; Hassan, Hassan; Unnasch, Thomas R.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract We tested for negative effects of West Nile virus (WNV) on a breeding population of eastern bluebirds in Alabama by comparing fecundity and reproductive success in years before and after the arrival of WNV and by comparing fecundity, reproductive success, and overwinter survival of seropositive and seronegative individuals within the same population in the same years. We found that female bluebirds were more likely to be seropositive than male bluebirds. Age and individual condition did not affect likelihood of being seropositive. Being seropositive for WNV was not associated with any negative effects on reproduction or survival. However, female fecundity was higher in years after WNV compared to years before the arrival of WNV. The reproductive success of males who tested positive for WNV exposure was higher than that of males that were seronegative. Overall, we found no negative effects on reproduction or survival after exposure to WNV. PMID:19589058

  11. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    PubMed

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Effects of southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans on red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laves, K.S.; Loeb, S.C.

    1999-01-01

    Anecdotal data gathered from many populations suggest that southern flying squirrel (SFS, Glaucomys volans) use of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker's (RCW, Picoides borealis) nest and roost cavities may negatively affect RCW populations. We conducted a controlled experiment to determine the effects of SFSs on RCW reproductive success. During the 1994 and 1995 breeding seasons, SFSs were removed from 30 RCW clusters and 32 clusters served as controls. SFSs were the most frequently encountered occupants of RCW cavities and used 20-33% of RCW cavities in control and treatment clusters over both years. Treatment groups produced significantly more successful nests (??? 1 fledgling) than control groups in 1994. In 1995 however, there was no difference in the number of successful nests. In both years, RCW groups nesting in treatment clusters produced significantly more fledglings than groups in control clusters in each of four experimental areas, averaging approximately 0.7 additional fledglings per nesting group. Loss of entire clutches or broods, possibly as a result of predation or abandonment, was a major factor limiting reproduction in control groups in 1994. In contrast, differences in partial brood loss appeared to be the cause of differential fledging success in 1995 Usurpation of RCW roost cavities by SFSs may have placed greater energetic demands on RCWs for cavity defence or thermoregulation, thus reducing energy available for reproduction. Our results show that SFS use of RCW cavities during the breeding season has a significant impact on RCWs and that management of RCW populations should include activities that either minimize SFS populations in RCW clusters or limit access of SFSs to RCW cavities.

  13. Life histories, blood revenge, and reproductive success among the Waorani of Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Beckerman, Stephen; Erickson, Pamela I.; Yost, James; Regalado, Jhanira; Jaramillo, Lilia; Sparks, Corey; Iromenga, Moises; Long, Kathryn

    2009-01-01

    The Waorani may have the highest rate of homicide of any society known to anthropology. We interviewed 121 Waorani elders of both sexes to obtain genealogical information and recollections of raids in which they and their relatives participated. We also obtained complete raiding histories of 95 warriors. An analysis of the raiding histories, marital trajectories, and reproductive histories of these men reveals that more aggressive warriors have lower indices of reproductive success than their milder brethren. This result contrasts the findings of Chagnon [Chagnon N (1988) Science 239:985–992] for the Yanomamo. We suggest that the spacing of revenge raids may be involved in the explanation of why the consequences of aggressiveness differ between these 2 warlike lowland South American peoples. PMID:19433797

  14. Successful Pregnancy Following Assisted Reproduction in Woman With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Hypertension: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    de Macedo, José Fernando; de Macedo, Gustavo Capinzaiki; Campos, Luciana Aparecida; Baltatu, Ovidiu Constantin

    2015-09-01

    Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have a poor prognosis of pregnancy, since it is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity, including spontaneous miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal death and pre-term delivery. We report a case with successful pregnancy in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and hypertension. A 39-year-old nulliparous woman presented with systemic lupus erythematosus with antinuclear and antiphospholipid antibodies, hypertension and recurrent pregnancy loss presented for assisted reproduction. The patient responded well to enoxaparin and prednisone during both assisted reproduction and prenatal treatment. This case report indicates that prescription of immunosuppressant and blood thinners can be safely recommended throughout the whole prenatal period in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Enoxaparin and prednisone may be prescribed concurrently during pregnancy.

  15. Reproductive success and nest attentiveness of mallard ducks Anas platyrhynchos fed aroclor 1254

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Heinz, G.H.

    1980-01-01

    A dietary dosage of 25 ppm Aroclor 1254 fed to 9 mo. old mallards Anas platyrhynchos for at least 1 mo. before egg-laying had no detrimental effect on reproductive success or nest attentiveness when hens were allowed to incubate their own eggs. The treatment caused no effect on number of hens laying, date of 1st egg laid or clutch size. Fertility of eggs was greater among Aroclor-treated birds (87.7%) than among controls (73.2%). Aroclor may have stimulated males to come into reproductive condition sooner than controls. Hatching of fertile eggs and survival of ducklings to 3 wk of age were similar in treated and control groups. The number of times off the nest per day and total time off the nest per day were the same for control and Aroclor-treated hens in days 14-17 of incubation.

  16. Reproductive success and nest attentiveness of mallard ducks fed Aroclor 1254

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Heinz, G.H.

    1980-01-01

    A dietary dosage of 25 ppm Aroclor 1254 fed to nine-month-old mallards Anas platyrhynchos for at least a month before egg-laying had no detrimental effect on reproductive success or nest attentiveness when hens were allowed to incubate their own eggs. The treatment caused no effect on number of hens laying, date of first egg laid or clutch size. Fertility of eggs was greater among Aroclor-treated birds (87?7%) than among controls (73?2%). Aroclor may have stimulated males to come into reproductive condition sooner than controls. Hatching of fertile eggs and survival of ducklings to 3 weeks of age were similar in treated and control groups. The number of times off the nest per day and total time off the nest per day were the same for control and Aroclor-treated hens in days 14?17 of incubation.

  17. Moderate drought causes dramatic floral transcriptomic reprogramming to ensure successful reproductive development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Drought is a major constraint that leads to extensive losses to agricultural yield worldwide. The potential yield is largely determined during inflorescence development. However, to date, most investigations on plant response to drought have focused on vegetative development. This study describes the morphological changes of reproductive development and the comparison of transcriptomes under various drought conditions. Results The plants grown were studied under two drought conditions: minimum for successful reproduction (45-50% soil water content, moderate drought, MD) and for survival (30-35%, severe drought, SD). MD plants can produce similar number of siliques on the main stem and similar number of seeds per silique comparing with well-water plants. The situation of SD plants was much worse than MD plants. The transcriptomes of inflorescences were further investigated at molecular level using microarrays. Our results showed more than four thousands genes with differential expression under severe drought and less than two thousand changed under moderate drought condition (with 2-fold change and q-value < 0.01). We found a group of genes with increased expression as the drought became more severe, suggesting putative adaptation to the dehydration. Interestingly, we also identified genes with alteration only under the moderate but not the severe drought condition, indicating the existence of distinct sets of genes responsive to different levels of water availability. Further cis-element analyses of the putative regulatory sequences provided more information about the underlying mechanisms for reproductive responses to drought, suggesting possible novel candidate genes that protect those developing flowers under drought stress. Conclusions Different pathways may be activated in response to moderate and severe drought in reproductive tissues, potentially helping plant to maximize its yield and balance the resource consumption between vegetative and

  18. The Effect of Female Quality on Male Ejaculatory Expenditure and Reproductive Success in a Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Strategic ejaculation is a behavioural strategy shown by many animals as a response to sperm competition and/or as a potential mechanism of cryptic male choice. Males invest more mating resources when the risk of sperm competition increases or they invest more in high quality females to maximize their reproductive output. We tested this hypothesis in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata, where females are capable of multiply mating and body condition is an indicator of potential reproductive fitness. We predicted male mantids would ejaculate strategically by allocating more sperm to high quality females. To determine if and how males alter their ejaculate in response to mate quality, we manipulated female food quantity so that females were either in good condition with many eggs (i.e. high quality) or poor condition with few eggs (i.e. low quality). Half of the females from each treatment were used in mating trials in which transferred sperm was counted before fertilisation occurred and the other half of females were used in mating trials where fertilisation occurred and ootheca mass and total eggs in the ootheca were recorded. Opposed to our predictions, the total number of sperm and the proportion of viable sperm transferred did not vary significantly between female treatments. Male reproductive success was entirely dependent on female quality/fecundity, rather than on the number of sperm transferred. These results suggest that female quality is not a major factor influencing postcopulatory male mating strategies in P. albofimbriata, and that sperm number has little effect on male reproductive success in a single mating scenario. PMID:25970459

  19. Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) thermal ecology and reproductive success along a rainfall cline.

    PubMed

    Sieg, Annette E; Gambone, Megan M; Wallace, Bryan P; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2015-05-01

    Desert resource environments (e.g. microclimates, food) are tied to limited, highly localized rainfall regimes which generate microgeographic variation in the life histories of inhabitants. Typically, enhanced growth rates, reproduction and survivorship are observed in response to increased resource availability in a variety of desert plants and short-lived animals. We examined the thermal ecology and reproduction of US federally threatened Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), long-lived and large-bodied ectotherms, at opposite ends of a 250-m elevation-related rainfall cline within Ivanpah Valley in the eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA. Biophysical operative environments in both the upper-elevation, "Cima," and the lower-elevation, "Pumphouse," plots corresponded with daily and seasonal patterns of incident solar radiation. Cima received 22% more rainfall and contained greater perennial vegetative cover, which conferred 5°C-cooler daytime shaded temperatures. In a monitored average rainfall year, Cima tortoises had longer potential activity periods by up to several hours and greater ephemeral forage. Enhanced resource availability in Cima was associated with larger-bodied females producing larger eggs, while still producing the same number of eggs as Pumphouse females. However, reproductive success was lower in Cima because 90% of eggs were depredated versus 11% in Pumphouse, indicating that predatory interactions produced counter-gradient variation in reproductive success across the rainfall cline. Land-use impacts on deserts (e.g. solar energy generation) are increasing rapidly, and conservation strategies designed to protect and recover threatened desert inhabitants, such as desert tortoises, should incorporate these strong ecosystem-level responses to regional resource variation in assessments of habitat for prospective development and mitigation efforts.

  20. The effect of female quality on male ejaculatory expenditure and reproductive success in a praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L

    2015-01-01

    Strategic ejaculation is a behavioural strategy shown by many animals as a response to sperm competition and/or as a potential mechanism of cryptic male choice. Males invest more mating resources when the risk of sperm competition increases or they invest more in high quality females to maximize their reproductive output. We tested this hypothesis in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata, where females are capable of multiply mating and body condition is an indicator of potential reproductive fitness. We predicted male mantids would ejaculate strategically by allocating more sperm to high quality females. To determine if and how males alter their ejaculate in response to mate quality, we manipulated female food quantity so that females were either in good condition with many eggs (i.e. high quality) or poor condition with few eggs (i.e. low quality). Half of the females from each treatment were used in mating trials in which transferred sperm was counted before fertilisation occurred and the other half of females were used in mating trials where fertilisation occurred and ootheca mass and total eggs in the ootheca were recorded. Opposed to our predictions, the total number of sperm and the proportion of viable sperm transferred did not vary significantly between female treatments. Male reproductive success was entirely dependent on female quality/fecundity, rather than on the number of sperm transferred. These results suggest that female quality is not a major factor influencing postcopulatory male mating strategies in P. albofimbriata, and that sperm number has little effect on male reproductive success in a single mating scenario.

  1. Academic Success of Montgomery College Students in the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) Program: 2014-2015

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper-Martin, Elizabeth; Wolanin, Natalie

    2016-01-01

    The Office of Shared Accountability in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is conducting a multiyear evaluation of the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program. The ACES program is a collaboration between MCPS, Montgomery College (MC) and the Universities at Shady Grove to create a seamless pathway from high school to college…

  2. Why achievement motivation predicts success in business but failure in politics: the importance of personal control.

    PubMed

    Winter, David G

    2010-12-01

    Several decades of research have established that implicit achievement motivation (n Achievement) is associated with success in business, particularly in entrepreneurial or sales roles. However, several political psychology studies have shown that achievement motivation is not associated with success in politics; rather, implicit power motivation often predicts political success. Having versus lacking control may be a key difference between business and politics. Case studies suggest that achievement-motivated U.S. presidents and other world leaders often become frustrated and thereby fail because of lack of control, whereas power-motivated presidents develop ways to work with this inherent feature of politics. A reevaluation of previous research suggests that, in fact, relationships between achievement motivation and business success only occur when control is high. The theme of control is also prominent in the development of achievement motivation. Cross-national data are also consistent with this analysis: In democratic industrialized countries, national levels of achievement motivation are associated with strong executive control. In countries with low opportunity for education (thus fewer opportunities to develop a sense of personal control), achievement motivation is associated with internal violence. Many of these manifestations of frustrated achievement motivation in politics resemble authoritarianism. This conclusion is tested by data from a longitudinal study of 113 male college students, showing that high initial achievement motivation combined with frustrated desires for control is related to increases in authoritarianism (F-scale scores) during the college years. Implications for the psychology of leadership and practical politics are discussed.

  3. Determinants of reproductive success across sequential episodes of sexual selection in a firefly.

    PubMed

    South, A; Lewis, S M

    2012-08-22

    Because females often mate with multiple males, it is critical to expand our view of sexual selection to encompass pre-, peri- and post-copulatory episodes to understand how selection drives trait evolution. In Photinus fireflies, females preferentially respond to males based on their bioluminescent courtship signals, but previous work has shown that male paternity success is negatively correlated with flash attractiveness. Here, we experimentally manipulated both the attractiveness of the courtship signal visible to female Photinus greeni fireflies before mating and male nuptial gift size to determine how these traits might each influence mate acceptance and paternity share. We also measured pericopulatory behaviours to examine their influence on male reproductive success. Firefly males with larger spermatophores experienced dual benefits in terms of both higher mate acceptance and increased paternity share. We found no effect of courtship signal attractiveness or pericopulatory behaviour on male reproductive success. Taken together with previous results, this suggests a possible trade-off for males between producing an attractive courtship signal and investing in nuptial gifts. By integrating multiple episodes of sexual selection, this study extends our understanding of sexual selection in Photinus fireflies and provides insight into the evolution of male traits in other polyandrous species.

  4. Determinants of reproductive success across sequential episodes of sexual selection in a firefly

    PubMed Central

    South, A.; Lewis, S. M.

    2012-01-01

    Because females often mate with multiple males, it is critical to expand our view of sexual selection to encompass pre-, peri- and post-copulatory episodes to understand how selection drives trait evolution. In Photinus fireflies, females preferentially respond to males based on their bioluminescent courtship signals, but previous work has shown that male paternity success is negatively correlated with flash attractiveness. Here, we experimentally manipulated both the attractiveness of the courtship signal visible to female Photinus greeni fireflies before mating and male nuptial gift size to determine how these traits might each influence mate acceptance and paternity share. We also measured pericopulatory behaviours to examine their influence on male reproductive success. Firefly males with larger spermatophores experienced dual benefits in terms of both higher mate acceptance and increased paternity share. We found no effect of courtship signal attractiveness or pericopulatory behaviour on male reproductive success. Taken together with previous results, this suggests a possible trade-off for males between producing an attractive courtship signal and investing in nuptial gifts. By integrating multiple episodes of sexual selection, this study extends our understanding of sexual selection in Photinus fireflies and provides insight into the evolution of male traits in other polyandrous species. PMID:22535779

  5. Impact of fertility transmission and other sociodemographic factors on reproductive success and coalescent trees.

    PubMed

    Brandenburg, Jean-Tristan; Austerlitz, Frédéric; Toupance, Bruno

    2012-06-01

    Summary Fertility transmission (FT) is a phenomenon with a cultural and/or genetic basis, whereby a positive correlation exists between the number of offspring of an individual and that of his/her parents. Theoretical studies using a haploid individual-based model have shown that FT increases the variance and intergenerational correlation in reproductive success and results in an imbalance in the coalescent tree of sampled genes. This phenomenon has been documented in several demographic studies conducted on the correlation in fertility between generations, or through the reconstruction of the genealogical trees of mitochondrial DNA sequences. However, as mtDNA is a single locus, potentially subject to other forces (e.g. natural selection), it is of interest to extend the theory of FT to nuclear loci. We show that because random mating between individuals leads to a mixing of their fertility profiles, FT in these cases will have less influence on the variance and intergenerational correlation of reproductive success. This, in turn, results in less impact on the shape of the coalescent trees. Nevertheless, in the presence of FT, high heterogeneity in reproductive success and homogamy for family size will increase the imbalance in the coalescent tree. Thus, FT should be easier to detect when occurring in conjunction with these other factors. We also show the utility of analysing different kinds of loci (X-linked, Y-linked, mitochondrial and autosomal) to assess whether FT is matrilineal, patrilineal or biparental. Finally, we demonstrate that the shape of the coalescent tree depends upon population size, in contrast to the classical Kingman's model.

  6. Achievement of genetics in plant reproduction research: the past decade for the coming decade.

    PubMed

    Suwabe, Keita; Suzuki, Go; Watanabe, Masao

    2010-01-01

    In the last decade, a variety of innovations of emerging technologies in science have been accomplished. Advanced research environment in plant science has made it possible to obtain whole genome sequence in plant species. But now we recognize this by itself is not sufficient to understand the overall biological significance. Since Gregor Mendel established a principle of genetics, known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance, genetics plays a prominent role in life science, and this aspect is indispensable even in modern plant biology. In this review, we focus on achievements of genetics on plant sexual reproduction research in the last decade and discuss the role of genetics for the coming decade. It is our hope that this will shed light on the importance of genetics in plant biology and provide valuable information to plant biologists.

  7. The influence of dominance rank on the reproductive success of female chimpanzees.

    PubMed

    Pusey, A; Williams, J; Goodall, J

    1997-08-08

    Female chimpanzees often forage alone and do not display obvious linear dominance hierarchies; consequently, it has been suggested that dominance is not of great importance to them. However, with the use of data from a 35-year field study of chimpanzees, high-ranking females were shown to have significantly higher infant survival, faster maturing daughters, and more rapid production of young. Given the foraging behavior of chimpanzees, high rank probably influences reproductive success by helping females establish and maintain access to good foraging areas rather than by sparing them stress from aggression.

  8. Canada Geese at the Hanford Site – Trends in Reproductive Success, Migration Patterns, and Contaminant Concentrations

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Mary Ann; Poston, Ted M.; Tiller, Brett L.; Stegen, Amanda; Hand, Kristine D.; Brandenberger, Jill M.

    2010-05-25

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has conducted several studies for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate the status and condition of Canada geese on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. This report summarizes results of studies of Canada geese (Branta canadensis moffitti) at the Hanford Site dating back to the 1950s. Results include information on the nesting (reproductive) success of Canada geese using the Hanford Reach, review of the local and regional migration of this species using data from bird banding studies, and summary data describing monitoring and investigations of the accumulation of Hanford-derived and environmental contaminants by resident goose populations.

  9. It takes two to tango: reproductive skew and social correlates of male mating success in a lek-breeding bird

    PubMed Central

    Ryder, Thomas B.; Parker, Patricia G.; Blake, John G.; Loiselle, Bette A.

    2009-01-01

    Variance in reproductive success among individuals is a defining characteristic of many social vertebrates. Yet, our understanding of which male attributes contribute to reproductive success is still fragmentary in most cases. Male–male reproductive coalitions, where males jointly display to attract females, are of particular interest to evolutionary biologists because one male appears to forego reproduction to assist the social partner. By examining the relationship between social behaviour and reproductive success, we can elucidate the proximate function of coalitions in the context of mate choice. Here, we use data from a 4-year study of wire-tailed manakins (Pipra filicauda) to provide molecular estimates of reproductive skew and to test the hypothesis that male–male social interactions, in the context of coordinated displays, positively influence a male's reproductive success. More specifically, we quantify male–male social interactions using network metrics and predict that greater connectivity will result in higher relative reproductive success. Our data show that four out of six leks studied had significant reproductive skew, with success apportioned to very few individuals in each lek. Metrics of male social affiliations derived from our network analysis, especially male connectivity, measured as the number of males with whom the focal male has extended interactions, were strong predictors of the number of offspring sired. Thus, network connectivity is associated with male fitness in wire-tailed manakins. This pattern may be the result of shared cues used by both sexes to assess male quality, or the result of strict female choice for coordinated display behaviour. PMID:19324732

  10. Yes we can! Successful examples of disallowing 'conscientious objection' in reproductive health care.

    PubMed

    Fiala, Christian; Gemzell Danielsson, Kristina; Heikinheimo, Oskari; Guðmundsson, Jens A; Arthur, Joyce

    2016-06-01

    Reproductive health care is the only field in medicine where health care professionals (HCPs) are allowed to limit a patient's access to a legal medical treatment - usually abortion or contraception - by citing their 'freedom of conscience.' However, the authors' position is that 'conscientious objection' ('CO') in reproductive health care should be called dishonourable disobedience because it violates medical ethics and the right to lawful health care, and should therefore be disallowed. Three countries - Sweden, Finland, and Iceland - do not generally permit HCPs in the public health care system to refuse to perform a legal medical service for reasons of 'CO' when the service is part of their professional duties. The purpose of investigating the laws and experiences of these countries was to show that disallowing 'CO' is workable and beneficial. It facilitates good access to reproductive health services because it reduces barriers and delays. Other benefits include the prioritisation of evidence-based medicine, rational arguments, and democratic laws over faith-based refusals. Most notably, disallowing 'CO' protects women's basic human rights, avoiding both discrimination and harms to health. Finally, holding HCPs accountable for their professional obligations to patients does not result in negative impacts. Almost all HCPs and medical students in Sweden, Finland, and Iceland who object to abortion or contraception are able to find work in another field of medicine. The key to successfully disallowing 'CO' is a country's strong prior acceptance of women's civil rights, including their right to health care.

  11. Landscape composition, patch size, and distance to edges: Interactions affecting duck reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Horn, David Joseph; Phillips, Michael L.; Koford, Rolf R.; Clark, William R.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Greenwood, Raymond J.

    2005-01-01

    Prairies and other North American grasslands, although highly fragmented, provide breeding habitat for a diverse array of species, including species of tremendous economic and ecological importance. Conservation and management of these species requires some understanding of how reproductive success is affected by edge effects, patch size, and characteristics of the landscape. We examined how differences in the percentage of grassland in the landscape influenced the relationships between the success of nests of upland-nesting ducks and (1) field size and (2) distance to nearest field and wetland edges. We collected data on study areas composed of 15–20% grassland and areas composed of 45–55% grassland in central North Dakota, USA during the 1996 and 1997 nesting seasons. Daily survival rates (DSRs) of duck nests were greater in study areas with 45–55% grassland than with 15–20% grassland. Within study areas, we detected a curvilinear relationship between DSR and field size: DSRs were highest in small and large fields and lowest in moderately sized fields. In study areas with 15–20% grassland, there was no relationship between probability of hatching and distance to nearest field edge, whereas in study areas with 45–55% grassland, there was a positive relationship between these two variables. Results of this study support the conclusion that both landscape composition and configuration affect reproductive success of ground-nesting birds. We are prompted to question conservation strategies that favor clustering moderately sized patches of nesting habitat within agricultural landscapes because our results show that such patches would have low nest success, most likely caused by predation. Understanding the pattern of nest success, and the predator–prey mechanisms that produce the pattern, will enable design of patch configurations that are most conducive to meeting conservation goals.

  12. Reproductive performance and weaning success in fur-chewing chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera).

    PubMed

    Galeano, María G; Cantarelli, Verónica I; Ruiz, Rubén D; Fiol de Cuneo, Marta; Ponzio, Marina F

    2014-09-01

    In captive chinchillas, one of the most challenging behavioral problems is the development of a stress-related abnormal repetitive behavior (ARB) known as "fur-chewing". We investigated whether there is a relationship between the severity of fur-chewing behavior and reproductive function in male and female chinchillas. Regardless of the severity of abnormal behavior, fur-chewing males did not show significant differences in seminal quality (sperm concentration, motility and viability; integrity of sperm membrane and acrosome) and the response to the process of semen collection (the number of stimuli needed to achieve ejaculation) when compared to those with normal behavior. Also, females showing normal or fur-chewing behavior presented similar reproductive performance in terms of number of litters per female per year and litter size. However, pup survival rate was lower (p=0.05) in fur-chewing females than in normal females. These results seem to be consistent with data suggesting non-significant effects of ARBs on reproductive performance.

  13. Ranunculus glacialis L.: successful reproduction at the altitudinal limits of higher plant life.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Johanna; Steinacher, Gerlinde; Ladinig, Ursula

    2010-07-01

    Biodiversity decreases with increasing altitude, mainly because of the increasingly adverse climate. In the European Alps, only a few plant species occur above 4,000 m a.s.l., among these is Ranunculus glacialis L. Current studies have shown that R. glacialis has a highly conservative growth strategy and low developmental plasticity in response to different dates of snowmelt. Therefore, it was of particular interest to observe whether this strategy is maintained at higher altitudes and to reveal the reproductive limits. We examined the effect of the date of snowmelt on reproductive development and reproductive success in R. glacialis over several years at two subnival sites (2,650 and 2,880 m a.s.l.) and at a nival site (3,440 m a.s.l.) in the Austrian Alps. At the subnival sites, reproductive performance was relatively stable (prefloration period, i.e. snowmelt to onset of anthesis, 2-3 weeks; postfloration period, i.e. onset of anthesis until fruit maturity, 4-5 weeks). Depending on the date of flowering, the mean seed/ovule (S/O) ratio was 0.5-0.8. The temporal safety margin between seed maturation and the onset of winter conditions was at least 1 month. The situation was quite different in the nival zone: the prefloration period usually lasted 1 month, anthesis up to 2 weeks, and seed development 6-7 weeks; when seeds matured in time, the S/O ratio was 0.4-0.6. Overall, R. glacialis shows a high developmental plasticity. At higher altitudes, R. glacialis can double the time taken for seed development but runs a high risk of seeds not maturing in time.

  14. Black High Achieving Undergraduate Mathematics Majors Discuss Success and Persistence in Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellington, Roni M.; Frederick, Rona

    2010-01-01

    Experiences of eight Black high-achieving college junior and senior mathematics majors are examined to discern which social and cultural factors shape success and persistence in mathematics. College persistence literature as well as mathematics education studies that document Black students' success in mathematics were used as frameworks to…

  15. The Impact of Reading Success Academy on High School Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burlison, Kelly; Chave, Josh

    2014-01-01

    The study explores the effectiveness of the Reading Success Academy on the reading achievement of the selected group of ninth-grade students in a comprehensive high school. We examine in what ways the Reading Success Academy may improve the reading proficiency rates and amount of reading growth of ninth-grade students. The results indicate that…

  16. Fear of Success and Achievement Anxiety in Reentry Versus Non-Reentry Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Pamela; And Others

    Women who reenter college after years of work or family responsibilities were compared to women with similar backgrounds who do not reenter school on measures of fear of success and achievement anxiety. A questionnaire designed to determine reentry status, age, socioeconomic standing, facilitating and debilitating anxiety, and fear of success was…

  17. Creating Effective Board-CEO Relationships and Fundraising to Achieve Successful Student Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Frances L.

    2011-01-01

    More and more accountability and successful educational outcomes are being demanded of colleges. Achieving successful outcomes requires strong and courageous leadership at all levels of the institution, but getting the faculty to improve teaching and learning outcomes very often requires a president/chief executive officer (CEO) who not only…

  18. Relationship between Achievement Goals, Meta-Cognition and Academic Success in Pakistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarwar, Muhammad; Yousuf, Muhammad Imran; Hussain, Shafqat; Noreen, Shumaila

    2009-01-01

    The research was the replication of the study done by Coutinho (2006) and it aimed at finding the relationship between achievement goals, meta-cognition and academic success. Achievement goals were further divided into two types: mastery and performance. The participants were 119 students enrolled in M. A. Education, Department of Education at the…

  19. The Impact of Achievement Press on Student Success in Elementary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Page A.; Kearney, W. Sean

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relative impact of achievement press on student success in elementary schools in the Southwestern USA. Design/methodology/approach: Data from individual teacher assessments and student achievement tests are collected and aggregated at the campus level. Hierarchical linear modeling is utilized to…

  20. Identity Formation, Achievement, and Fear of Success in College Men and Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orlofsky, Jacob L.

    1978-01-01

    Male and female college undergraduates were classified according to Marcia's identity statuses (achievement, moratorium, foreclosure, and diffusion). Sex differences related to identity status, and relationship of identity status to achievement need, fear of success, fear of failure, and self esteem were also discussed. (CP)

  1. Arts Achieve, Impacting Student Success in the Arts: Preliminary Findings after One Year of Implementation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mastrorilli, Tara M.; Harnett, Susanne; Zhu, Jing

    2014-01-01

    The "Arts Achieve: Impacting Student Success in the Arts" project involves a partnership between the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and five of the city's premier arts organizations. "Arts Achieve" provides intensive and targeted professional development to arts teachers over a three-year period. The goal of the…

  2. Relationship between Achievement Goals, Meta-Cognition and Academic Success in Pakistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarwar, Muhammad; Yousuf, Muhammad Imran; Hussain, Shafqat; Noreen, Shumaila

    2009-01-01

    The research was the replication of the study done by Coutinho (2006) and it aimed at finding the relationship between achievement goals, meta-cognition and academic success. Achievement goals were further divided into two types: mastery and performance. The participants were 119 students enrolled in M. A. Education, Department of Education at the…

  3. Effects of protein supplementation during heifer development on reproductive characteristics and success in beef heifers

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A 2-yr study was conducted to determine the effects of feeding different protein supplements during heifer development on reproductive traits and performance. Our hypothesis was that protein supplementation would enhance reproductive performance in heifers with below average reproductive characteris...

  4. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-06-09

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  5. Reproductive success of bromadiolone-resistant rats in absence of anticoagulant pressure.

    PubMed

    Heiberg, Ann-Charlotte; Leirs, Herwig; Siegismund, Hans R

    2006-09-01

    Resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides in brown rats (Rattus norvegicus Berk.) is associated with pleiotropic effects, notably with an increased dietary vitamin K requirement. Owing to this disadvantage, resistance is believed to be selected against if anticoagulant selection is absent. In small experimental populations of wild brown rats, an investigation was carried out to establish whether tolerance to anticoagulant exposure changed over a period of 2 years. In the same populations, DNA microsatellite markers were used to infer parentage, and this made it possible to estimate reproductive success of sensitive and resistant rats and estimate effective population size, Ne. Even though there was evidence for a selection against resistant rats with high vitamin K requirement, anticoagulant tolerance was not seen to be significantly influenced in the absence of bromadiolone selection. As the population size under investigation was small, random genetic drift may have played a role in this. In the presence of bromadiolone selection, however, the tolerance was significantly increased, suggesting that continuous selection will increase the proportion of highly resistant rats in the population. It was found that, for both males and females, surprisingly few individuals contributed to the next generation with numerous offspring, and most breeders contributed with none or a single offspring. The expected higher reproductive success and consequent increase in proportional numbers of sensitive rats in the absence of anticoagulant selection could not be observed. Among the resistant rats, moderately resistant females were found to be better breeders than highly resistant breeders, but for resistant males the reverse was true. This could be explained by the fact that the increased vitamin K requirement results in sex differential selection; in highly resistant males the selection presumably takes place at the immature stage, whereas in females the vitamin K requirement

  6. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Ryan P.; Arnold, Paige M.; Michaels, Helen J.

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  7. Effects of individual and population parameters on reproductive success in three sexually deceptive orchid species.

    PubMed

    Vandewoestijne, S; Róis, A S; Caperta, A; Baguette, M; Tyteca, D

    2009-05-01

    Reproductive success (RS) in orchids in general, and in non-rewarding species specifically, is extremely low. RS is pollinator and pollination limited in food deceptive orchids, but this has rarely been studied in sexually deceptive orchid species. Here, we tested the effects of several individual (plant height, inflorescence size, nearest neighbour distance and flower position) and population (patch geometry, population density and size) parameters on RS in three sexually deceptive Ophrys (Orchidaceae) species. Inter-specific differences were observed in RS of flowers situated in the upper versus the lower part of the inflorescence, likely due to species-specific pollinator behaviour. For all three species examined, RS increased with increasing plant height, inflorescence size and nearest neighbour distance. RS generally increased with decreasing population density and increasing patch elongation. Given these results, we postulate that pollinator availability, rather than pollinator learning, is the most limiting factor in successful reproduction for sexually deceptive orchids. Our results also suggest that olfactory 'display' (i.e. versus optical display), in terms of inflorescence size (and co-varying plant height), plays a key role in individual RS of sexually deceptive orchids. In this regard, several hypotheses are suggested and discussed.

  8. Physically Challenging Song Traits, Male Quality, and Reproductive Success in House Wrens

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Emily R. A.

    2013-01-01

    Physically challenging signals are likely to honestly indicate signaler quality. In trilled bird song two physically challenging parameters are vocal deviation (the speed of sound frequency modulation) and trill consistency (how precisely syllables are repeated). As predicted, in several species, they correlate with male quality, are preferred by females, and/or function in male-male signaling. Species may experience different selective pressures on their songs, however; for instance, there may be opposing selection between song complexity and song performance difficulty, such that in species where song complexity is strongly selected, there may not be strong selection on performance-based traits. I tested whether vocal deviation and trill consistency are signals of male quality in house wrens (Troglodytes aedon), a species with complex song structure. Males’ singing ability did not correlate with male quality, except that older males sang with higher trill consistency, and males with more consistent trills responded more aggressively to playback (although a previous study found no effect of stimulus trill consistency on males’ responses to playback). Males singing more challenging songs did not gain in polygyny, extra-pair paternity, or annual reproductive success. Moreover, none of the standard male quality measures I investigated correlated with mating or reproductive success. I conclude that vocal deviation and trill consistency do not signal male quality in this species. PMID:23527137

  9. Inferred Paternity and Male Reproductive Success in a Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) Population.

    PubMed

    Ford, Michael J; Hanson, M Bradley; Hempelmann, Jennifer A; Ayres, Katherine L; Emmons, Candice K; Schorr, Gregory S; Baird, Robin W; Balcomb, Kenneth C; Wasser, Samuel K; Parsons, Kim M; Balcomb-Bartok, Kelly

    2011-01-01

    We used data from 78 individuals at 26 microsatellite loci to infer parental and sibling relationships within a community of fish-eating ("resident") eastern North Pacific killer whales (Orcinus orca). Paternity analysis involving 15 mother/calf pairs and 8 potential fathers and whole-pedigree analysis of the entire sample produced consistent results. The variance in male reproductive success was greater than expected by chance and similar to that of other aquatic mammals. Although the number of confirmed paternities was small, reproductive success appeared to increase with male age and size. We found no evidence that males from outside this small population sired any of the sampled individuals. In contrast to previous results in a different population, many offspring were the result of matings within the same "pod" (long-term social group). Despite this pattern of breeding within social groups, we found no evidence of offspring produced by matings between close relatives, and the average internal relatedness of individuals was significantly less than expected if mating were random. The population's estimated effective size was <30 or about 1/3 of the current census size. Patterns of allele frequency variation were consistent with a population bottleneck.

  10. Reproductive success of barn swallows nesting near a selenium-contaminated lake in east Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Custer, T.W.; Weaver, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher a Martin Lake than at the reference site and no embryo or chick deformities were documented. Selenium concentrations in 14 of 20 eggs from Martin Lake were above background ( gt 3 ppm, dry weight); two of 20 eggs contained gt 5 ppm, a concentration associated with a 20% embryo mortality/deformity rate in some bird species. Selenium concentrations in the kidneys of adult swallows were higher at Martin Lake (mean = 14 ppm dry weight) than at the reference site (5.8 ppm). DDE, the only detected organochlorine compound, was in two of 10 eggs from Martin Lake; these concentrations were below those associated with chronic poisoning and reproductive problems. The maximum mercury concentration in livers of adult Barn Swallows (0.83 ppm, dry weight) was within the range for background levels ( lt 5 ppm).

  11. Reproductive success of barn swallows nesting near a selenium-contaminated lake in east Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Custer, T.W.; Weaver, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher at Martin Lake than at the reference site and no embryo or chick deformities were documented. Selenium concentrations in 14 of 20 eggs from Martin Lake were above background (> 3 ppm, dry weight); two of 20 eggs contained > 5 ppm, a concentration associated with a 20% embryo mortality/deformity rate in some bird species. Selenium concentrations in the kidneys of adult swallows were higher at Martin Lake (mean = 14 ppm dry weight) than at the reference site (5.8 ppm). DDE, the only detected organochlorine compound, was in two of 10 eggs from Martin Lake; these concentrations were below those associated with chronic poisoning and reproductive problems. The maximum mercury concentration in livers of adult Barn Swallows (0.83 ppm, dry weight) was within the range for background levels (< 5 ppm).

  12. The relationship between reproductive success and demographic structure in remnant populations of Primula veris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brys, Rein; Jacquemyn, Hans; Endels, Patrick; Hermy, Martin; De Blust, Geert

    2003-12-01

    Plants often suffer reductions in fecundity due to fragmentation, degradation and destruction of populations and their sites. Whether this decrease in seed production has population-level consequences is generally unknown. Here, we aimed to determine the current status of remnant populations in the perennial herb Primula veris in Belgium. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of reduced population size and morph bias on reproductive success and explored if changes in demographic structure could be associated with population fecundity. We studied 69 populations that differed in population size from three to nearly 1500 flowering plants. Three different population types could be distinguished: (a) "dynamic" populations, characterized by high densities of 1 year old juveniles, (b) "normal" populations with adult age-stages prevailing, but still a considerable number of juveniles, and (c) "regressive" populations, in which only flowering adults dominate and rejuvenation hardly occurs. The three population types differed with respect to population size and morph frequency. Dynamic populations were significantly larger and showed a weaker morph bias compared to the intermediate normal and the small regressive populations. Reproductive success, studied the previous year in 26 populations, decreased significantly with decreasing population size and was significantly associated with the demographic structure of the populations. Coefficients of variation for the proportion of flowers setting fruit, the number of seeds per fruit and the total number of seeds per plant decreased significantly with increasing population size. Hence, the observed variability in seed set may be one of the causal factors affecting the observed types of population demographic structure.

  13. Nectar Robbing Positively Influences the Reproductive Success of Tecomella undulata (Bignoniaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Vineet Kumar; Barman, Chandan; Tandon, Rajesh

    2014-01-01

    The net consequence of nectar robbing on reproductive success of plants is usually negative and the positive effect is rarely produced. We evaluated the influence of nectar robbing on the behaviour of pollinators and the reproductive success of Tecomella undulata (Bignoniaceae) in a natural population. Experimental pollinations showed that the trees were strictly self-incompatible. The three types of floral colour morphs of the tree viz. red, orange and yellow, lacked compatibility barriers. The pollinators (Pycnonotus cafer and Pycnonotus leucotis) and the robber (Nectarinia asiatica) showed equal preference for all the morphs, as they visited each morph with nearly equal frequency and flower-handling time. The sunbirds caused up to 60% nectar robbing, mostly (99%) by piercing through the corolla tube. Although nectar is replenished at regular intervals, insufficient amount of nectar compelled the pollinators to visit additional trees in bloom. Data of manual nectar robbing from the entire tree showed that the pollinators covered lower number of flowers per tree (5 flowers/tree) and more trees per bout (7 trees/bout) than the unrobbed ones (19 flowers/tree and 2 trees bout). The robbed trees set a significantly greater amount of fruits than the unrobbed trees. However, the number of seeds in a fruit did not differ significantly. The study shows that plant-pollinator-robber interaction may benefit the self-incompatible plant species under conditions that increases the visits of pollinators among the compatible conspecifics in a population. PMID:25036554

  14. Effective gene dispersal and female reproductive success in Mediterranean maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton).

    PubMed

    González-Martínez, Santiago C; Burczyk, Jaroslaw; Nathan, Ran; Nanos, Nikos; Gil, Luis; Alía, Ricardo

    2006-12-01

    Understanding population-scale processes that affect allele frequency changes across generations is a long-standing interest in genetic, ecological and evolutionary research. In particular, individual differences in female reproductive success and the spatial scale of gene flow considerably affect evolutionary change and patterns of local selection. In this study, a recently developed maximum-likelihood (ML) method based on established offspring, the Seedling Neighbourhood Model, was applied and exponentially shaped dispersal kernels were fitted to both genetic and ecological data in a widespread Mediterranean pine, Pinus pinaster Aiton. The distribution of female reproductive success in P. pinaster was very skewed (about 10% of trees mothered 50% of offspring) and significant positive female selection gradients for diameter (gamma = 0.7293) and cone crop (gamma = 0.4524) were found. The selective advantage of offspring mothered by bigger trees could be due to better-quality seeds. These seeds may show more resilience to severe summer droughts and microsite variation related to water and nutrient availability. Both approaches, ecological and of parentage, consistently showed a long-distance dispersal component in saplings that was not found in dispersal kernels based on seed shadows, highlighting the importance of Janzen-Connell effects and microenvironmental variation for survival at early stages of establishment in this Mediterranean key forest tree.

  15. Tropical winter habitat limits reproductive success on the temperate breeding grounds in a migratory bird.

    PubMed Central

    Norris, D. Ryan; Marra, Peter P.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Sherry, Thomas W.; Ratcliffe, Laurene M.

    2004-01-01

    Identifying the factors that control population dynamics in migratory animals has been constrained by our inability to track individuals throughout the annual cycle. Using stable carbon isotopes, we show that the reproductive success of a long-distance migratory bird is influenced by the quality of habitat located thousands of kilometres away on tropical wintering grounds. For male American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), winter habitat quality influenced arrival date on the breeding grounds, which in turn affected key variables associated with reproduction, including the number of young fledged. Based on a winter-habitat model, females occupying high-quality winter habitat were predicted to produce more than two additional young and to fledge offspring up to a month earlier compared with females wintering in poor-quality habitat. Differences of this magnitude are highly important considering redstarts are single brooded, lay clutches of only three to five eggs and spend only two-and-a-half months on the breeding grounds. Results from this study indicate the importance of understanding how periods of the annual cycle interact for migratory animals. Continued loss of tropical wintering habitat could have negative effects on migratory populations in the following breeding season, minimizing density-dependent effects on the breeding grounds and leading to further population declines. If conservation efforts are to be successful, strategies must incorporate measures to protect all the habitats used during the entire annual cycle of migratory animals. PMID:15002772

  16. The red-cockaded woodpecker on the Savannah River Site: Aspects of reproductive success.

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, Peter A; Imm, Donald, W.; Jarvis, William L

    2004-12-31

    Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 5. Status and Trends of Populations. Pp 224-229. Abstract: The red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) population on the Savannah River Site has been closely monitored and studied over the last 17 years. In 1985, the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station was given responsibility to study and manage this population in an effort to prevent its extirpation. In December 1985, there were only 4 individuals on the site: 1 pair and 2 solitary males. The population had increased to a total of 175 individuals in 42 active clusters in 2002. Although this represents a very successful recovery effort, there has been substantial annual variation in nesting survival from banding to fledging. Data were analyzed to more completely understand the factors affecting reproduction. No significant effects of age of the breeding male and female, years paired, number of helpers, habitat quality, number of nestings, and time of nest initiation were found when comparing reproductive success in 117 nesting attempts from 1999 to 2002. However, the number of neighboring groups had a direct effect on mortality rates, possibly demonstrating the importance of cluster spacing.

  17. Some aspects of interactivity between endocrine and immune systems required for successful reproduction.

    PubMed

    Weghofer, Andrea; Himaya, Eric; Kushnir, Vitaly A; Barad, David H; Lazzaroni-Tealdi, Emanuela; Yu, Yao; Wu, Yan-Guang; Gleicher, Norbert

    2015-04-11

    In successful reproduction, endocrine and immune systems closely interact. We here attempt to further elucidate the relationship between androgen levels, systemic activation of the immune system and reproductive success in infertile women, utilizing 2 distinct infertile patient cohorts. In Group 1, we investigated 322 women (ages 38.6+/-5.4 years) at initial presentation; in Group 2 125 women undergoing in vitro fertilization (169 IVF cycles, ages 38.9+/-5.5 years). In Group 1, we assessed androgens and an immune panel, previously demonstrated to discriminate between activated quiescent immune systems; in Group 2, utilizing the same immune panel, we investigated whether immune system activation relates to embryo quality in IVF cycles. No individual immune test within the immune panel was associated with androgen levels. The total/free testosterone ratio (TT/FT) was, however, significantly associated with presence of gammopathies (in IgG, IgM, IgA, IgE; P=0.026). Surprisingly, immune system activation was associated with significantly improved embryo quality (P=0.008), a finding persistent after adjustment for age and repeat IVF cycles (P=0.006). Association of immune system activation with improved embryo quality concurs with previously reported immune activation in association with normal functional ovarian reserve (FOR) and normal androgen levels, while, counter intuitively, hypoandrogenism and low FOR are associated with lack of immune system activation. Mild immune system activation, therefore, likely appears essential for establishment of pregnancy, and may be regulated by androgens.

  18. Short-term test for predicting the potential of xenobiotics to impair reproductive success in fish

    SciTech Connect

    Landner, L.; Neilson, A.H.; Soerensen, L.T.; Taernholm, A.V.; Viktor, T.

    1985-06-01

    Short-term screening tests with the zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) have been developed for predicting the potential of xenobiotics to impair reproductive success in fish. The aim was to find simple and sensitive test parameters and to simulate exposure situations typical for anadromous fish species (salmonids), which generally cross heavily polluted coastal areas or estuaries before they reach uncontaminated upstream spawning areas. Therefore, particular attention was directed to tests designed to assess adverse effects induced during gametogenesis in adult fish. The test protocol involves exposure of adults prior to, but not during, spawning and the effects are measured in the offspring as alterations in hatching frequency and hatching rate of eggs, and survival and stress tolerance of embryos and larvae. Some representative examples of the application of these tests are given, and it is shown that impairment of reproductive success can be induced by exposure of parent fish prior to spawning at concentrations of xenobiotics at least five times lower than those yielding effects during direct exposure of embryos and larvae. It is suggested that, in hazard assessment programs, tests of the effect of xenobiotics on the offspring of preexposed adults be routinely incorporated.

  19. Native pollen thieves reduce the reproductive success of a hermaphroditic plant, Aloe maculata.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2010-06-01

    Pollen is unique among floral rewards in functioning as both a carrier of gametes and an attractant and nutritious resource for floral visitors. Animals that collect pollen without pollinating (pollen thieves) could reduce siring success of thieved plants and cause pollen limitation of seed set at the population level; however, such impacts on plant reproduction have not been demonstrated experimentally. To test these effects we added hives of native honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to populations of a primarily bird-pollinated plant, Aloe maculata, in eastern South Africa. In field and aviary trials, bee addition increased pollen removal from anthers but decreased pollen deposition on stigmas, and so reduced both male and female pollination components. Further, total seed production decreased with hive addition in the aviary experiment and in three of four field populations, indicating that population-level pollen theft can also compromise reproductive success. In the field, naturally occurring allodapine bees also seemed to act as pollen thieves, outweighing the effect of honey bee hive addition at one of the four aloe populations. Our results highlight the importance of social bees as pollen thieves, even of plants that have evolved in their presence, and the role of dichogamy in promoting pollen theft. Given the commonness of both social bees and dichogamy, pollen theft is likely a much more common influence on floral ecology and evolution than suggested by the sparse literature.

  20. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary.

  1. Genotypic variation influences reproductive success and thermal stress tolerance in the reef building coral, Acropora palmata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baums, I. B.; Devlin-Durante, M. K.; Polato, N. R.; Xu, D.; Giri, S.; Altman, N. S.; Ruiz, D.; Parkinson, J. E.; Boulay, J. N.

    2013-09-01

    The branching coral Acropora palmata is a foundation species of Caribbean reefs that has been decimated in recent decades by anthropogenic and natural stressors. Declines in population density and genotypic diversity likely reduce successful sexual reproduction in this self-incompatible hermaphrodite and might impede recovery. We investigated variation among genotypes in larval development under thermally stressful conditions. Six two-parent crosses and three four-parent batches were reared under three temperatures and sampled over time. Fertilization rates differed widely with two-parent crosses having lower fertilization rates (5-56 %, mean 22 % ± 22 SD) than batches (from 31 to 87 %, mean 59 % ± 28 SD). Parentage analysis of larvae in batch cultures showed differences in gamete compatibility among parents, coinciding with significant variation in both sperm morphology and egg size. While all larval batches developed more rapidly at increased water temperatures, rate of progression through developmental stages varied among batches, as did swimming speed. Together, these results indicate that loss of genotypic diversity exacerbates already severe limitations in sexual reproductive success of A. palmata. Nevertheless, surviving parental genotypes produce larvae that do vary in their phenotypic response to thermal stress, with implications for adaptation, larval dispersal and population connectivity in the face of warming sea surface temperatures.

  2. Superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar is not limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species.

    PubMed

    Braks, M A H; Juliano, S A; Lounibos, L P

    2006-03-01

    Anthropophilic mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to have superior reproductive success on human blood when sugar is not available. Life-table experiments were conducted with Aedes albopictus Skuse and Ae. aegypti to compare the effects of sugar availability on age-specific survivorship, lifetime and daily fecundity, and blood-feeding frequency when offered human blood daily. There were no significant interactions between the effects of sugar availability and mosquito species for these four variables, indicating similar effects of sugar availability for both species. Lifetime fecundity was not significantly affected by sugar availability, but sugar-deprived females had significantly reduced age-specific survivorship than did sugar-fed females. In absence of sugar, females took bloodmeals twice as often, resulting in a higher daily fecundity. The results indicate that superior reproductive success on human blood without sugar does not seem to be limited to highly anthropophilic mosquito species, such as Ae. aegypti. We conclude that evolution of a highly anthropophilic feeding strategy is not an inevitable result of the ability to thrive on human blood alone.

  3. Off-road vehicles affect nesting behaviour and reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borneman, Tracy E.; Rose, Eli T.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2016-01-01

    As human populations and associated development increase, interactions between humans and wildlife are occurring with greater frequency. The effects of these interactions, particularly on species whose populations are declining, are of great interest to ecologists, conservationists, land managers and natural resource policy-makers. The American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of conservation concern in the USA, nests on coastal beaches subject to various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including aircraft overflights, off-road vehicles and pedestrians. This study assessed the effects of these human disturbances on the incubation behaviour and reproductive success of nesting American Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore, on the Atlantic coast of the USA. We expanded on-going monitoring of Oystercatchers at Cape Lookout National Seashore by supplementing periodic visual observations with continuous 24-h video and audio recording at nests. Aircraft overflights were not associated with changes in Oystercatcher incubation behaviour, and we found no evidence that aircraft overflights influenced Oystercatcher reproductive success. However, Oystercatchers were on their nests significantly less often during off-road vehicle and pedestrian events than they were during control periods before the events, and an increase in the number of off-road vehicles passing a nest during incubation was consistently associated with significant reductions in daily nest survival (6% decrease in daily nest survival for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90, 0.98) and hatching success (12% decrease in hatching success for a one-vehicle increase in the average number of vehicles passing a nest each day; odds ratio = 0.88; 95% CI 0.76, 0.97). Management of vehicles and pedestrians in areas of Oystercatcher breeding is important for the conservation of American

  4. Are hotshots always hot? A longitudinal study of hormones, behavior, and reproductive success in male marine iguanas.

    PubMed

    Vitousek, Maren N; Rubenstein, Dustin R; Nelson, Karin N; Wikelski, Martin

    2008-07-01

    Polygynous lek-mating systems are characterized by high reproductive skew, with a small number of males gaining a disproportionate share of copulations. In lekking species, where female choice drives male mating success and patterns of reproductive skew, female preferences for 'good genes' should lead to preferred males having high reproductive success in all years. Here we investigate whether these 'hotshot' males have steroid hormone patterns that are consistent over time (between two mating seasons), and whether hormone levels consistently predict display behavior. We test these questions in the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), a lekking vertebrate with high male reproductive skew. We found that male mating success and testosterone levels were not consistent across years. The most successful males showed an inverse relationship in copulation success between years. Similarly, territorial males that had high testosterone in one year had low levels in the next. Across years, testosterone was strongly associated with head-bob display, suggesting that this steroid plays a key role in mate attraction. These results suggest that female marine iguanas are not choosing the same 'hotshot' males in every year, but instead base their reproductive decisions on male behavioral traits that are hormonally mediated and variable across years. By using testosterone to regulate their costly display behaviors male marine iguanas appear to have a mechanism that allows them to adjust their reproductive effort depending on extrinsic and/or intrinsic factors.

  5. Sex-biased inbreeding effects on reproductive success and home range size of the critically endangered black rhinoceros.

    PubMed

    Cain, Bradley; Wandera, Antony B; Shawcross, Susan G; Edwin Harris, W; Stevens-Wood, Barry; Kemp, Stephen J; Okita-Ouma, Benson; Watts, Phillip C

    2014-04-01

    A central premise of conservation biology is that small populations suffer reduced viability through loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding. However, there is little evidence that variation in inbreeding impacts individual reproductive success within remnant populations of threatened taxa, largely due to problems associated with obtaining comprehensive pedigree information to estimate inbreeding. In the critically endangered black rhinoceros, a species that experienced severe demographic reductions, we used model selection to identify factors associated with variation in reproductive success (number of offspring). Factors examined as predictors of reproductive success were age, home range size, number of nearby mates, reserve location, and multilocus heterozygosity (a proxy for inbreeding). Multilocus heterozygosity predicted male reproductive success (p< 0.001, explained deviance >58%) and correlated with male home range size (p < 0.01, r(2) > 44%). Such effects were not apparent in females, where reproductive success was determined by age (p < 0.01, explained deviance 34%) as females raise calves alone and choose between, rather than compete for, mates. This first report of a 3-way association between an individual male's heterozygosity, reproductive output, and territory size in a large vertebrate is consistent with an asymmetry in the level of intrasexual competition and highlights the relevance of sex-biased inbreeding for the management of many conservation-priority species. Our results contrast with the idea that wild populations of threatened taxa may possess some inherent difference from most nonthreatened populations that necessitates the use of detailed pedigrees to study inbreeding effects. Despite substantial variance in male reproductive success, the increased fitness of more heterozygous males limits the loss of heterozygosity. Understanding how individual differences in genetic diversity mediate the outcome of intrasexual competition will be

  6. Increased reproductive success in the white American mink (Neovison vison) with chronic dietary beta-sitosterol supplement.

    PubMed

    Nieminen, Petteri; Pölönen, Ilpo; Mustonen, Anne-Mari

    2010-06-01

    Beta-sitosterol is a weakly estrogenic phytosterol used in functional foods to lower elevated serum cholesterol concentrations. It has been reported to cause reproductive disturbances in fish and lower the sperm count of rodents but, in contrast, there were indications of enhanced reproduction in a preliminary study on the brown American mink (Neovison vison). In the present experiment the effects of chronic dietary beta-sitosterol exposure on the reproduction of the American mink were evaluated with a large number of experimental animals. Male and female finnwhite mink (n=200)--a previously uninvestigated color type with lower reproductive success compared to brown mink--were exposed to 50 mg beta-sitosterol kg(-1)d(-1) for 10 months and compared with 200 control animals. After 3 months in November, 15 males per group were sacrificed and their biochemical variables determined. The serum glucose and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were lower in the beta-sitosterol-exposed group, while other effects were minor. The females were mated with the top-rated males (4-5:1) in March and their reproductive performance was determined. The reproductive success increased in the beta-sitosterol group with significantly fewer barren females and a higher number of successfully reproducing females than in the control group, which supports previous studies on brown mink and voles indicating that beta-sitosterol could be used to enhance the reproductive performance of these mammals. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Winter habitat quality but not long-distance dispersal influences apparent reproductive success in a migratory bird.

    PubMed

    Rushing, Clark S; Marra, Peter P; Dudash, Michele R

    2016-05-01

    Long-distance breeding and natal dispersal play central roles in many ecological and evolutionary processes, including gene flow, population dynamics, range expansion, and individual responses to fluctuating biotic and abiotic conditions. However, the relative contribution of long-distance dispersal to these processes depends on the ability of dispersing individuals to successfully reproduce in their new environment. Unfortunately, due to the difficulties associated with tracking dispersal in the field, relatively little is known about its reproductive consequences. Furthermore, because reproductive success is influenced by a variety of processes, disentangling the influence of each of these processes is critical to understanding the direct consequences of dispersal. In this study, we used stable hydrogen and carbon isotopes to estimate long-distance dispersal and winter territory quality in a migratory bird, the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla). We then applied Aster life-history models to quantify the strength of influence of these factors on apparent reproductive success. We found no evidence that male or female reproductive success was lower for long-distance dispersers relative to non-dispersing individuals. In contrast, carry-over effects from the winter season did influence male, but not female, reproductive success. Use of Aster models further revealed that for adult males, winter territory quality influenced the number of offspring produced whereas for yearling males, high-quality winter territories were associated with higher mating and nesting success. These results suggest that although long-distance natal and breeding dispersal carry no immediate reproductive cost for American Redstarts, reproductive success in this species may ultimately be limited by the quality of winter habitat.

  8. Parasites of the shore crab Carcinus maenas (L.): implications for reproductive potential and invasion success.

    PubMed

    Zetlmeisl, C; Hermann, J; Petney, T; Glenner, H; Griffiths, C; Taraschewski, H

    2011-03-01

    The European shore crab, Carcinus maenas, is one of the most successful marine invasive species. Its success has been in part attributed to the loss of parasites, rekindling an interest in host-parasite interactions and impacts on host fitness in this crab. In the present study, we investigated C. maenas populations from Europe, South Africa and Australia for parasites, and assessed their impact on the fitness of male crabs. For the shore crab, testes weight along with success in mating competition is traded off against other life-history traits. We therefore used this parameter as an indicator both for reproductive fitness and a possible resource trade-off in response to parasite infestation. In the native range, crabs infested with Sacculina carcini showed significantly lower testes weight than uninfected crabs. However, helminth parasites did not generally cause reduced testes weights. Crab populations from South Africa and Australia were either parasitized at very low prevalences, or were completely parasite free. However, no population level effect of this parasite release was reflected in testes weight. These findings do not support a severe fitness impact of helminth parasites on C. maenas, which questions the role of parasites on its population dynamics, both in the native area and for invasive success.

  9. Effects of chronic irradiation on the reproductive success of the polychaete worm, Neanthes arenaceodentata.

    PubMed

    Harrison, F L; Anderson, S L

    1994-12-01

    Effects of lifetime exposure to chronic irradiation on reproductive success were assessed for laboratory populations of Neanthes arenaceodentata. Exposure was initiated upon the spawning of the parental (P1) female and was terminated upon spawning of the first filial (F1) generation female; broods from the F1 pairs were sacrificed before hatching occurred. Groups of worms in the experiments received either no radiation (controls) or 0.19, 2.1 or 17 mGy h-1. The total dose received was either background or approximately 0.55, 6.5 or 54 Gy, respectively. The mean number of embryos in the broods from the F1 females exposed to 17 mGy h-1 was statistically significantly different from the mean number of embryos from control females; however, the mean number of embryos in the broods from the F1 females exposed to 0.19 and 2.1 mGy h-1 was not significantly different from the mean number from control females. For all the radiation-exposed groups, there was a statistically significant reduction in the number and percentage of live embryos in the broods from the F1 pairs as well as a statistically significant increase in the numbers and percentages of abnormal embryos. Results on embryo abnormalities and mortalities indicate that dominant- and recessive-lethal mutations were most likely induced in the germ cells and that these mutations had an adverse effect on reproductive success by affecting the survival of early-life stages. Except for pairs exposed to 17 mGy h-1, there was no evidence of gamete killing or reduced fertilization success, because the number of developing embryos in the broods did not decrease with increased dose. Data for the estimated hatch number and actual hatch number indicated that doses as low as 0.19 mGy h-1 can reduce significantly the number of larvae that hatch when lifetime doses are given.

  10. The influence of female age on male mating preference and reproductive success in cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xing-Ping; He, Hai-Min; Xue, Fang-Sen

    2014-08-01

    The influence of female age on male mating preference and reproductive success has been studied using a promiscuous cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). In a simultaneous choice test, middle-aged females had significantly greater mating success than young and old females. In single pair trials, when paired with middle-aged virgin males, middle-aged females mated faster, copulated longer, and had greater fecundity and fertility than young or old females, while the longevity of males was not significantly affected by female age. This study on C. bowringi suggests that middle-aged females are more receptive to mating, which can result in the highest male reproductive success.

  11. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, R.L.; Crayon, J.J.; Law, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels-black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)-generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  12. Facultative Apomixis in Garcinia atroviridis (Clusiaceae) and Effects of Different Pollination Regimes on Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Pangsuban, Sasithorn; Bamroongrugsa, Noparat; Kanchanapoom, Kamnoon; Nualsri, Charassri

    2009-01-01

    Various aspects of the reproductive success of Garcinia atroviridis Griff. were studied. Controlled pollination experiments were carried out in an orchard located in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, from February to July 2003. Floral longevity, stigma receptivity, and pollen viability were examined before carrying out the experiments. Three pollination treatments were compared: open pollination, manual pollination with bags, and bags without pollination (apogamy). Although there was no significant difference in the initial fruit set, bagged and manual pollination produced a significantly greater fruit drop rate than apogamy or natural pollination at one week after the flowers had been pollinated. On the other hand, the apogamy treatment had a greater fruit drop rate than natural and manual pollination treatments before fruit maturation. In addition, unpollinated bagged flowers bore fewer and smaller fruit than naturally and manually cross-pollinated flowers. Although the fruits from unpollinated flowers were capable of asexual seed formation, they produced fewer seeds and had poorer seed quality (defined as average fresh weight and germination rate) than those from the other treatments. The occurrence of asexual and sexual reproduction was also studied using Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and by comparing the patterns of bands produced from DNA extracted from the offspring of the naturally cross-pollinated fruits. On average, 58% of the offspring had a genetic constitution identical to that of the maternal parent (ranging from 36% to 87%), indicating that some offspring were produced without prior fertilisation. However, the remainder showed polymorphism, demonstrating the occurrence of sexual reproduction. These findings indicate that facultative apomixis occurred in the study population. However, a residual sexuality was important for fruit production, fruit size, normal seed set and seed quality. PMID:24575182

  13. Women with more feminine digit ratio (2D:4D) have higher reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Klimek, Magdalena; Galbarczyk, Andrzej; Nenko, Ilona; Jasienska, Grazyna

    2016-07-01

    Prenatal development has a long-lasting influence on biological condition and health. Second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D) is suggested as an indicator of sex hormone exposure during fetal development, and it is likely that women with a more feminine digit ratio were exposed to higher prenatal estrogen levels. Therefore, we tested if 2D:4D was related to a woman's reproductive characteristics. We studied 319 women aged 46-92, who went through a natural menopause and whose husbands were alive at least until their menopause were studied. Women were recruited at the Mogielica Human Ecology Study Site located in rural Poland. Women with more feminine 2D:4D had a higher number of children (P = 0.002), gave birth to their last child at a later age (P = 0.02), and had a longer reproductive lifespan (P = 0.04) than women with more masculine 2D:4D. Age and number of years of education were included as potential confounders in the analyses. The results indicated that women with more feminine 2D:4D had higher reproductive success. While the exact mechanisms were not known, and the relationship between 2D:4D and adult sex hormone levels was questioned by previous studies, there might be other biological pathways explaining the observed results, that is, via behaviors that were indirectly related to fertility. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:549-553, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Delayed breeding affects lifetime reproductive success differently in male and female green woodhoopoes.

    PubMed

    Hawn, Amanda T; Radford, Andrew N; du Plessis, Morné A

    2007-05-15

    In cooperatively breeding species, many individuals only start breeding long after reaching physiological maturity [1], and this delay is expected to reduce lifetime reproductive success (LRS) [1-3]. Although many studies have investigated how nonbreeding helpers might mitigate the assumed cost of delayed breeding (reviewed in [3]), few have directly quantified the cost itself [4, 5] (but see [6, 7]). Moreover, although life-history tradeoffs frequently influence the sexes in profoundly different ways [8, 9], it has been generally assumed that males and females are similarly affected by a delayed start to breeding [7]. Here, we use 24 years of data to investigate the sex-specific cost of delayed breeding in the cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) and show that age at first breeding is related to LRS differently in males and females. As is traditionally expected, males that started to breed earlier in life had greater LRS than those that started later. However, females showed the opposite pattern: Those individuals that started to breed later in life actually had greater LRS than those that started earlier. In both sexes, the association between age at first breeding and LRS was driven by differences in breeding-career length, rather than per-season productivity. We hypothesize that the high mortality rate of young female breeders, and thus their short breeding careers, is related to a reduced ability to deal with the high physiological costs of reproduction in this species. These results demonstrate the importance of considering sex-specific reproductive costs when estimating the payoffs of life-history decisions and bring into question the long-held assumption that delayed breeding is necessarily costly.

  15. Facultative Apomixis in Garcinia atroviridis (Clusiaceae) and Effects of Different Pollination Regimes on Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    Pangsuban, Sasithorn; Bamroongrugsa, Noparat; Kanchanapoom, Kamnoon; Nualsri, Charassri

    2009-12-01

    Various aspects of the reproductive success of Garcinia atroviridis Griff. were studied. Controlled pollination experiments were carried out in an orchard located in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, from February to July 2003. Floral longevity, stigma receptivity, and pollen viability were examined before carrying out the experiments. Three pollination treatments were compared: open pollination, manual pollination with bags, and bags without pollination (apogamy). Although there was no significant difference in the initial fruit set, bagged and manual pollination produced a significantly greater fruit drop rate than apogamy or natural pollination at one week after the flowers had been pollinated. On the other hand, the apogamy treatment had a greater fruit drop rate than natural and manual pollination treatments before fruit maturation. In addition, unpollinated bagged flowers bore fewer and smaller fruit than naturally and manually cross-pollinated flowers. Although the fruits from unpollinated flowers were capable of asexual seed formation, they produced fewer seeds and had poorer seed quality (defined as average fresh weight and germination rate) than those from the other treatments. The occurrence of asexual and sexual reproduction was also studied using Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and by comparing the patterns of bands produced from DNA extracted from the offspring of the naturally cross-pollinated fruits. On average, 58% of the offspring had a genetic constitution identical to that of the maternal parent (ranging from 36% to 87%), indicating that some offspring were produced without prior fertilisation. However, the remainder showed polymorphism, demonstrating the occurrence of sexual reproduction. These findings indicate that facultative apomixis occurred in the study population. However, a residual sexuality was important for fruit production, fruit size, normal seed set and seed quality.

  16. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

    PubMed

    Hothem, R L; Crayon, J J; Law, M A

    2006-11-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels--black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)--generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  17. Exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during sexual development causes the feminization/demasculinization of the reproductive traits and a reduction in the reproductive success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Tian, Hua; Li, Yun; Wang, Wei; Wu, Peng; Ru, Shaoguo

    2012-09-01

    Monocrotophos is a highly toxic organophosphorus pesticide that has been confirmed to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical. To evaluate the influence of this pollutant on the reproductive system of male fish, we studied the sex steroid levels, reproductive traits, sex ratio, and reproductive success in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) exposed to 40% monocrotophos pesticide at the nominal concentrations of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L for 90 days from birth to adulthood in a semi-static exposure system. Radioimmunoassay and western blot analyses demonstrated that the long-term exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during the sexual development of male guppies caused a significant increase in 17β-estradiol levels and consequently induced vitellogenin synthesis, suggesting the feminization of the males. Monocrotophos pesticide also caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which consequently inhibited testis growth and reduced the sperm count and the area and intensity of their sexually attractive orange spots, which collectively indicated the significant demasculinization of the male sexual characteristics. Furthermore, these changes in the sexual characteristics at the cellular and organ levels translated into ecologically important effects on the reproductive success at the individual level, as measured by a decrease in offspring production and survival rate. The present study provides the first evidence that monocrotophos pesticide can cause severe reproductive abnormalities in fish due to its endocrine-disrupting action.

  18. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Duquette, Jared F.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Svoboda, Nathan J.; Beyer, Dean E.; Lederle, Patrick E.

    2015-01-01

    Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our

  19. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Duquette, Jared F; Belant, Jerrold L; Svoboda, Nathan J; Beyer, Dean E; Lederle, Patrick E

    2015-01-01

    Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69%) variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple litters of fawns. Our

  20. Achievement motivation, anxiety and academic success in first year Master of Nursing students.

    PubMed

    McEwan, L; Goldenberg, D

    1999-07-01

    Forty-one first semester master level nursing students from three Canadian universities participated in this descriptive correlational study to identify the influence of achievement motivation and anxiety on their academic success. Academic success was determined by their first semester grade point average (GPA). Participants had high achieving tendencies (M = 73.5) and academic ability (M = 81.9), supporting Atkinson's (1957, 1964) achievement motivation theory which was used as the framework. While state anxiety was negatively correlated, trait anxiety was the only valid predictor of academic success. Academic ability and inherent anxiety had a greater potential for predicting students who would succeed, which has implications for nurse educators, administrators and researchers. However, the need to assess both cognitive and non-cognitive variables to determine master level nursing students' ability to succeed is recommended.

  1. Evaluating endocrine endpoints relative to reproductive success in Japanese quail exposed to estrogenic chemicals [poster

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henry, P.F.P.; Russek-Cohen, E.; Casey, C.S.; Abdelnabi, M.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    The standard US EPA guidelines for avian reproductive testing may not be sufficiently sensitive to detect effects of sublethal and chronic exposure to endocrine disrupting toxins. There is a need to evaluate endocrine endpoints as potential markers for contaminant effects, and to determine their effectiveness and sensitivity when applied to wildlife. To this end, a three generational test was conducted using the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and a proven estrogenic PCB. Birds were exposed during embryonic development via maternal deposition and/or direct egg injection at day 4. Standard measures of reproductive success and productivity used in toxicological studies, as well as multiple measures of physiological and behavioral responses used in endocrine studies were collected. Long term effects on growth and apparent development were similar between treated and control offspring. Fertility of treated eggs decreased from 75%+ 4.4 (x + se) for P1, to 59% + 12.5 for F1 and 54% + 14.2 for F2. All paired control birds mated to produce viable eggs, whereas 27 % of the F1 and 41 % of the F2 treated pairs failed to produce at least 1 viable egg. Although some decreases in productivity can be related to direct toxic exposure, the response from one generation to the next was not linear with treatment, indicating a potential effect from behavioral or other endocrine alterations.

  2. Vacuoles in sperm head are not associated with head morphology, DNA damage and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Fortunato, Adriana; Boni, Raffaele; Leo, Rita; Nacchia, Giuseppina; Liguori, Francesca; Casale, Sofia; Bonassisa, Paolo; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-02-01

    In this retrospective study of 873 men enrolled for assisted reproduction techniques, relationships between sperm quality parameters, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME), DNA damage and live birth rate were evaluated. The presence of vacuoles in the sperm heads was detected by MSOME. Either chromatin decondensation or DNA fragmentation was used to study DNA damage. Results show that age significantly affected some of the examined parameters. In particular, sperm concentration was positively correlated (R = 0.088; P = 0.01) and chromatin decondensation was negatively correlated (R = -0.102; P = 0.003) with age. Furthermore, live birth rate was significantly lower in men aged 40 years or older (P < 0.02) compared with the younger age groups. The presence of sperm head vacuoles was not associated with head morphology, main sperm quality parameters, DNA fragmentation and live birth rate. Considering sperm heads in relation to the shape (normal/abnormal) and vacuoles (presence/absence), no significant variations in the occurrence of vacuoles in either normal or abnormal heads were found. These data suggest that vacuoles are physiological features that do not alter sperm functionality, and it seems that MSOME is not necessary for increasing the success of assisted reproduction techniques.

  3. Reproductive success of cultivated Pyrus calleryana (Rosaceae) and establishment ability of invasive, hybrid progeny.

    PubMed

    Hardiman, Nicole A; Culley, Theresa M

    2010-10-01

    • Pyrus calleryana Decne., an ornamental tree species introduced from China, is a relatively new invasive that has only recently begun to spread across the United States after intraspecific hybridization between cultivars. The function of such hybridization in the evolution of invasiveness is still relatively understudied, especially with respect to the initial establishment and persistence of invasive genotypes. Multiple introductions of genetically divergent populations or cultivars may benefit from new genetic combinations created during hybridization events and/or release from Allee effects in founder populations. • We quantified the outcome of intraspecific hybridization between cultivars of P. calleryana in a common garden. Measures of the reproductive success and establishment ability of their early- and advanced-generation hybrid offspring were collected to assess the likelihood of particular cultivar genotypes to establish in invasive populations. These traits also were compared between cultivated and invasive parents to identify any generational differences in invasive potential. • Differences were detected in measures of reproductive ability, but no group emerged as consistently more fecund. Advanced-generation hybrids also had significantly less biomass, indicating a reduction in hybrid performance relative to that of the cultivated progeny. • Ultimately, this study indicates that increased spread of P. calleryana has been initiated by introduction of multiple cultivar types and subsequent widespread planting and is not the result of an inherent fitness advantage of hybrid progeny.

  4. Canalization of body size matters for lifetime reproductive success of male predatory mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that highly fitness-relevant traits are canalized via past selection, resulting in low phenotypic plasticity and high robustness to environmental stress. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the level of phenotypic plasticity of male body size of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity) reflects the effects of body size variation on fitness, especially male lifetime reproductive success (LRS). We first generated small and standard-sized males of P. persimilis and N. californicus by rearing them to adulthood under limited and ample prey supply, respectively. Then, adult small and standard-sized males were provided with surplus virgin females throughout life to assess their mating and reproductive traits. Small male body size did not affect male longevity or the number of fertilized females but reduced male LRS of P. persimilis but not N. californicus. Proximately, the lower LRS of small than standard-sized P. persimilis males correlated with shorter mating durations, probably decreasing the amount of transferred sperm. Ultimately, we suggest that male body size is more strongly canalized in P. persimilis than N. californicus because deviation from standard body size has larger detrimental fitness effects in P. persimilis than N. californicus. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, 111, 889–899. PMID:25132689

  5. Lifetime reproductive success is maximized with optimal major histocompatibility complex diversity

    PubMed Central

    Kalbe, Martin; Eizaguirre, Christophe; Dankert, Ilka; Reusch, Thorsten B.H.; Sommerfeld, Ralf D.; Wegner, K. Mathias; Milinski, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    Individual diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is predicted to be optimal at intermediate rather than at maximal levels. We showed previously in sticklebacks that an intermediate MHC diversity is predominant in natural populations and provides maximal resistance in experimental multiple parasite infections in the laboratory. However, what counts ultimately is the lifetime reproductive success (LRS). Here, we measured LRS of six laboratory-bred sib-groups—to minimize the influence of non-MHC genes—three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) during their entire breeding period, each in a seminatural enclosure in the lake of their parents, where they were exposed to the natural spectrum of parasites. We collected developing clutches at regular intervals and determined parenthood for a representative number of eggs (2279 in total) per clutch with 18 microsatellites. Both males and females with an intermediate MHC class IIB variant number had the highest LRS. The mechanistic link of MHC diversity and LRS differed between the sexes: in females, we found evidence for a trade-off between number of eggs and immunocompentence, whereas in males this correlation was concealed by different timing strategies of reproduction. PMID:19033141

  6. Lifetime Number of Mates Interacts with Female Age to Determine Reproductive Success in Female Guppies

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Jonathan P.

    2012-01-01

    In many species, mating with multiple males confers benefits to females, but these benefits may be offset by the direct and indirect costs associated with elevated mating frequency. Although mating frequency (number of mating events) is often positively associated with the degree of multiple mating (actual number of males mated), most studies have experimentally separated these effects when exploring their implications for female fitness. In this paper I describe an alternative approach using the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a livebearing freshwater fish in which females benefit directly and indirectly from mating with multiple males via consensual matings but incur direct and indirect costs of mating as a consequence of male sexual harassment. In the present study, females were experimentally assigned different numbers of mates throughout their lives in order to explore how elevated mating frequency and multiple mating combine to influence lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and survival (i.e. direct components of female fitness). Under this mating design, survival and LRS were not significantly affected by mating treatment, but there was a significant interaction between brood size and reproductive cycle (a correlate of female age) because females assigned to the high mating treatment produced significantly fewer offspring later in life compared to their low-mating counterparts. This negative effect of mating treatment later in life may be important in these relatively long-lived fishes, and this effect may be further exacerbated by the known cross-generational fitness costs of sexual harassment in guppies. PMID:23071816

  7. Lifetime number of mates interacts with female age to determine reproductive success in female guppies.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jonathan P

    2012-01-01

    In many species, mating with multiple males confers benefits to females, but these benefits may be offset by the direct and indirect costs associated with elevated mating frequency. Although mating frequency (number of mating events) is often positively associated with the degree of multiple mating (actual number of males mated), most studies have experimentally separated these effects when exploring their implications for female fitness. In this paper I describe an alternative approach using the guppy Poecilia reticulata, a livebearing freshwater fish in which females benefit directly and indirectly from mating with multiple males via consensual matings but incur direct and indirect costs of mating as a consequence of male sexual harassment. In the present study, females were experimentally assigned different numbers of mates throughout their lives in order to explore how elevated mating frequency and multiple mating combine to influence lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and survival (i.e. direct components of female fitness). Under this mating design, survival and LRS were not significantly affected by mating treatment, but there was a significant interaction between brood size and reproductive cycle (a correlate of female age) because females assigned to the high mating treatment produced significantly fewer offspring later in life compared to their low-mating counterparts. This negative effect of mating treatment later in life may be important in these relatively long-lived fishes, and this effect may be further exacerbated by the known cross-generational fitness costs of sexual harassment in guppies.

  8. Male reproductive success and its behavioural correlates in a polygynous mammal, the Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki).

    PubMed

    Pörschmann, Ulrich; Trillmich, Fritz; Mueller, Birte; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2010-06-01

    Sexual selection theory predicts competitive males and choosy females. Nevertheless, since molecular marker-based studies, paternity outside the expected mating patterns has increasingly been described. Even in highly polygynous systems, where paternity is expected to be strongly skewed towards large, dominant males, alternative mating tactics have been suggested. We examined reproductive success in the polygynous Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki). Semiaquatic territoriality allows females to move freely and may lower the degree of polygyny otherwise suggested by both territorial behaviour and strong sexual dimorphism. We assigned paternities with 22 microsatellites and analysed how male reproductive success was related to size, dominance status, intra-sexual agonistic behaviour, proximity to females, and attendance in the colony. Male behaviour was consistent across two seasons for all parameters under consideration. Attendance was by far the most important determinant of paternal success. Skew in reproductive success towards large, dominant males was weak and dominance status played no role. This appears to be caused by an extremely long reproductive season lasting five or more months, making it difficult for any male to monopolize receptive females. Females seem to choose displaying males that were present in the colony for a long time rather than dominance per se. Sexual dimorphism in Galápagos sea lions may thus be more influenced by selection for fasting than fighting ability. Our data provide further evidence for alternative mating tactics, as several males gained relatively high reproductive success despite short attendance and hardly any involvement in agonistic interactions.

  9. Patrilineal populations show more male transmission of reproductive success than cognatic populations in Central Asia, which reduces their genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Heyer, Evelyne; Brandenburg, Jean-Tristan; Leonardi, Michela; Toupance, Bruno; Balaresque, Patricia; Hegay, Tanya; Aldashev, Almaz; Austerlitz, Frederic

    2015-08-01

    The extent to which social organization of human societies impacts the patterns of genetic diversity remains an open question. Here, we investigate the transmission of reproductive success in patrilineal and cognatic populations from Central Asia using a coalescent approach. We performed a study on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome polymorphism of patrilineal and cognatic populations from Central Asia. We reconstructed the gene genealogies in each population for both kind of markers and inferred the imbalance level of these genealogies, a parameter directly related to the level of transmission of reproductive success. This imbalance level appeared much stronger for the Y chromosome in patrilineal populations than in cognatic populations, while no difference was found for mtDNA. Furthermore, we showed that this imbalance level correlates negatively with Y-chromosomal, mtDNA, and autosomal genetic diversity. This shows that patrilineality might be one of the factors explaining the male transmission of reproductive success, which, in turn, lead to a reduction of genetic diversity. Thus, notwithstanding the fact that our population genetic approach clearly shows that there is a strong male-biased transmission of reproductive success in patrilineal societies, it also highlights the fact that a social process such as cultural transmission of reproductive success could play an important role in shaping human genetic diversity, although we cannot formally exclude that this transmission has also a genetic component. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during sexual development causes the feminization/demasculinization of the reproductive traits and a reduction in the reproductive success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    SciTech Connect

    Tian, Hua; Li, Yun; Wang, Wei; Wu, Peng; Ru, Shaoguo

    2012-09-01

    Monocrotophos is a highly toxic organophosphorus pesticide that has been confirmed to be an endocrine‐disrupting chemical. To evaluate the influence of this pollutant on the reproductive system of male fish, we studied the sex steroid levels, reproductive traits, sex ratio, and reproductive success in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) exposed to 40% monocrotophos pesticide at the nominal concentrations of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L for 90 days from birth to adulthood in a semi‐static exposure system. Radioimmunoassay and western blot analyses demonstrated that the long‐term exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during the sexual development of male guppies caused a significant increase in 17β‐estradiol levels and consequently induced vitellogenin synthesis, suggesting the feminization of the males. Monocrotophos pesticide also caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which consequently inhibited testis growth and reduced the sperm count and the area and intensity of their sexually attractive orange spots, which collectively indicated the significant demasculinization of the male sexual characteristics. Furthermore, these changes in the sexual characteristics at the cellular and organ levels translated into ecologically important effects on the reproductive success at the individual level, as measured by a decrease in offspring production and survival rate. The present study provides the first evidence that monocrotophos pesticide can cause severe reproductive abnormalities in fish due to its endocrine‐disrupting action. -- Highlights: ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused an increase in 17β‐estradiol levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide induced vitellogenin synthesis of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a decrease in testosterone levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused demasculinization of male sexual characteristics. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a reduction in reproductive success of male

  11. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock. PMID:27014509

  12. Evidence of developmental niche construction in dung beetles: effects on growth, scaling and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Daniel B; Casasa, Sofia; Moczek, Armin P

    2017-09-24

    Niche construction occurs when organisms modify their environments and alter selective conditions through their physiology and behaviours. Such modifications can bias phenotypic variation and enhance organism-environment fit. Yet few studies exist that experimentally assess the degree to which environmental modifications shape developmental and fitness outcomes, how their influences may differ among species and identify the underlying proximate mechanisms. Here, we experimentally eliminate environmental modifications from the developmental environment of Onthophagus dung beetles. We show that these modifications (1) differentially influence growth among species, (2) consistently shape scaling relationships in fitness-related traits, (3) are necessary for the maintenance of sexual dimorphism, (4) influence reproductive success among females of at least one species and (5) implicate larval cultivation of an external rumen as a possible mechanism for environmental modification. Our results present evidence that Onthophagus larvae engage in niche construction, and that this is a fundamental component of beetle development and fitness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Reproductive success and heavy metal contamination in Rhode Island common terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Franson, J.C.; Moore, John F.; Myers, J.E.

    1986-01-01

    Common tern cIutch size, reproductive success and growth of young recorded from an abandoned barge on the Providence River, an area of heavy metal contamination, were equal to, or greater than, .from less contaminated areas. Concentrations of copper and zinc were higher in livers of nestling terns from the Providence River than from other, less contaminated, areas. However, concentrations of magnesium, manganese, and iron and the frequency of nickel were equal, or lower, at Providence than other, less contaminated, locations. Among-colony trends in residues of copper, zinc and nickel in prey samples were similar to trends .found in nestling livers. Uric acid concentrations in nestling blood were twice as high in the Providence River than another colony and may have resulted from moderate levels of chromium in the diet.

  14. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Reproductive Success is Influenced by Krill (Euphausia superba) Density and Climate.

    PubMed

    Seyboth, Elisa; Groch, Karina R; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Reid, Keith; Flores, Paulo A C; Secchi, Eduardo R

    2016-06-16

    The reproductive success of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) depends on body condition and, therefore, on foraging success. This, in turn, might be affected by climatically driven change in the abundance of the species main prey, krill (Euphausia superba), on the feeding grounds. Annual data on southern right whale number of calves were obtained from aerial surveys carried out between 1997 and 2013 in southern Brazil, where the species concentrate during their breeding season. The number of calves recorded each year varied from 7 to 43 ( = 21.11 ± 11.88). Using cross-correlation analysis we examined the response of the species to climate anomalies and krill densities. Significant correlations were found with krill densities (r = 0.69, p = 0.002, lag 0 years), Oceanic Niño Index (r = -0.65, p = 0.03, lag 6 years), Antarctic Oscillation (r = 0.76, p = 0.01, lag 7 years) and Antarctic sea ice area (r = -0.68, p = 0.002, lag 0 years). Our results suggest that global climate indices influence southern right whale breeding success in southern Brazil by determining variation in food (krill) availability for the species. Therefore, increased frequency of years with reduced krill abundance, due to global warming, is likely to reduce the current rate of recovery of southern right whales from historical overexploitation.

  15. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Reproductive Success is Influenced by Krill (Euphausia superba) Density and Climate

    PubMed Central

    Seyboth, Elisa; Groch, Karina R.; Dalla Rosa, Luciano; Reid, Keith; Flores, Paulo A. C.; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2016-01-01

    The reproductive success of southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) depends on body condition and, therefore, on foraging success. This, in turn, might be affected by climatically driven change in the abundance of the species main prey, krill (Euphausia superba), on the feeding grounds. Annual data on southern right whale number of calves were obtained from aerial surveys carried out between 1997 and 2013 in southern Brazil, where the species concentrate during their breeding season. The number of calves recorded each year varied from 7 to 43 ( = 21.11 ± 11.88). Using cross-correlation analysis we examined the response of the species to climate anomalies and krill densities. Significant correlations were found with krill densities (r = 0.69, p = 0.002, lag 0 years), Oceanic Niño Index (r = −0.65, p = 0.03, lag 6 years), Antarctic Oscillation (r = 0.76, p = 0.01, lag 7 years) and Antarctic sea ice area (r = −0.68, p = 0.002, lag 0 years). Our results suggest that global climate indices influence southern right whale breeding success in southern Brazil by determining variation in food (krill) availability for the species. Therefore, increased frequency of years with reduced krill abundance, due to global warming, is likely to reduce the current rate of recovery of southern right whales from historical overexploitation. PMID:27306583

  16. Reproductive success of black skimmers in Texas relative to environmental pollutants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Swineford, D.M.

    1984-01-01

    We studied the nesting ecology of Black Skimmers along the lower Texas coast during 1978-1981 to learn more of their reproductive status and to evaluate the effects of organochlorine pollutants, such as DDE, on productivity. For 542 nests, the average clutch size was 3.3 eggs. Flooding was the major cause of colony destruction and abandonment. Clutch size in renest attempts decreased significantly from that in first attempts. Overall fledging success (fledglings/total pairs) averaged 1 0 fledgling per pair. There was a significant negative correlation between number of nest attempts and fledging success on a colony basis. Also, clutch size and fledging success were significantly correlated. DDE residues in some skimmer eggs were high (up to 51 ppm, wet weight), with 35% of all eggs sampled containing- >1 0 ppm DDE. However, eggshell thinning of only 4-12% was demonstrated on a colony basis and log DDE residues in individual eggs were not significantly correlated with shell thickness. DDE residues in Texas eggs were 5-fold higher than in South Carolina eggs where no shell thinning was detected.

  17. Behavior and reproductive success of rock sandpipers breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim river delta, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, M.; Conklin, J.R.; Johnson, B.L.; McCaffery, B.J.; Haig, S.M.; Walters, J.R.

    2009-01-01

    We studied Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) breeding behavior and monitored reproductive success from 1998 to 2005 on the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta, Alaska, USA. We banded 24 adults and monitored 45 nests. Annual return rate of adults ranged between 67 and 100%. Six pairs of Rock Sandpipers bred at our study site for ???2 years, and among these we did not observe mate change (i.e., when both members of a pair returned and each mated with a new individual). Nests were typically initiated by mid-May and 53% of females laid second clutches if first clutches were lost through mid-June. Males regularly incubated clutches during the morning (0800-1259 hrs AKDT) and afternoon (1300-1759 hrs) and rarely during the evening (1800-2300 hrs), whereas female incubation was relatively consistent throughout the day. Apparent nest success (percent of known nests successfully hatching > 1 chick) among first and second nests was 19 and 44%, respectively (n = 45). A minimum of 44% of hatching nests fledged at least one young. Males cared for young but half of females deserted mate and brood 1-7 days post-hatch. This first description of North American Rock Sandpiper breeding behavior from a color-marked population complements previous work on this species on the Chukotsky Peninsula, Russia.

  18. Baseline hormone levels are linked to reproductive success but not parental care behaviors.

    PubMed

    Burtka, Jennifer L; Lovern, Matthew B; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2016-04-01

    Consistent behavioral differences among individuals, or personalities, have been hypothesized to arise as a result of consistent individual differences in hormone levels. Individual variation in baseline hormone levels or hormonal similarity within a breeding pair may be related to reproductive success, as suggested by the corticosterone-fitness hypothesis and the hormonal similarity hypothesis, respectively. In a population of Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) with repeatable behavioral expression and coordination of behavior within pairs, we tested if baseline androgen and corticosterone levels are related to behavioral expression, if coordination in behavior within pairs is facilitated by hormonal coordination, and if baseline hormone levels are related to fledging success at the individual or pair level. We found no significant relationship between hormone levels and nest visit rate or nest defense for either sex. Androgen and corticosterone levels were not correlated within pairs, but pairs in which males exhibited more aggressive nest defense behavior than females were also more different in androgen levels. Females with higher baseline corticosterone levels fledged more young, but hormonal similarity within pairs was not related to fledging success. Our results provide support for the corticosterone-adaptation hypothesis, which suggests that elevation of baseline corticosterone levels may occur during breeding to meet increased energetic demands. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    PubMed

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  20. Organochlorine contaminants and reproductive success of double-crested cormorants from Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Custer, Christine M.; Hines, R.K.; Gutreuter, S.; Stromborg, K.L.; Allen, P.D.; Melancon, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995, nesting success of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) was measured at Cat Island, in southern Green Bay, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA. Sample eggs at pipping and unhatched eggs were collected and analyzed for organochlorines (including total polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and DDE), hepatic microsomal ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase (EROD) activity in embryos, and eggshell thickness. Of 1,570 eggs laid, 32% did not hatch and 0.4% had deformed embryos. Of 632 chicks monitored from hatching to 12 d of age, 9% were missing or found dead; no deformities were observed. The PCB concentrations in sample eggs from clutches with deformed embryos (mean = 10.2 μg/g wet weight) and dead embryos (11.4 μg/g) were not significantly higher than concentrations in sample eggs from nests where all eggs hatched (12.1 μg/g). A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE, dieldrin, and PCB concentrations in sibling eggs identified DDE and not dieldrin or PCBs as a significant risk factor. A logistic regression of hatching success versus DDE and eggshell thickness implicated DDE and not eggshell thickness as a significant risk factor. Even though the insecticide DDT was banned in the early 1970s, we suggest that DDE concentrations in double-crested cormorant eggs in Green Bay are still having an effect on reproduction in this species.

  1. Stigmatic limitations on reproductive success in a paleotropical tree: causes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Raman; Kaul, Veenu

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Success in reproduction is subject to the successful initiation as well as successful completion of a chain of consecutive events starting from flower formation and ending with viable seed production. A pivotal role in this chain is played by the stigma which is the seat of pollen recognition and initiation of pollen–pistil interaction. An interesting feature of the family Bignoniaceae is the presence of thigmosensitive stigmas which open, close and re-open in response to touch. Kigelia pinnata bears a touch sensitive stigma and is a low fruit setter in Jammu and Kashmir (India). One possible reason might be pollen limitation coupled with reported self-incompatibility. However, not much is known about the mechanism of self-incompatibility in K. pinnata or of the role of its thigmotropic stigma. Carefully designed manual pollination experiments along with critical field observations revealed naturally deposited pollen load to be too low to cause permanent closure of stigma lobes. A strong relationship exists between the threshold pollen load on stigma, its permanent closure and fertilization. Of the various pollination treatments undertaken, fruits were formed only in open and manual cross pollinations when ∼9200 pollen of legitimate type is deposited on the stigma. Thigmosensitivity further limited the opportunity for the deposition of optimum pollen loads. Although, frequented by as many as seven different visitors, an average of 8 bats per night are available for as many as 30 trees which reflects a baseline deficiency of effective pollinators. This limitation in pollen and pollinator availability affects pollination success of this species and ends up with low fruit set. Fluorescence microscopy reveals successful germination and tube growth of pollen grains of both self and cross type but fruit-set is 100 % in cross-pollinated pistils only. Despite slower rates of ovule penetration and evidence of delayed fertilization, absolutely no fruit

  2. Effects of pulp and paper mill effluents on reproductive success of largemouth bass.

    PubMed

    Sepúlveda, Maria S; Quinn, Brian P; Denslow, Nancy D; Holm, Stewart E; Gross, Timothy S

    2003-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of bleached and unbleached kraft mill effluent on reproductive success of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Bass were exposed to effluent concentrations (0, 10, 20, 40, or 80%) for 28 and 56 d. Parameters measured included hepatosomatic index (HSI) and gonadosomatic index (GSI) and plasma concentrations of 17beta-estradiol (E2), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), and vitellogenin (VTG). At the end of the 56-d period, bass were moved to hatchery ponds to evaluate spawning success. Spawning mats with eggs either were brought indoors for evaluation of fecundities, hatchabilities, and egg and fry size (measured at age 3 d), or were left in ponds and fry number and size recorded (average age of 14 d). Effluent exposure was verified by measuring resin acids (isopimaric, abietic. and dehydroabietic acids) in bile. Compared to controls, exposed bass had greater concentrations of resin acids in bile. In general, exposed females had lower concentrations of E2 and VTG (> or = 20% effluent), whereas males had lower concentrations of 11-KT (> or = 20% effluent) and increased E2 (> or = 20% effluent). The HSI values increased in females (> or = 10% effluent), and GSI values decreased in both sexes (> or = 40% effluent). Fecundity, egg size, and hatchability did not differ across treatments, but an increase in the frequency of fry abnormalities and a decrease in fry weights was observed at effluent exposures of 40% and higher. However, results from the pond study, revealed a significant reduction in fry growth and survival (> or = 10%). This decline may have been caused by an increased frequency of deformities, in conjunction with alterations of growth. These changes could have resulted from alterations in egg quality because of failure of parental reproductive systems, from acute embryo toxicity after translocation of contaminants from the mother to the developing embryo, or from both.

  3. Floral traits influencing plant attractiveness to three bee species: Consequences for plant reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Austin A; Clayton, Murray K; Brunet, Johanne

    2017-05-01

    The ability to attract pollinators is crucial to plants that rely on insects for pollination. We contrasted the roles of floral display size and flower color in attracting three bee species and determined the relationships between plant attractiveness (number of pollinator visits) and seed set for each bee species. We recorded pollinator visits to plants, measured plant traits, and quantified plant reproductive success. A zero-inflated Poisson regression model indicated plant traits associated with pollinator attraction. It identified traits that increased the number of bee visits and traits that increased the probability of a plant not receiving any visits. Different components of floral display size were examined and two models of flower color contrasted. Relationships between plant attractiveness and seed set were determined using regression analyses. Plants with more racemes received more bee visits from all three bee species. Plants with few racemes were more likely not to receive any bee visits. The role of flower color varied with bee species and was influenced by the choice of the flower color model. Increasing bee visits increased seed set for all three bee species, with the steepest slope for leafcutting bees, followed by bumble bees, and finally honey bees. Floral display size influenced pollinator attraction more consistently than flower color. The same plant traits affected the probability of not being visited and the number of pollinator visits received. The impact of plant attractiveness on female reproductive success varied, together with pollinator effectiveness, by pollinator species. © 2017 Bauer et al. Published by the Botanical Society of America. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons public domain license (CC0 1.0).

  4. Sociosexual behaviors and reproductive success of rats (Rattus norvegicus) in a seminatural environment.

    PubMed

    Chu, Xi; Guarraci, Fay A; Ågmo, Anders

    2015-11-01

    A promiscuous pattern of copulation has been reported in both wild and domestic rats, and multiple paternity is common. In the present study we determined whether male sociosexual behaviors were associated with reproductive success or not. Groups of rats (3 males and 4 cycling females) were housed in a seminatural environment for a period of 8 days. Sociosexual interactions were observed whenever one or several females were in behavioral estrus. Paternity of the offspring sired was determined by analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Fertility was quantified either as the total number of offspring, or the mean proportion of offspring from all females, sired by the male. Although the total numbers of male social and sexual behaviors during the 8 day period were unrelated to reproductive success, male fertility was correlated with the number of intromissions and ejaculations. In addition intromission and ejaculation ratios (the proportion of mounts ending in intromission and the proportion of the total number of ejaculations received by a female that was contributed by a particular male, respectively) were also correlated with male fertility. Fewer mounts as well as fewer male pursuits of the female were demonstrated by males siring entire litters than by males siring multipaternity litters. Ejaculation order was unrelated to fertility. Male or female preferences (based on various sociosexual interactions) were not strongly related to fertility. Female preference only showed a limited effect. Specifically, preferred males (males who were sniffed most) sired fewer pups. Male dominance status did not affect female preferences, copulatory behavior or fertility. It appears that only behaviors directly related to sperm transfer are important for fertility. Social behaviors in both males and females play a very limited or no role in determining rats' fertility.

  5. Double decomposition: decomposing the variance in subcomponents of male extra-pair reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Losdat, Sylvain; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2015-09-01

    1. Extra-pair reproductive success (EPRS) is a key component of male fitness in socially monogamous systems and could cause selection on female extra-pair reproduction if extra-pair offspring (EPO) inherit high value for EPRS from their successful extra-pair fathers. However, EPRS is itself a composite trait that can be fully decomposed into subcomponents of variation, each of which can be further decomposed into genetic and environmental variances. However, such decompositions have not been implemented in wild populations, impeding evolutionary inference. 2. We first show that EPRS can be decomposed into the product of three life-history subcomponents: the number of broods available to a focal male to sire EPO, the male's probability of siring an EPO in an available brood and the number of offspring in available broods. This decomposition of EPRS facilitates estimation from field data because all subcomponents can be quantified from paternity data without need to quantify extra-pair matings. Our decomposition also highlights that the number of available broods, and hence population structure and demography, might contribute substantially to variance in male EPRS and fitness. 3. We then used 20 years of complete genetic paternity and pedigree data from wild song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to partition variance in each of the three subcomponents of EPRS, and thereby estimate their additive genetic variance and heritability conditioned on effects of male coefficient of inbreeding, age and social status. 4. All three subcomponents of EPRS showed some degree of within-male repeatability, reflecting combined permanent environmental and genetic effects. Number of available broods and offspring per brood showed low additive genetic variances. The estimated additive genetic variance in extra-pair siring probability was larger, although the 95% credible interval still converged towards zero. Siring probability also showed inbreeding depression and increased with male age

  6. Chlorinated hydrocarbons in North Sea whiting ( Merlangius merlangus L.), and effects on reproduction. I. Tissue burden and hatching success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    v. Westernhagen, H.; Cameron, P.; Dethlefsen, V.; Janssen, D.

    1989-03-01

    Artificially inseminated eggs of feral North Sea whiting ( Merlangius merlangus) were incubated in the laboratory in order to determine reproductive success. After incubation, two measures for reproductive success, total hatch and viable hatch, were determined and correlated with chlorinated hydrocarbon residues in the respective ovaries. From their specific toxicities and the sum of all determined chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants, a contamination factor (CF) was calculated. Significant negative correlations were found between total hatch and DDT, including its metabolites (ΣDDT), dieldrin and the CF. ΣDDT and the CF were also negatively correlated with viable hatch. A threshold value of ovary contamination above which impairment of reproductive success was likely to occur was set at > 200 μg kg-1 wet wt. for ΣPCB, > 20 μg kg-1 wet wt. for ΣDDT and > 10 μg kg-1 wet wt. for dieldrin.

  7. Reproductive investment, synchrony and recruitment success in marine broadcast spawners: Effects of mating system and habitat (exposed shore versus estuary).

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Carla A; Serrão, Ester A; Pearson, Gareth A

    2015-12-01

    The timing and synchrony of gamete release in broadcast spawners have important implications for fertilization success, recruitment and to explain differences in reproductive success under distinct reproductive modes in sympatry. Our objective was to compare the reproductive timing and investment for sister species with contrasting mating systems; Fucus guiryi (selfing hermaphroditic) and Fucus vesiculosus (dioecious) in habitats with different wave exposures (exposed shore and estuary). Over two months, daily gamete release, recruitment and population structure were recorded. Our results show spawning synchrony between species and habitats, but release events in hermaphrodites occupied broader temporal windows in estuarine than exposed shore habitats. On the exposed shore both species increased the synchrony of release and amount of eggs. In the estuary, hermaphrodites relied on broader temporal spawning windows and a larger canopy, and the dioecious species had higher recruitment success, important factors determining persistence.

  8. Impact of group size on female reproductive success of free-ranging Rhinopithecus roxellana in the Qinling Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dapeng; Li, Baoguo; Watanabe, Kunio

    2011-01-01

    Group size influences female reproductive success through scramble/contest feeding competition, predation pressures and infanticide risks in primates. The Sichuan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is an endangered folivorous colobine species living in a multilevel society. From 2002 to 2008, we studied a free-ranging band of R. roxellana in the Qinling Mountains of China to examine the effect of group size on female reproductive success. During our observation period, the number of monkeys in the study band fluctuated from 61 to 108, and the number of one-male/multi-female groups within it varied from 7 to 10. A significant negative linear relationship was found between group size and birth rate, but group size was not significantly correlated with infant survival rate or interbirth interval. These results suggest that group size influences female reproductive success via within-group scramble competition in this folivorous species.

  9. Population densities, vegetation green-up, and plant productivity: impacts on reproductive success and juvenile body mass in reindeer.

    PubMed

    Tveraa, Torkild; Stien, Audun; Bårdsen, Bård-J; Fauchald, Per

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is expected to cause earlier springs and increased primary productivity in the Arctic. These changes may improve food availability for Arctic herbivores, but may also have negative effects by generating a mismatch between the surge of high quality food in the spring and the timing of reproduction. We analyzed a 10 year dataset of satellite derived measures of vegetation green-up, population densities, calf body masses and female reproductive success in 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations in Northern Norway. An early onset of spring and high peak plant productivity had positive effects on calf autumn body masses and female reproductive success. In addition, body masses and reproductive success were both negatively related to population density. The quantity of food available, as determined by the onset of vegetation green-up and plant productivity over the summer were the main drivers of body mass growth and reproductive success. We found no evidence for an effect of the speed of spring green-up. Nor did we detect a negative mismatch between early springs and subsequent recruitment. Effects of global warming on plant productivity and onset of spring is likely to positively affect sub-Arctic reindeer.

  10. Population Densities, Vegetation Green-Up, and Plant Productivity: Impacts on Reproductive Success and Juvenile Body Mass in Reindeer

    PubMed Central

    Tveraa, Torkild; Stien, Audun; Bårdsen, Bård-J.; Fauchald, Per

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is expected to cause earlier springs and increased primary productivity in the Arctic. These changes may improve food availability for Arctic herbivores, but may also have negative effects by generating a mismatch between the surge of high quality food in the spring and the timing of reproduction. We analyzed a 10 year dataset of satellite derived measures of vegetation green-up, population densities, calf body masses and female reproductive success in 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations in Northern Norway. An early onset of spring and high peak plant productivity had positive effects on calf autumn body masses and female reproductive success. In addition, body masses and reproductive success were both negatively related to population density. The quantity of food available, as determined by the onset of vegetation green-up and plant productivity over the summer were the main drivers of body mass growth and reproductive success. We found no evidence for an effect of the speed of spring green-up. Nor did we detect a negative mismatch between early springs and subsequent recruitment. Effects of global warming on plant productivity and onset of spring is likely to positively affect sub-Arctic reindeer. PMID:23451049

  11. Increase in Male Reproductive Success and Female Reproductive Investment in Invasive Populations of the Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis

    PubMed Central

    Laugier, Guillaume J. M.; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Tayeh, Ashraf; Loiseau, Anne; Osawa, Naoya; Estoup, Arnaud; Facon, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive strategy affects population dynamics and genetic parameters that can, in turn, affect evolutionary processes during the course of biological invasion. Life-history traits associated with reproductive strategy are therefore potentially good candidates for rapid evolutionary shifts during invasions. In a series of mating trials, we examined mixed groups of four males from invasive and native populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis mating freely during 48 hours with one female of either type. We recorded the identity of the first male to copulate and after the 48 h-period, we examined female fecundity and share of paternity, using molecular markers. We found that invasive populations have a different profile of male and female reproductive output. Males from invasive populations are more likely to mate first and gain a higher proportion of offspring with both invasive and native females. Females from invasive populations reproduce sooner, lay more eggs, and have offspring sired by a larger number of fathers than females from native populations. We found no evidence of direct inbreeding avoidance behaviour in both invasive and native females. This study highlights the importance of investigating evolutionary changes in reproductive strategy and associated traits during biological invasions. PMID:24204741

  12. Increase in male reproductive success and female reproductive investment in invasive populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

    PubMed

    Laugier, Guillaume J M; Le Moguédec, Gilles; Tayeh, Ashraf; Loiseau, Anne; Osawa, Naoya; Estoup, Arnaud; Facon, Benoît

    2013-01-01

    Reproductive strategy affects population dynamics and genetic parameters that can, in turn, affect evolutionary processes during the course of biological invasion. Life-history traits associated with reproductive strategy are therefore potentially good candidates for rapid evolutionary shifts during invasions. In a series of mating trials, we examined mixed groups of four males from invasive and native populations of the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis mating freely during 48 hours with one female of either type. We recorded the identity of the first male to copulate and after the 48 h-period, we examined female fecundity and share of paternity, using molecular markers. We found that invasive populations have a different profile of male and female reproductive output. Males from invasive populations are more likely to mate first and gain a higher proportion of offspring with both invasive and native females. Females from invasive populations reproduce sooner, lay more eggs, and have offspring sired by a larger number of fathers than females from native populations. We found no evidence of direct inbreeding avoidance behaviour in both invasive and native females. This study highlights the importance of investigating evolutionary changes in reproductive strategy and associated traits during biological invasions.

  13. Achievement Motivation, Anxiety and Academic Success in First Year Master of Nursing Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEwan, Lynn; Goldenberg, Dolly

    1999-01-01

    A study of 41 graduate nursing students found they had high achievement motivation and academic ability. Trait anxiety was the only valid predictor of academic success. Academic ability and inherent anxiety had greater potential for predicting students who would succeed. (Author/SK)

  14. Success in Higher Education: The Challenge to Achieve Academic Standing and Social Position

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Life, James

    2015-01-01

    When students look at their classmates in the classroom, consciously or unconsciously, they see competitors both for academic recognition and social success. How do they fit in relation to others and how do they succeed in achieving both? Traditional views on the drive to succeed and the fear of failure are well known as motivators for achieving…

  15. Collaborating with Parents for Early School Success: The Achieving-Behaving-Caring Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McConaughy, Stephanie H.; Kay, Pam; Welkowitz, Julie A.; Hewitt, Kim; Fitzgerald, Martha D.

    2007-01-01

    The Achieving-Behaving-Caring (ABC) Program is an evidence-based approach to addressing the needs of elementary students at risk for emotional and behavioral difficulties and promoting successful home-school collaboration. This practical guide demonstrates how classroom teachers and parents can work together to boost individual children's…

  16. ALAS: Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2006

    2006-01-01

    "ALAS," an acronym for "Achievement for Latinos through Academic Success" that means "wings" in Spanish, is a middle school (or junior high school) intervention designed to address student, school, family, and community factors that affect dropping out. Each student is assigned a counselor who monitors attendance,…

  17. Food for Thought, Health for Success: Pursuing Policy that Supports Student Wellness and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Groginsky, Scott; Trujillo, Tara

    2009-01-01

    As schools work to ensure that all students have the skills and competencies to succeed in work and life, and with growing expectations for success on standardized assessments at the federal, state and local levels, education leaders increasingly understand the importance of student wellness to achieving these goals. This report outlines why…

  18. The Achieving Success Everyday Group Counseling Model: Implications for Professional School Counselors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steen, Sam; Henfield, Malik S.; Booker, Beverly

    2014-01-01

    This article presents the Achieving Success Everyday (ASE) group counseling model, which is designed to help school counselors integrate students' academic and personal-social development into their group work. We first describe this group model in detail and then offer one case example of a middle school counselor using the ASE model to conduct a…

  19. Reading for Success: The Effectiveness of Literacy Interventions for Increasing Student Achievement in Core Academic Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrell, Margaret A.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this action research study was to utilize quantitative and qualitative data to measure the effects of Tier 2 and Tier 3 literacy interventions as they affect student achievement in the secondary school setting. The research questions addressed performance of students who were enrolled in Reading for Success as compared to a cohort…

  20. Indicators of Success in Achieving the El Centro College Goals, 1997-2000.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El Centro Coll., Dallas, TX.

    This is a report on indicators of success in achieving community college goals at El Centro College (Texas). The report provides statistics from 1997-2000 and focuses on the progress of nine goals: (1) institutionalizing service beyond expectation--according to student satisfaction surveys, campus changes that have occurred between 1996 and 1999…

  1. Courageous Conversations: Achieving the Dream and the Importance of Student Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 2009

    2009-01-01

    Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count is a national initiative dedicated to the premise that community colleges should be as successful at student retention and graduation, particularly for students of color and low-income, as they are at enrollment. On campus, the initiative is focused on creating a culture of evidence, one in which data…

  2. The Achieving Success Everyday Group Counseling Model: Fostering Resiliency in Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Joy; Steen, Sam

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses a group counseling intervention used to develop and foster resiliency in middle school students by implementing the Achieving Success Everyday (ASE) group counseling model. The authors aimed to discover what impact this group counseling intervention, which focused on resiliency characteristics, would have on students'…

  3. The Achieving Success Everyday Group Counseling Model: Implications for Professional School Counselors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steen, Sam; Henfield, Malik S.; Booker, Beverly

    2014-01-01

    This article presents the Achieving Success Everyday (ASE) group counseling model, which is designed to help school counselors integrate students' academic and personal-social development into their group work. We first describe this group model in detail and then offer one case example of a middle school counselor using the ASE model to conduct a…

  4. Closing the Math Achievement Gap: Institutions Find Success with MyMathLab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Pearl

    2012-01-01

    Institutions find success with Pearson Education's MyMathLab. The Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Memphis (UM) reported a narrowing of the achievement gap between Black and White students. According to the study conducted by UM professors and titled "The Effectiveness of Blended Instruction in Postsecondary General…

  5. Developing a Latino Mentoring Program: Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sáenz, Victor B.; Ponjuan, Luis; Segovia, Jorge, Jr.; Del Real Viramontes, José

    2015-01-01

    This chapter highlights the development of Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). At the center of Project MALES is a mentoring program that aims to cultivate an engaged support network for males of color at the University of Texas at Austin and across surrounding communities. Specifically, there is a discussion of the…

  6. Developing a Latino Mentoring Program: Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sáenz, Victor B.; Ponjuan, Luis; Segovia, Jorge, Jr.; Del Real Viramontes, José

    2015-01-01

    This chapter highlights the development of Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success). At the center of Project MALES is a mentoring program that aims to cultivate an engaged support network for males of color at the University of Texas at Austin and across surrounding communities. Specifically, there is a discussion of the…

  7. High School Success: An Effective Intervention for Achievement and Dropout Prevention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowder, Christopher Michael

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this mixed-design study was to use quantitative and qualitative research to explore the effects of High School Success (a course for at-risk ninth graders) and its effectiveness on student achievement, attendance, and dropout prevention. The research questions address whether there is a significant difference between at-risk ninth…

  8. Predicting College Success: Achievement, Demographic, and Psychosocial Predictors of First-Semester College Grade Point Average

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saltonstall, Margot

    2013-01-01

    This study seeks to advance and expand research on college student success. Using multinomial logistic regression analysis, the study investigates the contribution of psychosocial variables above and beyond traditional achievement and demographic measures to predicting first-semester college grade point average (GPA). It also investigates if…

  9. Student Success Skills: An Evidence-Based Cognitive and Social Change Theory for Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemberger, Matthew E.; Brigman, Greg; Webb, Linda; Moore, Molly M.

    2012-01-01

    An overview of the Student Success Skills program is offered, including descriptions of the curricular structure, extant research support related to SSS effectiveness for academic achievement and improved school behaviors, and a theory of change for student development. Recent research has demonstrated the value of the SSS program as it connects…

  10. Count Us In. Achieving Success for Deaf Pupils. Practical Examples from Primary, Secondary, and Special Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Count Us in: Achieving Success for Deaf Pupils" is a timely report. It comes when schools are becoming more confident in dealing with a wide range of additional support for learning needs. Schools are also more aware that they need to personalise experiences in order to meet pupils' learning needs. The report does point to strengths…

  11. Success in Higher Education: The Challenge to Achieve Academic Standing and Social Position

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Life, James

    2015-01-01

    When students look at their classmates in the classroom, consciously or unconsciously, they see competitors both for academic recognition and social success. How do they fit in relation to others and how do they succeed in achieving both? Traditional views on the drive to succeed and the fear of failure are well known as motivators for achieving…

  12. Identifying Predictors of College Success through an Examination of AVID Graduates' College Preparatory Achievements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watt, Karen M.; Huerta, Jeffery J.; Alkan, Ersan

    2011-01-01

    This mixed-methods research investigates the high school college preparatory achievements and college success of 50 high school graduates who participated in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and belonged to groups underrepresented in higher education. High performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and…

  13. Student Success Skills: An Evidence-Based Cognitive and Social Change Theory for Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemberger, Matthew E.; Brigman, Greg; Webb, Linda; Moore, Molly M.

    2012-01-01

    An overview of the Student Success Skills program is offered, including descriptions of the curricular structure, extant research support related to SSS effectiveness for academic achievement and improved school behaviors, and a theory of change for student development. Recent research has demonstrated the value of the SSS program as it connects…

  14. Closing the Math Achievement Gap: Institutions Find Success with MyMathLab

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Pearl

    2012-01-01

    Institutions find success with Pearson Education's MyMathLab. The Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Memphis (UM) reported a narrowing of the achievement gap between Black and White students. According to the study conducted by UM professors and titled "The Effectiveness of Blended Instruction in Postsecondary General…

  15. Achieving Higher Levels of Success for A.D.H.D. Students Working in Collaborative Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simplicio, Joseph S. C.

    2007-01-01

    This article explores a new and innovative strategy for helping students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) achieve higher levels of academic success when working in collaborative groups. Since the research indicates that students with this disorder often have difficulty in maintaining their concentration this strategy is…

  16. Practical Approaches to Achieving Student Success in Urban Schools. Publication No. 96-2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Don E.; Shafer, Jesse R.

    The three papers in this collection provide testimonial descriptions of the power of successfully implemented innovative procedures to advance the academic achievement of students whose life circumstances place them at risk of academic failure. In the first article, "20/20 Analysis: A Citywide Computer-Based Application," David J.…

  17. Achievement Motivation, Anxiety and Academic Success in First Year Master of Nursing Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McEwan, Lynn; Goldenberg, Dolly

    1999-01-01

    A study of 41 graduate nursing students found they had high achievement motivation and academic ability. Trait anxiety was the only valid predictor of academic success. Academic ability and inherent anxiety had greater potential for predicting students who would succeed. (Author/SK)

  18. Success Despite Socioeconomics: A Case Study of a High-Achieving, High-Poverty School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tilley, Thomas Brent; Smith, Samuel J.; Claxton, Russell L.

    2012-01-01

    This case study of a high-achieving, high-poverty school describes the school's leadership, culture, and programs that contributed to its success. Data were collected from two surveys (the School Culture Survey and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education), observations at the school site, and interviews with school personnel. The…

  19. Success Despite Socioeconomics: A Case Study of a High-Achieving, High-Poverty School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tilley, Thomas Brent; Smith, Samuel J.; Claxton, Russell L.

    2012-01-01

    This case study of a high-achieving, high-poverty school describes the school's leadership, culture, and programs that contributed to its success. Data were collected from two surveys (the School Culture Survey and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education), observations at the school site, and interviews with school personnel. The…

  20. Achieving professional success in US government, academia, and industry: an EMGS commentary.

    PubMed

    Poirier, Miriam C; Schwartz, Jeffrey L; Aardema, Marilyn J

    2014-08-01

    One of the goals of the EMGS is to help members achieve professional success in the fields they have trained in. Today, there is greater competition for jobs in genetic toxicology, genomics, and basic research than ever before. In addition, job security and the ability to advance in one's career is challenging, regardless of whether one works in a regulatory, academic, or industry environment. At the EMGS Annual Meeting in Monterey, CA (September, 2013), the Women in EMGS Special Interest Group held a workshop to discuss strategies for achieving professional success. Presentations were given by three speakers, each representing a different employment environment: Government (Miriam C. Poirier), Academia (Jeffrey L. Schwartz), and Industry (Marilyn J. Aardema). Although some differences in factors or traits affecting success in the three employment sectors were noted by each of the speakers, common factors considered important for advancement included networking, seeking out mentors, and developing exceptional communication skills.

  1. Individual quality, early-life conditions, and reproductive success in contrasted populations of large herbivores.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Côté, Steeve D

    2009-07-01

    Variations among individuals in phenotypic quality and fitness often confound analyses of life-history strategies assessed at the population level. We used detailed long-term data from three populations of large herbivores with generation times ranging from four to nine years to quantify heterogeneity in individual quality among females, and to assess its influence on mean annual reproductive success over the lifetime (MRS). We also determined how environmental conditions in early life shaped individual quality and tested A. Lomnicki's hypothesis that variance in individual quality should increase when environmental conditions deteriorate. Using multivariate analyses (PCA), we identified one (in sheep and deer) or two (in goats) covariations among life-history traits (longevity, success in the last breeding opportunity, adult mass, and social rank) as indexes of individual quality that positively influenced MRS of females. Individual quality was reduced by unfavorable weather, low resource availability, and high population density in the year of birth. Early-life conditions accounted for 35-55% of variation in individual quality. In roe deer, we found greater variance in individual quality for cohorts born under unfavorable conditions as opposed to favorable ones, but the opposite was found in bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Our results demonstrate that heterogeneity in female quality can originate from environmental conditions in early life and can markedly influence the fitness of females in species located at different positions along the slow-fast continuum of life-history strategies.

  2. The effects of glutathione depletion on reproductive success in oysters, Crassostrea virginica.

    PubMed

    Ringwood, A H; Conners, D E

    2000-01-01

    Glutathione (GSH) is a ubiquitous tripeptide that functions as a very important modulator of cellular homeostasis, including detoxification of metals and oxyradicals. Therefore, depletion of GSH may predispose organisms to pollutant stress. Reproductively active oysters (Crassostrea virginica) were exposed to buthionine sulfoximine in the laboratory to deplete gonadal GSH. The effects of metal exposures (Cd and Cu) on fertilization and developmental assays were evaluated using gametes from control and GSH-depleted adults. Fertilization success was not affected by GSH status, i.e. the fertilization rates of gametes derived from GSH-depleted adults were the same or slightly higher. However, GSH depletion did increase the susceptibility of developing embryos to metal toxicity, i.e. adverse effects on embryonic development were observed at lower metal concentrations with gametes derived from GSH-depleted adults. These effects may be related to diminished removal of free radicals or increased availability of metals. Whereas sperm penetration of embryonic membranes and fertilization success may be facilitated by free radicals, the persistence of free radicals during subsequent developmental periods may adversely affect differentiation and normal development. GSH probably also plays an important role in scavenging toxic metals and reducing metal interactions with essential developmental processes. These results suggest that parental depletion of GSH may increase the susceptibility of embryos to metal toxicity.

  3. Men with a complete absence of normal sperm morphology exhibit high rates of success without assisted reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Kovac, Jason R; Smith, Ryan P; Cajipe, Miguel; Lamb, Dolores J; Lipshultz, Larry I

    2017-01-01

    In couples with infertility, abnormal strict morphology of 0% normal forms (NF) is a criterion to proceed rapidly to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Since no data currently exist, we investigated the outcomes for men with 0% NF to determine reproductive success without the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). A cohort of 24 men with 0% NF were identified (2010–2013) with 27 randomly selected men with ≥4% NF as controls. Patient charts were reviewed with men contacted and administered an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved telephone questionnaire to ascertain outcomes. After a median follow-up time of 2.5 years, 29.2% of men with 0% NF did not require ART for their first pregnancy (controls = 55.6%, P ≤ 0.05). When all pregnancies were analyzed together, men with 0% NF achieved twenty pregnancies of which 75% did not require IVF (controls = thirty pregnancies; 76.7% did not require IVF). The average age of men and female partners was similar between men with 0% NF and ≥4% NF. All men had normal follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, prolactin, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and estradiol. Although, global semen parameters were worse in men with 0% NF, when a first pregnancy was a natural conception (NC), 100% of men with 0% NF (n = 7/7) and 37.5% of controls (n = 3/8) went on to have a subsequent pregnancy via NC. Men with 0% NF conceived without IVF in 29.2% of cases compared to 55.6% of controls. Strict morphology should not be used to predict fertilization, pregnancy, or live birth potential. In men with 0% NF, alternative modalities should be considered before immediate IVF. PMID:27751992

  4. Men with a complete absence of normal sperm morphology exhibit high rates of success without assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kovac, Jason R; Smith, Ryan P; Cajipe, Miguel; Lamb, Dolores J; Lipshultz, Larry I

    2017-01-01

    In couples with infertility, abnormal strict morphology of 0% normal forms (NF) is a criterion to proceed rapidly to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Since no data currently exist, we investigated the outcomes for men with 0% NF to determine reproductive success without the use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). A cohort of 24 men with 0% NF were identified (2010-2013) with 27 randomly selected men with ≥4% NF as controls. Patient charts were reviewed with men contacted and administered an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved telephone questionnaire to ascertain outcomes. After a median follow-up time of 2.5 years, 29.2% of men with 0% NF did not require ART for their first pregnancy (controls = 55.6%, P ≤ 0.05). When all pregnancies were analyzed together, men with 0% NF achieved twenty pregnancies of which 75% did not require IVF (controls = thirty pregnancies; 76.7% did not require IVF). The average age of men and female partners was similar between men with 0% NF and ≥4% NF. All men had normal follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, prolactin, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and estradiol. Although, global semen parameters were worse in men with 0% NF, when a first pregnancy was a natural conception (NC), 100% of men with 0% NF (n = 7/7) and 37.5% of controls (n = 3/8) went on to have a subsequent pregnancy via NC. Men with 0% NF conceived without IVF in 29.2% of cases compared to 55.6% of controls. Strict morphology should not be used to predict fertilization, pregnancy, or live birth potential. In men with 0% NF, alternative modalities should be considered before immediate IVF.

  5. The novel POSEIDON stratification of 'Low prognosis patients in Assisted Reproductive Technology' and its proposed marker of successful outcome.

    PubMed

    Humaidan, Peter; Alviggi, Carlo; Fischer, Robert; Esteves, Sandro C

    2016-01-01

    In reproductive medicine little progress has been achieved regarding the clinical management of patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or poor ovarian response (POR) to stimulation with exogenous gonadotropins -a frustrating experience for clinicians as well as patients. Despite the efforts to optimize the definition of this subgroup of patients, the existing POR criteria unfortunately comprise a heterogeneous population and, importantly, do not offer any recommendations for clinical handling. Recently, the POSEIDON group ( Patient- Oriented Strategies Encompassing Individualize D Oocyte Number) proposed a new stratification of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in patients with a reduced ovarian reserve or unexpected inappropriate ovarian response to exogenous gonadotropins. In brief, four subgroups have been suggested based on quantitative and qualitative parameters, namely, i. Age and the expected aneuploidy rate; ii. Ovarian biomarkers (i.e. antral follicle count [AFC] and anti-Müllerian hormone [AMH]), and iii. Ovarian response - provided a previous stimulation cycle was performed. The new classification introduces a more nuanced picture of the "low prognosis patient" in ART, using clinically relevant criteria to guide the physician to most optimally manage this group of patients. The POSEIDON group also introduced a new measure for successful ART treatment, namely, the ability to retrieve the number of oocytes needed for the specific patient to obtain at least one euploid embryo for transfer. This feature represents a pragmatic endpoint to clinicians and enables the development of prediction models aiming to reduce the time-to-pregnancy (TTP). Consequently, the POSEIDON stratification should not be applied for retrospective analyses having live birth rate (LBR) as endpoint. Such an approach would fail as the attribution of patients to each Poseidon group is related to specific requirements and could only be made prospectively. On the other hand, any

  6. Reproductive success of kittiwakes and murres in sequential stages of the nesting period: Relationships with diet and oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renner, Heather M.; Drummond, Brie A.; Benson, Anna-Marie; Paredes, Rosana

    2014-11-01

    Reproductive success is one of the most easily-measured and widely studied demographic parameters of colonial nesting seabirds. Nevertheless, factors affecting the sequential stages (egg laying, incubation, chick-rearing) of reproductive success are less understood. We investigated the separate sequential stages of reproductive success in piscivorous black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) using a 36-year dataset (1975-2010) on the major Pribilof Islands (St. Paul and St. George), which have recently had contrasting population trajectories. Our objectives were to evaluate how the proportion of successful nests varied among stages, and to quantify factors influencing the probability of nest success at each stage in each island. We modeled the probability of nest success at each stage using General Linear Mixed Models incorporating broad-scale and local climate variables, and diet as covariates as well as other measures of reproduction such as timing of breeding and reproductive output in the previous year and previous stage. For both species we found: (1) Success in previous stages of the breeding cycle and success in the prior year better explained overall success than any environmental variables. Phenology was also an important predictor of laying success for kittiwakes. (2) Fledging success was lower when chick diets contained oceanic fish found farther from the colonies and small invertebrates, rather than coastal fish species. (3) Differences in reproductive variables at St. Paul and St. George islands did not correspond to population trends between the two islands. Our results highlight the potential importance of adult condition and annual survival to kittiwake and murre productivity and ultimately, populations. Adult condition carrying over from the previous year ultimately seems to drive annual breeding success in a cascade effect. Furthermore, condition and survival appear to be important contributors to population

  7. Reproductive success in relation to dominance rank in the absence of prime-age males in Barbary macaques.

    PubMed

    Modolo, Lara; Martin, Robert D

    2008-01-01

    In some primate species dominance rank of males is correlated with reproductive success, whereas in other species this relationship is inconsistent. Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) live in a promiscuous mating system in which males are ranked in a dominance hierarchy that influences their access to females. High-ranking males usually monopolize fertile females during their estrous period and show increased mating activities. Subadult males generally rank below adult males. For Barbary macaque females in the Gibraltar colony, there was no correlation between dominance status and reproductive success. Paternity data for 31 offspring collected over four consecutive breeding seasons were used to test whether male social rank was associated with reproductive success and whether reproductive success was mainly confined to a small number of males. Genetic variation was assessed using 14 microsatellite markers for a dataset of 127 individuals sampled in all five social groups of the Gibraltar colony. Paternity analysis was conducted for offspring in one social group only, where all in-group males were sampled. Eighty-three percent of the offspring could be assigned to an in-group candidate father; none of the extra-group males appeared to have sired an infant. Male dominance rank was not found to contribute to the observed variation in male reproductive output. Fifty-nine percent of the offspring was sired by two low-ranking males, whereas the two top-ranking males sired one-fifth. A highly significant correlation was found for male age and dominance rank. Reproductive success of subadult males might be explained by the gap in the age distribution of male group members. These missing prime males are usually regarded as serious competitors for older males. Subadult males may have gained easier access to females in their absence. In addition, the presence of inbreeding avoidance mechanisms, which might also have overpowered possible rank effects, cannot be excluded.

  8. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    PubMed Central

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  9. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Swaddle, John P; Cristol, Daniel A

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success.

  10. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-22

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters.

  11. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters. PMID:25473008

  12. How effective leaders achieve success in critical change initiatives, Part 2: why change leadership must transcend project management for complex initiatives to be successful.

    PubMed

    King, Sharon; Peterson, Larry

    2007-01-01

    This article is the second in a series outlining how effective leaders achieve success in critical change initiatives. This article focuses on why change leadership must transcend project management for complex initiatives to be successful.

  13. Visions of success and achievement in recreation-related USDA Forest Service NEPA processes

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, Marc J.; Blahna, Dale J.; Cerveny, Lee K.; Mortimer, Michael J.

    2009-07-15

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is incorporated into the planning and decision-making culture of all natural resource agencies in the U.S. Yet, we know little about how the attitudes and internal interactions of interdisciplinary (ID) teams engaged in NEPA processes influence process outcomes. We conducted a web-based survey of 106 ID team leaders involved with environmental analyses (EA) or environmental impact statements (EIS) for projects dealing with recreation and travel management on national forests. We explore how they define success in these processes and identify factors most powerfully associated with perceptions of positive outcomes. The survey revealed a tremendous diversity in definitions of success. Strong correlations between the perceived importance of particular indicators of success and their achievement suggest that pre-conceived notions may often help to shape process outcomes. Regression analyses revealed the following factors as the best predictors of ID team leaders' perception of an 'excellent outcome': achievement of the agency mission, whether compromise had taken place between the interested parties, team satisfaction and harmony, timely process completion, and project implementation. Yet, respondents consistently ranked compromise with interested parties and team member satisfaction among the least important measures of successful NEPA processes. Results suggest that clarifying appropriate measures of success in NEPA processes across the agency could make ID team performance more consistent. The research also suggests that greater attention to ID team interactions, both internally and between teams and interested publics, could result in better outcomes.

  14. Pregnancy in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis: how to achieve a successful delivery

    PubMed Central

    Manisco, Gianfranco; Potì’, Marcello; Maggiulli, Giuseppe; Di Tullio, Massimo; Losappio, Vincenzo; Vernaglione, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy in women with chronic kidney disease has always been considered as a challenging event both for the mother and the fetus. Over the years, several improvements have been achieved in the outcome of pregnant chronic renal patients with increasing rates of successful deliveries. To date, evidence suggests that the stage of renal failure is the main predictive factor of worsening residual kidney function and complications in pregnant women. Moreover, the possibility of success of the pregnancy depends on adequate depurative and pharmacological strategies in patients with end-stage renal disease. In this paper, we propose a review of the current literature about this topic presenting our experience as well. PMID:26034591

  15. Pregnancy in end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis: how to achieve a successful delivery.

    PubMed

    Manisco, Gianfranco; Potì', Marcello; Maggiulli, Giuseppe; Di Tullio, Massimo; Losappio, Vincenzo; Vernaglione, Luigi

    2015-06-01

    Pregnancy in women with chronic kidney disease has always been considered as a challenging event both for the mother and the fetus. Over the years, several improvements have been achieved in the outcome of pregnant chronic renal patients with increasing rates of successful deliveries. To date, evidence suggests that the stage of renal failure is the main predictive factor of worsening residual kidney function and complications in pregnant women. Moreover, the possibility of success of the pregnancy depends on adequate depurative and pharmacological strategies in patients with end-stage renal disease. In this paper, we propose a review of the current literature about this topic presenting our experience as well.

  16. The effects of a remediated fly ash spill and weather conditions on reproductive success and offspring development in tree swallows.

    PubMed

    Beck, Michelle L; Hopkins, William A; Jackson, Brian P; Hawley, Dana M

    2015-03-01

    Animals are exposed to natural and anthropogenic stressors during reproduction that may individually or interactively influence reproductive success and offspring development. We examined the effects of weather conditions, exposure to element contamination from a recently remediated fly ash spill, and the interaction between these factors on reproductive success and growth of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) across nine colonies. Females breeding in colonies impacted by the spill transferred greater concentrations of mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), strontium, and thallium to their eggs than females in reference colonies. Parental provisioning of emerging aquatic insects resulted in greater blood Se concentrations in nestlings in impacted colonies compared to reference colonies, and these concentrations remained stable across 2 years. Egg and blood element concentrations were unrelated to reproductive success or nestling condition. Greater rainfall and higher ambient temperatures during incubation were later associated with longer wing lengths in nestlings, particularly in 2011. Higher ambient temperatures and greater Se exposure posthatch were associated with longer wing lengths in 2011 while in 2012, blood Se concentrations were positively related to wing length irrespective of temperature. We found that unseasonably cold weather was associated with reduced hatching and fledging success among all colonies, but there was no interactive effect between element exposure and inclement weather. Given that blood Se concentrations in some nestlings exceeded the lower threshold of concern, and concentrations of Se in blood and Hg in eggs are not yet declining, future studies should continue to monitor exposure and effects on insectivorous wildlife in the area.

  17. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  18. Thyroid function and reproductive success in rodents exposed to perchlorate via food and water.

    PubMed

    Smith, Philip N; Severt, Scott A; Jackson, J W Andrew; Anderson, Todd A

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine if exposure to perchlorate via food items would have effects on mammals similar to those caused by exposure through drinking water at approximately equivalent doses. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were used to assess the potential toxicity of perchlorate-contaminated food items. Voles and mice were divided randomly into three treatment groups--perchlorate-contaminated food (PCF), perchlorate-contaminated water (PCW), and control groups--such that each treatment group contained equal numbers of males and females. Rodents in PCF treatment groups were fed chow formulated with soybean plant matter that had been grown with perchlorate-contaminated irrigation water. Individuals in the control and PCF groups were provided distilled/deionized drinking water, whereas the PCW group received drinking water containing sodium perchlorate. Only slight differences among treatment groups were observed in a variety of endpoints, including reproductive success, tissue perchlorate concentrations, thyroid hormone concentrations, and thyroid histology. However, trends observed in the present study suggest that perchlorate exposure via water may result in slightly greater effects than exposure to perchlorate via food. These data and recent reports of perchlorate in a wide variety of food items indicate that exposure via food intake is an important consideration when examining cumulative risk among humans, livestock, and wildlife.

  19. Floral scents affect reproductive success in fly-pollinated Alocasia odora (Araceae).

    PubMed

    Miyake, Takashi; Yafuso, Masako

    2003-03-01

    We evaluated the role of floral scents in the reproductive success of Alocasia odora C. Koch (Araceae). Alocasia odora is pollinated by its specific pollinators, Colocasiomyia alocasiae (Okada) and C. xenalocasiae (Okada) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These flies use the spadix of A. odora as breeding sites. The appendix, which is at an upper part of the spadix and is the most attractive region, attracted these pollinators by emitting volatiles, although the male zone of the inflorescence was also attractive. The number of flies attracted was positively correlated with appendix size. During the pistillate phase of the protogynous spadix, attracted flies aggregated in the lower part (female zone) to mate, lay eggs, and perhaps obtain nutrients. The flies moved to the upper part (male zone) of the spadix by the tightening of the constriction separating the upper and lower parts, and then the staminate phase started. This movement of the flies on the spadix promotes outcrossing of A. odora. Removal of the appendix or the whole upper part of the spadix resulted in much reduced fruit set, suggesting that the absence of the scent-producing region leads to insufficient pollination because of reduced pollinator attraction.

  20. Syllable Type Consistency is Related to Age, Social Status, and Reproductive Success in the Tropical Mockingbird.

    PubMed

    Botero, Carlos A; Rossman, Rachel J; Caro, Lina M; Stenzler, Laura M; Lovette, Irby J; De Kort, Selvino R; Vehrencamp, Sandra L

    2009-03-01

    Many animals repeat standardized displays multiple times while attracting a mate or deterring a rival. In such contexts it is possible that the ability to perform each display or signal type in a consistent fashion is under direct selection. Studies on sexual selection on song learning in birds have focused on differences in repertoire size with less attention to the potential importance of being able to perform each song/syllable type with high consistency. We present evidence that tropical mockingbirds decrease the variation between renditions of each syllable type as they grow older (i.e., become more consistent) and that more consistent males in this species tend to have higher dominance status and reproductive success. These findings stress the importance of consistency in the performance of sexual displays and suggest that this parameter may be very relevant even in species that are selected for high vocal diversity (i.e., large repertoires). In addition to signalling dominance status and age, we hypothesize that syllable type consistency may also be an indicator of the integrity of brain function in birds analogous to the tests used for neuropsychological assessment in humans.

  1. Male heterozygosity predicts territory size, song structure and reproductive success in a cooperatively breeding bird.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie; Amos, William; Mulder, Raoul A; Tobias, Joseph A

    2004-09-07

    Recent studies of non-social animals have shown that sexually selected traits signal at least one measure of genetic quality: heterozygosity. To determine whether similar cues reveal group quality in more complex social systems, we examined the relationship between territory size, song structure and heterozygosity in the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), a group-living bird endemic to Madagascar. Using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci, we found that heterozygosity predicted both the size of territories and the structure of songs used to defend them: more heterozygous groups had larger territories, and more heterozygous males used longer, lower-pitched trills in their songs. Heterozygosity was linked to territory size and song structure in males, but not in females, implying that these traits are sexually selected by female choice and/or male-male competition. To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct evidence in any animal that territory size is related to genetic diversity. We also found a positive association between seasonal reproductive success and heterozygosity, suggesting that this heritable characteristic is a reliable indicator of group quality and fitness. Given that heterozygosity predicts song structure in males, and can therefore be determined by listening to acoustic cues, we identify a mechanism by which social animals may assess rival groups, prospective partners and group mates, information of potential importance in guiding decisions related to conflict, breeding and dispersal.

  2. Male heterozygosity predicts territory size, song structure and reproductive success in a cooperatively breeding bird.

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Nathalie; Amos, William; Mulder, Raoul A.; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies of non-social animals have shown that sexually selected traits signal at least one measure of genetic quality: heterozygosity. To determine whether similar cues reveal group quality in more complex social systems, we examined the relationship between territory size, song structure and heterozygosity in the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), a group-living bird endemic to Madagascar. Using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci, we found that heterozygosity predicted both the size of territories and the structure of songs used to defend them: more heterozygous groups had larger territories, and more heterozygous males used longer, lower-pitched trills in their songs. Heterozygosity was linked to territory size and song structure in males, but not in females, implying that these traits are sexually selected by female choice and/or male-male competition. To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct evidence in any animal that territory size is related to genetic diversity. We also found a positive association between seasonal reproductive success and heterozygosity, suggesting that this heritable characteristic is a reliable indicator of group quality and fitness. Given that heterozygosity predicts song structure in males, and can therefore be determined by listening to acoustic cues, we identify a mechanism by which social animals may assess rival groups, prospective partners and group mates, information of potential importance in guiding decisions related to conflict, breeding and dispersal. PMID:15315898

  3. Early-acting inbreeding depression and reproductive success in the highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L.

    PubMed

    Krebs, S L; Hancock, J F

    1990-06-01

    Tetraploid Vaccinium corymbosum genotypes exhibit wide variability in seed set following self- and cross-pollinations. In this paper, a post-zygotic mechanism (seed abortion) under polygenic control is proposed as the basis for fertility differences in this species. A pollen chase experiment indicated that self-pollen tubes fertilize ovules, but are also 'outcompeted' by foreign male gametes in pollen mixtures. Matings among cultivars derived from a pedigree showed a linear decrease in seed number per fruit, and increase in seed abortion, with increasing relatedness among parents. Selfed (S1) progeny from self-fertile parents were largely self-sterile. At zygotic levels of inbreeding of F>0.3 there was little or no fertility, suggesting that an inbreeding threshold regulates reproductive success in V. corymbosum matings. Individuals below the threshold are facultative selfers, while those above it are obligate outcrossers. Inbreeding also caused a decrease in pollen viability, and reduced female fertility more rapidly than male fertility. These phenomena are discussed in terms of two models of genetic load: (1) mutational load - homozygosity for recessive embryolethal or sub-lethal mutations and (2) segregational load - loss of allelic interactions essential for embryonic vigor. Self-infertility in highbush blueberries is placed in the context of 'late-acting' self-incompatibility versus 'early-acting' inbreeding depression in angiosperms.

  4. Effects of mercury exposure on the reproductive success of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor).

    PubMed

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Cristol, Daniel A

    2008-02-01

    An experimental tree swallow population was established in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River, Virginia, USA to assess the accumulation and effects of mercury contamination on birds that eat emergent aquatic insects. One tributary, the South River, was contaminated with mercury before 1950. Reproductive success of swallows nesting within 50 m of this river was compared to that of three uncontaminated reference tributaries in 2005 and 2006. Female swallows on the contaminated stretch of river had significantly elevated blood and feather total mercury (blood: 3.56 +/- 2.41 ppm ww vs. 0.17 +/- 0.15 ppm reference; feather: 13.55 +/- 6.94 ppm vs. 2.34 +/- 0.87 ppm reference), possibly the highest ever reported for an insectivorous songbird. Insects collected by the swallows to be fed to nestlings averaged 0.97 +/- 1.11 ppm dw total mercury, significantly higher than on reference sites. Swallows in the contaminated area produced fewer fledglings than those in reference areas. The effect of mercury contamination on productivity was detectable only for young females in the contaminated area that were breeding for the first time in 2006, a segment of the population that may already have been stressed by inexperience. Tree swallows served as practical and effective biomonitors for mercury levels and effects and have great potential as proxy biomonitors for more logistically challenging birds such as loons or eagles.

  5. Estimating reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in honey bee colonies by trapping emigrating larvae.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Richard T; Torto, Baldwyn; Willms, Steve; Fombong, Ayuka T; Duehl, Adrian; Teal, Peter E A

    2012-02-01

    The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) is a scavenger and facultative predator in honey bee colonies, where it feeds on pollen, honey, and bee brood. Although a minor problem in its native Africa, it is an invasive pest of honey bees in the United States and Australia. Adult beetles enter bee hives to oviposit and feed. Larval development occurs within the hive, but mature larvae leave the hive to pupate in soil. The numbers leaving, which can be estimated by trapping, measure the reproductive success of adult beetles in the hive over any given period of time. We describe a trap designed to intercept mature larvae as they reach the end of the bottom board on their way to the ground. Trap efficiency was estimated by releasing groups of 100 larvae into empty brood boxes and counting the numbers trapped. Some larvae escaped, but mean efficiency ranged from 87.2 to 94.2%. We envision the trap as a research tool for study of beetle population dynamics, and we used it to track numbers of larvae leaving active hives for pupation in the soil. The traps detected large increases and then decreases in numbers of larvae leaving colonies that weakened and died. They also detected small numbers of larvae leaving strong European and African colonies, even when no larvae were observed in the hives.

  6. Chronic stress in free-living European starlings reduces corticosterone concentrations and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Nicole E; Michael Romero, L

    2007-03-01

    Chronic increases in stress hormones such as glucocorticoids are maladaptive, yet studies demonstrating a causal relationship among chronic stress, increases in glucocorticoid concentrations, and subsequent fitness costs in free-living animals are lacking. We experimentally induced chronic psychological stress in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) by subjecting half of the females at our study site to a chronic stress protocol consisting of 4, 30 min stressors (loud radio, predator calls, a novel object, or predator decoys including a snake, rat, and owl) administered in random order daily for 8 days after clutch completion. Experimental females were captured at the end of the chronic stress protocol (9 days after the onset of the chronic stress protocol), and unstressed control females were captured at the same stage of the nesting cycle. Chronically stressed females had lower baseline corticosterone (CORT, the avian glucocorticoid) concentrations and lower reproductive success than unstressed females. Furthermore, surviving nestlings in experimentally stressed broods showed sensitization of the CORT response to acute stress, which is a physiological change that could persist to adulthood. Attenuation of baseline CORT concentrations in adult females is contrary to the general assumption that elevated CORT concentrations indicate stress, suggesting that more research is necessary before CORT concentrations can be used to accurately assess chronic stress in field studies.

  7. Reproductive success of captively bred and naturally spawned Chinook salmon colonizing newly accessible habitat

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Joseph H; Faulds, Paul L; Atlas, William I; Quinn, Thomas P

    2013-01-01

    Captively reared animals can provide an immediate demographic boost in reintroduction programs, but may also reduce the fitness of colonizing populations. Construction of a fish passage facility at Landsburg Diversion Dam on the Cedar River, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to explore this trade-off. We thoroughly sampled adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at the onset of colonization (2003–2009), constructed a pedigree from genotypes at 10 microsatellite loci, and calculated reproductive success (RS) as the total number of returning adult offspring. Hatchery males were consistently but not significantly less productive than naturally spawned males (range in relative RS: 0.70–0.90), but the pattern for females varied between years. The sex ratio was heavily biased toward males; therefore, inclusion of the hatchery males increased the risk of a genetic fitness cost with little demographic benefit. Measurements of natural selection indicated that larger salmon had higher RS than smaller fish. Fish that arrived early to the spawning grounds tended to be more productive than later fish, although in some years, RS was maximized at intermediate dates. Our results underscore the importance of natural and sexual selection in promoting adaptation during reintroductions. PMID:23467446

  8. The effect of phenological variation in sex expression on female reproductive success in Saxifraga granulata.

    PubMed

    van der Meer, Sascha; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2015-12-01

    Differences in timing of flowering within and among protandrous plants shift the floral sex ratio from male to female dominance during the flowering season. Hence, the number of seeds produced by a single flower depends on traits of the flower itself (e.g., allocation to male and female function, position within an inflorescence, and flower size), as well as plant traits (e.g., timing of flowering, number of flowers, and plant height). Although it is clear that characteristics of individual flowers and whole plants can affect the number of seeds produced per flower, their relative importance for plant fitness remains largely unknown. We examined how phenological sex expression affected seed number per flower in two populations of the protandrous grassland herb Saxifraga granulata. Seed number was assessed for >1200 flowers and related to their position within an inflorescence, male and female phase duration, timing of flowering, number of flowers per plant, and plant height. Seed number within and among plants decreased significantly over time. Early lateral flowers were larger and produced more seeds in comparison to late lateral flowers, indicating that flower position significantly affected seed number through its combined effect on sex allocation, timing of flowering, and attractiveness. Our results showed that female reproductive success of a single flower was best explained by its position within an inflorescence and that plant traits such as first flowering date and number of flowers per plant had a smaller impact on seed number per flower. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Exposure of rainbow trout milt to mercury and cadmium alters sperm motility parameters and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Grzegorz J; Dietrich, Mariola; Kowalski, R K; Dobosz, Stefan; Karol, Halina; Demianowicz, Wiesław; Glogowski, Jan

    2010-05-10

    In the current work, seminal plasma was used for the first time as an incubation medium for monitoring short-time exposure effects of sublethal concentrations of mercury and cadmium ions on rainbow trout sperm. Sperm motility parameters (CASA) and hatching rates were used as gamete quality markers. Additionally live/dead sperm viability test and comet assay of DNA fragmentation were performed. We demonstrated that computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA) may serve as a predictor of reproductive success, when milt contaminated with heavy metals is used. Results presented in this study demonstrate that mercury ions altered sperm motility characteristics at 1-10 mg Hg2+/l and 10 mg Cd2+/l and hatching rates at 10 mg Hg2+/l and 10 mg Cd2+/l after 4h of exposure. Although mercury ions affected sperm motility parameters immediately after dilution with milt as well as at 4h of exposure, no differences in sperm motility parameters were found between intact and mercury-treated milt after 24h of exposure. Our results suggest that rainbow trout seminal plasma has a protective role against the toxic effects of mercury ions of rainbow trout sperm motility.

  10. Syllable Type Consistency is Related to Age, Social Status, and Reproductive Success in the Tropical Mockingbird

    PubMed Central

    Botero, Carlos A.; Rossman, Rachel J.; caro, Lina M.; Stenzler, Laura M.; Lovette, Irby J.; De Kort, Selvino R.; Vehrencamp, Sandra L.

    2009-01-01

    Many animals repeat standardized displays multiple times while attracting a mate or deterring a rival. In such contexts it is possible that the ability to perform each display or signal type in a consistent fashion is under direct selection. Studies on sexual selection on song learning in birds have focused on differences in repertoire size with less attention to the potential importance of being able to perform each song/syllable type with high consistency. We present evidence that tropical mockingbirds decrease the variation between renditions of each syllable type as they grow older (i.e., become more consistent) and that more consistent males in this species tend to have higher dominance status and reproductive success. These findings stress the importance of consistency in the performance of sexual displays and suggest that this parameter may be very relevant even in species that are selected for high vocal diversity (i.e., large repertoires). In addition to signalling dominance status and age, we hypothesize that syllable type consistency may also be an indicator of the integrity of brain function in birds analogous to the tests used for neuropsychological assessment in humans. PMID:20161558

  11. Environmental variability drives shifts in the foraging behaviour and reproductive success of an inshore seabird.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Nicole D; Reina, Richard D; Preston, Tiana J; Chiaradia, André

    2015-08-01

    Marine animals forage in areas that aggregate prey to maximize their energy intake. However, these foraging 'hot spots' experience environmental variability, which can substantially alter prey availability. To survive and reproduce animals need to modify their foraging in response to these prey shifts. By monitoring their inter-annual foraging behaviours, we can understand which environmental variables affect their foraging efficiency, and can assess how they respond to environmental variability. Here, we monitored the foraging behaviour and isotopic niche of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), over 3 years (2008, 2011, and 2012) of climatic and prey variability within Port Phillip Bay, Australia. During drought (2008), penguins foraged in close proximity to the Yarra River outlet on a predominantly anchovy-based diet. In periods of heavy rainfall, when water depth in the largest tributary into the bay (Yarra River) was high, the total distance travelled, maximum distance travelled, distance to core-range, and size of core- and home-ranges of penguins increased significantly. This larger foraging range was associated with broad dietary diversity and high reproductive success. These results suggest the increased foraging range and dietary diversity of penguins were a means to maximize resource acquisition rather than a strategy to overcome local depletions in prey. Our results demonstrate the significance of the Yarra River in structuring predator-prey interactions in this enclosed bay, as well as the flexible foraging strategies of penguins in response to environmental variability. This plasticity is central to the survival of this small-ranging, resident seabird species.

  12. Mhc-linked survival and lifetime reproductive success in a wild population of great tits.

    PubMed

    Sepil, Irem; Lachish, Shelly; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-01-01

    Major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes are frequently used as a model for adaptive genetic diversity. Although associations between Mhc and disease resistance are frequently documented, little is known about the fitness consequences of Mhc variation in wild populations. Further, most work to date has involved testing associations between Mhc genotypes and fitness components. However, the functional diversity of the Mhc, and hence the mechanism by which selection on Mhc acts, depends on how genotypes map to the functional properties of Mhc molecules. Here, we test three hypotheses that relate Mhc diversity to fitness: (i) the maximal diversity hypothesis, (ii) the optimal diversity hypothesis and (iii) effect of specific Mhc types. We combine mark-recapture methods with analysis of long-term breeding data to investigate the effects of Mhc class I functional diversity (Mhc supertypes) on individual fitness in a wild great tit (Parus major) population. We found that the presence of three different Mhc supertypes was associated with three different components of individual fitness: survival, annual recruitment and lifetime reproductive success (LRS). Great tits possessing Mhc supertype 3 experienced higher survival rates than those that did not, whereas individuals with Mhc supertype 6 experienced higher LRS and were more likely to recruit offspring each year. Conversely, great tits that possessed Mhc supertype 5 had reduced LRS. We found no evidence for a selective advantage of Mhc diversity, in terms of either maximal or optimal supertype diversity. Our results support the suggestion that specific Mhc types are an important determinant of individual fitness.

  13. Climate change reduces reproductive success of an Arctic herbivore through trophic mismatch.

    PubMed

    Post, Eric; Forchhammer, Mads C

    2008-07-12

    In highly seasonal environments, offspring production by vertebrates is timed to coincide with the annual peak of resource availability. For herbivores, this resource peak is represented by the annual onset and progression of the plant growth season. As plant phenology advances in response to climatic warming, there is potential for development of a mismatch between the peak of resource demands by reproducing herbivores and the peak of resource availability. For migratory herbivores, such as caribou, development of a trophic mismatch is particularly likely because the timing of their seasonal migration to summer ranges, where calves are born, is cued by changes in day length, while onset of the plant-growing season on the same ranges is cued by local temperatures. Using data collected since 1993 on timing of calving by caribou and timing of plant growth in West Greenland, we document the consequences for reproductive success of a developing trophic mismatch between caribou and their forage plants. As mean spring temperatures at our study site have risen by more than 4 degrees C, caribou have not kept pace with advancement of the plant-growing season on their calving range. As a consequence, offspring mortality has risen and offspring production has dropped fourfold.

  14. Reproductive success of captively bred and naturally spawned Chinook salmon colonizing newly accessible habitat.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Joseph H; Faulds, Paul L; Atlas, William I; Quinn, Thomas P

    2013-02-01

    Captively reared animals can provide an immediate demographic boost in reintroduction programs, but may also reduce the fitness of colonizing populations. Construction of a fish passage facility at Landsburg Diversion Dam on the Cedar River, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to explore this trade-off. We thoroughly sampled adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at the onset of colonization (2003-2009), constructed a pedigree from genotypes at 10 microsatellite loci, and calculated reproductive success (RS) as the total number of returning adult offspring. Hatchery males were consistently but not significantly less productive than naturally spawned males (range in relative RS: 0.70-0.90), but the pattern for females varied between years. The sex ratio was heavily biased toward males; therefore, inclusion of the hatchery males increased the risk of a genetic fitness cost with little demographic benefit. Measurements of natural selection indicated that larger salmon had higher RS than smaller fish. Fish that arrived early to the spawning grounds tended to be more productive than later fish, although in some years, RS was maximized at intermediate dates. Our results underscore the importance of natural and sexual selection in promoting adaptation during reintroductions.

  15. The effects of experimental lake acidification on the reproductive success of tree swallows

    SciTech Connect

    St. Louis, V.L.

    1992-01-01

    The effects of lake acidification on reproductive success of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding near experimentally acidified and unmanipulated reference lakes at the Experimental Lake Area (ELA) were studied. Tree swallows are aerial insectivores that commonly breed near water and forage on emergent insects. Predictions suggest that avian food abundance and quality may be altered due to acidification. Breeding swallows foraged on chironomids emerging at their nest-site lakes before searching for food elsewhere. Among the calcium-rich items consumed by the swallows, fish bones were most numerous, followed by crayfish exoskeleton, clam shell, and bird eggshell. We found significantly fewer calcium-rich items in the stomachs of nestlings from acid lakes than in those from reference lakes. Chironomid species were significantly more abundant in acid lakes, while the Chironominae were less numerous. Biomass of emerging chironomids either increased significantly following acidification, or was not different from that of reference lakes. Concentrations of Al, Ca, Mn, and Zn were on average higher in chironomids from a number of the acid lakes than in chironomids from reference lakes. Calcium concentrations in chironomids from the most acid lake were significantly lower, suggesting that Ca may be difficult to sequester at low pH levels. Hepatic concentrations of metallothioneins in tree swallow nestlings were negatively correlated with pH of the nest-site lake. Additive concentrations of Cu and Zn in the liver were correlated with liver MT concentrations, but Cd was not. Near acidified lakes, eggs were smaller in certain dimensions, hatching success was lower, certain nestling body characters were smaller, nestling wing length was shorter, and growth functions were different than near unmanipulated reference lakes. Clearly even non-aquatic organisms are affected by acidification of freshwater ecosystems.

  16. Recent progress in plant reproduction research: the story of the male gametophyte through to successful fertilization.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Go

    2009-11-01

    Sexual reproduction is an important biological event not only for evolution but also for breeding in plants. It is a well known fact that Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was interested in the reproduction system of plants as part of his concept of 'species' and 'evolution.' His keen observation and speculation is timeless even in the current post-genome era. In the Darwin anniversary year of 2009, I have summarized recent molecular genetic studies of plant reproduction, focusing especially on male gametophyte development, pollination and fertilization. We are just beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms of the elaborate reproduction system in flowering plants, which have been a mystery for >100 years.

  17. Parental Involvement and Adolescents' Educational Success: The Roles of Prior Achievement and Socioeconomic Status.

    PubMed

    Benner, Aprile D; Boyle, Alaina E; Sadler, Sydney

    2016-06-01

    Parental educational involvement in primary and secondary school is strongly linked to students' academic success; however; less is known about the long-term effects of parental involvement. In this study, we investigated the associations between four aspects of parents' educational involvement (i.e., home- and school-based involvement, educational expectations, academic advice) and young people's proximal (i.e., grades) and distal academic outcomes (i.e., educational attainment). Attention was also placed on whether these relations varied as a function of family socioeconomic status or adolescents' prior achievement. The data were drawn from 15,240 10th grade students (50 % females; 57 % White, 13 % African American, 15 % Latino, 9 % Asian American, and 6 % other race/ethnicity) participating in the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. We observed significant links between both school-based involvement and parental educational expectations and adolescents' cumulative high school grades and educational attainment. Moderation analyses revealed that school-based involvement seemed to be particularly beneficial for more disadvantaged youth (i.e., those from low-SES families, those with poorer prior achievement), whereas parents' academic socialization seemed to better promote the academic success of more advantaged youth (i.e., those from high-SES families, those with higher prior achievement). These findings suggest that academic interventions and supports could be carefully targeted to better support the educational success of all young people.

  18. Influence of Nest Box Color and Release Sites on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) Reproductive Success in a Commercial Almond Orchard.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Allan, Matthew J; Wardell, Gordon I; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2014-12-01

    Intensively managed, commercial orchards offer resources for managed solitary bees within agricultural landscapes and provide a means to study bee dispersal patterns, spatial movement, nest establishment, and reproduction. In 2012, we studied the impact of 1) the color of nest boxes covaried with four nest box density treatments and 2) the number of bee release sites covaried with two nest box density treatments on the reproductive success of Osmia lignaria Say in a California almond orchard pollinated by a mixture of O. lignaria and Apis mellifera L. Nest box color influenced the number of nests, total cells, and cells with male and female brood. More nests and cells were produced in light blue nest boxes than in orange or yellow nest boxes. The covariate nest box density also had a significant effect on brood production. The number of release sites did not affect O. lignaria nesting and reproduction, but the number of cavities in nest boxes influenced reproduction. Overall, the color of nest boxes and their distribution, but not the number of release sites, can greatly affect O. lignaria nest establishment and reproductive success in a commercial almond orchard. The ability to locate nesting sites in a homogenous, large orchard landscape may also be facilitated by the higher frequency of nest boxes with low numbers of cavities, and by the ability to detect certain nest box colors that best contrast with the blooming trees. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  19. Effects of short-term grazing exclusion on plant phenology and reproductive succession in a Tibetan alpine meadow

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-01-01

    Grazing exclusion (GE) has been widely considered as an effective avenue for restoring degraded grasslands throughout the world. GE, via modifying abiotic and biotic environments, inevitably affects phenological development. A five-year manipulative experiment was conducted in a Tibetan alpine meadow to examine the effects of GE on phenological processes and reproductive success. The study indicated that GE strongly affected phenological development of alpine plant species. Specifically, the low-growing, shallow-rooted species (LSS), such as Kobresia pygmaea, are more sensitive to GE-caused changes on upper-soil moisture and light. GE advanced each phonological process of K. pygmaea, except in the case of the treatment of fencing for 5 years (F5), which postponed the reproductive stage and lowered the reproductive success of K. pygmaea. Increased soil moisture triggered by GE, especially in the upper soil, may stimulate growth of LSS. However, the thick litter layer under the F5 treatment can influence the photoperiod of LSS, resulting in suppression of its reproductive development. These findings indicate that plant traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and plant height, mediate plant phenology and reproductive responses to grazing exclusion treatments. PMID:27301554

  20. Effects of short-term grazing exclusion on plant phenology and reproductive succession in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-06-15

    Grazing exclusion (GE) has been widely considered as an effective avenue for restoring degraded grasslands throughout the world. GE, via modifying abiotic and biotic environments, inevitably affects phenological development. A five-year manipulative experiment was conducted in a Tibetan alpine meadow to examine the effects of GE on phenological processes and reproductive success. The study indicated that GE strongly affected phenological development of alpine plant species. Specifically, the low-growing, shallow-rooted species (LSS), such as Kobresia pygmaea, are more sensitive to GE-caused changes on upper-soil moisture and light. GE advanced each phonological process of K. pygmaea, except in the case of the treatment of fencing for 5 years (F5), which postponed the reproductive stage and lowered the reproductive success of K. pygmaea. Increased soil moisture triggered by GE, especially in the upper soil, may stimulate growth of LSS. However, the thick litter layer under the F5 treatment can influence the photoperiod of LSS, resulting in suppression of its reproductive development. These findings indicate that plant traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and plant height, mediate plant phenology and reproductive responses to grazing exclusion treatments.

  1. Patterns of male reproductive success in a highly promiscuous whale species: the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    PubMed

    Frasier, T R; Hamilton, P K; Brown, M W; Conger, L A; Knowlton, A R; Marx, M K; Slay, C K; Kraus, S D; White, B N

    2007-12-01

    Parentage analyses of baleen whales are rare, and although mating systems have been hypothesized for some species, little data on realized male reproductive success are available and the patterns of male reproductive success have remained elusive for most species. Here we combine over 20 years of photo-identification data with high-resolution genetic data for the majority of individual North Atlantic right whales to assess paternity in this endangered species. There was significant skew in male reproductive success compared to what would be expected if mating was random (P < 0.001). The difference was due to an excess of males assigned zero paternities, a deficiency of males assigned one paternity, and an excess of males assigned as fathers for multiple calves. The variance in male reproductive success was high relative to other aquatically mating marine mammals, but was low relative to mammals where the mating system is based on resource- and/or mate-defence polygyny. These results are consistent with previous data suggesting that the right whale mating system represents one of the most intense examples of sperm competition in mammals, but that sperm competition on its own does not allow for the same degree of polygyny as systems where males can control access to resources and/or mates. The age distribution of assigned fathers was significantly biased towards older males (P < 0.05), with males not obtaining their first paternity until approximately 15 years of age, which is almost twice the average age of first fertilization in females (8 years), suggesting that mate competition is preventing younger males from reproducing. The uneven distribution of paternities results in a lower effective population size in this species that already has one of the lowest reported levels of genetic diversity, which may further inhibit reproductive success through mate incompatibility of genetically similar individuals.

  2. Within-season increase in parental investment in a long-lived bird species: investment shifts to maximize successful reproduction?

    PubMed

    Schneider, N A; Griesser, M

    2015-01-01

    In nest-building species predation of nest contents is a main cause of reproductive failure and parents have to trade off reproductive investment against antipredatory behaviours. While this trade-off is modified by lifespan (short-lived species prioritize current reproduction; long-lived species prioritize future reproduction), it may vary within a breeding season, but this idea has only been tested in short-lived species. Yet, life history theory does not make any prediction how long-lived species should trade off current against future reproductive investment within a season. Here, we investigated this trade-off through predator-exposure experiments in a long-lived bird species, the brown thornbill. We exposed breeding pairs that had no prior within-season reproductive success to the models of a nest predator and a predator of adults during their first or second breeding attempt. Overall, parents reduced their feeding rate in the presence of a predator, but parents feeding second broods were more risk sensitive and almost ceased feeding when exposed to both types of predators. However, during second breeding attempts, parents had larger clutches and a higher feeding rate in the absence of predators than during first breeding attempts and approached both types of predators closer when mobbing. Our results suggest that the trade-off between reproductive investment and risk-taking can change in a long-lived species within a breeding season depending on both prior nest predation and renesting opportunities. These patterns correspond to those in short-lived species, raising the question of whether a within-season shift in reproductive investment trade-offs is independent of lifespan. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  3. An evaluation of the effects of persistent environmental contaminants on the reproductive success of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) in Indiana.

    PubMed

    Baker, S D; Sepúlveda, M S

    2009-04-01

    Contaminants in Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) from Indiana were quantified to determine if levels were high enough to impair reproduction. During 2005 and 2006, 35 eggs were collected from 6 colonies and analyzed for contaminants. Between 30 and 101 nests were monitored in 7 colonies weekly over a 3-month period to determine reproductive and fledging success. Average levels (+/-SD) of polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and organochlorine pesticides in egg yolks were 3,101 (+/-4,737), 7.20 (+/-2.96), and 2,869 (+/-2,291) ppb, respectively. Reproductive success (average number of chicks fledged per active nest) and fledging success (number of chicks fledged per successful nest) averaged 1.52 and 1.92 chicks, respectively. Contaminant levels measured in eggs from this region are comparable to those observed not having affects on reproductive success elsewhere; therefore, factors other than environmental contamination may be affecting reproductive success of Great Blue Herons in study colonies.

  4. Maternal transfer of contaminants and reduced reproductive success of southern toads ( Bufo [Anaxyrus] terrestris ) exposed to coal combustion waste.

    PubMed

    Metts, Brian S; Buhlmann, Kurt A; Tuberville, Tracey D; Scott, David E; Hopkins, William A

    2013-03-19

    Bioaccumulation of contaminants and subsequent maternal transfer to offspring are important factors that affect the reproductive success of wildlife. However, maternal transfer of contaminants has rarely been investigated in amphibians. We examined maternal transfer of trace elements in southern toads ( Bufo[Anaxyrus] terrestris) residing in two locations: (1) an active coal combustion waste (CCW) disposal basin and adjacent 40-ha floodplain contaminated with CCW over 35 years ago and (2) an uncontaminated reference site. Our study is among the few to document tissue concentration-dependent maternal transfer of contaminants and associated adverse effects in amphibians. We found that females collected from the CCW-contaminated area had elevated concentrations of Ni, Se, and Sr; these females also transferred elevated levels of Cu, Pb, Se, and Sr to their eggs compared to females from the reference site. Overall reproductive success, estimated as a function of clutch size and offspring viability, was reduced by 27% in clutches collected from parents from the contaminated site compared to the reference site. Offspring viability negatively correlated with female and/or egg concentrations of Se and Ni. Reproductive success negatively correlated with Se and Cu concentrations in females, and Se concentrations in eggs. Our study highlights how exposure to CCW can negatively affect amphibian reproduction.

  5. Methoprene and protein supplements accelerate reproductive development and improve mating success of male tephritid flies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We have been studying the physiological mechanisms responsible for coordination of reproductive maturity and sex pheromone communication in males of tephritid flies in order to develop methods for acceleration of reproductive maturity among sterilized males. Our studies revealed that the juvenile ho...

  6. Examination on the Reproductive Success of Re-Invading Varroa Mites

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    High proportions of non-reproductive (NR) Varroa mites have been reported in honey bee colonies exhibiting resistance to this parasite. This non-reproduction is associated with hygienic behavior (Harris et al., 2010 Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 103: 146-152); however, the mechanism by which this occurs is...

  7. Male traits, mating tactics and reproductive success in the buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis.

    PubMed

    Lanctot; Weatherhead; Kempenaers; Scribner

    1998-08-01

    Buff-breasted sandpipers use a variety of mating tactics to acquire mates, including remaining at a single lek for most of the breeding season, attending multiple leks during the season, displaying solitarily or displaying both on leks and solitarily. We found that differences in body size, body condition, fluctuating asymmetry scores, wing coloration, territory location and behaviour (attraction, solicitation and agonistic) did not explain the observed variation in mating tactics used by males. Which males abandoned versus returned to leks was also not related to morphology or behaviour, and there was no tendency for males to join leks that were larger or smaller than the lek they abandoned. These results suggest that male desertion of leks was not dependent on a male's characteristics nor on the size of the lek he was presently attending. Males did join leks with larger males than their previous lek, perhaps to mate with females attracted to these larger 'hotshot' males. Males at both leks and solitary sites successfully mated. Lek tenure did not affect mating success, although lekking males appeared to mate more frequently than solitary males. Courtship disruption and to a lesser extent, female mimicry, were effective at preventing females from mating at leks, and may offer a partial explanation for female mating off leks. Our analysis that combined all males together within a year (regardless of mating tactic) indicated that males that attended leks for longer periods of time and that had fewer wing spots were significantly more likely to mate. Given some evidence that wing spotting declines with age, and that females inspect male underwings during courtship, the latter result suggests that female choice may play some role in determining male success. We suggest that male buff-breasted sandpipers may use alternative mating tactics more readily than males in other 'classic' lek-breeding species because: (1) unpredictable breeding conditions in this species' high

  8. Male traits, mating tactics and reproductive success in the buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanctot, Richard B.; Weatherhead, Patrick J.; Kempenaers, Bart; Scribner, Kim T.

    1998-01-01

    Buff-breasted sandpipers use a variety of mating tactics to acquire mates, including remaining at a single lek for most of the breeding season, attending multiple leks during the season, displaying solitarily or displaying both on leks and solitarily. We found that differences in body size, body condition, fluctuating asymmetry scores, wing coloration, territory location and behaviour (attraction, solicitation and agonistic) did not explain the observed variation in mating tactics used by males. Which males abandoned versus returned to leks was also not related to morphology or behaviour, and there was no tendency for males to join leks that were larger or smaller than the lek they abandoned. These results suggest that male desertion of leks was not dependent on a male's characteristics nor on the size of the lek he was presently attending. Males did join leks with larger males than their previous lek, perhaps to mate with females attracted to these larger 'hotshot' males. Males at both leks and solitary sites successfully mated. Lek tenure did not affect mating success, although lekking males appeared to mate more frequently than solitary males. Courtship disruption and to a lesser extent, female mimicry, were effective at preventing females from mating at leks, and may offer a partial explanation for female mating off leks. Our analysis that combined all males together within a year (regardless of mating tactic) indicated that males that attended leks for longer periods of time and that had fewer wing spots were significantly more likely to mate. Given some evidence that wing spotting declines with age, and that females inspect male underwings during courtship, the latter result suggests that female choice may play some role in determining male success. We suggest that male buff-breasted sandpipers may use alternative mating tactics more readily than males in other 'classic' lek-breeding species because: (1) unpredictable breeding conditions in this species' high

  9. Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America: an analysis of trends, commitments and achievements.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Emma; Birn, Anne-Emanuelle

    2011-11-01

    The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 defined strategies and goals for advancing reproductive health and rights that are still far from being reached in Latin America. This paper will use elements of a framework developed by Gruskin et al(1) that analyses the interconnected factors affecting the sexual and reproductive health of people living with HIV. We use and adapt some of these elements to examine the extent to which sexual and reproductive rights have been realized in Latin America since 1994. Specifically, we consider the rights, needs and aspirations of people; the socioeconomic context; national and international law and policy; health systems, services and programmes; the opposition; the perceived high costs of political support; the role of civil society, NGO networks and coalitions; and development aid, donor policy and government funding. There are a growing number of progressive regional and national bodies, organizations, groups and individuals with a commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the region, and many gains have been made in the realization of these rights. However, these gains are only partial, given the acute inequality across ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic lines, and there is evidence of widening gaps. Given the breadth of the subject and the number of countries involved, this paper can cite only a few of the enormous number of examples from the literature. We hope the paper will stimulate further in-depth, critical reviews of these issues at the country and regional level. Copyright © 2011 Reproductive Health Matters. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Characterizing the interaction between the bogus yucca moth and yuccas: do bogus yucca moths impact yucca reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Althoff, David M; Segraves, Kari A; Sparks, Jed P

    2004-07-01

    Yucca moths are most well known for their obligate pollination mutualism with yuccas, where pollinator moths provide yuccas with pollen and, in exchange, the moth larvae feed on a subset of the developing yucca seeds. The pollinators, however, comprise only two of the three genera of yucca moths. Members of the third genus, Prodoxus, are the "bogus yucca moths" and are sister to the pollinator moths. Adult Prodoxus lack the specialized mouthparts used for pollination and the larvae feed on plant tissues other than seeds. Prodoxus larvae feed within the same plants as pollinator larvae and have the potential to influence yucca reproductive success directly by drawing resources away from flowers and fruit, or indirectly by modifying the costs of the mutualism with pollinators. We examined the interaction between the scape-feeding bogus yucca moth, Prodoxus decipiens, and one of its yucca hosts, Yucca filamentosa, by comparing female reproductive success of plants with and without moth larvae. We determined reproductive success by measuring a set of common reproductive traits such as flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination. In addition, we also quantified the percent total nitrogen in the seeds to determine whether the presence of larvae could potentially reduce seed quality. Flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination were not significantly different between plants with and without bogus yucca moth larvae. In contrast, the percent total nitrogen content of seeds was significantly lower in plants with P. decipiens larvae, and nitrogen content was negatively correlated with the number of larvae feeding within the inflorescence scape. Surveys of percent total nitrogen at three time periods during the flowering and fruiting of Y. filamentosa also showed that larval feeding decreased the amount of nitrogen in fruit tissue. Taken together, the results suggest that although P. decipiens influences nitrogen distribution in Y. filamentosa, this

  11. Supporting women to achieve breastfeeding to six months postpartum - The theoretical foundations of a successful program.

    PubMed

    Meedya, Shahla; Fahy, Kathleen; Parratt, Jenny; Yoxall, Jacqui

    2015-12-01

    Although the benefits of breastfeeding to six months are well-established, only about half of Australian women succeed. The factors associated with successful breastfeeding are rarely translated into effective interventions. A new educational and support program, called the Milky Way program has been demonstrated to be effective in supporting women to achieve prolonged breastfeeding. In the Milky Way program, breastfeeding is considered an embodied performance which requires an engaged combination of body, mind and spirit. This paper aims to explain how the two theories that informed the program were used to better enable women's long term breastfeeding success. The theory of self-efficacy is first described as a way to develop women's cognitive processes to organise and execute the course of actions to breastfeed for a longer period of time. Birth territory theory is then presented. This theory discusses women as embodied selves; an essential concept for breastfeeding success. Birth territory theory also describes the effects of the holistic environment on the woman and explores the effects of power that is used in the environment. This power can be used integratively to strengthen the woman's breastfeeding confidence and success or, disintergratively which reduces her confidence and undermines her success. Strategies based on self-efficacy theory are helpful, but are not sufficient to promote breastfeeding to six months. Health educators also need to foster the woman's connection to, and trust in, her body and her baby's body to breastfeed spontaneously. Being aware of environmental impacts on how the woman and baby breastfeed; and using one's own power integratively is crucial to women being able to achieve prolonged breastfeeding. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Fecal progestin concentrations as an indicator of reproductive success in American Mink.

    PubMed

    Cao, Xinyan; Wei, Haijun; Xue, Hailong; Li, Xiaoxia; Zhao, Weigang; Xu, Chao; Wang, Shiyong; Diao, Yunfei; Rose, Jack; Xu, Baozeng

    2016-02-01

    Efforts to increase mink reproductive success (live births and litter sizes) can be partly assessed by measurement of blood progesterone levels. However, the stress of blood sampling increases the incidence of failed matings, aborted fetuses and death of the dam. We have therefore non-invasively measured fecal progesterone metabolite (progestin) concentrations during the reproductive cycle of mink. We tested the hypothesis that fecal progestin concentrations during the window of implantation (late March-early April) will, (1): be higher for whelping than non-whelping mink, and (2): be higher for mink mated multiple times, compared to single matings. Mink were mated once (March 3), twice (March 3 and 10) or three times (March 3, 10 and 11) and fecal progestin concentrations determined from March 1 to April 30. The percent mink in each group giving birth to live offspring was 42.8%, 80.8% and 92.3% for mink mated once, twice or three times, respectively (P<0.05). Litter sizes did not differ among mink mated once (5.22±0.55), twice (6.29±0.35) or three times (6.08±0.32; P>0.05). Mean fecal progestin concentrations from mating to diapause (March 19) did not differ between mink that whelped or not, nor in response to the number of times mated. However, mean fecal progestin concentrations for mink that whelped were higher on March 25 (peri-implantation) than March 19 after being mated once (51.96±2.96 vs 23.53±1.89nM/g dry wt; P<0.05), twice (66.00±1.60 vs 25.57±1.28nM/g dry wt; P<0.05) or three times (66.48±1.42/g vs 19.16±1.09nM/g dry wt; P<0.05). During implantation (April 5), mean fecal progestin concentrations for mink that whelped after being mated once (146.60±10.02nM/g dry wt), twice (162.10±5.64nM/g dry wt) or three times (188.50±3.92nM/g dry wt) were significantly higher than for those that failed to whelp; 119.30±8.87nM/g dry wt, 77.84±5.86nM/g dry wt. and 118.9±6.55nM/g dry wt., respectively (P<0.05). Our findings suggest that measurement of

  13. Chromosomal aberrations, reproductive success, life span, and mortality in irradiated Neanthes arenaceodentata (polychaeta)

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, S.L.; Harrison, F.L.; Chan, G.; Moore, D.H. II

    1987-10-01

    The polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata ws used in experiments to determine possible relationships between short-term genotoxicity tests and reproductive and lethal consequences of exposure to ionizing radiation. Groups of juvenile N. arenaceodentata received one of four different radiation doses (2, 4, 8, and 16 Gy) to determine dose-effect estimates for chromosomal aberration induction, and groups of both adult and juveniles received one of seven different radiation doses (1, 4, 8.4, 46, 102, 500, and 1000 Gy) to determine dose-effect estimates for reproduction, mortality, and life span. Effects on reproduction and genetic material were observed at the lowest doses and in the same range; detrimental reproductive effects were observed at 1 to 4 Gy, and the frequency of chromosomal aberrations were significantly increased at 2 Gy. Only high doses resulted in acute mortality (>500 Gy) and decreased life span (>100 Gy). Dose-effect estimates for chromosomal aberration induction were dependant on radiation dose and on the stage of the cell cycle at the time of irradiation. Dose-effect estimates for reproduction were dependant on dose and the potential for repopulation of gonadal tissue. Such knowledge is required because factors, such as cell-cycle effects, may modify dose-effect estimates. It is concluded that short-term genotoxicity tests can be predictive of detrimental reproductive effects in those model systems for which basic cell kinetics and reproductive parameters are well known. 4 refs., 11 figs., 13 tabs.

  14. Lead concentrations and reproductive success in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within highway roadside verges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Hoffman, D.J.; Beyer, W.N.; Franson, L.P.

    1986-01-01

    In 1981, the authors studied lead concentrations and reproductive success in free-living European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within the verges of two Maryland highways with different traffic volumes, Route 197(average daily traffic volume[ADT] = 10,800 vehicles) and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (ADT=52,500 vehicles) and a nearby control area. Concentrations (mg kg-1 dry weight) of lead in the ingesta (84-94 mg kg-1), carcasses (4.0-9.6 mg kg-1)and feathers (6.8-52 mg kg-1) of Parkway nestlings and adults were 3 to 13 times those found in starlings from the control area, whereas lead concentrations in the ingesta and tissues of starlings from the verge of Route 197 were similar to those of controls. Activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells (RBCs) of adult and nestling starlings from the Parkway was depressed from 43 to 60% compared to controls. RBC ALAD activity in adults from nests along Route 197 was similar to that of adult starlings from the control area, but that of their young was depressed 17%. Haemoglobin concentrations (-16%) and haematocrits (-10%) in Parkway nestlings were depressed compared with those of nestlings from the other two study areas, whereas those of adults were not affected. Clutch size, number of young hatched and the number of young in nests 1 to 3 days before fledging were similar among sites, as were body weights of adults and prefledging weights of their young. However, brain weights of Parkway nestlings were lower (P < 0.05) than those of nestlings from the other study areas. Results suggests that lead within verges of major highways probably does not pose a serious hazard to adult ground-foraging songbirds. However, the effects of lead-induced reductions in haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, RBC ALAD activity and brain weight on the postfledging survival of their young are not known.

  15. Contaminant exposure and reproductive success of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Golden, N.H.; Hatfield, J.S.; Toschik, P.C.; Lukei, R.F.; Hale, R.C.; Schmitz-Afonso, I.; Rice, C.P.

    2004-01-01

    The Chesapeake Bay osprey population has more than doubled in size since restrictions were placed on the production and use of DDT and other toxic organochlorine contaminants in the 1970s. Ospreys are now nesting in the most highly polluted portions of the Bay. In 2000 and 2001, contaminant exposure and reproduction were monitored in ospreys nesting in regions of concern, including Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River, the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers, and the Elizabeth River, and a presumed reference site consisting of the South, West, and Rhode rivers. A 'sample egg' from each study nest was collected for contaminant analysis, and the fate of eggs remaining in each nest (n = 14-16/site) was monitored at 7- to 10-day intervals from egg incubation through fledging of young. Ospreys fledged young in regions of concern (observed success: 0.88 -1.53 fledglings/active nest), although productivity was marginal for sustaining local populations in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River and in the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers. Concentrations of p,p'DDE and many other organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, some arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and perfluorooctanesulfonate were often greater in sample eggs from regions of concern compared to the reference site. Nonetheless, logistic regression analyses did not provide evidence linking marginal productivity to p,p' -DDE, total PCBs, or arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congener exposure in regions of concern. In view of the moderate concentrations of total PCBs in eggs from the reference site, concerns related to new and emerging toxicants, and the absence of ecotoxicological data for terrestrial vertebrates in many Bay tributaries, a more thorough spatial evaluation of contaminant exposure in ospreys throughout the Chesapeake may be warranted.

  16. Potential influences of climate and nest structure on spotted owl reproductive success: a biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    Rockweit, Jeremy T; Franklin, Alan B; Bakken, George S; Gutiérrez, R J

    2012-01-01

    Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (h(c)) of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests), at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of h(c) in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (~36 °C) to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ~26 °C) under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season.

  17. Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Brickhill, Daisy; Evans, Peter Gh; Reid, Jane M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding population dynamics requires spatio-temporal variation in demography to be measured across appropriate spatial and temporal scales. However, the most appropriate spatial scale(s) may not be obvious, few datasets cover sufficient time periods, and key demographic rates are often incompletely measured. Consequently, it is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. Here, we quantify small-scale spatial and temporal variation in a key demographic rate, reproductive success (RS), within an apparently contiguous population of European starlings. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to define spatial clusters of nest sites at multiple small spatial scales and long-term data to test the hypothesis that small-scale spatio-temporal variation in RS occurred. RS was measured as the number of chicks alive ca. 12 days posthatch either per first brood or per nest site per breeding season (thereby incorporating multiple breeding attempts). First brood RS varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. Furthermore, the pattern of spatial variation was stable across years; some nest clusters consistently produced more chicks than others. Total seasonal RS also varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. However, the magnitude of variation was much larger and the pattern of spatial variation was no longer temporally consistent. Furthermore, the estimated magnitude of spatial variation in RS was greater at smaller spatial scales. We thereby demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variation in RS occurring at very small spatial scales. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if season-long RS had not been measured. Such small-scale spatio-temporal variation should be incorporated into empirical and theoretical treatments of population dynamics.

  18. Intra-inflorescence variation in floral traits and reproductive success of the hermaphrodite Silene acutifolia.

    PubMed

    Buide, María Luisa

    2004-09-01

    Intraspecific variation in floral components and reproductive success is often located at the intra-individual level. The arrangement of flowers within inflorescences may explain a great deal of this variation. The variation in number of ovules, fruit set, number of seeds per fruit, seed set, seed weight and seed germination is investigated at different positions within the inflorescence of Silene acutifolia. Data were obtained in natural populations, and germination experiments were conducted in a germination chamber. The number of ovules, fruit set, number of seeds, seed set and seed weight, showed a significant decline from early (primary) position to later (tertiary) position. The patterns of intra-inflorescence variation were consistent in different populations and years of study. Seed germination showed an opposite pattern, seeds from primary position showed the lowest germination percentages and seeds from tertiary position the highest, although the effect of position on germination was only marginally significant. There was significant among-population variation in number of ovules per flower. Fruit set also varied significantly among populations, with lower fruit set in the smaller and more isolated population. No significant among-population differences were detected in number of seeds per fruit and seed set. Seeds from the smallest and more isolated population (Arnado) were the lightest. Seed germination showed strong differences between populations, seeds from Arnado started to germinate later, and showed the lowest final germination percentages. Architectural effects or resource competition are the most commonly proposed hypothesis to explain these patterns. Data suggest that there is less pollen available to pollinate tertiary flowers, and that there is not enough outcross pollen in Arnado. The germination percentages suggest that there is variation in the source of pollen within inflorescences, with high probability of receiving outcross pollen in

  19. Potential Influences of Climate and Nest Structure on Spotted Owl Reproductive Success: A Biophysical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rockweit, Jeremy T.; Franklin, Alan B.; Bakken, George S.; Gutiérrez, R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (hc) of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests), at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of hc in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (∼36°C) to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ∼26°C) under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season. PMID:22859993

  20. The effects of chronic radiation on reproductive success of the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, F.L.; Anderson, S.L.

    1988-12-01

    The effects of lifetime exposure to chronic irradiation on reproductive success were assessed for laboratory populations of the polychaete worm Neanthes arenaceodentata. Lifetime exposure was initiated upon the spawning of the P1 female and was terminated upon spawning of the F1 female. Groups of experimental worms received either no radiation (controls) or 0.19, 2.1, or 17 mGy/h. The total dose received by the worms was either background or approximately 0.55, 6.5, or 54 Gy, respectively. The broods from the F1 mated pairs were sacrificed before hatching occurred, and information was obtained on brood size, on the number of normal and abnormal embryos, and on the number of embryos that were living, dying, and dead. The mean number of embryos in the broods from the F1 females exposed to lifetime radiation of 0.19 and 2.1 mGy/h was not significantly different from the mean number of embryos from control females; however, the mean number of embryos was different from those F1 females exposed to 17 mGy/h. There was a significant reduction in the number of live embryos in the broods from the F1 mated pairs that were exposed to the lowest dose rate given, 0.19 mGy/h, as well as those exposed to 2.1 and 17 mGy/h. Also, increased percentages of abnormal embryos were determined in the broods of all the radiation-exposed groups. 39 refs., 10 figs., 15 tabs.

  1. Invasion of an exotic forb impacts reproductive success and site fidelity of a migratory songbird.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Yvette Katina; McKelvey, Kevin Scot; Six, Diana Lee

    2006-08-01

    Although exotic plant invasions threaten natural systems worldwide, we know little about the specific ecological impacts of invaders, including the magnitude of effects and underlying mechanisms. Exotic plants are likely to impact higher trophic levels when they overrun native plant communities, affecting habitat quality for breeding songbirds by altering food availability and/or nest predation levels. We studied chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) breeding in savannas that were either dominated by native vegetation or invaded by spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), an exotic forb that substantially reduces diversity and abundance of native herbaceous plant species. Chipping sparrows primarily nest in trees but forage on the ground, consuming seeds and arthropods. We found that predation rates did not differ between nests at knapweed and native sites. However, initiation of first nests was delayed at knapweed versus native sites, an effect frequently associated with low food availability. Our seasonal fecundity model indicated that breeding delays could translate to diminished fecundity, including dramatic declines in the incidence of double brooding. Site fidelity of breeding adults was also substantially reduced in knapweed compared to native habitats, as measured by return rates and shifts in territory locations between years. Declines in reproductive success and site fidelity were greater for yearling versus older birds, and knapweed invasion appeared to exacerbate differences between age classes. In addition, grasshoppers, which represent an important prey resource, were substantially reduced in knapweed versus native habitats. Our results strongly suggest that knapweed invasion can impact chipping sparrow populations by reducing food availability. Food chain effects may be an important mechanism by which strong plant invaders impact songbirds and other consumers.

  2. Spatio-temporal variation in European starling reproductive success at multiple small spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Brickhill, Daisy; Evans, Peter GH; Reid, Jane M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding population dynamics requires spatio-temporal variation in demography to be measured across appropriate spatial and temporal scales. However, the most appropriate spatial scale(s) may not be obvious, few datasets cover sufficient time periods, and key demographic rates are often incompletely measured. Consequently, it is often assumed that demography will be spatially homogeneous within populations that lack obvious subdivision. Here, we quantify small-scale spatial and temporal variation in a key demographic rate, reproductive success (RS), within an apparently contiguous population of European starlings. We used hierarchical cluster analysis to define spatial clusters of nest sites at multiple small spatial scales and long-term data to test the hypothesis that small-scale spatio-temporal variation in RS occurred. RS was measured as the number of chicks alive ca. 12 days posthatch either per first brood or per nest site per breeding season (thereby incorporating multiple breeding attempts). First brood RS varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. Furthermore, the pattern of spatial variation was stable across years; some nest clusters consistently produced more chicks than others. Total seasonal RS also varied substantially among spatial clusters and years. However, the magnitude of variation was much larger and the pattern of spatial variation was no longer temporally consistent. Furthermore, the estimated magnitude of spatial variation in RS was greater at smaller spatial scales. We thereby demonstrate substantial spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal variation in RS occurring at very small spatial scales. We show that the estimated magnitude of this variation depended on spatial scale and that spatio-temporal variation would not have been detected if season-long RS had not been measured. Such small-scale spatio-temporal variation should be incorporated into empirical and theoretical treatments of population dynamics. PMID:26380670

  3. Contaminant exposure and reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern.

    PubMed

    Rattner, B A; McGowan, P C; Golden, N H; Hatfield, J S; Toschik, P C; Lukei, R F; Hale, R C; Schmitz-Afonso, I; Rice, C P

    2004-07-01

    The Chesapeake Bay osprey population has more than doubled in size since restrictions were placed on the production and use of DDT and other toxic organochlorine contaminants in the 1970s. Ospreys are now nesting in the most highly polluted portions of the Bay. In 2000 and 2001, contaminant exposure and reproduction were monitored in ospreys nesting in regions of concern, including Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River, the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers, and the Elizabeth River, and a presumed reference site consisting of the South, West, and Rhode rivers. A "sample egg" from each study nest was collected for contaminant analysis, and the fate of eggs remaining in each nest (n = 14-16/site) was monitored at 7- to 10-day intervals from egg incubation through fledging of young. Ospreys fledged young in regions of concern (observed success: 0.88-1.53 fledglings/active nest), although productivity was marginal for sustaining local populations in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River and in the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers. Concentrations of p,p'-DDE and many other organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, some arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and perfluorooctanesulfonate were often greater in sample eggs from regions of concern compared to the reference site. Nonetheless, logistic regression analyses did not provide evidence linking marginal productivity to p,p'-DDE, total PCBs, or arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congener exposure in regions of concern. In view of the moderate concentrations of total PCBs in eggs from the reference site, concerns related to new and emerging toxicants, and the absence of ecotoxicological data for terrestrial vertebrates in many Bay tributaries, a more thorough spatial evaluation of contaminant exposure in ospreys throughout the Chesapeake may be warranted.

  4. Effects of forest fragmentation on phenological patterns and reproductive success of the tropical dry forest tree Ceiba aesculifolia.

    PubMed

    Herrerías-Diego, Yvonne; Quesada, Mauricio; Stoner, Kathryn E; Lobo, Jorge A

    2006-08-01

    Spatial isolation caused by forest fragmentation and temporal isolation caused by asynchronous flowering of plants have been proposed as important factors that affect the reproduction ofplant populations. In a 4-year study, we determined the effects of forest fragmentation and spatial isolation on flowering phenology and reproductive success of the tropical tree Ceiba aesculifolia ([Kunth] Britton & Rose). We conducted our study in the dry forest of Mexico and compared populations in two habitat conditions based on density and environmental conditions: (1) disturbed habitat (four populations of < or =3 reproductive individuals/ha surrounded by agriculturalfields or pastures) and (2) undisturbed habitat (three populations of groups of >6 reproductive individuals/ha surrounded by undisturbed mature forest). We compared the following variables within these populations over 4 years: flowering overlap, proportion of individuals with flowers and fruit, total flower production, total fruit production, fruit set, seed production, and seed abortion. Little overlap in flowering occurred among the populations in the two habitat conditions. The flowering period of trees in the disturbed habitat initiated between 15 to 20 days before the flowering period of trees in the undisturbed habitat during 3 years. Flowering of trees in the undisturbed habitat peaked at the end of the flowering period of the trees in the disturbed habitat. The proportion of trees that flowered was greater in the undisturbed habitat. Nevertheless, total flower production was greater in the disturbed habitat and these differences were maintained across 3 years. The proportion of individuals that produced fruit did not differ across habitat conditions but did differ across years. Total fruit production was greater in the disturbed habitat, but fruit set and seed production were the same across years and between habitat conditions. Seed abortion varied over years between habitats. We concluded that forest

  5. The effect of petal size manipulation on pollinator/seed-predator mediated female reproductive success of Hibiscus moscheutos.

    PubMed

    Kudoh, Hiroshi; Whigham, Dennis F

    1998-11-01

    The effects of petal-size manipulations on the behavior of pollinators and pollen/seed predators, and on pollen removal and deposition, were studied in Hibiscus moscheutos (Malvaceae) populations. The ultimate effects on the female reproductive success of flowers, such as fruit set, seed predation rate, and final seed set were also measured. We applied three levels of petal removal (100%, 50%, and 0% size reduction in radius) to flowers in natural populations. Two pollinators (Bombus pennsylvanicus and Ptilothrix bombiformis) ignored flowers without petals, suggesting that pollinators use petals as a visual cue to locate flowers. Consequently, 100% petal removal reduced female reproductive success considerably, mainly through a higher rate of fruit abortion due to failure of pollen deposition on stigmas. No significant differences between the 50% petal removal treatment and uncut control were detected in any components of female success examined. The results, therefore, suggest that differences in petal size have little influence on female reproductive success of Hibiscus flowers at our study site. Final seed set varied considerably depending on the larval densities of two coleopteran seed predators (Althaeus hibisci and Conotrachelus fissunguis). A. hibisci responded to petal size, and a higher density of adults was found in flowers in which petal size had not been reduced. Because Althaeus feed on pollen as adults and no effect of petal size on seed predation was detected, the preference of Althaeus for larger flowers may represent a foraging strategy for adult beetles and may exert counteracting selection pressure on petal size through male reproductive success of flowers.

  6. The potential impacts of migratory difficulty, including warmer waters and altered flow conditions, on the reproductive success of salmonid fishes

    PubMed Central

    Fenkes, Miriam; Shiels, Holly A.; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Nudds, Robert L.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change and urbanisation of watercourses affect water temperatures and current flow velocities in river systems on a global scale. This represents a particularly critical issue for migratory fish species with complex life histories that use rivers to reproduce. Salmonids are migratory keystone species that provide substantial economical value to ecosystems and human societies. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the effects of environmental stressors on their reproductive success is critical in order to ensure their continued abundance during future climatic change. Salmonids are capital breeders, relying entirely on endogenous energy stores to fuel return migration to their natal spawning sites and reproduction upon arrival. Metabolic rates and cost of transport en-route increase with temperature and at extreme temperatures, swimming is increasingly fuelled anaerobically, resulting in an oxygen debt and reduced capacity to recover from exhaustive exercise. Thermally challenged salmonids also produce less viable gametes, which themselves are affected by water temperature after release. Passage through hydrological barriers and temperature changes both affect energy expenditure. As a result, important energetic tradeoffs emerge between extra energy used during migration and that available for other facets of the reproductive cycle, such as reproductive competition and gamete production. However, studies identifying these tradeoffs are extremely sparse. This review focuses on the specific locomotor responses of salmonids to thermal and hydrological challenges, identifying gaps in our knowledge and highlighting the potential implications for key aspects of their reproduction. PMID:26603555

  7. The potential impacts of migratory difficulty, including warmer waters and altered flow conditions, on the reproductive success of salmonid fishes.

    PubMed

    Fenkes, Miriam; Shiels, Holly A; Fitzpatrick, John L; Nudds, Robert L

    2016-03-01

    Climate change and urbanisation of watercourses affect water temperatures and current flow velocities in river systems on a global scale. This represents a particularly critical issue for migratory fish species with complex life histories that use rivers to reproduce. Salmonids are migratory keystone species that provide substantial economical value to ecosystems and human societies. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of the effects of environmental stressors on their reproductive success is critical in order to ensure their continued abundance during future climatic change. Salmonids are capital breeders, relying entirely on endogenous energy stores to fuel return migration to their natal spawning sites and reproduction upon arrival. Metabolic rates and cost of transport en-route increase with temperature and at extreme temperatures, swimming is increasingly fuelled anaerobically, resulting in an oxygen debt and reduced capacity to recover from exhaustive exercise. Thermally challenged salmonids also produce less viable gametes, which themselves are affected by water temperature after release. Passage through hydrological barriers and temperature changes both affect energy expenditure. As a result, important energetic tradeoffs emerge between extra energy used during migration and that available for other facets of the reproductive cycle, such as reproductive competition and gamete production. However, studies identifying these tradeoffs are extremely sparse. This review focuses on the specific locomotor responses of salmonids to thermal and hydrological challenges, identifying gaps in our knowledge and highlighting the potential implications for key aspects of their reproduction.

  8. Stories of Suc