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Sample records for affected reproductive success

  1. 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. PMID:18410290

  2. 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. PMID:25138258

  3. 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. PMID:23124333

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26081278

  8. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring. PMID:25253454

  9. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  10. 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. PMID:26223357

  11. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

  12. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:23163395

  15. Acute exposure to gas-supersaturated water does not affect reproductive success of female adult chinook salmon late in maturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gale, William L.; Maule, A.G.; Postera, A.; Peters, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    At times, total dissolved gas concentrations in the Columbia and Snake rivers have been elevated due to involuntary spill from high spring runoff and voluntary spill used as a method to pass juvenile salmonids over dams. The goal of this project was to determine if acute exposure to total dissolved gas supersaturation (TDGS) affects the reproductive performance of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. During this study, adult female spring chinook salmon were exposed to mean TDGS levels of 114.1 % to 125.5%. We ended exposures at first mortality, or at the appearance of impending death. Based on this criterion, exposures lasted from 10 to 68 h and were inversely related to TDGS. There was no effect of TDGS on pre-spawning mortality or fecundity when comparing treatment fish to experimental controls or the general hatchery population four to six weeks after exposures. Egg quality, based on egg weight and egg diameter, did not differ between treatment and control fish. Fertilization rate and survival to eyed-stage was high (>94%) for all groups. With the exception of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease; BKD), no viral or bacterial fish pathogens were isolated from experimental fish. The prevalence (about 45%) and severity of R. salmoninarum did not differ among the groups or the general hatchery population. We conclude that these acute exposures to moderate levels of gas-supersaturated water-perhaps similar to that experienced by immigrating adult salmon as they approach and pass a hydropower dam on the Columbia River-did not affect reproductive success of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. These results are most applicable to summer and fall chinook salmon, which migrate in the summer/fall and spawn shortly after reaching their natal streams. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  16. Mutations of the Drosophila Myosin Regulatory Light Chain Affect Courtship Song and Reduce Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Chakravorty, Samya; Vu, Hien; Foelber, Veronica; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) rely on an enhanced stretch-activation response to generate high power output for flight. The IFM is neurally activated during the male courtship song, but its role, if any, in generating the small amplitude wing vibrations that produce the song is not known. Here, we examined the courtship song properties and mating behavior of three mutant strains of the myosin regulatory light chain (DMLC2) that are known to affect IFM contractile properties and impair flight: (i) Dmlc2Δ2–46 (Ext), an N-terminal extension truncation; (ii) Dmlc2S66A,S67A (Phos), a disruption of two MLC kinase phosphorylation sites; and (iii) Dmlc2Δ2–46;S66A,S67A (Dual), expressing both mutations. Our results show that the Dmlc2 gene is pleiotropic and that mutations that have a profound effect on flight mechanics (Phos and Dual) have minimal effects on courtship song. None of the mutations affect interpulse interval (IPI), a determinant of species-specific song, and intrapulse frequency (IPF) compared to Control (Dmlc2+ rescued null strain). However, abnormalities in the sine song (increased frequency) and the pulse song (increased cycles per pulse and pulse length) evident in Ext males are not apparent in Dual males suggesting that Ext and Phos interact differently in song and flight mechanics, given their known additive effect on the latter. All three mutant males produce a less vigorous pulse song and exhibit impaired mating behavior compared to Control males. As a result, females are less receptive to Ext, Phos, and Dual males when a Control male is present. These results open the possibility that DMLC2, and perhaps contractile protein genes in general, are partly under sexual selection. That mutations in DMLC2 manifest differently in song and flight suggest that this protein fulfills different roles in song and flight and that stretch activation plays a smaller role in song production than in flight. PMID:24587213

  17. Key Factors Affecting Reproductive Success of Thoroughbred Mares and Stallions on a Commercial Stud Farm.

    PubMed

    Lane, E A; Bijnen, Mlj; Osborne, M; More, S J; Henderson, Isf; Duffy, P; Crowe, M A

    2016-04-01

    To evaluate factors contributing to fertility of thoroughbred mares, data from 3743 oestrous periods of 2385 mares were collected on a large thoroughbred farm in Ireland. Fourteen stallions (mean age 8.3 years; range 4-15 years) had bred 2385 mares (mean age 9.4 years; range 3-24 years). Maiden mares accounted for 12%, mares with a foal at foot for 64%, and barren, slipped or rested mares for 24% of the total. The mean pregnancy rate per cycle was 67.8% (68.6% in year 1 and 66.9% in year 2). Backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilized to develop two models to evaluate mare factors, including mare age, reproductive status, month of foaling, dystocia, month of cover, foal heat, cycle number, treatments, walk-in status and stallion factors including stallion identity, stallion age, shuttle status, time elapsed between covers and high stallion usage on the per cycle pregnancy rate and pregnancy loss. Old age (p < 0.001) and cover within 20 days post-partum (p < 0.003) were associated with lowered pregnancy rates. High mare age (p < 0.05) and barren, slipped or rested reproductive status (p = 0.05) increased the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Uterine inflammation or infection, if appropriately treated, did not affect fertility. Only high usage of stallions (used more than 21 times in previous week) was associated with lowered (p = 0.009) pregnancy rates. However, shuttle stallions were more likely to have increased (p = 0.035) pregnancy survival, perhaps reflecting a bias in stallion selection. In conclusion, mare age exerted the greatest influence on fertility; nonetheless, thoroughbreds can be effectively managed to achieve high reproductive performance in a commercial setting. PMID:26815482

  18. Factors affecting reproductive success and life history parameters of Bracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) from three host-associated populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Augmentative releases of native natural enemies are viable strategies for suppression of crop pests. Appropriate mass rearing and release strategies rely on a thorough understanding of the reproductive biology of the natural enemy. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of parasitoid source ...

  19. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success

  20. Incubation Patterns in a Central-Place Forager Affect Lifetime Reproductive Success: Scaling of Patterns from a Foraging Bout to a Lifetime

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Akiko; Elliott, Kyle H.; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane; Crump, Doug; Gaston, Anthony J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Long-lived seabirds face a conflict between current and lifelong reproductive success. During incubation shifts, egg neglect is sometimes necessary to avoid starvation, but may compromise the current reproductive attempt. However, factors underlying this decision process are poorly understood. We focus on the ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus, an alcid with exceptionally long incubation shift lengths, and test the impact of environmental factors on incubation shift length in relation to reproductive success. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an information theoretic approach, we show that incubation shift length was a strong predictor of reproductive success for ancient murrelets at Reef Island, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada during the 2007 and 2008 breeding seasons. The most important factors explaining an individual's shift length were egg size, wind speed and the length of the mate's previous shift. Wind speed and tide height were the two most important factors for determining foraging behavior, as measured by dive frequency and depth. Conclusions/Significance Our study demonstrates that (i) species-specific reproductive strategies interact with environmental conditions such as wind speed to form multiple incubation patterns and (ii) maintaining regular incubation shifts is an essential component of reproductive success. PMID:21423631

  1. 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.

  2. Photosynthesis in Relation to Reproductive Success of Cypripedium flavum

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, SHIBAO; HU, HONG; ZHOU, ZHEKUN; XU, KUN; YAN, NING; LI, SHUYUN

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims 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. • Methods 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. • Key Results 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 (Adaily) and light-saturated photosynthetic rate (Amax) under a half to a third of full sunlight. High radiation decreased A. However, the optimum temperature for photosynthesis was similar (18–20 °C) at all sites. • Conclusions The quotient of daily mean photosynthetic rate to light saturated photosynthesis (Adaily/Amax) is positively correlated with the ramet number m−2 and percentage of fruiting of C. flavum. The Adaily/Amax ratio is a useful proxy for evaluating reproductive success of C. flavum. PMID:15829510

  3. 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. PMID:22285395

  4. 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. PMID:17518824

  5. Limitations to Reproductive Success in the Dioecious Tree Rhamnus davurica

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Juan; Zhang, Chunyu; Zhao, Xiuhai; Gadow, Klaus V.

    2013-01-01

    The reproductive success of a female plant in a dioecious species may be affected by pollen limitation and resource limitation. This study presents evidence that the reproductive success of the dioecious understorey tree species, Rhamnus davurica, is affected by the distance to the nearest male. The sex ratios were female-biased, although showing fluctuations in the three years of conducting the study. The mortality rate of females was higher than that of males indicating a trade-off between reproduction and survival. Altogether 49 females, designated as “focal females”, were randomly selected for monitoring their reproductive status between April and October in 2010. But successful reproduction (meaning that the flowering female trees had fruit in the fruiting season) was observed only in 28 females in 2011 and 16 females in 2012. The method of path analysis was applied to determine the effect of topography, local competition and proximity to the nearest male on the fruit set of the females. In the three years of the study, elevation, competition and female size had no significant effect on the fruit set. The distance to the nearest male, however, had a significant effect on fruit set. Number of fruits and fruit set were decreased with increasing distance to the nearest male. It was possible to estimate maximum fruit set, based on the comparatively large dataset. The number of fruits and the fruit set are exponentially related to the distance to the nearest male and the relationships are described by an exponential model. The results of this study support the importance of pollen limitation on the reproductive success in Rhamnus davurica. PMID:24324665

  6. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Reproduction, hatching success, and early naupliar survival in Centropages typicus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ianora, A.; Miralto, A.; Halsband-Lenk, C.

    2007-02-01

    The broadcast spawner, Centropages typicus, is a very successful copepod species in many coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. This review assembles the large amount of information on the reproduction and early life history of C. typicus that has emerged since the 1970s and has made this species one of the best-studied copepods, similar in that regard to species of Acartia and Calanus. Observations on mating behavior and the female gametogenic and oogenic cycles are presented, together with information on seasonal cycles of egg production rates in Mediterranean and Atlantic populations from various regions. These studies indicate a strong latitudinal gradient, with continuous reproduction and the main spawning season occurring earlier (late winter/spring) in warmer waters such as the Mediterranean Sea, compared to northern areas such as the North Sea and in the Kattegat, where C. typicus actively reproduces mainly in late summer and fall with reproduction ceasing altogether in winter in the German Bight. These observations strongly suggest that temperature is the controlling factor for reproductive activity in this species. Egg development times are also temperature dependent but do not vary with latitude, and there is as yet no conclusive evidence that diapause egg production occurs in C. typicus. Laboratory experiments have shown that food quantity and quality both affect fecundity and offspring fitness, but most of these studies have focused on diatom and dinoflagellate diets and non-algal prey have been strongly underrepresented, despite their importance for this omnivorous copepod. Large fluctuations in hatching success and naupliar survival have been reported in field surveys and have subsequently been related to maternal feeding history and food quality or toxicity in laboratory experiments. We identify future lines of research that will help to explain the interannual variability in breeding intensity and recruitment of C. typicus

  10. 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. PMID:11345453

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:18031526

  13. Age-specific reproductive success and cost in female Alpine ibex.

    PubMed

    Rughetti, Marco; Dematteis, Andrea; Meneguz, Pier Giuseppe; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-05-01

    In female mammals, reproduction requires high energy expenditure because of gestation and lactation, possibly leading to a fitness cost. Several studies, however, failed to find the expected negative correlation between current and future reproductive success, likely because of individual heterogeneity in reproductive potential. We compared reproductive performance and costs of reproduction for 40 female Alpine ibex in one established population with 29 females translocated from the same population to a new colony. We investigate factors affecting pregnancy, fecundity and overwinter survival of juveniles, after accounting for individual heterogeneity. In both populations, prime-aged females experienced a strong reproductive cost. Senescent females, however, showed no evidence of reproductive costs. The colonizing population showed lower reproductive cost and better age-specific reproductive performance than the established population. We found a general pattern of low age-specific fecundity and reproductive success that was affected by environmental constraints. Age-specific reproductive success was unrelated to longevity. Although about 84% of adult females appeared to conceive, independently of environmental constraints, energy was allocated to reproduction in a highly conservative manner, leading to low age-specific fecundity (only 36 and 21% of prime-aged and senescent females were seen with a kid) but high kid survival (100% to weaning and 92% to 1 year). Our results suggest that females embarked on lactation only if they had a very high probability of raising their offspring. Our study highlights how reproductive performance and costs in this species vary with age and environment, and are the result of a highly conservative reproductive tactic. PMID:25543851

  14. 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

  15. The synthetic progestin megestrol acetate adversely affects zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Han, Jian; Wang, Qiangwei; Wang, Xianfeng; Li, Yonggang; Wen, Sheng; Liu, Shan; Ying, Guangguo; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic progestins contaminate the aquatic ecosystem, and may cause adverse health effects on aquatic organisms. Megestrol acetate (MTA) is present in the aquatic environment, but its possible effects on fish reproduction are unknown. In the present study, we investigated the endocrine disruption and impact of MTA on fish reproduction. After a pre-exposure period of 14 days, reproductively mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) (F0) were exposed to MTA at environmental concentrations (33, 100, 333, and 666 ng/L) for 21 days. Egg production was decreased in F0 fish exposed to MTA, with a significant decrease at 666 ng/L. The exposure significantly decreased the circulating concentrations of estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in female fish or 11-keto testosterone (11-KT) in male fish. MTA exposure significantly downregulated the transcription of certain genes along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. MTA did not affect early embryonic development or hatching success in the F1 generation. The present study showed that MTA is a potent endocrine disruptor in fish, and short-term exposure to MTA could significantly affect reproduction in fish and negatively impact the fish population. PMID:24647012

  16. The influence of distinct pollinators on female and male reproductive success in the Rocky Mountain columbine.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Johanne; Holmquist, Karsten G A

    2009-09-01

    Although there are many reasons to expect distinct pollinator types to differentially affect a plant's reproductive success, few studies have directly examined this question. Here, we contrast the impact of two kinds of pollinators on reproductive success via male and female functions in the Rocky Mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea. We set up pollinator exclusion treatments in each of three patches where Aquilegia plants were visited by either day pollinators (majority bumble bees), by evening pollinators (hawkmoths), or by both (control). Day pollinators collected pollen and groomed, whereas evening pollinators collected nectar but did not groom. Maternal parents, potential fathers and progeny arrays were genotyped at five microsatellite loci. We estimated female outcrossing rate and counted seeds to measure female reproductive success and used paternity analysis to determine male reproductive success. Our results document that bumble bees frequently moved pollen among patches of plants and that, unlike hawkmoths, pollen moved by bumble bees sired more outcrossed seeds when it remained within a patch as opposed to moving between patches. Pollinator type differentially affected the outcrossing rate but not seed set, the number of outcrossed seeds or overall male reproductive success. Multiple visits to a plant and more frequent visits by bumble bees could help to explain the lack of impact of pollinator type on overall reproductive success. The increase in selfing rate with hawkmoths likely resulted from the abundant pollen available in experimental flowers. Our findings highlighted a new type of pollinator interactions that can benefit a plant species. PMID:19674307

  17. Leptin: a possible metabolic signal affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Spicer, L J

    2001-11-01

    Since its discovery in 1994, leptin, a protein hormone synthesized and secreted by adipose tissue, has been shown to regulate feed intake in several species including sheep and pigs. Although a nimiety of information exists regarding the physiological role of leptin in rodents and humans, the regulation and action of leptin in domestic animals is less certain. Emerging evidence in several species indicates that leptin may also affect the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Leptin receptor mRNA is present in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus of several species, including sheep. In rats, effects of leptin on GnRH, LH and FSH secretion have been inconsistent, with leptin exhibiting both stimulatory and inhibitory action in vivo and in vitro. Evidence to support direct action of leptin at the level of the gonad indicates that the leptin receptor and its mRNA are present in ovarian tissue of several species, including cattle. These leptin receptors are functional, since leptin inhibits insulin-induced steroidogenesis of both granulosa and thecal cells of cattle in vitro. Leptin receptor mRNA is also found in the testes of rodents. As with the ovary, these receptors are functional, at least in rats, since leptin inhibits hCG-induced testosterone secretion by Leydig cells in vitro. During pregnancy, placental production of leptin may be a major contributor to the increase in maternal leptin in primates but not rodents. However, in both primates and rodents, leptin receptors exist in placental tissues and may regulate metabolism of the fetal-placental unit. As specific leptin immunoassays are developed for domestic animals, in vivo associations may then be made among leptin, body energy stores, dietary energy intake and reproductive function. This may lead to a more definitive role of leptin in domestic animal reproduction. PMID:11872320

  18. 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. PMID:23633435

  19. Developmental stress increases reproductive success in male zebra finches.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Streinzer, Martin; Paulus, Hannes F.; Spaethe, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23750181

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:24340181

  5. Haemoproteus infected birds have increased lifetime reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Zylberberg, M; Derryberry, E P; Breuner, C W; Macdougall-Shackleton, E A; Cornelius, J M; Hahn, T P

    2015-07-01

    The impact of haematozoan infection on host fitness has received substantial attention since Hamilton and Zuk posited that parasites are important drivers of sexual selection. However, short-term studies testing the assumption that these parasites consistently reduce host fitness in the wild have produced contradictory results. To address this complex issue, we conducted a long-term study examining the relationship between naturally occurring infection with Haemoproteus and Plasmodium, and lifetime reproductive success and survival of Mountain White-crowned Sparrows. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that birds infected with haematozoan parasites have reduced survival (as determined by overwinter return rates) and reproductive success. Contrary to expectation, there was no relationship between Haemoproteus and Plasmodium infection and reproduction or survival in males, nor was there a relationship between Plasmodium infection and reproduction in females. Interestingly, Haemoproteus-infected females had significantly higher overwinter return rates and these females fledged more than twice as many chicks during their lifetimes as did uninfected females. We discuss the impact of parasitic infections on host fitness in light of these findings and suggest that, in the case of less virulent pathogens, investment in excessive immune defence may decrease lifetime reproduction. PMID:25800822

  6. 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. PMID:27335071

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27080552

  9. 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.

  10. Extracellular vesicles and reproduction-promotion of successful pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Tannetta, Dionne; Dragovic, Rebecca; Alyahyaei, Zahraa; Southcombe, Jennifer

    2014-11-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound complexes secreted from cells under both physiological and pathological conditions. They contain proteins, nucleic acids and lipids and act as messengers for cell-cell communication and signalling, particularly between immune cells. EV research is a rapidly evolving and expanding field, and it appears that all biological fluids contain very large numbers of EVs; they are produced from all cells that have been studied to date, and are known to have roles in several reproductive processes. This review analyses the evidence for the role of EVs throughout human reproduction, starting with the paternal and maternal gametes, followed by the establishment and continuation of successful pregnancies, with specific focus, where possible, on the interaction of EVs with the maternal immune system. Importantly, variations within the EV populations are identified in various reproductive disorders, such as pre-term labour and pre-eclampsia. PMID:24954226

  11. Local adaptation limits lifetime reproductive success of dispersers in a wild salmon metapopulation.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Daniel A; Hilborn, Ray; Hauser, Lorenz

    2014-01-01

    Demographic and evolutionary dynamics in wild metapopulations are critically affected by the balance between dispersal and local adaptation. Where populations are demographically interconnected by migration, gene flow is often assumed to prevent local adaptation. However, reduced fitness of immigrants may limit gene flow between populations adapted to distinct habitat types, although direct quantification of the lifetime reproductive success of immigrants in the wild is lacking. Here, we show that dispersers between stream-spawning populations of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) had similar reproductive success to those that spawned in their natal stream, whereas dispersers from a different habitat (nearby lake beaches) produced half as many offspring. The stream- and beach-spawning ecotypes exhibited striking morphological differences despite their close spatial proximity, yet dispersal from the beach to the streams was more common than dispersal between streams, presenting empirical evidence that variation in immigrant reproductive success is important for the maintenance of intraspecific biodiversity. PMID:24739514

  12. Effects of Age on Female Reproductive Success in Drosophila bipectinata

    PubMed Central

    Somashekar, K; Krishna, Ms; Hegde, Sn; Jayaramu, SC

    2011-01-01

    Female age influence on mating success, courtship activities, mating latency, copulation duration, fecundity, ovarioles number, and wing length has been studied using isofemale lines of Drosophila bipectinata collected at three different localities. It was observed that in all localities, middle-aged D. bipectinata females had significantly greater mating success, showed less rejection responses to courting male, mated faster, copulated longer, and had greater fecundity and ovariole number than young and old-aged females. Further, old-aged females had comparatively less fitness traits than young age females. This research suggests the occurrence of age specific female reproductive success as follows: middle-aged > young > old-aged. PMID:22235980

  13. 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

  14. The Variables Affecting the Success of Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savas, Behsat; Gurel, Ramazan

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to determine the variables affecting the success of students. This research, which was conducted through the relational screening model, has a sampling of students who were selected from a middle city in Turkey. The schools are classified into three as low, medium and high. A total of 3491 students are selected by using…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Proteomic Changes Associated with Successive Reproductive Periods in Male Polychaetous Neanthes arenaceodentata

    PubMed Central

    Chandramouli, Kondethimmanahalli H.; Reish, Donald; Zhang, Huoming; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    The polychaetous annelid Neanthes acuminata complex has a widespread distribution, with the California population referred to as N. arenaceodentata. The reproductive pattern in this complex is unique, in that the female reproduces once and then dies, whereas the male can reproduce up to nine times. The male incubates the embryos until the larvae leave the male’s tube 21–28 days later and commences feeding. Reproductive success and protein expression patterns were measured over the nine reproductive periods. The percent success of the male in producing juveniles increased during the first three reproductive periods and then decreased, but the number of juveniles produced was similar through all nine periods. iTRAQ based quantitative proteomics were used to analyze the dynamics of protein expression patterns. The expression patterns of several proteins were found to be altered. The abundant expression of muscular and contractile proteins may have affected body weight and reproductive success. Sperm have never been observed; fertilization occurs within the parent’s tube. Proteins associated with sperm maturation and fertilization were identified, including ATPase, clathrin, peroxiredoxins and enolase, which may provide clues to the molecular mechanisms enabling males to reproduce multiple times. PMID:26337980

  19. Paternal reproductive success drives sex allocation in a wild mammal.

    PubMed

    Douhard, Mathieu; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Coltman, David W; Pelletier, Fanie

    2016-02-01

    Parents should bias sex allocation toward offspring of the sex most likely to provide higher fitness returns. Trivers and Willard proposed that for polygynous mammals, females should adjust sex-ratio at conception or bias allocation of resources toward the most profitable sex, according to their own body condition. However, the possibility that mammalian fathers may influence sex allocation has seldom been considered. Here, we show that the probability of having a son increased from 0.31 to 0.60 with sire reproductive success in wild bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Furthermore, our results suggest that females fertilized by relatively unsuccessful sires allocated more energy during lactation to daughters than to sons, while the opposite occurred for females fertilized by successful sires. The pattern of sex-biased offspring production appears adaptive because paternal reproductive success reduced the fitness of daughters and increased the average annual weaning success of sons, independently of maternal allocation to the offspring. Our results illustrate that sex allocation can be driven by paternal phenotype, with profound influences on the strength of sexual selection and on conflicts of interest between parents. PMID:26792564

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27216174

  2. 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

  3. Biased parental investment and reproductive success in Gabbra pastoralists.

    PubMed

    Mace, R

    1996-02-01

    This study of wealth and reproductive success is based on interviews obtained from 848 rural nomadic Gabbra families from northern Kenya. The Gabbra are nomadic pastoralists who herd camels, goats, and sometimes sheep. Household is defined as a unit that owns a camel herd. Findings indicate that size of the camel herd (wealth) is positively related to the reproductive success of both men and women and is independent of age. The effect is greatest for men. Poverty effects vary between men and women. Very poor men are at a greater disadvantage than very poor women. Poor men and women tend to marry at a later age. It is posited that the beneficial effects of wealth on reproductive success may be underestimated. Both richer and poorer families showed a slightly male-biased sex ratio. There was no evidence that poorer Gabbra households might favor daughters, as suggested in the literature on sex-biased parental investment. There was no evidence that the Gabbra practiced infanticide. The average dowry size was 16.5 sheep units, where one camel is valued at about 10 sheep or goats. The traditional brideprice is 3 camels. Each son takes about 10 camels for his marriage, when brideprice is accounted for. Heads of household reported that their initial herd size was about 6.75 camels. If there is bias in parental investment, it probably occurs in the number of animals passed on to a child at marriage. Boys are disadvantaged by elder brothers, while girls are not disadvantaged by elder sisters. Lower birth order sons are prone to migrate into another ethnic group. It is likely that fathers maximize their wealth by making certain that a small number are well provided for rather than equally dividing investments. The number of elder sisters has a small effect on dowry size. Competition for parental investment appears to occur only among siblings of the same sex, particularly brothers. PMID:12292074

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:25548190

  7. Physical and neurobehavioral determinants of reproductive onset and success.

    PubMed

    Day, Felix R; Helgason, Hannes; Chasman, Daniel I; 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; Stefansson, Kari; Ong, Ken K; Perry, John R B

    2016-06-01

    The ages of puberty, first sexual intercourse and first birth signify the onset of reproductive ability, behavior and success, respectively. In a genome-wide association study of 125,667 UK Biobank participants, we identify 38 loci associated (P < 5 × 10(-8)) with age at first sexual intercourse. These findings were taken forward in 241,910 men and women from Iceland and 20,187 women from the Women's Genome Health Study. Several of the identified loci also exhibit associations (P < 5 × 10(-8)) with other reproductive and behavioral traits, including age at first birth (variants in or near ESR1 and RBM6-SEMA3F), number of children (CADM2 and ESR1), irritable temperament (MSRA) and risk-taking propensity (CADM2). Mendelian randomization analyses infer causal influences of earlier puberty timing on earlier first sexual intercourse, earlier first birth and lower educational attainment. In turn, likely causal consequences of earlier first sexual intercourse include reproductive, educational, psychiatric and cardiometabolic outcomes. PMID:27089180

  8. Social context and reproductive potential affect worker reproductive decisions in a eusocial insect.

    PubMed

    Yagound, Boris; Blacher, Pierre; Chameron, Stéphane; Châline, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Context-dependent decision-making conditions individual plasticity and is an integrant part of alternative reproductive strategies. In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), the discovery of worker reproductive parasitism recently challenged the view of workers as a homogeneous collective entity and stressed the need to consider them as autonomous units capable of elaborate choices which influence their fitness returns. The reproductive decisions of individual workers thus need to be investigated and taken into account to understand the regulation of reproduction in insect societies. However, we know virtually nothing about the proximate mechanisms at the basis of worker reproductive decisions. Here, we test the hypothesis that the capacity of workers to reproduce in foreign colonies lies in their ability to react differently according to the colonial context and whether this reaction is influenced by a particular internal state. Using the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we show that workers exhibit an extremely high reproductive plasticity which is conditioned by the social context they experience. Fertile workers reintroduced into their mother colony reverted to sterility, as expected. On the contrary, a high level of ovary activity persisted in fertile workers introduced into a foreign nest, and this despite more frequent direct contacts with the queen and the brood than control workers. Foreign workers' reproductive decisions were not affected by the resident queen, their level of fertility being similar whether or not the queen was removed from the host colony. Workers' physiological state at the time of introduction is also of crucial importance, since infertile workers failed to develop a reproductive phenotype in a foreign nest. Therefore, both internal and environmental factors appear to condition individual reproductive strategies in this species, suggesting that more complex decision-making mechanisms are involved in the regulation of worker

  9. Shrub spatial aggregation and consequences for reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Tirado, Reyes; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2003-07-01

    To link spatial patterns and ecological processes, we analysed the distribution of two shrub species (one large and dominant, the other smaller) and estimated the reproductive consequences of their distribution for the smaller species. We tested the significance of the spatial distribution pattern of the two shrubs by second-order bivariate point pattern analysis (Ripley's K function). Performance of Asparagus albus, the smaller shrub, was measured as (1) survival of transplanted seedlings in two contrasting habitats: patches of the dominant shrub (Ziziphus lotus), and open interspaces; and (2) reproductive output of plants naturally occurring in both habitats. The two species were significantly aggregated. Transplanted Asparagus albus seedlings had higher survival rates in patches than in the open. Plants produced more flowers, fruits, and showed a higher mass of seeds when living in aggregates than when isolated. The mechanisms responsible for this facilitative effect seem to be related to soil enrichment in patches. These results suggest that the spatial aggregation of species can be indicative of a positive interaction among them, directly affecting fitness of at least one of the species. Facilitation, by inducing variations in the reproductive performance may play a major role in the demography and dynamics of plant populations. PMID:12695906

  10. Parasite Removal Improves Reproductive Success of Female North American Red Squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Jesse E. H.; Neuhaus, Peter; Kutz, Susan J.; Ruckstuhl, Kathreen E.

    2013-01-01

    In order to evaluate potential reproductive costs associated with parasitism, we experimentally removed ectoparasites from reproductive female North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Body mass and overwinter survival of mothers, days to juvenile emergence, juvenile survival from birth to emergence, and body mass of juveniles at emergence were all compared to those of untreated (control) animals. Ectoparasite removal did not affect the body mass of mothers throughout the lactation period and overwinter survival of mothers did not differ between treatments and controls. Likewise, there was no effect of treatment on the number of days to juvenile emergence. However, treated mothers raised offspring that were significantly heavier (11%) than controls at emergence. Juveniles from treated mothers were also 24% more likely to survive from birth to emergence. Our results indicate that ectoparasites impose costs on the reproductive success of female red squirrels and that ectoparasites have the potential to influence red squirrel life-histories and population dynamics. PMID:23409041

  11. Effects of bisphenol-A on male reproductive success in adult Kadaknath chicken.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ram P; Shafeeque, Chathathayil M; Sharma, Sanjeev K; Singh, Renu; Kannan, Maharajan; Sastry, Kochiganti V H; Raghunandanan, Sajith; Mohan, Jag; Azeez, Parappurath A

    2016-06-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) adversely affects human and animal reproductive success in many ways, but this information is scant on birds. In the present study, we investigated the reproductive toxicity of BPA in adult Kadaknath chicken using two BPA dosages orally (1 or 5 mg/kg body weight) for seven weeks. In order to assess BPA toxicity, sperm functions, fertilizing ability, serum testosterone concentration and testis histopathology were measured in treated and control chickens. The semen volume was highest in birds exposed to 1mg/kg body weight BPA compared to other groups. 5 mg/kg body weight BPA reduced sperm concentration significantly more than other treatment and controls. However, overall fertility and testis histology were unaffected. These results indicate that BPA adversely affects sperm characteristics in adult kadaknath chicken without affecting fertilization potential. PMID:26895245

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

    PubMed

    Crago, Jordan; Corsi, Steven R; Weber, Daniel; Bannerman, Roger; Klaper, Rebecca

    2011-03-01

    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 11d prior to sampling irrespective of habitat, but its correlation with egg output declined at 12d 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. PMID:21147497

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Nesting habitat and reproductive success of southwestern riparian birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, B.F.; Steidl, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    Vegetation structure and floristic composition strongly influence the structure of bird communities. To assess the influence of vegetation and other environmental characteristics on songbirds, we quantified nest-site characteristics and reproductive success of a riparian songbird community in Arizona. Although we found interspecific variation in characteristics associated with nest sites, we identified two suites of species that chose sites with similar characteristics. These 'nest groups' were explained largely by nest height and characteristics of nest trees. Overall, nest success was low for songbirds in this community, and averaged 23%. The most common cause of nest failure was predation (81%), although brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was highest at nests of Bell's Vireos (Vireo bellii) (29%). No vegetation or environmental features were associated with the likelihood of cowbird parasitism for any species; nest success for Bell's Vireos was negatively associated with the amount of netleaf hackberry (Celtis reticulata) in the understory. Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii) and netleaf hackberry trees contained 41% and 17% of all nests, respectively, and therefore provide critically important nesting substrates for birds in this rare yet diverse vegetation community.

  18. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females.

    PubMed

    Newcomer, S D; Zeh, J A; Zeh, D W

    1999-08-31

    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

  19. 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. PMID:24818867

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes under intensified within-host competition.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Louhi, Katja-Riikka; Karvonen, Anssi; Rellstab, Christian; Jokela, Jukka

    2015-12-01

    In nature, host individuals are commonly simultaneously infected with more than one genotype of the same parasite species. These co-infecting parasites often interact, which can affect their fitness and shape host-parasite ecology and evolution. Many of such interactions take place through competition for limited host resources. Therefore, variation in ecological factors modifying the host resource level could be important in determining the intensity of competition and the outcome of co-infections. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the relative reproductive success of co-infecting genotypes of the trematode parasite Diplostomum pseudospathaceum in its snail host Lymnaea stagnalis while experimentally manipulating snail resource level using contrasting feeding treatments (ad libitum food supply, no food). We found that food deprivation constrained the overall parasite within-host reproduction as the release of parasite transmission stages (cercariae) was reduced. This indicates intensified competition among the parasite genotypes. The genotypic composition of the released cercariae, however, was not affected by the feeding treatments. This suggests that in this system, the relative reproductive success of co-infecting parasite genotypes, which is an important component determining their fitness, is robust to variation in ecological factors modifying the strength of resource competition. PMID:26296607

  3. 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

  4. Seminal fluid protein allocation and male reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Wigby, Stuart; Sirot, Laura K; Linklater, Jon R; Buehner, Norene; Calboli, Federico C F; Bretman, Amanda; Wolfner, Mariana F; Chapman, Tracey

    2009-05-12

    Postcopulatory sexual selection can select for sperm allocation strategies in males [1, 2], but males should also strategically allocate nonsperm components of the ejaculate [3, 4], such as seminal fluid proteins (Sfps). Sfps can influence the extent of postcopulatory sexual selection [5-7], but little is known of the causes or consequences of quantitative variation in Sfp production and transfer. Using Drosophila melanogaster, we demonstrate that Sfps are strategically allocated to females in response to the potential level of sperm competition. We also show that males who can produce and transfer larger quantities of specific Sfps have a significant competitive advantage. When males were exposed to a competitor male, matings were longer and more of two key Sfps, sex peptide [8] and ovulin [9], were transferred, indicating strategic allocation of Sfps. Males selected for large accessory glands (a major site of Sfp synthesis) produced and transferred significantly more sex peptide, but not more ovulin. Males with large accessory glands also had significantly increased competitive reproductive success. Our results show that quantitative variation in specific Sfps is likely to play an important role in postcopulatory sexual selection and that investment in Sfp production is essential for male fitness in a competitive environment. PMID:19361995

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. Age, sex and reproductive status affect boldness in dogs.

    PubMed

    Starling, Melissa J; Branson, Nicholas; Thomson, Peter C; McGreevy, Paul D

    2013-09-01

    Boldness in dogs is believed to be one end of the shy-bold axis, representing a super-trait. Several personality traits fall under the influence of this super-trait. Previous studies have found that boldness is affected by breed and breed groups, influences performance in sporting dogs, and is affected in some cases by the sex of the dogs. This study investigated the effects of dog age, sex and reproductive status on boldness in dogs by way of a dog personality survey circulated amongst Australian dog owners. Age had a significant effect on boldness (F=4.476; DF=16,758; P<0.001), with boldness decreasing with age in years. Males were bolder than females (F=19.219; DF=1,758; P<0.001) and entire dogs were bolder than neutered dogs (F=4.330; DF=1,758; P<0.038). The study indicates how behaviour may change in adult dogs as they age and adds to the literature on how sex and reproductive status may affect personality in dogs. PMID:23778256

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26865970

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:17107484

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

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Lambides, Angelina; Widdig, Anja

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25024637

  14. 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

  15. Parental exposure to elevated pCO2 influences the reproductive success of copepods

    PubMed Central

    Cripps, Gemma; Lindeque, Penelope; Flynn, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Substantial variations are reported for egg production and hatching rates of copepods exposed to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (pCO2). One possible explanation, as found in other marine taxa, is that prior parental exposure to elevated pCO2 (and/or decreased pH) affects reproductive performance. Previous studies have adopted two distinct approaches, either (1) expose male and female copepoda to the test pCO2/pH scenarios, or (2) solely expose egg-laying females to the tests. Although the former approach is more realistic, the majority of studies have used the latter approach. Here, we investigated the variation in egg production and hatching success of Acartia tonsa between these two experimental designs, across five different pCO2 concentrations (385–6000 µatm pCO2). In addition, to determine the effect of pCO2 on the hatching success with no prior parental exposure, eggs produced and fertilized under ambient conditions were also exposed to these pCO2 scenarios. Significant variations were found between experimental designs, with approach (1) resulting in higher impacts; here >20% difference was seen in hatching success between experiments at 1000 µatm pCO2 scenarios (2100 year scenario), and >85% at 6000 µatm pCO2. This study highlights the potential to misrepresent the reproductive response of a species to elevated pCO2 dependent on parental exposure. PMID:25221371

  16. Pollen flow and effects of population structure on selfing rates and female and male reproductive success in fragmented Magnolia stellata populations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Fragmentation of plant populations may affect mating patterns and female and male reproductive success. To improve understanding of fragmentation effects on plant reproduction, we investigated the pollen flow patterns in six adjacent local populations of Magnolia stellata, an insect-pollinated, threatened tree species in Japan, and assessed effects of maternal plant (genet) size, local genet density, population size and neighboring population size on female reproductive success (seed production rates), and effects of mating distance, paternal genet size, population size and separation of populations on male reproductive success. Results The seed production rate, i.e. the proportion of ovules that successfully turned into seeds, varied between 1.0 and 6.5%, and increased with increasing population size and neighboring population size, and with decreasing maternal genet size and local genet density. The selfing rate varied between 3.6 and 28.9%, and increased with increasing maternal genet size and with declining local genet density. Male reproductive success increased with increasing paternal genet size, and decreased with increasing mating distance and separation of population. Pollen flow between the populations was low (6.1%) and highly leptocurtic. Conclusions Our results indicate that habitat fragmentation, separation and reduced size of populations, affected mating patterns and reproductive success of M. stellata. Local competition for pollinators and plant display size were likely to alter the reproductive success. PMID:23517612

  17. DEHP Impairs Zebrafish Reproduction by Affecting Critical Factors in Oogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Carnevali, Oliana; Tosti, Luca; Speciale, Claudia; Peng, Chun; Zhu, Yong; Maradonna, Francesca

    2010-01-01

    Public concerns on phthalates distributions in the environment have been increasing since they can cause liver cancer, structural abnormalities and reduce sperm counts in male reproductive system. However, few data are actually available on the effects of Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) in female reproductive system. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of DEHP on zebrafish oogenesis and embryo production. Female Danio rerio were exposed to environmentally relevant doses of DEHP and a significant decrease in ovulation and embryo production was observed. The effects of DEHP on several key regulators of oocyte maturation and ovulation including bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP15), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), membrane progesterone receptors (mPRs) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 (ptgs2) were determined by real time PCR. The expressions of BMP15 and mPR proteins were further determined by Western analyses to strengthen molecular findings. Moreover, plasma vitellogenin (vtg) titers were assayed by an ELISA procedure to determine the estrogenic effects of DEHP and its effects on oocyte growth. A significant reduction of fecundity in fish exposed to DEHP was observed. The reduced reproductive capacity was associated with an increase in ovarian BMP15 levels. This rise, in turn, was concomitant with a significant reduction in LHR and mPRβ levels. Finally, ptgs2 expression, the final trigger of ovulation, was also decreased by DEHP. By an in vitro maturation assay, the inhibitory effect of DEHP on germinal vesicle breakdown was further confirmed. In conclusion, DEHP affecting signals involved in oocyte growth (vtg), maturation (BMP15, LHR, mPRs,) and ovulation (ptgs2), deeply impairs ovarian functions with serious consequences on embryo production. Since there is a significant genetic similarity between D.rerio and humans, the harmful effects observed at oocyte level may be relevant for further molecular studies on humans. PMID:20419165

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:26470068

  1. 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

  2. Effects of short-term grazing exclusion on plant phenology and reproductive succession in a Tibetan alpine meadow.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Juntao; Zhang, Yangjian; Liu, Yaojie

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Genetic improvement of overall reproductive success in sheep: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproduction is an economically important complex composite trait in sheep. Genetic improvement of composite traits can occur by selection for individual components traits, some combination of individual component traits, or by direct selection for the composite trait. This review discusses the re...

  4. Differences in female reproductive success between female and hermaphrodite individuals in the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica (Theaceae).

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Matsushita, M; Tomaru, N; Nakagawa, M

    2015-01-01

    Subdioecy is thought to occupy a transitional position in the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, explaining one of the evolutionary routes from hermaphroditism to dioecy. Quantifying any female reproductive advantage of females versus hermaphrodites is fundamental to examining the spectrum between subdioecy and dioecy; however, this is challenging, as multiple interacting factors, such as pollen limitation and resource availability, affect plant reproduction. We compared the female reproductive success of females and hermaphrodites via a field experiment in which we hand-pollinated individuals of the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica of similar size growing under similar light conditions. Effects of pollen limitation and seed quality were also evaluated through comparing the results of hand- and natural-pollination treatments and performing additional laboratory and greenhouse experiments. Overall, females had higher fruit set and produced heavier fruit and more seeds than hermaphrodites, and these results were more pronounced for hand-pollinated than for natural-pollinated plants of both sexes. We also found that seeds naturally produced by females had a higher mean germination rate. These results indicate that females had a pronounced advantage in female reproductive success under conditions of no pollen limitation. The sexual difference in the degree of pollen limitation suggests a pollinator-mediated interaction, whereas the higher female reproductive success of females even under natural conditions implies that E. japonica is a good model species for elucidating the later stages of the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway. PMID:24841823

  5. 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. PMID:26656765

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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. PMID:26603555

  10. 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

  11. Reproductive success in two species of desert fleas: density dependence and host effect.

    PubMed

    Khokhlova, Irina S; Hovhanyan, Anna; Krasnov, Boris R; Degen, A Allan

    2007-06-01

    We tested the hypothesis that a negative fitness-density relationship exists in haematophagous ectoparasites. We studied the effect of flea density on the number of blood meals necessary for starting oviposition and egg production in Xenopsylla conformis and Xenopsylla ramesis when exploiting two rodent hosts, Meriones crassus and Gerbillus dasyurus. The number of blood meals taken by a flea prior to first oviposition was similar in both flea species but was dependent on flea density and differed significantly between hosts. When parasitizing G. dasyurus, females of both flea species required a similar number of blood meals to start oviposition, independent of density. By contrast, fleas on M. crassus at higher densities needed less blood meals than at lower densities. Egg production of female fleas differed significantly between flea and host species and was affected by flea density. X. ramesis produced more eggs than X. conformis. When parasitizing G. dasyurus, density did not affect the number of eggs produced by X. conformis, however, when on M. crassus, this flea produced significantly less eggs at the highest density. The number of eggs produced by X. ramesis at high densities was significantly lower than at low densities when it parasitized either host species. Results of this study demonstrated that reproductive success of fleas was density dependent and, in general, decreased with an increase in density. However, the effect of density on reproductive performance was manifested differently on different host species. PMID:17562885

  12. Hippocampal morphology is differentially affected by reproductive experience in the mother.

    PubMed

    Pawluski, Jodi L; Galea, Liisa A M

    2006-01-01

    Pregnancy and mothering result in a number of hormonal, neurological, and behavioral changes that are necessary to ensure reproductive success. With subsequent reproductive experience (multiparity and mothering), further neurological and behavioral changes may result. Recent research has shown that previous motherhood enhances both hippocampus-dependent learning and memory and long-term potentiation (LTP); together with decreases in hippocampus volumes during pregnancy it is suggested that the hippocampus is affected by pregnancy and/or mothering. The present experiment aimed to investigate the effect of reproductive experience (nulli, primi-, and multiparity and mothering) on dendritic morphology in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus. Brains were stained with a modified version of the single-section Golgi impregnation technique, and dendritic length, number of branch points, and spine density was analyzed for apical and basal regions of CA1 and CA3 pyramidal neurons. Primiparity and/or mothering resulted in dendritic remodeling in both the CA1 and CA3 hippocampal regions, and multiparity resulted in enhanced spine density in the basal CA1 region, which was positively correlated with number of male pups in a litter. These findings point to the effect of reproductive experience and offspring on plasticity in the hippocampus, an area not traditionally associated with motherhood. PMID:16216005

  13. 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

  14. Reproduction of Pseudocalanus newmani (Copepoda: Calanoida) is deleteriously affected by diatom blooms A field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halsband-Lenk, Claudia; Pierson, James J.; Leising, Andrew W.

    2005-11-01

    Copepod secondary production has traditionally been linked to the spring diatom bloom in temperate and high latitudes, but laboratory studies have recently challenged this view and have shown either reduced fecundity or viability of offspring when copepods were fed high concentrations of - mostly unialgal - diatoms. However, field evidence that diatoms affect copepod reproduction is still scarce. We analyzed the reproductive response of a common, small calanoid copepod of the boreal Pacific, Pseudocalanus newmani, to spring diatom blooms in Dabob Bay, a semi-enclosed fjord of Puget Sound, Washington, USA. Abundance patterns, egg production rates, egg hatching success, and naupliar viability of the egg-carrying copepod were examined between February and early May in the years 2002-2004. The population underwent strong variations in abundance during both years, with high abundance of all stages from February to mid-March, but dramatically decreasing individual numbers later in spring. A recovery to higher numbers occurred in July. While egg production rates were independent of chlorophyll concentrations, the reproductive success of P. newmani was negatively affected by certain phytoplankton bloom conditions. Hatching success and - more markedly - naupliar survival were reduced following peaks of Thalassiosira species that were producing anti-mitotic aldehydes, but were high during periods when phytoplankton blooms were more diverse or dominated by other prey taxa including diatoms. As a consequence, recruitment of the naupliar population was considerably affected by the Thalassiosira blooms. This study shows for the first time that the so-called diatom effect operates in nature when all prerequisites - (1) high concentration of aldehyde producers, (2) few prey alternatives, and (3) feeding of copepods on these algae - are given. However, the effect was transient in Dabob Bay and may be so in other pelagic ecosystems. It remains to discern the potential sources of

  15. Estimating Differential Reproductive Success From Nests of Related Individuals, With Application to a Study of the Mottled Sculpin, Cottus bairdi

    PubMed Central

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

    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 random samples from the population but these models do not account for the presence of full- and half-sibs commonly found in large clutches of many organisms. Here we develop a model for comparing reproductive success among different groups of individuals that explicitly incorporates within-nest relatedness. Inference for the parameters of the model is done in a Bayesian framework, where we sample from the joint posterior of parental assignments and fertility parameters. We use computer simulations to determine how well our model recovers known parameters and investigate how various data collection scenarios (varying the number of nests or the number of offspring) affect the estimates. We then apply our model to compare reproductive success among different age groups of mottled sculpin, Cottus bairdi, from a natural population. We demonstrate that older adults are more likely to contribute to a nest and that females in the older age groups contribute more eggs to a nest than younger individuals. PMID:17565960

  16. Caterpillar biomass depends on temperature and precipitation, but does not affect bird reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schöll, Eva Maria; Ohm, Judith; Hoffmann, Konstantin Frank; Hille, Sabine Marlene

    2016-07-01

    Complex changes in phenological events appear as temperatures are increasing: In deciduous forests bud burst, hatching of herbivorous caterpillars, egg laying and nestling time of birds when feeding chicks on caterpillars, may differentially shift into early season and alter synchronization. If timing of bird reproduction has to match with short periods of food availability, phenological mismatch could negatively affect reproductive success. Using a unique empirical approach along an altitudinal temperature gradient, we firstly asked whether besides temperature, also precipitation and leaf phenology interplay and affect caterpillar biomass, since impacts of rainfall on caterpillars have been largely neglected so far. Secondly, we asked whether abundance of caterpillars and thereby body mass of great tit nestlings, which are mainly fed with caterpillars, vary along the altitudinal temperature gradient. We demonstrated that next to temperature also precipitation and leaf phenology affected caterpillar biomass. In our beech forest, even along altitudes, caterpillars were available throughout the great tit breeding season but in highly variable amounts. Our findings revealed that although timing of leaf phenology and great tit breeding season were delayed with decreasing temperature, caterpillars occurred synchronously and were not delayed according to altitude. However, altitude negatively affected caterpillar biomass, but body mass of fledglings at high altitude sites was not affected by lower amounts of caterpillar biomass. This might be partially outweighed by larger territory sizes in great tits.

  17. Reproductive success depends on the quality of helpers in the endangered, cooperative El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi).

    PubMed

    Klauke, Nadine; Segelbacher, Gernot; Schaefer, H M

    2013-04-01

    In cooperative species, helping behaviour and reproductive success can be correlated, but understanding this correlation is often impaired by the difficulty to correctly infer causation. While helpers can incur costs by participating in brood care, it is yet unclear if their help depends on their individual quality. We address these questions in the previously unknown cooperative breeding system of the endangered El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi). Specifically, we ask (i) whether breeders benefit directly from helpers by an enhanced reproductive success and if so, (ii) whether the amount of this potential benefit is regulated by the quality of contributing group members. Groups consist of a dominant breeding pair accompanied by helpers, but cooperation is not obligate. Microsatellite heterozygosity was used to assess individual quality; its suitability as indicator of quality was reflected in the positive relationship between offspring heterozygosity and recruitment into the population. The reproductive success of breeding pairs depended on helper (genetic) quality and the number of helpers. This relationship occurred on two different levels: clutch size and fledging success, indicating (i) that females profit from high-quality helpers and probably adjust clutch size accordingly and (ii) that the helpers increase fledging success. Congruently, we found that offspring body condition is positively affected by helper quality, which is most probably explained by the increased feeding rates when helpers are present. We suggest a causal link between cooperation and reproductive success in this frugivorous, endangered parakeet. Further, helper (genetic) quality can be a relevant factor for determining reproductive fitness in cooperative species, particularly in small and bottlenecked populations. PMID:23397908

  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. Plant functional traits mediate reproductive phenology and success in response to experimental warming and snow addition in Tibet.

    PubMed

    Dorji, Tsechoe; Totland, Orjan; Moe, Stein R; Hopping, Kelly A; Pan, Jianbin; Klein, Julia A

    2013-02-01

    Global climate change is predicted to have large impacts on the phenology and reproduction of alpine plants, which will have important implications for plant demography and community interactions, trophic dynamics, ecosystem energy balance, and human livelihoods. In this article we report results of a 3-year, fully factorial experimental study exploring how warming, snow addition, and their combination affect reproductive phenology, effort, and success of four alpine plant species belonging to three different life forms in a semiarid, alpine meadow ecosystem on the central Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicate that warming and snow addition change reproductive phenology and success, but responses are not uniform across species. Moreover, traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and life history (early vs. late flowering), mediate plant phenology, and reproductive responses to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we found that warming delayed the reproductive phenology and decreased number of inflorescences of Kobresia pygmaea C. B. Clarke, a shallow-rooted, early-flowering plant, which may be mainly constrained by upper-soil moisture availability. Because K. pygmaea is the dominant species in the alpine meadow ecosystem, these results may have important implications for ecosystem dynamics and for pastoralists and wildlife in the region. PMID:23504784

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:23071816

  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. PMID:26655650

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Herbivory affects salt marsh succession dynamics by suppressing the recovery of dominant species.

    PubMed

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Pascual, Jesús; Canepuccia, Alejandro; Iribarne, Oscar

    2014-05-01

    Disturbance can generate heterogeneous environments and profoundly influence plant diversity by creating patches at different successional stages. Herbivores, in turn, can govern plant succession dynamics by determining the rate of species replacement, ultimately affecting plant community structure. In a south-western Atlantic salt marsh, we experimentally evaluated the role of herbivory in the recovery following disturbance of the plant community and assessed whether herbivory affects the relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction on these dynamics. Our results show that herbivory strongly affects salt marsh secondary succession by suppressing seedlings and limiting clonal colonization of the dominant marsh grass, allowing subordinate species to dominate disturbed patches. These results demonstrate that herbivores can have an important role in salt marsh community structure and function, and can be a key force during succession dynamics. PMID:24549938

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:24204741

  12. The distribution of male and female reproductive success in a broadcast spawning marine invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Levitan, Don R

    2005-11-01

    Many studies have addressed sexual selection in animals, but few data are available on animals that release eggs and sperm into the environment for external fertilization. Although this reproductive mode represents the ancestral condition and is still a very common reproductive strategy, it is underrepresented in empirical studies and theoretical treatments. Here I present data on the pattern of reproductive success in male and female sea urchins. The results suggest that the strength of sexual selection and the differences between the sexes in the intensity of sexual selection depend on mate density. In general, despite the high degree of multiple paternity, the variance in reproductive success appears to be lower in males and higher in females than it is in polygamous species with internal fertilization. These results may provide insight into the patterns of effective population size in marine invertebrates and also more generally the evolutionary transition from sexual monomorphism to polymorphism in adult traits. PMID:21676836

  13. 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.

  14. Effects of individual quality, reproductive success and environmental variability on survival of a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Lescroël, Amélie; Dugger, Katie M; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G

    2009-07-01

    1. Heterogeneity in individual quality (i.e. individuals having different performance levels that are consistent throughout life) can drive the demography of iteroparous species, but quality in the context of environmental variability has rarely been evaluated. 2. We investigated the demographic responses of a long-lived seabird, the Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), to contrasting environmental conditions as a function of reproductive success, breeding quality (BQ) and experience. A continuous index of BQ (BQI) was developed to reflect an individual's ability, relative to others, to produce viable offspring. 3. First, we assessed the relative importance of costs of reproduction vs. heterogeneity in quality by comparing survival and reproductive probabilities among deferred, successful and unsuccessful breeders under 'demanding' conditions using multistate capture-mark-recapture modelling. Then, we quantified the influence of BQI on adult survival among experienced breeders vs. the whole study population under both 'normal' and 'demanding' conditions. 4. Higher survival rates were exhibited by successful (74-76%) compared to unsuccessful breeders (64%); the former also more frequently reproduced successfully at year t + 1. 5. From 1997 to 2006, adult survival ranged from 64-79%, with BQI accounting for 91% of variability in the entire study population, but only 17% in experienced breeders. The weakened relationship between BQI and survival in experienced breeders supports the theory that selection during the first reproductive event accounts for a more homogeneous pool of experienced breeders. 6. No significant effect of environmental covariates on survival was evident, suggesting that what appeared to be demanding conditions were within the range that could be buffered by this species. 7. For the first time in seabirds, a quadratic relationship between adult survival and BQI showed that adult survival is shaped by both heterogeneity in quality and reproductive

  15. Promoting Reproductive Options for HIV-Affected Couples in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mmeje, Okeoma; Cohen, Craig R.; Murage, Alfred; Ong’ech, John; Kiarie, James; van der Poel, Sheryl

    2014-01-01

    HIV-affected couples have unique challenges that require access to information and reproductive services which prevent HIV transmission to the uninfected partner and offspring while allowing couples to fulfill their reproductive goals. In high HIV prevalent regions of sub-Saharan Africa, HIV-affected couples require multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) to enhance their reproductive healthcare options beyond contraception and prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to include assistance in childbearing. The unique characteristics of the condom and its accepted use in conjunction with safer conception interventions allow HIV-serodiscordant couples an opportunity to maintain reproductive health, prevent HIV/STI transmission, and achieve their reproductive goals while timing conception. Rethinking the traditional view of the condom and incorporating a broader reproductive health perspective of HIV-affected couples into MPT methodologies will impact demand, acceptability, and uptake of these future technologies. PMID:25335844

  16. 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. PMID:26370242

  17. Male reproductive success increases with alliance size in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus).

    PubMed

    Wiszniewski, Joanna; Corrigan, Shannon; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-03-01

    1. Determining the extent of variation in male mating strategies and reproductive success is necessary to understand the fitness benefits of social and cooperative behaviour. 2. This study assesses the reproductive success of male Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in a small embayment population where different behavioural strategies of males have previously been identified. Parentage for 44 sampled calves was examined using 23 microsatellite loci and one mitochondrial DNA marker. Our candidate parent pool of 70 males and 64 females contained individuals sampled from both the embayment and adjacent coastal populations. 3. A moderate level of polygyny was detected in our sample. We assigned paternity of 23 calves to 12 males at the strict 95% confidence level and an additional nine calves to two males at the 80% confidence level. The majority (92%) of successful males were identified as residents to the embayment, and 46% of offspring were located within the same social group or community as their father. 4. Our results suggest that the size of alliances was the best predictor of reproductive success for males in this population, while the strength of association among allied males, alliance stability and male ranging patterns had little influence. In line with predictions for male alliances formed between unrelated individuals, we found that reproductive skew within alliances was not large. 5. Together, our genetic and behavioural analyses demonstrate that alliance formation between male dolphins is a successful strategy to enhance reproductive output. PMID:21981240

  18. Tracking Official Development Assistance for Reproductive Health in Conflict-Affected Countries

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Preeti; Roberts, Bayard; Guy, Samantha; Lee-Jones, Louise; Conteh, Lesong

    2009-01-01

    Background Reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries affected by armed conflict. Reliable information on aid investment for reproductive health in these countries is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid. The purpose of this study was to analyse official development assistance (ODA) for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006. Methods and Findings The Creditor Reporting System and the Financial Tracking System databases were the chosen data sources for the study. ODA disbursement for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries was analysed for 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. An average of US$20.8 billion in total ODA was disbursed annually to the 18 conflict-affected countries between 2003 and 2006, of which US$509.3 million (2.4%) was allocated to reproductive health. This represents an annual average of US$1.30 disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Non-conflict-affected least-developed countries received 53.3% more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected least-developed countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment increased by 119.4% from 2003 to 2006. The ODA disbursed for other direct reproductive health activities declined by 35.9% over the same period. Conclusions This study provides evidence of inequity in disbursement of reproductive health ODA between conflict-affected countries and non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities. These findings and the study's recommendations seek to support initiatives to make aid financing more responsive to need in the context of armed conflict. PMID:19513098

  19. 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

  20. The reproduction in women affected by cooley disease

    PubMed Central

    Pafumi, Carlo; Leanza, Vito; Coco, Luana; Vizzini, Stefania; Ciotta, Lilliana; Messina, Alessandra; Leanza, Gianluca; Zarbo, Giuseppe; D'Agati, Alfio; Palumbo, Marco Antonio; Iemmola, Alessandra; Gulino, Ferdinando Antonio; Teodoro, Maria Cristina; Attard, Matthew; Plesca, Alina Cristina; Soares, Catarina; Kouloubis, Nina; Chammas, Mayada

    2011-01-01

    The health background management and outcomes of 5 pregnancies in 4 women affected by Cooley Disease, from Paediatric Institute of Catania University, are described, considering the preconceptual guidances and cares for such patients. These patients were selected among a group of 100 thalassemic women divided into three subgroups, according to their first and successive menstruation characteristics: i) patients with primitive amenorrhoea, ii) patients with secondary amenorrhoea and iii) patients with normal menstruation. Only one woman, affected by primitive amenorrhoea, needed the induction of ovulation. A precise and detailed pre-pregnancy assessment was effected before each conception. This was constituted by a series of essays, including checks for diabetes and hypothyroidism, for B and C hepatitis and for blood group antibodies. Moreover were evaluated: cardiac function, rubella immunity and transaminases. Other pregnancy monitoring, and cares during labour and delivery were effected according to usual obstetrics practice. All the women were in labour when she were 38 week pregnant, and the outcome were five healthy babies born at term, weighting between 2600 and 3200gs. The only complication was the Caesarean section. The improvements of current treatments, especially in the management of iron deposits, the prolongation of survival rate, will result in a continuous increase of pregnancies in thalassemic women. Pregnancy is now a real possibility for women affected by such disease. We are furthermore studying the possibility to collect the fetus' umbilical cord blood, after the delivery, to attempt eterologus transplantation to his mother trying to get a complete marrow reconstitution. PMID:22184526

  1. 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

  2. Does Temperature-Mediated Reproductive Success Drive the Direction of Species Displacement in Two Invasive Species of Leafminer Fly?

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haihong; Reitz, Stuart R.; Xiang, Juncheng; Smagghe, Guy; Lei, Zhongren

    2014-01-01

    Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae) are two highly invasive species of leafmining flies, which have become established as pests of horticultural crops throughout the world. In certain regions where both species have been introduced, L. sativae has displaced L. trifolii, whereas the opposite has occurred in other regions. These opposing outcomes suggest that neither species is an inherently superior competitor. The regions where these displacements have been observed (southern China, Japan and western USA) are climatically different. We determined whether temperature differentially affects the reproductive success of these species and therefore if climatic differences could affect the outcome of interspecific interactions where these species are sympatric. The results of life table parameters indicate that both species can develop successfully at all tested temperatures (20, 25, 31, 33°C). L. sativae had consistently higher fecundities at all temperatures, but L. trifolii developed to reproductive age faster. Age-stage specific survival rates were higher for L. sativae at low temperatures, but these were higher for L. trifolii at higher temperatures. We then compared the net reproductive rates (R0) for both species in pure and mixed cultures maintained at the same four constant temperatures. Both species had significantly lower net reproductive rates in mixed species cultures compared with their respective pure species cultures, indicating that both species are subject to intense interspecific competition. Net reproductive rates were significantly greater for L. sativae than for L. trifolii in mixed species groups at the lower temperatures, whereas the opposite occurred at the higher temperature. Therefore, interactions between the species are temperature dependent and small differences could shift the competitive balance between the species. These temperature mediated effects may contribute to the current ongoing displacement of L. sativae by

  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. PMID:19020975

  4. Legal issues affecting confidentiality and informed consent in reproductive health.

    PubMed

    Rockett, L R

    2000-01-01

    The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions. PMID:11070641

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26510673

  8. 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

  9. Allopregnanolone as a Mediator of Affective Switching in Reproductive Mood Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, Crystal Edler; Schmidt, Peter J.; Rubinow, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Reproductive mood disorders, including premenstrual dysphoria (PMD) and postpartum depression (PPD), are characterized by affective dysregulation that occurs during specific reproductive states. The occurrence of illness onset during changes in reproductive endocrine function has generated interest in the role of gonadal steroids in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders, yet the mechanisms by which the changing hormone milieu triggers depression in susceptible women remain poorly understood. Objectives This review focuses on one of the neurosteroid metabolites of progesterone – allopregnanolone (ALLO) – that acutely regulates neuronal function and may mediate affective dysregulation that occurs concomitant with changes in reproductive endocrine function. We describe the role of the ‘neuroactive’ steroids estradiol and progesterone in reproductive endocrine-related mood disorders to highlight the potential mechanisms by which ALLO might contribute to their pathophysiology. Finally, using existing data, we test the hypothesis that changes in ALLO levels may trigger affective dysregulation in susceptible women. Results Although there is no reliable evidence that basal ALLO levels distinguish those with PMD or PPD from those without, existing animal models suggest potential mechanisms by which specific reproductive states may unmask susceptibility to affective dysregulation. Consistent with these models, initially euthymic women with PMD and those with a history of PPD show a negative association between depressive symptoms and circulating ALLO levels following progesterone administration. Conclusions Existing animal models and our own preliminary data suggest that ALLO may play an important role in the pathophysiology of reproductive mood disorders by triggering affective dysregulation in susceptible women. PMID:24846476

  10. 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. PMID:24151130

  11. Within-host competition determines reproductive success of temperate bacteriophages.

    PubMed

    Refardt, Dominik

    2011-09-01

    Within-host competition between parasites is frequently invoked as a major force for parasite evolution, yet quantitative studies on its extent in an organismal group are lacking. Temperate bacteriophages are diverse and abundant parasites of bacteria, distinguished by their ability to enter a facultative dormant state in their host. Bacteria can accumulate multiple phages that may eventually abandon dormancy in response to host stress. Host resources are then converted into phage particles, whose release requires cell death. To study within-host competition between phages, I used the bacterium Escherichia coli and 11 lambdoid phages to construct single and double lysogens. Lysogenic bacterial cultures were then induced and time to host cell lysis and productivity of phages was measured. In double lysogens, this revealed strong competitive interactions as in all cases productivity of at least one phage declined. The outcome of within-host competition was often asymmetrical, and phages were found to vary hierarchically in within-host competitive ability. In double infections, the phage with the shorter lysis time determined the timing of cell lysis, which was associated with a competitive advantage when time differences were large. The results emphasize that within-host competition greatly affects phage fitness and that multiple infections should be considered an integral part of bacteriophage ecology. PMID:21412345

  12. Evidence that elevated water temperature affects the reproductive physiology of the European bullhead Cottus gobio.

    PubMed

    Dorts, Jennifer; Grenouillet, Gaël; Douxfils, Jessica; Mandiki, Syaghalirwa N M; Milla, Sylvain; Silvestre, Frédéric; Kestemont, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase the average water temperature and alter the ecology and physiology of several organisms including fish species. To examine the effects of increased water temperature on freshwater fish reproduction, adult European bullhead Cottus gobio of both genders were maintained under three temperature regimes (T1: 6-10, T2: 10-14 and T3: 14-18°C) and assessed for gonad development (gonadosomatic index-GSI and gonad histology), sex steroids (testosterone-T, 17β-estradiol-E2 and 11-ketotestosterone-11-KT) and vitellogenin (alkali-labile phosphoprotein phosphorus-ALP) dynamics in December, January, February and March. The results indicate that a 8°C rise in water temperature (T3) deeply disrupted the gonadal maturation in both genders. This observation was associated with the absence of GSI peak from January to March, and low levels of plasma sex steroids compared with T1-exposed fish. Nevertheless, exposure to an increasing temperature of 4°C (T2) appeared to accelerate oogenesis with an early peak value in GSI and level of plasma T recorded in January relative to T1-exposed females. In males, the low GSI, reduced level of plasma 11-KT and the absence of GSI increase from January to March support the deleterious effects of increasing water temperature on spermatogenesis. The findings of the present study suggest that exposure to elevated temperatures within the context of climate warming might affect the reproductive success of C. gobio. Specifically, a 4°C rise in water temperature affects gametogenesis by advancing the spawning, and a complete reproductive failure is observed at an elevated temperature of 8°C. PMID:21638008

  13. Transinfected Wolbachia have minimal effects on male reproductive success in Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Wolbachia are maternally inherited endosymbiotic bacteria that manipulate the reproductive success of their insect hosts. Uninfected females that mate with Wolbachia infected males do not reproduce due to cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI results in the increased frequency of Wolbachia-infected individuals in populations. Recently, two Wolbachia strains, the benign wMel and virulent wMelPop have been artificially transinfected into the primary vector of dengue virus, the mosquito Ae. aegypti where they have formed stable infections. These Wolbachia infections are being developed for a biological control strategy against dengue virus transmission. While the effects of Wolbachia on female Ae. aegypti have been examined the effects on males are less well characterised. Here we ascertain and compare the effects of the two strains on male fitness in resource-limited environments that may better approximate the natural environment. Methods A series of population mating trials were conducted to examine the effect of Wolbachia infection status (with strains wMel and wMelPop) and male larval nutrition on insemination frequency, remating rates, the fecundity of females, the hatch rates of eggs and the wing length and fertility of males. Results wMel and wMelPop infections reduce the fecundity of infected females and wMelPop reduces the viability of eggs. Low nutrition diets for males in the larval phase affects the fecundity of wMel-infected females. Neither strain of Wolbachia affected sperm quality or viability or the ability of males to successfully mate multiple females. Conclusions The benign strain of Wolbachia, wMel causes similar reductions in fecundity as the more virulent, wMelPop, and neither are too great that they should not still spread given the action of CI. The ability of Wolbachia-infected males to repeat mate as frequently as wildtype mosquitoes indicates that they will be very good agents of delivering CI in field release populations. PMID

  14. Factors affecting the level of success of community information systems.

    PubMed

    Coombs, C R; Doherty, N F; Loan-Clarke, J

    1999-01-01

    The factors that influence the ultimate level of success or failure of systems development projects have received considerable attention in the academic literature. However, previous research has rarely targeted different instances of a common type of system within a homogeneous organisational sector. This paper presents the results of a survey of IM&T managers within Community Trusts to gain insights into the factors affecting the success of Community Information Systems. The results demonstrate that the most successful operational systems were thoroughly tested prior to implementation and enjoyed high levels of user and senior management commitment. Furthermore, it has been shown that there is a relationship between the level of organisational impact and systems success, with the most successful systems engendering changes to the host organisation's culture, level of empowerment and clinical working practices. In addition to being of academic interest, this research provides many important insights for practising IM&T managers. PMID:10747445

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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. PMID:26181610

  17. 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. PMID:20188027

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. TROPHIC STRUCTURE, REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS, AND GROWTH RATE OF FISHES IN A NATURAL AND MODIFIED HEADWATER STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The impact of removing riparian vegetation, channel straightening, and fluctuations in flow regime on trophic structure, reproductive success, and growth rate of fishes was assessed in a natural (Jordan Creek(JC)) and modified (Big Ditch(BD)) headwater stream in eastcentral Illin...

  2. Seminal Fluid Signalling in the Female Reproductive Tract: Implications for Reproductive Success and Offspring Health.

    PubMed

    Schjenken, John E; Robertson, Sarah A

    2015-01-01

    Carriage of sperm is not the only function of seminal fluid in mammals. Studies in mice show that at conception, seminal fluid interacts with the female reproductive tract to induce responses which influence whether or not pregnancy will occur, and to set in train effects that help shape subsequent fetal development. In particular, seminal fluid initiates female immune adaptation processes required to tolerate male transplantation antigens present in seminal fluid and inherited by the conceptus. A tolerogenic immune environment to facilitate pregnancy depends on regulatory T cells (Treg cells), which recognise male antigens and function to suppress inflammation and immune rejection responses. The female response to seminal fluid stimulates the generation of Treg cells that protect the conceptus from inflammatory damage, to support implantation and placental development. Seminal fluid also elicits molecular and cellular changes in the oviduct and endometrium that directly promote embryo development and implantation competence. The plasma fraction of seminal fluid plays a key role in this process with soluble factors, including TGFB, prostaglandin-E, and TLR4 ligands, demonstrated to contribute to the peri-conception immune environment. Recent studies show that conception in the absence of seminal plasma in mice impairs embryo development and alters fetal development to impact the phenotype of offspring, with adverse effects on adult metabolic function particularly in males. This review summarises our current understanding of the molecular responses to seminal fluid and how this contributes to the establishment of pregnancy, generation of an immune-regulatory environment and programming long-term offspring health. PMID:26178848

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

    PubMed Central

    Griffen, Blaine D; Norelli, Alexandra P

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25897386

  4. Academic, Affective, and Personal Attributes of Successful Student Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pigge, Fred L.; Marso, Ronald N.

    The influences of students' (N=152) academic, affective, and personal attributes on their success in student teaching (as measured by university supervisors' ratings) were examined in this study. It was found that the following student attributes were related to their student teaching performance: (1) their total university and their education…

  5. Observations on the removal of brood inoculated with Tropilaelaps mercedesae (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) and the mite’s reproductive success in Apis mellifera colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study assessed the response of Apis mellifera to brood deliberately infested with Tropilaelaps mercedesae. The reproductive success of T. mercedesae in mite-inoculated and naturally infested brood was also compared. The presence of T. mercedesae inside brood cells significantly affected brood ...

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:22306283

  8. 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. PMID:20044150

  9. Reproductive success of the Black-crowned Night Heron at Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California, 1990-2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, R.L.; Hatch, D.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting chronology, habitat use, subcolony use, and hatchability were documented for the Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) nesting at Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bav, California during 1990-2002. Reproductive success was estimated using the Mayfield method and compared among years. Totals of monitored nests per year ranged from 68 in 2001 to 341 in 1996, with a trend of declining numbers since 1996. An increase in numbers of the Western Gull (Larus occidentalis), the Black-crowned Night Heron's primary competitor, occurred during the same period. Overall reproductive success of the Black-crowned Night Heron at Alcatraz Island was below the 13-year average of 56.4% since 1996. During the study, the average number of chicks fledged per nest each year ranged from 0.46 to 1.27, which is less than the two chicks per nest suggested as a requirement for a sustained population. Embryos in five of 187 failed Black-crowned Night Heron eggs were deformed. In 1990 and 1991, eggs were analyzed for a wide range of contaminants, but none appeared to be sufficiently elevated to have caused the observed deformities. Based on these relatively low levels of contaminants, a high hatchability rate (94.5%), and relatively low levels of embryotoxicity, contaminants did not appear to significantly affect Black-crowned Night Heron reproduction at Alcatraz Island. However, predation by the Common Raven (Corvus corax) and Western Gull, interspecific competition with the Western Gull, habitat deterioration, and possible human disturbance are likely factors contributing to the decline in Black-crowned Night Heron reproductive success on Alcatraz Island in recent years.

  10. 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. PMID:3396312

  11. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination.

    PubMed

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-03-22

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of 'environmental sex determination'. PMID:17251109

  12. Maternal nutrition affects reproductive output and sex allocation in a lizard with environmental sex determination

    PubMed Central

    Warner, Daniel A; Lovern, Matthew B; Shine, Richard

    2007-01-01

    Life-history traits such as offspring size, number and sex ratio are affected by maternal feeding rates in many kinds of animals, but the consequences of variation in maternal diet quality (rather than quantity) are poorly understood. We manipulated dietary quality of reproducing female lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus; Agamidae), a species with temperature-dependent sex determination, to examine strategies of reproductive allocation. Females maintained on a poor-quality diet produced fewer clutches but massively (twofold) larger eggs with lower concentrations of yolk testosterone than did conspecific females given a high-quality diet. Although all eggs were incubated at the same temperature, and yolk steroid hormone levels were not correlated with offspring sex, the nutrient-deprived females produced highly male-biased sex ratios among their offspring. These responses to maternal nutrition generate a link between sex and offspring size, in a direction likely to enhance maternal fitness if large body size enhances reproductive success more in sons than in daughters (as seems plausible, given the mating system of this species). Overall, our results show that sex determination in these animals is more complex, and responsive to a wider range of environmental cues, than that suggested by the classification of ‘environmental sex determination’. PMID:17251109

  13. Second-Hand Eating? Maternal perception of the food environment affects reproductive investment in mice

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Tonia S.; Gainer, Renee; Dohm, Erik D.; Johnson, Maria S.; Wyss, J. Michael; Allison, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Little information exists on how perception of the food (or ‘energetic’) environment affects body composition and reproductive investment. We test the hypothesis that female mice, who are themselves consuming standard chow diets, but who are exposed to conspecifics eating a rich “cafeteria diet”, will exhibit altered weight gain and reproductive investment. Design and Methods Female C57BL/6 mice were raised on a cafeteria diet. At maturity, subjects were switched to a standard chow diet and their cage-mate was assigned to consume either a cafeteria diet (treatment, n=20), or standard chow (control, n=20). Subjects were mated, and pups raised to weaning. Subjects and pups were analyzed for body composition. Results Treatment had no discernable effect on dam body weight or composition, but caused pups to have lower body weight (p=0.036), and less fat mass (p=0.041). We found a nearly significant treatment effect on ‘time to successful reproduction’ (avg. 55 vs. 44 days) likely due to increased failed first pregnancies (14/19 versus 8/19, p=0.099). Conclusions These data indicate that perceived food environment (independent of the diet actually consumed) can produce small pups with less body fat, and possibly induce difficulties in pregnancy for dams. Replication and mechanistic studies should follow. PMID:25864567

  14. 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. PMID:21421357

  15. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics.

    PubMed

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-03-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L(-1)) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (-38%), diameter (-5%), and sperm velocity (-23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  16. Oyster reproduction is affected by exposure to polystyrene microplastics

    PubMed Central

    Sussarellu, Rossana; Suquet, Marc; Thomas, Yoann; Lambert, Christophe; Fabioux, Caroline; Pernet, Marie Eve Julie; Le Goïc, Nelly; Quillien, Virgile; Mingant, Christian; Epelboin, Yanouk; Corporeau, Charlotte; Guyomarch, Julien; Robbens, Johan; Paul-Pont, Ika; Soudant, Philippe; Huvet, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Plastics are persistent synthetic polymers that accumulate as waste in the marine environment. Microplastic (MP) particles are derived from the breakdown of larger debris or can enter the environment as microscopic fragments. Because filter-feeder organisms ingest MP while feeding, they are likely to be impacted by MP pollution. To assess the impact of polystyrene microspheres (micro-PS) on the physiology of the Pacific oyster, adult oysters were experimentally exposed to virgin micro-PS (2 and 6 µm in diameter; 0.023 mg·L−1) for 2 mo during a reproductive cycle. Effects were investigated on ecophysiological parameters; cellular, transcriptomic, and proteomic responses; fecundity; and offspring development. Oysters preferentially ingested the 6-µm micro-PS over the 2-µm-diameter particles. Consumption of microalgae and absorption efficiency were significantly higher in exposed oysters, suggesting compensatory and physical effects on both digestive parameters. After 2 mo, exposed oysters had significant decreases in oocyte number (−38%), diameter (−5%), and sperm velocity (−23%). The D-larval yield and larval development of offspring derived from exposed parents decreased by 41% and 18%, respectively, compared with control offspring. Dynamic energy budget modeling, supported by transcriptomic profiles, suggested a significant shift of energy allocation from reproduction to structural growth, and elevated maintenance costs in exposed oysters, which is thought to be caused by interference with energy uptake. Molecular signatures of endocrine disruption were also revealed, but no endocrine disruptors were found in the biological samples. This study provides evidence that micro-PS cause feeding modifications and reproductive disruption in oysters, with significant impacts on offspring. PMID:26831072

  17. Osprey distribution, abundance, reproductive success and contaminant burdens along lower Columbia River, 1997/1998 versus 2004.

    PubMed

    Henny, C J; Grove, R A; Kaiser, J L

    2008-04-01

    The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) population nesting along the lower portion of the Columbia River (river mile 29 to 286) increased from 94 in 1997 to 103 occupied nests in 1998 (9.6% annual rate of increase) to 225 occupied nests in 2004 (13.9% annual rate of increase). The more recent rate of population increase was associated with higher reproductive rates than in 1997/1998, and significantly lower egg concentrations of most organochlorine (OC) pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). A comparison of observed egg residue concentrations in 2004 with effect-level information for ospreys indicated that reproduction at few, if any, nests was adversely affected. As recent as 1997/1998, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) was still adversely affecting reproductive success for a portion of this population. Mercury was the only contaminant evaluated in both 1997/1998 and 2004 that showed a significant increase in eggs over time, but concentrations in 2004 (0.09 microg g(-1) ww) remained below established effect levels for birds (generally reported at 0.50 microg g(-1) ww or higher). The significant increase in mercury justifies the need for future monitoring. All contaminants mentioned that biomagnify up food chains can be effectively monitored in osprey eggs. The osprey has been shown to be an excellent sentinel species for long-term monitoring with their many useful traits described. PMID:17926083

  18. Social Variables Affecting Mate Preferences, Copulation and Reproductive Outcome in a Pack of Free-Ranging Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  19. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    PubMed

    Cafazzo, Simona; Bonanni, Roberto; Valsecchi, Paola; Natoli, Eugenia

    2014-01-01

    Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves. PMID:24905360

  20. Correlates of lifetime reproductive success in three species of European ducks.

    PubMed

    Blums, Peter; Clark, Robert G

    2004-06-01

    Number of breeding attempts is a strong correlate of lifetime reproductive success (LRS) in birds, but the relative importance of potentially interacting factors affecting LRS has rarely been fully evaluated. We considered simultaneously five main factors hypothesized to influence LRS (age at first breeding, nesting date, number of breeding attempts, female traits, brood parasitism) by analyzing with path analysis 22-year data sets for 1,279 individually marked females and their offspring in tufted duck ( Aythya fuligula), common pochard ( A. ferina) and northern shoveler (Anas clypeata). We recaptured marked offspring as breeding adults (n=496 females) and obtained more complete estimates of LRS by incorporating information about banded ducklings of both sexes shot by hunters > or =12 months after banding (n=138). In tufted ducks and especially pochard (both diving duck species), late-hatched females tended to delay nesting until 2-years old. Most females (tufted duck, 74%; pochard, 71%; shoveler, 59%) apparently produced no breeding-age offspring. Number of breeding attempts (i.e., longevity) was the strongest correlate of LRS in all species, after controlling effects of age at first breeding, relative nest initiation date, wing length and body mass. Percentage of females producing recruits increased gradually with number of breeding attempts for all three species. Also, as expected, females nesting early in the breeding season had higher LRS than late-nesting individuals. In shoveler, female-specific characteristics of relatively longer wings and heavier late incubation body mass had positive effects on LRS, the latter feature being more common in 2-year-old nesters. In diving ducks, no relationships were detected between LRS and female-specific traits like wing length or body mass, and nor did acceptance of parasitic eggs have any deleterious impact on fitness estimates. Overall, number of fledged ducklings and LRS were related in tufted duck, weakly associated

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Reproductive success of three passerine species exposed to dioxin-like compounds near Midland, Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Fredricks, Timothy B; Zwiernik, Matthew J; Seston, Rita M; Coefield, Sarah J; Glaspie, Cassandra N; Tazelaar, Dustin L; Kay, Denise P; Newsted, John L; Giesy, John P

    2012-05-01

    Nests of three passerine birds, house wren (HOWR), tree swallow (TRES), and eastern bluebird (EABL) were monitored daily (2005-2007) at study areas (SAs) downstream of Midland, Michigan where soil and sediment concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were significantly greater than the regional background concentrations and upstream reference areas (RAs). Similarly, TRES research conducted at sites contaminated with dioxin-like compounds indicated that concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and PCDFs, expressed as ΣPCDD/DFs and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents observed in the diet and eggs of these three species would be predicted to cause significant effects on reproduction. However, site-specific reproductive parameters including hatching success and fledging success at downstream SAs were similar to or greater than those at upstream RAs. Specifically, hatching success was not significantly different among years, species, locations, or between early and late nesting attempts. Of all initiated clutches, 66% (n = 427), 73% (n = 245), and 64% (n = 122) successfully fledged at least one nestling for HOWR, TRES, and EABL, respectively. Overall reproductive performance was similar between SAs and RAs. The reason for these unexpected results is consistent with the fact that there are species-specific and congener-specific differences in sensitivities to the effects of aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonists. PMID:22392542

  4. Reproductive success of non-rewarding Cypripedium japonicum benefits from low spatial dispersion pattern and asynchronous flowering

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hai-Qin; Cheng, Jin; Zhang, Fu-Min; Luo, Yi-Bo; Ge, Song

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Outcrossing animal-pollinated plants, particularly non-rewarding species, often experience pollinator limitation to reproduction. Pollinator visitation is affected by various factors, and it is hypothesized that reproduction in non-rewarding plants would benefit from low spatial flower abundance and asynchronous flowering. In order to test this hypothesis, the influence of spatial pattern and flowering phenology on male and female reproductive success (RS) was investigated in a non-rewarding orchid, Cypripedium japonicum, in central China over two flowering seasons. Methods The probabilities of intrafloral self-pollination and geitonogamy caused by pollinator behaviours were estimated from field observations. Pollinator limitation was evaluated by hand-pollination experiments. RS was surveyed in different spatial flower dispersal patterns and local flower densities. The effects of flowering phenological traits on RS were assessed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Key Results Hand-pollination experiments revealed that fruit production was strongly pollen limited throughout the entire reproductive season – over two seasons, 74·3 % of individuals set fruit following hand pollination, but only 5·2–7·7 % did so under natural conditions. Intrafloral self-pollination and geitonogamy within the potential clones might be rare. Both male and female fitness were substantially lower in clustered plants than in those growing singly. An increase in local conspecific flower density significantly and negatively influenced male RS, but had no effect on female RS. Phenotypic selection analysis indicated that individuals flowering earlier have the greatest probability of RS. Over 85 % of sampled flowering individuals had a flowering synchrony value >0·7; however, highly synchronous flowering was not advantageous for RS, as indicated by the negative directional selection differentials and gradients, and by the positive quadratic selection

  5. Clutch size, reproductive success, and organochlorine contaminants in Atlantic coast black-crowned night-herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hensler, G.L.; Kaiser, T.E.

    1983-01-01

    In 1979, clutch-size and reproductive-success data were collected on black-crowned night-herons (N. nycticorax) nesting in 3 New England and two North Carolina [USA] colonies. In 1975, similar data were collected from 1 New England and 1 North Carolina colony. Latitudinal differences in clutch initiation were not evident. Mean clutch size was larger in the New England colonies. Mean clutch size was smaller in late nests from 1 New England colony studied in both years and another New England colony studied in 1979; seasonal trends in clutch size for another colonies were not found. In 1979, nest success was greater in 2 New England colonies than in 1 North Carolina colony. Within-season differences in nest success occurred but were inconsistent among colonies. In the 4 instances where statistical comparisons could be made, larger clutches were more successful than smaller ones in 2 colonies; large and small clutches had similar success in 2 other colonies. One egg was collected from each of several nests in each colony in 1979 for organochlorine contaminant analysis, and the fate of the remaining eggs was recorded. Concentrations of DDE and PCB [polychlorinated biphenyl] did not differ with clutch size; concentrations of PCB were lower in eggs laid late in the season. Although the data suggest an effect of DDE on hatching success in the northern more contaminated colonies, the impact of environmental contaminants on overall reproductive success appears to be minimal.

  6. Father's death does not affect growth and maturation but hinders reproduction: evidence from adolescent girls in post-war Estonia.

    PubMed

    Hõrak, Peeter; Valge, Markus

    2015-12-01

    The popular concept of predictive-adaptive responses poses that girls growing up without a father present in the family mature and start reproduction earlier because the father's absence is a cue for environmental harshness and uncertainty that favours switching to a precocious life-history strategy. Most studies supporting this concept have been performed in situations where the father's absence is caused by divorce or abandonment. Using a dataset of Estonian adolescent girls who had lost their fathers over the period of World War II, we show that father's death did not affect the rate of pubertal maturation (assessed on the basis of development of breasts and axillary hair) or growth. Father's death did not affect the age of first birth but, contrary to predictions, reduced lifetime reproductive success. Our findings thus do not support the concept of predictive-adaptive responses and suggest that alternative explanations for covariation between fatherlessness and early maturation are required. PMID:26673934

  7. 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. PMID:20820845

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:25461975

  10. Selenium status affects selenoprotein expression, reproduction, and F₁ generation locomotor activity in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Penglase, Sam; Hamre, Kristin; Rasinger, Josef D; Ellingsen, Staale

    2014-06-14

    Se is an essential trace element, and is incorporated into selenoproteins which play important roles in human health. Mammalian selenoprotein-coding genes are often present as paralogues in teleost fish, and it is unclear whether the expression patterns or functions of these fish paralogues reflect their mammalian orthologues. Using the model species zebrafish (Danio rerio; ZF), we aimed to assess how dietary Se affects key parameters in Se metabolism and utilisation including glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity, the mRNA expression of key Se-dependent proteins (gpx1a, gpx1b, sepp1a and sepp1b), oxidative status, reproductive success and F1 generation locomotor activity. From 27 d until 254 d post-fertilisation, ZF were fed diets with graded levels of Se ranging from deficient ( < 0·10 mg/kg) to toxic (30 mg/kg). The mRNA expression of gpx1a and gpx1b and GPX activity responded in a similar manner to changes in Se status. GPX activity and mRNA levels were lowest when dietary Se levels (0·3 mg/kg) resulted in the maximum growth of ZF, and a proposed bimodal mechanism in response to Se status below and above this dietary Se level was identified. The expression of the sepp1 paralogues differed, with only sepp1a responding to Se status. High dietary Se supplementation (30 mg/kg) decreased reproductive success, while the offspring of ZF fed above 0·3 mg Se/kg diet had lower locomotor activity than the other groups. Overall, the novel finding of low selenoprotein expression and activity coinciding with maximum body growth suggests that even small Se-induced variations in redox status may influence cellular growth rates. PMID:24666596

  11. 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 Central

    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

  12. 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

  13. Effects of predation, flooding, and contamination on reproductive success of California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwarzbach, S.E.; Albertson, J.D.; Thomas, C.M.

    2006-01-01

    We assessed the reproductive success of the California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus), an endangered subspecies restricted to San Francisco Bay, and the relative importance of predation, flooding, and contaminants as factors affecting that success. Our study was conducted in six tidal marshes in the northern and southern reaches of San Francisco Bay. This assessment, conducted in four breeding seasons (1991, 1992, 1998, 1999), determined that productivity of California Clapper Rails was much reduced over the natural potential. Only 69% of clapper rail eggs whose viability could be assessed were viable. Hatchability of eggs in North Bay and South Bay marshes was 65% and 70%, respectively. Only 45% of the nests successfully hatched at least one egg. Despite mean clutch sizes of 6.7 and 6.9 in the North and South bays, respectively, clapper rails produced only 1.9 and 2.5 young per nesting attempt. Flooding was a minor factor, reducing the number of eggs available to hatch by only 2.3%. Predation on eggs was a major factor affecting nest success, reducing productivity by a third. Failed eggs were examined for abnormal development and contaminant concentrations. Contamination appeared to adversely influence California Clapper Rail reproductive success, as evidenced by deformities; embryo hemorrhaging; embryo malpositions; a depressed rate of hatchability; excess concentrations of mercury, barium, and chromium over known avian embryotoxic thresholds; and a correlation of deformities with elevated concentrations of some trace elements in eggs that failed to hatch. Mercury was the only significant contaminant common to all marshes. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006.

  14. Family effects on early survival and variance in long-term reproductive success of female cheetahs.

    PubMed

    Pettorelli, Nathalie; Durant, Sarah M

    2007-09-01

    1. While it is generally accepted that the survival of offspring within families may be correlated, the extent of correlation has been largely untested. Furthermore, the impact of such correlation on the estimated variance in females' reproductive success has rarely been quantified. 2. Here we use an exceptional data set from a long-term study of individually recognized cheetahs from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to formally quantify family effects in carnivores. 3. We show (i) that cubs from the same litter exhibit more similar fates than unrelated cubs when it comes to first-year survival; and (ii) that the observed variance of the long-term reproductive success of females is twice the variance expected under the assumption of complete independence of fates between cubs. 4. We suggest that family effects are likely to be widespread in vertebrates with average litter sizes > 1, and could have important consequences for population dynamics and population viability analyses. PMID:17714269

  15. 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

  16. Factors Affecting Successful Implementation of Hospital Information Systems

    PubMed Central

    Farzandipur, Mehrdad; jeddi, Fatemeh Rangraz; Azimi, Esmaeil

    2016-01-01

    Background: Today, the use of information systems in health environments, like any other fields, is necessary and organizational managers are convinced to use these systems. However, managers’ satisfaction is not the only factor in successfully implementing these systems and failed information technology projects (IT) are reported despite the consent of the directors. Therefore, this study aims to determine the factors affecting the successful implementation of a hospital information system. Methods: The study was carried out as a descriptive method in 20 clinical hospitals that the hospital information system (HIS) was conducted in them. The clinical and paraclinical users of mentioned hospitals are the study group. 400 people were chosen as samples in scientific method and the data was collected using a questionnaire consisted of three main human, managerial and organizational, and technological factors, by questionnaire and interview. Then the data was scored in Likert scale (score of 1 to 5) and were analyzed using the SPSS software. Results: About 75 percent of the population were female, with average work experience of 10 years and the mean age was 30 years. The human factors affecting the success of hospital information system implementation achieved the mean score of 3.5, both organizational and managerial factors 2.9 and technological factors the mean of 3. Conclusion: Human factors including computer skills, perceiving usefulness and perceiving the ease of a hospital information system use are more effective on the acceptance and successful implementation of hospital information systems; then the technological factors play a greater role. It is recommended that for the successful implementation of hospital information systems, most of these factors to be considered PMID:27041811

  17. Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans.

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that, in contemporary populations, tall men have greater reproductive success than shorter men. This appears to be due to their greater ability to attract mates. To our knowledge, no comparable results have yet been reported for women. This study used data from Britain's National Child Development Study to examine the life histories of a nationally representative group of women. Height was weakly but significantly related to reproductive success. The relationship was U-shaped, with deficits at the extremes of height. This pattern was largely due to poor health among extremely tall and extremely short women. However, the maximum reproductive success was found below the mean height for women. Thus, selection appears to be sexually disruptive in this population, favouring tall men and short women. Over evolutionary time, such a situation tends to maintain sexual dimorphism. Men do not use stature as a positive mate-choice criterion as women do. It is argued that there is good evolutionary reason for this, because men are orientated towards cues of fertility, and female height, being positively related to age of sexual maturity, is not such a cue. PMID:12350254

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

    PubMed Central

    Jokela, Markus

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:21151758

  19. 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. PMID:27420478

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:19504595

  2. Male function for ensuring pollination and reproductive success in Berberis lycium Royle: A novel mechanism.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Supriya; Verma, Susheel

    2016-03-01

    In Berberis lycium anthers on alternate stamens dehisce, thus prolonging the male function so that pollination is affected and reproduction is ensured. The large pollen sac of each bithecous anther after the appearance of longitudinal dehiscence slit moves away from the filament while remaining attached at the tip of the connective and then orients in such a way that pollen-laden surface faces the stigma. No pollen is available to receptive stigma as pollen grains remain stuck to the anther sac. They do not get dispersed even by wind. Pollination and consequently reproduction is ensured through the intervention of insect, which does not affect pollen transfer to the stigma directly but by touching the base of the staminal filament while foraging nectar secreted by nectaries at the base of corolla, thus leading to staminal movement. This makes the dehisced anthers stick to the stigma and deposit pollen there. PMID:26949084

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:25894092

  5. Clonal Patch Size and Ramet Position of Leymus chinensis Affected Reproductive Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuo; Yang, Yunfei

    2015-01-01

    Reproductive allocation is critically important for population maintenance and usually varies with not only environmental factors but also biotic ones. As a typical rhizome clonal plant in China's northern grasslands, Leymus chinensis usually dominates the steppe communities and grows in clonal patches. In order to clarify the sexual reproductive allocation of L. chinensis in the process of the growth and expansion, we selected L. chinensis clonal patches of a range of sizes to examine the reproductive allocation and allometric growth of the plants. Moreover, the effects of position of L. chinensis ramets within the patch on their reproductive allocation were also examined. Clonal patch size and position both significantly affected spike biomass, reproductive tiller biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio. From the central to the marginal zone, both the spike biomass and reproductive tiller biomass displayed an increasing trend in all the five patch size categories except for reproductive tiller biomass in 15–40m2 category. L. chinensis had significantly larger SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio in marginal zone than in central zone of clonal patches that are larger than 15 m2 in area. Regression analysis showed that the spike biomass and SPIKE/TILLER biomass ratio were negatively correlated with clonal patch size while patch size showed significantly positive effect on SEED/SPIKE biomass ratio, but the reproductive tiller biomass and SEED/TILLER biomass ratio were not dependent on clonal patch size. The relationships between biomass of spike and reproductive tiller, between mature seed biomass and spike biomass and between mature seed biomass and reproductive tiller biomass were significant allometric for all or some of patch size categories, respectively. The slopes of all these allometric relationships were significantly different from 1. The allometric growth of L. chinensis is patch size-dependent. This finding will be helpful for developing appropriate practices for

  6. Longevity and reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) fed different natural diets.

    PubMed

    Ellis, James D; Neumann, Peter; Hepburn, Randall; Elzen, Patti J

    2002-10-01

    The longevity and reproductive success of newly emerged, unfed adult Aethina tumida Murray assigned different diets (control = unfed; honey-pollen; honey; pollen; empty brood comb; bee brood; fresh Kei apples; and rotten Kei apples) were determined. Longevity in honey-fed small hive beetle adults (average maximum: 167 d) was significantly higher than on other diets. Small hive beetles fed empty brood comb lived significantly longer (average maximum: 49.8 d) than unfed beetles (average maximum: 9.6 d). Small hive beetle offspring were produced on honey-pollen, pollen, bee brood, fresh Kei apples, and rotten Kei apples but not on honey alone, empty brood comb, or in control treatments. The highest reproductive success occurred in pollen fed adults (1773.8 +/- 294.4 larvae per three mating pairs of adults). The data also show that A. tumida can reproduce on fruits alone, indicating that they are facultative parasites. The pupation success and sex ratio of small hive beetle offspring were also analyzed. Larvae fed pollen, honey-pollen, or brood had significantly higher pupation success rates of 0.64, 0.73, and 0.65 respectively than on the other diets. Sex ratios of emerging adults fed diets of pollen or brood as larvae were significantly skewed toward females. Because small hive beetle longevity and overall reproductive success was highest on foodstuffs located in honey bee colonies, A. tumida are efficient at causing large-scale damage to colonies of honey bees resulting in economic injury for the beekeeper. Practical considerations for the control of A. tumida are briefly discussed. PMID:12403414

  7. Inflorescence architecture affects pollinator behaviour and mating success in Spiranthes sinensis (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Iwata, Tatsunori; Nagasaki, Osamu; Ishii, Hiroshi S; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2012-01-01

    • Despite the wide inflorescence diversity among angiosperms, the effects of inflorescence architecture (three-dimensional flower arrangement) on pollinator behaviour and mating success have not been sufficiently studied in natural plant populations. • Here, we investigated how inflorescence architecture affected inter- and intra-plant pollinator movements and consequent mating success in a field population of Spiranthes sinensis var. amoena (S. sinensis). In this species, the flowers are helically arranged around the stem, and the degree of twisting varies greatly among individuals. The large variation in inflorescence architecture in S. sinensis results from variation in a single structural parameter, the helical angle (the angular distance between neighbour-flower directions). • The numbers of visits per inflorescence and successive probes per visit by leaf-cutting bees decreased with helical angle, indicating that individual flowers of tightly twisted inflorescences received less visitations. As expected from pollinator behaviour, pollinia removal and fruit set of individual flowers decreased with helical angle. Meanwhile, geitonogamy decreased in tightly twisted inflorescences. • Our novel findings demonstrate that natural variation in inflorescence architecture significantly affects pollinator behaviour and reproductive success, suggesting that inflorescence architecture can evolve under pollinator-mediated natural selection in plant populations. We also discuss how diverse inflorescence architectures may have been maintained in S. sinensis populations. PMID:21919912

  8. Reproductive Ecology of the Endangered Alpine Species Eryngium alpinum L. (Apiaceae): Phenology, Gene Dispersal and Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    GAUDEUL, M.; TILL‐BOTTRAUD, I.

    2004-01-01

    • Background and aims Eryngium alpinum (Apiaceae) is an endangered perennial, characteristic of the Alpine flora. Because the breeding system influences both demographic (reproductive success) and genetic (inbreeding depression, evolutionary potential) parameters that are crucial for population maintenance, the reproductive ecology of E. alpinum was investigated. Specifically, the aims of the study were (1) to determine the factors (resources and/or pollen) limiting plant fitness; and (2) to assess the potential for gene flow within a plant, within a patch of plants, and across a whole valley where the species is abundant. • Methods Field experiments were performed at two sites in the Fournel valley, France, over three consecutive years. Studies included a phenological survey, observations of pollinators (visitation rates and flight distances), dispersal of a fluorescent powder used as a pollen analogue, the use of seed traps, determination of the pollen/ovule ratio, and an experiment to test whether seed production is limited by pollen and/or by resources. • Key results E. alpinum is pollinated by generalist pollinators, visitation rates are very high and seed set is resource‐ rather than pollen‐limited. The short flights of honeybees indicate a high potential for geitonogamy, and low pollen and seed dispersals suggest strong genetic structure over short distances. These results are interpreted in the light of previous molecular markers studies, which, in contrast, showed complete outcrossing and high genetic homogeneity. • Conclusions. The study highlights the usefulness of adopting several complementary approaches to understanding the dynamic processes at work in natural populations, and the conservation implications for E. alpinum are emphasized. Although the studied populations do not seem threatened in the near future, long‐term monitoring appears necessary to assess the impact of habitat fragmentation. Moreover, this study provides useful

  9. 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, Jr.; 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.

  10. Month of birth predicted reproductive success and fitness in pre-modern Canadian women.

    PubMed Central

    Lummaa, Virpi; Tremblay, Marc

    2003-01-01

    Conditions experienced during early development affect human health and survival in adulthood, but whether such effects have consequences for fitness is not known. One surrogate for early conditions is month of birth, which is known to influence health and survival in many human populations. We show that in nineteenth century Canada, month of birth predicted a woman's fitness measured by the number of grandchildren produced, with the genetic contribution to the following generations by women born in different months differing by over seven grandchildren. This difference was mainly caused by differences in the reproductive rates of both mothers and their offspring, rather than differences in their survival. Women born in the best months of the year had longer reproductive lifespans, larger numbers of live births and raised more offspring to adulthood than those who were born in the worst months. Furthermore, the offspring of those women born in the best months also had greater reproductive rates, suggesting that month of birth also influenced a mother's ability to invest in her offspring. Our results suggest that early conditions may have important consequences for human lifetime reproductive performance within and between generations, and that timing of birth had large effects on fitness in this rural community. PMID:14667351

  11. 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. PMID:21655282

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Successful Pregnancy Following Assisted Reproduction in Woman With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Hypertension

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:26376400

  17. 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. PMID:25970459

  18. 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. PMID:25827446

  19. 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

  20. A Single Hot Event That Does Not Affect Survival but Decreases Reproduction in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhao, Fei; Hoffmann, Ary A.; Ma, Chun-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Extremely hot events (usually involving a few hours at extreme high temperatures in summer) are expected to increase in frequency in temperate regions under global warming. The impact of these events is generally overlooked in insect population prediction, since they are unlikely to cause widespread mortality, however reproduction may be affected by them. In this study, we examined such stress effects in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. We simulated a single extreme hot day (maximum of 40°C lasting for 3, 4 or 5 h) increasingly experienced under field conditions. This event had no detrimental effects on immediate mortality, copulation duration, mating success, longevity or lifetime fecundity, but stressed females produced 21% (after 3 or 4 h) fewer hatched eggs because of a decline in the number and hatching success of eggs laid on the first two days. These negative effects on reproduction were no longer evident in the following days. Male heat exposure led to a similar but smaller effect on fertile egg production, and exposure extended pre-mating period in both sexes. Our results indicate that a single hot day can have detrimental effects on reproduction, particularly through maternal effects on egg hatching, and thereby influence the population dynamics of diamondback moth. PMID:24116081

  1. 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. PMID:22647505

  2. Unintended imitation affects success in a competitive game.

    PubMed

    Naber, Marnix; Vaziri Pashkam, Maryam; Nakayama, Ken

    2013-12-10

    Imitation typically occurs in social contexts where people interact and have common goals. Here, we show that people are also highly susceptible to imitate each other in a competitive context. Pairs of players performed a competitive and fast-reaching task (a variant of the arcade whac-a-mole game) in which money could be earned if players hit brief-appearing visual targets on a large touchscreen before their opponents. In three separate experiments, we demonstrate that reaction times and movements were highly correlated within pairs of players. Players affected their success by imitating each other, and imitation depended on the visibility of the opponent's behavior. Imitation persisted, despite the competitive and demanding nature of the game, even if this resulted in lower scores and payoffs and even when there was no need to counteract the opponent's actions. PMID:24277821

  3. How female education affects reproductive behavior in urban Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Sathar, Z A; Mason, K O

    1993-01-01

    Although Pakistan remains in a pretransitional stage (contraceptive prevalence of only 11.9% among married women in 1992), urban women with post-primary levels of education are spearheading the gradual move toward fertility transition. Data collected in the city of Karachi in 1987 were used to determine whether the inverse association between fertility and female education is attributable to child supply variables, demand factors, or fertility regulation costs. Karachi, with its high concentration of women with secondary educations employed in professional occupations, has a contraceptive prevalence rate of 31%. Among women married for less than 20 years, a 10-year increment in education predicts that a woman will average two-fifths of a child less than other women in the previous 5 years. Regression analysis identified 4 significant intervening variables in the education-fertility relationship: marriage duration, net family income, formal sector employment, and age at first marriage. Education appears to affect fertility because it promotes a later age at marriage and thus reduces life-time exposure to the risk of childbearing, induces women to marry men with higher incomes (a phenomenon that either reduces the cost of fertility regulation or the demand for children), leads women to become employed in the formal sector (leading to a reduction in the demand for children), and has other unspecified effects on women's values or opportunities that are captured by their birth cohort. When these intervening variables are held constant, women's attitude toward family planning loses its impact on fertility, as do women's domestic autonomy and their expectations of self-support in old age. These findings lend support to increased investments in female education in urban Pakistan as a means of limiting the childbearing of married women. Although it is not clear if investment in female education would have the same effect in rural Pakistan, such action is important from a

  4. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production. PMID:17803646

  5. 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.

  6. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-01-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  7. Offspring size at weaning affects survival to recruitment and reproductive performance of primiparous gray seals.

    PubMed

    Bowen, William D; den Heyer, Cornelia E; McMillan, Jim I; Iverson, Sara J

    2015-04-01

    Offspring size affects survival and subsequent reproduction in many organisms. However, studies of offspring size in large mammals are often limited to effects on juveniles because of the difficulty of following individuals to maturity. We used data from a long-term study of individually marked gray seals (Halichoerus grypus; Fabricius, 1791) to test the hypothesis that larger offspring have higher survival to recruitment and are larger and more successful primiparous mothers than smaller offspring. Between 1998 and 2002, 1182 newly weaned female pups were branded with unique permanent marks on Sable Island, Canada. Each year through 2012, all branded females returning to the breeding colony were identified in weekly censuses and a subset were captured and measured. Females that survived were significantly longer offspring than those not sighted, indicating size-selective mortality between weaning and recruitment. The probability of female survival to recruitment varied among cohorts and increased nonlinearly with body mass at weaning. Beyond 51.5 kg (mean population weaning mass) weaning mass did not influence the probability of survival. The probability of female survival to recruitment increased monotonically with body length at weaning. Body length at primiparity was positively related to her body length and mass at weaning. Three-day postpartum mass (proxy for birth mass) of firstborn pups was also positively related to body length of females when they were weaned. However, females that were longer or heavier when they were weaned did not wean heavier firstborn offspring. PMID:25897381

  8. Relaxation training affects success and activation on a teaching test.

    PubMed

    Helin, P; Hänninen, O

    1987-12-01

    We studied the effects of an audiocassette-relaxation training period (ART) and its timing on success at a teaching test (lecture type), on observed tension and on a number of physiological responses. The electrical activity of the upper trapezius muscle (EMG), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), of female and male instructor candidates, were examined before, during and after the teaching test as well as during its critique. The relaxation period (18 min) was presented either on the preceding night (ARTnt) or immediately before the teaching test (ARTimm). The influence of personality (types A-B and extrovert-introvert) was also studied. ART improved success at the teaching test in both sexes. In males (but not in females), ARTimm decreased EMG level during the test, but ARTnt increased EMG at the test period as compared to the control group. In females, both ARTnt and ARTimm lowered HR more than in the control group. ARTimm lowered systolic BP in both sexes. Personality types affected the ART responses; ART was more beneficial for type A than B subjects. PMID:3325481

  9. 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. PMID:26838273

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  11. Human disturbance influences reproductive success and growth rate in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R

    2011-01-01

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations. PMID:21436887

  12. Human Disturbance Influences Reproductive Success and Growth Rate in California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)

    PubMed Central

    French, Susannah S.; González-Suárez, Manuela; Young, Julie K.; Durham, Susan; Gerber, Leah R.

    2011-01-01

    The environment is currently undergoing changes at both global (e.g., climate change) and local (e.g., tourism, pollution, habitat modification) scales that have the capacity to affect the viability of animal and plant populations. Many of these changes, such as human disturbance, have an anthropogenic origin and therefore may be mitigated by management action. To do so requires an understanding of the impact of human activities and changing environmental conditions on population dynamics. We investigated the influence of human activity on important life history parameters (reproductive rate, and body condition, and growth rate of neonate pups) for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Increased human presence was associated with lower reproductive rates, which translated into reduced long-term population growth rates and suggested that human activities are a disturbance that could lead to population declines. We also observed higher body growth rates in pups with increased exposure to humans. Increased growth rates in pups may reflect a density dependent response to declining reproductive rates (e.g., decreased competition for resources). Our results highlight the potentially complex changes in life history parameters that may result from human disturbance, and their implication for population dynamics. We recommend careful monitoring of human activities in the Gulf of California and emphasize the importance of management strategies that explicitly consider the potential impact of human activities such as ecotourism on vertebrate populations. PMID:21436887

  13. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. [A sociological study of factors affecting reproductive health of female teenagers and young women].

    PubMed

    Nizamov, I G; Chechulina, O V

    2003-01-01

    The reproductive health of teenagers deserves a special attention and must be regarded from the viewpoint of their future prospects as well as their social and cultural media. The mentioned social-and-cultural factors affecting the teenagers' attitude towards sexuality and preconditioning their access to information and services of healthcare have an impact on the status of their reproductive health and on their general well-being, including the ability of teenagers to avoid an undesired pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. PMID:12882120

  16. 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).

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Reproductive success and contaminants in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding at a wastewater treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Dods, Patti L; Birmingham, Erinn M; Williams, Tony D; Ikonomou, Michael G; Bennie, Donald T; Elliott, John E

    2005-12-01

    The uptake and effects of contaminants were measured in the insectivorous tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) at a wastewater treatment site. The study examined reproductive, immunological, and growth endpoints in tree swallows exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants and to 4-nonylphenol in wastewater lagoons at the Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant, Vancouver (BC, Canada). Clutch size was significantly lower in tree swallows breeding at Iona Island in 2000 and 2001 compared to the reference site. In 2000, fledging success was significantly lower and mean mass of nestling livers was significantly higher in the tree swallows breeding at the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Additional factors that may influence reproductive success, such as parental provisioning and diet composition, did not differ significantly between sites. Levels of 4-nonylphenol detected in sediment and insects were elevated at the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (2000: lagoon sediment 82,000 ng/g dry wt, insects 310 ng/g wet wt; 2001: lagoon sediment 383,900 ng/g dry wt, insects 156 ng/g wet wt) compared to the reference site (2000: pond sediment 1,100 ng/g dry wt, insects not sampled; 2001: pond sediment 642 ng/g dry wt, insects 98 ng/g wet wt). These results indicate that tree swallows might be a useful indicator species for exposure to 4-nonylphenol at wastewater treatment sites: however, further work is necessary to determine the extent of uptake and effects of 4-nonylphenol in riparian insectivorous birds. PMID:16445092

  1. 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. PMID:24204980

  2. 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. PMID:20583711

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:21757487

  6. Good genes and the maternal effects of polyandry on offspring reproductive success in the bulb mite.

    PubMed Central

    Kozielska, Magdalena; Krzemińska, Alina; Radwan, Jacek

    2004-01-01

    Genetic benefits are potentially the most robust explanation of the controversial issue of evolutionary maintenance of polyandry, but the unambiguous demonstration of such benefits has been hindered by the possibility of their confusion with maternal effects. Previous research has shown that polyandrous bulb mite females produce daughters with higher fecundity than monandrous females. Here, we investigate whether this effect arises because polyandrous females invest more in their offspring, or because their offspring inherit 'good genes' from their fathers. Females were mated with either one or four (different) males. However, by sterilizing three of the four males with ionizing radiation, we eliminated any chance of sexual selection (in the polyandrous treatment) so that any differences in the female mating regimes must have been owing to maternal effects. Polyandry had no significant effect on daughter fecundity, thus indicating that any previously documented effects must have been genetic. This was further supported by a significant association between fathers' offensive sperm-competitive ability and the fecundity of their daughters. The association with fathers' sperm defensive ability was not significant, and neither was the association between fathers' sperm competitiveness and sons' reproductive success. However, sons of polyandrous females had lower reproductive success than sons of monandrous females. This shows that the maternal effects of polyandry should be taken into account whenever its costs and benefits are being considered. PMID:15058393

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Territory defense as a condition-dependent component of male reproductive success in Drosophila serrata.

    PubMed

    White, Alison J; Rundle, Howard D

    2015-02-01

    Sexual selection arises from both intrasexual competition and mate choice. With respect to the evolution of male traits, there is a vast literature documenting the existence of female choice and male-male competition, and both have been shown to co-occur in many species. Despite numerous studies of these two components of male reproductive success in isolation, few have investigated whether and how they interact to determine total sexual selection. To address this, we investigate male territoriality in Drosophila serrata, a species in which female preference for male sexual pheromones (cuticular hydrocarbons or CHCs) have been extensively studied. We demonstrate that territoriality occurs, that it involves direct male-male aggressive interactions, and that it contributes to variation in male mating success. Results from a phenotypic manipulation also indicate that territorial success is condition-dependent, although a genetic manipulation of condition, involving three generations of full-sib inbreeding, failed to find a significant effect. Finally, selection assays also suggest that territorial success depends on male body size but not on CHCs, whereas the opposite is true for mating success. PMID:25491256

  10. The concentration of plasma metabolites varies throughout reproduction and affects offspring number in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta).

    PubMed

    Gauthey, Zoé; Freychet, Marine; Manicki, Aurélie; Herman, Alexandre; Lepais, Olivier; Panserat, Stéphane; Elosegi, Arturo; Tentelier, Cédric; Labonne, Jacques

    2015-06-01

    In wild populations, measuring energy invested in the reproduction and disentangling investment in gametes versus investment in reproductive behavior (such as intrasexual competition or intersexual preference) remain challenging. In this study, we investigated the energy expenditure in brown trout reproductive behavior by using two proxies: variation in weight and variation of plasma metabolites involved in energy production, over the course of reproductive season in a semi natural experimental river. We estimated overall reproductive success using genetic assignment at the end of the reproductive season. Results show that triglycerides and free fatty acid concentrations vary negatively during reproduction, while amino-acids and glucose concentrations remain stable. Decrease in triglyceride and free fatty acid concentrations during reproduction is not related to initial concentration levels or to weight variation. Both metabolite concentration variations and weight variations are correlated to the number of offspring produced, which could indicate that gametic and behavioral reproductive investments substantially contribute to reproductive success in wild brown trout. This study opens a path to further investigate variations in reproductive investment in wild populations. PMID:25666363

  11. How dependencies between successive examples affect on-line learning.

    PubMed

    Wiegerinck, W; Heskes, T

    1996-11-15

    We study the dynamics of on-line learning for a large class of neural networks and learning rules, including backpropagation for multilayer perceptrons. In this paper, we focus on the case where successive examples are dependent, and we analyze how these dependencies affect the learning process. We define the representation error and the prediction error. The representation error measures how well the environment is represented by the network after learning. The prediction error is the average error that a continually learning network makes on the next example. In the neighborhood of a local minimum of the error surface, we calculate these errors. We find that the more predictable the example presentation, the higher the representation error, i.e., the less accurate the asymptotic representation of the whole environment. Furthermore we study the learning process in the presence of a plateau. Plateaus are flat spots on the error surface, which can severely slow down the learning process. In particular, they are notorious in applications with multilayer perceptrons. Our results, which are confirmed by simulations of a multilayer perceptron learning a chaotic time series using backpropagation, explain how dependencies between examples can help the learning process to escape from a plateau. PMID:8888616

  12. 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. PMID:27349098

  13. Abdominally implanted satellite transmitters affect reproduction and survival rather than migration of large shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Kentie, Rosemarie; Gerritsen, Gerrit J.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Tijssen, David C.; Harwood, Christopher M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Satellite telemetry has become a common technique to investigate avian life-histories, but whether such tagging will affect fitness is a critical unknown. In this study, we evaluate multi-year effects of implanted transmitters on migratory timing and reproductive performance in shorebirds. Shorebirds increasingly are recognized as good models in ecology and evolution. That many of them are of conservation concern adds to the research responsibilities. In May 2009, we captured 56 female Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during late incubation in The Netherlands. Of these, 15 birds were equipped with 26-g satellite transmitters with a percutaneous antenna (7.8 % ± 0.2 SD of body mass), surgically implanted in the coelom. We compared immediate nest survival, timing of migration, subsequent nest site fidelity and reproductive behaviour including egg laying with those of the remaining birds, a comparison group of 41 females. We found no effects on immediate nest survival. Fledging success and subsequent southward and northward migration patterns of the implanted birds conformed to the expectations, and arrival time on the breeding grounds in 2010–2012 did not differ from the comparison group. Compared with the comparison group, in the year after implantation, implanted birds were equally faithful to the nest site and showed equal territorial behaviour, but a paucity of behaviours indicating nests or clutches. In the 3 years after implantation, the yearly apparent survival of implanted birds was 16 % points lower. Despite intense searching, we found only three eggs of two implanted birds; all were deformed. A similarly deformed egg was reported in a similarly implanted Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus returning to breed in central Alaska. The presence in the body cavity of an object slightly smaller than a normal egg may thus lead to egg malformation and, likely, reduced egg viability. That the use of implanted satellite transmitters in these large shorebirds

  14. Relationships of environmental contaminants to reproductive success in red-breasted mergansers (Mergus serrator) from Lake Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Haseltine, S.D.; Reichel, W.L.; Hensler, G.L.

    1983-01-01

    In 1977 and 1978, we studied red-breasted mergansers Mergus serrator nesting on islands in northwestern Lake Michigan to determine whether environmental contaminants were having effects on reproduction. Seventeen contaminants were measured in randomly chosen eggs from 206 nests under study. Using a variety of statistical approaches, we looked for effects of individual contaminants and combinations of contaminants on reproductive measurements such as nest desertion, failure of eggs to hatch, death of newly hatched ducklings, percentage hatching success, number of ducklings leaving the nest and eggshell thickness. We also looked for relationships between the levels of some contaminants in blood samples of 39 incubating females and reproductive success. A small degree of eggshell thinning was attributed to DDE and a few other statistical tests were significant, but no contaminant or combination of contaminants we measured seemed to have a pronounced effect on the aspects of reproduction we followed.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Lifetime reproductive success and density-dependent, multi-variable resource selection

    PubMed Central

    McLoughlin, Philip D; Boyce, Mark S; Coulson, Tim; Clutton-Brock, Tim

    2006-01-01

    Individuals are predicted to maximize lifetime reproductive success (LRS) through selective use of resources; however, a wide range of ecological and social processes may prevent individuals from always using the highest-quality resources available. Resource selection functions (RSFs) estimate the relative amount of time an individual spends using a resource as a function of the proportional availability of that resource. We quantified the association between LRS and coefficients of individual-based RSFs describing lifetime resource selection for 267 female red deer (Cervus elaphus) of the Isle of Rum, Scotland, from 1970 to 2001. LRS was significantly related to first- and second-order effects of selection for Agrostis/Festuca grassland and proximity to the sea coast (quality of forage within Agrostis/Festuca grassland was highest nearest the coast (ratio of short : long grassland)). The benefits of selecting for quality in Agrostis/Festuca grassland, however, traded-off with increases in LRS gained by avoiding conspecific density. LRS was inversely associated with local density, which was highest along the coast, and reproductive benefits of selecting Agrostis/Festuca grassland diminished with increasing density. We discuss the relevance of these results to our understanding of the spatial distribution of red deer abundance, and potential applications of our approach to evolutionary and applied ecology. PMID:16777736

  18. The generalist Inga subnuda subsp. luschnathiana (Fabaceae): negative effect of floral visitors on reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Avila, R; Pinheiro, M; Sazima, M

    2015-05-01

    Inga species are characterised by generalist or mixed pollination system. However, this feature does not enhance reproductive rates in species with very low fruit set under natural conditions. Some ecological and genetic factors are associated with this feature, and to test the effect of massive visits on pollination success in Inga subnuda subsp. luschnathiana, we studied the efficacy of polyads deposited on stigmas of flowers isolated from visitors and polyads exposed to visitors. The proportion of polyads fixed in stigmas decreased after exposure to visitors (24 h) in comparison to stigmas isolated from visitors (hummingbirds, bees, wasps, hawkmoths and bats), and fruit set was very low. Furthermore, nectar production, sugar composition and other floral biology traits were evaluated. Increased nectar production, sugar availability and sucrose dominance during the night indicates adaptation to nocturnal visitors and supports their role as main pollinators; although the brush-flower morphology, time of anthesis, nectar dynamics and chemical composition also allow daytime visitors. Thus the species is an important resource for a diverse group of floral visitors. We conclude that excess visits (diurnal and nocturnal) are responsible for the decrease in fixed polyads in stigmas of I. subnuda subsp. luschnathiana flowers, thus contributing, with others factors, to its low fruit set. Therefore, the generalist pollination system does not result in reproductive advantages because the low fruit set in natural conditions could be the result of a negative effect of visitors/pollinators. PMID:25488371

  19. Reproductive success and heavy metal contamination in Rhode Island common terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Franson, J.C.; Moore, J.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.

  20. Reproductive success and heavy metal contamination in Rhode Island common terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Franson, J.C.; Moore, J.F.

    1986-01-01

    Common tern (Sterna hirundinae ) clutch 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.

  1. Prepubertal tamoxifen treatment affects development of heifer reproductive tissues and related signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Al Naib, A; Tucker, H L M; Xie, G; Keisler, D H; Bartol, F F; Rhoads, R P; Akers, R M; Rhoads, M L

    2016-07-01

    Prepubertal exposure of the developing ovaries and reproductive tract (RT) to estrogen or xenoestrogens can have acute and long-term consequences that compromise the reproductive performance of cattle. This research examined effects of the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TAM) on gene and protein abundance in prepubertal ovaries and RT, with a particular focus on signaling pathways that affect morphology. Tamoxifen was administered to Holstein heifer calves (n=8) daily (0.3mg/kg subcutaneously) from 28 to 120 d of age, when tissues were collected. Control calves (n=7) received an equal volume of excipient. Weight, gross measurements, and samples of reproductive tissues were collected, and protein and mRNA were extracted from snap-frozen samples of vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, and liver. Neither estradiol nor insulin-like growth factor I (IGFI) concentrations in the serum were affected by TAM treatment. Tamoxifen treatment reduced ovarian weight independently from effects on antral follicle populations, as there was no difference in visible antral follicle numbers on the day of collection. Estrogen receptor α (ESR1) and β (ESR2) mRNA, ESR1 protein, IGFI, progesterone receptor, total growth hormone receptor, WNT4, WNT5A, and WNT7A mRNA, in addition to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphorylated MAPK proteins were affected differently depending on the tissue examined. However, neither IGFI receptor mRNA nor protein abundance were affected by TAM treatment. Results indicate that reproductive development in prepubertal Holstein heifer calves is TAM-sensitive, and that bovine RT and ovarian development are supported, in part, by estrogen receptor-dependent mechanisms during the period studied here. Potential long-term consequences of such developmental disruption remain to be defined. PMID:27085397

  2. 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. PMID:26972151

  3. 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 I?g/g wet weight) and dead embryos (11.4 I?g/g) were not significantly higher than concentrations in sample eggs from nests where all eggs hatched (12.1 I?g/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.

  4. 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 ?g/g wet weight) and dead embryos (11.4 ?g/g) were not significantly higher than concentrations in sample eggs from nests where all eggs hatched (12.1 ?g/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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Reduced reproductive success of hatchery coho salmon in the wild: insights into most likely mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Thériault, Véronique; Moyer, Gregory R; Jackson, Laura S; Blouin, Michael S; Banks, Michael A

    2011-05-01

    Supplementation of wild salmonids with captive-bred fish is a common practice for both commercial and conservation purposes. However, evidence for lower fitness of captive-reared fish relative to wild fish has accumulated in recent years, diminishing the apparent effectiveness of supplementation as a management tool. To date, the mechanism(s) responsible for these fitness declines remain unknown. In this study, we showed with molecular parentage analysis that hatchery coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) had lower reproductive success than wild fish once they reproduced in the wild. This effect was more pronounced in males than in same-aged females. Hatchery spawned fish that were released as unfed fry (age 0), as well as hatchery fish raised for one year in the hatchery (released as smolts, age 1), both experienced lower lifetime reproductive success (RS) than wild fish. However, the subset of hatchery males that returned as 2-year olds (jacks) did not exhibit the same fitness decrease as males that returned as 3-year olds. Thus, we report three lines of evidence pointing to the absence of sexual selection in the hatchery as a contributing mechanism for fitness declines of hatchery fish in the wild: (i) hatchery fish released as unfed fry that survived to adulthood still had low RS relative to wild fish, (ii) age-3 male hatchery fish consistently showed a lower relative RS than female hatchery fish (suggesting a role for sexual selection), and (iii) age-2 jacks, which use a sneaker mating strategy, did not show the same declines as 3-year olds, which compete differently for females (again, implicating sexual selection). PMID:21438931

  8. 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. PMID:26183537

  9. Depressing Antidepressant: Fluoxetine Affects Serotonin Neurons Causing Adverse Reproductive Responses in Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Campos, Bruno; Rivetti, Claudia; Kress, Timm; Barata, Carlos; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2016-06-01

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely used antidepressants. As endocrine disruptive contaminants in the environment, SSRIs affect reproduction in aquatic organisms. In the water flea Daphnia magna, SSRIs increase offspring production in a food ration-dependent manner. At limiting food conditions, females exposed to SSRIs produce more but smaller offspring, which is a maladaptive life-history strategy. We asked whether increased serotonin levels in newly identified serotonin-neurons in the Daphnia brain mediate these effects. We provide strong evidence that exogenous SSRI fluoxetine selectively increases serotonin-immunoreactivity in identified brain neurons under limiting food conditions thereby leading to maladaptive offspring production. Fluoxetine increases serotonin-immunoreactivity at low food conditions to similar maximal levels as observed under high food conditions and concomitantly enhances offspring production. Sublethal amounts of the neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine known to specifically ablate serotonin-neurons markedly decrease serotonin-immunoreactivity and offspring production, strongly supporting the effect to be serotonin-specific by reversing the reproductive phenotype attained under fluoxetine. Thus, SSRIs impair serotonin-regulation of reproductive investment in a planktonic key organism causing inappropriately increased reproduction with potentially severe ecological impact. PMID:27128505

  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. PMID:25473008

  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. Laying date and polygyny as determinants of annual reproductive success in male collared flycatchers ( Ficedula albicollis): a long-term study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herényi, Márton; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Hargitai, Rita; Hegyi, Gergely; Rosivall, Balázs; Szöllősi, Eszter; Török, János

    2014-04-01

    Annual reproductive success (ARS) is one of the main components of lifetime reproductive success, a reliable measure of individual fitness. Previous studies often dealt with ARS and variables potentially affecting it. Among them, long-term studies that consider multiple factors at the same time are particularly important in understanding the adaptive value of different phenotypes. Here, we used an 18-year dataset to quantify the ARS of male collared flycatchers ( Ficedula albicollis) on the basis of recruited offspring. We simultaneously assessed the effect of start of breeding, age, polygyny, body size and the expression of forehead patch (a sexually selected trait). The success of early breeding individuals was appreciably higher than late birds; however, breeding too early was also disadvantaged, and males that bred around the yearly median breeding date had the highest ARS. Polygynous males were more successful in years with good food supply, while in years with low food availability, they did not produce more recruits than monogamous males. The age of males, their forehead patch size and body size did not affect the number of recruits. Our findings support the importance of breeding date and suggest stabilizing selection on it in the long term. We also show that polygyny is not always advantageous for males, and its fitness pay-off may depend on environmental quality.

  13. Does the inclusion of protease inhibitors in the insemination extender affect rabbit reproductive performance?

    PubMed

    Casares-Crespo, L; Vicente, J S; Talaván, A M; Viudes-de-Castro, M P

    2016-03-15

    The bioavailability of buserelin acetate when added to the seminal dose appears to be determined by the activity of the existing aminopeptidases. Thus, the addition of aminopeptidase inhibitors to rabbit semen extenders could be a solution to decrease the hormone degradation. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the protease activity inhibition on rabbit semen quality parameters and reproductive performance after artificial insemination. Seminal quality was not affected by the incubation with protease inhibitors, being the values of motility, viability, and acrosome integrity not significantly different between the protease inhibitors and the control group. In addition, seminal plasma aminopeptidase activity was inhibited in a 55.1% by the protease inhibitors. On the other hand, regarding the effect of protease inhibitors on reproductive performance, our results showed that the presence of protease inhibitors affected the prolificacy rate (9.2 ± 0.26 and 9.3 ± 0.23 vs. 8.2 ± 0.22 total born per litter for negative control, positive control, and aminopeptidase inhibitors group, respectively; P < 0.05), having this group one kit less per delivery. We conclude that the addition of a wide variety of protease inhibitors in the rabbit semen extender negatively affects prolificacy rate. Therefore, the development of new extenders with specific aminopeptidase inhibitors would be one of the strategies to increase the bioavailability of GnRH analogues without affecting the litter size. PMID:26639641

  14. You are what you eat: food limitation affects reproductive fitness in a sexually cannibalistic praying mantid.

    PubMed

    Barry, Katherine L

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  15. You Are What You Eat: Food Limitation Affects Reproductive Fitness in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantid

    PubMed Central

    Barry, Katherine L.

    2013-01-01

    Resource limitation during the juvenile stages frequently results in developmental delays and reduced size at maturity, and dietary restriction during adulthood can affect longevity and reproductive output. Variation in food intake can also result in alteration to the normal pattern of resource allocation among body parts or life-history stages. My primary aim in this study was to determine how varying juvenile and/or adult feeding regimes affect particular female and male traits in the sexually cannibalistic praying mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Praying mantids are sit-and-wait predators whose resource intake can vary dramatically depending on environmental conditions within and across seasons, making them useful for studying the effects of feeding regime on various facets of reproductive fitness. In this study, there was a significant trend/difference in development and morphology for males and females as a result of juvenile feeding treatment, however, its effect on the fitness components measured for males was much greater than on those measured for females. Food-limited males were less likely to find a female during field enclosure experiments and smaller males were slower at finding a female in field-based experiments, providing some of the first empirical evidence of a large male size advantage for scrambling males. Only adult food limitation affected female fecundity, and the ability of a female to chemically attract males was also most notably affected by adult feeding regime (although juvenile food limitation did play a role). Furthermore, the significant difference/trend in all male traits and the lack of difference in male trait ratios between treatments suggests a proportional distribution of resources and, therefore, no trait conservation by food-limited males. This study provides evidence that males and females are under different selective pressures with respect to resource acquisition and is also one of very few to show an effect of juvenile

  16. Acute hypoxic exposure affects gamete quality and subsequent fertilization success and embryonic development in a serpulid polychaete.

    PubMed

    Shin, P K S; Leung, J Y S; Qiu, J W; Ang, P O; Chiu, J M Y; Thiyagarajan, V; Cheung, S G

    2014-08-30

    Hypoxia likely compromises the reproductive success of those marine organisms carrying out external fertilization because their gametes and embryos are inevitably exposed to the external environment. Hydroides elegans, a dominant serpulid polychaete in Hong Kong waters, can spawn throughout the year but the number of recruits drops during summer when hypoxia commonly occurs. This study attempted to explain such observation by investigating the gamete quality, including sperm motility, egg size, complexity and viability, after 1-h hypoxic exposure (1 mg O2 l(-1)). In addition, how gamete quality affects fertilization success and embryonic development was examined. After 1-h hypoxic exposure, sperm motility was significantly reduced, compromising fertilization success. Although the eggs remained viable, more malformed embryos and retarded embryonic development were observed. We interpreted that the harmful effect of hypoxia on embryonic development was attributed to the teratogenicity and induced oxidative stress, ultimately causing the reduction in recruitment during summer. PMID:24661460

  17. Factors affecting larval tick feeding success: host, density and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Ectoparasites rely on blood feeding to sustain activity, support development and produce offspring. Blood feeding is also a route for transmission of diverse vector-borne pathogens. The likelihood of successfully feeding is thus an important aspect of ectoparasite population dynamics and...

  18. Factors Affecting the Success of Hmong College Students in America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiong, Soua; Lam, Sarah K. Y.

    2013-01-01

    This study explores barriers and success factors of Hmong students in American colleges by interviewing five Hmong graduate students from refugee families in the US. Emerging themes revolve around academic, cultural and financial barriers. Professors, advisors, classmates, academic support programmes, family, financial aid and their own…

  19. The effects of patch shape and connectivity on nest site selection and reproductive success of the Indigo Bunting.

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, Aimee Jean

    2004-07-01

    Description – Ph.D Dissertation. North Carolina State University. Raleigh, North Carolina. 135 pp. Abatract - Habitat fragmentation and its associated effects have been blamed for the recent population declines of many Neotropical migratory bird species. Increased predation and parasitism resulting from edge-related effects have been implicated for poor nesting success in many studies, mostly of forest interior species. However, little attention has been devoted to disturbance-dependent birds. In this study, I examine how patch shape and connectivity in fragmented landscapes affects the reproductive success of disturbance-dependent bird species, specifically the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). I conducted my study in a landscape-scale experimental system of similar-area habitat patches that differed in connectivity and in shape. Shapes differed between edgy and rectangular forms, where edgy patches contained 50% more edge than rectangular patches. I tested whether edgy patches function as ecological traps for species with strong edge preferences, by leading them to select dangerous habitats. Indigo Buntings preferentially selected edgy patches over rectangular patches, but experienced significantly lower reproductive success in edgy patches early in the season. Although predation pressure intensified in rectangular patches late in the season, seasonal fecundity was still significantly lower in edgy patches, providing the first empirical evidence that edges can function as ecological traps for Indigo Buntings. A second objective of my study was to evaluate the efficacy of conservation corridors for disturbance-dependent bird species. Conservation corridors have become a popular strategy to preserve biodiversity and promote gene flow in fragmented landscapes, but corridors may also have negative consequences. I tested the hypothesis that corridors can increase nest predation risk in connected patches relative to unconnected patches. Nest predation rates

  20. 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. PMID:25690609

  1. Genotypic variation in host response to infection affects parasite reproductive rate.

    PubMed

    Tavalire, Hannah F; Blouin, Michael S; Steinauer, Michelle L

    2016-02-01

    Parasite fitness is largely influenced by a variation in host response due to the host's genetic background. Here we investigated the impact of host genotype on pathogen success in the snail vector of its castrating parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. We infected five inbred lines of Biomphalaria glabrata with two infection doses and followed their growth, reproductive output and parasite production throughout the course of infection. There was no difference in resistance to infection among inbred lines, but lines varied in their responses to infection and the numbers of parasites produced. Snails did not compensate for castration by increasing their fecundity during the early phase of infection (fecundity compensation). However, some lines were able to delay parasite shedding for up to 30 weeks, thus prolonging reproduction before the onset of castration. Here we propose this strategy as a novel defense against castrating pathogens in snails. Gigantism, a predicted outcome of castration due to energy reallocation, occurred early in infection (<15 weeks) and was not universal among the snail lines. Lines that did not show gigantism were also characterised by a high parasite production rate and low survivorship, perhaps indicating energy reallocation into parasite production and costly immune defense. We observed no differences in total parasite production among lines throughout the entire course of infection, although lines differed in their parasite reproductive rate. The average rate of parasite production varied among lines from 1300 to 2450 cercariae within a single 2h shedding period, resulting in a total production of 6981-29,509 cercariae over the lifetime of a single snail. Regardless of genetic background, snail size was a strong predictor of parasite reproduction: each millimetre increase in snail size at the time of the first shed resulted in up to 3500 more cercariae over the lifetime of the snail. The results of this study provide a detailed picture of

  2. Social, Emotional, and Affective Skills for College and Career Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savitz-Romer, Mandy; Rowan-Kenyon, Heather T.; Fancsali, Cheri

    2015-01-01

    Students enrolled in the My Wildcat Track program at the University of Arizona are receiving a novel type of support to help them get and stay off academic probation: social and affective skill building. These students, who are referred to the program by their advisors, have one-on-one meetings with professional learning specialists and attend…

  3. Impacts of Water Level Fluctuations on Kokanee Reproduction in Flathead Lake; Effects of Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dam on Reproductive Success, 1983 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Decker-Hess, Janet; McMullin, Steve L.

    1983-11-01

    ) found live eggs and fry only in shoreline spawning areas wetted by groundwater seeps. Impacts of the operation of Kerr Dam on lakeshore spawning have not been quantified. Recent studies have revealed that operation of Hungry Horse Dam severely impacted successful kokanee spawning and incubation in the Flathead River above Flathead Lake (Graham et al. 1980, McMullin and Graham 1981, Fraley and Graham 1982 and Fraley and McMullin 1983). Flows from Hungry Horse Dam to enhance kokanee reproduction in the river system have been voluntarily met by the Bureau of Reclamation since 1981. In lakeshore spawning areas in other Pacific Northwest systems, spawning habitat for kokanee and sockeye salmon was characterized by seepage or groundwater flow where suitable substrate composition existed (Foerster 1968). Spawning primarily occurred in shallower depths (<6 m) where gravels were cleaned by wave action (Hassemer and Rieman 1979 and 1980, Stober et al. 1979a). Seasonal drawdown of reservoirs can adversely affect survival of incubating kokanee eggs and fry spawned in shallow shoreline areas. Jeppon (1955 and 1960) and Whitt (1957) estimated 10-75 percent kokanee egg loss in shoreline areas of Pend Oreille Lake, Idaho after regulation of the upper three meters occurred in 1952. After 20 years of operation, Bowler (1979) found Pend Oreille shoreline spawning to occur in fewer areas with generally lower numbers of adults. In studies on Priest Lake, Idaho, Bjornn (1957) attributed frozen eggs and stranded fry to winter fluctuations of the upper three meters of the lake. Eggs and fry frozen during winter drawdown accounted for a 90 percent loss to shoreline spawning kokanee in Donner Lake, California (Kimsey 1951). Stober et al. (1979a) determined irrigation drawdown of Banks Lake, Washington reduced shoreline survival during five of the seven years the system was studied. The goal of this phase of the study was to evaluate and document effects of the operation of Kerr Dam on kokanee

  4. Food availability affects onset of reproduction in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Vincenzi, Simone; Hatch, Scott; Mangel, Marc; Kitaysky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that suboptimal developmental conditions may lead to faster life histories (younger age at recruitment and higher reproductive investment), but experimental testing of this prediction is still scarce in long-lived species. We report the effects of an experimental manipulation of food availability during early development and at recruitment on the onset of reproduction and reproductive performance (productivity at first breeding) in a long-lived seabird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, breeding on Middleton Island, Alaska. Birds were born and raised in nests with supplemented food (‘fed’) or unsupplemented control nests (‘unfed’), and later recruited into either fed or unfed nests. Fed chicks grew faster than unfed chicks, and males grew faster than females. Birds were more likely to reproduce at younger ages when recruiting into fed nests. Faster growth during development tended to increase age at recruitment in all individuals. Social rank of individuals also affected age at recruitment: B-chicks recruited earlier than A-chicks and singletons recruited later than A- and B-chicks. Productivity increased with the age at recruitment and growth rate as chick, but much of the variability remained unexplained. We conclude that results of this study at least partially support predictions of life-history theory: younger age at first breeding for kittiwakes that experienced suboptimal natal conditions, as well as greater productivity of early recruiting kittiwakes that grew in control nests compared with those that grew in food-supplemented nests. PMID:23576791

  5. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    PubMed

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. PMID:22380551

  6. Analgesic exposure in pregnant rats affects fetal germ cell development with inter-generational reproductive consequences

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Afshan; van den Driesche, Sander; Wang, Yili; McKinnell, Chris; Macpherson, Sheila; Eddie, Sharon L.; Kinnell, Hazel; Hurtado-Gonzalez, Pablo; Chambers, Tom J.; Stevenson, Kerrie; Wolfinger, Elke; Hrabalkova, Lenka; Calarrao, Ana; Bayne, Rosey AL; Hagen, Casper P.; Mitchell, Rod T.; Anderson, Richard A.; Sharpe, Richard M.

    2016-01-01

    Analgesics which affect prostaglandin (PG) pathways are used by most pregnant women. As germ cells (GC) undergo developmental and epigenetic changes in fetal life and are PG targets, we investigated if exposure of pregnant rats to analgesics (indomethacin or acetaminophen) affected GC development and reproductive function in resulting offspring (F1) or in the F2 generation. Exposure to either analgesic reduced F1 fetal GC number in both sexes and altered the tempo of fetal GC development sex-dependently, with delayed meiotic entry in oogonia but accelerated GC differentiation in males. These effects persisted in adult F1 females as reduced ovarian and litter size, whereas F1 males recovered normal GC numbers and fertility by adulthood. F2 offspring deriving from an analgesic-exposed F1 parent also exhibited sex-specific changes. F2 males exhibited normal reproductive development whereas F2 females had smaller ovaries and reduced follicle numbers during puberty/adulthood; as similar changes were found for F2 offspring of analgesic-exposed F1 fathers or mothers, we interpret this as potentially indicating an analgesic-induced change to GC in F1. Assuming our results are translatable to humans, they raise concerns that analgesic use in pregnancy could potentially affect fertility of resulting daughters and grand-daughters. PMID:26813099

  7. 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. PMID:22525070

  8. Coexistence of Two Congeneric Praying Mantids: A 7-Year Field Study of Reproductive Success and Failure.

    PubMed

    Rose, Robert K; Hurd, Lawrence E

    2016-02-01

    Two species of Asian praying mantids, Tenodera angustipennis (Saussure) and Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Saussure), which have become common to old fields in the northeastern United States, share a common resource base that raises the question of how they can coexist in the same habitat. We studied the reproductive output measured by numbers of oothecae of naturally established populations of these two species in an old field during 7 yr (2009–2015) of secondary succession. During the initial herbaceous vegetation-dominated stage, T. angustipennis oothecae were more abundant than those of its congener, but numbers steadily declined, until it had nearly disappeared by 2014. In contrast, numbers of T. a. sinensis oothecae increased from 2007 until 2014, and then sharply declined in 2015. The steady increase in abundance of this species throughout most of the successional development during the study may be owing to greater diversity of plant species used for oviposition. We believe that the most likely reasons for the continuous decline in T. angustipennis were a combination of intraguild predation by the larger T. a. sinensis, and egg parasitism by the wasp Podagrion mantis, which is not able to parasitize oothecae of T. a. sinensis. The later decline in T. a. sinensis may reflect the fact that the site had become dominated by trees, and neither of these species is typically found in forest habitats. PMID:26582050

  9. 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. PMID:23467446

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:17971086

  12. 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. PMID:25430672

  13. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2001-2002 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, Steven L.; Knudsen, Curtis M.; Watson, Bruce D.

    2003-05-01

    and 5. In addition, male reproductive success was more than twice as variable as that seen in females. Some males apparently never spawned and others produced more than 7,000 offspring an amount that was more than double the quantity generated by the most successful female. Behavioral observations showed that a number of factors besides male origin influenced their reproductive success. One was relative body size; larger males tended to dominate smaller opponents and therefore had greater access to females. However, male dominance was not always related to relative size. The ability to attack and chase opponents was, however, positively related to reproductive success. We also discovered that the reproductive status of females and the social status of males were often reflected by their nuptial coloration. Territorial females typically had a single broad purple black stripe, light green or brown backs and white or gray ventral surfaces. Dominate males on the other hand, were generally a uniform dark brown or black color. The percentage of time that a male possessed a dark color pattern was positively linked to his reproductive success, as was the percentage of time he was observed courting or defending a female. The number of times a male was chased or attacked by a female also affected his reproductive success, in this situation the greater the frequency of such attacks the lower the reproductive success of the male. The pedigree analyses also disclosed that both hatchery and wild precocious males were able to fertilize eggs and produce offspring under natural spawning conditions. In conclusion we found differences in the reproductive competency of hatchery- and wild origin spring chinook. Wild females were better at depositing their eggs and having those eggs produce fry. In one study group wild males were more successful at producing offspring than hatchery males. Additional replications of such evaluations are being carried out to determine if the differences seen

  14. Behavioral variation and reproductive success of male baboons (Papio anubis x Papio hamadryas) in a hybrid social group.

    PubMed

    Bergman, Thore J; Phillips-Conroy, Jane E; Jolly, Clifford J

    2008-02-01

    We take advantage of an array of hybrid baboons (Papio anubis x Papio hamadryas) living in the same social group to explore the causes and consequences of different male mating strategies. Male hamadryas hold one-male units and exhibit a sustained, intense interest in adult females, regardless of the latter's reproductive state. Anubis baboons, by contrast, live in multi-male, multi-female groups where males compete for females only when the latter are estrous. These two taxa interbreed to form a hybrid zone in the Awash National Park, Ethiopia, where previous work has suggested that hybrid males have intermediate and ineffective behavior. Here, we first examine male mating strategies with respect to morphological and genetic measures of ancestry. We found significant relationships between behavioral measures and morphology; males with more hamadryas-like morphology had more hamadryas-like behavior. However, genetic ancestry was not related to behavior, and in both cases intermediates displayed a previously unreported level of behavioral variation. Furthermore, male behavior was unrelated to natal group. Second, we evaluated reproductive success by microsatellite-based paternity testing. The highest reproductive success was found for individuals exhibiting intermediate behaviors. Moreover, over nine years, some genetically and morphologically intermediate males had high reproductive success. We conclude that the behavior of hybrid males is therefore unlikely to be an absolute barrier to admixture in the region. PMID:17724672

  15. Methoprene and protein supplements accelerate reproductive development and improve mating success of male tephritid flies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  16. Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Factors that Affect Retrieval Success

    SciTech Connect

    Geisbuesch, Philipp Benenati, James F.; Pena, Constantino S.; Couvillon, Joseph; Powell, Alex; Gandhi, Ripal; Samuels, Shaun; Uthoff, Heiko

    2012-10-15

    Purpose: To report and analyze the indications, procedural success, and complications of retrievable inferior vena cava filters (rIVCF) placement and to identify parameters that influence retrieval attempt and failure. Methods: Between January 2005 and December 2010, a total of 200 patients (80 men, median age 67 years, range 11-95 years) received a rIVCF with the clinical possibility that it could be removed. All patients with rIVCF were prospectively entered into a database and followed until retrieval or a decision not to retrieve the filter was made. A retrospective analysis of this database was performed. Results: Sixty-one percent of patients had an accepted indication for filter placement; 39% of patients had a relative indication. There was a tendency toward a higher retrieval rate in patients with relative indications (40% vs. 55%, P = 0.076). Filter placement was technically successful in all patients, with no procedure-related mortality. The retrieval rate was 53%. Patient age of >80 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.056, P > 0.0001) and presence of malignancy (OR 0.303, P = 0.003) was associated with a significantly reduced probability for attempted retrieval. Retrieval failure occurred in 7% (6 of 91) of all retrieval attempts. A time interval of > 90 days between implantation and attempted retrieval was associated with retrieval failure (OR 19.8, P = 0.009). Conclusions: Patient age >80 years and a history of malignancy are predictors of a reduced probability for retrieval attempt. The rate of retrieval failure is low and seems to be associated with a time interval of >90 days between filter placement and retrieval.

  17. Risk factors that affect reproductive target achievement in fertile dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Aungier, S P M; Roche, J F; Diskin, M G; Crowe, M A

    2014-01-01

    The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) the risk factors that influence the achievement of reproductive targets postpartum (pp) and (2) the key factors that influence pregnancy rate following first artificial insemination (AI) in dairy cows. Ninety-eight Holstein-Friesian pp cows were blood sampled from wk 1 to 4 pp for hematology and biochemistry. Reproductive tract health was assessed weekly by ultrasonography and vaginal mucus scoring. Body condition score (BCS), lameness score, and milk yield were assessed every 2 wk. Milk samples for progesterone assay were collected twice weekly and on d 4, 5, and 7 after AI. Risk factors associated with achieving reproductive targets depended on (1) increased metabolic activity of the liver (increased glutamate dehydrogenase at calving and increased γ-glutamyl transpeptidase in wk 4), (2) a competent immune system (increased neutrophils in wk 1; decreased α1-acid glycoprotein in wk 1, 2, and 3), (3) an endocrine system that was capable of responding by producing sufficient triiodothyronine in wk 2 and increased insulin-like growth factor I in wk 3 and 4, (4) a lower negative energy balance status (decreased nonesterified fatty acid concentration in wk 1; decreased β-hydroxybutyrate concentration in wk 2; BCS loss between calving and d 28 pp <0.5), (5) good reproductive tract health [normal uterine scan at d 45 pp; clear vaginal mucus discharge at first ovulation and at d 45 pp; resumed ovarian cyclicity by the end of the voluntary waiting period (≥ d 35 pp)], and (6) adequate diet (to ensure increased glutathione peroxidase in wk 2 and 3 and increased magnesium in wk 4). Risk factors that increased the odds of a successful first AI were previous ovulation(s) (odds ratio=3.17 per ovulation), BCS >2.5 at AI (odds ratio=3.01), and clear vaginal mucus (score=0) compared with purulent mucus (score >0) 4 d after first AI (odds ratio=2.99). In conclusion, this study identified key risk factors in the early pp

  18. Corticosterone metabolism by chicken follicle cells does not affect ovarian reproductive hormone synthesis in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Rettenbacher, Sophie; Henriksen, Rie; Groothuids, Ton G.; Lepschy, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Glucocorticoids affect reproductive hormone production in many species. In chickens, elevated plasma corticosterone down-regulates testosterone and progesterone concentrations in plasma, but also in egg yolk. This suppression could be mediated via the hypothalamic-pituitary system but also via local inhibition of gonadal activity by glucocorticoids. As the latter has not been tested in birds yet, we tested if corticosterone directly inhibits ovarian steroid synthesis under in vitro conditions. We hypothesized that degradation of corticosterone by follicular cells impairs their ability to synthesize reproductive hormones due to either inhibition of enzymes or competition for common co-factors. Therefore, we first established whether follicles degrade corticosterone. Follicular tissue was harvested from freshly euthanized laying hens and incubated with radiolabelled corticosterone. Radioactive metabolites were visualized and quantified by autoradiography. Follicles converted corticosterone in a time-dependent manner into metabolites with a higher polarity than corticosterone. The predominant metabolite co-eluted with 20β-dihydrocorticosterone. Other chicken tissues mostly formed the same metabolite when incubated with corticosterone. In a second experiment, follicles were incubated with either progesterone or dehydroepiandrosterone. Corticosterone was added in increasing dosages up to 1000 ng per ml medium. Corticosterone did not inhibit the conversion of progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone into a number of different metabolites, including 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, androstenedione and testosterone. In conclusion, avian tissues degrade corticosterone mostly to 20β-dihydrocorticosterone and even high corticosterone dosages do not affect follicular hormone production under in vitro conditions. PMID:23333751

  19. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  20. Reproductive traits affect the rescue of valuable and endangered multipurpose tropical trees

    PubMed Central

    Sinébou, Viviane; Quinet, Muriel; Ahohuendo, Bonaventure C.; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2016-01-01

    Conservation strategies are urgently needed in Tropical areas for widely used tree species. Increasing numbers of species are threatened by overexploitation and their recovery might be poor due to low reproductive success and poor regeneration rates. One of the first steps in developing any conservation policy should be an assessment of the reproductive biology of species that are threatened by overexploitation. This work aimed to study the flowering biology, pollination and breeding system of V. doniana, a multipurpose threatened African tree, as one step in assessing the development of successful conservation strategies. To this end, we studied (1) traits directly involved in pollinator attraction like flowering phenology, flower numbers and morphology, and floral rewards; (2) abundance, diversity and efficiency of flower visitors; (3) breeding system, through controlled hand-pollination experiments involving exclusion of pollinators and pollen from different sources; and (4) optimal conditions for seed germination. The flowering phenology was asynchronous among inflorescences, trees and sites. The flowers produced a large quantity of pollen and nectar with high sugar content. Flowers attracted diverse and abundant visitors, counting both insects and birds, and efficient pollinators included several Hymenoptera species. We detected no spontaneous self-pollination, indicating a total dependence on pollen vectors. Vitex doniana is self-compatible and no inbreeding depression occurred in the first developmental stages. After extraction of the seed from the fruit, seed germination did not require any particular conditions or pre-treatments and the seeds showed high germination rates. These pollination and breeding characteristics as well as germination potential offer the required conditions to develop successful conservation strategies. Protection, cultivation and integration in agroforestry systems are required to improve the regeneration of the tree. PMID:27354660

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:15346786

  5. 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

  6. A faecal index of diet quality that predicts reproductive success in a marsupial folivore.

    PubMed

    Windley, Hannah R; Wallis, Ian R; DeGabriel, Jane L; Moore, Ben D; Johnson, Christopher N; Foley, William J

    2013-09-01

    Estimating the nutritional value of a herbivore's diet is difficult because it requires knowing what the animal eats, the relative quality of each component and how these components interact in relation to animal physiology. Current methods are cumbersome and rely on many assumptions that are hard to evaluate. We describe a new method for estimating relative diet quality directly from faeces that avoids the problems inherent in other methods. We combine this method with near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) to analyse many samples and thus provide a technique with immense value in ecological studies. The method stems from the correlation between the concentrations of dietary and faecal nitrogen in herbivores eating a tannin-free diet, but a weaker relationship in browsers that ingest substantial amounts of tannins, which form complexes with proteins. These complexes reduce the availability of nitrogen and may increase faecal nitrogen concentrations. Using the tannin-binding compound, polyethylene glycol, we showed that tannin-bound nitrogen is a significant and variable part of faecal nitrogen in wild common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). We developed a technique to measure faecal available nitrogen and found that it predicted the reproductive success of female brushtail possums in northern Australia. Faecal available nitrogen combined with NIRS provides a powerful tool for estimating the relative nutritional value of the diets of browsing herbivores in many ecological systems. It is a better indicator of diet quality than other commonly used single-nutrient measures such as faecal nitrogen and foliage analysis paired with observed feeding behaviour. PMID:23443356

  7. 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., Jr.; 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.

  8. Food availability affects Osmia pumila (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) foraging, reproduction, and brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Goodell, Karen

    2003-03-01

    Food limitation can reduce reproductive success directly, as well as indirectly, if foraging imposes a risk of predation or parasitism. The solitary bee Osmia pumila suffers brood parasitism by the cleptoparasitic wasp Sapyga centrata, which enters the host nest to oviposit while the female bee is away. I studied foraging and reproduction of O. pumila nesting within cages stocked with rich or sparse floral resources, and the presence or absence of S. centrata to test (1) the response of nesting female O. pumila to food shortages, (2) the response of nesting female O. pumila to the presence of parasites, and (3) whether brood produced under scarce resources are more likely to be parasitized by S. centrata. The rate of brood cell production was significantly lower in cages with sparse floral resources, although females in sparse cages did not produce significantly fewer brood cells overall. Sapyga centrata did not influence the rate of brood cell production, but females exposed to the cleptoparasites had marginally significantly lower reproductive output. Nests in parasite cages had significantly fewer brood cells than those in parasite free cages. The mean duration of foraging bouts made by female O. pumila in sparse cages was not significantly longer than that in rich cages. O. pumila spent less time in the nest between pollen and nectar foraging bouts in sparse cages with S. centrata than those in other cages suggesting that these individuals made more frequent food foraging trips. Despite the weak effects of parasites and bloom density on foraging behavior, O. pumila brood cells experienced a 5-fold higher probability of parasitism by S. centrata in cages with sparse bloom than in those with rich bloom [corrected]. These results support the hypothesis that indirect effects of food scarcity increase O. pumila susceptibility to brood parasitism, although the exact mechanism is not entirely clear yet. PMID:12647124

  9. Clutch size reproductive success and organochlorine contaminants in Atlantic coast black-crowned night herons Nycticorax nycticorax

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hensler, G.L.; Kaiser, T.E.

    1983-01-01

    In 1979, clutch-size and reproductive-success data were collected on black-crowned night-herons (N. nycticorax) nesting in 3 New England and two North Carolina [USA] colonies. In 1975, similar data were collected from 1 New England and 1 North Carolina colony. Latitudinal differences in clutch initiation were not evident. Mean clutch size was larger in the New England colonies. Mean clutch size was smaller in late nests from 1 New England colony studied in both years and another New England colony studied in 1979; seasonal trends in clutch size for another colonies were not found. In 1979, nest success was greater in 2 New England colonies than in 1 North Carolina colony. Within-season differences in nest success occurred but were inconsistent among colonies. In the 4 instances where statistical comparisons could be made, larger clutches were more successful than smaller ones in 2 colonies; large and small clutches had similar success in 2 other colonies. One egg was collected from each of several nests in each colony in 1979 for organochlorine contaminant analysis, and the fate of the remaining eggs was recorded. Concentrations of DDE and PCB [polychlorinated biphenyl] did not differ with clutch size; concentrations of PCB were lower in eggs laid late in the season. Although the data suggest an effect of DDE on hatching success in the northern more contaminated colonies, the impact of environmental contaminants on overall reproductive success appears to be minimal.

  10. Comparative reproductive success of communally breeding burying beetles as assessed by PCR with randomly amplified polymorphic DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Scott, M P; Williams, S M

    1993-01-01

    To understand the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies such as communal breeding, it is important to recognize the options open to individuals and to evaluate their consequences. The relative reproductive success of individuals taking each option is one of the most important of these consequences. Burying beetles, Nicrophorus, are an excellent model system for the investigation of reproductive cooperation because they can breed in pairs or communally and provide extensive parental care. In this study, we examine the relationship of the duration of care and the reproductive success of each potentially communally breeding adult. Ten experimental broods reared on mouse carcasses were buried by two males and two females. Using PCR with single short primers that randomly amplify polymorphic DNA, we determined the maternity and paternity of 98.2% and 99.5% of the offspring (n = 217), respectively. In 70% of the broods, both females produced larvae, and in 70%, both males inseminated one or both females. The male and female providing longer care, usually the larger of each sex, were the mother and father of most larvae (50-100%). Images Fig. 1 PMID:8460129

  11. OOCYTE ATRESIA AND REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS IN FATHEAD MINNOWS (PIMEPHALES PROMELAS) EXPOSED TO ACIDIFIED HARDWATER ENVIRONMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ovarian histology of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) chronically exposed to three levels of environmental pH was examined for evidence of reproductive impairment. Exposures occurred in three experimental water channels receiving Mississippi River water. One of these cha...

  12. The Influence of Plant Anatomy on Oviposition and Reproductive Success of the Omnivorous Bug, Orius Insidiosus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The mechanisms whereby plant characteristics influence the reproductive behavior and immature survival of omnivorous insects are poorly understood. We examined how trichome density and internal anatomy of five plant species influence the oviposition behavior of zoophytophagous Orius insidiosus and t...

  13. Disruption of amylase genes by RNA interference affects reproduction in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Huvet, Arnaud; Béguel, Jean-Philippe; Cavaleiro, Nathalia Pereira; Thomas, Yoann; Quillien, Virgile; Boudry, Pierre; Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; Fabioux, Caroline

    2015-06-01

    Feeding strategies and digestive capacities can have important implications for variation in energetic pathways associated with ecological and economically important traits, such as growth or reproduction in bivalve species. Here, we investigated the role of amylase in the digestive processes of Crassostrea gigas, using in vivo RNA interference. This approach also allowed us to investigate the relationship between energy intake by feeding and gametogenesis in oysters. Double-stranded (ds)RNA designed to target the two α-amylase genes A and B was injected in vivo into the visceral mass of oysters at two doses. These treatments caused significant reductions in mean mRNA levels of the amylase genes: -50.7% and -59% mRNA A, and -71.9% and -70.6% mRNA B in 15 and 75 µg dsRNA-injected oysters, respectively, relative to controls. Interestingly, reproductive knock-down phenotypes were observed for both sexes at 48 days post-injection, with a significant reduction of the gonad area (-22.5% relative to controls) and germ cell under-proliferation revealed by histology. In response to the higher dose of dsRNA, we also observed reductions in amylase activity (-53%) and absorption efficiency (-5%). Based on these data, dynamic energy budget modeling showed that the limitation of energy intake by feeding that was induced by injection of amylase dsRNA was insufficient to affect gonadic development at the level observed in the present study. This finding suggests that other driving mechanisms, such as endogenous hormonal modulation, might significantly change energy allocation to reproduction, and increase the maintenance rate in oysters in response to dsRNA injection. PMID:25883379

  14. Metabolic stressors and signals differentially affect energy allocation between reproduction and immune function.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Elizabeth D; Cooper, Candace L; Demas, Gregory E

    2014-11-01

    Most free-living animals have finite energy stores that they must allocate to different physiological and behavioral processes. In times of energetic stress, trade-offs in energy allocation among these processes may occur. The manifestation of trade-offs may depend on the source (e.g., glucose, lipids) and severity of energy limitation. In this study, we investigated energetic trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems by experimentally limiting energy availability to female Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) with 2-deoxy-d-glucose, a compound that disrupts cellular utilization of glucose. We observed how glucoprivation at two levels of severity affected allocation to reproduction and immunity. Additionally, we treated a subset of these hamsters with leptin, an adipose hormone that provides a direct signal of available fat stores, in order to determine how increasing this signal of fat stores influences glucoprivation-induced trade-offs. We observed trade-offs between the reproductive and immune systems and that these trade-offs depended on the severity of energy limitation and exogenous leptin signaling. The majority of the animals experiencing mild glucoprivation entered anestrus, whereas leptin treatment restored estrous cycling in these animals. Surprisingly, virtually all animals experiencing more severe glucoprivation maintained normal estrous cycling throughout the experiment; however, exogenous leptin resulted in lower antibody production in this group. These data suggest that variation in these trade-offs may be mediated by shifts between glucose and fatty acid utilization. Collectively, the results of the present study highlight the context-dependent nature of these trade-offs, as trade-offs induced by the same metabolic stressor can manifest differently depending on its intensity. PMID:25125082

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  16. Factors That Affect the Academic Success of Foreign Students at Cardinal Stritch University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Annor, Peter

    2010-01-01

    There are limited studies in the literature on the factors that affect the academic success of foreign students in the United States. This ex post facto mixed method study investigated the factors that affect the academic success of foreign students at Cardinal Stitch University (CSU), a medium size, private university located in the Midwestern…

  17. Adult nutrition and butterfly fitness: effects of diet quality on reproductive output, egg composition, and egg hatching success

    PubMed Central

    Geister, Thorin L; Lorenz, Matthias W; Hoffmann, Klaus H; Fischer, Klaus

    2008-01-01

    Background In the Lepidoptera it was historically believed that adult butterflies rely primarily on larval-derived nutrients for reproduction and somatic maintenance. However, recent studies highlight the complex interactions between storage reserves and adult income, and that the latter may contribute significantly to reproduction. Effects of adult diet were commonly assessed by determining the number and/or size of the eggs produced, whilst its consequences for egg composition and offspring viability were largely neglected (as is generally true for insects). We here specifically focus on these latter issues by using the fruit-feeding tropical butterfly Bicyclus anynana, which is highly dependent on adult-derived carbohydrates for reproduction. Results Adult diet of female B. anynana had pronounced effects on fecundity, egg composition and egg hatching success, with butterflies feeding on the complex nutrition of banana fruit performing best. Adding vitamins and minerals to a sucrose-based diet increased fecundity, but not offspring viability. All other groups (plain sucrose solution, sucrose solution enriched with lipids or yeast) had a substantially lower fecundity and egg hatching success compared to the banana group. Differences were particularly pronounced later in life, presumably indicating the depletion of essential nutrients in sucrose-fed females. Effects of adult diet on egg composition were not straightforward, indicating complex interactions among specific compounds. There was some evidence that total egg energy and water content were related to hatching success, while egg protein, lipid, glycogen and free carbohydrate content did not seem to limit successful development. Conclusion The patterns shown here exemplify the complexity of reproductive resource allocation in B. anynana, and the need to consider egg composition and offspring viability when trying to estimate the effects of adult nutrition on fitness in this butterfly and other insects. PMID

  18. Organochlorine contaminant exposure and reproductive success of Black-Crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) nesting in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Hatfield, J.S.; Hong, C.-S.; Chu, S.G.

    2001-01-01

    The declining size of the Baltimore Harbor black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) colony has been hypothesized to be linked to PCB exposure. In 1998, a 'sample egg' was collected from 65 black-crowned night heron nests (each containing > three eggs) for contaminant analysis, and the remaining eggs in these 65 nests, plus four two-egg nests, were monitored for hatching and fledging success. Eggs were also collected from 12 nests at Holland Island, a reference site in southern Chesapeake Bay. Samples were analyzed for 26 organochlorine pesticides and metabolites, and 145 PCB congeners. Pesticide and metabolite concentrations, including p,p'-DDE, were well below thresholds associated with adverse reproductive effects at both sites. Average concentration of total PCBs, 12 Ah receptor-active PCB congeners, and toxic equivalents in eggs from Baltimore Harbor were greater (up to 35- fold) than that observed in Holland Island samples. Overall nest success at the Baltimore Harbor heronry was estimated by the Mayfield method to be 0.74, and the mean number of young fledged/hen was 2.05, which is within published productivity estimates for maintaining a stable black-crowned night heron population. Using logistic regression, no significant relationships were found between organochlorine contaminant concentrations in sample eggs and hatching, fledging, or overall reproductive success. Processes other than poor reproduction (e.g., low post- fledging survival, emigration, habitat degradation) may be responsible for the declining size of the Baltimore Harbor colony.

  19. 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

  20. Morph-specific differences in reproductive success in the distylous Primula veris in a context of habitat fragmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Rossum, Fabienne; De Sousa, Sara Campos; Triest, Ludwig

    2006-11-01

    Heterostylous self-incompatible plant species are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation and to disruption of pollination processes because of the need of intermorph cross-pollination for producing seeds. Heterostyly is characterized by sexual polymorphism through the occurrence of two (distyly) or three (tristyly) morph types that differ in floral traits (style length and anther position). We examined whether the long-styled (pin) and short-styled (thrum) morph types show differences in reproductive components and responses to habitat fragmentation in the distylous, self-incompatible perennial herb Primula veris. We documented reproductive components for pin and thrum individuals and their relationships with population size, plant density and morph ratio (pin frequency), in nine populations from Flanders (northern Belgium) located in fragmented habitats of the intensively used agricultural landscape. Seed abortion increased in small populations as a result of inbreeding depression. Fruit set increased with plant density. Seed set was positively related to pin proportion. Seed set was higher for pin than thrum in small populations, but lower in large populations. Two hypotheses can be considered to explain these morph-specific differences: a pollen transfer asymmetry, and a reproductive advantage for the partially self-compatible pin morph. Morph types appear to respond differently to habitat fragmentation constraints. A floral morph type showing partial self-compatibility may be favored in populations under pollination failure, because it can increase reproductive success and mating opportunities through intramorph crosses.

  1. Reproductive Science for High School Students: A Shared Curriculum Model to Enhance Student Success.

    PubMed

    Castle, Megan; Cleveland, Charlotte; Gordon, Diana; Jones, Lynda; Zelinski, Mary; Winter, Patricia; Chang, Jeffrey; Senegar-Mitchell, Ericka; Coutifaris, Christos; Shuda, Jamie; Mainigi, Monica; Bartolomei, Marisa; Woodruff, Teresa K

    2016-07-01

    The lack of a national reproductive biology curriculum leads to critical knowledge gaps in today's high school students' comprehensive understanding of human biology. The Oncofertility Consortium developed curricula that address the basic and clinical aspects of reproductive biology. Launching this academy and creating easy-to-disseminate learning modules allowed other universities to implement similar programs across the country. The expansion of this informal, extracurricular academy on reproductive health from Northwestern University to the University of California, San Diego, Oregon Health & Science University, and the University of Pennsylvania magnifies the scope of scientific learning to students who might not otherwise be exposed to this important information. To assess the experience gained from this curriculum, we polled alumni from the four centers. Data were collected anonymously from de-identified users who elected to self-report on their experiences in their respective reproductive science academy. The alumni survey asked participants to report on their current academic standing, past experiences in the academy, and future academic and career goals. The results of this national survey suggest the national oncofertility academies had a lasting impact on participants and may have contributed to student persistence in scientific learning. PMID:27335072

  2. 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. PMID:26257043

  3. The presence of co-flowering species facilitates reproductive success of Pedicularis monbeigiana (Orobanchaceae) through variation in bumble-bee foraging behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Kuo; Gituru, Robert W.; Guo, You-Hao; Wang, Qing-Feng

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The presence of co-flowering species can alter pollinator foraging behaviour and, in turn, positively or negatively affect the reproductive success of the focal species. Such interactions were investigated between a focal species, Pedicularis monbeigiana, and a co-flowering species, Vicia dichroantha, which was mediated by behaviour alteration of the shared bumble-bee pollinator. Methods Floral display size and floral colour change of P. monbeigiana were compared between pure (P. monbeigiana only) and mixed (P. monbeigiana and V. dichroantha) plots in two populations. Pollinator visitation rates, interspecific floral switching and successive within-plant pollinator visits were recorded. In addition, supplemental pollination at plant level was performed, and the fruit set and seed set were analysed in pure and mixed plots with different densities of P. monbeigiana. Key Results Pollinator visitation rates were dramatically higher in mixed plots than in pure plots. The higher pollinator visitation rates were recorded in both low- and high-density plots. In particular, successive flower visits within an individual plant were significantly lower in mixed plots. Supplemental pollination significantly increased fruit set and seed set of individuals in pure plots, while it only marginally increased seed set per fruit of plants in mixed plots. Conclusions The presence of V. dichroantha can facilitate pollination and increase female reproductive success of P. monbeigiana via both quantity (mitigating pollinator limitation) and quality (reducing geitonogamy) effects. This study suggests that successive pollinator movements among flowers within a plant, as well as pollinator visitation rates and interspecific flower switching, may be important determinants of the direction and mechanisms of interaction between species. PMID:21831855

  4. Is Floral Longevity Influenced by Reproductive Costs and Pollination Success in Cohniella ascendens (Orchidaceae)?

    PubMed Central

    Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Navarro, Jorge

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Although studies have shown that pollen addition and/or removal decreases floral longevity, less attention has been paid to the relationship between reproductive costs and floral longevity. In addition, the influence of reproductive costs on floral longevity responses to pollen addition and/or removal has not yet been evaluated. Here, the orchid Cohniella ascendens is used to answer the following questions. (a) Does experimental removal of flower buds in C. ascendens increase flower longevity? (b) Does pollen addition and/or removal decrease floral longevity, and does this response depend on plant reproductive resource status? Methods To study the effect of reproductive costs on floral longevity 21 plants were selected from which we removed 50 % of the developing flower buds on a marked inflorescence. Another 21 plants were not manipulated (controls). One month later, one of four flowers on each marked inflorescence received one of the following pollen manipulation treatments: control, pollinia removal, pollination without pollinia removal or pollination with pollinia removal. The response variable measured was the number of days each flower remained open (i.e. longevity). Key Results The results showed significant flower bud removal and pollen manipulation effects on floral longevity; the interaction between these two factors was not significant. Flowers on inflorescences with previously removed flower buds remained open significantly longer than flowers on control inflorescences. On the other hand, pollinated flowers closed much faster than control and removed-pollinia flowers, the latter not closing significantly faster than control flowers, although this result was marginal. Conclusions The results emphasize the strong relationship between floral longevity and pollination in orchids, as well as the influence of reproductive costs on the former. PMID:17881335

  5. Reproductive success and habitat characteristics of Golden-winged Warblers in high-elevation pasturelands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra; Aldinger, Kyle R.

    2016-01-01

    The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is one of the most rapidly declining vertebrate species in the Appalachian Mountains. It is the subject of extensive range-wide research and conservation action. However, little is known about this species' breeding ecology in high-elevation pasturelands, a breeding habitat with conservation potential considering the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service's Working Lands for Wildlife program targeting private lands in the Appalachian Mountains. We located 100 nests of Golden-winged Warblers in pastures in and around the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia during 2008–2012. Daily nest survival rate (mean ± SE  =  0.962 ± 0.006), clutch size (4.5 ± 0.1), and number of young fledged per nest attempt (2.0 ± 0.2) and successful nest (4.0 ± 0.1) fell within the range of values reported in other parts of the species' range and were not significantly affected by year or the presence/absence of cattle grazing. Classification tree analysis revealed that nests were in denser vegetation (≥52%) and closer to forest edges (<36.0 m) and shrubs (<7.0 cm) than random locations within the male's territory. Successful nests had significantly more woody cover (≥9%) within 1 m than failed nests. Our results suggest that cattle grazing at 1.2–2.4 ha of forage/animal unit with periodic mowing can create and maintain these characteristics without interfering with the nesting of Golden-winged Warblers. High-elevation pasturelands may provide a refuge for remaining populations of Golden-winged Warblers in this region.

  6. Intermittent fasting during winter and spring affects body composition and reproduction of a migratory duck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barboza, P.S.; Jorde, D.G.

    2002-01-01

    We compared food intake, body mass and body composition of male and female black ducks (Anas rubripes) during winter (January-March). Birds were fed the same complete diet ad libitum on consecutive days each week without fasting (control; nine male; nine female) or with either short fasts (2 day.week-1; nine male; nine female), or long fasts (4 day.week-1; eleven male; twelve female). We continued treatments through spring (March-May) to measure the effect of intermittent fasts on body mass and egg production. Daily food intake of fasted birds was up to four times that of unfasted birds. Weekly food intake of males was similar among treatments (364 g.kg-1.week-1) but fasted females consumed more than unfasted females in January (363 g.kg-1.week-1 vs. 225 g.kg-1.week-1). Although both sexes lost 10-14% body mass, fasted females lost less mass and lipid than unfasted females during winter. Total body nitrogen was conserved over winter in both sexes even though the heart and spleen lost mass while the reproductive tract and liver gained mass. Intermittent fasting increased liver, intestinal tissue and digesta mass of females but not of males. Fasting delayed egg production in spring but did not affect size, fertility or hatching of the clutch. Females on long fasts were still heavier than controls after laying eggs. Thus black ducks combine flexibility of food intake with plasticity of digestive tract, liver and adipose tissue when food supply is interrupted during winter. Females modulate body mass for survival and defer reproduction when food supply is interrupted in spring.

  7. Y-chromosome descent clusters and male differential reproductive success: Young lineage expansions dominate Asian pastoral nomadic populations

    PubMed Central

    Balaresque, Patricia; Gerard, Patrice; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Heyer, Evelyne; Jobling, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    High frequency microsatellite haplotypes of the male-specific Y chromosome can signal past episodes of high reproductive success of particular men and their patrilineal descendants. Previously, two examples of such successful Y-lineages have been described in Asia, both associated with Altaic-speaking pastoral nomadic societies, and putatively linked to dynasties descending respectively from Genghis Khan and Giocangga. Here we surveyed a total of 5321 Y chromosomes from 127 Asian populations, including novel Y-SNP and microsatellite data on 461 Central Asian males, to ask if additional lineage expansions could be identified. Based on the most frequent 8-microsatellite haplotypes we objectively defined eleven descent clusters (DCs), each within a specific haplogroup, that represent likely past instances of high male reproductive success, including the two previously identified cases. Analysis of the geographical patterns and ages of these DCs and their associated cultural characteristics showed that the most successful lineages are found both among sedentary agriculturalists and pastoral nomads and expanded between 2100 BCE and 1100 CE. However, those with recent origins in the historical period are almost exclusively found in Altaic-speaking pastoral nomadic populations, which may reflect a shift in political organisation in pastoralist economies and a greater ease of transmission of Y-chromosomes through time and space facilitated by the use of horses. PMID:25585703

  8. Balanced intake of protein and carbohydrate maximizes lifetime reproductive success in the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae).

    PubMed

    Rho, Myung Suk; Lee, Kwang Pum

    2016-01-01

    Recent developments in insect gerontological and nutritional research have suggested that the dietary protein:carbohydrate (P:C) balance is a critical determinant of lifespan and reproduction in many insects. However, most studies investigating this important role of dietary P:C balance have been conducted using dipteran and orthopteran species. In this study, we used the mealworm beetles, Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), to test the effects of dietary P:C balance on lifespan and reproduction. Regardless of their reproductive status, both male and female beetles had the shortest lifespan at the protein-biased ratio of P:C 5:1. Mean lifespan was the longest at P:C 1:1 for males and at both P:C 1:1 and 1:5 for females. Mating significantly curtailed the lifespan of both males and females, indicating the survival cost of mating. Age-specific egg laying was significantly higher at P:C 1:1 than at the two imbalanced P:C ratios (1:5 or 5:1) at any given age throughout their lives, resulting in the highest lifetime reproductive success at P:C 1:1. When given a choice, beetles actively regulated their intake of protein and carbohydrate to a slightly carbohydrate-biased ratio (P:C 1:1.54-1:1.64 for males and P:C 1:1.3-1:1.36 for females). The self-selected P:C ratio was significantly higher for females than males, reflecting a higher protein requirement for egg production. Collectively, our results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting the key role played by dietary macronutrient balance in shaping lifespan and reproduction in insects. PMID:27405009

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Limited mate availability decreases reproductive success of fragmented populations of Linnaea borealis, a rare, clonal self-incompatible plant

    PubMed Central

    Scobie, A. R.; Wilcock, C. C.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Small populations of rare plant species are increasingly reported to have high levels of reproductive failure. The objective of this study was to understand the principal constraints on sexual reproduction in small fragmented populations of a rare clonal self-incompatible plant. Methods The pollinator spectrum, diversity of flower colour, natural pollination and fruit-set levels of L. borealis were examined in Scotland. Artificially crossed seed production was compared within and between different flower colour types and patches. Key Results Linnaea borealis was pollinated by a diverse spectrum of insect species and the principal pollinators were muscid, syrphid and empid flies which mostly moved only small distances (<0·25 m) between flowers when foraging. Natural pollination levels were high, indicating high pollinator effectiveness, but fruit set was very low in most patches. Flower colour diversity was low in most patches and only those with a diversity of flower colour types had high fruiting success. Pollination experiments showed L. borealis to be highly self-incompatible and artificial crosses within and between patches and flower colour types confirmed that low fruit success was the result of a lack of compatible mates and limited pollen movement between them. Evidence of isolation from pollen exchange was apparent at as little as 6 m and severe at 30 m and beyond. Conclusions Limited mate availability and isolation from pollen exchange compromise the reproductive success of fragmented populations of L. borealis in Scotland. A diversity of compatible mates situated within close proximity (<6 m) is the key requirement to ensure high natural fruiting success. This study emphasizes that an understanding of the breeding system, pollinator spectrum and potential for interconnectivity via pollinator movement are fundamental to identify isolation distances and to establish when conservation intervention is necessary for rare species. PMID

  11. Differential courtship activity and alterations of reproductive success of competing gupply males as an indicator for low concentrations of aquatic pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeder, J.H.; Peters, K.

    1988-09-01

    Differential courtship activity of guppy males competing for the same females was used as a bioindicator for low concentrations of water-borne pollutants in a previous study. Patterns of male sexual activity were chosen because they determine reproductive success. The mean difference between courtship activities of two male competitors determines the relative fitness of the male in question. Accordingly, the decrease in mean differential courtship after exposure to aquatic contaminants was predicted to cause a corresponding change in the relative reproductive success. The present study completed the previous one by repeating the experiment with a 10% addition of wastewater drawn from the last clearing basin of a Munich purification plant this time using virgin (non-inseminated) females which were receptive to male courtship. The females subsequently were allowed to produce as many offspring as possible. The number of young guppies sired by individual male competitors could easily be traced by the use of sex-linked phenotypic color patterns as markers. The purpose of these two studies was to show that the quantification of sexual activities of male guppies is useful for monitoring environmental alterations which affect fitness characters.

  12. Genetically Determined Dosage of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Affects Male Reproductive Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Grigorova, Marina; Punab, Margus; Ẑilaitienė, Birutė; Erenpreiss, Juris; Ausmees, Kristo; Matuleviĉius, Valentinas; Tsarev, Igor; Jørgensen, Niels

    2011-01-01

    Context: The detailed role of FSH in contributing to male testicular function and fertility has been debated. We have previously identified the association between the T-allele of the FSHB promoter polymorphism (rs10835638; G/T, −211 bp from the mRNA start) and significantly reduced male serum FSH. Objective: In the current study, the T-allele carriers of the FSHB −211 G/T single nucleotide polymorphism represented a natural model for documenting downstream phenotypic consequences of insufficient FSH action. Design and Subjects: We genotyped rs10835638 in the population-based Baltic cohort of young men (n = 1054; GG carriers, n = 796; GT carriers, n = 244; TT carriers, n = 14) recruited by Andrology Centres in Tartu, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Kaunas, Lithuania. Marker-trait association testing was performed using linear regression (additive, recessive models) adjusted by age, body mass index, smoking, and recruitment center. Results: Serum hormones directly correlated with the T-allele dosage of rs10835638 included FSH (additive model, P = 1.11 × 10−6; T-allele effect, −0.41 IU/liter), inhibin-B (P = 2.16 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −14.67 pg/ml), and total testosterone (P = 9.30 × 10−3; T-allele effect, −1.46 nmol/liter). Parameters altered only among TT homozygotes were reduced testicular volume (recessive model, P = 1.19 × 10−4; TT genotype effect, −9.47 ml) and increased serum LH (P = 2.25 × 10−2; TT genotype effect, 1.07 IU/liter). The carrier status of rs10835638 alternative genotypes did not affect sperm motility and morphology, calculated free testosterone, serum SHBG, and estradiol concentrations. Conclusion: We showed for the first time that genetically determined low FSH may have wider downstream effects on the male reproductive system, including impaired testes development, altered testicular hormone levels (inhibin-B, total testosterone, LH), and affected male reproductive potential. PMID:21733993

  13. 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. PMID:25152519

  14. Flowering synchrony and floral display size affect pollination success in a deceit-pollinated tropical orchid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parra-Tabla, Victor; Vargas, Carlos F.

    2007-07-01

    ue to frequency-dependent negative selection, a strong relationship between reproductive phenology traits and pollination success is expected in deceit-pollinated species. This paper assesses the effects of floral display size on both female (fruit production) and male (pollen removal) pollination success in a population of the deceit-pollinated tropical orchid Myrmecophila christinae during two consecutive years (1998-1999). Low pollen removal (˜9% of total flowers) and fruit production values (˜3% of total flowers) were recorded during both years. As expected, binary logistic regressions showed a significant negative effect of floral synchrony, and a positive effect of floral display size on both male and female success, although these effects varied across years. Pollination rates in the field and in hand pollinations suggest a doubling in pollinator abundance between years. Results suggest that floral display size and flowering synchrony are of adaptive value for M. christinae. However, between-year fluctuations might indicate that reproductive phenology traits in deceit-pollinated species undergo fluctuating selection regimes among years and are probably linked to short-term changes in environmental (abiotic and biotic) conditions.

  15. Genetic variation, multiple paternity, and measures of reproductive success in the critically endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

    PubMed

    González-Garza, Blanca Idalia; Stow, Adam; Sánchez-Teyer, Lorenzo Felipe; Zapata-Pérez, Omar

    2015-12-01

    The Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico contains some of the largest breeding groups of the globally distributed and critically endangered hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). An improved understanding of the breeding system of this species and how its genetic variation is structured among nesting areas is required before the threats to its survival can be properly evaluated. Here, we genotype 1195 hatchlings and 41 nesting females at 12 microsatellite loci to assess levels of multiple paternity, genetic variation and whether individual levels of homozygosity are associated with reproductive success. Of the 50 clutches analyzed, only 6% have multiple paternity. The distribution of pairwise relatedness among nesting localities (rookeries) was not random with elevated within-rookery relatedness, and declining relatedness with geographic distance indicating some natal philopatry. Although there was no strong evidence that particular rookeries had lost allelic variation via drift, younger turtles had significantly lower levels of genetic variation than older turtles, suggesting some loss of genetic variation. At present there is no indication that levels of genetic variation are associated with measures of reproductive success such as clutch size, hatching success, and frequency of infertile eggs. PMID:26811751

  16. Exploring Alignment between Affective Assessments and College Success Courses: An Exploratory Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Begotka, James

    2012-01-01

    Many two-year colleges throughout the nation are intentionally redesigning developmental education programming and practices directed at improving student preparedness and success. Theoretical works from Bloom and Knowles have established that the affective domain is significant to learner preparedness and eventual success, specifically for adult…

  17. Comparing the Sexual Reproductive Success of Two Exotic Trees Invading Spanish Riparian Forests vs. a Native Reference

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    A widely accepted hypothesis in invasion ecology is that invasive species have higher survival through the early stages of establishment than do non-invasive species. In this study we explore the hypothesis that the sexual reproductive success of the invasive trees Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and Robinia pseudoacacia L. is higher than that of the native Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., all three species coexisting within the riparian forests of Central Spain. We compared different stages of the early life cycle, namely seed rain, seed infestation by insects, seed removal by local fauna, seed germination under optimal conditions and seedling abundance between the two invasive trees and the native, in order to assess their sexual reproductive success. The exotic species did not differ from the native reference (all three species displaying high seed rain and undergoing seed losses up to 50% due to seed removal by the local fauna). Even if the exotic R. pseudoacacia showed a high percentage of empty and insect-parasited seeds along with a low seedling emergence and the exotic A. altissima was the species with more viable seeds and of higher germinability, no differences were found regarding these variables when comparing them with the native F. angustifolia. Unsuitable conditions might have hampered either seedling emergence and survival, as seedling abundance in the field was lower than expected in all species -especially in R. pseudoacacia-. Our results rather suggest that the sexual reproductive success was not higher in the exotic trees than in the native reference, but studies focusing on long-term recruitment would help to shed light on this issue. PMID:27529695

  18. Comparing the Sexual Reproductive Success of Two Exotic Trees Invading Spanish Riparian Forests vs. a Native Reference.

    PubMed

    Cabra-Rivas, Isabel; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2016-01-01

    A widely accepted hypothesis in invasion ecology is that invasive species have higher survival through the early stages of establishment than do non-invasive species. In this study we explore the hypothesis that the sexual reproductive success of the invasive trees Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and Robinia pseudoacacia L. is higher than that of the native Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl., all three species coexisting within the riparian forests of Central Spain. We compared different stages of the early life cycle, namely seed rain, seed infestation by insects, seed removal by local fauna, seed germination under optimal conditions and seedling abundance between the two invasive trees and the native, in order to assess their sexual reproductive success. The exotic species did not differ from the native reference (all three species displaying high seed rain and undergoing seed losses up to 50% due to seed removal by the local fauna). Even if the exotic R. pseudoacacia showed a high percentage of empty and insect-parasited seeds along with a low seedling emergence and the exotic A. altissima was the species with more viable seeds and of higher germinability, no differences were found regarding these variables when comparing them with the native F. angustifolia. Unsuitable conditions might have hampered either seedling emergence and survival, as seedling abundance in the field was lower than expected in all species -especially in R. pseudoacacia-. Our results rather suggest that the sexual reproductive success was not higher in the exotic trees than in the native reference, but studies focusing on long-term recruitment would help to shed light on this issue. PMID:27529695

  19. Pollination biology of Eulophia alta (Orchidaceae) in Amazonia: effects of pollinator composition on reproductive success in different populations

    PubMed Central

    Jürgens, Andreas; Bosch, Simone R.; Webber, Antonio C.; Witt, Taina; Frame, Dawn; Gottsberger, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Spatial variation in pollinator composition and abundance is a well-recognized phenomenon. However, a weakness of many studies claiming specificity of plant–pollinator interactions is that they are often restricted to a single locality. The aim of the present study was to investigate pollinator effectiveness of the different flower visitors to the terrestrial orchid Eulophia alta at three different localities and to analyse whether differences in pollinator abundance and composition effect this plant's reproductive success. Methods Natural pollination was observed in vivo, and manipulative experiments were used to study the pollination biology and breeding system of E. alta at three sites near Manaus, Brazil. To gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pollinator attraction, nectar composition and secretion patterns were also studied, floral scent composition was analysed and a bioassay was conducted. Key Results Flower visitors, pollinator composition, pollinia transfer efficiency of particular pollinator species and natural fruit set differed among the investigated populations of E. alta. Flowers were self-compatible, partially autogamous and effectively pollinated by five bee species (four Centris species and Xylocopa muscaria). Visiting insects appeared to imbibe small amounts of hexose-rich nectar. Nectar sugar content was highest on the third day after flower opening. Floral fragrance analyses revealed 42 compounds, of which monoterpenes and benzenoids predominated. A bioassay using floral parts revealed that only floral tissue from the labellum chamber and labellum tip was attractive to flower visitors. Conclusions The data suggest that observed differences in reproductive success in the three populations cannot be explained by absolute abundance of pollinators alone. Due to behavioural patterns such as disturbance of effective pollinators on flowers by male Centris varia bees defending territory, pollinia transfer

  20. Reproductive isolation and pollination success of rewarding Galearis diantha and non-rewarding Ponerorchis chusua (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hai-Qin; Huang, Bao-Qiang; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Kou, Yong; An, De-Jun; Luo, Yi-Bo; Ge, Song

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Increasing evidence challenges the conventional perception that orchids are the most distinct example of floral diversification due to floral or prezygotic isolation. Regarding the relationship between co-flowering plants, rewarding and non-rewarding orchids in particular, few studies have investigated whether non-rewarding plants affect the pollination success of rewarding plants. Here, floral isolation and mutual effects between the rewarding orchid Galearis diantha and the non-rewarding orchid Ponerorchis chusua were investigated. Methods Flowering phenological traits were monitored by noting the opening and wilting dates of the chosen individual plants. The pollinator pool and pollinator behaviour were assessed from field observations. Key morphological traits of the flowers and pollinators were measured directly in the field. Pollinator limitation and interspecific compatibility were evaluated by hand-pollination experiments. Fruit set was surveyed in monospecific and heterospecific plots. Key Results The species had overlapping peak flowering periods. Pollinators of both species displayed a certain degree of constancy in visiting each species, but they also visited other flowers before landing on the focal orchids. A substantial difference in spur size between the species resulted in the deposition of pollen on different regions of the body of the shared pollinator. Hand-pollination experiments revealed that fruit set was strongly pollinator-limited in both species. No significant difference in fruit set was found between monospecific plots and heterospecific plots. Conclusions A combination of mechanical isolation and incomplete ethological isolation eliminates the possibility of pollen transfer between the species. These results do not support either the facilitation or competition hypothesis regarding the effect of nearby rewarding flowers on non-rewarding plants. The absence of a significant effect of non-rewarding P. chusua on

  1. Nectar secretion dynamic links pollinator behavior to consequences for plant reproductive success in the ornithophilous mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus.

    PubMed

    Guerra, T J; Galetto, L; Silva, W R

    2014-09-01

    The mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus was studied as a model to link flower phenology and nectar secretion strategy to pollinator behaviour and the reproductive consequences for the plant. The bright-coloured flowers presented diurnal anthesis, opened asynchronously throughout the rainy season and produced copious dilute nectar as the main reward for pollinators. Most nectar was secreted just after flower opening, with little sugar replenishment after experimental removals. During the second day of anthesis in bagged flowers, the flowers quickly reabsorbed the offered nectar. Low values of nectar standing crop recorded in open flowers can be linked with high visitation rates by bird pollinators. Eight hummingbirds and two passerines were observed as potential pollinators. The most frequent flower visitors were the hummingbirds Eupetomena macroura and Colibri serrirostris, which actively defended flowering mistletoes. The spatial separation between anthers, stigma and nectar chamber promotes pollen deposition on flapping wings of hovering hummingbirds that usually probe many flowers per visit. Seed set did not differ between hand-, self- and cross-pollinated flowers, but these treatments set significantly more seeds than flowers naturally exposed to flower visitors. We suggest that the limitation observed in the reproductive success of this plant is not related to pollinator scarcity, but probably to the extreme frequency of visitation by territorial hummingbirds. We conclude that the costs and benefits of plant reproduction depend on the interaction strength between flowers and pollinators, and the assessment of nectar secretion dynamics, pollinator behaviour and plant breeding system allows clarification of the complexity of such associations. PMID:24641568

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... such as lead and mercury Chemicals such as pesticides Cigarettes Some viruses Alcohol For men, a reproductive hazard can affect the sperm. For a woman, a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. ...

  5. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

    ... and female reproductive systems play a role in pregnancy. Problems with these systems can affect fertility and ... a reproductive hazard can cause different effects during pregnancy, depending on when she is exposed. During the ...

  6. Female reproductive function in areas affected by radiation after the Chernobyl power station accident

    SciTech Connect

    Kulakov, V.I.; Sokur, T.N.; Volobuev, A.I.

    1993-07-01

    This paper reports the results of a comprehensive survey of the effects of the accidental release of radiation caused by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in April 1986. The accident and the resulting release of radiation and radioactive products into the atmosphere produced the most serious environmental contamination so far recorded. We have concentrated on evaluating the outcomes and health risks to women, their reproductive situation, and consequences for their progeny. We have concentrated on two well-defined areas: the Chechersky district of the Gomel region in Belorussia and the Polessky district of the Kiev region in the Ukraine. A number of investigations were carried out on 688 pregnant women and their babies, and data were obtained from 7000 labor histories of the development of newborns for a period of 8 years (3 years before the accident and 5 years after it). Parameters examined included birth rate, thyroid pathology, extragenital pathology such as anemias, renal disorders, hypertension, and abnormalities in the metabolism of fats, complications of gestation, spontaneous abortions, premature deliveries, perinatal morbidity and mortality, stillbirths and early neonatal mortality, infections and inflammatory diseases, neurological symptoms and hemic disturbances in both mothers and infants, trophic anomalies, and biochemical and structural changes in the placenta. Several exogenous, complicating influences were also considered such as psycho-emotional factors, stress, lifestyle changes, and others caused directly by the hazardous situation and by its consequences such as treatment, removal from affected areas, etc. 9 figs.

  7. Prenatal exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) affects reproductive outcomes in female mice.

    PubMed

    Niermann, Sarah; Rattan, Saniya; Brehm, Emily; Flaws, Jodi A

    2015-06-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that prenatal DEHP exposure affects female reproduction. To test this hypothesis, pregnant female CD-1 mice were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle control) or DEHP (20 μg/kg/day-750 mg/kg/day) from gestation day 11-birth. Pups were counted, weighed, and sexed at birth, ovaries were subjected to evaluations of follicle numbers on postnatal days (PNDs) 8 and 21, and fertility was evaluated at 3-9 months. The results indicate that prenatal DEHP exposure increased male-to-female ratio compared to controls. Prenatal DEHP exposure also increased preantral follicle numbers at PND 21 compared to controls. Further, 22.2% of the 20 μg/kg/day treated animals took longer than 5 days to get pregnant at 3 months and 28.6% of the 750 mg/kg/day treated animals lost some of their pups at 6 months. Thus, prenatal DEHP exposure alters F1 sex ratio, increases preantral follicle numbers, and causes some breeding abnormalities. PMID:25765777

  8. Factors affecting hatch success of hawksbill sea turtles on Long Island, Antigua, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Ditmer, Mark Allan; Stapleton, Seth Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Current understanding of the factors influencing hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) hatch success is disparate and based on relatively short-term studies or limited sample sizes. Because global populations of hawksbills are heavily depleted, evaluating the parameters that impact hatch success is important to their conservation and recovery. Here, we use data collected by the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) to investigate hatch success. The JBHP implements saturation tagging protocols to study a hawksbill rookery in Antigua, West Indies. Habitat data, which reflect the varied nesting beaches, are collected at egg deposition, and nest contents are exhumed and categorized post-emergence. We analyzed hatch success using mixed-model analyses with explanatory and predictive datasets. We incorporated a random effect for turtle identity and evaluated environmental, temporal and individual-based reproductive variables. Hatch success averaged 78.6% (SD: 21.2%) during the study period. Highly supported models included multiple covariates, including distance to vegetation, deposition date, individual intra-seasonal nest number, clutch size, organic content, and sand grain size. Nests located in open sand were predicted to produce 10.4 more viable hatchlings per clutch than nests located >1.5 m into vegetation. For an individual first nesting in early July, the fourth nest of the season yielded 13.2 more viable hatchlings than the initial clutch. Generalized beach section and inter-annual variation were also supported in our explanatory dataset, suggesting that gaps remain in our understanding of hatch success. Our findings illustrate that evaluating hatch success is a complex process, involving multiple environmental and individual variables. Although distance to vegetation and hatch success were inversely related, vegetation is an important component of hawksbill nesting habitat, and a more complete assessment of the impacts of specific vegetation types on hatch

  9. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  10. Can aircraft noise less than or equal 115 to dBA adversely affect reproductive outcome in USAF women?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brubaker, P. A.

    1985-06-01

    It has been suggested, mainly through animal studies, that exposure to high noise levels may be associated with lower birth weight, reduced gestational length and other adverse reproductive outcomes. Few studies have been done on humans to show this association. The Air Force employs pregnant women in areas where there is a high potential for exposure to high noise levels. This study proposes a method to determine if there is an association between high frequency noise levels or = 115 dBA and adverse reproductive outcomes through a review of records and self-administered questionnaires in a case-comparison design. Prevelance rates will be calculated and a multiple logistic regression analysis computed for the independent variables that can affect reproduction.

  11. Effects of depleted uranium on the reproductive success and F1 generation survival of zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Bourrachot, Stéphanie; Brion, François; Pereira, Sandrine; Floriani, Magali; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalié, Isabelle; Palluel, Olivier; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle

    2014-09-01

    Despite the well-characterized occurrence of uranium (U) in the aquatic environment, very little is known about the chronic exposure of fish to low levels of U and its potential effect on reproduction. Therefore, this study was undertaken to investigate the effects of environmental concentrations of depleted U on the reproductive output of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and on survival and development of the F1 embryo-larvae following parental exposure to U. For that purpose, sexually mature male and female zebrafish were exposed to 20 and 250 μg/L of U for 14 days and allowed to reproduce in clean water during a further 14-day period. At all sampling times, whole-body vitellogenin concentrations and gonad histology were analyzed to investigate the effects of U exposure on these reproductive endpoints. In addition, accumulation of U in the gonads and its genotoxic effect on male and female gonad cells were quantified. The results showed that U strongly affected the capability of fish to reproduce and to generate viable individuals as evidenced by the inhibition of egg production and the increased rate of mortality of the F1 embryos. Interestingly, U exposure resulted in decreased circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in females. Increased concentrations of U were observed in gonads and eggs, which were most likely responsible for the genotoxic effects seen in fish gonads and in embryos exposed maternally to U. Altogether, these findings highlight the negative effect of environmentally relevant concentrations of U which alter the reproductive capability of fish and impair the genetic integrity of F1 embryos raising further concern regarding its effect at the population level. PMID:24846854

  12. Different pollinator assemblages ensure reproductive success of Cleisostoma linearilobatum (Orchidaceae) in fragmented holy hill forest and traditional tea garden

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiang; Liu, Qiang; Han, Jessie Yc; Gao, JiangYun

    2016-01-01

    Orchids are generally recognized to have specialist pollination systems and low fruit set is often thought to be characteristic of the family. In this study, we investigated the reproductive ecology of Cleisostoma linearilobatum, an epiphytic tropical orchid, in a holy hill forest fragment and a traditional tea garden in SW China using comparable methods. C. linearilobatum is self-compatible and dependent on insects for pollination. Fruit production in natural conditions was both pollinator- and resource-limited. However, the natural fruit set remained stable over multiple years at both sites. Pollination observations showed that C. linearilobatum has a generalized pollination system and seven insect species were observed as legitimate pollinators. Although the visit frequencies of different pollinators were different in the two sites, the pollinator assemblages ensured reproductive success of C. linearilobatum in both study sites over multiple years. The results partly explain why C. linearilobatum is so successful in the area, and also suggest that holy hill forest fragments and traditional tea gardens in Xishuangbanna are important in preserving orchids, especially those with generalist pollination. PMID:26907369

  13. Different pollinator assemblages ensure reproductive success of Cleisostoma linearilobatum (Orchidaceae) in fragmented holy hill forest and traditional tea garden.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiang; Liu, Qiang; Han, Jessie Yc; Gao, JiangYun

    2016-01-01

    Orchids are generally recognized to have specialist pollination systems and low fruit set is often thought to be characteristic of the family. In this study, we investigated the reproductive ecology of Cleisostoma linearilobatum, an epiphytic tropical orchid, in a holy hill forest fragment and a traditional tea garden in SW China using comparable methods. C. linearilobatum is self-compatible and dependent on insects for pollination. Fruit production in natural conditions was both pollinator- and resource-limited. However, the natural fruit set remained stable over multiple years at both sites. Pollination observations showed that C. linearilobatum has a generalized pollination system and seven insect species were observed as legitimate pollinators. Although the visit frequencies of different pollinators were different in the two sites, the pollinator assemblages ensured reproductive success of C. linearilobatum in both study sites over multiple years. The results partly explain why C. linearilobatum is so successful in the area, and also suggest that holy hill forest fragments and traditional tea gardens in Xishuangbanna are important in preserving orchids, especially those with generalist pollination. PMID:26907369

  14. Influence of Snowmelt Timing on the Diet Quality of Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Implications for Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) is the southernmost subspecies of the species in Europe and is considered threatened as a consequence of changes in landscape, human pressure, climate change, and low genetic diversity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between the date of snowmelt and reproductive success in the Pyrenean ptarmigan. It is well established that birds laying early in the breeding season have higher reproductive success, but the specific mechanism for this relationship is debated. We present an explicative model of the relationship between snowmelt date and breeding success mediated by food quality for grouse in alpine environments. From microhistological analyses of 121 faecal samples collected during three years in the Canigou Massif (Eastern Pyrenees), and the assessment of the chemical composition of the main dietary components, we estimated the potential quality of individual diets. Potential dietary quality was correlated with free-urate faecal N, a proxy of the digestible protein content ingested by ptarmigan, and both were correlated with phenological stage of consumed plants, which in turn depends on snowmelt date. Our findings suggest that the average snowmelt date is subject to a strong interannual variability influencing laying date. In years of early snowmelt, hens benefit from a longer period of high quality food resources potentially leading to a higher breeding success. On the contrary, in years of late snowmelt, hens begin their breeding period in poorer nutrient condition because the peaks of protein content of their main food items are delayed with respect to laying date, hence reducing breeding performance. We discuss the possible mismatch between breeding and snowmelt timing. PMID:26849356

  15. Influence of Snowmelt Timing on the Diet Quality of Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Implications for Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) is the southernmost subspecies of the species in Europe and is considered threatened as a consequence of changes in landscape, human pressure, climate change, and low genetic diversity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between the date of snowmelt and reproductive success in the Pyrenean ptarmigan. It is well established that birds laying early in the breeding season have higher reproductive success, but the specific mechanism for this relationship is debated. We present an explicative model of the relationship between snowmelt date and breeding success mediated by food quality for grouse in alpine environments. From microhistological analyses of 121 faecal samples collected during three years in the Canigou Massif (Eastern Pyrenees), and the assessment of the chemical composition of the main dietary components, we estimated the potential quality of individual diets. Potential dietary quality was correlated with free-urate faecal N, a proxy of the digestible protein content ingested by ptarmigan, and both were correlated with phenological stage of consumed plants, which in turn depends on snowmelt date. Our findings suggest that the average snowmelt date is subject to a strong interannual variability influencing laying date. In years of early snowmelt, hens benefit from a longer period of high quality food resources potentially leading to a higher breeding success. On the contrary, in years of late snowmelt, hens begin their breeding period in poorer nutrient condition because the peaks of protein content of their main food items are delayed with respect to laying date, hence reducing breeding performance. We discuss the possible mismatch between breeding and snowmelt timing. PMID:26849356

  16. From Infertility to Successful Third-Party Reproduction: The Trajectory of Greek Women.

    PubMed

    Papadatou, Danai; Papaligoura, Zaira G; Bellali, Thalia

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of our phenomenological hermeneutic study was to explore the lived experiences of Greek infertile women who achieve a pregnancy through the use of sperm, oocyte, or embryo donation or surrogate motherhood. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 infertile women. Findings suggest that conceiving a child through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) is lived as a highly distressing experience, comprising long waiting periods for medical results, several failed attempts, and treatment options with uncertain outcomes. The analysis of women's accounts revealed a constitutive pattern, journeying between hope and despair, and three associated themes: (a) coping with uncertainty and treatment failures, (b) exploring options and decision making, and (c) being supported by spouse and professionals. Findings illuminate the specific meaning-based coping processes, decision-making patterns, and sources of support that help women who pursue treatment until they give birth to a child, to manage highly stressful situations and critical decisions. PMID:25568093

  17. Reproductive state affects hiding behaviour under risk of predation but not exploratory activity of female Spanish terrapins.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Alejandro; Marzal, Alfonso; López, Pilar; Martín, José

    2015-02-01

    Female investment during reproduction may reduce survivorship due to increased predation risk. During pregnancy, the locomotor performance of gravid females might be diminished due to the additional weight acquired. In addition, egg production may also increase thermoregulatory, metabolic and physiological costs. Also, pregnant females have greater potential fitness and should take fewer risks. Thus, females should ponder their reproductive state when considering their behavioural responses under risky situations. Here, we examine how reproductive state influence risk-taking behaviour in different contexts in female Spanish terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). We simulated predator attacks of different risk levels and measured the time that the turtles spent hiding entirely inside their own shells (i.e. appearance times). We also assessed the subsequent time after emergence from the shell that the turtles spent immobile monitoring for predators before starting to escape actively (i.e. waiting times). Likewise, we performed a novel-environment test and measured the exploratory activity of turtles. We found no correlations between appearance time, waiting time or exploratory activity, but appearance times were correlated across different risk levels. Only appearance time was affected by the reproductive state, where gravid females reappeared relatively later from their shells after a predator attack than non-gravid ones. Moreover, among gravid females, those carrying greater clutches tended to have longer appearance times. This suggests that only larger clutches could affect hiding behaviour in risky contexts. In contrast, waiting time spent scanning for predators and exploratory activity were not affected by the reproductive state. These differences between gravid and non-gravid females might be explained by the metabolic-physiological costs associated with egg production and embryo maintenance, as well as by the relatively higher potential fitness of gravid females. PMID

  18. ANDROGENS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ANTIANDROGENS AFFECT REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT AND PLAY BEHAVIOR IN THE SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In mammals, exposure to androgens early in development is essential for masculinization of the male reproductive phenotype. Male fetuses exposed to antiandrogens during perinatal life are permanently demasculinized in their morphology and physiology, whereas exposure to...

  19. Mortality affects adaptive allocation to growth and reproduction: field evidence from a guild of body snatchers

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The probability of being killed by external factors (extrinsic mortality) should influence how individuals allocate limited resources to the competing processes of growth and reproduction. Increased extrinsic mortality should select for decreased allocation to growth and for increased reproductive effort. This study presents perhaps the first clear cross-species test of this hypothesis, capitalizing on the unique properties offered by a diverse guild of parasitic castrators (body snatchers). I quantify growth, reproductive effort, and expected extrinsic mortality for several species that, despite being different species, use the same species' phenotype for growth and survival. These are eight trematode parasitic castrators—the individuals of which infect and take over the bodies of the same host species—and their uninfected host, the California horn snail. Results As predicted, across species, growth decreased with increased extrinsic mortality, while reproductive effort increased with increased extrinsic mortality. The trematode parasitic castrator species (operating stolen host bodies) that were more likely to be killed by dominant species allocated less to growth and relatively more to current reproduction than did species with greater life expectancies. Both genders of uninfected snails fit into the patterns observed for the parasitic castrator species, allocating as much to growth and to current reproduction as expected given their probability of reproductive death (castration by trematode parasites). Additionally, species differences appeared to represent species-specific adaptations, not general plastic responses to local mortality risk. Conclusions Broadly, this research illustrates that parasitic castrator guilds can allow unique comparative tests discerning the forces promoting adaptive evolution. The specific findings of this study support the hypothesis that extrinsic mortality influences species differences in growth and reproduction

  20. Reproductive rate, not dominance status, affects fecal glucocorticoid levels in breeding female meerkats.

    PubMed

    Barrette, Marie-France; Monfort, Steven L; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Clutton-Brock, Tim H; Russell, Andrew F

    2012-04-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have been studied intensively to understand the associations between physiological stress and reproductive skew in animal societies. However, we have little appreciation of the range of either natural levels within and among individuals, or the associations among dominance status, reproductive rate and GCs levels during breeding. To address these shortcomings, we examined variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGC) during breeding periods in free-ranging female meerkats (Suricata suricatta) over 11 years. The vast majority of variation in fGC levels was found within breeding events by the same female (~87%), with the remaining variation arising among breeding events and among females. Concentrations of fGC generally tripled as pregnancy progressed. However, females with a high reproductive rate, defined as those conceiving within a month following parturition (mean = 9 days postpartum), showed significant reductions in fGC in the final 2 weeks before parturition. Despite these reductions, females with a high reproductive rate had higher fGC levels at conception of the following litter than those breeding at a low rate. After controlling for the higher reproductive rate of dominants, we found no association between levels of fGC and either age or dominance status. Our results suggest that one should be cautious about interpreting associations between dominance status, reproductive skew and GCs levels, without knowledge of the natural variation in GCs levels within and among females. PMID:22210199

  1. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

    Seminal proteins are critical for reproductive success in all animals that have been studied. Although seminal proteins have been identified in many taxa, and female reproductive responses to receipt of these proteins have been documented in several, little is understood about the mechanisms by which seminal proteins affect female reproductive physiology. To explore this topic, we investigated how a Drosophila seminal protein, ovulin, increases ovulation rate in mated females. Ovulation is a relatively simple physiological process, with known female regulators: previous studies have shown that ovulation rate is promoted by the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) in D. melanogaster and other insects. We found that ovulin stimulates ovulation by increasing OA signaling in the female. This finding supports a model in which a male seminal protein acts through “hacking” a well-conserved, regulatory system females use to adjust reproductive output, rather than acting downstream of female mechanisms of control or in parallel pathways altogether. We also discuss similarities between 2 forms of intersexual control of behavior through chemical communication: seminal proteins and pheromones. PMID:25483253

  2. A comparison of American Oystercatcher reproductive success on barrier beach and river island habitats in coastal North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGowan, C.P.; Simons, T.R.; Golder, W.; Cordes, J.

    2005-01-01

    American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) numbers along the east coast of the United States are declining in some areas and expanding in others. Researchers have suggested that movement from traditional barrier beach habitats to novel inland habitats and coastal marshes may explain some of these changes, but few studies have documented oystercatcher reproductive success in non-traditional habitats. This study compares the reproductive success of the American Oystercatcher on three river islands in the lower Cape Fear River of North Carolina with that of birds nesting on barrier island beach habitat of Cape Lookout National Seashore. There were 17.6 times more oystercatcher breeding pairs per kilometer on the river island habitat than barrier beach habitat. The Mayfield estimate of daily nest content survival was 0.97 (S.E. ?? 0.0039) on river islands, significantly higher than 0.92 (S.E. ?? 0.0059) on barrier islands. The primary identifiable cause of nest failure on the river islands was flooding while the main cause of nest failure on the barrier islands was mammalian predation. Fledging success was equally low at both study sites. Only 0.19 chicks fledged per pair in 2002, and 0.21 chicks fledged per pair in 2003 on the river islands and 0.14 chicks fledged per pair in 2002 and 0.20 chicks fledged per pair in 2003 on the barrier islands. Many questions are still unanswered and more research is needed to fully understand the causes of chick mortality and the functional significance of non-traditional nesting habitats for the American Oystercatcher in the eastern United States.

  3. Food-cue affected motor response inhibition and self-reported dieting success: a pictorial affective shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Meule, Adrian; Lutz, Annika P. C.; Krawietz, Vera; Stützer, Judith; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is one of the basic facets of executive functioning and is closely related to self-regulation. Impulsive reactions, that is, low inhibitory control, have been associated with higher body mass index (BMI), binge eating, and other problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, pathological gambling, etc.). Nevertheless, studies which investigated the direct influence of food-cues on behavioral inhibition have been fairly inconsistent. In the current studies, we investigated food-cue affected behavioral inhibition in young women. For this purpose, we used a go/no-go task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli in which stimulus-response mapping is reversed after every other block (affective shifting task). In study 1, hungry participants showed faster reaction times to and omitted fewer food than neutral targets. Low dieting success and higher BMI were associated with behavioral disinhibition in food relative to neutral blocks. In study 2, both hungry and satiated individuals were investigated. Satiation did not influence overall task performance, but modulated associations of task performance with dieting success and self-reported impulsivity. When satiated, increased food craving during the task was associated with low dieting success, possibly indicating a preload-disinhibition effect following food intake. Food-cues elicited automatic action and approach tendencies regardless of dieting success, self-reported impulsivity, or current hunger levels. Yet, associations between dieting success, impulsivity, and behavioral food-cue responses were modulated by hunger and satiation. Future research investigating clinical samples and including other salient non-food stimuli as control category is warranted. PMID:24659978

  4. Early-life disease exposure and associations with adult survival, cause of death, and reproductive success in preindustrial humans.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Rigby, Francesca L; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-08-01

    A leading hypothesis proposes that increased human life span since 1850 has resulted from decreased exposure to childhood infections, which has reduced chronic inflammation and later-life mortality rates, particularly from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Early-life cohort mortality rate often predicts later-life survival in humans, but such associations could arise from factors other than disease exposure. Additionally, the impact of early-life disease exposure on reproduction remains unknown, and thus previous work ignores a major component of fitness through which selection acts upon life-history strategy. We collected data from seven 18th- and 19th-century Finnish populations experiencing naturally varying mortality and fertility levels. We quantified early-life disease exposure as the detrended child mortality rate from infectious diseases during an individual's first 5 y, controlling for important social factors. We found no support for an association between early-life disease exposure and all-cause mortality risk after age 15 or 50. We also found no link between early-life disease exposure and probability of death specifically from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or cancer. Independent of survival, there was no evidence to support associations between early-life disease exposure and any of several aspects of reproductive performance, including lifetime reproductive success and age at first birth, in either males or females. Our results do not support the prevailing assertion that exposure to infectious diseases in early life has long-lasting associations with later-life all-cause mortality risk or mortality putatively linked to chronic inflammation. Variation in adulthood conditions could therefore be the most likely source of recent increases in adult life span. PMID:27457937

  5. Evaluation of the effect of implanted depleted uranium on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, and sperm velocity.

    PubMed

    Arfsten, Darryl P; Schaeffer, David J; Johnson, Eric W; Robert Cunningham, J; Still, Kenneth R; Wilfong, Erin R

    2006-02-01

    Depleted uranium (DU) projectiles have been used in battle in Iraq and the Balkans and will continue to be a significant armor-penetrating munition for the US military. As demonstrated in the Persian Gulf War, battle injury from DU projectiles and shrapnel is a possibility, and removal of embedded DU fragments from the body is not always practical because of their location in the body or their small size. Previous studies in rodents have demonstrated that implanted DU mobilizes and translocates to the gonads, and natural uranium may be toxic to spermatazoa and the male reproductive tract. In this study, the effects of implanted DU pellets on sperm concentration, motility, and male reproductive success were evaluated in adult (P1) Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with 0, 12, or 20, DU pellets of 1x2 mm or 12 or 20 tantalum (Ta) steel pellets of 1x2 mm. Twenty DU pellets of 1x2 mm (760 mg) implanted in a 500-g rat are equal to approximately 0.2 pound of DU in a 154-lb (70-kg) person. Urinary analysis found that male rats implanted with DU were excreting uranium at postimplantation days 27 and 117 with the amount dependent on dose. No deaths or evidence of toxicity occurred in P1 males over the 150-day postimplantation study period. When assessed at postimplantation day 150, the concentration, motion, and velocity of sperm isolated from DU-implanted animals were not significantly different from those of sham surgery controls. Velocity and motion of sperm isolated from rats treated with the positive control compound alpha-chlorohydrin were significantly reduced compared with sham surgery controls. There was no evidence of a detrimental effect of DU implantation on mating success at 30-45 days and 120-145 days postimplantation. The results of this study suggest that implantation of up to 20 DU pellets of 1x2 mm in rats for approximately 21% of their adult lifespan does not have an adverse impact on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, or sperm velocity. PMID

  6. Evaluation of the effect of implanted depleted uranium on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, and sperm velocity

    SciTech Connect

    Arfsten, Darryl P. . E-mail: darryl.arfsten@wpafb.af.mil; Schaeffer, David J.; Johnson, Eric W.; Robert Cunningham, J.; Still, Kenneth R.; Wilfong, Erin R.

    2006-02-15

    Depleted uranium (DU) projectiles have been used in battle in Iraq and the Balkans and will continue to be a significant armor-penetrating munition for the US military. As demonstrated in the Persian Gulf War, battle injury from DU projectiles and shrapnel is a possibility, and removal of embedded DU fragments from the body is not always practical because of their location in the body or their small size. Previous studies in rodents have demonstrated that implanted DU mobilizes and translocates to the gonads, and natural uranium may be toxic to spermatazoa and the male reproductive tract. In this study, the effects of implanted DU pellets on sperm concentration, motility, and male reproductive success were evaluated in adult (P1) Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with 0, 12, or 20, DU pellets of 1x2 mm or 12 or 20 tantalum (Ta) steel pellets of 1x2 mm. Twenty DU pellets of 1x2 mm (760 mg) implanted in a 500-g rat are equal to approximately 0.2 pound of DU in a 154-lb (70-kg) person. Urinary analysis found that male rats implanted with DU were excreting uranium at postimplantation days 27 and 117 with the amount dependent on dose. No deaths or evidence of toxicity occurred in P1 males over the 150-day postimplantation study period. When assessed at postimplantation day 150, the concentration, motion, and velocity of sperm isolated from DU-implanted animals were not significantly different from those of sham surgery controls. Velocity and motion of sperm isolated from rats treated with the positive control compound {alpha}-chlorohydrin were significantly reduced compared with sham surgery controls. There was no evidence of a detrimental effect of DU implantation on mating success at 30-45 days and 120-145 days postimplantation. The results of this study suggest that implantation of up to 20 DU pellets of 1x2 mm in rats for approximately 21% of their adult lifespan does not have an adverse impact on male reproductive success, sperm concentration, or sperm velocity.

  7. Postnatal depression and reproductive success in modern, low-fertility contexts

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Sarah; Burger, Oskar; Johns, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Background and objectives: Postnatal depression (PND) presents a puzzling phenomenon to evolutionary anthropologists as it is highly prevalent and yet detrimental to child development and maternal health. Adaptive explanations have been proposed, but have not been tested with data that directly link PND to female fertility. Methodology: A survey was designed to gather complete reproductive histories and retrospective measures of PND to measure the effects of PND on fitness. Respondents were born between 1930 and 1967, with the majority based in the UK during their childrearing years. The hypothesis that PND is detrimental to fitness is assessed using Mann–Whitney U tests on completed fertility. Binary logistic regression modelling is used to test the hypothesis that PND reduces the likelihood of parity progression. Results: Women experiencing PND at their first or second birth have lower completed fertility, with PND at the first birth leading to lowered fertility. Logistic regression analyses show that this is the result of reductions in the likelihood of parity progression to a third birth when PND is experienced at the first birth or when repeat bouts occur. Conclusions and implications: Our results call into question adaptationist arguments, contribute to the growing understanding of the importance of emotional wellbeing to fertility decision making, and given the economic consequences of markedly below replacement fertility, highlight a potential new source of financial incentive to invest in screening and preventative measures to ensure good maternal mental health. PMID:26976787

  8. Oxidative stress predicts long-term resight probability and reproductive success in Scopoli's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea).

    PubMed

    Costantini, David; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge in conservation physiology is to find out biomarkers that reliably reflect individual variation in wear and tear. Recent work has suggested that biomarkers of oxidative stress may provide an additional tool to assess the health state of individuals and to predict fitness perspectives. In this study, we assessed whether three biomarkers of plasma oxidative status predicted the following factors: (i) the resight probability as breeder in the next seasons; and (ii) the cumulative reproductive output over multiple years in Scopoli's shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea) using a 7 year individual-based data set. Our results show that shearwaters having higher levels of a marker of oxidative damage (reactive oxygen metabolites) in 2008 had a lower resight probability in the next years and a lower number of chicks raised from 2008 to 2014. In contrast, two biomarkers of antioxidant defences (non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity of plasma and thiols) did not have any predictive value. Increased concentrations of plasma reactive oxygen metabolites, together with the significant individual repeatability over time in this metric of oxidative stress found in numerous studies, suggest that this metric might serve as a blood-derived biomarker for health and fitness perspectives in birds and, possibly, also in other taxa. PMID:27293709

  9. Oxidative stress predicts long-term resight probability and reproductive success in Scopoli's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, David; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge in conservation physiology is to find out biomarkers that reliably reflect individual variation in wear and tear. Recent work has suggested that biomarkers of oxidative stress may provide an additional tool to assess the health state of individuals and to predict fitness perspectives. In this study, we assessed whether three biomarkers of plasma oxidative status predicted the following factors: (i) the resight probability as breeder in the next seasons; and (ii) the cumulative reproductive output over multiple years in Scopoli’s shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea) using a 7 year individual-based data set. Our results show that shearwaters having higher levels of a marker of oxidative damage (reactive oxygen metabolites) in 2008 had a lower resight probability in the next years and a lower number of chicks raised from 2008 to 2014. In contrast, two biomarkers of antioxidant defences (non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity of plasma and thiols) did not have any predictive value. Increased concentrations of plasma reactive oxygen metabolites, together with the significant individual repeatability over time in this metric of oxidative stress found in numerous studies, suggest that this metric might serve as a blood-derived biomarker for health and fitness perspectives in birds and, possibly, also in other taxa. PMID:27293709

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra; Ammer, Frank K.

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Early Blooming’s Challenges: Extended Flowering Season, Diverse Pollinator Assemblage and the Reproductive Success of Gynodioecious Daphne laureola

    PubMed Central

    ALONSO, CONCHITA

    2004-01-01

    • Background and aims The scarcity and unpredictability of active pollinators during late winter in temperate areas tends to favour extended flowering seasons and increased floral longevity in early blooming species, which are usually pollinated by diverse sets of insects. Daphne laureola is a gynodioecious woody perennial that flowers from January to April in southern Spain, a period characterized by cold temperatures, frequent rains and irregular snowfalls. • Methods Pollinators were excluded at four different times during the flowering season in order to determine the effect of decreased exposure to pollinators on fruit set in female and hermaphrodite individuals. The role of nocturnal and diurnal pollination on reproductive success in each gender was simultaneously evaluated by selective exclusion. • Key results A 50 % reduction in the flowering period decreased fruit set of females by 50 %, whereas the corresponding decrease in self‐compatible hermaphrodites was only approx. 25 %. Day‐active hymenopterans and lepidopterans were infrequent visitors, and nocturnal pollinators were inefficient, suggesting that pollen beetles, Meligethes elongatus, were the main pollinators of D. laureola in the study region. • Conclusions Beetles were less abundant in pollenless females, although discrimination did not apparently result in pollination limitation of female reproduction. A preference of beetles for sunny locations emphasized the relevance of abiotic conditions for pollination of this early blooming shrub. PMID:14602664

  12. Proposed method for evaluating the effects of PCBs in sediment on egg mass viability and reproductive success in frogs

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, C.S.; Henning, M.H.; Ebert, E.S.

    1995-12-31

    A proposed study design for evaluating the effect of PCBs in the sediments of a large New England river on reproductive success in frogs is described. Depending on field conditions and species abundance, the study will use either bullfrogs, Rana catesbiana; spring peepers, Hyla pickeringii; or green frogs, Rana claymitans as the study model. A selected number of gravid females will be collected from both the target area and a reference area matched with respect to a number of key variables including, but not limited to, stream flow, temperature, pH, substrate type, depth, surrounding land use, and organic carbon content of sediments. The gravid frogs will be transferred to a laboratory, where the egg masses will be stripped following induced ovulation, and then fertilized using semen from males collected in the field. Egg masses will be maintained under static renewal conditions for a period up to and including 7 days post hatch, during which mortality and gross morphological appearance will be evaluated. In the event that statistically significant differences in these endpoints are noted, a dose response model will be developed to relate observed effects to previously determined PCB concentrations in egg masses and maternal tissues. The results of this study will be of significant utility in evaluating reproductive toxicity of PCBs in ecological risk assessment.

  13. Using Genetic Markers to Directly Estimate Gene Flow and Reproductive Success Parameters in Plants on the Basis of Naturally Regenerated Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Burczyk, J.; Adams, W. T.; Birkes, D. S.; Chybicki, I. J.

    2006-01-01

    Estimating seed and pollen gene flow in plants on the basis of samples of naturally regenerated seedlings can provide much needed information about “realized gene flow,” but seems to be one of the greatest challenges in plant population biology. Traditional parentage methods, because of their inability to discriminate between male and female parentage of seedlings, unless supported by uniparentally inherited markers, are not capable of precisely describing seed and pollen aspects of gene flow realized in seedlings. Here, we describe a maximum-likelihood method for modeling female and male parentage in a local plant population on the basis of genotypic data from naturally established seedlings and when the location and genotypes of all potential parents within the population are known. The method models female and male reproductive success of individuals as a function of factors likely to influence reproductive success (e.g., distance of seed dispersal, distance between mates, and relative fecundity–i.e., female and male selection gradients). The method is designed to account for levels of seed and pollen gene flow into the local population from unsampled adults; therefore, it is well suited to isolated, but also wide-spread natural populations, where extensive seed and pollen dispersal complicates traditional parentage analyses. Computer simulations were performed to evaluate the utility and robustness of the model and estimation procedure and to assess how the exclusion power of genetic markers (isozymes or microsatellites) affects the accuracy of the parameter estimation. In addition, the method was applied to genotypic data collected in Scots pine (isozymes) and oak (microsatellites) populations to obtain preliminary estimates of long-distance seed and pollen gene flow and the patterns of local seed and pollen dispersal in these species. PMID:16489237

  14. Multi-generational effects of polybrominated diphenylethers exposure: embryonic exposure of male American kestrels (Falco sparverius) to DE-71 alters reproductive success and behaviors.

    PubMed

    Marteinson, Sarah C; Bird, David M; Shutt, J Laird; Letcher, Robert J; Ritchie, Ian J; Fernie, Kim J

    2010-08-01

    Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are additive flame-retardants that are environmentally persistent and bioaccumulative compounds of particular concern to species at high trophic levels, including predatory birds. The developmental effects of in ovo exposure to male birds at environmentally relevant levels of the PBDE technical mixture, DE-71, on reproductive success and behaviors using captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were determined. Males were exposed in ovo by direct maternal transfer to DE-71 and unintentionally to low concentrations of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) at three mean +/- standard error DE-71 concentrations of 288.60 +/- 33.35 ng/g wet weight (low-exposure), 1130.59 +/- 95.34 ng/g wet weight (high-exposure), or background levels of 3.01 +/- 0.46 ng/g wet weight (control). One year following exposure, males were paired with unexposed females. Reproductive success was lower in the high exposure pairs: 43% failed to lay eggs while all other pairs laid complete clutches; they also laid smaller clutches and produced smaller eggs with reduced fertility, parameters that were negatively correlated with paternal in ovo concentrations of all PBDEs, as well as individual congeners and HBCD. Throughout courtship, there were fewer copulations by all in ovo exposed males, fewer mate-calls made by high-exposure males, and decreasing trends in pair-bonding and nest-box behaviors across treatments that continued during brood rearing. The reductions in clutch size and fertility were associated with the reduced frequencies of male courtship behaviors, and were associated with increasing concentrations of the PBDE congeners BDE-47, -99, -100, -53, -138, and HBCD. The results of the present study confirm effects noted in the F(0) generation and demonstrate that exposure to DE-71 affects multiple generations of this predatory avian species at environmentally relevant levels of exposure. PMID:20821627

  15. An assessment of DDT and other chlorinated compounds and the reproductive success of American robins (Turdus migratonrius) breeding in fruit orchards.

    PubMed

    Gill, Harpreet; Wilson, Laurie K; Cheng, Kimberly M; Elliott, John E

    2003-01-01

    Although DDT was banned in the 1970s, American robins (Turdus migratorius) breeding in fruit orchards of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, continue to be contaminated with DDT and its metabolites. The objectives of our study were (1) to assess organochlorine (OC) contamination in robins breeding in Okanagan orchards (1993-1995, 1997-1998) and (2) to determine if exposure affected reproductive success when compared to robins from non-orchard habitat (lower mainland, British Columbia). Robins in orchards had total DDT egg residues of 48.64 mg/kg (geometric mean; n = 92) while those in non-orchard habitat had 1.10 mg/kg (geometric mean; n = 26), wet weight. The probability of nest survival during the incubation period was 96.7% (confidence interval: 95.7-97.5%; n = 165) in orchard habitat and 96.7% (confidence interval: 94.6-98.1%; n = 28) in non-orchard habitat. During the nestling period the probability of nest survival was 98.2% (confidence interval: 97.2-98.9%; n = 123) in orchard habitat and 96.2% (confidence interval: 92.8-98.0%; n = 34) in non-orchard habitat. Clutch (p < 0.0001) and brood size (p = 0.0133) were larger in orchards (n = 150 and n = 93, respectively) compared to non-orchard nests (n = 42 and n = 23, respectively) with no difference in fledge rate. DDE (r2 = 0.11, p = 0.0030, n = 68) and dieldrin (r2 = 0.29, p < 0.0001, n = 68) were negatively correlated with fledge rate in robin eggs collected from orchard habitat, however, low r2 values signify minimal biological significance. Although American robins nesting in Okanagan orchards are exposed to high OC levels, reproductive success does not appear to be negatively impacted. PMID:12739861

  16. Human reproductive issues in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    A review of reproductive functioning in animal species studied during space flight demonstrated that most species were affected significantly by the absence of gravity and/or the presence of radiation. These two factors induced alterations in normal reproductive functioning independently of, as well as in combination with, each other. Based on animal models, several potential problem areas regarding human reproductive physiology and functioning in the space environment were identified. While there are no current space flight investigations, the animal studies suggest priorities for future research in human reproduction. Such studies will be critical for the successful colonization of the space frontier.

  17. Identifying Cognitive and Affective Variables as They Relate to the Successful Completion of Business Statistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldstein, Jeffrey; High, Robert V.

    This study examined the student characteristics, affective or cognitive, which predict academic success in undergraduate and graduate business statistics courses. The issue was found to be important because most business curricula require courses in business statistics and because both undergraduate and graduate students come to business programs…

  18. First evidence of successful natural reproduction by planted lake trout in Lake Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nester, Robert T.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1984-01-01

    Twenty-two lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) swim-up fry, 24-27 mm long, were captured with emergent fry traps and a tow net in northwestern Lake Huron on a small nearshore reef off Alpena, Michigan, between May 10 and June 1, 1982. These catches represent the first evidence of successful production of swim-up fry by planted, hatchery-reared lake trout in Lake Huron since the lake trout rehabilitation program began in 1973.

  19. Habitat use and reproductive success of western snowy plovers at new nesting areas created for California least terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, A.N.; Collier, C.L.

    2000-01-01

    The Pacific coast population of western snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1993 and its decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss. In southern California, snowy plovers typically nest in association with federally endangered California least terns (Sterna antillarum browni). Since least terns were afforded protection under the ESA, the creation of nesting habitat from dredged materials has been a popular component of habitat restoration to partially compensate for wetland loss in this region. We had a unique opportunity to monitor habitat use and reproductive success at newly created habitats associated with the restoration of Batiquitos Lagoon, San Diego County, California from 1994 to 1998. We also compared hatch and fledge rates and habitat characteristics of snowy plovers nesting at new nesting areas at Batiquitos Lagoon to a nearby natural beach and a dredged-material area created in the 1970s. The number of nesting attempts by snowy plovers increased from 5 in 1994 to a high of 38 in 1997, and plovers nested on 4 of the 5 created areas. Fledge rates at Batiquitos Lagoon varied annually and declined after the initial colonization in 1995. Fledge rate in 1995 was higher at the newly created area than at the older dredged-material and natural beach areas in any other year. Nests on the created areas at Batiquitos Lagoon were surrounded by less vegetative cover, less debris, and shorter vegetation than nests at the older dredged-material and natural beach areas. Nonbreeding snowy plovers used created habitats within the lagoon, and more plovers used the lagoon and its adjacent beach during fall than winter. Predation pressure and habitat quality were important factors determining use and reproductive success on created areas at Batiquitos Lagoon.

  20. Effects of suspended sediment on the reproductive success of the tricolor shiner, a crevice-spawning minnow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkhead, N.M.; Jelks, H.L.

    2001-01-01

    Excessive sedimentation of rivers and creeks has been linked to increasing levels of imperilment in the diverse fish fauna of the southeastern United States. In particular, benthic-spawning fishes have decreased in both numbers and range. The tricolor shiner Cyprinella trichroistia is a crevice-spawning minnow that is widespread in the eastern Mobile River drainage above the Fall Line. While they are less sensitive to perturbation than the federally threatened blue shiner C. caerulea, tricolor shiners have decreased in numbers and range during the past few decades. This experiment examined the effects of 0 (control), 100, 300, and 600 mg/L initial concentrations of suspended sediment on the reproductive success of the tricolor shiner. Increasing levels of suspended sediment caused decreasing levels of reproductive success (fewer spawns and fewer eggs laid when spawning occurred). Increasing levels of suspended sediment also delayed the onset of spawning, resulting in distinct frequency distributions of clear eggs, eyed eggs, and larvae across treatments. Mortality of eggs and larvae was not a factor in the experiment. We examined daily sediment concentration data recorded at three sites in the upper Coosa River over the April-August spawning season of 1963. By weighting our experimental results by the number of days above each sediment concentration, we estimated that 20% fewer eggs were laid than would have been laid if conditions had been like those of the controls. Albeit our model is simplistic, it provides insight into how excessive sedimentation contributes to population extirpation. Mitigation of suspended sediments is an important management action for the conservation of southern Appalachian fishes that spawn in benthic habitats.

  1. Spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish metapopulation: evidence of variable reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Pusack, Timothy J; Christie, Mark R; Johnson, Darren W; Stallings, Christopher D; Hixon, Mark A

    2014-07-01

    Many marine organisms can be transported hundreds of kilometres during their pelagic larval stage, yet little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal. Although traditional population-genetic tools can be applied to infer movement of larvae on an evolutionary timescale, large effective population sizes and high rates of gene flow present serious challenges to documenting dispersal patterns over shorter, ecologically relevant, timescales. Here, we address these challenges by combining direct parentage analysis and indirect genetic analyses over a 4-year period to document spatial and temporal patterns of larval dispersal in a common coral-reef fish: the bicolour damselfish (Stegastes partitus). At four island locations surrounding Exuma Sound, Bahamas, including a long-established marine reserve, we collected 3278 individuals and genotyped them at 10 microsatellite loci. Using Bayesian parentage analysis, we identified eight parent-offspring pairs, thereby directly documenting dispersal distances ranging from 0 km (i.e., self-recruitment) to 129 km (i.e., larval connectivity). Despite documenting substantial dispersal and gene flow between islands, we observed more self-recruitment events than expected if the larvae were drawn from a common, well-mixed pool (i.e., a completely open population). Additionally, we detected both spatial and temporal variation in signatures of sweepstakes and Wahlund effects. The high variance in reproductive success (i.e., 'sweepstakes') we observed may be influenced by seasonal mesoscale gyres present in the Exuma Sound, which play a prominent role in shaping local oceanographic patterns. This study documents the complex nature of larval dispersal in a coral-reef fish, and highlights the importance of sampling multiple cohorts and coupling both direct and indirect genetic methods in order disentangle patterns of dispersal, gene flow and variable reproductive success. PMID:24917250

  2. Gonadotropin stimulation using P.G. 600® on reproductive success of non-lactating anestrous ewes.

    PubMed

    D'Souza, K N; Rastle-Simpson, S L; Redhead, A K; Baptiste, Q S; Smith, B; Knights, M

    2014-08-01

    The effect of stimulation with a gonadotropin preparation with combined follicle stimulating and luteininzing hormone like activity on reproductive success in anestrous ewes was evaluated. In Experiment 1, ewes of mixed breeding were treated with CIDR inserts (0.3g progesterone) for 5 days and were assigned randomly to receive either gonadotropin stimulation (3mL i.m. injection of P.G. 600®, 240IU eCG and 120IU hCG) at CIDR removal or no further treatment. Intact raddled rams were joined at insert removal for 30-35 days, and ewes were observed for indications of estrus after 4 days of ram exposure. Pregnancy diagnosis was conducted via transrectal ultrasonography at the time of ram removal and again 20-25 days. The second experiment was similar to Experiment 1, except treated ewes received the gonadotropin 1 day prior to insert removal. In Experiment 1, incidence of estrus was greater for treated ewes (P=0.01), and prolificacy tended to be greater in treated ewes (P=0.06). In Experiment 2, treated ewes had greater conception rates (P=0.01), pregnancy rates to first service (P=0.0007), and tended to have greater overall pregnancy rates than control ewes (P=0.07). A greater percentage of ewes lambed in the gonadotropin treated ewes than in ewes in the control group (P<0.0001), and overall lambing rates in treated ewes were greater than non-treated controls (P<0.0001). In conclusion, gonadotropin treatment 1 day prior to CIDR removal increased reproductive success in progesterone-treated anestrous ewes. PMID:24950998

  3. Individual Quality Explains Variation in Reproductive Success Better than Territory Quality in a Long-Lived Territorial Raptor

    PubMed Central

    Zabala, Jabi; Zuberogoitia, Iñigo

    2014-01-01

    Evolution by natural selection depends on the relationship between individual traits and fitness. Variation in individual fitness can result from habitat (territory) quality and individual variation. Individual quality and specialization can have a deep impact on fitness, yet in most studies on territorial species the quality of territory and individuals are confused. We aimed to determine if variation in breeding success is better explained by territories, individual quality or a combination of both. We analysed the number of fledglings and the breeding quality index (the difference between the number of fledglings of an individual/breeding pair and the average number of fledglings of the monitored territories in the same year) as part of a long term (16 years) peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) monitoring program with identification of individuals. Using individual and territory identities as correlates of quality, we built Generalised Linear Models with Mixed effects, in which random factors depicted different hypotheses for sources of variation (territory/individual quality) in the reproductive success of unique breeding pairs, males and females, and assessed their performance. Most evidence supported the hypothesis that variation in breeding success is explained by individual identity, particularly male identity, rather than territory. There is also some evidence for inter year variations in the breeding success of females and a territory effect in the case of males. We argue that, in territorial species, individual quality is a major source of variation in breeding success, often masked by territory. Future ecological and conservation studies on habitat use should consider and include the effect of individuals, in order to avoid misleading results. PMID:24599280

  4. The effects of inbreeding, genetic dissimilarity and phenotype on male reproductive success in a dioecious plant

    PubMed Central

    Austerlitz, Frédéric; Gleiser, Gabriela; Teixeira, Sara; Bernasconi, Giorgina

    2012-01-01

    Pollen fate can strongly affect the genetic structure of populations with restricted gene flow and significant inbreeding risk. We established an experimental population of inbred and outbred Silene latifolia plants to evaluate the effects of (i) inbreeding depression, (ii) phenotypic variation and (iii) relatedness between mates on male fitness under natural pollination. Paternity analysis revealed that outbred males sired significantly more offspring than inbred males. Independently of the effects of inbreeding, male fitness depended on several male traits, including a sexually dimorphic (flower number) and a gametophytic trait (in vitro pollen germination rate). In addition, full-sib matings were less frequent than randomly expected. Thus, inbreeding, phenotype and genetic dissimilarity simultaneously affect male fitness in this animal-pollinated plant. While inbreeding depression might threaten population persistence, the deficiency of effective matings between sibs and the higher fitness of outbred males will reduce its occurrence and counter genetic erosion. PMID:21561968

  5. FEMALE AND MALE GENETIC EFFECTS ON OFFSPRING PATERNITY: ADDITIVE GENETIC (CO)VARIANCES IN FEMALE EXTRA-PAIR REPRODUCTION AND MALE PATERNITY SUCCESS IN SONG SPARROWS (MELOSPIZA MELODIA)

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Losdat, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing evolution of polyandry, and consequent extra-pair reproduction in socially monogamous systems, is hypothesized to be facilitated by indirect selection stemming from cross-sex genetic covariances with components of male fitness. Specifically, polyandry is hypothesized to create positive genetic covariance with male paternity success due to inevitable assortative reproduction, driving ongoing coevolution. However, it remains unclear whether such covariances could or do emerge within complex polyandrous systems. First, we illustrate that genetic covariances between female extra-pair reproduction and male within-pair paternity success might be constrained in socially monogamous systems where female and male additive genetic effects can have opposing impacts on the paternity of jointly reared offspring. Second, we demonstrate nonzero additive genetic variance in female liability for extra-pair reproduction and male liability for within-pair paternity success, modeled as direct and associative genetic effects on offspring paternity, respectively, in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). The posterior mean additive genetic covariance between these liabilities was slightly positive, but the credible interval was wide and overlapped zero. Therefore, although substantial total additive genetic variance exists, the hypothesis that ongoing evolution of female extra-pair reproduction is facilitated by genetic covariance with male within-pair paternity success cannot yet be definitively supported or rejected either conceptually or empirically. PMID:24724612

  6. Sexual experience affects reproductive behavior and preoptic androgen receptors in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Swaney, William T.; Dubose, Brittany N.; Curley, James P.; Champagne, Frances A.

    2012-01-01

    Reproductive behavior in male rodents is made up of anticipatory and consummatory elements which are regulated in the brain by sensory systems, reward circuits and hormone signaling. Gonadal steroids play a key role in the regulation of male sexual behavior via steroid receptors in the hypothalamus and preoptic area. Typical patterns of male reproductive behavior have been characterized, however these are not fixed but are modulated by adult experience. We assessed the effects of repeated sexual experience on male reproductive behavior of C57BL/6 mice; including measures of olfactory investigation of females, mounting, intromission and ejaculation. The effects of sexual experience on the number of cells expressing either androgen receptor (AR) or estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) in the primary brain nuclei regulating male sexual behavior was also measured. Sexually experienced male mice engaged in less sniffing of females before initiating sexual behavior and exhibited shorter latencies to mount and intromit, increased frequency of intromission, and increased duration of intromission relative to mounting. No changes in numbers of ERα-positive cells were observed, however sexually experienced males had increased numbers of AR-positive cells in the medial preoptic area (MPOA); the primary regulatory nucleus for male sexual behavior. These results indicate that sexual experience results in a qualitative change in male reproductive behavior in mice that is associated with increased testosterone sensitivity in the MPOA and that this nucleus may play a key integrative role in mediating the effects of sexual experience on male behavior. PMID:22266118

  7. DIBROMOACETIC ACID AFFECTS REPRODUCTIVE COMPETENCE AND SPERM QUALITY IN THE MALE RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have recently shown that Dibromoacetic acid (DBAA) alters sperm quality in short duration tests. n this study, male rats were gavaged with 0, 2, 10, 50, 250 mg DBAA/kg/d for up to 49 d. Interim. and terminal measurements of sperm quality & reproductive outcome were made. BAA c...

  8. Benzyl isothiocyanate affects development, hatching and reproduction of the soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC) applied at micromolar doses decreased Heterodera glycines J2 movement, H. glycines hatching, and reproduction of H. glycines on soybean, Glycine max. Direct exposure of J2 to 30 microM BITC caused an immediate decrease (17%; P < 0.05) in J2 movement relative to 1% methan...

  9. Within-species reproductive costs affect the asymmetry of satyrization in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Yassin, A; David, J R

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how species interactions influence their distribution and evolution is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Theory suggests that asymmetric reproductive interference, in which one species induces higher reproductive costs on another species, may be more important in delimiting species boundaries than interspecific competition over resources. However, the underlying mechanisms of such asymmetry remain unclear. Here, we test whether differences in within-species reproductive costs determine the between-species asymmetry of costs using three allopatric Drosophila species belonging to the melanogaster subgroup. Our results support this hypothesis, especially in a pair of insular species. Males of one species that induce costs to their conspecific females led to a 5-fold increase of heterospecific females mortality with dead flies bearing spectacular large melanized wounds on their genitalia. Males of the other species were harmful neither to their conspecific nor heterospecific females. Comparative studies of within-species reproductive costs may therefore be a valuable tool for predicting between-species interactions and community structures. PMID:26538290

  10. Water availability and population origin affect the expression of the tradeoff between reproduction and growth in Plantago coronopus.

    PubMed

    Hansen, C F; García, M B; Ehlers, B K

    2013-05-01

    Investment in reproduction and growth represent a classic tradeoff with implication for life history evolution. The local environment can play a major role in the magnitude and evolutionary consequences of such a tradeoff. Here, we examined the investment in reproductive and vegetative tissue in 40 maternal half-sib families from four different populations of the herb Plantago coronopus growing in either a dry or wet greenhouse environment. Plants originated from populations with an annual or a perennial life form, with annuals prevailing in drier habitats with greater seasonal variation in both temperature and precipitation. We found that water availability affected the expression of the tradeoff (both phenotypic and genetic) between reproduction and growth, being most accentuated under dry condition. However, populations responded very differently to water treatments. Plants from annual populations showed a similar response to drought condition with little variation among maternal families, suggesting a history of selection favouring genotypes with high allocation to reproduction when water availability is low. Plants from annual populations also expressed the highest level of plasticity. For the perennial populations, one showed a large variation among maternal families in resource allocation and expressed significant negative genetic correlations between reproductive and vegetative biomass under drought. The other perennial population showed less variation in response to treatment and had trait values similar to those of the annuals, although it was significantly less plastic. We stress the importance of considering intraspecific variation in response to environmental change such as drought, as conspecific plants exhibited very different abilities and strategies to respond to high versus low water availability even among geographically close populations. PMID:23621367

  11. How does childhood socioeconomic hardship affect reproductive strategy? Pathways of development

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Mark S.; Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In high‐income populations, evidence suggests that socioeconomic disadvantage early in life is correlated with reproductive strategy. Children growing up in unfavorable rearing environments tend to experience earlier sexual maturity and first births. Earlier first births may be associated with higher fertility, but links between socioeconomic disadvantage and larger family size have rarely been tested. The pathways through which early disadvantage influences reproduction are unknown. We test whether physiological factors link childhood adversity to age at first birth and total children. Methods Using data from the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a 1947 British birth cohort, we developed path models to identify possible physiological traits linking childhood socioeconomic status, and poor housing standards, to two reproductive outcomes: age at first birth and total children. We explored birth weight, weight gain after birth, childhood illnesses, body mass index at age 9, age at menarche, and adult height as possible mediators. Results We found direct, negative effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and housing on age at first birth, and of housing on fertility. Although we found links between childhood disadvantage and menarche and height, neither of these were significantly correlated with either reproductive outcome. Age at first birth completely mediates the relationship between childhood adversity and total fertility, which we believe has not been empirically demonstrated before. Conclusions While there are some links between childhood adversity and child health, we find little evidence that physiological pathways, such as child health and growth, link early childhood adversity to reproductive outcomes in this relatively well‐nourished population. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 28:356–363, 2016. © 2015 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26407916

  12. DNA alterations and effects on growth and reproduction in Daphnia magna during chronic exposure to gamma radiation over three successive generations.

    PubMed

    Parisot, Florian; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul; Plaire, Delphine; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Alonzo, Frédéric

    2015-06-01

    This study examined chronic effects of external Cs-137 gamma radiation on Daphnia magna exposed over three successive generations (F0, F1 and F2) to environmentally relevant dose rates (ranging from 0.007 to 35.4 mGy h(-1)). Investigated endpoints included survival, growth, reproduction and DNA alterations quantified using random-amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Results demonstrated that radiation effects on survival, growth and reproduction increased in severity from generation F0 to generation F2. Mortality after 21 days at 35.4 mGy h(-1) increased from 20% in F0 to 30% in F2. Growth was affected by a slight reduction in maximum length at 35.4 mGy h(-1) in F0 and by reductions of 5 and 13% in growth rate, respectively, at 4.70 and 35.4 mGy h(-1) in F2. Reproduction was affected by a reduction of 19% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h(-1) in F0 and by a delay of 1.9 days in brood release as low as 0.070 mGy h(-1) in F2. In parallel, DNA alterations became significant at decreasing dose rates over the course of F0 (from 4.70 mGy h(-1) at hatching to 0.007 mGy h(-1) after ∼21 days) and from F0 to F2 (0.070 mGy h(-1) at hatching to 0.007 mGy h(-1) after ∼21 days), demonstrating their rapid accumulation in F0 daphnids and their transmission to offspring generations. Transiently more efficient DNA repair leading to some recovery at the organism level was suggested in F1, with no effect on survival, a slight reduction of 12% in 21 day-fecundity at 35.4 mGy h(-1) and DNA alterations significant at highest dose rates only. The study improved our understanding of long term responses to low doses of radiation at the molecular and organismic levels in a non-human species for a better radioprotection of aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25840277

  13. Reproductive success, developmental anomalies, and environmental contaminants in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus)

    SciTech Connect

    Larson, J.M.; Karasov, W.H.; Sileo, L.; Stromborg, K.L.; Giesy, J.P.; Jones, P.D.; Tillitt, D.E.; Verbrugge, D.A.; Hanbidge, B.A.

    1996-04-01

    To test an association between environmental contaminants and the prevalence of congenital anomalies in colonial waterbirds, the authors collected representative eggs for chemical analysis from double-crested cormorant nests at colonies in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada, and periodically revisited the nests to determine the hatching success, survivorship of hatchlings, and number of deformed hatchlings in the remainder of each clutch. Total concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs were determined by capillary gas chromatography. The combined activity of planar chlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHs) in the eggs was measured in an in vitro bioassay based on the induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in rat hepatoma cells. The combined EROD induction activity was expressed as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQ). Total concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were seven to eight times greater in eggs from Lake Michigan (7.8 {micro}g/g and 138 pg/g, respectively) than in those from Lake Winnipegosis (1.0 {micro}g/g and 19 pg/g, respectively). The proportion of eggs hatching at the Lake Michigan colony (59%) was less (p < 0.05) than at Lake Winnipegosis (70%), and the prevalence of hatchlings with deformed bills was greater (p < 0.001) at Lake Michigan (0.79 vs. 0.06%). However, within the Lake Michigan colony, concentrations of PCBs and TCDD-EQ were not correlated with either hatching success or the occurrence of deformities in nestlings.

  14. Cui-ui reproductive success from potential egg deposition to larval emigration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scoppettone, G. Gary; Rissler, Peter H.

    2012-01-01

    From 1985 to 2006, we tracked cui-ui, Chasmistes cujus, survival from potential egg deposition of migrating spawners to emigrating larvae. Tahoe sucker larvae emigrated to Pyramid Lake the same time as cui-ui larvae, but cui-ui was the predominant catostomid larvae we captured. Survival of cui-ui larvae ranged from 0.46% to 21.17%, declining significantly with decreased flow and increased number of spawners (P < 0.01). Mean total length of emigrating larvae ranged from 11.5 to 12.6 mm and may have been affected by stream flow. Removal of impediments to upstream migrating cui-ui spawners, along with sufficient stream flows, may enhance early life-stage survival.

  15. Long-Term Prophylactic Antibiotic Treatment: Effects on Survival, Immunocompetence and Reproduction Success of Parasemia plantaginis (Lepidoptera: Erebidae)

    PubMed Central

    Dickel, Franziska; Freitak, Dalial; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of insect species are nowadays reared under laboratory conditions. Rearing of insects always implicates the risk of diseases, among which microbial infections are the most frequent and difficult problems. Although there are effective prophylactic treatments, the side effects of applied antibiotics are not well understood. We examined the effect of prophylactic antibiotic treatment on the overwintering success of wood tiger moth (Parasemia plantaginis) larvae, and the postdiapause effect on their life-history traits. Four weeks before hibernation larvae were treated with a widely used antibiotic (fumagillin). We monitored moths’ survival and life-history traits during the following 10 mo, and compared them to those of untreated control larvae. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment had no effect on survival but we show effects on some life-history traits by decreasing the developmental time of treated larvae. However, we also revealed relevant negative effects, as antibiotic treated individuals show a decreased number of laid eggs and also furthermore a suppressed immunocompetence. These results implicate, that a prophylactic medication can also lead to negative effects on life-history traits and reproductive success, which should be seriously taken in consideration when applying a prophylactic treatment to laboratory reared insect populations. PMID:27271967

  16. Long-Term Prophylactic Antibiotic Treatment: Effects on Survival, Immunocompetence and Reproduction Success of Parasemia plantaginis (Lepidoptera: Erebidae).

    PubMed

    Dickel, Franziska; Freitak, Dalial; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of insect species are nowadays reared under laboratory conditions. Rearing of insects always implicates the risk of diseases, among which microbial infections are the most frequent and difficult problems. Although there are effective prophylactic treatments, the side effects of applied antibiotics are not well understood. We examined the effect of prophylactic antibiotic treatment on the overwintering success of wood tiger moth (Parasemia plantaginis) larvae, and the postdiapause effect on their life-history traits. Four weeks before hibernation larvae were treated with a widely used antibiotic (fumagillin). We monitored moths' survival and life-history traits during the following 10 mo, and compared them to those of untreated control larvae. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment had no effect on survival but we show effects on some life-history traits by decreasing the developmental time of treated larvae. However, we also revealed relevant negative effects, as antibiotic treated individuals show a decreased number of laid eggs and also furthermore a suppressed immunocompetence. These results implicate, that a prophylactic medication can also lead to negative effects on life-history traits and reproductive success, which should be seriously taken in consideration when applying a prophylactic treatment to laboratory reared insect populations. PMID:27271967

  17. Successful survival, growth, and reproductive potential of quagga mussels in low calcium lake water: is there uncertainty of establishment risk?

    PubMed

    Davis, Clinton J; Ruhmann, Emma K; Acharya, Kumud; Chandra, Sudeep; Jerde, Christopher L

    2015-01-01

    The risk of quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis Andrusov 1897) establishment into water-bodies of the western US has expanded the geographic concern regarding the ecological and economic impacts this species will have in aquatic ecosystems. Thresholds based on calcium concentrations, an element critical for mussel growth and physiology, have been used as a primary predictor of quagga mussel establishment success to aid management decisions. We evaluated the invasion potential of quagga mussels in low calcium waters using laboratory experiments to compare the survival, growth and reproductive potential of adult mussels held for 90 days at low (9 and 12 ppm), moderate (15 to 32 ppm) and high (72 ppm) calcium water concentrations. In conjunction with adult experiments, veliger stage survival, growth and settlement were evaluated under similar low, moderate, and high calcium water treatments. Adult mussels survived, grew and showed reproductive potential in low calcium water (12 ppm). Veligers were also able to survive, grow and settle in low calcium water. Higher levels of natural seston biomass appeared to improve adult mussel life history performance in low calcium water. Survival curve analysis predicted that 99% adult mortality could occur in <170 days at 9 ppm and 12 ppm, however water with >15 ppm could have adults surviving more than a year. The results from these bioassays provide further evidence that quagga mussels have higher risk of establishment in low calcium lakes if habitats exist that have slightly elevated calcium. These results should help emphasize the vulnerability of water-body in the 12 to 15 ppm calcium range that could potentially be at risk of establishing sustainable quagga mussel populations. Furthermore, these results provide insights into the uncertainty of using a single parameter in assigning establishment risk given the complexity of variables in specific water-bodies that influence life history performance of introduced

  18. [The biology of the volcano mouse (N. a. alstoni). XXI. Reproductive capacity of wild females in 15 successive matings].

    PubMed

    Luis, J; Granados, H

    1990-01-01

    This study comprises an investigation on the reproductive capacity of wild females of the volcano mouse (Neotomodon alstoni alstoni), in 15 successive matings. The neotomodon were captured in the Sierra del Volcán Ajusco (Cerro Pelado, Parres, D.F.). The animals were kept under environmental laboratory conditions, being fed ALBI-LAB pellets and tap water. The matings were performed from may 1985 to August 1988 by pairs and at random, during 12 days. The females were weighed on the day 1 of the mating; the young were sexed on the 7th day of life, and weaned at the 30th day of age. The results were: the mean of the percentages of pregnancy in the 15 matings was 39.6 +/- 3.0, being the highest percentages in Spring-Summer. The size of the litter varied from 1 to 6 young, with a mode of 3 and a global average of 2.7. The means of the percentages of survival at the first week of life and at weaning were 72.9 +/- 3.6 and 70.3 +/- 3.3, respectively. The proportion males-females was 1.2:1. There was not found a significant positive correlation between the weight of the mothers at day 1 of the mating and the size of the litter (r = 0.65, p less than 0.05). These results allow to conclude that in the laboratory the wild volcano mouse exhibits a high reproductive capacity, which demonstrates that this rodent posseses very positive qualities in order to make out of him a new experimental animal. PMID:2222116

  19. Out of sight but not out of harm's way: Human disturbance reduces reproductive success of a cavity-nesting seabird.

    PubMed

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-06-01

    While negative effects of human disturbance on animals living above the ground have been widely reported, few studies have considered effects on animals occupying cavities or burrows underground. It is generally assumed that, in the absence of direct visual contact, such species are less vulnerable to disturbance. Seabird colonies can support large populations of burrow- and cavity-nesting species and attract increasing numbers of tourists. We investigated the potential effects of recreational disturbance on the reproductive behaviour of the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, a nocturnally-active cavity-nesting seabird. Reproductive phenology and outcome of nests subject to high and low levels of visitor pressure were recorded in two consecutive years. Hatching success did not differ between disturbance levels, but overall nestling mortality was significantly higher in areas exposed to high visitor pressure. Although visitor numbers were consistent throughout the season, the magnitude and rate of a seasonal decline in productivity were significantly greater in nests subject to high disturbance. This study presents good evidence that, even when humans do not pose a direct mortality risk, animals may perceive them as a predation risk. This has implications for the conservation and management of a diverse range of burrow- and cavity-dwelling animals. Despite this reduction in individual fitness, overall colony productivity was reduced by ⩽1.6% compared with that expected in the absence of visitors. While the colony-level consequences at the site in question may be considered minor, conservation managers must evaluate the trade-off between potential costs and benefits of public access on a site- and species-specific basis. PMID:24899731

  20. Microcystin-LR impairs zebrafish reproduction by affecting oogenesis and endocrine system.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yanyan; Xie, Liqiang; Yan, Yunjun

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that microcystins (MCs) are able to exert negative effects on the reproductive system of fish. However, few data are actually available on the effects of MC-LR on the reproductive system of female fish. In the present study, female zebrafish were exposed to 2, 10, and 50 μg L(-1) of MC-LR for 21 d, and its effects on oogenesis, sex hormones, transcription of genes on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonad (HPG) axis, and reproduction were investigated for the first time. It was observed that egg production significantly declined at ⩾ 10 μg L(-1) MC-LR. MC-LR exposure to zebrafish increased the concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2) and vitellogenin (VTG) at 10 μg L(-1) level, whereas concentrations of E2, VTG and testosterone declined at 50 μg L(-1) MC-LR. The transcriptions of steroidogenic pathway gene (cyp19a, cyp19b, 17βhsd, cyp17 and hmgra) changed as well after the exposure and corresponded well with the alterations of hormone levels. A number of intra- and extra-ovarian factors, such as gnrh3, gnrhr1, fshβ, fshr, lhr, bmp15, mrpβ, ptgs2 and vtg1 which regulate oogenesis, were significantly changed with a different dose-related effect. Moreover, MC-LR exposure to female zebrafish resulted in decreased fertilization and hatching rates, and may suggest the possibility of trans-generational effects of MC-LR exposure. The results demonstrate that MC-LR could modulate endocrine function and oogenesis, eventually leading to disruption of reproductive performance in female zebrafish. These data suggest there is a risk for aquatic population living in MC polluted areas. PMID:25014902

  1. The relation between handedness indices and reproductive success in a non-industrial society.

    PubMed

    Schaafsma, Sara M; Geuze, Reint H; Lust, Jessica M; Schiefenhövel, Wulf; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of handedness in human populations has intrigued scientists for decades. However, whether handedness really affects Darwinian fitness is unclear and not yet studied in a non-industrial society where selection pressures on health and handedness are likely to be similar to the situation in which handedness has evolved. We measured both hand preference and asymmetry of hand skill (speed of fine motor control, measured by a pegboard task, and accuracy of throwing), as they measure different aspects of handedness. We investigated the associations between both the direction (left versus right) and strength (the degree to which a certain preference or asymmetry in skill is manifested, independent of the direction) of handedness. We analyzed to what extent these measures predict the number of offspring and self-reported illness in a non-industrial society in Papua, Indonesia. As it is known that body height and fitness are correlated, data on body height was also collected. Due to low numbers of left-handers we could not investigate the associations between direction of hand preference and measures of Darwinian fitness. We found a positive association between strength of asymmetry of hand skill (pegboard) and the number of children men sired. We also found a positive association for men between strength of hand preference and number of children who died within the first three years of life. For women we found no such effects. Our results may indicate that strength of handedness, independent of direction, has fitness implications and that the persistence of the polymorphism in handedness may be ascribed to either balancing selection on strength of asymmetry of hand skill versus strength of hand preference, or sexual antagonistic selection. No relationships between health and handedness were found, perhaps due to disease related selective disappearance of subjects with a specific handedness. PMID:23704893

  2. Factors affecting initial training success of blood glucose testing in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Reamer, Lisa A; Haller, Rachel L; Thiele, Erica J; Freeman, Hani D; Lambeth, Susan P; Schapiro, Steven J

    2014-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes can be a problem for captive chimpanzees. Accurate blood glucose (BG) readings are necessary to monitor and treat this disease. Thus, obtaining voluntary samples from primates through positive reinforcement training (PRT) is critical. The current study assessed the voluntary participation of 123 chimpanzees in BG sampling and investigated factors that may contribute to individual success. All subjects participate in regular PRT sessions as part of a comprehensive behavioral management program. Basic steps involved in obtaining BG values include: voluntarily presenting a finger/toe; allowing digit disinfection; holding for the lancet device; and allowing blood collection onto a glucometer test strip for analysis. We recorded the level of participation (none, partial, or complete) when each chimpanzee was first asked to perform the testing procedure. Nearly 30% of subjects allowed the entire procedure in one session, without any prior specific training for the target behavior. Factors that affected this initial successful BG testing included sex, personality (chimpanzees rated higher on the factor "openness" were more likely to participate with BG testing), and past training performance for "present-for-injection" (chimpanzees that presented for their most recent anesthetic injection were more likely to participate). Neither age, rearing history, time since most recent anesthetic event nor social group size significantly affected initial training success. These results have important implications for captive management and training program success, underlining individual differences in training aptitude and the need for developing individual management plans in order to provide optimal care and treatment for diabetic chimpanzees in captivity. PMID:24706518

  3. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-05-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system.

  4. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms.

    PubMed

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  5. Subtle reproductive impairment through nitric oxide-mediated mechanisms in sea urchins from an area affected by harmful algal blooms

    PubMed Central

    Migliaccio, Oriana; Castellano, Immacolata; Di Cioccio, Davide; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Negri, Armando; Cirino, Paola; Romano, Giovanna; Zingone, Adriana; Palumbo, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The health of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, a key species in the Mediterranean Sea, is menaced by several pressures in coastal environments. Here, we aimed at assessing the reproductive ability of apparently healthy P. lividus population in a marine protected area affected by toxic blooms of Ostreospsis cf. ovata. Wide-ranging analyses were performed in animals collected prior to and during the bloom, as well as at several times thereafter, during the reproductive season. Adults showed a low fertilization rate, along with high nitric oxide (NO) levels in the gonads and the nitration of the major yolk protein toposome, which is an important player in sea urchin development. Serious developmental anomalies were observed in the progeny, which persist several months after the bloom. NO levels were high in the different developmental stages, which also showed variations in the transcription of several genes that were found to be directly or indirectly modulated by NO. These results highlight subtle but important reproductive flaws transmitted from the female gonads to the offspring with the NO involvement. Despite a recovery along time after the bloom, insidious damages can be envisaged in the local sea urchin population, with possible reverberation on the whole benthic system. PMID:27192939

  6. No pain, no gain: the affective valence of congruency conditions changes following a successful response.

    PubMed

    Schouppe, Nathalie; Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Silvetti, Massimo; Verguts, Tom; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Notebaert, Wim

    2015-03-01

    The cognitive control theory of Botvinick, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 356-366 (2007) integrates cognitive and affective control processes by emphasizing the aversive nature of cognitive conflict. Using an affective priming paradigm, we replicate earlier results showing that incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials, are indeed perceived as more aversive (Dreisbach & Fischer, Brain and Cognition, 78(2), 94-98 (2012)). Importantly, however, in two experiments we demonstrate that this effect is reversed following successful responses; correctly responding to incongruent trials engendered relatively more positive affect than correctly responding to congruent trials. The results are discussed in light of a recent computational model by Silvetti, Seurinck, and Verguts, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5:75 (2011) where it is assumed that outcome expectancies are more negative for incongruent trials than congruent trials. Consequently, the intrinsic reward (prediction error) following successful completion is larger for incongruent than congruent trials. These findings divulge a novel perspective on 'cognitive' adaptations to conflict. PMID:25183556

  7. The Entomopathogenic Fungal Endophytes Purpureocillium lilacinum (Formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus) and Beauveria bassiana Negatively Affect Cotton Aphid Reproduction under Both Greenhouse and Field Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Lopez, Diana; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan; Ek-Ramos, Maria Julissa; Sword, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of two entomopathogenic fungal endophytes, Beauveria bassiana and Purpureocillium lilacinum (formerly Paecilomyces lilacinus), were assessed on the reproduction of cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera:Aphididae), through in planta feeding trials. In replicate greenhouse and field trials, cotton plants (Gossypium hirsutum) were inoculated as seed treatments with two concentrations of B. bassiana or P. lilacinum conidia. Positive colonization of cotton by the endophytes was confirmed through potato dextrose agar (PDA) media plating and PCR analysis. Inoculation and colonization of cotton by either B. bassiana or P. lilacinum negatively affected aphid reproduction over periods of seven and 14 days in a series of greenhouse trials. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2012 and 2013 in which cotton plants inoculated as seed treatments with B. bassiana and P. lilacinum were exposed to cotton aphids for 14 days. There was a significant overall effect of endophyte treatment on the number of cotton aphids per plant. Plants inoculated with B. bassiana had significantly lower numbers of aphids across both years. The number of aphids on plants inoculated with P. lilacinum exhibited a similar, but non-significant, reduction in numbers relative to control plants. We also tested the pathogenicity of both P. lilacinum and B. bassiana strains used in the experiments against cotton aphids in a survival experiment where 60% and 57% of treated aphids, respectively, died from infection over seven days versus 10% mortality among control insects. Our results demonstrate (i) the successful establishment of P. lilacinum and B. bassiana as endophytes in cotton via seed inoculation, (ii) subsequent negative effects of the presence of both target endophytes on cotton aphid reproduction using whole plant assays, and (iii) that the P. lilacinum strain used is both endophytic and pathogenic to cotton aphids. Our results illustrate the potential of using these

  8. Elevated corticosterone levels decrease reproductive output of chick-rearing Adélie penguins but do not affect chick mass at fledging

    PubMed Central

    Thierry, Anne-Mathilde; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Raclot, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Study of physiological mechanisms can help us to understand how animals respond to changing environmental conditions. In particular, stress hormones (i.e. glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone) are described as mediating resource allocation, allowing animals to adjust their physiology and behaviour to predictable and unpredictable changes in the environment. In this study, we investigated the effects of an experimental increase in baseline corticosterone levels on the breeding effort and the reproductive output of chick-rearing male Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). The number of chicks per nest, their body mass, and their size were monitored throughout the study. Direct observations allowed measurement of the time spent foraging at sea and caring for the young on the nest. At the end of the treatment, blood samples were collected for isotope analysis. Although all birds raised at least one chick, reproductive output was decreased by 42% in corticosterone-treated birds compared with control birds. The increase in corticosterone levels during the guard stage did not affect the mass of surviving chicks or the brood mass at fledging. Corticosterone-treated males spent on average 21% more time at the nest than control birds. However, the duration of foraging trips was similar between both groups. In addition, the similarity of isotopic signatures suggests that both groups foraged at similar locations and ingested the same prey species. The detailed on-land behaviour of birds should be examined in further studies to clarify the possible links between corticosterone levels, brooding time, and reproductive output. Understanding the relationships between glucocorticoids, fitness, and ultimately population dynamics is fundamental to enabling conservation physiology as a discipline to be successful in helping to manage species of conservation concern. PMID:27293591

  9. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP") components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting that other external

  10. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of “high-quality” queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and “low-quality” queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone (“QMP”) components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the “queen-specific” developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  11. Sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide affected male reproduction by disturbing blood-testis barrier in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianhai; Li, Zhihui; Qie, Mingli; Zheng, Ruibo; Shetty, Jagathpala; Wang, Jundong

    2016-08-01

    Fluoride and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two well-known environmental toxicants, have been implicated to have adverse effects on male reproductive health in humans and animals. The objective of this study to investigate if the BTB is one of the pathways that lead to reproductive toxicity of sodium fluoride and sulfur dioxide alone or in combination, in view of the key role of blood testis barrier (BTB) in testis. The results showed that a marked decrease in sperm quality, and altered morphology and ultrastructure of BTB in testis of mice exposure to fluoride (100 mg NaF/L in drinking water) or/and sulfur dioxide (28 mg SO2/m(3), 3 h/day). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of some vital BTB-associated proteins, including occluding, claudin-11, ZO-1, Ncadherin, α-catenin, and connexin-43 were all strikingly reduced after NaF exposure, although only the reduction of DSG-2 was statistically significant in all treatment groups. Moreover, the proteins expressions also decreased significantly in claudin-11, N-cadherin, α-catenin, connexin-43 and desmoglein-2 in mice treated with fluoride and/or SO2. These changes in BTB structure and constitutive proteins may therefore be connected with the low sperm quality in these mice. The role of fluoride should deserves more attention in this process. PMID:27237588

  12. Rare white-flowered morphs increase the reproductive success of common purple morphs in a food-deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Dormont, L; Delle-Vedove, R; Bessière, J-M; Hossaert-Mc Key, M; Schatz, B

    2010-01-01

    How floral colour polymorphism can be maintained in evolutionary time is still debated. In rewardless orchids, it is unknown whether rare white-flowered morphs differ in scent chemistry from pigmented morphs, and whether such intraspecific variation in floral signals may have an impact on reproductive success. We compared the chemical composition of floral volatiles emitted by white- and purple-flowered morphs of Orchis mascula, and recorded the fruit set of both colour morphs. We also used white ping-pong balls to mimic white-flowered morphs in field bioassays. We found that colour polymorphism was not associated with floral odour polymorphism. Surprisingly, when populations of purple-flowered plants included a few white-flowered individuals, the fruit set of the purple morph increased significantly (from 6 to 27%), while that of the white morph remained low. We obtained the same fourfold increase in fruit set when using ping-pong balls as visual lures, demonstrating the association between colour variation and fruit set, and the key role of visual signals in pollinator attraction. Our results are incompatible with negative frequency-dependent selection, a hypothesis invoked to explain colour polymorphism in other rewardless orchids. We propose several hypotheses to explain the maintenance of white morphs in O. mascula. PMID:19825015

  13. Breeding site selection by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in relation to large wood additions and factors that influence reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason B.; McEnroe, Jeffery R.; Lightcap, Scott W.

    2014-01-01

    The fitness of female Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) with respect to breeding behavior can be partitioned into at least four fitness components: survival to reproduction, competition for breeding sites, success of egg incubation, and suitability of the local environment near breeding sites for early rearing of juveniles. We evaluated the relative influences of habitat features linked to these fitness components with respect to selection of breeding sites by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). We also evaluated associations between breeding site selection and additions of large wood, as the latter were introduced into the study system as a means of restoring habitat conditions to benefit coho salmon. We used a model selection approach to organize specific habitat features into groupings reflecting fitness components and influences of large wood. Results of this work suggest that female coho salmon likely select breeding sites based on a wide range of habitat features linked to all four hypothesized fitness components. More specifically, model parameter estimates indicated that breeding site selection was most strongly influenced by proximity to pool-tail crests and deeper water (mean and maximum depths). Linkages between large wood and breeding site selection were less clear. Overall, our findings suggest that breeding site selection by coho salmon is influenced by a suite of fitness components in addition to the egg incubation environment, which has been the emphasis of much work in the past.

  14. Which Factors Affect the Success or Failure of Eradication Campaigns against Alien Species?

    PubMed Central

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

  15. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery-and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2000-2001 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, S.L.; Knudsen, C.M.; Rau, J.A.

    2003-01-01

    In the Yakima Spring Chinook supplementation program, wild fish are brought into the Cle Elum Hatchery, artificially crossed, reared, transferred to acclimation sites, and released into the upper Yakima River as smolts. When these fish mature and return to the Yakima River most of them will be allowed to spawn naturally; a few, however, will be brought back to the hatchery and used for research purposes. In order for this supplementation approach to be successful, hatchery-origin fish must be able to spawn and produce offspring under natural conditions. Recent investigations on salmonid fishes have indicated that exposure to hatchery environments during juvenile life may cause significant behavioral, physiological, and morphological changes in adult fish. These changes appear to reduce the reproductive competence of hatchery fish. In general, males are more affected than females; species with prolonged freshwater rearing periods are more strongly impacted than those with shorter rearing periods; and stocks that have been exposed to artificial culture for multiple generations are more impaired than those with a relatively short exposure history to hatchery conditions.

  16. Prolactin is related to individual differences in parental behavior and reproductive success in a biparental passerine, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

    Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. PMID:26965952

  17. DESTAF: a database of text-mined associations for reproductive toxins potentially affecting human fertility.

    PubMed

    Dawe, Adam S; Radovanovic, Aleksandar; Kaur, Mandeep; Sagar, Sunil; Seshadri, Sundararajan V; Schaefer, Ulf; Kamau, Allan A; Christoffels, Alan; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2012-01-01

    The Dragon Exploration System for Toxicants and Fertility (DESTAF) is a publicly available resource which enables researchers to efficiently explore both known and potentially novel information and associations in the field of reproductive toxicology. To create DESTAF we used data from the literature (including over 10500 PubMed abstracts), several publicly available biomedical repositories, and specialized, curated dictionaries. DESTAF has an interface designed to facilitate rapid assessment of the key associations between relevant concepts, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of information based on different gene/protein-, enzyme/metabolite-, toxin/chemical-, disease- or anatomically centric perspectives. As a special feature, DESTAF allows for the creation and initial testing of potentially new association hypotheses that suggest links between biological entities identified through the database. DESTAF, along with a PDF manual, can be found at http://cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/destaf. It is free to academic and non-commercial users and will be updated quarterly. PMID:22198179

  18. Gonadal steroids and affective symptoms during in vitro fertilization: implication for reproductive mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Miki; Aharonov, Inbar; Ben Avi, Irit; Schreiber, Shaul; Amit, Ami; Weizman, Abraham; Azem, Foad

    2011-07-01

    Gonadal steroids (GSs) have been associated with the onset of a number of reproductive-related mood disorders in women, in which fluctuating or unstable hormonal levels are postulated to act as the trigger for the destabilization of mood. There is, however, rather limited direct clinical evidence that can link rapidly changing GS levels with the induction of mood symptoms. We aimed to study the effect of controlled and rapid GS fluctuations on mood in an in vivo model. Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (n=108) were assessed for depression and anxiety levels on 3 time points: during a low estradiol and progesterone baseline, during a gonadotropin stimulated estradiol-dominant phase, and after embryo transfer, during a progesterone-dominant low estrogen phase. Plasma levels for estrogen and progesterone were drawn on these time points. Symptoms of depression and anxiety significantly increased from baseline to the high estradiol levels but were not correlated with estrogen. The sharp drop from high estradiol levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to low levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly correlated with rising depression scores. The rise in progesterone levels from low levels at the estradiol-dominant phase to high levels at the progesterone-dominant phase was significantly and inversely correlated with depression scores. This study suggests that the mechanism underlying the role of estrogen in reproductive-related mood disorders involves an abrupt and precipitous drop in its plasma level that can precipitate negative mood states. This finding has implications on the treatment of GS-related mood disorders. PMID:21106297

  19. Reproductive success, early life stage development, and survival of westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) exposed to elevated selenium in an area of active coal mining

    SciTech Connect

    Barri-Lynn Rudolph; Iisak Andreller; Christopher J. Kennedy

    2008-04-15

    The effects of accumulated Se on the reproductive success and larval development of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) collected from a site of active coal mining in British Columbia were assessed. Eggs from 12 fish from an exposed site (Clode Pond) and 16 from a reference site (O'Rourke Lake) were field-collected and reared in the laboratory. Egg Se concentrations ranged from 12.3 to 16.7 and 11.8 to 140.0 {mu}g/g dry weight (dw) from fish collected at the reference and exposed sites, respectively. Other studies, including those with this species, have not shown Se to affect egg viability. However, in the present study, eggs with Se concentrations >86.3 {mu}g/g dw were not successfully fertilized or were nonviable at fertilization, while eggs with concentrations >46.8 and <75.4 {mu}g/g dw were fertilized (96% reached the eyed stage) but did not produce viable fry. A significant positive relationship between egg Se concentration and alevin mortality was observed. Deformities were analyzed in surviving fry which developed from eggs with Se concentrations between 11.8 and 20.6 {mu}g/g dw. No relationship between Se concentration in eggs and deformities or edema was found in this range, suggesting that the no-effect threshold for deformity is >20.6 {mu}g/g dw. The present data, in conjunction with the data from several other studies in temperate fish, suggest that current Se thresholds are conservative for cold-water fish. 25 refs., 3 figs.

  20. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  1. Reproductive failure in Arabidopsis thaliana under transient carbohydrate limitation: flowers and very young siliques are jettisoned and the meristem is maintained to allow successful resumption of reproductive growth.

    PubMed

    Lauxmann, Martin A; Annunziata, Maria G; Brunoud, Géraldine; Wahl, Vanessa; Koczut, Andrzej; Burgos, Asdrubal; Olas, Justyna J; Maximova, Eugenia; Abel, Christin; Schlereth, Armin; Soja, Aleksandra M; Bläsing, Oliver E; Lunn, John E; Vernoux, Teva; Stitt, Mark

    2016-04-01

    The impact of transient carbon depletion on reproductive growth in Arabidopsis was investigated by transferring long-photoperiod-grown plants to continuous darkness and returning them to a light-dark cycle. After 2 days of darkness, carbon reserves were depleted in reproductive sinks, and RNA in situ hybridization of marker transcripts showed that carbon starvation responses had been initiated in the meristem, anthers and ovules. Dark treatments of 2 or more days resulted in a bare-segment phenotype on the floral stem, with 23-27 aborted siliques. These resulted from impaired growth of immature siliques and abortion of mature and immature flowers. Depolarization of PIN1 protein and increased DII-VENUS expression pointed to rapid collapse of auxin gradients in the meristem and inhibition of primordia initiation. After transfer back to a light-dark cycle, flowers appeared and formed viable siliques and seeds. A similar phenotype was seen after transfer to sub-compensation point irradiance or CO2 . It also appeared in a milder form after a moderate decrease in irradiance and developed spontaneously in short photoperiods. We conclude that Arabidopsis inhibits primordia initiation and aborts flowers and very young siliques in C-limited conditions. This curtails demand, safeguarding meristem function and allowing renewal of reproductive growth when carbon becomes available again. PMID:26351840

  2. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  3. Factors affecting student success in a first-year mathematics course: a South African experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kizito, Rita; Munyakazi, Justin; Basuayi, Clement

    2016-01-01

    In spite of sustained efforts tertiary institutions implement to try and improve student academic performance, the number of students succeeding in first-year mathematics courses remains disturbingly low. For most students, the gap between their mathematical capability and the competencies they are expected and need to develop to function effectively in these courses persists even after course instruction. In this study, an instrument for identifying and examining factors affecting student performance and success in a first-year Mathematics university course was developed and administered to 86 students. The overall Cronbach's Alpha coefficient for the questionnaire was found to be 0.916. Having identified variables from prior research known to affect student performance, factor analysis was used to identify variables exhibiting the greatest impact on student performance. The variables included prior academic knowledge, workload, student approaches to learning, assessment, student support teaching quality, methods and resources. From the analysis, students' perceptions of their workload emerged as the factor having the greatest impact on student's performance, followed by the matriculation examination score. The findings are discussed and strategies that can be used to improve teaching and contribute to student success in a first-year mathematics course in a South African context are presented.

  4. Effects of contaminant exposure on reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware River and Bay, USA.

    PubMed

    Toschik, Pamela C; Rattner, Barnett A; McGowan, Peter C; Christman, Mary C; Carter, David B; Hale, Robert C; Matson, Cole W; Ottinger, Mary Ann

    2005-03-01

    Despite serious water-quality problems and pollutant loading and retention, Delaware River and Bay (USA) provide important wildlife habitat. In 2002, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) breeding in Delaware River and Bay. Sample eggs were collected from 39 nests and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury; a subset of 15 eggs was analyzed for perfluorinated compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The fate of each nest was monitored weekly. Concentrations of 10 organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, and several toxic PCB congeners were greater (p < 0.05) in eggs collected between the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C and D Canal) and Trenton (Delaware River and northern Bay) compared to other sites. Concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; 0.785-3.84 microg/g wet wt) and total PCBs (5.50-14.5 microg/g wet wt) in eggs collected between the C and D Canal and Trenton were similar to levels recently found in the Chesapeake Bay. In all study segments, at least one young fledged from 66 to 75% of nests. Productivity for Delaware Inland Bays (reference area) and southern Delaware Bay was 1.17 and 1.42 fledglings/active nest, respectively; north of the C and D Canal, productivity was 1.00 fledgling/active nest, which is marginally adequate to maintain the population. Using these data, a logistic regression model found that contaminant concentrations (p,p'-DDE, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane and metabolites, and total PCBs) were predictive of hatching success. Several perfluorinated compounds and PBDEs were detected in eggs at concentrations approaching 1 microg/g wet weight. These findings provide evidence that contaminants continue to be a significant stressor on osprey productivity in the northern Delaware River and Bay. PMID:15779762

  5. Effects of contaminant exposure on reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware River and Bay, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Toschik, P.C.; Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Carter, Daniel B.; Hale, R.C.; Matson, C.W.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Despite serious water-quality problems and pollutant loading and retention, Delaware River and Bay (USA) provide important wildlife habitat. In 2002, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) breeding in Delaware River and Bay. Sample eggs were collected from 39 nests and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury; a subset of 15 eggs was analyzed for perfluorinated compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The fate of each nest was monitored weekly. Concentrations of 10 organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, and several toxic PCB congeners were greater (p < 0.05) in eggs collected between the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C and D Canal) and Trenton (Delaware River and northern Bay) compared to other sites. Concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; 0.785-3.84 mug/g wet wt) and total PCBs (5.50-14.5 mug/g wet wt) in eggs collected between the C and D Canal and Trenton were similar to levels recently found in the Chesapeake Bay. In all study segments, at least one young fledged from 66 to 75% of nests. Productivity for Delaware Inland Bays (reference area) and southern Delaware Bay was 1.17 and 1.42 fledglings/active nest, respectively; north of the C and D Canal, productivity was 1.00 fledgling/active nest, which is marginally adequate to maintain the population. Using these data, a logistic regression model found that contaminant concentrations (p,p'-DDE, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane and metabolites, and total PCBs) were predictive of hatching success. Several perfluorinated compounds and PBDEs were detected in eggs at concentrations approaching 1 mug/g wet weight. These findings provide evidence that contaminants continue to be a significant stressor on osprey productivity in the northern Delaware River and Bay.

  6. Influence of early-life nutrition on mortality and reproductive success during a subsequent famine in a preindustrial population.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Adam D; Rickard, Ian J; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-08-20

    Individuals with insufficient nutrition during development often experience poorer later-life health and evolutionary fitness. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis proposes that poor early-life nutrition induces physiological changes that maximize fitness in similar environments in adulthood and that metabolic diseases result when individuals experiencing poor nutrition during development subsequently encounter good nutrition in adulthood. However, although cohort studies have shown that famine exposure in utero reduces health in favorable later-life conditions, no study on humans has demonstrated the predicted fitness benefit under low later-life nutrition, leaving the evolutionary origins of such plasticity unexplored. Taking advantage of a well-documented famine and unique datasets of individual life histories and crop yields from two preindustrial Finnish populations, we provide a test of key predictions of the PAR hypothesis. Known individuals from fifty cohorts were followed from birth until the famine, where we analyzed their survival and reproductive success in relation to the crop yields around birth. We were also able to test whether the long-term effects of early-life nutrition differed between individuals of varying socioeconomic status. We found that, contrary to predictions of the PAR hypothesis, individuals experiencing low early-life crop yields showed lower survival and fertility during the famine than individuals experiencing high early-life crop yields. These effects were more pronounced among young individuals and those of low socioeconomic status. Our results do not support the hypothesis that PARs should have been favored by natural selection and suggest that alternative models may need to be invoked to explain the epidemiology of metabolic diseases. PMID:23918366

  7. Nanoplastic affects growth of S. obliquus and reproduction of D. magna.

    PubMed

    Besseling, Ellen; Wang, Bo; Lürling, Miquel; Koelmans, Albert A

    2014-10-21

    The amount of nano- and microplastic in the aquatic environment rises due to the industrial production of plastic and the degradation of plastic into smaller particles. Concerns have been raised about their incorporation into food webs. Little is known about the fate and effects of nanoplastic, especially for the freshwater environment. In this study, effects of nano-polystyrene (nano-PS) on the growth and photosynthesis of the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus and the growth, mortality, neonate production, and malformations of the zooplankter Daphnia magna were assessed. Nano-PS reduced population growth and reduced chlorophyll concentrations in the algae. Exposed Daphnia showed a reduced body size and severe alterations in reproduction. Numbers and body size of neonates were lower, while the number of neonate malformations among neonates rose to 68% of the individuals. These effects of nano-PS were observed between 0.22 and 103 mg nano-PS/L. Malformations occurred from 30 mg of nano-PS/L onward. Such plastic concentrations are much higher than presently reported for marine waters as well as freshwater, but may eventually occur in sediment pore waters. As far as we know, these results are the first to show that direct life history shifts in algae and Daphnia populations may occur as a result of exposure to nanoplastic. PMID:25268330

  8. An investigation into the factors affecting the natural reproduction of Opsaridium peringueyi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moyo, N. A. G.

    An endangered freshwater fish, Opsaridium peringueyi, was studied from January, 2009 to December, 2009. The analysis of the environmental conditions indicated that the fish is found in streams with moderate to fast flow, high oxygen levels, a depth greater than 0.6 m and temperatures between 10 and 24 °C. O. peringueyi is sexually dimorphic with males growing at a faster rate and attaining a larger size than females. The breeding biology of this species was investigated in glass aquarium tanks. The spawning behaviour is described for the first time. The breeding colour of the male is deep red on the operculum, ventral part, caudal and ventral fins. The breeding colour in the female is the same as the male except the red colour is lighter. The breeding of O. peringueyi is a four stage process which begins with the appearance of breeding colour culminating in the laying of eggs after courtship. Temperature, flow-rate, conductivity and substrate were identified as the environmental cues important in the reproduction of this species. All these factors had a significant effect on the breeding activity of O. peringueyi. The possible effect of climate change on O. peringueyi is discussed.

  9. Selection signature analysis in Holstein cattle identified genes known to affect reproduction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Using direct comparison of 45,878 SNPs between a group of Holstein cattle unselected since 1964 and contemporary Holsteins that on average take 30 days longer for successful conception than the 1964 Holsteins, we conducted selection signature analyses to identify genomic regions associated with dair...

  10. Effects of sewage effluent and ethynyl oestradiol upon molecular markers of oestrogenic exposure, maturation and reproductive success in the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus, Pallas).

    PubMed

    Robinson, Craig D; Brown, Elaine; Craft, John A; Davies, Ian M; Moffat, Colin F; Pirie, David; Robertson, Fiona; Stagg, Ronald M; Struthers, Susan

    2003-01-24

    Male fish in several UK estuaries are known to be exposed to oestrogenic contamination, and whilst a limited number of studies have shown that exposure to oestrogens can reduce the reproductive success of fish, the impact of environmentally relevant exposures is less clear. The aim of this study was, therefore, to investigate the effects of exposure to environmentally realistic concentrations of a sewage effluent and the synthetic oestrogen 17alpha-ethynyl oestradiol (EE(2)) upon the reproductive success of a marine fish. Sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus) were exposed for 7 months to EE(2) or a sewage effluent containing known xeno-oestrogens (alkylphenol polyethoxylates) and bred using within treatment crosses. Nominal exposure concentrations were 6 ng l(-1) EE(2), 0.3 or 0.03% v/v sewage effluent. At the end of the breeding trials, expression of hepatic zona radiata protein (Zrp) and vitellogenin (Vtg) mRNA were determined using two recently developed cDNA probes. Exposure to 6 ng l(-1) EE(2) induced Zrp and Vtg mRNA expression in male and female sand goby, impaired male maturation and reproductive behaviour, reduced female fecundity and reduced egg fertility. As a consequence, fertile egg production of the EE(2)-exposed population was reduced by 90%. Exposure to sewage effluent (0.3% v/v) increased adult mortality and female Zrp and Vtg mRNA expression, but did not induce male vitellogenesis. Exposure to EE(2) and 0.3% v/v sewage effluent impaired development of the male urogenital papilla. Fish exposed to 0.03% v/v sewage effluent produced more fertile eggs than those exposed to 0.3% effluent, or those receiving no effluent. It is concluded that male vitellogenesis in an oestrogenically exposed population may be accompanied by reduced reproductive success, but that it may not be indicative of altered reproductive output in a population exposed to an industrial sewage effluent. PMID:12505380

  11. Effect of DDT and MCPA (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid) on reproduction of the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis L

    SciTech Connect

    Woin, P.; Broenmark, C. )

    1992-01-01

    Reproduction is the single most important function in the life cycle of an organism. Successful reproduction determines fitness of organisms. The inability of an organism to complete any one stage of the reproductive process severely reduces its lifetime reproductive success. Disruptions in the reproduction will ultimately affect the abundance and distribution of the species. Therefore, laboratory tests of long-term impact of sublethal pollutant concentrations on organisms preferably is done on the reproductive success. Pollutants of diverse structure may affect the reproductive system which is sensitive to toxic agents. Certain pollutants, notably the organochlorine compounds, have been shown to affect the male and female reproductive systems. The authors have studied the effect of sublethal concentrations of DDT and the herbicide 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) on the reproductive output of the pulmonate snail Lymnaea stagnalis under a 2-mon exposure period.

  12. Developmental methoxychlor exposure affects multiple reproductive parameters and ovarian folliculogenesis and gene expression in adult rats

    SciTech Connect

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-12-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 {mu}g/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P < 0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P < 0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor {beta} was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P < 0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P < 0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis.

  13. The binary mixtures of megestrol acetate and 17α-ethynylestradiol adversely affect zebrafish reproduction.

    PubMed

    Hua, Jianghuan; Han, Jian; Wang, Xianfeng; Guo, Yongyong; Zhou, Bingsheng

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic progesterones and estrogens are broadly used bioactive pharmaceutical agents and have been detected in aquatic environments. In the present study, we investigated the combined reproductive effects of megestrol acetate (MTA) and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on zebrafish. Adult zebrafish were exposed to MTA (33, 100 or 333 ng/L), EE2 (10 ng/L) or a mixture of both (MTA + EE2: 33 + 10, 100 + 10 or 333 + 10 ng/L) for 21 days. Results demonstrated that egg production was significantly reduced by exposure to 10 ng/L EE2, but not MTA. However, a combined exposure to MTA and EE2 caused further reduction of fish fecundity compared to EE2 exposure alone, suggesting an additive effect on egg production when EE2 is supplemented with MTA. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and testosterone in the females and 11-ketotestosterone in the males were significantly decreased in the groups exposed to EE2 or MTA alone compared with the solvent control, and the plasma concentrations of the three hormones were further reduced in the co-exposure groups relative to the MTA exposure group, but not the EE2 exposure group. These data indicate that the inhibitory effects on plasma concentrations in the co-exposures were predominantly caused by EE2. Furthermore, exposure to MTA and EE2 (alone or in combination) led to histological alterations in the ovaries (decreased vitellogenic/mature oocytes), but not in the testes. This study has important implications for environmental risk assessment of synthetic hormones that are concurrently present in aquatic systems. PMID:27038209

  14. Developmental Methoxychlor Exposure Affects Multiple Reproductive Parameters and Ovarian: Folliculogenesis and Gene Expression in Adult Rats

    PubMed Central

    Armenti, AnnMarie E.; Zama, Aparna Mahakali; Passantino, Lisa; Uzumcu, Mehmet

    2008-01-01

    Methoxychlor (MXC) is an organochlorine pesticide with estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, and anti-androgenic properties. To investigate whether transient developmental exposure to MXC could cause adult ovarian dysfunction, we exposed Fischer rats to 20 μg/kg/day (low dose; environmentally relevant dose) or 100 mg/kg/day (high dose) MXC between 19 days post-coitum and postnatal day 7. Multiple reproductive parameters, serum hormone levels, and ovarian morphology and molecular markers were examined from prepubertal through adult stages. High dose MXC accelerated pubertal onset and first estrus, reduced litter size, and increased irregular cyclicity (P < 0.05). MXC reduced superovulatory response to exogenous gonadotropins in prepubertal females (P < 0.05). Rats exposed to high dose MXC had increasing irregular estrous cyclicity beginning at 4 months of age, with all animals showing abnormal cycles by 6 months. High dose MXC reduced serum progesterone, but increased luteinizing hormone (LH). Follicular composition analysis revealed an increase in the percentage of preantral and early antral follicles and a reduction in the percentage of corpora lutea in high dose MXC-treated ovaries (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining and quantification of the staining intensity showed that estrogen receptor β was reduced by high dose MXC while anti-Mullerian hormone was upregulated by both low- and high dose MXC in preantral and early antral follicles (P < 0.05). High dose MXC significantly reduced LH receptor expression in large antral follicles (P < 0.01), and down-regulated cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage. These results demonstrated that developmental MXC exposure results in reduced ovulation and fertility and premature aging, possibly by altering ovarian gene expression and folliculogenesis. PMID:18848953

  15. Higher reproductive success of small males and greater recruitment of large females may explain strong reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD) in the northern goshawk.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Camacho, L; García-Salgado, G; Rebollo, S; Martínez-Hesterkamp, S; Fernández-Pereira, J M

    2015-02-01

    Reversed sexual dimorphism (RSD), which occurs when the female of a species is larger than the male, is the rule for most birds of prey but the exception among other bird and mammal species. The selective pressures that favour RSD are an intriguing issue in animal ecology. Despite the large number of hypotheses proposed to explain the evolution of RSD, there is still no consensus about the mechanisms involved and whether they act on one or both sexes, mainly because few intrapopulation studies have been undertaken and few raptor species have been investigated. Using the strongly size-dimorphic northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis L.) as a model, we studied a population with one of the highest densities of breeding pairs reported in the literature in order to understand selective pressures that may favour RSD. We evaluated life-history processes, including recruitment of adult breeders and reproductive success, and we explored the mechanisms thought to act on each sex, including hunting efficiency, diet, body condition and mate choice. We found that smaller males produced more fledglings than larger ones, but there was no relationship between size and reproductive success for females. The mean body size of female breeders was larger than that of female fledglings, but male fledglings and breeders did not differ in size. Male body size was related to the type but not to the amount of prey captured during the nestling stage. We conclude that RSD may be favoured in this goshawk population because small males tend to enjoy higher reproductive success and large females greater recruitment. Our results do not support the hypotheses that evolutionary reduction in male size is driven by hunting efficiency, at least during the nestling stage, or the hypotheses that it is driven by greater recruitment. Our findings also suggest that increase in female size is driven by recruitment, rather than by reproductive success as previously postulated. PMID:25424156

  16. Sublethal effects of antibiosis resistance on the reproductive biology of two spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria spp.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Paola A; Miller, María F; Cardona, Cesar; Miles, John W; Sotelo, Guillermo; Montoya, James

    2008-04-01

    Several greenhouse experiments were used to measure how high levels of antibiosis resistance to nymphs in two interspecific Brachiaria (brachiariagrass) hybrids affect life history parameters of the spittlebugs Aeneolamia varia (F.) and Zulia carbonaria (Lallemand), two of the most important spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) species affecting Brachiaria production in Colombia. The A. varia-resistant hybrid CIAT 36062, the Z. carbonaria-resistant hybrid SX01NO/0102, and the susceptible accession CIAT 0654 were used to compare the effect of all possible combinations of food sources for nymphs and adults. Calculation of growth indexes showed a significant impact of antibiosis resistance on the biology of immature stages of both species. Median survival times of adults feeding on resistant genotypes did not differ from those recorded on the susceptible genotype, suggesting that factors responsible for high mortality of nymphs in the resistant hybrids did not affect adult survival. Rearing nymphs of A. varia on CIAT 36062 and of Z. carbonaria on SX01NO/0102 had deleterious sublethal effects on the reproductive biology of resulting adult females. It is concluded that high nymphal mortality and subsequent sublethal effects of nymphal antibiosis on adults should have a major impact on the demography of the two spittlebug species studied. PMID:18459425

  17. Successful Reproduction Requires the Function of Arabidopsis YELLOW STRIPE-LIKE1 and YELLOW STRIPE-LIKE3 Metal-Nicotianamine Transporters in Both Vegetative and Reproductive Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, H.; Chiecko, J; Punshon, T; Lanzirotti, A; Lahner, B; Salt, D; Walker, E

    2010-01-01

    Several members of the Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) family of proteins are transporters of metals that are bound to the metal chelator nicotianamine or the related set of mugineic acid family chelators known as phytosiderophores. Here, we examine the physiological functions of three closely related Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) YSL family members, AtYSL1, AtYSL2, and AtYSL3, to elucidate their role(s) in t