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Sample records for affects 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.

  2. 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

  3. Alternative reproductive tactics in atlantic salmon: factors affecting mature parr success

    PubMed Central

    Thomaz, D.; Beall, E.; Burke, T.

    1997-01-01

    In Atlantic salmon, as in most salmonids, males can mature early in the life cycle, as small freshwater fish, termed parr, and/or undergo a sea migration before maturing as full-size adults. The alternative life histories are contingent on environmental and social circumstances, such as growth rate, territory quality or any other factor that affects the individual's state. In order to model the choice of life history in this group of commercially valuable species, it is necessary to understand not only the relative contribution of the different male types to subsequent generations, but also to know the factors that affect reproductive success in each type. In this paper we present the results of a study designed to investigate the factors that affect the reproductive success of mature parr. We used highly polymorphic minisatellite DNA markers to analyse paternity in a series of mating experiments where the number and body size of parr were manipulated. The fraction of eggs fertilized by mature parr ranged from 26 to 40 per cent, with individual parr fertilizing up to 26 per cent of the eggs. A strong positive correlation was found between parr size and reproductive success. The relative success of parr decreased with increasing parr number. Data from this and other studies on variation in the timing and degree of parr reproductive success are discussed in relation to the evolution of male mating strategies and life history in salmonids.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Enrichment materials do not negatively affect reproductive success and offspring survival and weight in mice.

    PubMed

    Shair, Harry N; Nunez, Yasmin; Osman, Mohamed M

    2011-12-19

    Environmental enrichment is designed to improve the overall welfare of laboratory animals, including mice. Few studies have directly assessed the effects of different types of enrichment on mouse offspring survival and growth. The authors examined how survival and growth of C57BL/6 mouse pups are affected by three kinds of cage enrichment materials: compressed cotton squares, two-ply tissues and plastic igloos. During the last week of gestation and the first two weeks postpartum, the authors observed cages with litters and noted use of the enrichment materials, quality of nest construction, number of pups per litter and weight of pups. Both the first and second litters were evaluated for each dam. Dams and pups had continuous contact with the enrichment materials, especially cotton squares and tissues. Neither the presence nor the type of enrichment material influenced the survival and weight of offspring, suggesting that the use of such materials does not negatively impact reproductive success or offspring survival.

  13. Delayed breeding affects lifetime reproductive success differently in male and female green woodhoopoes.

    PubMed

    Hawn, Amanda T; Radford, Andrew N; du Plessis, Morné A

    2007-05-15

    In cooperatively breeding species, many individuals only start breeding long after reaching physiological maturity [1], and this delay is expected to reduce lifetime reproductive success (LRS) [1-3]. Although many studies have investigated how nonbreeding helpers might mitigate the assumed cost of delayed breeding (reviewed in [3]), few have directly quantified the cost itself [4, 5] (but see [6, 7]). Moreover, although life-history tradeoffs frequently influence the sexes in profoundly different ways [8, 9], it has been generally assumed that males and females are similarly affected by a delayed start to breeding [7]. Here, we use 24 years of data to investigate the sex-specific cost of delayed breeding in the cooperatively breeding green woodhoopoe (Phoeniculus purpureus) and show that age at first breeding is related to LRS differently in males and females. As is traditionally expected, males that started to breed earlier in life had greater LRS than those that started later. However, females showed the opposite pattern: Those individuals that started to breed later in life actually had greater LRS than those that started earlier. In both sexes, the association between age at first breeding and LRS was driven by differences in breeding-career length, rather than per-season productivity. We hypothesize that the high mortality rate of young female breeders, and thus their short breeding careers, is related to a reduced ability to deal with the high physiological costs of reproduction in this species. These results demonstrate the importance of considering sex-specific reproductive costs when estimating the payoffs of life-history decisions and bring into question the long-held assumption that delayed breeding is necessarily costly. PMID:17412589

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

    PubMed

    Nystrand, M; Dowling, D K

    2014-11-01

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (<10 %). Because of the great reproductive potential of daughter mites, their inclusion in assessments of grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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 sourc...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Sigma virus and male reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Pattanaik, Swetapadma; Johnson, Laura; Matos, Luis F.; Brusini, Jérémie; Wayne, Marta L.

    2016-01-01

    The risk of disease transmission can affect female mating rate, and thus sexual conflict. Furthermore, the interests of a sexually transmitted organism may align or diverge with those of either sex, potentially making the disease agent a third participant in the sexual arms race. In Drosophila melanogaster, where sexual conflict over female mating rate is well established, we investigated how a common, non-lethal virus (sigma virus) might affect this conflict. We gave uninfected females the opportunity to copulate twice in no-choice trials: either with two uninfected males, or with one male infected with sigma virus followed by an uninfected male. We assessed whether females respond behaviorally to male infection, determined whether male infection affects either female or male reproductive success, and measured offspring infection rates. Male infection status did not influence time to copulation, or time to re-mating. However, male infection did affect male reproductive success: first males sired a significantly greater proportion of offspring, as well as more total offspring, when they were infected with sigma virus. Thus viral infection may provide males an advantage in sperm competition, or, possibly, females may preferentially use infected sperm. We found no clear costs of infection in terms of offspring survival. Viral reproductive success (the number of infected offspring) was strongly correlated with male reproductive success. Further studies are needed to demonstrate whether virus-induced changes in reproductive success affect male and female lifetime fitness, and whether virus-induced changes are under male, female, or viral control.

  9. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Does a trade-off between current reproductive success and survival affect the honesty of male signalling in species with male parental care?

    PubMed

    Kelly, N B; Alonzo, S H

    2010-11-01

    Recent theory predicted that male advertisement will reliably signal investment in paternal care in species where offspring survival requires paternal care and males allocate resources between advertisement and care. However, the predicted relationship between care and advertisement depended on the marginal gains from investment in current reproductive traits. Life history theory suggests that these fitness gains are also subject to a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Here, we investigate whether male signalling remains a reliable indicator of parental care when males allocate resources between current advertisement, paternal care and survival to future reproduction. We find that advertisement is predicted to remain a reliable signal of male care but that advertisement may cease to reliably indicate male quality because low-quality males are predicted to invest in current reproduction, whereas higher-quality males are able to invest in both current reproduction and survival to future reproduction. PMID:20860698

  11. Does a trade-off between current reproductive success and survival affect the honesty of male signalling in species with male parental care?

    PubMed

    Kelly, N B; Alonzo, S H

    2010-11-01

    Recent theory predicted that male advertisement will reliably signal investment in paternal care in species where offspring survival requires paternal care and males allocate resources between advertisement and care. However, the predicted relationship between care and advertisement depended on the marginal gains from investment in current reproductive traits. Life history theory suggests that these fitness gains are also subject to a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Here, we investigate whether male signalling remains a reliable indicator of parental care when males allocate resources between current advertisement, paternal care and survival to future reproduction. We find that advertisement is predicted to remain a reliable signal of male care but that advertisement may cease to reliably indicate male quality because low-quality males are predicted to invest in current reproduction, whereas higher-quality males are able to invest in both current reproduction and survival to future reproduction.

  12. Congenital uterine anomalies affecting reproduction.

    PubMed

    Reichman, David E; Laufer, Marc R

    2010-04-01

    The following review seeks to summarise the current data regarding reproductive outcomes associated with congenital uterine anomalies. Such malformations originate from adverse embryologic events ranging from agenesis to lateral and vertical fusion defects. Associated renal anomalies are common both for the symmetric and asymmetric malformations. While fertility is minimally impacted upon by müllerian anomalies in most cases, such malformations have historically been associated with poor obstetric outcomes such as recurrent miscarriage, second trimester loss, preterm delivery, malpresentation and intrauterine foetal demise (IUFD). The following review delineates the existing literature regarding such outcomes and indicates therapies, where applicable, to optimise the care of such patients.

  13. 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

  14. Food availability at birth limited reproductive success in historical humans.

    PubMed

    Rickard, Ian J; Holopainen, Jari; Helama, Samuli; Helle, Samuli; Russell, Andrew F; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-12-01

    Environmental conditions in early life can profoundly affect individual development and have consequences for reproductive success. Limited food availability may be one of the reasons for this, but direct evidence linking variation in early-life nutrition to reproductive performance in adulthood in natural populations is sparse. We combined historical agricultural data with detailed demographic church records to investigate the effect of food availability around the time of birth on the reproductive success of 927 men and women born in 18th-century Finland. Our study population exhibits natural mortality and fertility rates typical of many preindustrial societies, and individuals experienced differing access to resources due to social stratification. We found that among both men and women born into landless families (i.e., with low access to resources), marital prospects, probability of reproduction, and offspring viability were all positively related to local crop yield during the birth year. Such effects were generally absent among those born into landowning families. Among landless individuals born when yields of the two main crops, rye and barley, were both below median, only 50% of adult males and 55% of adult females gained any reproductive success in their lifetime, whereas 97% and 95% of those born when both yields were above the median did so. Our results suggest that maternal investment in offspring in prenatal or early postnatal life may have profound implications for the evolutionary fitness of human offspring, particularly among those for which resources are more limiting. Our study adds support to the idea that early nutrition can limit reproductive success in natural animal populations, and provides the most direct evidence to date that this process applies to humans.

  15. Alliances and reproductive success in Camargue stallions.

    PubMed

    Feh

    1999-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Queen succession through asexual reproduction in termites.

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-27

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

  18. Impacts of trapping adult roseate terns on their reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zingo, J.M.; Field, R.; Spendelow, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Although Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) habituate to many research activities, the trapping and temporary removal of one of both members of a nesting pair may affect their annual and lifetime reproductive success. Protocols for trapping adult Roseate Terns that reduce the chances of nest desertion, neglect of chicks, and injury to adults were developed in the early 1980s, but both shortterm and longterm impacts of research activities on this federally endangered species have not been fully investigated. Therefore, for this study we evaluated the impacts of trapping adult terns on their annual reproductive success. Although retrospective analysis of 18 years (1978-1995) of data from the Falkner Island colony site (McKinney NWR, Guilford, Connecticut) did not reveal correlations between measures of trapping effort and annual reproductive success, recent results of more detailed research suggest that Roseate Terns may be susceptible to trapping impacts when also faced with extreme conditions such as low food availability and/or high predatory pressure. These results indicate the need to consider local conditions when planning trapping activities and projecting the potential annual and possible longterm impacts.

  19. 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

  20. A stochastic model for annual reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Kendall, Bruce E; Wittmann, Marion E

    2010-04-01

    Demographic stochasticity can have large effects on the dynamics of small populations as well as on the persistence of rare genotypes and lineages. Survival is sensibly modeled as a binomial process, but annual reproductive success (ARS) is more complex and general models for demographic stochasticity do not exist. Here we introduce a stochastic model framework for ARS and illustrate some of its properties. We model a sequence of stochastic events: nest completion, the number of eggs or neonates produced, nest predation, and the survival of individual offspring to independence. We also allow multiple nesting attempts within a breeding season. Most of these components can be described by Bernoulli or binomial processes; the exception is the distribution of offspring number. Using clutch and litter size distributions from 53 vertebrate species, we demonstrate that among-individual variability in offspring number can usually be described by the generalized Poisson distribution. Our model framework allows the demographic variance to be calculated from underlying biological processes and can easily be linked to models of environmental stochasticity or selection because of its parametric structure. In addition, it reveals that the distributions of ARS are often multimodal and skewed, with implications for extinction risk and evolution in small populations. PMID:20163244

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Strassmann, Beverly I; Gillespie, Brenda

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Is female attractiveness related to final reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Pawlowski, Boguslaw; Boothroyd, Lynda G; Perrett, David I; Kluska, Sylwia

    2008-06-01

    In order to test the assumption that female attractiveness relates to reproductive success, photographs of 47 rural Polish women taken in their youth were rated for attractiveness, and BMI at age 18 was recorded; these measures of attractiveness were then compared with their subsequent life histories. Facial attractiveness did not relate to number of children or grandchildren. It also did not relate to age of marriage or husband's education. It did relate to number of marriages and husband's height. BMI at age 18 did not relate significantly to any of the outcome variables. These results suggest that although more attractive women may have married higher quality (taller) husbands and may in ancestral population have achieved greater reproductive success this way, there is no evidence in a modern, European Catholic society for their having greater reproductive success.

  10. Variables Affecting Distance Educational Program Success.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Ellen D.

    1993-01-01

    Discusses variables that affect the success of distance education programs in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education or corporate training environments. Topics addressed include needs assessment, audience analysis, instructional design, course selection and reconfiguration, instructional delivery systems, adapting media and other…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Genetic strain and reproductive status affect endometrial fatty acid concentrations.

    PubMed

    Meier, S; Peterson, A J; Mitchell, M D; Littlejohn, M; Walker, C G; Roche, J R

    2009-08-01

    Poor reproductive performance limits cow longevity in seasonal, pasture-based dairy systems. Few differences in ovarian dynamics have been reported in different strains of Holstein-Friesian cows, implying that the uterine environment may be a key component determining reproductive success. To test the hypothesis that the uterine environment differs among genetic strains of the Holstein-Friesian cow, endometrial fatty acids (FA) were analyzed from New Zealand (NZ), and North American (NA) Holstein-Friesian cows. The effect of reproductive status was also investigated, with cows from both Holstein-Friesian strains slaughtered on either d 17 of the estrous cycle (termed cyclic) or d 17 of pregnancy (after embryo transfer; termed pregnant). Endometrial tissues were collected from 22 cows (NZ pregnant, n = 6; NZ cyclic, n = 4; NA pregnant, n = 6; NA cyclic, n = 6), and FA composition was analyzed. Daily plasma progesterone concentrations, milk production, milk FA composition, body weight, and body condition score were determined. Milk yield (4% fat-corrected milk) was similar for the NZ (28.5 kg/d) and NA (29.3 kg/d; SE 2.07 kg/d) cows, but NZ cows had a greater mean milk fat percentage. Mean plasma progesterone concentrations were significantly greater in NZ cows. Plasma progesterone concentrations were similar in the pregnant and cyclic groups. Mean length of the trophoblast recovered from the pregnant cows (NZ: 20.8 +/- 2.84 cm; NA: 27.9 +/- 10.23 cm) was not affected by genetic strain. Endometrial tissues from NZ cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:3n-3, and total polyunsaturated FA. The endometria from pregnant cows contained greater concentrations of C17:0, C20:2, and C20:3n-6, and less C20:1, C20:2, C20:5n-3. The observed changes in endometrial FA between Holstein-Friesian cows of different genetic origins or reproductive states may reflect differences in endometrial function and may affect reproductive function.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Paternal smoking habits affect the reproductive life span of daughters.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Misao; Fukuda, Kiyomi; Shimizu, Takashi; Nobunaga, Miho; Andersen, Elisabeth Wreford; Byskov, Anne Grete; Andersen, Claus Yding

    2011-06-30

    The present study assessed whether the smoking habits of fathers around the time of conception affected the period in which daughters experienced menstrual cycles (i.e., the reproductive life span). The study revealed that the smoking habits of the farther shortened the daughters' reproductive life span compared with daughters whose fathers did not smoke.

  7. Reproductive success of Calanus pacificus during diatom blooms in Dabob Bay, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

    While numerous laboratory studies in the last decade have shown that diatoms can induce reproductive failure in copepods, field evidence for a negative diatom effect is equivocal. To unambiguously elucidate the effects diatoms have on copepod reproduction in situ, we undertook a study of the abundance, distribution, grazing rates, and reproductive success of Calanus pacificus in Dabob Bay, Washington, USA, during two spring bloom periods. We simultaneously measured the phytoplankton composition, abundance, and distribution. Here we present results for the reproductive success of C. pacificus using four measurements: egg production rate, clutch size, egg hatching success, and naupliar survival (to the first feeding stage). Egg production rate was positively correlated with chlorophyll a concentration, and egg hatching success and naupliar survival were usually greater than 80%. However, in February 2002 and 2003 - during blooms of diatoms of the genus Thalassiosira - either egg hatching success, naupliar survival, or both were significantly depressed compared to other times in spring and summer. These effects, combined with evidence that C. pacificus was grazing aldehyde-producing Thalassiosira at the time of their blooms, indicate that diatoms can negatively affect copepod reproduction in the field, albeit only under specific circumstances and for brief periods.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Activity predicts male reproductive success in a polygynous lizard.

    PubMed

    Keogh, J Scott; Noble, Daniel W A; Wilson, Eleanor E; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-01-01

    Activity patterns and social interactions play a key role in determining reproductive success, although this is poorly understood for species that lack overt social behaviour. We used genetic paternity analysis to quantify both multiple paternity and the relative roles of activity and social behaviour in determining reproductive success in a nondescript Australian lizard. During the breeding season we intensively followed and recorded the behaviour of a group of seven males and 13 females in a naturalistic outdoor enclosure to examine the relative roles of body size, activity and social interactions in determining male fertilization success. We found multiple paternity in 42% of clutches. No single behaviour was a significant predictor of male fertilization success in isolation, but male-female association, interactions and courtship explained 41% of the variation in male fertilization success. Males with the highest number of offspring sired invested heavily in interacting with females but spent very little time in interactions with males. These same males also sired offspring from more clutches. When taken collectively, an index of overall male activity, including locomotion and all social interactions, significantly explained 81% of the variation in the total number of offspring sired and 90% of the variation in the number of clutches in which males sired offspring. We suggest that the most successful male strategy is a form of endurance rivalry in which active mate searching and interactions with females have the greatest fitness benefits.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Linking genotoxic responses and reproductive success in ecotoxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, S L; Wild, G C

    1994-01-01

    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). PMID:7713042

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

    Density-dependent and climatic factors affect reproduction and dynamics of wild ungulates. Parasites can also decrease reproductive success through either a direct abortive effect or a negative impact on host growth and body condition. However, few studies have investigated the effect of parasitism on fecundity of ungulates in natural conditions. We studied three bacterial infections caused by Salmonella enterica serovar Abortusovis, Chlamydophila abortus and Coxiella burnetii. These bacteria are leading causes of reproductive failure in sheep, goat and cattle, which raises the question of their influence on population dynamics of wild ungulates. A long-term study of demography and epidemiology of an alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra, L.) population (Les Bauges Reserve, France) and a generalized linear modeling approach were used to analyze the reproductive success of chamois according to population density, weather conditions and the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria in females. This approach enabled us to identify the confounding effect of weather and parasitism on fecundity in a natural population. After accounting for density, the prevalence of antibodies against the three bacteria explained 36% of the annual variation in reproductive success, and weather conditions explained an additional 31%. This study was, to our knowledge, the first to compare the decrease in fecundity due to bacterial infections and weather conditions in a population of wild mountain ungulates. PMID:18189146

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  20. [Fluorosis of coal burning affects the male reproductive system].

    PubMed

    Li, Jun-Feng; Feng, Jin; Xiao, Yue-Hai; Sun, Fa

    2014-01-01

    Fluorosis of coal burning is a new type of endemic fluorosis in China, which affects the male reproductive system. Furthermore, the content of fluoride in the semen, sperm mortality, sperm concentration and the incidence of infertility are higher in severe fluorosis areas than in mild- and non-fluorosis areas, so are the levels of serum follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. However, the levels of inhibin B, serum testosterone and estradiol show different degrees of reduction in severe fluorosis areas. Accordingly, fluorosis of coal burning, just like other endemic fluorosis, may affect the structure of male reproductive organs, the generation of sperm and reproductive endocrinology, resulting in the decline of men's reproductive ability.

  1. Caste ratios affect the reproductive output of social trematode colonies.

    PubMed

    Kamiya, T; Poulin, R

    2013-03-01

    Intraspecific phenotypic diversification in social organisms often leads to formation of physical castes which are morphologically specialized for particular tasks within the colony. The optimal caste allocation theory argues that specialized morphological castes are efficient at specific tasks, and hence different caste ratios should affect the ergonomic efficiency, hence reproductive output of the colony. However, the reproductive output of different caste ratios has been documented in few species of insects with equivocal support for the theory. This study investigated whether the ratios of nonreproductive and reproductive morphs affect the reproductive output of a recently discovered social trematode, Philophthalmus sp., in which the nonreproductive members are hypothesized to be defensive specialists. A census of natural infections and a manipulative in vitro experiment demonstrated a positive association between the reproductive output of trematode colonies and the ratio of nonreproductive to reproductive morphs in the presence of an intra-host trematode competitor, Maritrema novaezealandensis. On the contrary, without the competitor, reproductive output was negatively associated with the proportion of nonreproductive castes in colonies. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a clear fitness benefit associated with the nonreproductive castes in the presence of a competitor while illustrating the cost of maintaining such morphs in noncompetitive situations. Although the proximate mechanisms controlling caste ratio remain unclear in this trematode system, this study supports the prediction that the fitness of colonies is influenced by the composition of specialized functional morphs in social organisms, suggesting a potential for adaptive shifts of caste ratios over evolutionary time.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Human longevity at the cost of reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Westendorp, R G; Kirkwood, T B

    The disposable soma theory on the evolution of ageing states that longevity requires investments in somatic maintenance that reduce the resources available for reproduction. Experiments in Drosophila melanogaster indicate that trade-offs of this kind exist in non-human species. We have determined the interrelationship between longevity and reproductive success in Homo sapiens using a historical data set from the British aristocracy. The number of progeny was small when women died at an early age, increased with the age of death, reaching a plateau through the sixth, seventh and eighth decades of life, but decreased again in women who died at an age of 80 years or over. Age at first childbirth was lowest in women who died early and highest for women who died at the oldest ages. When account was taken only of women who had reached menopause, who were aged 60 years and over, female longevity was negatively correlated with number of progeny and positively correlated with age at first childbirth. The findings show that human life histories involve a trade-off between longevity and reproduction.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Role of familiarity and preference in reproductive success in ex situ breeding programs.

    PubMed

    Martin, Meghan S; Shepherdson, David J

    2012-08-01

    Success of captive-breeding programs centers on consistent reproduction among captive animals. However, many individuals do not reproduce even when they are apparently healthy and presented with mates. Mate choice can affect multiple parameters of reproductive success, including mating success, offspring production, offspring survival, and offspring fecundity. We investigated the role of familiarity and preference on reproductive success of female Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) as measured by litter production, litter size, average number of young that emerged from the burrow, and average number of young that survived to 1 year. We conducted these studies on pygmy rabbits at the Oregon Zoo (Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.) and Washington State University (Pullman, Washington, U.S.A.) from February to June 2006, 2007, and 2008. Before mating, we housed each female adjacent to 2 males (neighbors). Female preference for each potential mate was determined on the basis of behavioral interactions observed and measured between the rabbits. We compared reproductive success between females mated with neighbor and non-neighbor males and between females mated with preferred and nonpreferred males. Our findings suggest that mating with a neighbor compared with a non-neighbor and mating with a preferred neighbor compared with a nonpreferred neighbor increased reproductive success in female pygmy rabbits. Litter production, average number of young that emerged, and average number of young that survived to 1 year were higher in rabbits that were neighbors before mating than in animals who were not neighbors. Pairing rabbits with a preferred partner increased the probability of producing a litter and was significantly associated with increased litter size. In captive breeding programs, mates are traditionally selected on the basis of genetic parameters to minimize loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding coefficients. Our results suggest that integrating genetic

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva Castiglioni, Daniela; Bond-Buckup, Georgina

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Ritual fights and male reproductive success in a human population.

    PubMed

    Llaurens, V; Raymond, M; Faurie, C

    2009-09-01

    Ritual fights are widespread across human populations. However, the evolutionary advantage associated with this behaviour is unclear because these fights rarely provide direct benefits such as territory, resources or mates. Here, the reproductive success of men competing in a traditional ritual fight, Sereer wrestling, was investigated for the first time. Involvement in wrestling had a significant positive effect on men's number of offspring and a marginally significant effect on polygyny, controlling for age, body condition and socio-economic status. These positive effects suggest that being involved in wrestling competition provides prestige, facilitating access to mates and thereby increasing fecundity. However, when women were interviewed on their preference concerning qualities of potential mates, the quality 'being involved in wrestling competition' was poorly ranked. This discrepancy may arise either from deceptive reports or from discordance between parents and daughters in the choice of a husband.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Baran, Nicole M; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Flower color preferences of insects and livestock: effects on Gentiana lutea reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Sobral, Mar; 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.

  4. 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

  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. Effects of a group-based reproductive management extension programme on key management outcomes affecting reproductive performance.

    PubMed

    Brownlie, Tom S; Morton, John M; Heuer, Cord; McDougall, Scott

    2015-02-01

    A group-based reproductive management extension programme has been designed to help managers of dairy herds improve herd reproductive performance. The aims of this study were, firstly, to assess effects of participation by key decision makers (KDMs) in a farmer action group programme in 2009 and 2010 on six key management outcomes (KMOs) that affect reproductive performance over 2 years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), and secondly, to describe KDM intentions to change management behaviour(s) affecting each management outcome after participation in the programme. Seasonal calving dairy herds from four regions of New Zealand were enrolled in the study. Intentions to modify management behaviour were recorded using the formal written action plans developed during the extension programme. KMOs assessed were calving pattern of the herd, pre-calving heifer liveweight, pre-calving and premating body condition score (BCS), oestrus detection, anoestrus cow management and bull management. Participation was associated with improvements in heifer liveweight, more heifers calving in the first 6 weeks of the seasonal calving period, premating BCS and oestrus detection. No significant effects were observed on anoestrus cow management or bull management. KDMs with greater numbers of proposed actions had lower 6 week in-calf rates in the second study year than KDMs who proposed fewer actions. A more effective strategy to ensure more appropriate objectives is proposed. Strategies to help KDMs to implement proposed actions more successfully should be investigated to improve the programme further.

  7. 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 ...

  8. Diabetes prevention: Reproductive age women affected by insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Rezai, Shadi; LoBue, Stephen; Henderson, Cassandra E

    2016-07-01

    In the United States, 29.1 million people are affected by diabetes, of which 95% have type 2 diabetes. There has been a fivefold increase in type 2 diabetes in the latter half of the 20th century, an increase strongly linked to the obesity epidemic in the United States. In addition, insulin resistance affects 86 million Americans, or more than one-third of the adult population, as manifested by impaired fasting glucose tolerance with random glucose values ranging from ⩾100 to <126 mg/dL. In all, 90% of those affected by impaired fasting glucose tolerance or pre-diabetes are unaware of their metabolic derangement. Although impaired fasting glucose tolerance increases one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, once identified, application of lifestyle changes by affected individuals may avoid or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. For reproductive age women who are found to have impaired fasting glucose tolerance, lifestyle changes may be an effective tool to diminish the reproductive health consequences of insulin resistance related diseases. PMID:27638898

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Oocyte atresia and reproductive success in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) exposed to acidified hardwater environments.

    PubMed

    McCormick, J H; Stokes, G N; Hermanutz, R O

    1989-01-01

    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 running-water channels receiving Mississippi River water. One of these channels was not acidified and two were dosed with H2SO4. The pH was approximately 8 in untreated river water and 6 and 5 in the two channels receiving H2SO4. Fish for ovarian examination were taken from these channels at four stages of the reproductive season: initiation of spawning (June 19), mid-spawning (July 12), end of spawning (August 14-15), and approximately 1 mo. post-spawning (September 19). The fish exhibited ovarian histological changes and depression of reproductive success which were directly associated with the level of environmental stress experienced. The association between these three factors was most consistent and pronounced if the fish were sampled near the end of the spawning season. When sampled at this time, reproductive impairment in a population was found when the ratio of the volume of atretic (resorbing) oocytes present in the ovary to the total ovarian volume exceeded 20% in all fish sampled. This was the case in the pH 5 channel fish sampled in August. At this same time, not all of the fish in the pH 6 channel exhibited such an accumulation of atretic oocytes, and egg deposition in that population was not reduced. None of the fish from the pH 8 channel were so affected nor was their reproduction.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior. PMID:17303746

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Population densities, vegetation green-up, and plant productivity: impacts on reproductive success and juvenile body mass in reindeer.

    PubMed

    Tveraa, Torkild; Stien, Audun; Bårdsen, Bård-J; Fauchald, Per

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is expected to cause earlier springs and increased primary productivity in the Arctic. These changes may improve food availability for Arctic herbivores, but may also have negative effects by generating a mismatch between the surge of high quality food in the spring and the timing of reproduction. We analyzed a 10 year dataset of satellite derived measures of vegetation green-up, population densities, calf body masses and female reproductive success in 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations in Northern Norway. An early onset of spring and high peak plant productivity had positive effects on calf autumn body masses and female reproductive success. In addition, body masses and reproductive success were both negatively related to population density. The quantity of food available, as determined by the onset of vegetation green-up and plant productivity over the summer were the main drivers of body mass growth and reproductive success. We found no evidence for an effect of the speed of spring green-up. Nor did we detect a negative mismatch between early springs and subsequent recruitment. Effects of global warming on plant productivity and onset of spring is likely to positively affect sub-Arctic reindeer.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Multiple paternity in an aggregate breeding amphibian: the effect of reproductive skew on estimates of male reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Myers, E M; Zamudio, K R

    2004-07-01

    Aggregate, or explosive, breeding is widespread among vertebrates and likely increases the probability of multiple paternity. We assessed paternity in seven field-collected clutches of the explosively breeding spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) using 10 microsatellite loci to determine the frequency of multiple paternity and the number of males contributing to a female's clutch. Using the Minimum Method of allele counts, multiple paternity was evident in 70% of these egg masses. Simple allele counts underestimate the number of contributing males because this method cannot distinguish multiple fathers with common or similar alleles. Therefore, we used computer simulations to estimate from the offspring genotypes the most likely number of contributing fathers given the distributions of allele frequencies in this population. We determined that two to eight males may contribute to A. maculatum clutches; therefore, multiple paternity is a common strategy in this aggregate breeding species. In aggregate mating systems competition for mates can be intense, thus differential reproductive success (reproductive skew) among males contributing to a female's clutch could be a probable outcome. We use our data to evaluate the potential effect of reproductive skew on estimates of the number of contributing males. We simulated varying scenarios of differential male reproductive success, ranging from equal contribution to high reproductive skew among contributing sires in multiply sired clutches. Our data suggest that even intermediate levels of reproductive skew decrease confidence substantially in estimates of the number of contributing sires when parental genotypes are unknown. PMID:15189216

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

    PubMed

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Swaddle, John P; Cristol, Daniel A

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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.

  18. 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

  19. Impacts of early life exposure to estrogen on subsequent breeding behavior and reproductive success in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Coe, Tobias S; Söffker, Marta K; Filby, Amy L; Hodgson, David; Tyler, Charles R

    2010-08-15

    Impacts of exposure to environmental estrogens on reproductive development are well documented, but recently wider concern has been raised due to evidence that such exposures can disrupt normal patterns of reproductive behavior, dominance, and parentage, with potential population level implications. It is fundamental therefore to understand any such effects for effective risk assessment. This study investigated the impact of a transient exposure to ethinylestradiol (EE(2)) during early life (from 20-60 days post fertilization), including at a dosing level within the environmental range, on the subsequent reproductive behavior and success in both male and female zebrafish (Danio rerio) in competitive breeding scenarios. There were no obvious effects of the early life EE(2) exposures on the subsequent gonadal phenotypes in either mature males or females. In fact, reproductive success in males exposed to 2.76 ng EE(2)/L was increased in competitive spawning scenarios. In contrast, exposure of females to EE(2) (9.86 ng/L) during early life reduced their subsequent reproductive success in competitive spawning scenarios. Mate choice experiments suggested this was a consequence of the females' diminished courting behavior toward males, rather than any male preference for unexposed females. Reproductive capability of females is generally considered a key determinant in population demographics and dynamics, and therefore the effect of exposure to EE(2) on female reproductive success may have significant implications for exposed fish populations.

  20. 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.

  1. Quantitative trait loci affecting reproductive phenology in peach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The reproductive phenology of perennial plants in temperate climates is largely conditioned by the duration of bud dormancy, and fruit developmental processes. Bud dormancy release and bud break depends on the perception of cumulative chilling and heat during the bud development. The objective of this work was to identify new quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated to temperature requirements for bud dormancy release and flowering and to fruit harvest date, in a segregating population of peach. Results We have identified QTLs for nine traits related to bud dormancy, flowering and fruit harvest in an intraspecific hybrid population of peach in two locations differing in chilling time accumulation. QTLs were located in a genetic linkage map of peach based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for eight linkage groups (LGs) of the peach genome sequence. QTLs for chilling requirements for dormancy release and blooming clustered in seven different genomic regions that partially coincided with loci identified in previous works. The most significant QTL for chilling requirements mapped to LG1, close to the evergrowing locus. QTLs for heat requirement related traits were distributed in nine genomic regions, four of them co-localizing with QTLs for chilling requirement trait. Two major loci in LG4 and LG6 determined fruit harvest time. Conclusions We identified QTLs associated to nine traits related to the reproductive phenology in peach. A search of candidate genes for these QTLs rendered different genes related to flowering regulation, chromatin modification and hormone signalling. A better understanding of the genetic factors affecting crop phenology might help scientists and breeders to predict changes in genotype performance in a context of global climate change. PMID:24559033

  2. 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.

  3. Reproductive physiology in Zebu cattle. Unique reproductive aspects that affect their performance.

    PubMed

    Galina, C S; Orihuela, A; Duchateau, A

    1987-11-01

    This article describes the reproductive physiology of Zebu cattle and specific strategies that, when used in concert with an understanding of the physiologic differences between Zebu and other cattle, can improve reproductive performance. PMID:3319088

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, R.L.; Crayon, J.J.; Law, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels-black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)-generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    von Rueden, Christopher R; Jaeggi, Adrian V

    2016-09-27

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

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

    PubMed

    von Rueden, Christopher R; Jaeggi, Adrian V

    2016-09-27

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

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1990-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Effects of an alien ant invasion on abundance, behavior, and reproductive success of endemic island birds.

    PubMed

    Davis, Naomi E; O'Dowd, Dennis J; Green, Peter T; Nally, Ralph Mac

    2008-10-01

    Biological invaders can reconfigure ecological networks in communities, which changes community structure, composition, and ecosystem function. We investigated whether impacts caused by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), a pantropical invader rapidly expanding its range, extend to higher-order consumers by comparing counts, behaviors, and nesting success of endemic forest birds in ant-invaded and uninvaded rainforest on Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Point counts and direct behavioral observations showed that ant invasion altered abundances and behaviors of the bird species we examined: the Island Thrush (Turdus poliocephalus erythropleurus), Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis), and Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis). The thrush, which frequents the forest floor, altered its foraging and reproductive behaviors in ant-invaded forest, where nest-site location changed, and nest success and juvenile counts were lower. Counts of the dove, which forages exclusively on the forest floor, were 9-14 times lower in ant-invaded forest. In contrast, counts and foraging success of the white-eye, a generalist feeder in the understory and canopy, were higher in ant-invaded forest, where mutualism between the ant and honeydew-secreting scale insects increased the abundance of scale-insect prey. These complex outcomes involved the interplay of direct interference by ants and altered resource availability and habitat structure caused indirectly by ant invasion. Ecological meltdown, rapidly unleashed by ant invasion, extended to these endemic forest birds and may affect key ecosystem processes, including seed dispersal.

  3. In vitro fertilisation treatment and factors affecting success.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jack Yu Jen; Rosenwaks, Zev

    2012-12-01

    The efficacy of assisted reproductive technologies has improved significantly over the past decades. The main indications for in vitro fertilisation include tubal obstruction, severe male-factor infertility, severe endometriosis, ovulatory dysfunction, diminished ovarian reserve, and infertility of unexplained cause. In vitro fertilisation has also become an effective treatment option for couples wishing to undergo pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or screening, and for those wishing to cryopreserve their oocytes or embryos for preservation of fertility. The management of women in late reproductive age poses a major challenge; the optimum in vitro fertilisation treatment for poor responders remains elusive. The success of in vitro fertilisation treatment can be optimised by taking an individualised, patient-centered approach to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Key components involve selection of an appropriate controlled ovarian protocol, close-cycle monitoring, adjustment of gonadotropin dosage to avoid hyper-response, and individualised timing of human chorionic gonadotropin injection. Future directions of assisted reproductive technologies include development of non-invasive embryo selection methods, use of transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and time-lapse imaging technologies.

  4. 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.

  5. Determinants of reproductive success in dominant pairs of clownfish: a boosted regression tree analysis.

    PubMed

    Buston, Peter M; Elith, Jane

    2011-05-01

    1. Central questions of behavioural and evolutionary ecology are what factors influence the reproductive success of dominant breeders and subordinate nonbreeders within animal societies? A complete understanding of any society requires that these questions be answered for all individuals. 2. The clown anemonefish, Amphiprion percula, forms simple societies that live in close association with sea anemones, Heteractis magnifica. Here, we use data from a well-studied population of A. percula to determine the major predictors of reproductive success of dominant pairs in this species. 3. We analyse the effect of multiple predictors on four components of reproductive success, using a relatively new technique from the field of statistical learning: boosted regression trees (BRTs). BRTs have the potential to model complex relationships in ways that give powerful insight. 4. We show that the reproductive success of dominant pairs is unrelated to the presence, number or phenotype of nonbreeders. This is consistent with the observation that nonbreeders do not help or hinder breeders in any way, confirming and extending the results of a previous study. 5. Primarily, reproductive success is negatively related to male growth and positively related to breeding experience. It is likely that these effects are interrelated because males that grow a lot have little breeding experience. These effects are indicative of a trade-off between male growth and parental investment. 6. Secondarily, reproductive success is positively related to female growth and size. In this population, female size is positively related to group size and anemone size, also. These positive correlations among traits likely are caused by variation in site quality and are suggestive of a silver-spoon effect. 7. Noteworthily, whereas reproductive success is positively related to female size, it is unrelated to male size. This observation provides support for the size advantage hypothesis for sex change: both

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Population trends, reproductive success, and organochlorine chemical contaminants in waterbirds nesting in Galveston Bay, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1986-01-01

    The effects of environmental contaminants on the reproductive success of olivaceous cormorants (Phalacrocorax olivaceus ), Laughing gulls (Larus atricilla ), and black skimmers (Rhynchops niger ) nesting in Galveston Bay, Texas were investigated from 1980 through 1982. Populations of cormorants and gulls have remained stable in recent years, but skimmer numbers may have declined. Cormorants produced 1.9 to 2.8 young per pair in nests that remained active throughout the season. Gull and skimmer reproduction was seriously limited by storms and predation. DDE and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues in carcasses and eggs generally were below levels associated with chronic poisoning and reproductive problems in most species of birds.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pfammatter, Jesse A; Raffa, Kenneth F

    2015-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Does temperature-mediated reproductive success drive the direction of species displacement in two invasive species of leafminer fly?

    PubMed

    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

  18. "Nice guys finish last": influence of mate choice on reproductive success in Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Winland, C; Bolton, J L; Ford, B; Jampana, S; Tinker, J; Frohardt, R J; Guarraci, F A; Zewail-Foote, M

    2012-02-01

    The present study was designed to determine if male physiology and male reproductive behavior predict reproductive success in Long-Evans rats. Mating behavior was observed in sexually naïve, naturally cycling female rats during behavioral estrous that were given the opportunity to mate with two males simultaneously. DNA analysis of offspring born following these mating encounters was used to identify the paternity of each pup. In order to assess the effect of mate choice during these mating encounters on reproductive success, one male rat in each pair was categorized as the preferred mate if the female spent more time (>50%) with him during the mating test of the present study. Furthermore, each male in the pairs was categorized as "attractive" or "non-attractive" by computing the number of females that preferred each male across many mating tests. Similar to results reported in Lovell et al. (2007), during 76% of these mating tests the same male rat in each pair was preferred by different female rats. Overall attractiveness of individual male rats predicted reproductive success in the present study. Interestingly, "attractive" males sired significantly FEWER pups than "non-attractive" males. Neither behavioral (e.g., latency to first sexual stimulation, number of sexual stimulations) nor physiological measures (e.g., body weight, urinary testosterone levels) of male rats predicted their reproductive success. In conclusion, the present results indicate that certain features of some males are more attractive to females, but attractive males are at a reproductive disadvantage (as measured by the number of pups sired). Although basal urinary testosterone levels did not differ between males that sired the majority of pups in a litter and males that sired few or none of the pups in a litter, aggression and/or other physiological measures of fertility (e.g., penile reflexes) may differ between males that are attractive to females and those that have a reproductive

  19. "Nice guys finish last": influence of mate choice on reproductive success in Long-Evans rats.

    PubMed

    Winland, C; Bolton, J L; Ford, B; Jampana, S; Tinker, J; Frohardt, R J; Guarraci, F A; Zewail-Foote, M

    2012-02-01

    The present study was designed to determine if male physiology and male reproductive behavior predict reproductive success in Long-Evans rats. Mating behavior was observed in sexually naïve, naturally cycling female rats during behavioral estrous that were given the opportunity to mate with two males simultaneously. DNA analysis of offspring born following these mating encounters was used to identify the paternity of each pup. In order to assess the effect of mate choice during these mating encounters on reproductive success, one male rat in each pair was categorized as the preferred mate if the female spent more time (>50%) with him during the mating test of the present study. Furthermore, each male in the pairs was categorized as "attractive" or "non-attractive" by computing the number of females that preferred each male across many mating tests. Similar to results reported in Lovell et al. (2007), during 76% of these mating tests the same male rat in each pair was preferred by different female rats. Overall attractiveness of individual male rats predicted reproductive success in the present study. Interestingly, "attractive" males sired significantly FEWER pups than "non-attractive" males. Neither behavioral (e.g., latency to first sexual stimulation, number of sexual stimulations) nor physiological measures (e.g., body weight, urinary testosterone levels) of male rats predicted their reproductive success. In conclusion, the present results indicate that certain features of some males are more attractive to females, but attractive males are at a reproductive disadvantage (as measured by the number of pups sired). Although basal urinary testosterone levels did not differ between males that sired the majority of pups in a litter and males that sired few or none of the pups in a litter, aggression and/or other physiological measures of fertility (e.g., penile reflexes) may differ between males that are attractive to females and those that have a reproductive

  20. 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

  1. Colony life history and lifetime reproductive success of red harvester ant colonies.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Krista K; Pilko, Anna; Heer, Jeffrey; Gordon, Deborah M

    2013-05-01

    1. We estimate colony reproductive success, in numbers of offspring colonies arising from a colony's daughter queens, of colonies of the red harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus. 2. A measure of lifetime reproductive success is essential to understand the relation of ecological factors, phenotype and fitness in a natural population. This was possible for the first time in a natural population of ant colonies using data from long-term study of a population of colonies in south-eastern Arizona, for which ages of all colonies are known from census data collected since 1985. 3. Parentage analyses of microsatellite data from 5 highly polymorphic loci were used to assign offspring colonies to maternal parent colonies in a population of about 265 colonies, ages 1-28 years, sampled in 2010. 4. The estimated population growth rate Ro was 1.69 and generation time was 7.8 years. There was considerable variation among colonies in reproductive success: of 199 possible parent colonies, only 49 (˜ 25%) had offspring colonies on the site. The mean number of offspring colonies per maternal parent colony was 2.94 and ranged from 1 to 8. A parent was identified for the queen of 146 of 247 offspring colonies. There was no evidence for reproductive senescence; fecundity was about the same throughout the 25-30 year lifespan of a colony. 5. There were no trends in the distance or direction of the dispersal of an offspring relative to its maternal parent colony. There was no relationship between the number of gynes produced by a colony in 1 year and the number of offspring colonies subsequently founded by its daughter reproductive females. The results provide the first estimate of a life table for a population of ant colonies and the first estimate of the female component of colony lifetime reproductive success. 6. The results suggest that commonly used measures of reproductive output may not be correlated with realized reproductive success. This is the starting point for future

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [Pollen dispersion and reproductive success of four tree species of a xerophytic forest from Argentina].

    PubMed

    Torretta, Juan Pablo; Basilio, Alicia M

    2009-01-01

    The "talares" in eastern Buenos Aires province, Argentina, are coastal xerophitic forests structured by few arboreal species surrounded by a lower and moister soil matrix. We studied the reproductive parameters of the most representative arboreal species (Celtis tala, Scutia buxifolia, Jodina rhombifolia, and Schinus longifolia). Pollen dispersion was studied through floral visitor traps (biotic dispersion) and using gravimetric pollen collectors (abiotic dispersion). The reproductive success (fruit formation rate) of the focal species was studied by enclosing flowers with different mesh bags. The reproductive system varied among the different species. C. tala was anemophilous and selfcompatible. S. buxifolia was entomophilous and floral visitors dependant. J. rhombifolia was entomophylous, although spontaneous autogamy could favor reproduction in the absence of pollinators. Lastly, S. longifolia could be an ambophilous species (pollinated by insects and by the wind). This dual system may be the result of system flexibility mechanism or an evolutionary transition. PMID:19637707

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Multiple ferritins are vital to successful blood feeding and reproduction of the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis.

    PubMed

    Galay, Remil Linggatong; Aung, Kyaw Min; Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika; Maeda, Hiroki; Matsuo, Tomohide; Kawaguchi, Hiroaki; Miyoshi, Noriaki; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Xuan, Xuenan; Mochizuki, Masami; Fujisaki, Kozo; Tanaka, Tetsuya

    2013-05-15

    Ticks are obligate hematophagous parasites and important vectors of diseases. The large amount of blood they consume contains great quantities of iron, an essential but also toxic element. The function of ferritin, an iron storage protein, and iron metabolism in ticks need to be further elucidated. Here, we investigated the function a newly identified secreted ferritin from the hard tick Haemaphysalis longicornis (HlFER2), together with the previously identified intracellular ferritin (HlFER1). Recombinant ferritins, expressed in Escherichia coli, were used for anti-serum preparation and were also assayed for iron-binding activity. RT-PCR and western blot analyses of different organs and developmental stages of the tick during blood feeding were performed. The localization of ferritins in different organs was demonstrated through an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test. RNA interference (RNAi) was performed to evaluate the importance of ferritin in blood feeding and reproduction of ticks. The midgut was also examined after RNAi using light and transmission electron microscopy. RT-PCR showed differences in gene expression in some organs and developmental stages. Interestingly, only HlFER2 was detected in the ovary during oviposition and in the egg despite the low mRNA transcript. RNAi induced a reduction in post-blood meal body weight, high mortality and decreased fecundity. The expression of vitellogenin genes was affected by silencing of ferritin. Abnormalities in digestive cells, including disrupted microvilli, and alteration of digestive activity were also observed. Taken altogether, our results show that the iron storage and protective functions of ferritin are crucial to successful blood feeding and reproduction of H. longicornis. PMID:23393286

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mac, Michael J.; Edsall, Carol C.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Resources and reproductive success in women with an example from the Kipsigis of Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mulder, M B

    1987-01-01

    Contradictory results regarding the relationship between resources and reproductive success of women have led some social scientists to conclude that evolutionary biological models are inappropriate to the study of human social behavior. This paper suggests instead that the variability across societies in this relationship reflects an inadequate specification of the nature and availability of the resources critical to reproduction as well as a failure to understand the mechanisms whereby resources confer reproductive success in traditional, developing, preindustrial, and modern societies. These methodological and conceptual issues are illustrated through use of data on the association between wealth and reproductive success from the Kipsigis, a polygynous agropastoralist population in southwestern Kenya. In this society, land is owned by men, and women gain access to land through marriage. In 3 of the 5 marriage cohorts studied, women with access to larger land plots had higher lifelong reproductive success than their poorer counterparts both in terms of enhanced fertility and survivorship of offspring. This association was independent of confounding factors such as education, age at menarche, husband's age, or occupation. Moreover, wealthy women were found not to make greater use of modern medical child health services when their children were sick than poor women. The Kipsigis data indicate that wealthy women had more nutritional resources than poor women and were able to introduce more suitable weaning foods, leading to a lower incidence of episodes of illness in offspring. Overall, the findings suggest that wealth-related differences in the nutrition and health of mothers and children are important factors in reproductive differentials in Kipsigis society.

  12. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. Functional roles affect diversity-succession relationships for boreal beetles.

    PubMed

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of "functional" groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience.

  1. Functional Roles Affect Diversity-Succession Relationships for Boreal Beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gibb, Heloise; Johansson, Therese; Stenbacka, Fredrik; Hjältén, Joakim

    2013-01-01

    Species diversity commonly increases with succession and this relationship is an important justification for conserving large areas of old-growth habitats. However, species with different ecological roles respond differently to succession. We examined the relationship between a range of diversity measures and time since disturbance for boreal forest beetles collected over a 285 year forest chronosequence. We compared responses of “functional” groups related to threat status, dependence on dead wood habitats, diet and the type of trap in which they were collected (indicative of the breadth of ecologies of species). We examined fits of commonly used rank-abundance models for each age class and traditional and derived diversity indices. Rank abundance distributions were closest to the Zipf-Mandelbrot distribution, suggesting little role for competition in structuring most assemblages. Diversity measures for most functional groups increased with succession, but differences in slopes were common. Evenness declined with succession; more so for red-listed species than common species. Saproxylic species increased in diversity with succession while non-saproxylic species did not. Slopes for fungivores were steeper than other diet groups, while detritivores were not strongly affected by succession. Species trapped using emergence traps (log specialists) responded more weakly to succession than those trapped using flight intercept traps (representing a broader set of ecologies). Species associated with microhabitats that accumulate with succession (fungi and dead wood) thus showed the strongest diversity responses to succession. These clear differences between functional group responses to forest succession should be considered in planning landscapes for optimum conservation value, particularly functional resilience. PMID:23977350

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Effects of climate variation on timing of nesting, reproductive success, and offspring sex ratios of red-winged blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Weatherhead, Patrick J

    2005-06-01

    Predicting ecological consequences of climate change will be improved by understanding how species are affected by contemporary climate variation, particularly if analyses involve more than single ecological variables and focus on large-scale climate phenomena. I used 18 years of data from red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) studied over a 25-year period in eastern Ontario to explore chronological and climate-related patterns of reproduction. Although blackbirds started nesting earlier in years with warmer springs, associated with low winter values of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), there was no advance in laying dates over the study. Nesting ended progressively later and the breeding season lasted longer over the study, however, associated with higher spring values of NAOI. As the length of the nesting season increased, offspring sex ratios became more female biased, apparently as a result of females adjusting the sex of the eggs they laid, rather than from sex-biased nestling mortality. Clutch size did not vary systematically over the study or with climate. Opposing trends of declining nest success and increasing productivity of successful nests over the study resulted in no chronological change in productivity per female. Higher productivity of successful nests was associated with higher winter NAOI values, possibly because synchrony between nesting and food availability was higher in years with high NAOI values. Other than the association between the start of nesting and spring temperatures, local weather (e.g., temperature, rainfall) patterns that linked NAOI with reproduction were not identified, suggesting that weather patterns may be complex. Because climate affected most aspects of red-winged blackbird reproduction examined, focusing on associations between climate and single variables (e.g., first-egg dates) will have limited value in predicting how future climates will affect populations.

  4. Ghrelin: a metabolic signal affecting the reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Lorenzi, Teresa; Meli, Rosaria; Marzioni, Daniela; Morroni, Manrico; Baragli, Alessandra; Castellucci, Mario; Gualillo, Oreste; Muccioli, Giampiero

    2009-04-01

    Ghrelin, an acylated 28 amino acid gastric peptide, was isolated from the stomach as an endogenous ligand for growth hormone (GH) secretagogue receptor in 1999. Circulating ghrelin is mainly produced by specific cells in the stomach's oxyntic glands. Ghrelin potently stimulates GH release and food intake and exhibits diverse effects, including ones on glucose metabolism and on secretion and motility of the gastrointestinal tract. Besides these effects on food intake and energy homeostasis, ghrelin is also involved in controlling reproductive functions, and a role for it as a novel regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal axis is clearly emerging. We review recent ghrelin research with emphasis on its roles in the reproductive axis.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, Roger L.; Hatch, Daphne

    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 Bay, 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.

  8. Realized reproductive success of polygynous red-winged blackbirds revealed by DNA markers.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, H L; Weatherhead, P J; Boag, P T; White, B N; Tabak, L M; Hoysak, D J

    1990-12-01

    Hypervariable genetic markers, including a novel locus-specific marker detected by a mouse major histocompatibility complex probe, reveal that multiple paternity is common in families of polygynous red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus). Almost half of all nests contained at least one chick resulting from an extra-pair fertilization, usually by a neighboring male. Genetically based measures of reproductive success show that individual males realize more than 20% of their overall success from extra-pair fertilizations, on average, and that this form of mating behavior confounds traditional measures of male success. The importance of alternative reproductive tactics in a polygynous bird is quantified, and the results challenge previous explanations for the evolution of avian polygny.

  9. Predicting reproductive success from hormone concentrations in the common tern (Sterna hirundo) while considering food abundance.

    PubMed

    Riechert, Juliane; Becker, Peter H; Chastel, Olivier

    2014-11-01

    In birds, reproductive success is mainly a function of skill or environmental conditions, but it can also be linked to hormone concentrations due to their effect on behavior and individual decisions made during reproduction. For example, a high prolactin concentration is required to express parental behaviors such as incubation or guarding and feeding the young. Corticosterone level, on the other hand, is related to energy allocation or stress and foraging or provisioning effort. In this study, we measured individual baseline prolactin and corticosterone between 2006 and 2012 in breeding common terns (Sterna hirundo) using blood-sucking bugs. Reproductive parameters as well as prey abundance on a local and a wider scale were also determined during this period. Baseline prolactin and corticosterone varied significantly between years, as did breeding success. At the individual level, prolactin was positively and corticosterone was negatively linked to herring and sprat abundance. At the population level, we also found a negative link between corticosterone and prey abundance, probably reflecting overall foraging conditions. High prolactin during incubation was mainly predictive of increased hatching success, potentially by supporting more constant incubation and nest-guarding behavior. It was also positively linked to a lesser extent with fledging success, which could indicate a high feeding rate of young. Corticosterone concentration was positively related to high breeding success, which may be due to increased foraging activity and feeding of young. In general, our study shows that baseline prolactin and corticosterone levels during incubation can predict reproductive success, despite the presence of an interval between sampling and hatching or fledging of young.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    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 ??g g -1 ww) remained below established effect levels for birds (generally reported at 0.50 ??g 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. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Polygyny, reproductive success and child health in rural Ethiopia: why marry a married man?

    PubMed

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Mace, Ruth

    2007-03-01

    This study examines the reproductive success of men and women in rural Ethiopia as a function of their marital status, specifically by comparing polygamously and monogamously married individuals. In line with predictions from evolutionary theory, polygamy is beneficial to male reproductive success (i.e. producing larger numbers of surviving offspring). The success of polygamously married females depends on wife rank: the first wives of polygamous husbands do better than monogamously married women and much better than second or third wives. These effects are mirrored in child nutritional status: the children of second and third wives have lower weight for height. Due to potential, largely unmeasurable differences in marriageability (quality) between individuals, it was not possible to support a model of either resource-holding polygyny combined with female choice or female coercion into unwanted marriages. First wives of polygamously married men marry at a younger age and attract a higher brideprice, suggesting that both the males and females in the marriage are likely to be of higher quality (due to wealth, family status or some other factor such as beauty). Unions that end up monogamous are likely to be between slightly lower quality individuals; and second and third wives, who marry at the oldest ages and attract the lowest brideprice, may be 'making the best of a bad job'. The relatively long gap between first and second marriages may mean that first wives of highly marriageable males can enjoy considerable reproductive success before their husbands marry again. PMID:16817989

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-11-01

    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.

  3. Polygyny, reproductive success and child health in rural Ethiopia: why marry a married man?

    PubMed

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Mace, Ruth

    2007-03-01

    This study examines the reproductive success of men and women in rural Ethiopia as a function of their marital status, specifically by comparing polygamously and monogamously married individuals. In line with predictions from evolutionary theory, polygamy is beneficial to male reproductive success (i.e. producing larger numbers of surviving offspring). The success of polygamously married females depends on wife rank: the first wives of polygamous husbands do better than monogamously married women and much better than second or third wives. These effects are mirrored in child nutritional status: the children of second and third wives have lower weight for height. Due to potential, largely unmeasurable differences in marriageability (quality) between individuals, it was not possible to support a model of either resource-holding polygyny combined with female choice or female coercion into unwanted marriages. First wives of polygamously married men marry at a younger age and attract a higher brideprice, suggesting that both the males and females in the marriage are likely to be of higher quality (due to wealth, family status or some other factor such as beauty). Unions that end up monogamous are likely to be between slightly lower quality individuals; and second and third wives, who marry at the oldest ages and attract the lowest brideprice, may be 'making the best of a bad job'. The relatively long gap between first and second marriages may mean that first wives of highly marriageable males can enjoy considerable reproductive success before their husbands marry again.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Torices, R; Méndez, M

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jokela, Markus

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-09-22

    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.

  18. An offspring signal of quality affects the timing of future parental reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Kölliker, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    Solicitation signals by offspring are well known to influence parental behaviour, and it is commonly assumed that this behavioural effect translates into an effect on residual reproduction of parents. However, this equivalence assumption concerning behavioural and reproductive effects caused by offspring signals remains largely untested. Here, we tested the effect of a chemical offspring signal of quality on the relative timing and amount of future reproduction in the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). We manipulated the nutritional condition of earwig nymphs and exposed females to their extract, or to solvent as a control. There were no significant main effects of exposure treatment on 2nd clutch production, but exposure to extracts of well-fed nymphs induced predictable timing of the 2nd relative to the 1st clutch. This result demonstrates for the first time that an offspring signal per se, in the absence of any maternal behaviour, affects maternal reproductive timing, possibly through an effect on maternal reproductive physiology. PMID:21208942

  19. Male traits, mating tactics and reproductive success in the buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis.

    PubMed

    Lanctot; Weatherhead; Kempenaers; Scribner

    1998-08-01

    Buff-breasted sandpipers use a variety of mating tactics to acquire mates, including remaining at a single lek for most of the breeding season, attending multiple leks during the season, displaying solitarily or displaying both on leks and solitarily. We found that differences in body size, body condition, fluctuating asymmetry scores, wing coloration, territory location and behaviour (attraction, solicitation and agonistic) did not explain the observed variation in mating tactics used by males. Which males abandoned versus returned to leks was also not related to morphology or behaviour, and there was no tendency for males to join leks that were larger or smaller than the lek they abandoned. These results suggest that male desertion of leks was not dependent on a male's characteristics nor on the size of the lek he was presently attending. Males did join leks with larger males than their previous lek, perhaps to mate with females attracted to these larger 'hotshot' males. Males at both leks and solitary sites successfully mated. Lek tenure did not affect mating success, although lekking males appeared to mate more frequently than solitary males. Courtship disruption and to a lesser extent, female mimicry, were effective at preventing females from mating at leks, and may offer a partial explanation for female mating off leks. Our analysis that combined all males together within a year (regardless of mating tactic) indicated that males that attended leks for longer periods of time and that had fewer wing spots were significantly more likely to mate. Given some evidence that wing spotting declines with age, and that females inspect male underwings during courtship, the latter result suggests that female choice may play some role in determining male success. We suggest that male buff-breasted sandpipers may use alternative mating tactics more readily than males in other 'classic' lek-breeding species because: (1) unpredictable breeding conditions in this species' high

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Invasion of an exotic forb impacts reproductive success and site fidelity of a migratory songbird.

    PubMed

    Ortega, Yvette Katina; McKelvey, Kevin Scot; Six, Diana Lee

    2006-08-01

    Although exotic plant invasions threaten natural systems worldwide, we know little about the specific ecological impacts of invaders, including the magnitude of effects and underlying mechanisms. Exotic plants are likely to impact higher trophic levels when they overrun native plant communities, affecting habitat quality for breeding songbirds by altering food availability and/or nest predation levels. We studied chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina) breeding in savannas that were either dominated by native vegetation or invaded by spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), an exotic forb that substantially reduces diversity and abundance of native herbaceous plant species. Chipping sparrows primarily nest in trees but forage on the ground, consuming seeds and arthropods. We found that predation rates did not differ between nests at knapweed and native sites. However, initiation of first nests was delayed at knapweed versus native sites, an effect frequently associated with low food availability. Our seasonal fecundity model indicated that breeding delays could translate to diminished fecundity, including dramatic declines in the incidence of double brooding. Site fidelity of breeding adults was also substantially reduced in knapweed compared to native habitats, as measured by return rates and shifts in territory locations between years. Declines in reproductive success and site fidelity were greater for yearling versus older birds, and knapweed invasion appeared to exacerbate differences between age classes. In addition, grasshoppers, which represent an important prey resource, were substantially reduced in knapweed versus native habitats. Our results strongly suggest that knapweed invasion can impact chipping sparrow populations by reducing food availability. Food chain effects may be an important mechanism by which strong plant invaders impact songbirds and other consumers.

  6. Endocannabinoids affect the reproductive functions in teleosts and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cottone, E; Guastalla, A; Mackie, K; Franzoni, M F

    2008-04-16

    Following the discovery in the brain of the bonyfish Fugu rubripes of two genes encoding for type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1A and CB1B), investigations on the phylogeny of these receptors have indicated that the cannabinergic system is highly conserved. Among the multiple functions modulated by cannabinoids/endocannabinoids through the CB1 receptors one of the more investigated is the mammalian reproduction. Therefore, since studies performed in animal models other than mammals might provide further insight into the biology of these signalling molecules, the major aim of the present paper was to review the comparative data pointing toward the endocannabinoid involvement in the reproductive control of non-mammalian vertebrates, namely bonyfish and amphibians. The expression and distribution of CB1 receptors were investigated in the CNS and gonads of two teleosts, Pelvicachromis pulcher and Carassius auratus as well as in the anuran amphibians Xenopus laevis and Rana esculenta. In general the large diffusion of neurons targeted by cannabinoids in both fish and amphibian forebrain indicate endocannabinoids as pivotal local messengers in several neural circuits involved in either sensory integrative activities, like the olfactory processes (in amphibians) and food response (in bonyfish), or neuroendocrine machinery (in both). By using immunohistochemistry for CB1 and GnRH-I, the codistribution of the two signalling molecules was found in the fish basal telencephalon and preoptic area, which are key centers for gonadotropic regulation in all vertebrates. A similar topographical codistribution was observed also in the septum of the telencephalon in Rana esculenta and Xenopus laevis. Interestingly, the double standard immunofluorescence on the same brain section, aided with a laser confocal microscope, showed that in anurans a subset of GnRH-I neurons exhibited also the CB1 immunostaining. The fact that CB1-LI-IR was found indeed in the FSH gonadotrophs of the Xenopus

  7. 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.

  8. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals. PMID:20715626

  9. Maternal characteristics and environment affect the costs of reproduction in female mountain goats.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Côté, Steeve D; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2010-07-01

    Reproduction should reduce resources available for somatic investment and result in fundamental trade-offs among life-history traits. Using 18 years of longitudinal data from marked mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), we assessed whether reproductive status affected female survival and future reproduction when accounting for parity, age, individual quality, population density, and environmental conditions. Reproduction reduced the probability of parturition and offspring survival in the following year. Female survival, however, was independent of previous reproduction, suggesting that females favored their own survival over that of their offspring. The lower probability of parturition in females that had a kid the previous year was only detected at high population density and among young and prime-aged females, suggesting that fitness costs of reproduction can be masked by variations in resource availability and individual characteristics. Primiparous females were less likely than multiparous females to reproduce in the subsequent year. Offspring survival was reduced at high density and after severe winters. Environmental conditions mainly influenced offspring survival, whereas female survival and fecundity were principally modulated by female characteristics. Our study highlights how different intrinsic and environmental factors can affect the probability of future reproduction and also underlines the value of long-term monitoring of known individuals.

  10. Reproductive success and genetic diversity of Psychotria hastisepala (Rubiaceae), in fragmented Atlantic forest, Southeastearn Brazil.

    PubMed

    Silva, Celice A; Vieira, Milene F; Carvalho-Okano, Rita M de; Oliveira, Luiz O de

    2014-03-01

    The impacts of forest fragmentation on both reproductive biology and genetic diversity of native plant species is hardly understood, despite some studies have analyzed this current worldwide problem. Since this constitutes one of the main threats to seasonal semi-deciduous forests in Southeastern Brazil, we investigated the reproductive success and the genetic diversity of a distylous, understory shrub (Psychotria hastisepala) within this context of forest fragmentation. For this study, a set of seven forest fragments of sizes ranging from 4.1 to 168.7 hectares were chosen. The intervenient matrix comprised pastures (25-50%), monocultures (33-50%) and rural roads and buildings (14-28.5%). Overall, 91 plants (54 for the short-styled morph and 37 for the long-styled morph; mean of 6.5 plants per fragment) were investigated. To evaluate reproductive success, we quantified fruit and seed production under natural pollination; to evaluate genetic diversity and population structure, we employed ISSR markers on genomic DNA. Plants with the short-styled morph exhibited a significantly higher reproductive success than those with the long-styled morph; there was no association between seed production and size of the forest fragment. Levels of genetic diversity were positively associated with the number of plants per fragment; but they were not related to flower morph. AMOVA showed that about 65% of the overall genetic variation was attributed to the differences between plants within fragments. The results suggested that populations of P. hastisepala were susceptible to decline owing to forest fragmentation.

  11. 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.

  12. Implant Size Availability Affects Reproduction of Distal Femoral Anatomy.

    PubMed

    Morris, William Z; Gebhart, Jeremy J; Goldberg, Victor M; Wera, Glenn D

    2016-07-01

    A total knee arthroplasty system offers more distal femoral implant anterior-posterior (AP) sizes than its predecessor. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of increased size availability on an implant system's ability to reproduce the AP dimension of the native distal femur. We measured 200 cadaveric femora with the AP-sizing guides of Zimmer (Warsaw, IN) NexGen (8 sizes) and Zimmer Persona (12 sizes) total knee arthroplasty systems. We defined "size deviation" as the difference in the AP dimension between the anatomic size of the native femur and the closest implant size. We defined satisfactory reproduction of distal femoral dimensions as < 1 mm difference between the implant and native femur size. The NexGen system was associated with a mean 0.46 mm greater implant size deviation than Persona (p < 0.001). When using a 1 mm size deviation as a cutoff for satisfactory replication of the native distal femoral anatomy, 85/200 specimens (42.5%) were a poor fit by NexGen, but a satisfactory fit by Persona. Only 1/200 specimens (0.5%) was a poor fit by Persona, but a satisfactory fit by NexGen (p < 0.001). The novel knee system with 12 versus 8 sizes reproduces the AP dimension of the native distal femur more closely than its predecessor. Further study is needed to determine the clinical impact of these differences.

  13. [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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Intracolonial genetic variation affects reproductive skew and colony productivity during colony foundation in a parthenogenetic termite

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In insect societies, intracolonial genetic variation is predicted to affect both colony efficiency and reproductive skew. However, because the effects of genetic variation on these two colony characteristics have been tested independently, it remains unclear whether they are affected by genetic variation independently or in a related manner. Here we test the effect of genetic variation on colony efficiency and reproductive skew in a rhinotermitid termite, Reticulitermes speratus, a species in which female-female pairs can facultatively found colonies. We established colonies using two types of female-female pairs: colonies founded by sisters (i.e., sister-pair colonies) and those founded by females from different colonies (i.e., unrelated-pair colonies). Colony growth and reproductive skew were then compared between the two types of incipient colonies. Results At 15 months after colony foundation, unrelated-pair colonies were larger than sister-pair colonies, although the caste ratio between workers and nymphs, which were alternatively differentiated from young larvae, did not differ significantly. Microsatellite DNA analyses of both founders and their parthenogenetically produced offspring indicated that, in both sister-pair and unrelated-pair colonies, there was no significant skew in the production of eggs, larvae, workers and soldiers. Nymph production, however, was significantly more skewed in the sister-pair colonies than in unrelated-pair colonies. Because nymphs can develop into winged adults (alates) or nymphoid reproductives, they have a higher chance of direct reproduction than workers in this species. Conclusions Our results support the idea that higher genetic variation among colony members could provide an increase in colony productivity, as shown in hymenopteran social insects. Moreover, this study suggests that low genetic variation (high relatedness) between founding females increases reproductive skew via one female preferentially

  6. 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.

  7. Unintended imitation affects success in a competitive game

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success of Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to resource availability in field enclosures.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Bosch, Jordi

    2010-02-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is used to pollinate alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., for seed production in the United States and Canada. It is difficult to reliably sustain commercial M. rotundata populations in the United States because of problems with disease, parasites, predators, and unexplained mortality. One possible explanation for early immature mortality is that, relative to floral availability, superfluous numbers of bees are released in alfalfa fields where resources quickly become limited. Our objective was to determine how M. rotundata density affects bee nesting, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success. Various numbers of bees were released into enclosures on an alfalfa field, but only 10-90% of released female bees established nests. Therefore, a "bee density index" was derived for each enclosure from the number of established females and number of open flowers over time. As the density index increased, significant reductions occurred in the number of pollinated flowers, number of nests, and number of cells produced per bee, as well as the percentage of cells that produced viable prepupae by summer's end and the percentage that produced adult bees. The percentage of cells resulting in early brood mortality (i.e., pollen balls) significantly increased as the density index increased. We conclude that bee nest establishment, pollination efficiency, and reproductive success are compromised when bee densities are high relative to floral resource availability. Open field studies are needed to determine commercial bee densities that result in sustainable bee populations and adequate pollination for profitable alfalfa seed production. PMID:20146851

  13. Variation in annual and lifetime reproductive success of lance-tailed manakins: alpha experience mitigates effects of senescence on siring success

    PubMed Central

    DuVal, Emily H.

    2012-01-01

    The causes of variation in individual reproductive success over a lifetime are not well understood. In long-lived vertebrates, reproductive output usually increases during early adulthood, but it is difficult to disentangle the roles of development and learning on this gain of reproductive success. Lekking lance-tailed manakins provide an opportunity to separate these processes, as the vast majority of male reproduction occurs after a bird obtains alpha status and maintains a display area in the lek, but the age at which males achieve alpha status varies widely. Using 11 years of longitudinal data on age, social status and genetic siring success, I assessed the factors influencing variation in siring success by individuals over their lifetimes. The data show increases in annual reproductive success with both age and alpha experience. At advanced ages, these gains were offset by senescence in fecundity. Individual ontogeny, rather than compositional change of the population, generated a nonlinear relationship of breeding tenure with lifetime success; age of assuming alpha status was unrelated to tenure as a breeder, or success in the alpha role. Importantly, these findings suggest that social experience can mitigate the negative effects of senescence in older breeders. PMID:22090386

  14. Does Nasal Septal Deviation Affect the Success of Tympanoplasty Surgery?

    PubMed Central

    Tan, M; Kalcioglu, MT; Akarcay, M; Toplu, Y; Karaca, S

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective: This paper deals with the investigation of the effects of nasal septal deviation evaluated by acoustic rhinometry (ARM) in the success of tympanoplasty surgery. Subject and Methods: All patients who underwent tympanoplasty surgery by the same surgeon were reviewed. The patients with nasopharyngeal or nasal masses, polyps, symptoms of allergic rhinitis or rhinosinusitis, or concha bullosa were excluded from the study. Forty patients who underwent tympanoplasty at least one year ago were included in the study. The patients were divided into two groups according to the graft success results. Acoustic rhinometry evaluations of the patients were performed. Results: There were 25 and 15 cases in the intact graft (group A) and re-perforated group (group B), respectively. For the same side of the operated ear, ARM values of group A were 0.47 cm 2 at the first narrowest cross-sectional area (MCA 1), 0.43 cm2 at the second narrowest cross-sectional area (MCA 2), 1.51 cm3 volume at the first 2 cm of the nasal cavity (Vol 1) and 3.33 cm3 volume between the second and fifth cm of the nasal cavity (Vol 2). Acoustic rhinometry values of group B were 0.50 cm2, 0.47 cm2, 1.60 cm3 and 3.19 cm3 for MCA 1, MCA 2, Vol 1, and Vol 2, respectively. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that nasal septal deviation may not affect the success of tympanoplasty surgery, and septoplasty may not be necessary before ear surgery. PMID:26624593

  15. Melatonin, But not auxin, affects postnatal reproductive development in the marsh rice rat (Oryzomys palustris).

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Kent E

    2013-06-01

    Melatonin and the plant hormone auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) have some structural similarity and, may thus exert comparable physiological effects on reproduction and growth. To test this possibility, I examined the effects of melatonin and auxin administration on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development in an animal model, the marsh rice rat Oryzomys palustris. Juvenile males housed under 14L:10D conditions were injected daily for four weeks with saline, melatonin, auxin, or melatonin and auxin, and the development of the testes and other organs was assessed. Melatonin alone significantly inhibited the development of the testes, seminal vesicles, Harderian glands, and overall somatic growth, but not the spleen. Auxin did not affect any endpoint measured. When melatonin was administered simultaneously with auxin, the melatonin effects dominated in suppressing reproduction and growth. The administration of melatonin or auxin in the drinking water produced results similar to the effects of melatonin and auxin injections reported herein. Lastly, both melatonin and auxin in the drinking water failed to alter any short photoperiod-induced reproductive inhibition. These data suggest that structural similarities between melatonin and auxin do not result in similar postnatal effects on reproductive and non-reproductive organ development on a long photoperiod and further suggest that melatonin and auxin do not operate through a common physiological mechanism.

  16. Zebrafish Reproduction: Revisiting In Vitro Fertilization to Increase Sperm Cryopreservation Success

    PubMed Central

    Hagedorn, Mary; Carter, Virginia L.

    2011-01-01

    Although conventional cryopreservation is a proven method for long-term, safe storage of genetic material, protocols used by the zebrafish community are not standardized and yield inconsistent results, thereby putting the security of many genotypes in individual laboratories and stock centers at risk. An important challenge for a successful zebrafish sperm cryopreservation program is the large variability in the post-thaw in vitro fertilization success (0 to 80%). But how much of this variability was due to the reproductive traits of the in vitro fertilization process, and not due to the cryopreservation process? These experiments only assessed the in vitro process with fresh sperm, but yielded the basic metrics needed for successful in vitro fertilization using cryopreserved sperm, as well. We analyzed the reproductive traits for zebrafish males with a strict body condition range. It did not correlate with sperm volume, or motility (P>0.05), but it did correlate with sperm concentration. Younger males produced more concentrated sperm (P<0.05). To minimize the wastage of sperm during the in vitro fertilization process, 106 cells/ml was the minimum sperm concentration needed to achieve an in vitro fertilization success of ≥ 70%. During the in vitro process, pooling sperm did not reduce fertilization success (P>0.05), but pooling eggs reduced it by approximately 30 to 50% (P<0.05). This reduction in fertilization success was due not to the pooling of the females' eggs, but to the type of tools used to handle the eggs. Recommendations to enhance the in vitro process for zebrafish include: 1) using males of a body condition closer to 1.5 for maximal sperm concentration; 2) minimizing sperm wastage by using a working sperm concentration of 106 motile cells/ml for in vitro fertilization; and 3) never using metal or sharp-edged tools to handle eggs prior to fertilization. PMID:21698162

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

    PubMed

    South, A; Lewis, S M

    2012-08-22

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

  18. Two girls for every boy: The effects of group size and composition on the reproductive success of male and female white-faced capuchins.

    PubMed

    Fedigan, Linda Marie; Jack, Katharine M

    2011-02-01

    Many factors have been hypothesized to affect the size and adult sex ratios of primate groups and these, in turn, have been argued to influence birth rates. Using park-wide census data collected on a population of capuchins over a 25-year period, we examined whether group size and adult sex ratio affect the per capita reproductive success of male and female white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. We found that the reproductive success of females (measured as the observed minus the expected ratio of immatures to adult females in the group) decreased with increasing group size, whereas that of males was independent of group size. The proportion of adult males residing in groups had significant, yet contrasting effects on males and females. Male reproductive success was negatively associated with the proportion of males residing in groups whereas female reproductive success increased with the proportion of males. The latter finding supports the intersexual conflict hypothesis, which suggests that a conflict of interest occurs between males and females over adult sex ratios. The effects of group size and composition on the reproductive success of capuchins, a male-dispersed omnivorous species, are similar to those reported for howlers, a bisexually-dispersed folivorous species. One common factor between these taxa is that groups with low ratios of males to females are at greater risk of takeovers and resultant infanticide. Our results suggest that regardless of dietary preference and dispersal pattern, the threat of infanticide can constrain primate group size and composition.

  19. Sex roles, parental experience and reproductive success of eastern kingbirds, Tyrannus tyrannus.

    PubMed

    Woodard; Murphy

    1999-01-01

    We quantified parental behaviour of eastern kingbirds during the incubation and nestling periods to determine parental roles, and to examine the impact of previous breeding experience (defined as having bred on the territory in the past) on behaviour and reproductive success. Females performed all incubation, while males spent more than 60% of their time in vigilant or nest guarding behaviour during incubation. Parental roles were not defined as sharply during the nestling period. Females spent more time vigilant, but males provisioned young at only 54% of the rate of females. Vigilance and nest watching were still primarily male duties. Male and female behaviour did not vary with the pair's combination of experience (e.g. experienced-experienced versus inexperienced-inexperienced in previous-current breeding season, respectively) during either phase of reproduction, but experienced males were more vigilant during incubation and fed young relatively more than inexperienced males. Experienced females were also more efficient foragers. Although behaviour did not differ among the four combinations of pair experience, inexperienced pairs none the less lost the most young to starvation and predation. Consequently, inexperienced pairs fledged one less nestling per nesting attempt than did pairs with at least one experienced breeder. Our results suggest that having at least one experienced breeder substantially improved a pair's reproductive success. We propose that female site fidelity is a safeguard to avoid the lower breeding success a female would incur if she were to move to a new territory and breed with an inexperienced male. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10053077

  20. Reproductive success by large, closely related males facilitated by sperm storage in an aggregate breeding amphibian.

    PubMed

    Chandler, C H; Zamudio, K R

    2008-03-01

    The outcome of sexual selection on males may depend on female mate choice and male-male competition as well as postcopulatory processes such as cryptic female choice and sperm competition. We studied the outcome of sexual selection in the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), specifically examining the role of body size and relatedness on male reproductive success. Using controlled mating experiments in the field, we gave females access to three males of different sizes. We used seven microsatellite loci to determine paternity in the resulting larvae, estimate relatedness (r) between females and their mates, and calculate md(2) (a measure of within-individual genomic divergence), heterozygosity, and standardized heterozygosity in the larvae. Both body size and relatedness to the female were significant predictors of male reproductive success. The relatedness of the males available to a female did not influence the amount of stored sperm she used to sire her larvae. Nonetheless, computer simulations showed that the average md(2), heterozygosity, and standardized heterozygosity of the offspring were lower than expected by random mating. These differences are due to the use of stored sperm to fertilize some eggs; md(2), heterozygosity, and standardized heterozygosity of larvae sired by stored sperm were significantly lower than those of larvae sired by the experimental males. These results suggest that relatedness may further influence a male's long-term reproductive success by determining whether his sperm is stored for later breeding seasons. Sexual selection in this salamander likely involves a complex interaction among many factors and may act over many seasons. PMID:18179431

  1. The relationship of the female reproductive success of Eucalyptus globulus to the endogenous properties of the flower.

    PubMed

    Suitor, Shaun; Potts, B M; Brown, P H; Gracie, A J; Gore, P L

    2009-03-01

    Low capsule and seed set is a major factor limiting seed production in Eucalyptus globulus seed orchards. Controlled pollination studies showed that the reproductive success (number of seeds produced per flower pollinated) was primarily determined by the female. We aimed to identify the factors contributing to the differences in reproductive success between female genotypes in terms of the physical and anatomical properties of the flower. We studied pairs of genotypes of high and low reproductive success from each of three races (Furneaux Group, Strzelecki Ranges and Western Otways) growing in a seed orchard. Controlled pollinations were performed on six females and along with flower physical measurements, pollen tube growth and seed set were assessed. Overall tree reproductive success was positively correlated with flower size, ovule numbers, style size, cross-sectional area of conductive tissue within the style (all of which were inter-correlated) and the proportion of pollen tubes reaching the bottom of the style. Significant positive correlations of reproductive success and flower physical properties between different ramets of the same genotypes across seasons suggests a genetic basis to the variation observed. The majority of pollen tube attrition occurred within the first millimetre of the cut style and appeared to be associated with differences in style physiology. When examined as pairs within races the difference in reproductive success for the Western Otways pair was simply explained by differences in flower size and the number of ovules per flower. Physical features did not differ significantly for the Strzelecki Ranges pair, but the proportion of pollen tubes reaching the bottom of the style was lower in the less reproductively successful genotype, suggesting an endogenous physiological constraint to pollen tube growth. The difference in reproductive success between the females from the Furneaux Group was associated with a combination of these factors.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  4. Effects of historic PCB exposures on the reproductive success of the Hudson River striped bass population.

    PubMed

    Barnthouse, Lawrence W; Glaser, David; Young, John

    2003-01-15

    Scientists and regulatory agencies have expressed concern that exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) might be contributing to reductions in the abundance of fish populations exposed to these chemicals. The specific effects of concern involve impairment of fish reproduction, including both reduced egg production and decreased viability of eggs and larvae. We tested hypotheses concerning the effects of PCBs on fish populations using long-term data sets available for the striped bass population of the Hudson River, NY, a population that has long been a subject of regulatory concern because of potential effects of PCB exposures. The data sets examined include both measurements of PCB concentrations in adult female striped bass over the period from 1976 through 1997 and estimates of the numbers of striped bass eggs, larvae, and juveniles produced annually during this same period. We found strong correlations between estimates of the abundance of spawners and the number of eggs and larvae produced by those spawners and also between independent estimates of year-class strength derived from different sampling programs. However, we found no relationships between PCB exposure and any measure of striped bass abundance or reproduction. Although inconsistent with the expected effects of PCB exposures, trends in all measures of striped bass abundance and reproductive success were consistent with the expected effects of striped bass harvest restrictions that were imposed during the 1980s. Our results demonstrate a need for caution in inferring risks to populations in nature from effects observed in laboratory studies.

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

    PubMed

    Alvergne, Alexandra; Jokela, Markus; Lummaa, Virpi

    2010-06-29

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

  6. Size-dependent reproductive success of wild zebrafish Danio rerio in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Uusi-Heikkilä, S; Wolter, C; Meinelt, T; Arlinghaus, R

    2010-08-01

    Size-dependent reproductive success of wild zebrafish Danio rerio was studied under controlled conditions in the laboratory to further understand the influence of spawner body size on reproductive output and egg and larval traits. Three different spawner size categories attained by size-selective harvesting of the F(1)-offspring of wild D. rerio were established and their reproductive performance compared during a 5 day period. As to be expected, large females spawned more frequently and had significantly greater clutch sizes than small females. Contrary to expectations, small females produced larger eggs when measured as egg diameter with similar amounts of yolk compared to eggs spawned by large spawners. Eggs from small fish, however, suffered from higher egg mortality than the eggs of large individuals. Embryos from small-sized spawners also hatched later than offspring from eggs laid by large females. Larval standard length (L(S))-at-hatch did not differ between the size categories, but the offspring of the large fish had significantly larger area-at-hatch and greater yolk-sac volume indicating better condition. Offspring growth rates were generally similar between offspring from all size categories, but they were significantly higher for offspring spawned by small females in terms of L(S) between days 60 and 90 post-fertilization. Despite temporarily higher growth rates among the small fish offspring, the smaller energy reserves at hatching translated into lower condition later in ontogeny. It appeared that the influence of spawner body size on egg and larval traits was relatively pronounced early in development and seemed to remain in terms of condition, but not in growth, after the onset of exogenous feeding. Further studies are needed to explore the mechanisms behind the differences in offspring quality between large- and small-sized spawners by disentangling size-dependent maternal and paternal effects on reproductive variables in D. rerio.

  7. How do host sex and reproductive state affect host preference and feeding duration of ticks?

    PubMed

    Pollock, Nicholas B; Vredevoe, Larisa K; Taylor, Emily N

    2012-08-01

    Parasitism is one of the most notable forms of symbiosis in the biological world, with nearly all organisms hosting parasites. In many vertebrates, males have higher ectoparasite burdens than females, especially when testosterone concentrations are elevated. Furthermore, reproductive females may have higher ectoparasite burdens than non-reproductive females. It is possible that testosterone-stimulated behaviors in males and offspring investment by females incur energetic costs that inhibit immune function. If questing ticks can sense host sex or reproductive condition prior to attachment, they could potentially choose hosts with the poorest immune function, thereby leading to improved feeding success and decreased feeding duration. In this study, we examined the host-parasite relationship between western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis) and the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) to test the following hypotheses: (1) ticks prefer male lizards to female lizards. (2) Ticks prefer male lizards with higher testosterone. (3) Ticks prefer reproductive female lizards to non-reproductive female lizards. (4) Ticks feed to repletion more rapidly (decreased feeding duration) on reproductive females and males with higher testosterone. In all three experiments, ticks failed to show a preference for one group over another as demonstrated by similar attachment rates between groups. This suggests that observed differences in ectoparasite loads in free-ranging lizards is due to some other factor than host choice. However, tick feeding duration on female lizards was shorter when hosts were reproductive, suggesting that host reproductive condition alters tick feeding, possibly due to a decreased immune response. Interestingly, ticks fed more slowly on male lizards with elevated testosterone, suggesting that testosterone may actually improve immune function against ectoparasites. PMID:22526292

  8. 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...

  9. Strong spatial genetic structure reduces reproductive success in the critically endangered plant genus Pseudomisopates.

    PubMed

    Amat, María E; Silvertown, Jonathan; Vargas, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Clonal growth can be a double-edged sword for endangered species, because the short-term insurance against extinction may incur a longer-term hazard of creating small inbred populations with low fecundity. In the present study, we quantify the advantages and disadvantages of clonal growth regarding the fitness of the central Iberian monotypic endangered genus Pseudomisopates. Preliminary studies showed that the species is self-incompatible and exhibits extensive clonal growth with plants flowering profusely. However, seeds at many sites seemed to be unviable, and no seedlings have been observed in the field. A fully replicated nested sampling design (n = 100) was conducted to explore genetic (using seven SSR loci) and environmental factors potentially affecting seed viability, such as: 1) clonal and genetic diversity, 2) spatial genetic structure, and 3) environmental factors (shrub cover and grazing). Generalized Linear Mixed Models were fitted relating genetic and environmental variables to reproductive variables (seed viability and flower display). Our results indicate that the relatively low genotypic diversity of the population (PD = 0.23), as quantified by SSRs, and the strong spatial genetic structure observed are congruent with intense clonal growth. This clonal growth is enhanced by unfavorable environmental conditions, such as canopy closure and grazing. Under these circumstances, both flower display and mate availability decrease, thus hindering sexual reproduction. Indeed, a mixed reproductive system (clonal and sexual) to escape environmental stochasticity is crucial for the survival of Pseudomisopates, a species inhabiting a disturbance-prone ecosystem.

  10. 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

  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

    2011-03-16

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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).

  2. 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).

  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. Nectar robbing positively influences the reproductive success of Tecomella undulata (Bignoniaceae).

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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

  9. Cultural versus reproductive success: Why does economic development bring new tradeoffs?

    PubMed

    Newson, Lesley

    2009-01-01

    Achievements that attract social rewards in developed countries, such as educational qualifications, a prestigious career, and the ability to acquire prestige goods, interfere with a woman's ability to achieve reproductive success. This tradeoff between cultural and reproductive success may have developed because economic development creates an evolutionarily novel social environment. In the social environment of developed countries, a far smaller proportion of social exchange is between kin than in the small-scale communities in which the human brain and behavior evolved. Evidence suggests that social interaction between non-kin is less likely to encourage behavior that enhances inclusive fitness. A model of the cultural change that is likely to result from this change in social influence suggests that beliefs and values will become increasingly less consistent with the pursuit of fitness (Newson et al. [2007]: Evol Hum Behav 28: 199-210). Responses to the World Value Survey, which has been carried out in over 70 countries, confirm a number of the predictions of this model. In countries where fertility began to decline more recently, people appear to perceive the costs of having children to be lower relative to the cost of childlessness and the benefits of being a parent.

  10. Cultural versus reproductive success: Why does economic development bring new tradeoffs?

    PubMed

    Newson, Lesley

    2009-01-01

    Achievements that attract social rewards in developed countries, such as educational qualifications, a prestigious career, and the ability to acquire prestige goods, interfere with a woman's ability to achieve reproductive success. This tradeoff between cultural and reproductive success may have developed because economic development creates an evolutionarily novel social environment. In the social environment of developed countries, a far smaller proportion of social exchange is between kin than in the small-scale communities in which the human brain and behavior evolved. Evidence suggests that social interaction between non-kin is less likely to encourage behavior that enhances inclusive fitness. A model of the cultural change that is likely to result from this change in social influence suggests that beliefs and values will become increasingly less consistent with the pursuit of fitness (Newson et al. [2007]: Evol Hum Behav 28: 199-210). Responses to the World Value Survey, which has been carried out in over 70 countries, confirm a number of the predictions of this model. In countries where fertility began to decline more recently, people appear to perceive the costs of having children to be lower relative to the cost of childlessness and the benefits of being a parent. PMID:19367573

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Single- and multilocus DNA fingerprinting of communally breeding pukeko: do copulations or dominance ensure reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Lambert, D M; Millar, C D; Jack, K; Anderson, S; Craig, J L

    1994-09-27

    In behavioral and ecological studies the "function" of dominance hierarchies is thought to be related to reproductive success. In particular, dominant males are regarded as likely to gain a reproductive advantage due to enhanced "access" to females. We compare the dominance status of adults with the frequency of copulations and the patterns of parentage in communally breeding pukeko or purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus). This avian species has an unusual social system, often breeding in polygynandrous groups in which there is a strong dominance hierarchy. Typically, during the breeding season, there is considerable sexual activity, with heterosexual and homosexual copulations between adults being commonplace. Hae III-digested DNA from individuals belonging to breeding groups was hybridized to the minisatellite DNA probe YNH24, revealing putative single-locus profiles, while hybridization of the same DNA to the minisatellite probes pV47-2, 3'HVR, and per revealed typical multilocus profiles. The numbers of unattributable restriction fragments allowed the maternity and paternity of all individuals to be conclusively determined, despite high levels of band sharing among individuals within breeding groups. These close genetic similarities are a likely consequence of strong philopatry and inbreeding. We report instances of males which are high on the dominance hierarchy but have only a limited reproductive output in comparison with others and males which are subordinate but achieve a significant proportion of fertilizations. Generally these data reveal no consistent relationship between dominance, the frequency of copulations, and parentage among males. We conclude that pukeko highlight some difficulties with conventional explanations for the "function" of dominance. PMID:7937821

  16. Facultative Apomixis in Garcinia atroviridis (Clusiaceae) and Effects of Different Pollination Regimes on Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    Pangsuban, Sasithorn; Bamroongrugsa, Noparat; Kanchanapoom, Kamnoon; Nualsri, Charassri

    2009-12-01

    Various aspects of the reproductive success of Garcinia atroviridis Griff. were studied. Controlled pollination experiments were carried out in an orchard located in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, from February to July 2003. Floral longevity, stigma receptivity, and pollen viability were examined before carrying out the experiments. Three pollination treatments were compared: open pollination, manual pollination with bags, and bags without pollination (apogamy). Although there was no significant difference in the initial fruit set, bagged and manual pollination produced a significantly greater fruit drop rate than apogamy or natural pollination at one week after the flowers had been pollinated. On the other hand, the apogamy treatment had a greater fruit drop rate than natural and manual pollination treatments before fruit maturation. In addition, unpollinated bagged flowers bore fewer and smaller fruit than naturally and manually cross-pollinated flowers. Although the fruits from unpollinated flowers were capable of asexual seed formation, they produced fewer seeds and had poorer seed quality (defined as average fresh weight and germination rate) than those from the other treatments. The occurrence of asexual and sexual reproduction was also studied using Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis and by comparing the patterns of bands produced from DNA extracted from the offspring of the naturally cross-pollinated fruits. On average, 58% of the offspring had a genetic constitution identical to that of the maternal parent (ranging from 36% to 87%), indicating that some offspring were produced without prior fertilisation. However, the remainder showed polymorphism, demonstrating the occurrence of sexual reproduction. These findings indicate that facultative apomixis occurred in the study population. However, a residual sexuality was important for fruit production, fruit size, normal seed set and seed quality.

  17. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  18. Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species.

    PubMed

    Keller, Barbara; de Vos, Jurriaan M; Schmidt-Lebuhn, Alexander N; Thomson, James D; Conti, Elena

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.; 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

  3. 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

  4. Relationship of plasma sex steroid concentrations in female fathead minnows to reproductive success and population status.

    PubMed

    Ankley, Gerald T; Miller, David H; Jensen, Kathleen M; Villeneuve, Daniel L; Martinović, Dalma

    2008-06-01

    Concentration and/or production of sex steroids such as 17beta-estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) in fish have commonly been measured in field studies concerned with endocrine-active chemicals. There is a reasonable mechanistic basis for using E2 or T as biomarkers, as chemicals can alter steroid production through both direct and indirect effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. There is uncertainty, however, as to what changes in steroid status may mean relative to apical endpoints, such as reproduction, that directly affect population status. In this study, we analyzed data from fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction studies in which decreases in fecundity were associated with depressed steroid production as a result of chemical exposure. Although the chemicals acted on the HPG axis through different mechanisms, reproductive effects appeared to be expressed through a common pathway, depression of vitellogenin production in females. Plasma concentrations of E2 or T in the females were significantly, positively correlated with fecundity. Linear regression models describing the relationship between E2 or T concentrations and relative fecundity were linked to a population model to predict population trajectories of fathead minnows exposed to chemicals that inhibit steroid production. For example, a population existing at carrying capacity and exposed to a chemical stressor(s) that causes a 50% decrease in E2 production was predicted to exhibit a 92% decrease in population size over a 5-year period. Results of our analysis illustrate a conceptual framework whereby a commonly measured biomarker, sex steroid status, could be linked to individual- and population-level effects in fish.

  5. Does variation of sex ratio enhance reproductive success of offspring in tawny owls (Strix aluco)

    PubMed Central

    Appleby, B. M.; Petty, S. J.; Blakey, J. K.; Rainey, P.; Macdonald, D. W.

    1997-01-01

    Tawny owls, Strix aluco, laid female-biased clutches on territories with more abundant prey (field voles) in June, the month that chicks fledge. This appeared to enhance the subsequent reproductive success of fledglings, as in 1995 there was a significant correlation between the number of chicks fledged by adult females and the June vole abundance in the territory on which they were reared as chicks. This relationship did not hold for males. Since tawny owls lay eggs in March, these results indicate that owls are able to predict the June vole numbers on their territory, and respond by producing more of the sex most likely to gain a long-term benefit when resources are good.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Honeybees enhance reproduction without affecting the outcrossing rate in endemic Pedicularis densispica (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Sun, S G; Guo, Y H

    2007-11-01

    There has been substantial debate in recent years surrounding the impact of introduced honeybees on native biota. This study reports on an investigation of Pedicularis densispica, a subalpine annual herb endemic to Southwest China, in an attempt to determine the impact of introduced domestic honeybees on pollen dispersal and thus on their reproductive success and mating system. Honeybees were introduced into the study site in 2004, and a sudden seasonal pollinator shift from bumblebees to honeybees was observed. Intra- and inter-plant visits by different pollinators were recorded in the field in 2003 and 2004. Fruit and seed sets prior to and after the pollinator shift were measured. Experimental pollinations were performed to characterize the breeding system. Outcrossing rates at the seed stage were estimated for both years using RAPD markers. Our results indicated that honeybees foraged between plants more frequently than bumblebees did. Our results also revealed that the introduction of honeybees significantly enhanced reproductive success. However, no significant difference was detected between the outcrossing rates due to bumblebee and honeybee pollination. P. densispica was almost completely outcrossing ( T(m) = 0.956 and 0.967, respectively in 2003 and 2004) but partially self-compatible. This study presents the first report of the outcrossing rate in the genus pedicularis and reveals a limited influence of pollination on the mating system in P. densispica. The pollinator shift did not reduce reproductive success of the plants and honeybees may be used to augment pollinator services for nectariferous P. densispica.

  11. Double decomposition: decomposing the variance in subcomponents of male extra-pair reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Losdat, Sylvain; Arcese, Peter; Reid, Jane M

    2015-09-01

    1. Extra-pair reproductive success (EPRS) is a key component of male fitness in socially monogamous systems and could cause selection on female extra-pair reproduction if extra-pair offspring (EPO) inherit high value for EPRS from their successful extra-pair fathers. However, EPRS is itself a composite trait that can be fully decomposed into subcomponents of variation, each of which can be further decomposed into genetic and environmental variances. However, such decompositions have not been implemented in wild populations, impeding evolutionary inference. 2. We first show that EPRS can be decomposed into the product of three life-history subcomponents: the number of broods available to a focal male to sire EPO, the male's probability of siring an EPO in an available brood and the number of offspring in available broods. This decomposition of EPRS facilitates estimation from field data because all subcomponents can be quantified from paternity data without need to quantify extra-pair matings. Our decomposition also highlights that the number of available broods, and hence population structure and demography, might contribute substantially to variance in male EPRS and fitness. 3. We then used 20 years of complete genetic paternity and pedigree data from wild song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to partition variance in each of the three subcomponents of EPRS, and thereby estimate their additive genetic variance and heritability conditioned on effects of male coefficient of inbreeding, age and social status. 4. All three subcomponents of EPRS showed some degree of within-male repeatability, reflecting combined permanent environmental and genetic effects. Number of available broods and offspring per brood showed low additive genetic variances. The estimated additive genetic variance in extra-pair siring probability was larger, although the 95% credible interval still converged towards zero. Siring probability also showed inbreeding depression and increased with male age

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Aspergillus asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction are differentially affected by transcriptional and translational mechanisms regulating stunted gene expression.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, J; Miller, B L

    1997-01-01

    The Stunted protein (StuAp) is a member of a family of transcription factors that regulate fungal development and cell cycle progression. Regulated stuA gene expression is required for correct cell pattern formation during asexual reproduction (conidiation) and for initiation of the sexual reproductive cycle in Aspergillus nidulans. Transcriptional initiation from two different promoters yields overlapping mRNAs (stuA alpha and stuAbeta) that upon translation yield the same protein. Here we show that multiple regulatory mechanisms interact to control (i) developmental competence-dependent expression of both transcripts and (ii) induction-dependent expression of stuA alpha, but not stuAbeta, by the conidiation-specific Bristle (BrlAp) transcriptional activator. Quantitative levels of both mRNAs are further modulated by (i) an activator(s) located at a far-upstream upstream activation sequence, (ii) feedback regulation by StuAp, and (iii) positive translational regulation that requires the peptide product of a micro-open reading frame unique to the stuA alpha mRNA 5' untranslated region. Gradients in stuA alpha expression were most important for correct cell and tissue type development. Threshold requirements were as follows: metula-phialide differentiation < ascosporogenesis < cleistothecial shell-Hülle cell differentiation. Altered stuA expression affected conidiophore morphology and conidial yields quantitatively but did not alter the temporal development of cell types or conidiophore density. By contrast, the sexual cycle showed both temporal delay and quantitative reduction in the number of cleistothecial initials but normal morphogenesis of tissue types. PMID:9315680

  16. 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…

  17. Individual quality, early-life conditions, and reproductive success in contrasted populations of large herbivores.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Côté, Steeve D

    2009-07-01

    Variations among individuals in phenotypic quality and fitness often confound analyses of life-history strategies assessed at the population level. We used detailed long-term data from three populations of large herbivores with generation times ranging from four to nine years to quantify heterogeneity in individual quality among females, and to assess its influence on mean annual reproductive success over the lifetime (MRS). We also determined how environmental conditions in early life shaped individual quality and tested A. Lomnicki's hypothesis that variance in individual quality should increase when environmental conditions deteriorate. Using multivariate analyses (PCA), we identified one (in sheep and deer) or two (in goats) covariations among life-history traits (longevity, success in the last breeding opportunity, adult mass, and social rank) as indexes of individual quality that positively influenced MRS of females. Individual quality was reduced by unfavorable weather, low resource availability, and high population density in the year of birth. Early-life conditions accounted for 35-55% of variation in individual quality. In roe deer, we found greater variance in individual quality for cohorts born under unfavorable conditions as opposed to favorable ones, but the opposite was found in bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Our results demonstrate that heterogeneity in female quality can originate from environmental conditions in early life and can markedly influence the fitness of females in species located at different positions along the slow-fast continuum of life-history strategies. PMID:19694145

  18. Polyandrous females benefit by producing sons that achieve high reproductive success in a competitive environment.

    PubMed

    Firman, Renée C

    2011-09-22

    Females of many taxa often copulate with multiple males and incite sperm competition. On the premise that males of high genetic quality are more successful in sperm competition, it has been suggested that females may benefit from polyandry by accruing 'good genes' for their offspring. Laboratory studies have shown that multiple mating can increase female fitness through enhanced embryo viability, and have exposed how polyandry influences the evolution of the ejaculate. However, such studies often do not allow for both female mate choice and male-male competition to operate simultaneously. Here, I took house mice (Mus domesticus) from selection lines that had been evolving with (polygamous) and without (monogamous) sperm competition for 16 generations and, by placing them in free-ranging enclosures for 11 weeks, forced them to compete for access to resources and mates. Parentage analyses revealed that female reproductive success was not influenced by selection history, but there was a significant paternity bias towards males from the polygamous selection lines. Therefore, I show that female house mice benefit from polyandry by producing sons that achieve increased fitness in a semi-natural environment.

  19. Individual quality, early-life conditions, and reproductive success in contrasted populations of large herbivores.

    PubMed

    Hamel, Sandra; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Côté, Steeve D

    2009-07-01

    Variations among individuals in phenotypic quality and fitness often confound analyses of life-history strategies assessed at the population level. We used detailed long-term data from three populations of large herbivores with generation times ranging from four to nine years to quantify heterogeneity in individual quality among females, and to assess its influence on mean annual reproductive success over the lifetime (MRS). We also determined how environmental conditions in early life shaped individual quality and tested A. Lomnicki's hypothesis that variance in individual quality should increase when environmental conditions deteriorate. Using multivariate analyses (PCA), we identified one (in sheep and deer) or two (in goats) covariations among life-history traits (longevity, success in the last breeding opportunity, adult mass, and social rank) as indexes of individual quality that positively influenced MRS of females. Individual quality was reduced by unfavorable weather, low resource availability, and high population density in the year of birth. Early-life conditions accounted for 35-55% of variation in individual quality. In roe deer, we found greater variance in individual quality for cohorts born under unfavorable conditions as opposed to favorable ones, but the opposite was found in bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Our results demonstrate that heterogeneity in female quality can originate from environmental conditions in early life and can markedly influence the fitness of females in species located at different positions along the slow-fast continuum of life-history strategies.

  20. 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

  1. Mutations along the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis affecting male reproduction.

    PubMed

    Huhtaniemi, Ilpo; Alevizaki, Maria

    2007-12-01

    Disorders in male reproductive function are caused by mutations of key genes at all levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary- testicular axis. They may affect the ontogeny and function of the hypothalamic centres governing gonadotrophin synthesis and secretion, the development of the anterior pituitary gland, the production of gonadotrophins and the function of their receptor genes, and finally the genes responsible for testicular hormone production and gametogenesis. This review focuses on mutations that affect the synthesis and secretion of hypothalamic gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone, as well as their testicular receptors, thus covering a selected group of genetic causes of hypo- and hypergonadotrophic male hypogonadism.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Successful and Unsuccessful Distance Language Learners: An "Affective" Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiao, Junhong

    2012-01-01

    Research on the good language learner in the conventional learning context has been high on the agenda of practitioners in the field of English as a second language/English as a foreign language since the mid-1970s. This study, however, focuses on the distance learning context with the aim of constructing an "affective" profile of the successful…

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. [Morphofunctional analysis of testes and sperm in the assessment of male reproductive success in the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus)].

    PubMed

    Mamina, V P

    2012-01-01

    The morphofunctional analysis of testes and sperms in bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber, 1780) from a natural population is carried out to assess the reproductive potential of animals. It is shown that the reproductive success of males depends on the density of the population. Under physiological stress, such as a "peak" of the population size, the animals, against a background of accelerated aging, have activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which contributes to oppression of the spermatogenesis process. The absolute weight of the testes is not always the determining factor in assessing the fertility of the animal. The informative indicators of the reproductive success of males and the population as a whole include the level of destructive changes in the endocrine and germinal regions of morphological defects of the testis and sperm.

  10. Sub-lethal increases in salinity affect reproduction in fathead minnows.

    PubMed

    Hoover, Zachary; Weisgerber, Jordan N; Pollock, Michael S; Chivers, Douglas P; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-10-01

    Salinization poses a threat to many inland aquatic ecosystems, especially in areas where natural processes are compounded by anthropogenic salinization. Though physiological survival can be a challenge for stenohaline freshwater fishes facing increasing salinity, it is important to note that essential and complex activities such as reproduction may be affected well below physiological tolerance limits. Here, we exposed fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) to four levels of salinity in order to assess any impacts on several egg production and behavioral endpoints. We found significant reductions in total eggs produced, percent fertilization, number of spawning days, clutch size, total time males spent in the nest, and duration of nest care events. Our data demonstrate that salinization can have negative effects on critical reproductive endpoints.

  11. Individual heterogeneity and offspring sex affect the growth-reproduction trade-off in a mammal with indeterminate growth.

    PubMed

    Gélin, Uriel; Wilson, Michelle E; Cripps, Jemma; Coulson, Graeme; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Reproduction can lead to a trade-off with growth, particularly when individuals reproduce before completing body growth. Kangaroos have indeterminate growth and may always face this trade-off. We combined an experimental manipulation of reproductive effort and multi-year monitoring of a large sample size of marked individuals in two populations of eastern grey kangaroos to test the predictions (1) that reproduction decreases skeletal growth and mass gain and (2) that mass loss leads to reproductive failure. We also tested if sex-allocation strategies influenced these trade-offs. Experimental reproductive suppression revealed negative effects of reproduction on mass gain and leg growth from 1 year to the next. Unmanipulated females, however, showed a positive correlation between number of days lactating and leg growth over periods of 2 years and longer, suggesting that over the long term, reproductive costs were masked by individual heterogeneity in resource acquisition. Mass gain was necessary for reproductive success the subsequent year. Although mothers of daughters generally lost more mass than females nursing sons, mothers in poor condition experienced greater mass gain and arm growth if they had daughters than if they had sons. The strong links between individual mass changes and reproduction suggest that reproductive tactics are strongly resource-dependent.

  12. Mercury and selenium concentrations in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): population comparisons, implications for reproductive success, hazard quotients and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Miller, Debra L; Garner, Jeanne; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2013-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are long-distance migrants that travel thousands of km from foraging grounds to breeding and nesting grounds. These extensive journeys are fueled by ingestion of an estimated 300-400 kg of prey/d and likely result in exposure to high concentrations of environmental toxicants (e.g., mercury compounds). Increased bodily concentrations of mercury and its compounds in nesting female turtles may have detrimental effects on reproductive success. Leatherbacks have relatively low reproductive success compared with other sea turtles (global average hatching success ~50-60%). To assess toxicants and necessary nutrients as factors affecting leatherback turtle reproductive success at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, we collected blood from nesting female leatherbacks and tissues from their hatchlings (blood from live turtles, liver and yolk sac from dead turtles). We compared the concentrations in those tissues to hatching and emergence success. We found that on SPNWR, hatching and emergence success were more closely related to seasonal factors than to total mercury and selenium concentrations in both nesting females and hatchlings. Selenium concentrations of nesting females were positively correlated with those of their hatchlings. Mercury and selenium in the liver of hatchlings were positively correlated with one another. Turtles with greater remigration intervals tended to have higher blood selenium concentrations, suggesting that selenium accumulates in leatherbacks through time. Through hazard quotients, we found evidence that selenium may be at or above concentrations that may cause physiologic harm to hatchlings. We also found evidence that population level differences exist for these trace elements. The concentrations of mercury and selenium established in this manuscript form a baseline for future toxicant studies.

  13. Mercury and selenium concentrations in leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea): population comparisons, implications for reproductive success, hazard quotients and directions for future research.

    PubMed

    Perrault, Justin R; Miller, Debra L; Garner, Jeanne; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2013-10-01

    Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are long-distance migrants that travel thousands of km from foraging grounds to breeding and nesting grounds. These extensive journeys are fueled by ingestion of an estimated 300-400 kg of prey/d and likely result in exposure to high concentrations of environmental toxicants (e.g., mercury compounds). Increased bodily concentrations of mercury and its compounds in nesting female turtles may have detrimental effects on reproductive success. Leatherbacks have relatively low reproductive success compared with other sea turtles (global average hatching success ~50-60%). To assess toxicants and necessary nutrients as factors affecting leatherback turtle reproductive success at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR), St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, we collected blood from nesting female leatherbacks and tissues from their hatchlings (blood from live turtles, liver and yolk sac from dead turtles). We compared the concentrations in those tissues to hatching and emergence success. We found that on SPNWR, hatching and emergence success were more closely related to seasonal factors than to total mercury and selenium concentrations in both nesting females and hatchlings. Selenium concentrations of nesting females were positively correlated with those of their hatchlings. Mercury and selenium in the liver of hatchlings were positively correlated with one another. Turtles with greater remigration intervals tended to have higher blood selenium concentrations, suggesting that selenium accumulates in leatherbacks through time. Through hazard quotients, we found evidence that selenium may be at or above concentrations that may cause physiologic harm to hatchlings. We also found evidence that population level differences exist for these trace elements. The concentrations of mercury and selenium established in this manuscript form a baseline for future toxicant studies. PMID:23792248

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Collaboration within the M1 aminopeptidase family promotes reproductive success in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Althoff, Mark J; Flick, Katelyn; Trzepacz, Chris

    2014-06-01

    Mutations of the puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase (Psa) orthologs of flies, mice, and plants result in meiotic errors and reduced embryonic viability. Genetic lesions of the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of Psa, pam-1, similarly result in dramatic reductions of worm fecundity. The gonads of animals harboring mutant pam-1 alleles display expanded populations of pachytene germinal nuclei and delayed nucleolar disassembly in the developing oocytes, phenotypes that ultimately hinder embryonic viability and overall brood sizes. PAM-1 is a member of the M1 aminopeptidase family and shares a high amount of homology with its M1 paralogs. Comparative analysis of the M1 aminopeptidase family reveals that only nine (including PAM-1) of the 17 annotated M1 aminopeptidases are predicted to be catalytically active. Interestingly, we demonstrate that three of these active M1 paralogs have roles independent of PAM-1 in promoting gametogenesis and fecundity. Simultaneous inhibition of pam-1 and M1 paralogs produces synergistic decreases in overall brood sizes and embryonic viability, exacerbates the germinal phenotypes of pachytene extension and delayed nucleolar disassembly, and unmasks previously hidden phenotypes. Our data suggests that the interdependent functions of multiple M1 aminopeptidases are necessary for reproductive success in C. elegans and lend further credence to the redundant composition of an evolutionarily conserved enzyme family.

  18. Male heterozygosity predicts territory size, song structure and reproductive success in a cooperatively breeding bird.

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Nathalie; Amos, William; Mulder, Raoul A.; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2004-01-01

    Recent studies of non-social animals have shown that sexually selected traits signal at least one measure of genetic quality: heterozygosity. To determine whether similar cues reveal group quality in more complex social systems, we examined the relationship between territory size, song structure and heterozygosity in the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), a group-living bird endemic to Madagascar. Using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci, we found that heterozygosity predicted both the size of territories and the structure of songs used to defend them: more heterozygous groups had larger territories, and more heterozygous males used longer, lower-pitched trills in their songs. Heterozygosity was linked to territory size and song structure in males, but not in females, implying that these traits are sexually selected by female choice and/or male-male competition. To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct evidence in any animal that territory size is related to genetic diversity. We also found a positive association between seasonal reproductive success and heterozygosity, suggesting that this heritable characteristic is a reliable indicator of group quality and fitness. Given that heterozygosity predicts song structure in males, and can therefore be determined by listening to acoustic cues, we identify a mechanism by which social animals may assess rival groups, prospective partners and group mates, information of potential importance in guiding decisions related to conflict, breeding and dispersal. PMID:15315898

  19. Thyroid function and reproductive success in rodents exposed to perchlorate via food and water.

    PubMed

    Smith, Philip N; Severt, Scott A; Jackson, J W Andrew; Anderson, Todd A

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine if exposure to perchlorate via food items would have effects on mammals similar to those caused by exposure through drinking water at approximately equivalent doses. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were used to assess the potential toxicity of perchlorate-contaminated food items. Voles and mice were divided randomly into three treatment groups--perchlorate-contaminated food (PCF), perchlorate-contaminated water (PCW), and control groups--such that each treatment group contained equal numbers of males and females. Rodents in PCF treatment groups were fed chow formulated with soybean plant matter that had been grown with perchlorate-contaminated irrigation water. Individuals in the control and PCF groups were provided distilled/deionized drinking water, whereas the PCW group received drinking water containing sodium perchlorate. Only slight differences among treatment groups were observed in a variety of endpoints, including reproductive success, tissue perchlorate concentrations, thyroid hormone concentrations, and thyroid histology. However, trends observed in the present study suggest that perchlorate exposure via water may result in slightly greater effects than exposure to perchlorate via food. These data and recent reports of perchlorate in a wide variety of food items indicate that exposure via food intake is an important consideration when examining cumulative risk among humans, livestock, and wildlife.

  20. 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

  1. Syllable Type Consistency is Related to Age, Social Status, and Reproductive Success in the Tropical Mockingbird.

    PubMed

    Botero, Carlos A; Rossman, Rachel J; Caro, Lina M; Stenzler, Laura M; Lovette, Irby J; De Kort, Selvino R; Vehrencamp, Sandra L

    2009-03-01

    Many animals repeat standardized displays multiple times while attracting a mate or deterring a rival. In such contexts it is possible that the ability to perform each display or signal type in a consistent fashion is under direct selection. Studies on sexual selection on song learning in birds have focused on differences in repertoire size with less attention to the potential importance of being able to perform each song/syllable type with high consistency. We present evidence that tropical mockingbirds decrease the variation between renditions of each syllable type as they grow older (i.e., become more consistent) and that more consistent males in this species tend to have higher dominance status and reproductive success. These findings stress the importance of consistency in the performance of sexual displays and suggest that this parameter may be very relevant even in species that are selected for high vocal diversity (i.e., large repertoires). In addition to signalling dominance status and age, we hypothesize that syllable type consistency may also be an indicator of the integrity of brain function in birds analogous to the tests used for neuropsychological assessment in humans.

  2. 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.

  3. Male heterozygosity predicts territory size, song structure and reproductive success in a cooperatively breeding bird.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie; Amos, William; Mulder, Raoul A; Tobias, Joseph A

    2004-09-01

    Recent studies of non-social animals have shown that sexually selected traits signal at least one measure of genetic quality: heterozygosity. To determine whether similar cues reveal group quality in more complex social systems, we examined the relationship between territory size, song structure and heterozygosity in the subdesert mesite (Monias benschi), a group-living bird endemic to Madagascar. Using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci, we found that heterozygosity predicted both the size of territories and the structure of songs used to defend them: more heterozygous groups had larger territories, and more heterozygous males used longer, lower-pitched trills in their songs. Heterozygosity was linked to territory size and song structure in males, but not in females, implying that these traits are sexually selected by female choice and/or male-male competition. To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct evidence in any animal that territory size is related to genetic diversity. We also found a positive association between seasonal reproductive success and heterozygosity, suggesting that this heritable characteristic is a reliable indicator of group quality and fitness. Given that heterozygosity predicts song structure in males, and can therefore be determined by listening to acoustic cues, we identify a mechanism by which social animals may assess rival groups, prospective partners and group mates, information of potential importance in guiding decisions related to conflict, breeding and dispersal.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Recent progress in plant reproduction research: the story of the male gametophyte through to successful fertilization.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Go

    2009-11-01

    Sexual reproduction is an important biological event not only for evolution but also for breeding in plants. It is a well known fact that Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was interested in the reproduction system of plants as part of his concept of 'species' and 'evolution.' His keen observation and speculation is timeless even in the current post-genome era. In the Darwin anniversary year of 2009, I have summarized recent molecular genetic studies of plant reproduction, focusing especially on male gametophyte development, pollination and fertilization. We are just beginning to understand the molecular mechanisms of the elaborate reproduction system in flowering plants, which have been a mystery for >100 years.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Group composition affects male reproductive partitioning in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Jutzeler, Eva; Bonfils, Danielle; Mitchell, Jeremy S

    2008-10-01

    Individuals within groups of cooperatively breeding species may partition reproduction, with the dominant pair often taking the largest share. The dominant's ability to reproductively control subordinates may depend on differences in competitive ability, due to, e.g. body size differences, but may also depend on the number of same-sex competitors inside the group. We tested experimentally whether subordinates reproduce more when these subordinates are large or when a second subordinate of the same sex need to be controlled by the dominants, using the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. Dominant pairs were assisted by a large and a small unrelated subordinate; sexes of these fish were varied in a full-factorial design (giving four treatments). Dominant males lost significantly more parentage to the large subordinate male when a small subordinate male was also present, compared to when a small subordinate female was present. However, subordinate paternity was generally low and did not significantly curb total dominant male reproductive output, which was more affected by the sizes and numbers of reproductive females present inside his group. Dominant female maternity, clutch sizes and total output did not depend on the treatments. Subordinate-subordinate reproduction was virtually absent (one out of 874 offspring). Female subordinates were more likely to provide care for their own broods. In contrast, male subordinates did not adjust their level of care to their parentage. Variability in female subordinate alloparental brood care was particularly high, with females showing more care than males in general. We also detected effects of growth rate and food ration on parentage independent of the treatments, most notably: (i) a trade-off between dominant male growth rate and paternity; (ii) a decrease in dominant male paternity with increasing food ration; (iii) a positive effect of growth rate on paternity in small males. We conclude that dominant males

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Characterizing the interaction between the bogus yucca moth and yuccas: do bogus yucca moths impact yucca reproductive success?

    PubMed

    Althoff, David M; Segraves, Kari A; Sparks, Jed P

    2004-07-01

    Yucca moths are most well known for their obligate pollination mutualism with yuccas, where pollinator moths provide yuccas with pollen and, in exchange, the moth larvae feed on a subset of the developing yucca seeds. The pollinators, however, comprise only two of the three genera of yucca moths. Members of the third genus, Prodoxus, are the "bogus yucca moths" and are sister to the pollinator moths. Adult Prodoxus lack the specialized mouthparts used for pollination and the larvae feed on plant tissues other than seeds. Prodoxus larvae feed within the same plants as pollinator larvae and have the potential to influence yucca reproductive success directly by drawing resources away from flowers and fruit, or indirectly by modifying the costs of the mutualism with pollinators. We examined the interaction between the scape-feeding bogus yucca moth, Prodoxus decipiens, and one of its yucca hosts, Yucca filamentosa, by comparing female reproductive success of plants with and without moth larvae. We determined reproductive success by measuring a set of common reproductive traits such as flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination. In addition, we also quantified the percent total nitrogen in the seeds to determine whether the presence of larvae could potentially reduce seed quality. Flowering characteristics, seed set, and seed germination were not significantly different between plants with and without bogus yucca moth larvae. In contrast, the percent total nitrogen content of seeds was significantly lower in plants with P. decipiens larvae, and nitrogen content was negatively correlated with the number of larvae feeding within the inflorescence scape. Surveys of percent total nitrogen at three time periods during the flowering and fruiting of Y. filamentosa also showed that larval feeding decreased the amount of nitrogen in fruit tissue. Taken together, the results suggest that although P. decipiens influences nitrogen distribution in Y. filamentosa, this

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Potential influences of climate and nest structure on spotted owl reproductive success: a biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    Rockweit, Jeremy T; Franklin, Alan B; Bakken, George S; Gutiérrez, R J

    2012-01-01

    Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (h(c)) of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests), at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of h(c) in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (~36 °C) to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ~26 °C) under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season. PMID:22859993

  4. Contaminant exposure and reproductive success of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Golden, N.H.; Hatfield, J.S.; Toschik, P.C.; Lukei, R.F.; Hale, R.C.; Schmitz-Afonso, I.; Rice, C.P.

    2004-01-01

    The Chesapeake Bay osprey population has more than doubled in size since restrictions were placed on the production and use of DDT and other toxic organochlorine contaminants in the 1970s. Ospreys are now nesting in the most highly polluted portions of the Bay. In 2000 and 2001, contaminant exposure and reproduction were monitored in ospreys nesting in regions of concern, including Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River, the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers, and the Elizabeth River, and a presumed reference site consisting of the South, West, and Rhode rivers. A 'sample egg' from each study nest was collected for contaminant analysis, and the fate of eggs remaining in each nest (n = 14-16/site) was monitored at 7- to 10-day intervals from egg incubation through fledging of young. Ospreys fledged young in regions of concern (observed success: 0.88 -1.53 fledglings/active nest), although productivity was marginal for sustaining local populations in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River and in the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers. Concentrations of p,p'DDE and many other organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, some arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and perfluorooctanesulfonate were often greater in sample eggs from regions of concern compared to the reference site. Nonetheless, logistic regression analyses did not provide evidence linking marginal productivity to p,p' -DDE, total PCBs, or arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congener exposure in regions of concern. In view of the moderate concentrations of total PCBs in eggs from the reference site, concerns related to new and emerging toxicants, and the absence of ecotoxicological data for terrestrial vertebrates in many Bay tributaries, a more thorough spatial evaluation of contaminant exposure in ospreys throughout the Chesapeake may be warranted.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Heat stress-induced limitations to reproductive success in Gossypium hirsutum.

    PubMed

    Snider, John L; Oosterhuis, Derrick M; Skulman, Briggs W; Kawakami, Eduardo M

    2009-10-01

    Using in vitro systems, numerous authors have cited the sensitivity of pollen tube growth to high temperature as a major cause of low yields for crops with valuable reproductive structures. We investigated the hypothesis that in vivo fertilization efficiency would be negatively affected by heat stress-induced changes in energy reserves and calcium-mediated oxidative status in the pistil. Gossypium hirsutum plants exposed to optimal (30/20 degrees C) or high day temperature (38/20 degrees C) conditions during flowering were analyzed for fertilization efficiency via UV microscopic observation of pollen tube-containing ovules and for soluble carbohydrates, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), calcium, antioxidant enzyme activity and NADPH oxidase (NOX; EC 1.6.3.1) activity in the pistil. Leaf measurements included gas exchange, chlorophyll content, quantum efficiency and ATP content of the subtending leaf on the day of anthesis. In the pistil fertilization efficiency, soluble carbohydrates, ATP content and NOX activity declined significantly, whereas water soluble calcium and glutathione reductase (EC 1.8.1.7) activity increased, and superoxide dismutase (EC 1.15.1.1) activity remained unchanged. In leaves, heat stress decreased photosynthesis, quantum efficiency and chlorophyll content, but increased stomatal conductance. We conclude that decreased source leaf activity either inhibits pollen development, tube growth through the style or guidance to the ovules as a result of an insufficient energy supply to the developing pistil. We further conclude that a calcium-augmented antioxidant response in heat-stressed pistils interferes with enzymatic superoxide production needed for normal pollen tube growth and fertilization of the ovule. PMID:19656331

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Organochlorine contaminant exposure and reproductive success of black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) nesting in Baltimore harbor, Maryland.

    PubMed

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

    2001-07-01

    The declining size of the Baltimore Harbor black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) colony has been hypothesized to be linked to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure. In 1998, a "sample egg" was collected from 65 black-crowned night-heron nests (each containing > or = 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 metabolities 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 postfledging survival, emigration, habitat degradation) may be responsible for the declining size of the Baltimore Harbor colony.

  16. Personality traits of pair members predict pair compatibility and reproductive success in a socially monogamous parrot breeding in captivity.

    PubMed

    Fox, Rebecca A; Millam, James R

    2014-01-01

    While pair behavioral compatibility seems to be a determinant of reproductive success in at least some species of monogamous birds, the specific factors underlying among-pair variation in behavioral compatibility remain poorly understood. However, recent research on the relationship between personality traits and reproductive success in several species of socially monogamous birds suggests that the fit between mates' personality traits might play a role in determining behavioral compatibility. To test this hypothesis, we used ten pairs formed by free choice from a captive population of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) to investigate whether personality ratings could be used to predict pair compatibility and reproductive success in pairs breeding for the first time. We found that pairs that ultimately hatched eggs paired disassortatively for agreeableness (an aggregate measure of social style which measures birds' tendency to be aggressive vs. gentle, submissive, and tolerant of others' behavior), and, as predicted, showed lower intrapair aggression and better coordination during incubation. Conversely, unsuccessful pairs paired assortatively for agreeableness, showed higher levels of intrapair aggression, and showed poorer coordination during incubation. Our results suggest that personality measurements may provide a useful adjunct to other information currently used in selecting mates for birds breeding in captivity.

  17. 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

  18. The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success?

    PubMed

    Lyubomirsky, Sonja; King, Laura; Diener, Ed

    2005-11-01

    Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The authors suggest a conceptual model to account for these findings, arguing that the happiness-success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. Three classes of evidence--crosssectional, longitudinal, and experimental--are documented to test their model. Relevant studies are described and their effect sizes combined meta-analytically. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect--the hallmark of well-being--may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness. Limitations, empirical issues, and important future research questions are discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. Life-cycle exposure to the estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone affects zebrafish (Danio rerio) development and reproduction.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Patrick; Bucheli, Thomas D; Wettstein, Felix E; Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia

    2013-05-01

    Zearalenone (ZON) is one of the worldwide most common mycotoxin and exhibits estrogenic activity in the range of natural steroid estrogens. The occurrence of ZON has been reported in soil, drainage water, wastewater effluents, and rivers, but its ecotoxicological effects on fish have hardly been investigated. The consequences of continuous long-term ZON exposure, including a subsequent depuration period, as well as transgenerational effects of F0 short-term exposure on F1 generation were investigated. Effects on growth, reproduction activity, physiology, and morphology of zebrafish (Danio rerio) were examined in a 182 day live-cycle experiment. Life-long exposure to ZON for 140 days increased wet weight, body length, and condition factor of female fish at 1000 ng/L, and sex ratio was shifted toward female from 320 ng/L ZON. Only females at 1000 ng/L ZON revealed a 1.5-fold induction of plasma vitellogenin (VTG). Relative fecundity at 1000 ng/L recovered significantly during the depuration period. An increased condition factor in adult female F1 fish implies that exposure of F0 generation to 1000 ng/L ZON affected growth of F1 generation. A negative correlation between relative fecundity in the F1 generation (all groups exposed to 320 ng/L ZON) and the nominal ZON concentrations of the F0 exposure might indicate an influence of F0 exposure on reproductive performance of F1 generation. No exposure scenario affected fertility, hatch, embryo survival, and gonad morphology of zebrafish. Evaluating the environmental relevance of this data, the risk for fish to be harmed by exposure to ZON solely seems rather marginal, but ZON might contribute to the overall estrogenicity in the environment. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 2013.

  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Balaresque, Patricia; Poulet, Nicolas; Cussat-Blanc, Sylvain; Gerard, Patrice; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Heyer, Evelyne; Jobling, Mark A

    2015-10-01

    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 whether additional lineage expansions could be identified. Based on the most frequent eight-microsatellite haplotypes, we objectively defined 11 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

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

    PubMed

    Balaresque, Patricia; Poulet, Nicolas; Cussat-Blanc, Sylvain; Gerard, Patrice; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Heyer, Evelyne; Jobling, Mark A

    2015-10-01

    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 whether additional lineage expansions could be identified. Based on the most frequent eight-microsatellite haplotypes, we objectively defined 11 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Balaresque, Patricia; Poulet, Nicolas; Cussat-Blanc, Sylvain; Gerard, Patrice; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Heyer, Evelyne; Jobling, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    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 whether additional lineage expansions could be identified. Based on the most frequent eight-microsatellite haplotypes, we objectively defined 11 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

  10. 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

  11. Redeeming qualities: exploring factors that affect women’s use of reproductive health vouchers in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background One approach to delivering healthcare in developing countries is through voucher programs, where vouchers are distributed to a specific population for free or subsidized health care. Recent evaluations suggest that vouchers have the potential to extend coverage of priority health services to the poor in developing countries. In Cambodia, a reproductive health voucher program was implemented in January 2011. This study aims to explore women’s early experiences accessing health services with their vouchers at accredited clinics. Methods This qualitative exploratory study used focus group methodology to gather information from five groups of older (>25 years) and four groups of younger (18–25 years) women who were eligible for the voucher program in three rural provinces. Focus groups were digitally recorded, transcribed and translated from Khmer into English. Data analysis was an iterative process, which comprised of open coding to find commonalities that reflected categories or themes and axial coding to relate initial themes to each other. Next, a basic framework for analysis was formed by integrating the themes into the framework. Results Two overarching themes were identified in the data: 1) factors that facilitate voucher use and 2) factors that inhibit voucher use. Within each of these themes, three subthemes were identified: 1) pre-existing factors, 2) distribution factors, and 3) redemption factors. Overall, women expressed positive feelings towards the voucher program, while several areas for program improvement were identified including the importance of addressing pre-existing demand-side barriers to using reproductive health services, the need for more comprehensive counselling during voucher distribution, and the persistent cost of unofficial payments expected by midwives after delivery irrespective of voucher use. Conclusions Early information from program beneficiaries can lead to timely and responsive changes that can help to maximize

  12. 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

  13. Nest success and reproductive ecology of the Texas Botteri’s Sparrow (Peucaea botterii texana) in exotic and native grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Katherine S.; McCarthy, Erin M.; Woodin, Marc C.; Withers, Kim

    2013-01-01

    Very little information is available for Peucaea botterii texana (Texas Botteri’s Sparrow) and nothing is known about its nesting ecology, in part due to its cryptic behavior and nesting strategies. Our goal was to examine the nesting ecology of Texas Botteri’s Sparrows and compare reproductive success between exotic and native grass- lands. We searched for and monitored nests in 2004 and 2005 on the King Ranch in southern Texas. We found no relationship in reproductive effort, nest characteristics, and plant species richness around the nest between grassland types. Vegetation surrounding Texas Botteri's Sparrow nests was significantly taller and denser in native grasslands than in exotic grasslands. Further research on nesting ecology for the Texas Botteri’s Sparrow is necessary to determine its habitat needs and its role as an indicator of grassland quality.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. Food restriction negatively affects multiple levels of the reproductive axis in male house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus.

    PubMed

    Valle, Shelley; Carpentier, Elodie; Vu, Bethany; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi; Deviche, Pierre

    2015-09-01

    Nutrition influences reproductive functions across vertebrates, but the effects of food availability on the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in wild birds and the mechanisms mediating these effects remain unclear. We investigated the influence of chronic food restriction on the HPG axis of photostimulated house finches, Haemorhous mexicanus. Food-restricted birds had underdeveloped testes with smaller seminiferous tubules than ad libitum-fed birds. Baseline plasma testosterone increased in response to photostimulation in ad libitum-fed but not in food-restricted birds. Food availability did not, however, affect the plasma testosterone increase resulting from a gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH) or a luteinizing hormone (LH) challenge. The number of hypothalamic GnRH immunoreactive (ir) but not proGnRH-ir perikarya was higher in food-restricted than in ad libitum-fed finches, suggesting inhibited secretion of GnRH. Hypothalamic gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH)-ir and neuropeptide Y (NPY)-ir were not affected by food availability. Plasma corticosterone (CORT) was also not affected by food availability, indicating that the observed HPG axis inhibition did not result from increased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This study is among the first to examine multilevel functional changes in the HPG axis in response to food restriction in a wild bird. The results indicate that food availability affects both hypothalamic and gonadal function, but further investigations are needed to clarify the mechanisms by which nutritional signals mediate these effects.

  19. Developmental exposure of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to 17α-ethinylestradiol affects non-reproductive behavior and fertility as adults, and increases anxiety in unexposed progeny.

    PubMed

    Volkova, Kristina; Reyhanian Caspillo, Nasim; Porseryd, Tove; Hallgren, Stefan; Dinnétz, Patrik; Porsch-Hällström, Inger

    2015-07-01

    Exposure to estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EDCs) during development affects fertility, reproductive and non-reproductive behavior in mammals and fish. These effects can also be transferred to coming generations. In fish, the effects of developmental EDC exposure on non-reproductive behavior are less well studied. Here, we analyze the effects of 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on anxiety, shoaling behavior and fertility in zebrafish after developmental treatment and remediation in clean water until adulthood. Zebrafish embryos were exposed from day 1 to day 80 post fertilization to actual concentrations of 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2. After remediation for 82days non-reproductive behavior and fertilization success were analyzed in both sexes. Males and females from the 1.2ng/L group, as well as control males and females, were bred, and behavior of the untreated F1 offspring was tested as adults. Developmental treatment with 1.2 and 1.6ng/L EE2 significantly increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased shoaling intensity in both sexes. Fertilization success was significantly reduced by EE2 in both sexes when mated with untreated fish of opposite sex. Progeny of fish treated with 1.2ng/L EE2 showed increased anxiety in the novel tank test and increased light avoidance in the scototaxis test compared to control offspring. In conclusion, developmental exposure of zebrafish to low doses of EE2 resulted in persistent changes in behavior and fertility. The behavior of unexposed progeny was affected by their parents' exposure, which might suggest transgenerational effects. PMID:26072466

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Factors Affecting Hatch Success of Hawksbill Sea Turtles on Long Island, Antigua, West Indies

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. High Corticosterone, Not High Energy Cost, Correlates with Reproductive Success in the Burrow-Nesting Ancient Murrelet

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Akiko; Elliott, Kyle H.; O’Reilly, Kathleen M.; Gaston, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Theory and observations suggest that offspring abandonment in animals may occur when the costs to future reproductive output of current reproductive effort outweigh the fitness benefits of rearing the current brood. While hormonal cues (i.e. corticosterone) or energy reserves are believed to be involved, few studies have directly focused on the proximate cues influencing behaviours directly related to reproductive success. To address this information gap, we determined the incubation metabolic rates and corticosterone (CORT) levels of naturally fasting and freely incubating ancient murrelets (Synthliboramphus antiquus). Respiratory quotient (RQ) increased with date, suggesting that incubating ancient murrelets shifted from strictly lipid-based metabolism towards more protein-based metabolism as incubation progressed. Birds that hatched only one nestling had higher levels of circulating CORT than those which hatched two, suggesting that birds which laid only a single egg found incubation more stressful than those which laid two. However, CORT levels and incubation shift lengths were not correlated, suggesting that birds that undertook prolonged incubation shifts did so only when their energy stores were not jeopardized. PMID:24391929

  11. 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.