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Sample records for age-specific reproductive success

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Contrasted patterns of age-specific reproduction in long-lived seabirds.

    PubMed

    Berman, M; Gaillard, J-M; Weimerskirch, H

    2009-01-22

    While the number of studies providing evidence of actuarial senescence is increasing, and covers a wide range of taxa, the process of reproductive senescence remains poorly understood. In fact, quite high reproductive output until the last years of life has been reported in several vertebrate species, so that whether or not reproductive senescence is widespread remains unknown. We compared age-specific changes of reproductive parameters between two closely related species of long-lived seabirds: the small-sized snow petrel Pagodroma nivea, and the medium-sized southern fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides. Both are sympatric in Antarctica. We used an exceptional dataset collected over more than 40 years to assess age-specific variations of both breeding probability and breeding success. We found contrasted age-specific reproductive patterns between the two species. Reproductive senescence clearly occurred from 21 years of age onwards in the southern fulmar, in both breeding probability and success, whereas we did not report any decline in the breeding success of the snow petrel, although a very late decrease in the proportion of breeders occurred at 34 years. Such a contrasted age-specific reproductive pattern was rather unexpected. Differences in life history including size or migratory behaviour are the most likely candidates to account for the difference we reported in reproductive senescence between these sympatric seabird species. PMID:18832060

  3. A longitudinal study of age-specific reproductive output and body condition among male rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta.

    PubMed

    Bercovitch, Fred B; Widdig, Anja; Trefilov, Andrea; Kessler, Matt J; Berard, John D; Schmidtke, Jörg; Nürnberg, Peter; Krawczak, Michael

    2003-07-01

    In many mammalian species, male reproductive success appears to climb sharply at young adulthood, form a brief plateau during prime ages, and decline among older animals, a pattern often attributed to reduced physical condition with ageing. However, solid evidence to either substantiate or refute this profile among nonhuman primates is lacking. Here, we combine a decade of genetic analysis of paternity among free-ranging rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta, with information about body condition in order to evaluate how changes in morphology might govern age-specific reproduction among males. We show that age-specific reproductive success traverses the same life history profile as found in other mammals, but reductions in reproductive output with advanced age were associated with reduced chances of survivorship rather than accompanied by diminished body condition. We demonstrate that variance in male age at onset of reproduction is three times greater than variance in female age at onset of reproduction. We provide the first evidence from primates that age-specific reproductive output among males is not a consequence of age-related changes in body condition, but reflects social and demographic factors. PMID:12883773

  4. Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from south-central Alaska: analysis of reproductive tracts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, J.; Mulcahy, D.; Lensink, C.

    1993-01-01

    We estimated age at sexual maturity and age-specific reproductive rates by examining carcasses and reproductive tracts from 177 female sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Carcasses were recovered from south-central Alaska, Primarily from western Prince William Sound, as a result of the T/V Exxon Valdez oit spill in 1989. We found 65% of our sample to be sexually mature. Sexual maturity was first attained at age 2. The proportion of sexually mature animals increased from 30% at age 2 to 100% at age 5. Annual reproductive rates increased from 22% at age 2 to 78% at age 5 and remained relatively stable (75-88%) through to age 15. the sex ratio (female:male) of 49 fetal sea otters was 18:37 and differed significantly from parity. Females younger than 8 tended to produce more female fetuses, while older mothers did not. Our estimates of the reproductive characteristics of female sea otters obtained by examination of reproductive tracts wre similiar to those reported in the literature based on in situ observations of marked individuals.

  5. Age-specific cost of first reproduction in female southern elephant seals.

    PubMed

    Desprez, Marine; Harcourt, Robert; Hindell, Mark A; Cubaynes, Sarah; Gimenez, Olivier; McMahon, Clive R

    2014-05-01

    When to commence breeding is a crucial life-history decision that may be the most important determinant of an individual's lifetime reproductive output and can have major consequences on population dynamics. The age at which individuals first reproduce is an important factor influencing the intensity of potential costs (e.g. reduced survival) involved in the first breeding event. However, quantifying age-related variation in the cost of first reproduction in wild animals remains challenging because of the difficulty in reliably recording the first breeding event. Here, using a multi-event capture-recapture model that accounts for both imperfect detection and uncertainty in the breeding status on an 18-year dataset involving 6637 individuals, we estimated age and state-specific survival of female elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in the declining Macquarie Island population. We detected a clear cost of first reproduction on survival. This cost was higher for both younger first-time breeders and older first-time breeders compared with females recruiting at age four, the overall mean age at first reproduction. Neither earlier primiparity nor delaying primiparity appear to confer any evolutionary advantage, rather the optimal strategy seems to be to start breeding at a single age, 4 years. PMID:24872464

  6. 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

  7. Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (`enhydra lutris`) from southcentral Alaska: Analysis of reproductive tracts. Marine mammal study 6-4. Exxon Valdez oil spill state/federal natural resource damage assessment final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bodkin, J.L.; Mulcahy, D.M.; Lensink, C.J.

    1996-06-01

    We estimated age of sexual maturity and age-specific reproductive rates by examining carcasses and reproductive tracts from 177 female sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Carcasses were recovered from southcentral Alaska, primarily western Prince William Sound, following the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Our estimates of the reproductive characteristics of female sea otters obtained by examination of reproductive tracts were similar to those in the literature based on in situ observations of marked individuals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Reproductive success of Potomac River ospreys--1970

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1971-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peters, Kathleen; Jackson, Debra; Rudge, Trudy

    2007-06-01

    This paper scrutinises the many ways in which 'success' is portrayed in representing assisted reproductive technology (ART) services and illuminates how these definitions differ from those held by participant couples. A qualitative approach informed by feminist perspectives guided this study and aimed to problematise the concept of 'success' by examining literature from ART clinics, government reports on ART, and by analysing narratives of couples who have accessed ART services. As many ART services have varying definitions of 'success' and as statistics are manipulated to promote further patronage of ART services, the likelihood of 'success' is often overstated. This paper is concerned with the effects this promotion has on the participants. We suggest that this very mobilisation of statistical success changes the ability of those who access ART services to make productive decisions about themselves inside these treatment regimes, as the basis for decision-making is hidden by the way numbers, objectivity and clinical reasoning operate to maintain participation in the program. In such an operation, the powerful mix of hope and technology kept participants enrolled far longer than they originally planned. Moreover, how success rates are manipulated raises ethical issues for all involved: clients, counsellors, and nursing and medical professionals. PMID:17518824

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Evolution of male age-specific reproduction under differential risks and causes of death: males pay the cost of high female fitness.

    PubMed

    Chen, H-Y; Spagopoulou, F; Maklakov, A A

    2016-04-01

    Classic theories of ageing evolution predict that increased extrinsic mortality due to an environmental hazard selects for increased early reproduction, rapid ageing and short intrinsic lifespan. Conversely, emerging theory maintains that when ageing increases susceptibility to an environmental hazard, increased mortality due to this hazard can select against ageing in physiological condition and prolong intrinsic lifespan. However, evolution of slow ageing under high-condition-dependent mortality is expected to result from reallocation of resources to different traits and such reallocation may be hampered by sex-specific trade-offs. Because same life-history trait values often have different fitness consequences in males and females, sexually antagonistic selection can preserve genetic variance for lifespan and ageing. We previously showed that increased condition-dependent mortality caused by heat shock leads to evolution of long-life, decelerated late-life mortality in both sexes and increased female fecundity in the nematode, Caenorhabditis remanei. Here, we used these cryopreserved lines to show that males evolving under heat shock suffered from reduced early-life and net reproduction, while mortality rate had no effect. Our results suggest that heat-shock resistance and associated long-life trade-off with male, but not female, reproduction and therefore sexually antagonistic selection contributes to maintenance of genetic variation for lifespan and fitness in this population. PMID:26801472

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-22

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

  15. Photosynthesis in Relation to Reproductive Success of Cypripedium flavum

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims Cypripedium flavum is a rare, endemic alpine slipper orchid of China, which is under threat from excessive collection and habitat changes. Conservation and re-introduction of C. flavum is restricted by lack of knowledge of the plant's photosynthesis and how that affects reproductive success. The hypothesis is tested that reproductive success is determined by photosynthetic production. • Methods To understand the photosynthetic characteristics and adaptation of C. flavum to alpine environments, and the relation to reproductive success, measurements were made at four field sites with varying degrees of forest cover in the Hengduan Mountains, south-west China. • Key Results Both photosynthetic capacity and reproductive traits of C. flavum are affected by light availability. Photosynthetic rate (A) is greatest around noon, following the pattern of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at all sites. Cypripedium flavum has highest daily mean photosynthetic rate (Adaily) and light-saturated photosynthetic rate (Amax) under a half to a third of full sunlight. High radiation decreased A. However, the optimum temperature for photosynthesis was similar (18–20 °C) at all sites. • Conclusions The quotient of daily mean photosynthetic rate to light saturated photosynthesis (Adaily/Amax) is positively correlated with the ramet number m−2 and percentage of fruiting of C. flavum. The Adaily/Amax ratio is a useful proxy for evaluating reproductive success of C. flavum. PMID:15829510

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Physiological mechanisms mediating carryover effects, wherein events or activities occurring in one season, habitat, or life-history stage affect important processes in subsequent life-history stages, are largely unknown. The mechanism most commonly invoked to explain carryover effects from migration centres on the acquisition and utilization of resources (e.g. body mass, or individual 'condition'). However, other mechanisms are plausible, e.g. trade-offs reflecting conflict or incompatibility between physiological regulatory systems required for different activities or life-history stages (migration vs. reproduction). Here we show that in female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) the decision to reproduce or to defer reproduction, made prior to their arrival at breeding colonies after long-distance migration, is associated with condition-related (body mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations) and hormonal (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen-dependent yolk precursors) traits. In contrast, reproductive success showed little association with condition but showed significant associations with the steroidogenic processes underlying follicle development. Specifically, success was determined by reproductive readiness via differences in steroid hormones and hormone-dependent traits. Successful albatrosses were characterized by high progesterone and high estradiol-dependent yolk precursor levels, whereas failed albatrosses had high testosterone and low yolk precursor levels. Results are discussed with reference to migratory carryover effects and how these can differentially affect the physiologies influencing reproductive decisions and reproductive success. PMID:22285395

  17. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Haemoproteus infected birds have increased lifetime reproductive success.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  1. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Reproductive success of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) maintained ex situ is poor. As part of an effort to identify potential causes of poor reproductive success in a captive colony, we used non-invasive endocrine monitoring to assess gonadal and adrenal steroids of bird pairs with various reproductive outcomes and evaluated the relationships of hormones and behaviors to reproductive performance. Overall, reproductively successful (i.e., egg laying) females had significantly higher mean estrogen levels but lower mean progestogen concentrations than did unsuccessful females. Other hormones, including glucocorticoids and androgens, were not significantly different between successful and unsuccessful individuals. Observations of specific behaviors such as unison calling, marching, and the number of copulation attempts, along with overall time spent performing reproductive behaviors, were significantly higher in successful pairs. Our findings indicate that overall reproductive performance of whooping crane pairs is linked to female gonadal hormone excretion and reproductive behaviors, but not to altered adrenal hormone production. PMID:27080552

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-04-01

    While reproduction of wild birds is adversely affected by multiple environmental contaminants, we determined that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alone alter reproduction. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius), fed PCB-spiked (Aroclor 1248:1254:1260) food (7 mg/kg body weight/d) prior to and during the first breeding season only (100 d) laid eggs with environmentally relevant levels of total PCBs (34.0 microg/g whole egg wet wt vs 0 microg/g for controls). Reproduction changed during, not after, PCB exposure in this two-year study. The PCB-exposed pairs laid smaller clutches later in the season and laid more totally infertile clutches. Hatching success was reduced in PCB-exposed pairs, and 50% of PCB nestlings died within 3 d of hatching. Nearly 60% of PCB-exposed pairs with hatchlings failed to produce fledglings. Higher levels of total PCB residues and congeners were associated with later clutch initiation and fewer fertile eggs, hatchlings, and fledglings. We suggest that nonpersistent PCB congeners have a greater influence on reproduction than do persistent congeners. PMID:11345453

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Reproductive success in wild and hatchery male coho salmon

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mace, R

    1996-02-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Bridge, Eli S; Kelly, Jeffrey F

    2013-08-01

    Belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) are predators in many North American aquatic ecosystems; as such, they are prone to bioaccumulation of certain environmental contaminants. In 2002 and 2004, kingfisher eggs collected near the upper Hudson River in New York had elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the kingfisher population in this area was reported to be at risk because of PCB exposure. From 2007 to 2009, the authors monitored 69 kingfisher nests on the Hudson River to track both nest success and survival of individual nestlings. The study site consisted of 2 adjacent sections of the Hudson River, 1 upstream and 1 downstream of a historic PCB source. The authors compared models of nest success that differentially incorporated the following 4 variables that they deemed most likely to affect reproductive output: 1) river section (upstream vs downstream of PCB source), 2) year, 3) hatch date, and 4) abandonment by 1 parent. After ranking models according to Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes, it was clear that parental abandonment was the most important of the factors examined. River section was not an important parameter, and overall nesting success was slightly higher in the PCB-contaminated section than in the upstream area. These findings support the conclusion that kingfisher productivity is not adversely impacted by PCB contamination in the upper Hudson River. PMID:23633435

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-08-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists. PMID:23124333

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Using 30 years of demographic data from 15 groups, this study estimates how harem size, female fertility, and offspring survival may contribute to variance in the siring rates of dominant male mountain gorillas throughout the Virunga Volcano Region. As predicted for polygynous species, differences in harem size were the greatest source of variance in the siring rate, whereas differences in female fertility and offspring survival were relatively minor. Harem size was positively correlated with offspring survival, even after removing all known and suspected cases of infanticide, so the correlation does not seem to reflect differences in the ability of males to protect their offspring. Harem size was not significantly correlated with female fertility, which is consistent with the hypothesis that mountain gorillas have minimal feeding competition. Harem size, offspring survival, and siring rates were not significantly correlated with the proportion of dominant tenures that occurred in multimale groups versus one-male groups; even though infanticide is less likely when those tenures end in multimale groups than one-male groups. In contrast with the relatively small contribution of offspring survival to variance in the siring rates of this study, offspring survival is a major source of variance in the male reproductive success of western gorillas, which have greater predation risks and significantly higher rates of infanticide. If differences in offspring protection are less important among male mountain gorillas than western gorillas, then the relative importance of other factors may be greater for mountain gorillas. Thus, our study illustrates how variance in male reproductive success and its components can differ between closely related species. PMID:24818867

  10. Genetic benefits enhance the reproductive success of polyandrous females

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  11. Seminal fluid protein allocation and male reproductive success.

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-12

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Janicke, Tim; Chapuis, Elodie

    2016-02-01

    Sexually selected traits are predicted to show condition dependence by capturing the genetic quality of its bearer. In separate-sexed organisms, this will ultimately translate into condition dependence of reproductive success of the sex that experiences sexual selection, which is typically the male. Such condition dependence of reproductive success is predicted to be higher in males than females under conditions promoting intense sexual selection. For simultaneous hermaphrodites, however, sex allocation theory predicts that individuals in poor condition channel relatively more resources into the male sex function at the expense of the female function. Thus, male reproductive success is expected to be less condition dependent than female reproductive success. We subjected individuals of the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Physa acuta to two feeding treatments to test for condition dependence of male and female reproductive success under varying levels of male-male competition. Condition dependence was found for female, but not for male, reproductive success, meaning that selection on condition is relatively stronger through the female sex function. This effect was consistent over both male-male competition treatments. Decomposition of male and female reproductive performance revealed that individuals in poor condition copulated more in their male role, indicating an increased male allocation to mate acquisition. These findings suggest that sex-specific condition dependence of reproductive success is at least partially driven by condition-dependent sex allocation. We discuss the implications of condition-dependent sex allocation for the evolution of sexually selected traits in simultaneous hermaphrodites. PMID:26865970

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Acoustic signals are sexual ornaments with an established role on mate choice in several taxa, but not in fish. Recent studies have suggested that fish vocal activity may signal male quality and influence male's reproductive success but experimental evidence is lacking. Here we made two experiments to test the hypothesis that vocal activity is essential for male breeding success in a highly vocal fish, the Lusitanian toadfish. We first compared the reproduction success between muted and vocal males. In a second experiment we related male reproduction success with acoustic activity and male quality, including biometric, condition and physiological features. As a proxy for reproductive success we tallied both total number and number of sired eggs, which were correlated. Muting experiments showed that successful mating was dependent on vocalizing. In addition, the number of eggs was positively associated with the male's maximum calling rate. In the second experiment male's reproductive success was positively associated with male condition and negatively related with circulating androgen levels and relative gonad mass, but was not associated with vocal activity. Differences in results may be related with nest design which could have influenced mate choice costs and intra-sexual competition. In the muting experiment nests had a small opening that restrained the large nest-holder but allowed smaller fish, such as females, to pass while in the second experiment fish could move freely. These experiments suggest that a combination of factors, including vocal activity, influence reproductive success in this highly vocal species. PMID:26656765

  3. Shrub spatial aggregation and consequences for reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Tirado, Reyes; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2003-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brunet, Johanne; Holmquist, Karsten G A

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Sexually deceptive orchids mimic signals emitted by female insects in order to attract mate-searching males. Specific attraction of the targeted pollinator is achieved by sex pheromone mimicry, which constitutes the major attraction channel. In close vicinity of the flower, visual signals may enhance attraction, as was shown recently in the sexually deceptive orchid Ophrys heldreichii. Here, we conducted an in situ manipulation experiment in two populations of O. heldreichii on Crete to investigate whether the presence/absence of the conspicuous pink perianth affects reproductive success in two natural orchid populations. We estimated reproductive success of three treatment groups (with intact, removed and artificial perianth) throughout the flowering period as pollinaria removal (male reproductive success) and massulae deposition (female reproductive success). Reproductive success was significantly increased by the presence of a strong visual signal—the conspicuous perianth—in one study population, however, not in the second, most likely due to the low pollinator abundance in the latter population. This study provides further evidence that the coloured perianth in O. heldreichii is adaptive and thus adds to the olfactory signal to maximise pollinator attraction and reproductive success. PMID:23750181

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Levitan, Don R

    2005-11-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Casarini, Livio; Santi, Daniele; Marino, Marco

    2015-12-01

    Gonadotropins and their receptors' genes carry several single-nucleotide polymorphisms resulting in endocrine genotypes modulating reproductive parameters, diseases, and lifespan leading to important implications for reproductive success and potential relevance during human evolution. Here we illustrate common genotypes of the gonadotropins and gonadotropin receptors' genes and their clinical implications in phenotypes relevant for reproduction such as ovarian cycle length, age of menopause, testosterone levels, polycystic ovary syndrome, and cancer. We then discuss their possible role in human reproduction and adaptation to the environment. Gonadotropins and their receptors' variants are differently distributed among human populations. Some hints suggest that they may be the result of natural selection that occurred in ancient times, increasing the individual chance of successful mating, pregnancy, and effective post-natal parental cares. The gender-related differences in the regulation of the reproductive endocrine systems imply that many of these genotypes may lead to sex-dependent effects, increasing the chance of mating and reproductive success in one sex at the expenses of the other sex. Also, we suggest that sexual conflicts within the FSH and LH-choriogonadotropin receptor genes contributed to maintain genotypes linked to subfertility among humans. Because the distribution of polymorphic markers results in a defined geographical pattern due to human migrations rather than natural selection, these polymorphisms may have had only a weak impact on reproductive success. On the contrary, such genotypes could acquire relevant consequences in the modern, developed societies in which parenthood attempts often occur at a later age, during a short, suboptimal reproductive window, making clinical fertility treatments necessary. PMID:26370242

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Replete vitamin D stores predict reproductive success following IVF

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians are currently experiencing the most severe declines in biodiversity of any vertebrate, and their requirements for successful reproduction are poorly understood. Here, we show that supplementing the diet of prey items (fruit flies) with carotenoids has strong positive effects on the reproduction of captive strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio), substantially increasing the number of metamorphs produced by pairs. This improved reproduction most likely arose via increases in the quality of both the fertilized eggs from which tadpoles develop and trophic eggs that are fed to tadpoles by mothers. Frogs in this colony had previously been diagnosed with a Vitamin A deficiency, and this supplementation may have resolved this issue. These results support growing evidence of the importance of carotenoids in vertebrate reproduction and highlight the nuanced ways in which nutrition constrains captive populations. PMID:24151130

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cords, Marina

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Age-specific migration and regional diversity.

    PubMed

    Morrill, R

    1994-11-01

    "This author examines patterns of age-specific migration between 1980 and 1990 for a small, growing region, the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., with the purpose of assessing the degree of geographic diversity in experience. A simple typology of the expected spatial and structural pattern of age-specific migration is proposed. Cluster analysis is used to group counties on the basis of age-specific rates of net migration. Even this fairly small region is found to exemplify most of the patterns that might be expected to occur in the nation as a whole." PMID:12288335

  11. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

    Sear, Rebecca

    2006-12-01

    In Western societies, height is positively correlated with reproductive success (RS) for men but negatively correlated with RS for women. These relationships have been attributed to sexual selection: women prefer tall men, and men prefer short women. It is this success in the marriage market which leads to higher RS for tall men and short women. We have already shown that the relationship between height and RS for women is quite different in a non-Western context. In a subsistence farming community in rural Gambia, height is positively correlated with reproductive success for women, largely owing to the higher survival of the children of tall women. Here, the relationship between height and reproductive success is analyzed for men in the same community. For these Gambian men, there is no significant relationship between height and the number of children they produce, although tall men do contract more marriages than shorter men. We conclude that environmental context needs to be taken into account when analyzing human reproductive behavior. PMID:26181610

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Griffen, Blaine D; Norelli, Alexandra P

    2015-01-01

    Variation in habitat quality is common across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats. We investigated how habitat quality influenced the reproductive potential of mud crabs across 30 oyster reefs that were degraded to different extents. We further coupled this field survey with a laboratory experiment designed to mechanistically determine the relationship between resource consumption and reproductive performance. We show a >10-fold difference in average reproductive potential for crabs across reefs of different quality. Calculated consumption rates for crabs in each reef, based on a type II functional response, suggest that differences in reproductive performance may be attributed to resource limitation in poor quality reefs. This conclusion is supported by results of our laboratory experiment where crabs fed a higher quality diet of abundant animal tissue had greater reproductive performance. Our results demonstrate that spatial variation in habitat quality can be a considerable contributor to within-population individual variation in reproductive success (i.e., demographic heterogeneity). This finding has important implications for assessing population extinction risk. PMID:25897386

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    Reproductive and oxidative stress biomarkers have been recommended as tools to assess the health of aquatic organisms. Though validated in the laboratory, there are few studies that tie a change in gene expression to adverse reproductive or population outcomes in the field. This paper looked at 17 streams with varying degrees of urbanization to assess the use of biomarkers associated with reproduction or stress in predicting reproductive success of fathead minnows. In addition, the relationship between biomarkers and water quality measures in streams with varying degrees of urbanization was examined. Liver vitellogenin mRNA was correlated with reproduction within a period of 11d prior to sampling irrespective of habitat, but its correlation with egg output declined at 12d and beyond indicating its usefulness as a short-term biomarker but its limits as a biomarker of total reproductive output. Stress biomarkers such as glutathione S-transferase may be better correlated with factors affecting reproduction over a longer term. There was a significant correlation between GST mRNA and a variety of anthropogenic pollutants. There was also an inverse correlation between glutathione S-transferase and the amount of the watershed designated as wetland. Egg production over the 21-d was negatively correlated with the amount of urbanization and positively correlated to wetland habitats. This study supports the development of multiple biomarkers linking oxidative stress and other non-reproductive endpoints to changes in aquatic habitats will be useful for predicting the health of fish populations and identifying the environmental factors that may need mitigation for sustainable population management. PMID:21147497

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    Numbers of wild Tasmanian devils are declining as a result of the fatal, transmissible Devil Facial Tumor Disease. A captive insurance population program has been initiated but current captive breeding rates are sub-optimal and therefore the goal of this project was to increase our understanding of the estrous cycle of the devil and elucidate potential causes of failed male-female pairings. Temporal patterns of fecal progestagen and corticosterone metabolite concentrations were examined for females (n=41) in three categories of reproductive status (successful: viable young, n=20 estrous cycles; unsuccessful: paired with a male but no young confirmed, n=44 estrous cycles; non-mated: no access to a male during estrus, n=8 estrous cycles) but substantial differences were not found. Females were more likely to produce pouch young if pairing with the male extended into late proestrus (P<0.05), thereby decreasing the time between pairing and presumed ovulation. The interval between the end of proestrous elevation in progestagen metabolite concentrations and the beginning of the luteal phase was 7.6±2.3 days in successful females. The length of the luteal phase in successful females was 12.5±1.4 days which was not different from unsuccessful or non-mated females (P>0.05). Unsuccessful females had 1-3 estrous cycles within a single year. Successful females were predominantly wild-caught (17/19, 90%) and most produced young following the first estrous cycle of the season (18/20, 90%). Unsuccessful females were predominantly captive born (20/27, 74%) in this study. It is possible that a proportion of females that do not produce pouch young achieve conception but the timing of reproductive failure continues to be elusive in this species. PMID:22306283

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

    PubMed

    D'Amato, F R

    1988-06-01

    Differences in reproduction as well as in behavior in the presence of females were evaluated according to dominant and subordinate male rank in albino mice, in the temporary absence of each male's antagonist. Dominant males reproduced more successfully than subordinate males. Subordinate males were generally inactive, except for displacement activities, during the first 15 min they were exposed to female partners. These findings suggest that mechanisms other than male-male interference or mating order may be operating or influencing behavior and reproductive results. PMID:3396312

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    In tundra areas where the growing season is short, any delay in the start of summer may have a considerable effect on plant development, growth and reproductive success. Climate models suggest long-term changes in winter precipitation in the Arctic, which may lead to deeper snow cover and a resultant delay in date of snow melt. In this paper, we investigated the role of snow depth and melt out date on the phenological development and reproductive success of vascular plants in Adventdalen, Svalbard (78° 10'N, 16° 06'E). Effects of natural variations in snow accumulation were demonstrated using two vegetation types (snow depth: meadow 21 cm, heath 32 cm), and fences were used to experimentally increase snow depth by over 1m. Phenological delay was greatest directly after snowmelt in the earlier phenological phases, and had the largest effect on the early development of those species which normally green-up early (i.e. Dryas, Papaver, Salix, Saxifraga). Compressed growing seasons and length of the reproductive period led to a reduced reproductive success in some of the study species. There were fewer flowers, fewer plots with dispersing seeds, and lower germination rates. This can have consequences for plant establishment and community composition in the long-term. PMID:21421357

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    De Mársico, María C; Reboreda, Juan C

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2011-03-01

    Taxonomically related species can differ in a number of reproductive traits, which may translate into a differential mating system and pollination success. Here we compare two hermaphroditic insect-pollinated Daphne species (D. rodriguezii and D. gnidium) which differ in distribution (island endemic vs. mediterranean) and floral traits (long- vs. short-tube corolla). We investigated their mating system and pollen limitation by means of hand-pollination experiments and quantified the diversity and abundance of flower visitors by direct observations. Plant size and five reproductive traits (flower production, proportion of viable anthers, pollen production, flower tube length and tepal area) were studied to assess how they contribute to reproductive success, measured as proportion of pollen grains germinated per stigma and fruit set. Selfing was very low and pollen limitation existed in both species, though was higher in D. rodriguezii probably due to the scarcity of flower visitors. The low fruit set in both species suggests that most of the pollen grains found on stigmas are self-pollen. Pollinators appeared to favour some floral traits (specifically, flower tube length or tepal area) in both species, although flower crop in D. rodriguezii was the only reproductive trait influencing fruit set. In both species, the highest variability in reproductive traits and pollination success was within individuals. Our findings suggest that despite both species showed similar mating system, dependency on outcrossing pollen and selection of floral traits, pollen limitation was higher in D. rodriguezii, probably as a higher proportion of self-pollen arrives to its stigmas. PMID:20820845

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    A fundamental element of how vertebrates respond to stressors is by rapidly elevating circulating glucocorticoid hormones. Individual variation in the magnitude of the glucocorticoid stress response has been linked with reproductive success and survival. But while the adaptive value of this response is believed to stem in part from changes in the expression of hormone-mediated behaviors, it is not clear how the behavior of stronger and weaker glucocorticoid responders differs during reproduction, or during exposure to ecologically relevant stressors. Here we report that in a population of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) experiencing high rates of nest predation, circulating levels of corticosterone (the primary avian glucocorticoid) during exposure to a standardized stressor predict aspects of subsequent behavior and fitness. Individuals that mounted a stronger corticosterone stress response during the early reproductive period did not differ in clutch size, but fledged fewer offspring. Parents with higher stress-induced corticosterone during the early reproductive period later provisioned their nestlings at lower rates. Additionally, in the presence of a model predator stress-induced corticosterone was positively associated with the latency to return to the nest, but only among birds that were observed to return. Model comparisons revealed that stress-induced hormones were better predictors of the behavioral and fitness effects of exposure to transient, ecologically relevant stressors than baseline corticosterone. These findings are consistent with functional links between individual variation in the hormonal and behavioral response to stressors. If such links occur, then selection on the heritable components of the corticosterone stress response could promote adaptation to novel environments or predation regimes. PMID:25461975

  16. Combining Site Occupancy, Breeding Population Sizes and Reproductive Success to Calculate Time-Averaged Reproductive Output of Different Habitat Types: An Application to Tricolored Blackbirds

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pettorelli, Nathalie; Durant, Sarah M

    2007-09-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nettle, Daniel

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jokela, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little attention. In the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (1244 women, 997 men born between 1937 and 1940) we examined whether attractiveness assessed from photographs taken at age ~18 predicted the number of biological children at age 53–56. In women, attractiveness predicted higher reproductive success in a nonlinear fashion, so that attractive (second highest quartile) women had 16% and very attractive (highest quartile) women 6% more children than their less attractive counterparts. In men, there was a threshold effect so that men in the lowest attractiveness quartile had 13% fewer children than others who did not differ from each other in the average number of children. These associations were partly but not completely accounted for by attractive participants’ increased marriage probability. A linear regression analysis indicated relatively weak directional selection gradient for attractiveness (β=0.06 in women, β=0.07 in men). These findings indicate that physical attractiveness may be associated with reproductive success in humans living in industrialized settings. PMID:21151758

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

    The critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been subject to a strictly managed captive breeding program for three decades. A retrospective demographic analysis of the captive population was performed based on data from the red wolf studbook. Data analyses revealed a decrease in the effective population size relative to the total population size, and changes in age structure and inbreeding coefficients over time. To varying degrees, the probability of successful breeding and litter sizes declined in association with increasing dam age and sire inbreeding coefficients. Neonate survival also declined with increasing dam age. Recent changes in strategies regarding breed-pair recommendations have resulted in moderate increases in reproductive success. PMID:19504595

  5. Fitting age-specific fertility with the Makeham curve.

    PubMed

    Luther, N Y

    1984-01-01

    The Makeham curve has long been recognized for its empirically good fit of adult mortality experience. However, it has never been seriously used in fertility estimation. This paper aims to show that the Makeham curve provides a very good fit of cumulative age-specific fertility over the full range of the fertility experience. Presented here is a simple linearization procedure, easily executed by hand calcualtor, for the estimation of cumulative age-specific fertility per woman (or parity) ar exact age x. The procedure provides a check for the fit of the Makeham curve to cumulative age-specific fertility, locally or globally--that is, the fit to local ratios over any range of ages. The procedure also determines the parameters of optimum fit over any range of ages. To carry out the procedure, one must simply check the linearity of points in each of 2 data plots and determine the Makeham curve from the slopes and intercepts of the fitted straight lines. The mathematical methodology for the procedure is presented and the global goodness of fit studied. Because it is of a local nature, and since it elicits an explicit analytic formula for the fitted Makeham curve, the procedure is conducive to interpolation and extrapolation applications, including the completion of incomplete schedules of age-specific fertility rates at the tails of the reproductive age span. The use of the procedure for extrapolation purposes is illustrated with data from the 1968 Population Growth Survey of Pakistan. It suggests results that, for the most part, are consistent with the thesis of general age exaggeration of reporting women. However, further evidence is needed to be conclusive. PMID:12313262

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    GAUDEUL, M.; TILL‐BOTTRAUD, I.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success. PMID:23163395

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have a poor prognosis of pregnancy, since it is associated with significant maternal and fetal morbidity, including spontaneous miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal death and pre-term delivery. We report a case with successful pregnancy in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and hypertension. A 39-year-old nulliparous woman presented with systemic lupus erythematosus with antinuclear and antiphospholipid antibodies, hypertension and recurrent pregnancy loss presented for assisted reproduction. The patient responded well to enoxaparin and prednisone during both assisted reproduction and prenatal treatment. This case report indicates that prescription of immunosuppressant and blood thinners can be safely recommended throughout the whole prenatal period in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Enoxaparin and prednisone may be prescribed concurrently during pregnancy. PMID:26376400

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jayaweera, Anuradhi; Barry, Katherine L

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    Summary Fertility transmission (FT) is a phenomenon with a cultural and/or genetic basis, whereby a positive correlation exists between the number of offspring of an individual and that of his/her parents. Theoretical studies using a haploid individual-based model have shown that FT increases the variance and intergenerational correlation in reproductive success and results in an imbalance in the coalescent tree of sampled genes. This phenomenon has been documented in several demographic studies conducted on the correlation in fertility between generations, or through the reconstruction of the genealogical trees of mitochondrial DNA sequences. However, as mtDNA is a single locus, potentially subject to other forces (e.g. natural selection), it is of interest to extend the theory of FT to nuclear loci. We show that because random mating between individuals leads to a mixing of their fertility profiles, FT in these cases will have less influence on the variance and intergenerational correlation of reproductive success. This, in turn, results in less impact on the shape of the coalescent trees. Nevertheless, in the presence of FT, high heterogeneity in reproductive success and homogamy for family size will increase the imbalance in the coalescent tree. Thus, FT should be easier to detect when occurring in conjunction with these other factors. We also show the utility of analysing different kinds of loci (X-linked, Y-linked, mitochondrial and autosomal) to assess whether FT is matrilineal, patrilineal or biparental. Finally, we demonstrate that the shape of the coalescent tree depends upon population size, in contrast to the classical Kingman's model. PMID:22647505

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Reproductive health care is the only field in medicine where health care professionals (HCPs) are allowed to limit a patient's access to a legal medical treatment - usually abortion or contraception - by citing their 'freedom of conscience.' However, the authors' position is that 'conscientious objection' ('CO') in reproductive health care should be called dishonourable disobedience because it violates medical ethics and the right to lawful health care, and should therefore be disallowed. Three countries - Sweden, Finland, and Iceland - do not generally permit HCPs in the public health care system to refuse to perform a legal medical service for reasons of 'CO' when the service is part of their professional duties. The purpose of investigating the laws and experiences of these countries was to show that disallowing 'CO' is workable and beneficial. It facilitates good access to reproductive health services because it reduces barriers and delays. Other benefits include the prioritisation of evidence-based medicine, rational arguments, and democratic laws over faith-based refusals. Most notably, disallowing 'CO' protects women's basic human rights, avoiding both discrimination and harms to health. Finally, holding HCPs accountable for their professional obligations to patients does not result in negative impacts. Almost all HCPs and medical students in Sweden, Finland, and Iceland who object to abortion or contraception are able to find work in another field of medicine. The key to successfully disallowing 'CO' is a country's strong prior acceptance of women's civil rights, including their right to health care. PMID:26838273

  6. 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...

  7. Age-specific breeding in Emperor Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, J.A.

    2000-01-01

    I studied the frequency with which Emperor Geese (Chen canagica) of known age were observed breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. No one- or two-year old geese were observed on nests. Three-year old geese bred at a lower rate than four-year old geese. These data suggest that patterns of age-specific breeding in Emperor Geese are similar to other sympatrically nesting, large bodied geese [Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons)] but delayed relative to smaller bodied geese [Cackling Canada Geese (Branta canadensis minima) and Pacific Black Brant (B. bernicla nigricans)].

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher 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).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

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

  15. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

    Pollen is unique among floral rewards in functioning as both a carrier of gametes and an attractant and nutritious resource for floral visitors. Animals that collect pollen without pollinating (pollen thieves) could reduce siring success of thieved plants and cause pollen limitation of seed set at the population level; however, such impacts on plant reproduction have not been demonstrated experimentally. To test these effects we added hives of native honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to populations of a primarily bird-pollinated plant, Aloe maculata, in eastern South Africa. In field and aviary trials, bee addition increased pollen removal from anthers but decreased pollen deposition on stigmas, and so reduced both male and female pollination components. Further, total seed production decreased with hive addition in the aviary experiment and in three of four field populations, indicating that population-level pollen theft can also compromise reproductive success. In the field, naturally occurring allodapine bees also seemed to act as pollen thieves, outweighing the effect of honey bee hive addition at one of the four aloe populations. Our results highlight the importance of social bees as pollen thieves, even of plants that have evolved in their presence, and the role of dichogamy in promoting pollen theft. Given the commonness of both social bees and dichogamy, pollen theft is likely a much more common influence on floral ecology and evolution than suggested by the sparse literature. PMID:20583711

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    We used data from 78 individuals at 26 microsatellite loci to infer parental and sibling relationships within a community of fish-eating ("resident") eastern North Pacific killer whales (Orcinus orca). Paternity analysis involving 15 mother/calf pairs and 8 potential fathers and whole-pedigree analysis of the entire sample produced consistent results. The variance in male reproductive success was greater than expected by chance and similar to that of other aquatic mammals. Although the number of confirmed paternities was small, reproductive success appeared to increase with male age and size. We found no evidence that males from outside this small population sired any of the sampled individuals. In contrast to previous results in a different population, many offspring were the result of matings within the same "pod" (long-term social group). Despite this pattern of breeding within social groups, we found no evidence of offspring produced by matings between close relatives, and the average internal relatedness of individuals was significantly less than expected if mating were random. The population's estimated effective size was <30 or about 1/3 of the current census size. Patterns of allele frequency variation were consistent with a population bottleneck. PMID:21757487

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    White, Alison J; Rundle, Howard D

    2015-02-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during sexual development causes the feminization/demasculinization of the reproductive traits and a reduction in the reproductive success of male guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

    SciTech Connect

    Tian, Hua; Li, Yun; Wang, Wei; Wu, Peng; Ru, Shaoguo

    2012-09-01

    Monocrotophos is a highly toxic organophosphorus pesticide that has been confirmed to be an endocrine‐disrupting chemical. To evaluate the influence of this pollutant on the reproductive system of male fish, we studied the sex steroid levels, reproductive traits, sex ratio, and reproductive success in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) exposed to 40% monocrotophos pesticide at the nominal concentrations of 0.01, 0.10, and 1.00 mg/L for 90 days from birth to adulthood in a semi‐static exposure system. Radioimmunoassay and western blot analyses demonstrated that the long‐term exposure to monocrotophos pesticide during the sexual development of male guppies caused a significant increase in 17β‐estradiol levels and consequently induced vitellogenin synthesis, suggesting the feminization of the males. Monocrotophos pesticide also caused a significant decrease in testosterone levels, which consequently inhibited testis growth and reduced the sperm count and the area and intensity of their sexually attractive orange spots, which collectively indicated the significant demasculinization of the male sexual characteristics. Furthermore, these changes in the sexual characteristics at the cellular and organ levels translated into ecologically important effects on the reproductive success at the individual level, as measured by a decrease in offspring production and survival rate. The present study provides the first evidence that monocrotophos pesticide can cause severe reproductive abnormalities in fish due to its endocrine‐disrupting action. -- Highlights: ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused an increase in 17β‐estradiol levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide induced vitellogenin synthesis of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a decrease in testosterone levels of male guppies. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused demasculinization of male sexual characteristics. ► Monocrotophos pesticide caused a reduction in reproductive success of male

  16. Evaluating endocrine endpoints relative to reproductive success in Japanese quail exposed to estrogenic chemicals [poster

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henry, P.F.P.; Russek-Cohen, E.; Casey, C.S.; Abdelnabi, M.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    The standard US EPA guidelines for avian reproductive testing may not be sufficiently sensitive to detect effects of sublethal and chronic exposure to endocrine disrupting toxins. There is a need to evaluate endocrine endpoints as potential markers for contaminant effects, and to determine their effectiveness and sensitivity when applied to wildlife. To this end, a three generational test was conducted using the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and a proven estrogenic PCB. Birds were exposed during embryonic development via maternal deposition and/or direct egg injection at day 4. Standard measures of reproductive success and productivity used in toxicological studies, as well as multiple measures of physiological and behavioral responses used in endocrine studies were collected. Long term effects on growth and apparent development were similar between treated and control offspring. Fertility of treated eggs decreased from 75%+ 4.4 (x + se) for P1, to 59% + 12.5 for F1 and 54% + 14.2 for F2. All paired control birds mated to produce viable eggs, whereas 27 % of the F1 and 41 % of the F2 treated pairs failed to produce at least 1 viable egg. Although some decreases in productivity can be related to direct toxic exposure, the response from one generation to the next was not linear with treatment, indicating a potential effect from behavioral or other endocrine alterations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Avila, R; Pinheiro, M; Sazima, M

    2015-05-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Vacuoles in sperm head are not associated with head morphology, DNA damage and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Fortunato, Adriana; Boni, Raffaele; Leo, Rita; Nacchia, Giuseppina; Liguori, Francesca; Casale, Sofia; Bonassisa, Paolo; Tosti, Elisabetta

    2016-02-01

    In this retrospective study of 873 men enrolled for assisted reproduction techniques, relationships between sperm quality parameters, motile sperm organelle morphology examination (MSOME), DNA damage and live birth rate were evaluated. The presence of vacuoles in the sperm heads was detected by MSOME. Either chromatin decondensation or DNA fragmentation was used to study DNA damage. Results show that age significantly affected some of the examined parameters. In particular, sperm concentration was positively correlated (R = 0.088; P = 0.01) and chromatin decondensation was negatively correlated (R = -0.102; P = 0.003) with age. Furthermore, live birth rate was significantly lower in men aged 40 years or older (P < 0.02) compared with the younger age groups. The presence of sperm head vacuoles was not associated with head morphology, main sperm quality parameters, DNA fragmentation and live birth rate. Considering sperm heads in relation to the shape (normal/abnormal) and vacuoles (presence/absence), no significant variations in the occurrence of vacuoles in either normal or abnormal heads were found. These data suggest that vacuoles are physiological features that do not alter sperm functionality, and it seems that MSOME is not necessary for increasing the success of assisted reproduction techniques. PMID:26655650

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Losada, María; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Javier; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Angiosperms diversification was primarily driven by pollinator agents, but non-pollinator agents also promoted floral evolution. Gentiana lutea shows pollinator driven flower color variation in NW Spain. We test whether insect herbivores and livestock, which frequently feed in G.lutea, play a role in G. lutea flower color variation, by answering the following questions: (i) Do insect herbivores and grazing livestock show flower color preferences when feeding on G. lutea? (ii) Do mutualists (pollinators) and antagonists (seed predators, insect herbivores and livestock) jointly affect G. lutea reproductive success? Insect herbivores fed more often on yellow flowering individuals but they did not affect seed production, whereas livestock affected seed production but did not show clear color preferences. Our data indicate that flower color variation of G. lutea is not affected by insect herbivores or grazing livestock. PMID:27014509

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

    Common tern cIutch size, reproductive success and growth of young recorded from an abandoned barge on the Providence River, an area of heavy metal contamination, were equal to, or greater than, .from less contaminated areas. Concentrations of copper and zinc were higher in livers of nestling terns from the Providence River than from other, less contaminated, areas. However, concentrations of magnesium, manganese, and iron and the frequency of nickel were equal, or lower, at Providence than other, less contaminated, locations. Among-colony trends in residues of copper, zinc and nickel in prey samples were similar to trends .found in nestling livers. Uric acid concentrations in nestling blood were twice as high in the Providence River than another colony and may have resulted from moderate levels of chromium in the diet.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

    Common tern (Sterna hirundinae ) clutch size, reproductive success and growth of young recorded from an abandoned barge on the Providence River, an area of heavy metal contamination, were equal to, or greater than, from less contaminated areas. Concentrations of copper and zinc were higher in livers of nestling terns from the Providence River than from other, less contaminated, areas. However, concentrations of magnesium, manganese, and iron and the frequency of nickel were equal, or lower, at Providence than other, less contaminated, locations. Among-colony trends in residues of copper, zinc and nickel in prey samples were similar to trends found in nestling livers. Uric acid concentrations in nestling blood were twice as high in the Providence River than another colony and may have resulted from moderate levels of chromium in the diet.

  6. 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

  7. Baseline hormone levels are linked to reproductive success but not parental care behaviors.

    PubMed

    Burtka, Jennifer L; Lovern, Matthew B; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2016-04-01

    Consistent behavioral differences among individuals, or personalities, have been hypothesized to arise as a result of consistent individual differences in hormone levels. Individual variation in baseline hormone levels or hormonal similarity within a breeding pair may be related to reproductive success, as suggested by the corticosterone-fitness hypothesis and the hormonal similarity hypothesis, respectively. In a population of Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) with repeatable behavioral expression and coordination of behavior within pairs, we tested if baseline androgen and corticosterone levels are related to behavioral expression, if coordination in behavior within pairs is facilitated by hormonal coordination, and if baseline hormone levels are related to fledging success at the individual or pair level. We found no significant relationship between hormone levels and nest visit rate or nest defense for either sex. Androgen and corticosterone levels were not correlated within pairs, but pairs in which males exhibited more aggressive nest defense behavior than females were also more different in androgen levels. Females with higher baseline corticosterone levels fledged more young, but hormonal similarity within pairs was not related to fledging success. Our results provide support for the corticosterone-adaptation hypothesis, which suggests that elevation of baseline corticosterone levels may occur during breeding to meet increased energetic demands. PMID:26972151

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Population Densities, Vegetation Green-Up, and Plant Productivity: Impacts on Reproductive Success and Juvenile Body Mass in Reindeer

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is expected to cause earlier springs and increased primary productivity in the Arctic. These changes may improve food availability for Arctic herbivores, but may also have negative effects by generating a mismatch between the surge of high quality food in the spring and the timing of reproduction. We analyzed a 10 year dataset of satellite derived measures of vegetation green-up, population densities, calf body masses and female reproductive success in 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations in Northern Norway. An early onset of spring and high peak plant productivity had positive effects on calf autumn body masses and female reproductive success. In addition, body masses and reproductive success were both negatively related to population density. The quantity of food available, as determined by the onset of vegetation green-up and plant productivity over the summer were the main drivers of body mass growth and reproductive success. We found no evidence for an effect of the speed of spring green-up. Nor did we detect a negative mismatch between early springs and subsequent recruitment. Effects of global warming on plant productivity and onset of spring is likely to positively affect sub-Arctic reindeer. PMID:23451049

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-22

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters. PMID:25473008

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. The effects of a remediated fly ash spill and weather conditions on reproductive success and offspring development in tree swallows.

    PubMed

    Beck, Michelle L; Hopkins, William A; Jackson, Brian P; Hawley, Dana M

    2015-03-01

    Animals are exposed to natural and anthropogenic stressors during reproduction that may individually or interactively influence reproductive success and offspring development. We examined the effects of weather conditions, exposure to element contamination from a recently remediated fly ash spill, and the interaction between these factors on reproductive success and growth of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) across nine colonies. Females breeding in colonies impacted by the spill transferred greater concentrations of mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), strontium, and thallium to their eggs than females in reference colonies. Parental provisioning of emerging aquatic insects resulted in greater blood Se concentrations in nestlings in impacted colonies compared to reference colonies, and these concentrations remained stable across 2 years. Egg and blood element concentrations were unrelated to reproductive success or nestling condition. Greater rainfall and higher ambient temperatures during incubation were later associated with longer wing lengths in nestlings, particularly in 2011. Higher ambient temperatures and greater Se exposure posthatch were associated with longer wing lengths in 2011 while in 2012, blood Se concentrations were positively related to wing length irrespective of temperature. We found that unseasonably cold weather was associated with reduced hatching and fledging success among all colonies, but there was no interactive effect between element exposure and inclement weather. Given that blood Se concentrations in some nestlings exceeded the lower threshold of concern, and concentrations of Se in blood and Hg in eggs are not yet declining, future studies should continue to monitor exposure and effects on insectivorous wildlife in the area. PMID:25690609

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Exposure of rainbow trout milt to mercury and cadmium alters sperm motility parameters and reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Dietrich, Grzegorz J; Dietrich, Mariola; Kowalski, R K; Dobosz, Stefan; Karol, Halina; Demianowicz, Wiesław; Glogowski, Jan

    2010-05-10

    In the current work, seminal plasma was used for the first time as an incubation medium for monitoring short-time exposure effects of sublethal concentrations of mercury and cadmium ions on rainbow trout sperm. Sperm motility parameters (CASA) and hatching rates were used as gamete quality markers. Additionally live/dead sperm viability test and comet assay of DNA fragmentation were performed. We demonstrated that computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA) may serve as a predictor of reproductive success, when milt contaminated with heavy metals is used. Results presented in this study demonstrate that mercury ions altered sperm motility characteristics at 1-10 mg Hg2+/l and 10 mg Cd2+/l and hatching rates at 10 mg Hg2+/l and 10 mg Cd2+/l after 4h of exposure. Although mercury ions affected sperm motility parameters immediately after dilution with milt as well as at 4h of exposure, no differences in sperm motility parameters were found between intact and mercury-treated milt after 24h of exposure. Our results suggest that rainbow trout seminal plasma has a protective role against the toxic effects of mercury ions of rainbow trout sperm motility. PMID:20044150

  10. Estimating reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in honey bee colonies by trapping emigrating larvae.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Richard T; Torto, Baldwyn; Willms, Steve; Fombong, Ayuka T; Duehl, Adrian; Teal, Peter E A

    2012-02-01

    The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) is a scavenger and facultative predator in honey bee colonies, where it feeds on pollen, honey, and bee brood. Although a minor problem in its native Africa, it is an invasive pest of honey bees in the United States and Australia. Adult beetles enter bee hives to oviposit and feed. Larval development occurs within the hive, but mature larvae leave the hive to pupate in soil. The numbers leaving, which can be estimated by trapping, measure the reproductive success of adult beetles in the hive over any given period of time. We describe a trap designed to intercept mature larvae as they reach the end of the bottom board on their way to the ground. Trap efficiency was estimated by releasing groups of 100 larvae into empty brood boxes and counting the numbers trapped. Some larvae escaped, but mean efficiency ranged from 87.2 to 94.2%. We envision the trap as a research tool for study of beetle population dynamics, and we used it to track numbers of larvae leaving active hives for pupation in the soil. The traps detected large increases and then decreases in numbers of larvae leaving colonies that weakened and died. They also detected small numbers of larvae leaving strong European and African colonies, even when no larvae were observed in the hives. PMID:22525070

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Reproductive success of captively bred and naturally spawned Chinook salmon colonizing newly accessible habitat

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Joseph H; Faulds, Paul L; Atlas, William I; Quinn, Thomas P

    2013-01-01

    Captively reared animals can provide an immediate demographic boost in reintroduction programs, but may also reduce the fitness of colonizing populations. Construction of a fish passage facility at Landsburg Diversion Dam on the Cedar River, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to explore this trade-off. We thoroughly sampled adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at the onset of colonization (2003–2009), constructed a pedigree from genotypes at 10 microsatellite loci, and calculated reproductive success (RS) as the total number of returning adult offspring. Hatchery males were consistently but not significantly less productive than naturally spawned males (range in relative RS: 0.70–0.90), but the pattern for females varied between years. The sex ratio was heavily biased toward males; therefore, inclusion of the hatchery males increased the risk of a genetic fitness cost with little demographic benefit. Measurements of natural selection indicated that larger salmon had higher RS than smaller fish. Fish that arrived early to the spawning grounds tended to be more productive than later fish, although in some years, RS was maximized at intermediate dates. Our results underscore the importance of natural and sexual selection in promoting adaptation during reintroductions. PMID:23467446

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Environmental variability drives shifts in the foraging behaviour and reproductive success of an inshore seabird.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Nicole D; Reina, Richard D; Preston, Tiana J; Chiaradia, André

    2015-08-01

    Marine animals forage in areas that aggregate prey to maximize their energy intake. However, these foraging 'hot spots' experience environmental variability, which can substantially alter prey availability. To survive and reproduce animals need to modify their foraging in response to these prey shifts. By monitoring their inter-annual foraging behaviours, we can understand which environmental variables affect their foraging efficiency, and can assess how they respond to environmental variability. Here, we monitored the foraging behaviour and isotopic niche of little penguins (Eudyptula minor), over 3 years (2008, 2011, and 2012) of climatic and prey variability within Port Phillip Bay, Australia. During drought (2008), penguins foraged in close proximity to the Yarra River outlet on a predominantly anchovy-based diet. In periods of heavy rainfall, when water depth in the largest tributary into the bay (Yarra River) was high, the total distance travelled, maximum distance travelled, distance to core-range, and size of core- and home-ranges of penguins increased significantly. This larger foraging range was associated with broad dietary diversity and high reproductive success. These results suggest the increased foraging range and dietary diversity of penguins were a means to maximize resource acquisition rather than a strategy to overcome local depletions in prey. Our results demonstrate the significance of the Yarra River in structuring predator-prey interactions in this enclosed bay, as well as the flexible foraging strategies of penguins in response to environmental variability. This plasticity is central to the survival of this small-ranging, resident seabird species. PMID:25894092

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Scott, M P; Williams, S M

    1993-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. An empirical test of evolutionary theories for reproductive senescence and reproductive effort in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sparkman, Amanda M; Arnold, Stevan J; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2007-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that differential reproductive effort and rate of reproductive senescence will evolve under different rates of external mortality. We examine the evolutionary divergence of age-specific reproduction in two life-history ecotypes of the western terrestrial garter snake, Thamnophis elegans. We test for the signature of reproductive senescence (decreasing fecundity with age) and increasing reproductive effort with age (increasing reproductive productivity per gram female) in replicate populations of two life-history ecotypes: snakes that grow fast, mature young and have shorter lifespans, and snakes that grow slow, mature late and have long lives. The difference between life-history ecotypes is due to genetic divergence in growth rate. We find (i) reproductive success (live litter mass) increases with age in both ecotypes, but does so more rapidly in the fast-growth ecotype, (ii) reproductive failure increases with age in both ecotypes, but the proportion of reproductive failure to total reproductive output remains invariant, and (iii) reproductive effort remains constant in fast-growth individuals with age, but declines in slow-growth individuals. This illustration of increasing fecundity with age, even at the latest ages, deviates from standard expectations for reproductive senescence, as does the lack of increases in reproductive effort. We discuss our findings in light of recent theories regarding the phenomenon of increased reproduction throughout life in organisms with indeterminate growth and its potential to offset theoretical expectations for the ubiquity of senescence. PMID:17251099

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Conflict and cooperation within and between the sexes are among the driving forces that lead to the evolution of mating systems. Among mating strategies, female genetic polyandry and male reproductive cooperation pose challenging evolutionary questions regarding the maintenance of systems where one sex suffers from reduced fitness. Here, we investigate the consequences of social and genetic polyandry for reproductive success of females and males in a population of the dunnock, Prunella modularis. We show that female multiple mating ameliorates the negative effects of inbreeding. We, however, found little evidence that females engage in extra-group (pair) mating with less related or more heterozygous males. Breeding in socially polyandrous groups reduced the amount of paternity lost to extra-group males, such that, on average, cobreeding and monogamous males fledged a similar number of young. Importantly, c. 30% of cobreeding male dyads were related, suggesting they could gain indirect fitness benefits. Taken together, cobreeding males achieve equivalent reproductive success to monogamous counterparts under most circumstances. Our study has revealed unexpected complexities in the variable mating system of dunnocks in New Zealand. Our results differ from the well-known Cambridge dunnock study and can help our understanding of the evolution and maintenance of various breeding systems in the animal kingdom. PMID:26257043

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sharma, Supriya; Verma, Susheel

    2016-03-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. The age-specific force of natural selection and biodemographic walls of death

    PubMed Central

    Wachter, Kenneth W.; Evans, Steven N.; Steinsaltz, David

    2013-01-01

    W. D. Hamilton’s celebrated formula for the age-specific force of natural selection furnishes predictions for senescent mortality due to mutation accumulation, at the price of reliance on a linear approximation. Applying to Hamilton’s setting the full nonlinear demographic model for mutation accumulation recently developed by Evans, Steinsaltz, and Wachter, we find surprising differences. Nonlinear interactions cause the collapse of Hamilton-style predictions in the most commonly studied case, refine predictions in other cases, and allow walls of death at ages before the end of reproduction. Haldane’s principle for genetic load has an exact but unfamiliar generalization. PMID:23657010

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Costantini, David; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, David; Dell'Omo, Giacomo

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra; Ammer, Frank K.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Age specific fecundity of Lygus hesperus in high, fluctuating temperatures.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have simulated hourly temperatures to examine Lygus response to hot summers in the San Joaquin Valley. Constant temperature of 33C quickly killed Lygus and SJV temperatures routinely surpass this level. Average hourly temperatures were tested for the months May, July, and September. Age specific ...

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

    PubMed Central

    ALONSO, CONCHITA

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  6. Age-specific oxidative status and the expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits in male red junglefowl, Gallus gallus.

    PubMed

    Noguera, Jose C; Dean, Rebecca; Isaksson, Caroline; Velando, Alberto; Pizzari, Tommaso

    2012-09-01

    Oxidative stress is emerging as a key factor underpinning life history and the expression of sexually selected traits. Resolving the role of oxidative stress in life history and sexual selection requires a pluralistic approach, which investigates how age affects the relationship between oxidative status (i.e., antioxidants and oxidative damage) and the multiple traits contributing to variation in reproductive success. Here, we investigate the relationship between oxidative status and the expression of multiple sexually selected traits in two-age classes of male red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, a species which displays marked male reproductive senescence. We found that, irrespective of male age, both male social status and comb size were strongly associated with plasma oxidative status, and there was a nonsignificant tendency for sperm motility to be associated with seminal oxidative status. Importantly, however, patterns of plasma and seminal antioxidant levels differed markedly in young and old males. While seminal antioxidants increased with plasma antioxidants in young males, the level of seminal antioxidants remained low and was independent of plasma levels in old males. In addition, old males also accumulated more oxidative damage in their sperm DNA. These results suggest that antioxidant allocation across different reproductive traits and somatic maintenance might change drastically as males age, leading to age-specific patterns of antioxidant investment. PMID:23139875

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nester, Robert T.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zabala, Jabi; Zuberogoitia, Iñigo

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-04-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dickel, Franziska; Freitak, Dalial; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dickel, Franziska; Freitak, Dalial; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Luis, J; Granados, H

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Body growth considerations in age-specific dosimetry. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Eckerman, K.F.

    1993-09-30

    This report describes the manner in which the age-specific dosimetric calculations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) addressed changes in organ size that occur with age. The approach involves an interpolation of dosimetric information derived for six reference individuals using the inverse of the total body mass as the interpolation variable. An alternative formulation is investigated that employs a functional representation of the organ mass as a function of age in conjunction with an explicit formulation of the dosimetric factors in terms of organ mass. Using an exponential-logistic growth function as suggested by Walker, this report demonstrates, through application to the dosimetry of radioiodines in the thyroid, that the alternative formulation can be formulated and implemented. Although either approach provides a workable basis for age-specific dosimetry, it is clear that the functional representation of organ growth has some attractive features. However, without question, the major difficulty is the quality and quantity of data available to address the age- and gender-specific parameters in the dosimetric formulations.

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

    PubMed

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-20

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

  15. Variation in probability of first reproduction of Weddell seals.

    PubMed

    Hadley, Gillian L; Rotella, Jay J; Garrott, Robert A; Nichols, James D

    2006-09-01

    1. For many species, when to begin reproduction is an important life-history decision that varies by individual and can have substantial implications for lifetime reproductive success and fitness. 2. We estimated age-specific probabilities of first-time breeding and modelled variation in these rates to determine age at first reproduction and understand why it varies in a population of Weddell seals in Erebus Bay, Antarctica. We used multistate mark-recapture modelling methods and encounter histories of 4965 known-age female seals to test predictions about age-related variation in probability of first reproduction and the effects of annual variation, cohort and population density. 3. Mean age at first reproduction in this southerly located study population (7.62 years of age, SD=1.71) was greater than age at first reproduction for a Weddell seal population at a more northerly and typical latitude for breeding Weddell seals (mean=4-5 years of age). This difference suggests that age at first reproduction may be influenced by whether a population inhabits the core or periphery of its range. 4. Age at first reproduction varied from 4 to 14 years, but there was no age by which all seals recruited to the breeding population, suggesting that individual heterogeneity exists among females in this population. 5. In the best model, the probability of breeding for the first time varied by age and year, and the amount of annual variation varied with age (average variance ratio for age-specific rates=4.3%). 6. Our results affirmed the predictions of life-history theory that age at first reproduction in long-lived mammals will be sensitive to environmental variation. In terms of life-history evolution, this variability suggests that Weddell seals display flexibility in age at first reproduction in order to maximize reproductive output under varying environmental conditions. Future analyses will attempt to test predictions regarding relationships between environmental covariates

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-24

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

    In 2001 hatchery- and wild-origin spring chinook were placed into an observation stream located at the Cle Elum Supplementation Research Facility to compare their reproductive success. Two groups containing both wild- and hatchery fish of both sexes were brought into the stream and allowed to spawn. Their longevity, spawning participation, and reproductive success were assessed. In addition, wild- and hatchery-origin precocious males were also introduced into one of the sections and allowed to spawn. We found that hatchery and wild males generally lived longer than females. In one group hatchery and wild females lived for similar periods of time while in the other wild females lived longer than hatchery fish. Wild females were also more successful at burying their eggs and the eggs they buried had higher survival rates. This result occurred in both groups of fish. Spawning participation in males was estimated by using two statistics referred to as percent gonad depletion (PGD) and percent testes retention (PRT). Both of these measures assumed that loss of testes weight in males would reflect their spawning participation and therefore could be used to estimate reproductive success. Hatchery and wild males had similar PGD and PRT values. One of these measures, PRT, was negatively associated with male reproductive success, confirming the idea that reduction in testes weight can be used as a surrogate measure of a male's ability to produce offspring Fry from the observation stream were collected throughout the emergence period that ran from January through May. Proportionate sub-samples of these fish were removed and microsatellite DNA was extracted from them. Pedigree analyses were performed to ascertain which adult fish had produced them. These analyses disclosed that wild males were more successful at producing progeny in one of the groups. No difference occurred in the other group. Precocial males and jacks fathered fewer progeny than did fish maturing at ages 4

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

    Several members of the Yellow Stripe-Like (YSL) family of proteins are transporters of metals that are bound to the metal chelator nicotianamine or the related set of mugineic acid family chelators known as phytosiderophores. Here, we examine the physiological functions of three closely related Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) YSL family members, AtYSL1, AtYSL2, and AtYSL3, to elucidate their role(s) in the allocation of metals into various organs of Arabidopsis. We show that AtYSL3 and AtYSL1 are localized to the plasma membrane and function as iron transporters in yeast functional complementation assays. By using inflorescence grafting, we show that AtYSL1 and AtYSL3 have dual roles in reproduction: their activity in the leaves is required for normal fertility and normal seed development, while activity in the inflorescences themselves is required for proper loading of metals into the seeds. We further demonstrate that the AtYSL1 and AtYSL2 proteins, when expressed from the AtYSL3 promoter, can only partially rescue the phenotypes of a ysl1ysl3 double mutant, suggesting that although these three YSL transporters are closely related and have similar patterns of expression, they have distinct activities in planta. In particular, neither AtYSL1 nor AtYSL2 is able to functionally complement the reproductive defects exhibited by ysl1ysl3 double mutant plants.

  1. High variance in reproductive success generates a false signature of a genetic bottleneck in populations of constant size: a simulation study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Demographic bottlenecks can severely reduce the genetic variation of a population or a species. Establishing whether low genetic variation is caused by a bottleneck or a constantly low effective number of individuals is important to understand a species’ ecology and evolution, and it has implications for conservation management. Recent studies have evaluated the power of several statistical methods developed to identify bottlenecks. However, the false positive rate, i.e. the rate with which a bottleneck signal is misidentified in demographically stable populations, has received little attention. We analyse this type of error (type I) in forward computer simulations of stable populations having greater than Poisson variance in reproductive success (i.e., variance in family sizes). The assumption of Poisson variance underlies bottleneck tests, yet it is commonly violated in species with high fecundity. Results With large variance in reproductive success (Vk ≥ 40, corresponding to a ratio between effective and census size smaller than 0.1), tests based on allele frequencies, allelic sizes, and DNA sequence polymorphisms (heterozygosity excess, M-ratio, and Tajima’s D test) tend to show erroneous signals of a bottleneck. Similarly, strong evidence of population decline is erroneously detected when ancestral and current population sizes are estimated with the model based method MSVAR. Conclusions Our results suggest caution when interpreting the results of bottleneck tests in species showing high variance in reproductive success. Particularly in species with high fecundity, computer simulations are recommended to confirm the occurrence of a population bottleneck. PMID:24131797

  2. Malnutrition and age-specific nutritional management in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Dodge, J A

    1992-10-01

    Malnutrition is recognised as a major prognostic factor adversely affecting survival in cystic fibrosis (CF) and is the result of an unfavourable energy balance in these patients. A high resting energy expenditure, dependent on the patient's genotype, in addition to pulmonary infection play an important role in producing anorexia and weight loss. Nutritional management with the aim to gain weight and catch up with growth is age-specific. It is important to repair nutritional status as early as possible after diagnosis. In infancy breast feeding is advised with, if necessary, supplemental feeding with predigested formulae such as Pregestimil. In childhood nutritional management must be aimed towards a normal weight gain and growth velocity. The latter is the best guide of nutritional adequacy. If weight gain falters the first principle is to treat any associated respiratory infection, the second is to ensure adequate enzyme therapy and control of steatorrhoea, and only then should dietary energy supplements be introduced. When oral hypernutrition fails, nocturnal naso-gastric tube feeding of a non-elemental formula may be considered. Parenteral nutrition is rarely indicated and should be reserved as a last solution for CF-patients. PMID:1470282

  3. Benefits of a Ball and Chain: Simple Environmental Enrichments Improve Welfare and Reproductive Success in Farmed American Mink (Neovison vison)

    PubMed Central

    Meagher, Rebecca K.; Ahloy Dallaire, Jamie; Campbell, Dana L. M.; Ross, Misha; Møller, Steen H.; Hansen, Steffen W.; Díez-León, María; Palme, Rupert; Mason, Georgia J.

    2014-01-01

    Can simple enrichments enhance caged mink welfare? Pilot data from 756 sub-adults spanning three colour-types (strains) identified potentially practical enrichments, and suggested beneficial effects on temperament and fur-chewing. Our main experiment started with 2032 Black mink on three farms: from each of 508 families, one juvenile male-female pair was enriched (E) with two balls and a hanging plastic chain or length of hose, while a second pair was left as a non-enriched (NE) control. At 8 months, more than half the subjects were killed for pelts, and 302 new females were recruited (half enriched: ‘late E’). Several signs of improved welfare or productivity emerged. Access to enrichment increased play in juveniles. E mink were calmer (less aggressive in temperament tests; quieter when handled; less fearful, if male), and less likely to fur-chew, although other stereotypic behaviours were not reduced. On one farm, E females had lower cortisol (inferred from faecal metabolites). E males tended to copulate for longer. E females also weaned more offspring: about 10% more juveniles per E female, primarily caused by reduced rates of barrenness (‘late E’ females also giving birth to bigger litters on one farm), effects that our data cautiously suggest were partly mediated by reduced inactivity and changes in temperament. Pelt quality seemed unaffected, but E animals had cleaner cages. In a subsidiary side-study using 368 mink of a second colour-type (‘Demis’), similar temperament effects emerged, and while E did not reduce fur-chewing or improve reproductive success in this colour-type, E animals were judged to have better pelts. Overall, simple enrichments were thus beneficial. These findings should encourage welfare improvements on fur farms (which house 60-70 million mink p.a.) and in breeding centres where endangered mustelids (e.g. black-footed ferrets) often reproduce poorly. They should also stimulate future research into more effective practical

  4. Evaluation of the Reproductive Success of Wild and Hatchery Steelhead in Hatchery and Natural and Hatchery Environments : Annual Report for 2008.

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, Thomas P.; Seamons, todd; Hauser, Lorenz; Naish, Kerry

    2008-12-05

    This report summarizes the field, laboratory, and analytical work from December 2007 through November 2008 on a research project that investigates interactions and comparative reproductive success of wild and hatchery origin steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) trout in Forks Creek, a tributary of the Willapa River in southwest Washington. First, we continued to successfully sample hatchery and wild (i.e., naturally spawned) adult and wild smolt steelhead at Forks Creek. Second, we revealed microsatellite genotype data for adults and smolts through brood year 2008. Finally, four formal scientific manuscripts were published in 2008 and two are in press, one is in revision and two are in preparations.

  5. Relative contributions of organochlorine contaminants, parasitism, and predation to reproductive success of eastern spiny softshell turtles (Apalone spiniferus spiniferus) from southern Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    De Solla, Shane R; Fletcher, Michelle L; Bishop, Christine A

    2003-01-01

    We examined hatching success, predation rates, rates of parasitism, sex ratio, and egg viability in eggs of the eastern spiny softshell (Apalone spiniferus spiniferus), a threatened species in Canada. Eggs were monitored from three populations, located at Thames River, Rondeau Provincial Park, and the Long Point National Wildlife Area, in southern Ontario, Canada in 1998. Concurrently, we measured organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans from eggs from the same nests. Contaminant concentrations in eggs were similar among sites. There was no correlation between hatching success, parasitism and depredation rates, or the proportion of hatchlings that were males with total PCBs or individual pesticides, but there was a positive correlation between egg viability with concentrations in eggs of total PCBs, and with five pesticides. We found no evidence that the reproductive success of softshell turtles was compromised due to organochlorine contamination. The most important factors determining hatching success of eggs was predation, followed by egg viability and parasitism. PMID:12739873

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Integrating life-history and reproductive success data to examine potential relationships with organochlorine compounds for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida.

    PubMed

    Wells, Randall S; Tornero, Victoria; Borrell, Asuncion; Aguilar, Alex; Rowles, Teri K; Rhinehart, Howard L; Hofmann, Suzanne; Jarman, Walter M; Hohn, Aleta A; Sweeney, Jay C

    2005-10-15

    Research initiated in 1970 has identified a long-term, year-round resident community of about 140 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida, providing unparalleled opportunities to investigate relationships between organochlorine contaminant residues and life-history and reproductive parameters. Many individual dolphins are identifiable and of known age, sex, and maternal lineage (< or =4 generations). Observational monitoring provides data on dolphin spatial and temporal occurrence, births and fates of calves, and birth-order. Capture-release operations conducted for veterinary examinations provide biological data and samples for life-history and contaminant residue measurement. Organochlorine concentrations in blubber and blood (plasma) can be examined relative to age, sex, lipid content, and birth-order. Reproductive success is evaluated through tracking of individual female lifetime calving success. For the current study, 47 blubber samples collected during June 2000 and 2001 were analyzed for PCB concentrations of 22 congeners relative to life-history factors and reproductive success. Prior to sexual maturity, males and females exhibited similar concentrations of about 15-50 ppm. Classical patterns of accumulation with age were identified in males, but not in females. Subsequently, males accumulated higher concentrations of PCBs through their lives (>100 ppm), whereas females begin to depurate with their first calf, reaching a balance between contaminant intake and lactational loss (<15 ppm). In primiparous females, PCB concentrations in blubber and plasma and the rates of first-born calf mortality were both high. First-born calves had higher concentrations than subsequent calves of similar age (>25 vs.<25 ppm). Maternal burdens were lower early in lactation and increased as calves approached nutritional independence. Empirical data were generally consistent with a published theoretical risk assessment and supported the need for

  13. A demographic transition altered the strength of selection for fitness and age-specific survival and fertility in a 19th century American population

    PubMed Central

    Moorad, Jacob A.

    2012-01-01

    Modernization has increased longevity and decreased fertility in many human populations, but it is not well understood how or to what extent these demographic transitions have altered patterns of natural selection. I integrate individual-based multivariate phenotypic selection approaches with evolutionary demographic methods to demonstrate how a demographic transition in 19th century female populations of Utah altered relationships between fitness and age-specific survival and fertility. Coincident with this demographic transition, natural selection for fitness, as measured by the opportunity for selection, increased by 13–20% over 65 years. Proportional contributions of age-specific survival to total selection (the complement to age-specific fertility) diminished from approximately 1/3 to 1/7 following a marked increase in infant survival. Despite dramatic reductions in age-specific fertility variance at all ages, the absolute magnitude of selection for fitness explained by age-specific fertility increased by approximately 45%. I show that increases in the adaptive potential of fertility traits followed directly from decreased population growth rates. These results suggest that this demographic transition has increased the adaptive potential of the Utah population, intensified selection on reproductive traits, and de-emphasized selection on survival-related traits. PMID:23730757

  14. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 8: Experimental study of the effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on reproductive success in mink

    SciTech Connect

    Halbrook, R.S.; Aulerich, R.J.; Bursian, S.J.; Lewis, L.

    1999-04-01

    As a component of an ecological risk assessment of Poplar Creek (located on the Oak Ridge Reservation [ORR]) and the Clinch River (a large river-reservoir system), fish from Poplar Creek, the Clinch River, and Atlantic Ocean were fed to ranch mink to evaluate reproductive success. Five diets, each composed of 75% fish and 25% normal ranch mink chow, were prepared. Two diets served as reference diets and contained 75% Atlantic Ocean fish or 75% Clinch River fish collected above the ORR. The fish portion of the remaining three diets contained 25, 50, and 75% fish collected from Poplar Creek and 50, 25, and 0% ocean fish, respectively. Five mink groups (eight females and two males each) were each fed one of the prepared diets for 196 days. Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations were determined in diets and various mink tissues, ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity was determined in liver tissue, and reproductive success was evaluated. Concentrations of PCB were greatest in the diet composed of 75% Poplar Creek fish and in tissues from mink fed this diet and their offspring. There was a trend toward decreased adult female and kit weights and reduced mean litter size in mink fed diets containing 75% Poplar Creek fish; however, at 6 weeks of age, kit survival was similar among diet groups. Liver EROD activity significantly increased in adult female mink fed 50 and 75% Poplar Creek fish diets. Estimated dietary concentrations of PCBs were similar to or slightly lower than concentrations associated with adverse effects in experimentally dosed mink. Mercury (Hg) concentrations previously reported in these same mink were below that associated with adverse effects, and there was no indication of additive or synergistic effects from exposure to PCBs plus Hg. It is unlikely that population-level reproductive effects would be observed in mink consuming fish from Poplar Creek on the ORR.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Broad-Scale Latitudinal Variation in Female Reproductive Success Contributes to the Maintenance of a Geographic Range Boundary in Bagworms (Lepidoptera: Psychidae)

    PubMed Central

    Rhainds, Marc; Fagan, William F.

    2010-01-01

    Background Geographic range limits and the factors structuring them are of great interest to biologists, in part because of concerns about how global change may shift range boundaries. However, scientists lack strong mechanistic understanding of the factors that set geographic range limits in empirical systems, especially in animals. Methodology/Principal Findings Across dozens of populations spread over six degrees of latitude in the American Midwest, female mating success of the evergreen bagworm Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) declines from ∼100% to ∼0% near the edge of the species range. When coupled with additional latitudinal declines in fecundity and in egg and pupal survivorship, a spatial gradient of bagworm reproductive success emerges. This gradient is associated with a progressive decline in local abundance and an increased risk of local population extinction, up to a latitudinal threshold where extremely low female fitness meshes spatially with the species' geographic range boundary. Conclusions/Significance The reduction in fitness of female bagworms near the geographic range limit, which concords with the abundant centre hypothesis from biogeography, provides a concrete, empirical example of how an Allee effect (increased pre-reproductive mortality of females in sparsely populated areas) may interact with other demographic factors to induce a geographic range limit. PMID:21152445

  18. Polychlorinated biphenyls in adult black bass and yellow perch were not associated with their reproductive success in the upper Hudson River, New York, USA.

    PubMed

    Maceina, Michael J; Sammons, Steven M

    2013-07-01

    Although production and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) ceased nearly 35 yr ago, questions still remain concerning the potential chronic effects these compounds may have on wild fish, including their reproductive success. In the upper Hudson River, New York, USA, fish were exposed to PCBs primarily from 2 manufacturing plants located approximately 320 km upstream of New York City, New York, from the 1940s to 1977. The authors collected yellow perch (Perca flavescens), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), and largemouth bass (M. salmoides) using electrofishing, measured PCBs in these adults, and estimated abundance and size of their offspring at age 1 yr (age-1 fish). Fish were collected annually from 2004 to 2009 from 1 control site upstream of the PCB discharge sites and from 2 sites downstream from where PCBs were released. These sites (pools) are separated by a series of dams, locks, and canals. Muscle tissue wet weight PCB and lipid-based PCB concentrations in adults in the 2 PCB exposure pools averaged approximately 1 to 3 µg/g and 100 to 500 µg/g, respectively. Age-1 abundances were not related to adult PCB concentrations but were inversely related to river flow. Size of age-1 fish was slightly greater at the PCB-exposure sites. Levels of PCBs in yellow perch, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass in the upper Hudson River did not impair or reduce recruitment or reproductive success. PMID:23440915

  19. Differential reproductive success and body dimensions in Kavango males from urban and rural areas in northern Namibia.

    PubMed

    Kirchengast, S; Winkler, E M

    1995-04-01

    We investigated differential sex-biased parental investment in relation to social status in 59 Kavango males from Rundu, the administrative and commercial center of the Kavango district in northern Namibia, and in 78 Kavango males from the rural areas around Rundu. Twenty-three body dimensions were used as indicators for the probands' social rank in the groups. The males from Rundu surpassed the males from rural areas in nearly all anthropometric features, but the urban males had significantly less offspring, especially fewer dead offspring. The association between the anthropometric variables and the number and sex of the offspring showed marked differences between the two proband groups. Although in the rural areas robust males had more children than smaller and leaner males, the taller and more robust males from Rundu had fewer offspring than smaller and more slender males. These results indicate that males from rural areas and males from urban areas follow different reproductive strategies. PMID:7729830

  20. Age-specific CT and MRI templates for spatial normalization

    PubMed Central

    Rorden, Christopher; Bonilha, Leonardo; Fridriksson, Julius; Bender, Benjamin; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2012-01-01

    Spatial normalization reshapes an individual’s brain to match the shape and size of a template image. This is a crucial step required for group-level statistical analyses. The most popular standard templates are derived from MRI scans of young adults. We introduce specialized templates that allow normalization algorithms to be applied to stroke-aged populations. First, we developed a CT template: while this is the dominant modality for many clinical situations, there are no modern CT templates and popular algorithms fail to successfully normalize CT scans. Importantly, our template was based on healthy individuals with ages similar to what is commonly seen in stroke (mean 65 years old). This template allows studies where only CT scans are available. Second, we derived a MRI template that approximately matches the shape of our CT template as well as processing steps that aid the normalization of scans from older individuals (including lesion masking and the ability to generate high quality cortical renderings despite brain injury). The benefit of this strategy is that the resulting templates can be used in studies where mixed modalities are present. We have integrated these templates and processing algorithms into a simple SPM toolbox (http://www.mccauslandcenter.sc.edu/CRNL/tools/spm8-scripts). PMID:22440645

  1. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery- and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation, 2004-2005 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-05-01

    A growing body of literature suggests that adult salmon produced by artificial culture are not as reproductively successful as wild fish when they spawn under natural conditions. Behavioral, morphological, and physiological divergences have been observed between hatchery and wild fish. These disparities are the likely proximate causes of the differences seen in the reproductive success of hatchery and wild salmonids. Two evolutionary paradigms have been proposed to explain why salmonids cultured in hatcheries are genetically and phenotypically different from wild cohorts. The first proposes that natural selection has been significantly relaxed in hatcheries. Consequently, fish that normally would have perished because of the possession of unsuitable traits are able to survive. If these traits have a genetic basis, they may become established in a hatchery population and cause its productivity to be less than expected if the fish are once again exposed to natural selection pressures. The second theorizes that environmental and social conditions in hatcheries are less variable than in the natural environment and that these conditions will remain relatively constant from one generation to the next. In this circumstance, selection for genetic traits that adapt fish to artificial culture will become prevalent in the population. Such traits may be mal-adaptive under natural conditions. Many of the studies that have compared the reproductive success (RS) of hatchery and wild fish, however, have used non-local hatchery fish that have experienced multiple generations of hatchery culture. Few efforts have been made where both the hatchery and wild fish have originated from the same population. When such studies have been performed differences in the competency of the fish to produce offspring have not been detected or are not as great as those expressed when non-local hatchery fish have been used. The hatchery spring Chinook produced by the Yakima Fisheries Project

  2. Spermatozoa capacitation in female Varroa destructor and its influence on the timing and success of female reproduction.

    PubMed

    Häußermann, Claudia Katharina; Ziegelmann, Bettina; Rosenkranz, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Mating of Varroa destructor takes place inside the sealed honey bee brood cell. During copulation, male mites transfer the spermatozoa into the genital openings of the females. Before the fertilization of female germ cells, the transferred spermatozoa have to pass through a final maturation process inside the genital tract of the female, the so-called capacitation. We here describe for the first time the morphological changes and chronological sequence of spermatozoa capacitation within female V. destructor. We have defined seven distinct stages of spermatozoa during the process of capacitation and have shown that it takes about 5 days from mating to the occurrence of spermatozoa ready for fertilization. This might explain the results of an additional experiment where we could show that freshly mated daughter mites need a phoretic phase on bees before their first reproduction cycle. The transfer of non-capacitated spermatozoa from male V. destructor and the resulting long capacitation period within the female mites seems to be a consequence of an adaptive pressure for the male mites to inseminate several daughter mites within the short time span inside the sealed honey bee brood cell. PMID:27209572

  3. Effects of human disturbance on waterbird nesting and reproductive success at restoration pond SF2, south San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    To determine the effects that human disturbance may have on waterbirds nesting on these newly constructed islands in Pond SF2, we assessed the potential effects of human disturbance features (specifically, access trails, viewing platforms, internal pond berms, exterior levees, and highways) on breeding waterbirds in 2011 and 2012. We found no clear pattern of potential disturbance features on a group of reproductive factors, including nest survival, nest initiation date, and clutch size. Because all the islands were constructed greater than 90 meters from the nearest disturbance feature, Pond SF2 alone did not provide adequate variation in the distance of disturbance features to detect potential detrimental effects for islands closer to disturbance features in other areas of the SBSP Restoration Project. If there is a need for SBSP Restoration Project Management Team to understand how close islands can be built to disturbance features in the future, we suggest a more comprehensive study that includes multiple ponds, other than SF2, with islands at varying distances to disturbance features.

  4. Investigation of Neospora caninum seroprevalence and potential impact on reproductive success in semi-free-ranging Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus)

    PubMed Central

    Bapodra, Priya; Wolfe, Barbara A

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the prevalence and reproductive impact of Neospora caninum in a herd of semi-free-ranging Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus) at a conservation facility, following a suspected abortion storm in 2008. Serum samples (n=103) collected from 60 individuals between 2002 and 2011 were evaluated using competitive ELISA for the detection of N. caninum-specific antibodies. Of the 103 samples, 73 (70.9 per cent) were positive for N. caninum antibodies, with a mean±sd competitive inhibition (CI) of 77.6±19.8 per cent. Thirty (29.1 per cent) samples were seronegative, with mean CI of 15.2±9.70 per cent. A significant negative linear relationship was noted between the proportion of seropositive animals and age (R2=0.228, P<0.001). Calving rates of adult females from 2005 to 2011 ranged from 15.4 per cent to 52 per cent (mean 35.5±11.3 per cent), and did not correlate with mean CI values (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient=0.072, P=0.878). While both horizontal and transplacental transmission are likely contributing to persistent herd seropositivity, the role of N. caninum in reproductive success in this and other populations of endangered ungulates remains to be explored. PMID:26392906

  5. Effective number of breeding adults in Bufo bufo estimated from age-specific variation at minisatellite loci

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, K.T.; Arntzen, J.W.; Burke, T.

    1997-01-01

    Estimates of the effective number of breeding adults were derived for three semi-isolated populations of the common toad Bufo bufo based on temporal (i.e. adult-progeny) variance in allele frequency for three highly polymorphic minisatellite loci. Estimates of spatial variance in allele frequency among populations and of age-specific measures of genetic variability are also described. Each population was characterized by a low effective adult breeding number (N(b)) based on a large age-specific variance in minisatellite allele frequency. Estimates of N(b) (range 21-46 for population means across three loci) were ??? 55-230-fold lower than estimates of total adult census size. The implications of low effective breeding numbers for long-term maintenance of genetic variability and population viability are discussed relative to the species' reproductive ecology, current land-use practices, and present and historical habitat modification and loss. The utility of indirect measures of population parameters such as N(b) and N(e) based on time-series data of minisatellite allele frequencies is discussed relative to similar measures estimated from commonly used genetic markers such as protein allozymes.

  6. Aquaporins Are Critical for Provision of Water during Lactation and Intrauterine Progeny Hydration to Maintain Tsetse Fly Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Benoit, Joshua B.; Hansen, Immo A.; Attardo, Geoffrey M.; Michalková, Veronika; Mireji, Paul O.; Bargul, Joel L.; Drake, Lisa L.; Masiga, Daniel K.; Aksoy, Serap

    2014-01-01

    Tsetse flies undergo drastic fluctuations in their water content throughout their adult life history due to events such as blood feeding, dehydration and lactation, an essential feature of the viviparous reproductive biology of tsetse. Aquaporins (AQPs) are transmembrane proteins that allow water and other solutes to permeate through cellular membranes. Here we identify tsetse aquaporin (AQP) genes, examine their expression patterns under different physiological conditions (blood feeding, lactation and stress response) and perform functional analysis of three specific genes utilizing RNA interference (RNAi) gene silencing. Ten putative aquaporins were identified in the Glossina morsitans morsitans (Gmm) genome, two more than has been previously documented in any other insect. All organs, tissues, and body parts examined had distinct AQP expression patterns. Two AQP genes, gmmdripa and gmmdripb ( = gmmaqp1a and gmmaqp1b) are highly expressed in the milk gland/fat body tissues. The whole-body transcript levels of these two genes vary over the course of pregnancy. A set of three AQPs (gmmaqp5, gmmaqp2a, and gmmaqp4b) are expressed highly in the Malpighian tubules. Knockdown of gmmdripa and gmmdripb reduced the efficiency of water loss following a blood meal, increased dehydration tolerance and reduced heat tolerance of adult females. Knockdown of gmmdripa extended pregnancy length, and gmmdripb knockdown resulted in extended pregnancy duration and reduced progeny production. We found that knockdown of AQPs increased tsetse milk osmolality and reduced the water content in developing larva. Combined knockdown of gmmdripa, gmmdripb and gmmaqp5 extended pregnancy by 4–6 d, reduced pupal production by nearly 50%, increased milk osmolality by 20–25% and led to dehydration of feeding larvae. Based on these results, we conclude that gmmDripA and gmmDripB are critical for diuresis, stress tolerance and intrauterine lactation through the regulation of water and/or other

  7. Receptivity of female Neohelice granulata (Brachyura, Varunidae): different strategies to maximize their reproductive success in contrasting habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sal Moyano, María Paz; Luppi, Tomás; Gavio, María Andrea; Vallina, Micaela; McLay, Colin

    2012-12-01

    The extent of the receptive period may determine the mating strategies employed by female crabs to obtain mates. Here, we studied the receptivity of female Neohelice granulata (Dana, 1851) in the laboratory, including the form of the vulvae and the anatomy of the seminal receptacle (SR). We examined the factors that influence the duration of receptivity by comparing two populations inhabiting contrasting habitats: Mar Chiquita Coastal lagoon (MCL), which is an oligo-polyhaline estuary, and San Antonio Oeste (SAO), which is an eu-hyperhaline marine bay. Non-receptive females have immobile vulva opercula, while receptive females have mobile opercula. Histological sections of the SR showed that the degree of epithelium secretions was associated with the receptive stage of females, and they may be involved in the maintenance of viable sperm and in the dehiscence of spermatophores. The existence of a special tissue at the junction of the oviduct and the SR was described and proposed as an internal mechanism influencing the timing of ovulation. The duration of receptivity was dependent on the SR load and the capacity to lay eggs. Thus, females with empty SR exhibited longer receptivity and did not lay eggs, while those with full SR exhibited shorter receptivity and always laid eggs. Interpopulation differences showed that females from SAO had shorter receptivity and heavier SR and laid eggs more frequently than females from MCL. Based on our results, we suggest that N. granulata females can adjust the duration of their receptivity and control the moment of fertilization according to different internal mechanisms related to the morphology of the vulvae, the fullness of the SR and anatomical attributes of the SR. An important consequence of this control is greater sperm competition. The extent of the receptive period and the number of times that a female could become receptive in a single reproductive season may also depend on the habitat characteristics.

  8. Natural hybrids in Atlantic eels (Anguilla anguilla, A. rostrata): evidence for successful reproduction and fluctuating abundance in space and time.

    PubMed

    Albert, Vicky; Jónsson, Bjarni; Bernatchez, Louis

    2006-06-01

    The outcome of natural hybridization is highly variable and depends on the nonexclusive effects of both pre- and post-mating reproductive barriers. The objective of this study was to address three specific questions regarding the dynamics of hybridization between the American and European eels (Anguilla rostrata and Anguilla anguilla). Using 373 AFLP loci, 1127 eels were genotyped, representing different life stages from both continents, as well as multiple Icelandic locations. We first evaluated the extent of hybridization and tested for the occurrence of hybrids beyond the first generation. Second, we tested whether hybrids were randomly distributed across continents and among Icelandic sampling sites. Third, we tested for a difference in the proportion of hybrids between glass eel and yellow eel stages in Iceland. Our results provided evidence for (i) an overall hybrid proportion of 15.5% in Iceland, with values ranging from 6.7% to 100% depending on life stages and locations; (ii) the existence of hybrids beyond the first generation; (iii) a nonrandom geographic distribution of hybrids in the North Atlantic; and (iv) a higher proportion of first and later generation hybrids in yellow eels compared to glass eels, as well as a significant latitudinal gradient in the proportion of hybrids in Icelandic freshwater. We propose that the combined effect of both differential survival of hybrids and variation in hybridization rate through time best explain these patterns. We discuss the possibility that climate change, which is impacting many environmental features in the North Atlantic, may have a determinant effect on the outcome of natural hybridization in Atlantic eels. PMID:16689906

  9. To be or not to be? Mating success and survival trade-offs when switching between alternative reproductive tactics.

    PubMed

    Córdoba-Aguilar, A; Munguía-Steyer, R

    2015-11-01

    Hormones underlie the decision of assuming a territorial or a nonterritorial role, with territorial individuals usually having higher hormonal levels than nonterritorial individuals. As a territorial status is linked to higher mating opportunities, it is unclear why animals do not keep high hormonal levels and one explanation is that this would imply survival costs. We have tested this using males of the territorial damselfly Argia emma in the field. We increased juvenile hormone (JH) levels using methoprene in both territorial and nonterritorial males and predicted that: (i) males will keep (the case of territorial males) or become (the case of nonterritorial males) territorial after hormonal increase, and (ii) there will be an increase in mating success for nonterritorial males only and an impaired survival for both male tactics. Hormonally treated males remained or became territorial but had their survival impaired compared with control groups. Also, hormonally treated, ex-nonterritorial males increased their mating success compared with the other control, nonterritorial males. The reduced survival can be explained proximally by the energy devoted either to the enhanced aggression showed during territory defence or immune function (as detected previously in damselflies). Although nonterritorial males may increase their mating success by switching to a territorial tactic, they are possibly unable to do it naturally as JH is dietary dependent and usually nonterritorial animals are in poorer condition than territorial animals. PMID:26284698

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Variability in measures of reproductive success in laboratory-kept colonies of zebrafish and implications for studies addressing population-level effects of environmental chemicals.

    PubMed

    Paull, Gregory C; Van Look, Katrien J W; Santos, Eduarda M; Filby, Amy L; Gray, D Melati; Nash, John P; Tyler, Charles R

    2008-04-28

    Laboratory tests that quantify reproductive success using model fish species are used to investigate for population-level effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and other chemicals discharged into the environment. Even for the zebrafish (Danio rerio), however, one of the most widely used laboratory models, surprisingly little is known about the normal variability in measures of reproductive success and this information is crucial for robust test design. In this study, the dynamics of breeding and inherent variability in egg output/viability and sperm quality were characterized among individuals/colonies and over time in 34 colonies of laboratory-kept zebrafish over a 20-day study period. For this work, a '6 x 6' (six males and six females) colony size was adopted, as this is both environmentally relevant and optimal when considering egg output and animal welfare combined: an initial experiment showed egg output per female increased with decreasing colony size however, there was also a parallel increase in aggressive behavior. Both egg output and viability in '6 x 6' colonies were highly variable among colonies (with co-efficients of variation (CVs) of 30 and 11%, respectively) and over the 20-day study duration (considering egg output and viability of all the colonies combined, the CVs were 20 and 12%, respectively). The patterns of egg production also differed among the '6 x 6' colonies, and they included a cyclical output, a consistent daily output, an infrequent egg output with intermittent days of very high egg output, and an output with no obvious pattern. Sperm quality, measured as percentage motility and curvilinear velocity (VCL), was variable both among individuals within '6 x 6' colonies and across colonies, with percentage motility being the most variable parameter (mean CVs of 82% inter-individual within colonies and 49% inter-colony). Sperm quality did not, however, vary over a 24h period. A minimum number of six replicate '6 x 6' colonies

  14. Integument coloration signals reproductive success, heterozygosity, and antioxidant levels in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leclaire, Sarah; White, Joël; Arnoux, Emilie; Faivre, Bruno; Vetter, Nathanaël; Hatch, Scott A.; Danchin, Étienne

    2011-09-01

    Carotenoid pigments are important for immunity and as antioxidants, and carotenoid-based colors are believed to provide honest signals of individual quality. Other colorless but more efficient antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may protect carotenoids from bleaching. Carotenoid-based colors have thus recently been suggested to reflect the concentration of such colorless antioxidants, but this has rarely been tested. Furthermore, although evidence is accruing for multiple genetic criteria for mate choice, carotenoid-based colors have rarely been shown to reflect both phenotypic and genetic quality. In this study, we investigated whether gape, tongue, eye-ring, and bill coloration of chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla reflected circulating levels of carotenoids and vitamins A and E. We further investigated whether integument coloration reflected phenotypic (body condition and fledging success) and genetic quality (heterozygosity). We found that the coloration of fleshy integuments was correlated with carotenoid and vitamin A levels and fledging success but only in males. Furthermore, the coloration of tongue and eye-ring was correlated with heterozygosity in both males and females. Integument colors might therefore be reliable signals of individual quality used by birds to adjust their parental care during the chick-rearing period.

  15. Integument coloration signals reproductive success, heterozygosity, and antioxidant levels in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leclaire, S.; White, J.; Arnoux, E.; Faivre, B.; Vetter, N.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Danchin, E.

    2011-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments are important for immunity and as antioxidants, and carotenoid-based colors are believed to provide honest signals of individual quality. Other colorless but more efficient antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may protect carotenoids from bleaching. Carotenoid-based colors have thus recently been suggested to reflect the concentration of such colorless antioxidants, but this has rarely been tested. Furthermore, although evidence is accruing for multiple genetic criteria for mate choice, carotenoid-based colors have rarely been shown to reflect both phenotypic and genetic quality. In this study, we investigated whether gape, tongue, eye-ring, and bill coloration of chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla reflected circulating levels of carotenoids and vitamins A and E. We further investigated whether integument coloration reflected phenotypic (body condition and fledging success) and genetic quality (heterozygosity). We found that the coloration of fleshy integuments was correlated with carotenoid and vitamin A levels and fledging success but only in males. Furthermore, the coloration of tongue and eye-ring was correlated with heterozygosity in both males and females. Integument colors might therefore be reliable signals of individual quality used by birds to adjust their parental care during the chick-rearing period. ?? Springer-Verlag 2011.

  16. Effect of the Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dams on the Reproductive Success of Kokanee in the Flathead System; Technical Addendum to the Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Beattie, Will; Tohtz, Joel

    1990-03-01

    This addendum to the Final Report presents results of research on the zooplankton and fish communities of Flathead Lade. The intent of the Study has been to identify the impacts of hydroelectric operations at Kerr and Hungry Horse Dam on the reproductive success of kokanee an to propose mitigation for these impacts. Recent changes in the trophic ecology of the lake, have reduced the survival of kokanee. In the last three year the Study has been redirected to identify, if possible, the biological mechanisms which now limit kokanee survival, and to test methods of enhancing the kokanee fishery by artificial supplementation. These studies were necessary to the formulation of mitigation plans. The possibility of successfully rehabilitating the kokanee population, is the doubt because of change in the trophic ecology of the system. This report first presents the results of studies of the population dynamics of crustacean zooplankton, upon which planktivorous fish depend. A modest effort was directed to measuring the spawning escapement of kokanee in 1988. Because of its relevance to the study, we also report assessments of 1989 kokanee spawning escapement. Hydroacoustic assessment of the abundance of all fish species in Flathead Lake was conducted in November, 1988. Summary of the continued efforts to document the growth rates and food habits of kokanee and lake whitefish are included in this report. Revised kokanee spawning and harvest estimates, and management implications of the altered ecology of Flathead Lake comprise the final sections of this addendum. 83 refs., 20 figs., 25 tabs.

  17. Climate change has indirect effects on resource use and overlap among coexisting bird species with negative consequences for their reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.; Auer, Sonya K.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change can modify ecological interactions, but whether it can have cascading effects throughout ecological networks of multiple interacting species remains poorly studied. Climate-driven alterations in the intensity of plant–herbivore interactions may have particularly profound effects on the larger community because plants provide habitat for a wide diversity of organisms. Here we show that changes in vegetation over the last 21 years, due to climate effects on plant–herbivore interactions, have consequences for songbird nest site overlap and breeding success. Browsing-induced reductions in the availability of preferred nesting sites for two of three ground nesting songbirds led to increasing overlap in nest site characteristics among all three bird species with increasingly negative consequences for reproductive success over the long term. These results demonstrate that changes in the vegetation community from effects of climate change on plant–herbivore interactions can cause subtle shifts in ecological interactions that have critical demographic ramifications for other species in the larger community.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. The reproductive success of lake herring in habitats near shipping channels and ice-breaking operations in the St. Marys River, Michigan, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blouin, Marc A.; Kostich, M.M.; Todd, T.N.; Savino, J.F.

    1998-01-01

    A study of the reproductive success of lake herring (Coregonus artedi) in the St. Marys River was conducted in the winters and springs of 1994, 1995, and 1996. The St. Marys River connects Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes making it an important route for ship traffic. Recent pressure by commercial carriers to extend the shipping season by breaking ice earlier in spring, has raised concerns over the possible adverse effects on lake herring reproduction in the river caused by increased turbidity associated with vessel passage. Lake herring spawn in fall and their eggs overwinter under ice cover on the bottom of the St. Marys River. Hatching occurs in the spring after ice-out when water temperatures rise. Specialized incubators were used to hold fertilized lake herring eggs at four experimental sites, chosen to represent the range of various bottom substrate types of the St. Marys River from boulder rock reefs to soft sediments. In winter, incubators were placed under the ice on the bottom of the river at three sites each year. After ice-out, sites were relocated, and the incubators were retrieved and opened to determine the number of live and dead lake herring eggs and larvae. Survival was consistent from year to year at each site with the lowest survival percentage found at the site with the softest sediments, directly adjacent to the St. Marys River channel and downstream of the mouth of the Charlotte River. River bottom type and geographic location were the most important factors in determining egg survival. Sampling for indigenous larval lake herring was done throughout the spring hatching season in the areas adjacent to the incubator sites using nets and a diver-operated suction sampler. Result indicate that a small population (3) of larval lake herring was present throughout the sampling areas during the springs of 1994, 1995, and 1996 in the St. Marys River.

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

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species. PMID:25004171

  2. Age-specific patterns of genetic variance in Drosophila melanogaster. II. Fecundity and its genetic covariance with age-specific mortality

    SciTech Connect

    Tatar, M.; Promislow, D.E.L.; Khazaeli, A.A.; Curtsinger, J.W.

    1996-06-01

    Under the mutation accumulation model of senescence, it was predicted that the additive genetic variance (V{sub A}) for fitness traits will increase with age. We measured age-specific mortality and fecundity from 65,134 Drosophila melanogaster and estimated genetic variance components, based on reciprocal crosses of extracted second chromosome lines. Elsewhere we report the results for mortality. Here, for fecundity, we report a biomodal pattern for V{sub A} with peaks at 3 days and at 17-31 days. Under the antagonistic pleiotropy model of senescence, it was predicted that negative correlations will exist between early and late life history traits. For fecundity itself we find positive genetic correlations among age classes >3 days but negative nonsignificant correlations between fecundity at 3 days and at older age classes. For fecundity vs. age-specific mortality, we find positive fitness correlations (negative genetic correlations) among the traits at all ages >3 days but a negative fitness correlation between fecundity at 3 days and mortality at the oldest ages (positive genetic correlations). For age-specific mortality itself we find overwhelmingly positive genetic correlations among all age classes. The data suggest that mutation accumulation may be a major source of standing genetic variance for senescence. 75 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Age-Specific Patterns of Genetic Variance in Drosophila Melanogaster. II. Fecundity and Its Genetic Covariance with Age-Specific Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Tatar, M.; Promislow, DEL.; Khazaeli, A. A.; Curtsinger, J. W.

    1996-01-01

    Under the mutation accumulation model of senescence, it was predicted that the additive genetic variance (V(A)) for fitness traits will increase with age. We measured age-specific mortality and fecundity from 65,134 Drosophila melanogaster and estimated genetic variance components, based on reciprocal crosses of extracted second chromosome lines. Elsewhere we report the results for mortality. Here, for fecundity, we report a bimodal pattern for V(A) with peaks at 3 days and at 17-31 days. Under the antagonistic pleiotropy model of senescence, it was predicted that negative correlations will exist between early and late life history traits. For fecundity itself we find positive genetic correlations among age classes >3 days but negative nonsignificant correlations between fecundity at 3 days and at older age classes. For fecundity vs. age-specific mortality, we find positive fitness correlations (negative genetic correlations) among the traits at all ages >3 days but a negative fitness correlation between fecundity at 3 days and mortality at the oldest ages (positive genetic correlations). For age-specific mortality itself we find overwhelmingly positive genetic correlations among all age classes. The data suggest that mutation accumulation may be a major source of standing genetic variance for senescence. PMID:8725233

  4. Natural Reproductive Success and Demographic Effects of Hatchery-Origin Steelhead in Abernathy Creek, Washington : Annual Report 2008.

    SciTech Connect

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Abernathy Fish Technology Center

    2008-12-01

    program offers many genetic advantages over traditional adult-trapping programs for developing native broodstocks: (1) Large numbers of juveniles can be collected from the wild with only minimal impacts to naturally spawning populations because juvenile (age 0+parr)-to-adult survivals are typically very small (<1%) under natural conditions. (2) The genetic base of the broodstock (i.e. genetic effective population size) can be substantially larger for juveniles than adults because juveniles can theoretically represent the offspring of all adults that spawned successfully within a stream or watershed, as opposed to trapping only a small portion of returning adults for broodstock. (3) Collecting juveniles for broodstock can substantially reduce the risk of genetically 'swamping' naturally spawning populations with hatchery-origin fish (i.e. via a 'Ryman-Laikre effect') as occurs when hatchery-released fish represent the progeny of a relatively small number of trapped adults.

  5. Reproductive hacking

    PubMed Central

    Dustin Rubinstein, C; Wolfner, Mariana F

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. [Generalist bees (Meliponina) and the reproductive success of the mass flowering tree Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum (Fabales: Mimosaceae) in the Atlantic Rainforest, Bahia].

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Daniela; Ramalho, Mauro

    2010-01-01

    It is controversial the role played by Meliponina bees in the pollination of mass flowering trees with small generalized flowers (FMPG), very common group of trees in the tropical forest canopy. The species richness and relative abundance of flower visiting insects of the mass flowering tree Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum were measured to test the hypothesis of tight ecological association between these generalist bees and FMPG and to evaluate the effect of this relationship upon the reproductive success variation among tree crowns. The flower visiting insects were sampled on 10 flowering tree crowns at the Atlantic Rainforest in southern Bahia. Altogether, 553 visiting insects were collected during the flowering period of S. pulcherrimum: 293 (52%) Meliponina bees out of 438 bees (79.4%). All tree crowns were visited by Meliponina, with the proportion of these bees ranging from 27% to 87%. The tight ecological association between FMPG trees and Meliponina bees is supported by the observed pattern of spatial relationship. Both the relationship between variation of fruit set among tree crowns and species richness (r = 0.3579; P = 0.3098) or relative abundance (r = 0.3070; P = 0.3881) of Meliponina were not statistically significant. Likely a threshold of minimum relative abundance combined with the absolute abundance of these bees explain the fruit set variation among tree crowns of S. pulcherrimum, even by self-pollination. We tested this assumption with a preliminary analysis of Melipona bee genera distribution among the tree crowns. PMID:20877986

  8. Beyond the pollination syndrome: nectar ecology and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in the reproductive success of Inga sessilis (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Amorim, F W; Galetto, L; Sazima, M

    2013-03-01

    Inga species present brush-type flower morphology allowing them to be visited by distinct groups of pollinators. Nectar features in relation to the main pollinators have seldom been studied in this genus. To test the hypothesis of floral adaptation to both diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the pollination ecology of Inga sessilis, with emphasis on the nectar secretion patterns, effects of sequential removals on nectar production, sugar composition and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in its reproductive success. Inga sessilis is self-incompatible and pollinated by hummingbirds, hawkmoths and bats. Fruit set under natural conditions is very low despite the fact that most stigmas receive polyads with sufficient pollen to fertilise all ovules in a flower. Nectar secretion starts in the bud stage and flowers continually secreting nectar for a period of 8 h. Flowers actively reabsorbed the nectar a few hours before senescence. Sugar production increased after nectar removal, especially when flowers were drained during the night. Nectar sugar composition changed over flower life span, from sucrose-dominant (just after flower opening, when hummingbirds were the main visitors) to hexose-rich (throughout the night, when bats and hawkmoths were the main visitors). Diurnal pollinators contributed less than nocturnal ones to fruit production, but the former were more constant and reliable visitors through time. Our results indicate I. sessilis has floral adaptations, beyond the morphology, that encompass both diurnal and nocturnal pollinator requirements, suggesting a complementary and mixed pollination system. PMID:22823072

  9. Mating Systems, Reproductive Success, and Sexual Selection in Secretive Species: A Case Study of the Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Rulon W.; Schuett, Gordon W.; Repp, Roger A.; Amarello, Melissa; Smith, Charles F.; Herrmann, Hans-Werner

    2014-01-01

    Long-term studies of individual animals in nature contribute disproportionately to our understanding of the principles of ecology and evolution. Such field studies can benefit greatly from integrating the methods of molecular genetics with traditional approaches. Even though molecular genetic tools are particularly valuable for species that are difficult to observe directly, they have not been widely adopted. Here, we used molecular genetic techniques in a 10-year radio-telemetric investigation of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) for an analysis of its mating system and to measure sexual selection. Specifically, we used microsatellite markers to genotype 299 individuals, including neonates from litters of focal females to ascertain parentage using full-pedigree likelihood methods. We detected high levels of multiple paternity within litters, yet found little concordance between paternity and observations of courtship and mating behavior. Larger males did not father significantly more offspring, but we found evidence for size-specific male-mating strategies, with larger males guarding females for longer periods in the mating seasons. Moreover, the spatial proximity of males to mothers was significantly associated with reproductive success. Overall, our field observations alone would have been insufficient to quantitatively measure the mating system of this population of C. atrox, and we thus urge more widespread adoption of molecular tools by field researchers studying the mating systems and sexual selection of snakes and other secretive taxa. PMID:24598810

  10. Mating systems, reproductive success, and sexual selection in secretive species: a case study of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    PubMed

    Clark, Rulon W; Schuett, Gordon W; Repp, Roger A; Amarello, Melissa; Smith, Charles F; Herrmann, Hans-Werner

    2014-01-01

    Long-term studies of individual animals in nature contribute disproportionately to our understanding of the principles of ecology and evolution. Such field studies can benefit greatly from integrating the methods of molecular genetics with traditional approaches. Even though molecular genetic tools are particularly valuable for species that are difficult to observe directly, they have not been widely adopted. Here, we used molecular genetic techniques in a 10-year radio-telemetric investigation of the western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) for an analysis of its mating system and to measure sexual selection. Specifically, we used microsatellite markers to genotype 299 individuals, including neonates from litters of focal females to ascertain parentage using full-pedigree likelihood methods. We detected high levels of multiple paternity within litters, yet found little concordance between paternity and observations of courtship and mating behavior. Larger males did not father significantly more offspring, but we found evidence for size-specific male-mating strategies, with larger males guarding females for longer periods in the mating seasons. Moreover, the spatial proximity of males to mothers was significantly associated with reproductive success. Overall, our field observations alone would have been insufficient to quantitatively measure the mating system of this population of C. atrox, and we thus urge more widespread adoption of molecular tools by field researchers studying the mating systems and sexual selection of snakes and other secretive taxa. PMID:24598810

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-04-15

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

  12. A theory of the cancer age-specific incidence data based on extreme value distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soto-Ortiz, Luis; Brody, James P.

    2012-03-01

    The incidence of cancers varies with age, if normalized this is called the age-specific incidence. A mathematical model that describes this variation should provide a better understanding of how cancers develop. We suggest that the age-specific incidence should follow an extreme value distribution, based on three widely accepted assumptions: (1) a tumor develops from a single cell, (2) many potential tumor progenitor cells exist in a tissue, and (3) cancer is diagnosed when the first of these many potential tumor cells develops into a tumor. We tested this by comparing the predicted distribution to the age-specific incidence data for colon and prostate carcinomas collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results network of 17 cancer registries. We found that colon carcinoma age-specific incidence data is consistent with an extreme value distribution, while prostate carcinomas age-specific incidence data generally follows the distribution. This model indicates that both colon and prostate carcinomas only occur in a subset of the population (22% for prostate and 13.5% for colon.) Because of their very general nature, extreme value distributions might be applicable to understanding other chronic human diseases.

  13. Problems in estimating age-specific survival rates from recovery data of birds ringed as young

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, D.R.; Burnham, Kenneth P.; White, Gary C.

    1985-01-01

    (1) The life table model is frequently employed in the analysis of ringer samples of young in bird populations. The basic model is biologically unrealistic and of little use in making inferences concerning age-specific survival probabilities. (2) This model rests on a number of restrictive assumptions, the failure of which causes serious biases. Several important assumptions are not met with real data and the estimators of age-specific survival are not robust enough to these failures. (3) Five major problems in the use of the life table method are reviewed. Examples are provided to illustrate several of the problems involved in using this method in making inferences about survival rates and its age-specific nature. (4) We conclude that this is an invalid procedure and it should not be used. Furthermore, ringing studies involving only young birds are pointless as regards survival estimation because no valid method exists for estimating age-specific or time-specific survival rates from such data. (5) In our view, inferences about age-specific survival rates are possible only if both young and adult (or young, subadult and adult) age classes are ringed each year for k years (k ≥ 2).

  14. Effect of the Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dams on the Reproductive Success of Kokanee in the Flathead System, 1987 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Beattie, Will; Zubik, Raymond; Clancey, Patrick

    1988-05-01

    Studies of kokanee reproductive success in the Flathead system from 1981 to 1987 have assessed the losses in fish production attributable to hydroelectric operations. We estimated that the Flathead Lake shoreline spawning stock has lost at least 50,000 fish annually, since Kerr Dam was completed in 1938. The Flathead River spawning stock has lost 95,000 spawners annually because of the operations of Hungry Horse Dam. Lakeshore spawning has been adversely affected because Flathead Lake has been drafted to minimum pool during the winter when kokanee eggs are incubating in shallow shoreline redds. Egg mortality from exposure and desiccation of kokanee redds has increased since the mid 1970's. When the lake was drafted more quickly and held longer at minimum pool. Escapement surveys in the early 1950's, and a creel survey in the early 1960's have provided a baseline to which the present escapement levels can be compared, and loss estimated. Main stem Flathead River spawning has also declined since the mid 1970's when fluctuating discharge from Hungry Horse Dam during the spawning and incubation season exposed redds at the river margin and increased mortality. This decline followed an increase in main stem spawning in the late 1950's through the mid 1960's attributable to higher winter water temperature and relatively stable discharge from Hungry Horse Dam. Spawning escapement in the main stem exceeded 300,000 kokanee in the early 1970's as a result. Spawning in spring-influenced sites has comprised 35 percent of the main stem escapement from 1979 to 1986. We took that proportion of the early 1970's escapement (105,000) as the baseline against which to measure historic loss. Agricultural and suburban development has contributed less significantly to degradation of kokanee spawning habitat in the river system and on the Flathead Lake shoreline. Their influence on groundwater quality and substrate composition has limited reproductive success in few sites. Studies of the

  15. Basis and implications of the CAP88 age-specific dose coefficients.

    PubMed

    Leggett, Richard; Scofield, Patricia; Eckerman, Keith

    2013-08-01

    Recent versions of CAP88 incorporate age-specific dose coefficients based on biokinetic and dosimetric models applied in Federal Guidance Report 13, "Cancer Risk Coefficients for Environmental Exposure to Radionuclides." With a few exceptions the models are those recommended in a series of reports by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) on estimation of doses to the public from environmental radionuclides. This paper describes the basis for the ICRP's age-specific biokinetic and dosimetric models and examines differences with age in dose coefficients derived from those models. PMID:23803668

  16. Reproductive tract microbiome in assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Franasiak, Jason M; Scott, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    The human microbiome has gained much attention recently for its role in health and disease. This interest has come as we have begun to scratch the surface of the complexity of what has been deemed to be our "second genome" through initiatives such as the Human Microbiome Project. Microbes have been hypothesized to be involved in the physiology and pathophysiology of assisted reproduction since before the first success in IVF. Although the data supporting or refuting this hypothesis remain somewhat sparse, thanks to sequencing data from the 16S rRNA subunit, we have begun to characterize the microbiome in the male and female reproductive tracts and understand how this may play a role in reproductive competence. In this review, we discuss what is known about the microbiome of the reproductive tract as it pertains to assisted reproductive technologies. PMID:26597628

  17. Monitoring the Reproductive Success of Naturally Spawning Hatchery and Natural Spring Chinook Salmon in the Wenatchee River, 2008-2009 Progress Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ford, Michael J.; Williamson, Kevin S.

    2009-05-28

    We investigated differences in the statistical power to assign parentage between an artificially propagated and wild salmon population. The propagated fish were derived from the wild population, and are used to supplement its abundance. Levels of genetic variation were similar between the propagated and wild groups at 11 microsatellite loci, and exclusion probabilities were >0.999999 for both groups. The ability to unambiguously identify a pair of parents for each sampled progeny was much lower than expected, however. Simulations demonstrated that the proportion of cases the most likely pair of parents were the true parents was lower for propagated parents than for wild parents. There was a clear relationship between parentage assignment ability and the degree of linkage disequilibrium, the estimated effective number of breeders that produced the parents, and the size of the largest family within the potential parents. If a stringent threshold for parentage assignment was used, estimates of relative fitness were biased downward for the propagated fish. The bias appeared to be largely eliminated by either fractionally assigning progeny among parents in proportion to their likelihood of parentage, or by assigning progeny to the most likely set of parents without using a statistical threshold. We used a DNA-based parentage analysis to measure the relative reproductive success of hatchery- and natural-origin spring Chinook salmon in the natural environment. Both male and female hatchery-origin fish produced far fewer juvenile progeny per parent when spawning naturally than did natural origin fish. Differences in age structure, spawning location, weight and run timing were responsible for some of the difference in fitness. Male size and age had a large influence on fitness, with larger and older males producing more offspring than smaller or younger individuals. Female size had a significant effect on fitness, but the effect was much smaller than the effect of size on

  18. Vertebrate Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kornbluth, Sally; Fissore, Rafael

    2015-10-01

    Vertebrate reproduction requires a myriad of precisely orchestrated events-in particular, the maternal production of oocytes, the paternal production of sperm, successful fertilization, and initiation of early embryonic cell divisions. These processes are governed by a host of signaling pathways. Protein kinase and phosphatase signaling pathways involving Mos, CDK1, RSK, and PP2A regulate meiosis during maturation of the oocyte. Steroid signals-specifically testosterone-regulate spermatogenesis, as does signaling by G-protein-coupled hormone receptors. Finally, calcium signaling is essential for both sperm motility and fertilization. Altogether, this signaling symphony ensures the production of viable offspring, offering a chance of genetic immortality. PMID:26430215

  19. Stereotypes of Ageing: Messages Promoted by Age-Specific Paper Birthday Cards Available in Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Shannon R.; Morrison, Todd G.

    2005-01-01

    Birthday cards are a ceremonial token that may purposefully or unintentionally transmit stereotypes about the ageing process. In the current study, the authors examined 150 age-specific paper birthday cards sold in retail outlets located in a small metropolitan area. Results suggest that a greater proportion of the cards' textual messages…

  20. Basis for the ICRP`s age-specific biokinetic model for uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Leggett, R.W.

    1994-12-01

    In an effort motivated largely by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is developing age-specific biokinetic models and dose coefficients for environmentally important radionuclides. This paper describes the ICRP`s age-specific biokinetic model for uranium. The model is constructed within a physiologically based framework originally developed for application to the alkaline earth elements but sufficiently general to apply to the larger class of bone-volume-seeking elements. Transfer rates for a reference adult are based mainly on: (1) measurements of uranium in blood and excreta of several human subjects who were intravenously injected with uranium; (2) postmortem measurements of uranium in tissues of some of those subjects; (3) postmortem measurements of uranium in tissues of occupationally and non-occupationally exposed subjects; (4) data on baboons, dogs, and smaller laboratory animals exposed to uranium for experimental purposes; and (5) consideration of the physiological processes thought to control retention and translocation of uranium in the body. Transfer rates for the adult are extended to children by application of a set of generic assumptions applied by the ICRP to calcium-like elements. These assumptions were derived mainly from observations of the age-specific biokinetics of the alkaline earth elements and lead in humans and laboratory animals but are consistent with available age-specific biokinetic data on uranium. 82 refs., 17 figs., 8 tabs.

  1. The Age Specific Incidence Anomaly Suggests that Cancers Originate During Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brody, James P.

    The accumulation of genetic alterations causes cancers. Since this accumulation takes time, the incidence of most cancers is thought to increase exponentially with age. However, careful measurements of the age-specific incidence show that the specific incidence for many forms of cancer rises with age to a maximum, and then decreases. This decrease in the age-specific incidence with age is an anomaly. Understanding this anomaly should lead to a better understanding of how tumors develop and grow. Here we derive the shape of the age-specific incidence, showing that it should follow the shape of a Weibull distribution. Measurements indicate that the age-specific incidence for colon cancer does indeed follow a Weibull distribution. This analysis leads to the interpretation that for colon cancer two subpopulations exist in the general population: a susceptible population and an immune population. Colon tumors will only occur in the susceptible population. This analysis is consistent with the developmental origins of disease hypothesis and generalizable to many other common forms of cancer.

  2. The Age Specific Incidence Anomaly Suggests that Cancers Originate During Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brody, James P.

    2014-05-01

    The accumulation of genetic alterations causes cancers. Since this accumulation takes time, the incidence of most cancers is thought to increase exponentially with age. However, careful measurements of the age-specific incidence show that the specific incidence for many forms of cancer rises with age to a maximum, and then decreases. This decrease in the age-specific incidence with age is an anomaly. Understanding this anomaly should lead to a better understanding of how tumors develop and grow. Here we derive the shape of the age-specific incidence, showing that it should follow the shape of a Weibull distribution. Measurements indicate that the age-specific incidence for colon cancer does indeed follow a Weibull distribution. This analysis leads to the interpretation that for colon cancer two subpopulations exist in the general population: a susceptible population and an immune population. Colon tumors will only occur in the susceptible population. This analysis is consistent with the developmental origins of disease hypothesis and generalizable to many other common forms of cancer.

  3. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chris McCreedy; Van Riper, Charles, III

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P < 0.001) for the four species of greatest sample size. To investigate the role of nesting delay in nesting success and productivity, in 2010 we conducted a manipulative experiment with Black-tailed Gnatcatchers (Polioptila melanura; BTGN) and Verdins (Auriparus flaviceps; VERD). Following a wet winter, we delayed clutch initiation dates for treatment pairs to match first-egg dates that we observed during droughts in 2006 and 2007. Nest initiation date had a significant negative effect on nest survival of both species (BTGN: β̂ = −1.18 ± 0.27 SE, P < 0.001; VERD: β̂ = −2.33 ± 0.51 SE, P = 0.003). Treatment pairs were unable to overcome the lost period of high productivity in March and early April, and had lower productivity than control pairs over the entire breeding season. As nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were the most common causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  4. Hood River Steelhead Genetics Study; Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Wild Steelhead in the Hood River, Final Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Blouin, Michael

    2003-05-01

    analysis, the relative total reproductive success (adult-to-adult production) of hatchery (H{sub old} or H{sub new}) and wild (W) fish for two populations, over multiple brood years. Our analyses of samples from fish that bred in the early to mid 1990's show that fish of 'old' hatchery stocks have much lower total fitness than wild fish (17% to 54% of wild fitness), but that 'new' stocks have fitness that is similar to that of wild fish (ranging from 85% to 108% of wild fitness, depending on parental gender and run year). Therefore, our results show that the decision to phase out the old, out-of-basin stocks and replace them with new, conservation hatchery stocks was well founded. We also conclude that the H{sub new} fish are leaving behind substantial numbers of wild-born offspring. The similar fitnesses of H{sub new} and W fish suggests that wild-born offspring of H{sub new} fish are unlikely to have negative genetic effects on the population when they in turn spawn in the wild. We will test this hypothesis once enough F2 offspring have returned. Another interesting result is that we were unable to match a large fraction of the unclipped, returning fish with parents from their brood year. Furthermore, we were missing more fathers than mothers. Because we sampled almost every possible anadromous parent, these results suggest that nonanadromous trout or precocious parr may be obtaining a substantial number of matings. Substantial reproduction by precocious parr could be one unintended consequence of the hatchery program.

  5. Concentration of organochlorine in egg yolk and reproductive success of Egretta garzetta (Linnaeus, 1758) at Wat Tan-en non-hunting area, Phra Nakhorn Si Ayuthaya Province, Thailand.

    PubMed

    Keithmaleesatti, S; Thirakhupt, K; Pradatsudarasar, A; Varanusupakul, P; Kitana, N; Robson, M

    2007-09-01

    Contaminant analyses in animal eggs have illustrated the benefit of wildlife as indicators of xenobiotic contamination in natural habitats. In 2002, concentrations of 16 organochlorine insecticides were measured in egg yolk and the reproductive success of the little egret, Egretta garzetta, was studied in a population at Wat Tan-en non-hunting area Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhorn Si Ayuthaya Province, Thailand. Only 4,4'-dichloro diphenylethane (4,4'-DDE) was detected in the yolk of all samples (n=12) at the concentrations ranging from 33.4 to 116.0 ng/gwetwt. Mean eggshell thickness (n=24) was 0.261+/-0.005 mm. Relationships between the concentrations of 4,4'-DDE and eggshell thickness as well as the reproductive success at all stages were not found (P>0.05). Rather, major factors potentially influencing the decline of reproductive success observed during the field study may include strong wind, predators, intraspecific and interspecific competitions. PMID:17081607

  6. Early Life Stage Exposure to BDE-47 Causes Adverse Effects on Reproductive Success and Sexual Differentiation in Fathead Minnows (Pimephales promelas).

    PubMed

    Thornton, Leah M; Path, Elise M; Nystrom, Gunnar S; Venables, Barney J; Sellin Jeffries, Marlo K

    2016-07-19

    2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), a compound manufactured for use as a flame retardant, is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and suspected endocrine disruptor. Though several studies have explored the reproductive effects of BDE-47 in adult fish, there is a paucity of data regarding the reproductive effects of early life stage exposure. The goal of this study was to assess the reproductive effects of early life stage BDE-47 exposure in fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas). To achieve this, minnows were exposed to either a low (57.68 μg BDE-47/g Artemia) or high (392.59 μg BDE-47/g Artemia) dose of BDE-47 from fertilization to 34 days postfertilization (dpf) via a combination of maternal transfer and dietary exposure. Larvae were then raised on a clean diet until sexual maturity (∼184 dpf) when reproductive function was evaluated using a 21 day breeding study. Fish exposed to BDE-47 had significantly reduced clutch size and fecundity relative to controls. BDE-47 exposed groups also had female-biased sex ratios and exposed males had fewer tubercles. Overall, this study demonstrates that exposure to BDE-47 during early life stages can alter both sexual differentiation and reproductive function. PMID:27326452

  7. Effects of Hand-Rearing on Reproductive Success in Captive Large Cats Panthera tigris altaica, Uncia uncia, Acinonyx jubatus and Neofelis nebulosa

    PubMed Central

    Hampson, Maja Coulthard; Schwitzer, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (p<0.01; p = 0.0113), snow leopards (p<0.01), male cheetahs (p<0.01) and female clouded leopards (p<0.01) produced fewer offspring than parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared snow leopard breeding pairs had larger litters than parent-reared pairs (p = 0.0404). Hand-reared snow leopard females reproduced later in life (p<0.01). Hand-reared female Siberian tigers lived shorter lives, while hand-reared cheetahs lived longer (p<0.01; p = 0.0107). Infant mortality was higher in hand-reared snow leopards (p<0.01) and male cheetahs (p = 0.0395) in the 1901–2011 dataset and lower in hand-reared female Siberian tiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349) in the 2000–2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (p<0.01 for Siberian tiger and snow leopard cubs; p<0.001 for cheetah and snow leopard cubs). Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the

  8. Effects of Hand-Rearing on Reproductive Success in Captive Large Cats Panthera tigris altaica, Uncia uncia, Acinonyx jubatus and Neofelis nebulosa.

    PubMed

    Hampson, Maja Coulthard; Schwitzer, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (p<0.01; p = 0.0113), snow leopards (p<0.01), male cheetahs (p<0.01) and female clouded leopards (p<0.01) produced fewer offspring than parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared snow leopard breeding pairs had larger litters than parent-reared pairs (p = 0.0404). Hand-reared snow leopard females reproduced later in life (p<0.01). Hand-reared female Siberian tigers lived shorter lives, while hand-reared cheetahs lived longer (p<0.01; p = 0.0107). Infant mortality was higher in hand-reared snow leopards (p<0.01) and male cheetahs (p = 0.0395) in the 1901-2011 dataset and lower in hand-reared female Siberian tiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349) in the 2000-2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (p<0.01 for Siberian tiger and snow leopard cubs; p<0.001 for cheetah and snow leopard cubs). Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the

  9. Cold-seeking behaviour mitigates reproductive losses from fungal infection in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Hunt, Vicky L; Zhong, Weihao; McClure, Colin D; Mlynski, David T; Duxbury, Elizabeth M L; Keith Charnley, A; Priest, Nicholas K

    2016-01-01

    Animals must tailor their life-history strategies to suit the prevailing conditions and respond to hazards in the environment. Animals with lethal infections are faced with a difficult choice: to allocate more resources to reproduction and suffer higher mortality or to reduce reproduction with the expectation of enhanced immunity and late-age reproduction. However, the strategies employed to mediate shifts in life-history traits are largely unknown. Here, we investigate the temperature preference of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, during infection with the fungal pathogen, Metarhizium robertsii, and the consequence of temperature preference on life-history traits. We have measured the temperature preference of fruit flies under different pathogen conditions. We conducted multiple fitness assays of the host and the pathogen under different thermal conditions. From these data, we estimated standard measures of fitness and used age-specific methodologies to test for the fitness trade-offs that are thought to underlie differences in life-history strategy. We found that fungus-infected fruit flies seek out cooler temperatures, which facilitates an adaptive shift in their life-history strategy. The colder temperatures preferred by infected animals were detrimental to the pathogen because it increased resistance to infection. But, it did not provide net benefits that were specific to infected animals, as cooler temperatures increased lifetime reproductive success and survival whether or not the animals were infected. Instead, we find that cold-seeking benefits infected animals by increasing their late-age reproductive output, at a cost to their early-age reproductive output. In contrast, naive control flies prefer warmer temperatures that optimize early-age reproductive, at a cost to reproductive output at late ages. These findings show that infected animals exhibit fundamentally different reproductive strategies than their healthy counterparts. Temperature

  10. Growing Fixed With Age: Lay Theories of Malleability Are Target Age-Specific.

    PubMed

    Neel, Rebecca; Lassetter, Bethany

    2015-11-01

    Beliefs about whether people can change ("lay theories" of malleability) are known to have wide-ranging effects on social motivation, cognition, and judgment. Yet rather than holding an overarching belief that people can or cannot change, perceivers may hold independent beliefs about whether different people are malleable-that is, lay theories may be target-specific. Seven studies demonstrate that lay theories are target-specific with respect to age: Perceivers hold distinct, uncorrelated lay theories of people at different ages, and younger targets are considered to be more malleable than older targets. Both forms of target-specificity are consequential, as target age-specific lay theories predict policy support for learning-based senior services and the rehabilitation of old and young drug users. The implications of target age-specific lay theories for a number of psychological processes, the social psychology of aging, and theoretical frameworks of malleability beliefs are discussed. PMID:26351273

  11. Age-specific forced polymorphism: implications of ontogenetic changes in morphology for male mating tactics.

    PubMed

    Irschick, Duncan J; Lailvaux, Simon P

    2006-01-01

    Age-specific forced polymorphism is the presence of two or more distinct phenotypes (here we consider only males) that occur in separate sexually mature age groups (e.g., horns in older males but not younger males). The life-stage morph maturation hypothesis posits that all younger males that possess a particular structure can transform into older males with a different structure, most likely via the influence of hormones. The life-stage morph selection hypothesis posits that polymorphism is due to intense selection resulting in a highly nonrandom sample of younger males surviving to become older males, thus leading to different mean phenotypes in different age groups. We conducted an extensive review of literature from the past 20 years (1983-2003) for cases of age-specific forced polymorphism. Overall, we found only a few cases that fit our criteria of age-specific forced polymorphism, and we argue that most (e.g., orangutans, elephant seals) have likely arisen via the life-stage morph maturation mechanism, but we also present several examples (e.g., green anole lizards) that appear to be candidates for life-stage morph selection. However, none of the reviewed studies provided enough information (e.g., age of morphs, growth patterns of the morphological structure) to definitively invoke either of the two mechanisms. We suggest that age-specific forced polymorphism is more common than reflected in this review and that future studies should gather demographic and laboratory data that will directly compare the life-stage morph maturation and life-stage morph selection hypotheses. PMID:16380929

  12. Age-Specificity of Clinical Dengue during Primary and Secondary Infections

    PubMed Central

    Thai, Khoa T. D.; Nishiura, Hiroshi; Hoang, Phuong Lan; Tran, Nga Thanh Thi; Phan, Giao Trong; Le, Hung Quoc; Tran, Binh Quang; Nguyen, Nam Van; de Vries, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Background This study aims to estimate the age-specific risks of clinical dengue attack (i.e., the risk of symptomatic dengue among the total number of dengue virus (DENV) infections) during primary and secondary infections. Methods We analyzed two pieces of epidemiological information in Binh Thuan province, southern Vietnam, i.e., age-specific seroprevalence and a community-wide longitudinal study of clinical dengue attack. The latter data set stratified febrile patients with DENV infection by age as well as infection parity. A simple modeling approach was employed to estimate the age-specific risks of clinical dengue attack during primary and secondary infections. Results Using the seroprevalence data, the force of infection was estimated to be 11.7% (95% confidence intervals (CI): 10.8–12.7) per year. Median age (and the 25–75 percentiles) of dengue fever patients during primary and secondary infections were 12 (9–20) and 20 (14–31) years, respectively. The estimated age-specific risk of clinical dengue increases as a function of age for both primary and secondary infections; the estimated proportion of symptomatic patients among the total number of infected individuals was estimated to be <7% for those aged <10 years for both primary and secondary infections, but increased as patients become older, reaching to 8–11% by the age of 20 years. Conclusions/Significance For both primary and secondary infections, higher age at DENV infection was shown to result in higher risk of clinical attack. Age as an important modulator of clinical dengue explains recent increase in dengue notifications in ageing countries in Southeast Asia, and moreover, poses a paradoxical problem of an increase in adult patients resulting from a decline in the force of infection, which may be caused by various factors including time-dependent variations in epidemiological, ecological and demographic dynamics. PMID:21713018

  13. Structural modeling of age specific fertility curves in Peninsular Malaysia: An approach of Lee Carter method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanafiah, Hazlenah; Jemain, Abdul Aziz

    2013-11-01

    In recent years, the study of fertility has been getting a lot of attention among research abroad following fear of deterioration of fertility led by the rapid economy development. Hence, this study examines the feasibility of developing fertility forecasts based on age structure. Lee Carter model (1992) is applied in this study as it is an established and widely used model in analysing demographic aspects. A singular value decomposition approach is incorporated with an ARIMA model to estimate age specific fertility rates in Peninsular Malaysia over the period 1958-2007. Residual plots is used to measure the goodness of fit of the model. Fertility index forecast using random walk drift is then utilised to predict the future age specific fertility. Results indicate that the proposed model provides a relatively good and reasonable data fitting. In addition, there is an apparent and continuous decline in age specific fertility curves in the next 10 years, particularly among mothers' in their early 20's and 40's. The study on the fertility is vital in order to maintain a balance between the population growth and the provision of facilities related resources.

  14. Automated tissue classification of pediatric brains from magnetic resonance images using age-specific atlases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metzger, Andrew; Benavides, Amanda; Nopoulos, Peg; Magnotta, Vincent

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this project was to develop two age appropriate atlases (neonatal and one year old) that account for the rapid growth and maturational changes that occur during early development. Tissue maps from this age group were initially created by manually correcting the resulting tissue maps after applying an expectation maximization (EM) algorithm and an adult atlas to pediatric subjects. The EM algorithm classified each voxel into one of ten possible tissue types including several subcortical structures. This was followed by a novel level set segmentation designed to improve differentiation between distal cortical gray matter and white matter. To minimize the req uired manual corrections, the adult atlas was registered to the pediatric scans using high -dimensional, symmetric image normalization (SyN) registration. The subject images were then mapped to an age specific atlas space, again using SyN registration, and the resulting transformation applied to the manually corrected tissue maps. The individual maps were averaged in the age specific atlas space and blurred to generate the age appropriate anatomical priors. The resulting anatomical priors were then used by the EM algorithm to re-segment the initial training set as well as an independent testing set. The results from the adult and age-specific anatomical priors were compared to the manually corrected results. The age appropriate atlas provided superior results as compared to the adult atlas. The image analysis pipeline used in this work was built using the open source software package BRAINSTools.

  15. Effect of the Operation of Kerr and Hungry Horse Dams on the Reproduction Success of Kokanee in the Flathead River System, 1986 Annual Progress Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Beattie, Will; Clancey, Patrick

    1987-03-01

    eggs above minimum pool depends on redds being wetted by groundwater seeps. After 40 days exposure by drawdown, eggs in groundwater seeps showed 86 percent survival, whereas outside of the groundwater seeps eggs survived less than six days. These results confirm that exposure by drawdown is the primary factor that limits kokanee reproductive success in redds above minimum pool. We surveyed the west and south shoreline of Flathead Lake to locate potential kokanee spawning habitat. We found conditions which could support incubating eggs at two sites in South Ray and two sites on the west shore of the lake. Seven other sites on the west shore were not suitable due to low groundwater discharge or low dissolved oxygen. In all these areas suitable substrate existed only within the drawdown zone. The lake should be drafted earlier in the fall, and filled earlier in the spring to improve recruitment from lakeshore spawning. We conducted creel surveys during 1985, and estimated that anglers caught 192,000 kokanee. Anglers harvested 49,200 fish during the ice fishery in Skidoo Bay, 129,000 fish during the summer fishery on the lake, and 13,800 during the fall river fishery. Estimated fishing pressure for the year exceeded 188,000 angler hours. The abundance of mysid shrimp in Flathead Lake, measured at six index stations, increased to 130/mIf in 1986. My&Is increased tenfold from 1984 to 1985, and about threefold from 1985 to 1986. Monitoring of mysid shrimp and zooplankton populations in Flathead Lake is supplementing an investigation of the growth and survival of juvenile kokanee. Kokanee and mysid shrimp feed primarily on planktonic crustaceans. This work was designed to detect a potential decline in kokanee recruitment or growth brought about by competitive interaction with mysid shrimp. Fluctuation in adult kokanee year class strength is in part attributable to the negative effects of hydroelectric dam operation on reproductive success in the main stem Flathead River and in

  16. Pre-wintering conditions and post-winter performance in a solitary bee: does diapause impose an energetic cost on reproductive success?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diapause is a dynamic process of low metabolic activity that allows insects to survive periods during which conditions are unfavourable for development and reproduction. Notwithstanding the lowered metabolism, and since diapausing insects usually have no access to food, diapause has an energetic cos...

  17. Fertility Clinic Success Rates

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2013 Assisted Reproductive Technology Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir 2013 ART Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report [PDF - 1MB] Bookmarks and thumbnails are available within ...

  18. The impact of overfishing and El Niño on the condition factor and reproductive success of Peruvian hake, Merluccius gayi peruanus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballón, Michael; Wosnitza-Mendo, Claudia; Guevara-Carrasco, Renato; Bertrand, Arnaud

    2008-10-01

    In this study we examine physiological responses of Peruvian hake ( Merluccius gayi peruanus) to changes in their population structure and physical environment during the period 1971-2004. In particular, we assess the relative investment of energy in growth and/or reproduction of small (20-35 cm) and large (35-50 cm) hake. We calculated the (i) condition (Fulton’s K), (ii) gonad and (iii) gut fullness indices for 42,761 female hakes sampled from commercial landings; these indices indicate fish somatic, reproductive and feeding condition, respectively. Using Generalized Additive Models we then examined potential relationships between these indices and sea surface temperature anomalies and date. Drastic energy exhaustion and a decrease in female hake fecundity were observed during El Niño events. The long-term trend showed a general increase in condition factor and a decrease in gonad index for large hake between 1971 and 2004. Small hake exhibited a different trend with an increase in reproductive activity, which was accompanied by an earlier maturation. We hypothesise that the observed low investment of energy in reproduction by large female hake might be related to the lack of large males, due to a sex-selective fishery and the impact of El Niño. We suggest that fishing diminished hake reproductive capacity, modified the sex ratio in favour of females and increased population vulnerability to environmental stress, in particular to the El Niño. The impact of multidecadal variability and predators like the squid, Dosidicus gigas, remain unresolved until longer time series become available.

  19. Age-specific Parkinson disease risk in GBA mutation carriers: information for genetic counseling

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Huma Q.; Balwani, Manisha; Bier, Louise; Alcalay, Roy N.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose We sought to estimate age-specific risk of Parkinson disease in relatives of patients with Gaucher disease, who are obligate carriers of GBA mutations and who were not ascertained by family history of Parkinson disease. Methods A validated family history of Parkinson disease questionnaire was administered to 119 patients with Gaucher disease who were evaluated at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine from 2009 to 2012; the ages of their parents, siblings, and children, history of Parkinson disease, age at onset of Parkinson disease, and ethnic background were obtained. Kaplan–Meier survival curves were used to estimate age-specific Parkinson disease penetrance among parents of patients with Gaucher disease, who are obligatory GBA mutation carriers. Results Two participants with Gaucher disease were affected by Parkinson disease (5.4% of those who were 60 years or older). Of the 224 informative parents of patients with Gaucher disease, 11 had Parkinson disease (4.9%). Among the parents (obligatory carriers), cumulative risk of Parkinson disease by ages 65 and 85 was estimated to be 2.2% ±2.1% and 10.9% ±7.2%, respectively. Conclusion We provide useful age-specific estimates of Parkinson disease penetrance in patients with Gaucher disease and GBA heterozygous carriers for genetic counseling. Although GBA mutations may increase the risk for PD, the vast majority of patients with Gaucher disease and heterozygotes may not develop the disease. Further studies are needed to identify what modifies the risk of Parkinson disease in GBA mutation carriers. PMID:22935721

  20. Uncertainty in age-specific harvest estimates and consequences for white-tailed deer management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collier, B.A.; Krementz, D.G.

    2007-01-01

    Age structure proportions (proportion of harvested individuals within each age class) are commonly used as support for regulatory restrictions and input for deer population models. Such use requires critical evaluation when harvest regulations force hunters to selectively harvest specific age classes, due to impact on the underlying population age structure. We used a stochastic population simulation model to evaluate the impact of using harvest proportions to evaluate changes in population age structure under a selective harvest management program at two scales. Using harvest proportions to parameterize the age-specific harvest segment of the model for the local scale showed that predictions of post-harvest age structure did not vary dependent upon whether selective harvest criteria were in use or not. At the county scale, yearling frequency in the post-harvest population increased, but model predictions indicated that post-harvest population size of 2.5 years old males would decline below levels found before implementation of the antler restriction, reducing the number of individuals recruited into older age classes. Across the range of age-specific harvest rates modeled, our simulation predicted that underestimation of age-specific harvest rates has considerable influence on predictions of post-harvest population age structure. We found that the consequence of uncertainty in harvest rates corresponds to uncertainty in predictions of residual population structure, and this correspondence is proportional to scale. Our simulations also indicate that regardless of use of harvest proportions or harvest rates, at either the local or county scale the modeled SHC had a high probability (>0.60 and >0.75, respectively) of eliminating recruitment into >2.5 years old age classes. Although frequently used to increase population age structure, our modeling indicated that selective harvest criteria can decrease or eliminate the number of white-tailed deer recruited into older

  1. Modeling age-specific cancer incidences using logistic growth equations: implications for data collection.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xing-Rong; Feng, Rui; Chai, Jing; Cheng, Jing; Wang, De-Bin

    2014-01-01

    Large scale secular registry or surveillance systems have been accumulating vast data that allow mathematical modeling of cancer incidence and mortality rates. Most contemporary models in this regard use time series and APC (age-period-cohort) methods and focus primarily on predicting or analyzing cancer epidemiology with little attention being paid to implications for designing cancer registry, surveillance or evaluation initiatives. This research models age-specific cancer incidence rates using logistic growth equations and explores their performance under different scenarios of data completeness in the hope of deriving clues for reshaping relevant data collection. The study used China Cancer Registry Report 2012 as the data source. It employed 3-parameter logistic growth equations and modeled the age-specific incidence rates of all and the top 10 cancers presented in the registry report. The study performed 3 types of modeling, namely full age-span by fitting, multiple 5-year- segment fitting and single-segment fitting. Measurement of model performance adopted adjusted goodness of fit that combines sum of squred residuals and relative errors. Both model simulation and performance evalation utilized self-developed algorithms programed using C# languade and MS Visual Studio 2008. For models built upon full age-span data, predicted age-specific cancer incidence rates fitted very well with observed values for most (except cervical and breast) cancers with estimated goodness of fit (Rs) being over 0.96. When a given cancer is concerned, the R valuae of the logistic growth model derived using observed data from urban residents was greater than or at least equal to that of the same model built on data from rural people. For models based on multiple-5-year-segment data, the Rs remained fairly high (over 0.89) until 3-fourths of the data segments were excluded. For models using a fixed length single-segment of observed data, the older the age covered by the corresponding

  2. Improved reproductive success in otters (Lutra lutra), grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from Sweden in relation to concentrations of organochlorine contaminants.

    PubMed

    Roos, Anna M; Bäcklin, Britt-Marie V M; Helander, Björn O; Rigét, Frank F; Eriksson, Ulla C

    2012-11-01

    We studied indices of reproductive outcome in three aquatic species in relation to organochlorine concentrations during four decades. In female otters, the frequency of signs of reproduction increased after 1990. In grey seals, pregnancy rate increased 1990-2010 and uterine obstructions ceased after 1993. The frequency of uterine tumours was highest 1980-2000. The number of sea eagle nestlings per checked nest increased 1985-2000, while the frequency of desiccated eggs decreased. Organochlorine concentrations decreased at annual rates between 3.5 and 10.2%. The estimated mean concentration (mg/kg lw) for total-PCB decreased from 70 to 8 (otters), from 110 to 15 (seals) and from 955 to 275 (eagles). The corresponding concentrations for ΣDDT decreased from 3.4 to 0.2 (otters), from 192 to 2.8 (seals) and from 865 to 65 (eagles). This study adds evidence to support the hypothesis that PCBs and DDTs have had strong negative effects on the reproduction and population levels of these species. PMID:22842056

  3. The composite dynamic method as evidence for age-specific waterfowl mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burnham, Kenneth P.; Anderson, David R.

    1979-01-01

    For the past 25 years estimation of mortality rates for waterfowl has been based almost entirely on the composite dynamic life table. We examined the specific assumptions for this method and derived a valid goodness of fit test. We performed this test on 45 data sets representing a cross section of banded sampled for various waterfowl species, geographic areas, banding periods, and age/sex classes. We found that: (1) the composite dynamic method was rejected (P <0.001) in 37 of the 45 data sets (in fact, 29 were rejected at P <0.00001) and (2) recovery and harvest rates are year-specific (a critical violation of the necessary assumptions). We conclude that the restrictive assumptions required for the composite dynamic method to produce valid estimates of mortality rates are not met in waterfowl data. Also we demonstrate that even when the required assumptions are met, the method produces very biased estimates of age-specific mortality rates. We believe the composite dynamic method should not be used in the analysis of waterfowl banding data. Furthermore, the composite dynamic method does not provide valid evidence for age-specific mortality rates in waterfowl.

  4. Age-specific epidemic waves of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in a subtropical city.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lin; Chan, Kwok Hung; Suen, Lorna K P; Chan, King Pan; Wang, Xiling; Cao, Peihua; He, Daihai; Peiris, J S Malik; Wong, Chit Ming

    2015-01-01

    Both influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are active throughout the year in subtropical or tropical regions, but few studies have reported on age-specific seasonal patterns of these viruses. We examined the age-specific epidemic curves of laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza A (subtyped into seasonal A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and pandemic virus A(H1N1)pdm09), influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), in subtropical city Hong Kong from 2004 to 2013. We found that different types and subtypes of influenza showed similar two-peak patterns across age groups, with one peak in winter and another in spring/summer. Age differences were found in epidemic onset time and duration, but none could reach statistical significance (p > 0.05). Age synchrony was found in epidemic peak time for both cool and warm seasons. RSV showed less clear seasonal patterns and non-synchronized epidemic curves across age. In conclusion, age synchrony was found in influenza seasonal epidemics and the 2009 pandemic, but not in RSV. None of the age groups consistently appear as the driving force for seasonal epidemics of influenza and RSV in Hong Kong. PMID:25981824

  5. Age-specific percentile-based reference curve of serum procalcitonin concentrations in Japanese preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Fukuzumi, Noriko; Osawa, Kayo; Sato, Itsuko; Iwatani, Sota; Ishino, Ruri; Hayashi, Nobuhide; Iijima, Kazumoto; Saegusa, Jun; Morioka, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Procalcitonin (PCT) levels are elevated early after birth in newborn infants; however, the physiological features and reference of serum PCT concentrations have not been fully studied in preterm infants. The aims of the current study were to establish an age-specific percentile-based reference curve of serum PCT concentrations in preterm infants and determine the features. The PCT concentration peaked in infants at 1 day old and decreased thereafter. At 1 day old, serum PCT concentrations in preterm infants <34 weeks' gestational age were higher than those in late preterm infants between 34 and 36 weeks' gestational age or term infants ≥37 weeks' gestational age. Although the 50-percentile value in late preterm and term infants reached the adult normal level (0.1 ng/mL) at 5 days old, it did not in preterm infants. It took 9 weeks for preterm infants to reach it. Serum PCT concentrations at onset in late-onset infected preterm infants were over the 95-percentile value. We showed that the physiological feature in preterm infants was significantly different from that in late preterm infants, even in those <37 weeks' gestational age. To detect late-onset bacterial infection and sepsis, an age-specific percentile-based reference curve may be useful in preterm infants. PMID:27033746

  6. Age-specific percentile-based reference curve of serum procalcitonin concentrations in Japanese preterm infants

    PubMed Central

    Fukuzumi, Noriko; Osawa, Kayo; Sato, Itsuko; Iwatani, Sota; Ishino, Ruri; Hayashi, Nobuhide; Iijima, Kazumoto; Saegusa, Jun; Morioka, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    Procalcitonin (PCT) levels are elevated early after birth in newborn infants; however, the physiological features and reference of serum PCT concentrations have not been fully studied in preterm infants. The aims of the current study were to establish an age-specific percentile-based reference curve of serum PCT concentrations in preterm infants and determine the features. The PCT concentration peaked in infants at 1 day old and decreased thereafter. At 1 day old, serum PCT concentrations in preterm infants <34 weeks’ gestational age were higher than those in late preterm infants between 34 and 36 weeks’ gestational age or term infants ≥37 weeks’ gestational age. Although the 50-percentile value in late preterm and term infants reached the adult normal level (0.1 ng/mL) at 5 days old, it did not in preterm infants. It took 9 weeks for preterm infants to reach it. Serum PCT concentrations at onset in late-onset infected preterm infants were over the 95-percentile value. We showed that the physiological feature in preterm infants was significantly different from that in late preterm infants, even in those <37 weeks’ gestational age. To detect late-onset bacterial infection and sepsis, an age-specific percentile-based reference curve may be useful in preterm infants. PMID:27033746

  7. Age-specific measles mortality during the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

    PubMed

    Shanks, G D; Waller, M; Briem, H; Gottfredsson, M

    2015-12-01

    Measles mortality fell prior to the introduction of vaccines or antibiotics. By examining historical mortality reports we sought to determine how much measles mortality was due to epidemiological factors such as isolation from major population centres or increased age at time of infection. Age-specific records were available from Aberdeen; Scotland; New Zealand and the states of Australia at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Despite the relative isolation of Australia, measles mortality was concentrated in very young children similar to Aberdeen. In the more isolated states of Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland adults made up 14-15% of measles deaths as opposed to 8-9% in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. Mortality in Iceland and Faroe Islands during the 1846 measles epidemic was used as an example of islands isolated from respiratory pathogens. The transition from crisis mortality across all ages to deaths concentrated in young children occurred prior to the earliest age-specific mortality data collected. Factors in addition to adult age of infection and epidemiological isolation such as nutritional status and viral virulence may have contributed to measles mortality outcomes a century ago. PMID:25865777

  8. Evolutionary demography and quantitative genetics: age-specific survival as a threshold trait

    PubMed Central

    Moorad, Jacob A.; Promislow, Daniel E. L.

    2011-01-01

    Researchers must understand how mutations affect survival at various ages to understand how ageing evolves. Many models linking mutation to age-specific survival have been proposed but there is little evidence to indicate which model is most appropriate. This is a serious problem because the predicted evolutionary endpoints of ageing depend upon the details of the specific model. We apply an explicitly quantitative genetic perspective to the problem. To determine the inheritance of dichotomous traits (such as survival), quantitative genetics has long employed a threshold model. Beginning from first principles, we show how this is the most defensible mutational model for age-specific survival and how this, relative to the standard model, predicts delayed senescence and mortality deceleration at late age. These are commonly observed patterns of ageing that heretofore have required more complicated survival models. We also show how this model can be developed further to unify quantitative genetics and evolutionary demography into a more complete conceptual framework for understanding the evolution of ageing. PMID:20659934

  9. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

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

  10. Reproductive Hazards

    MedlinePlus

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

  11. ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY REPORTS (ART REPORTS)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), an organization of ART providers affiliated with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), has been collecting data and publishing annual reports of pregnancy success rates for fertility clinics in the United S...

  12. Adjuvant-induced Human Monocyte Secretome Profiles Reveal Adjuvant- and Age-specific Protein Signatures.

    PubMed

    Oh, Djin-Ye; Dowling, David J; Ahmed, Saima; Choi, Hyungwon; Brightman, Spencer; Bergelson, Ilana; Berger, Sebastian T; Sauld, John F; Pettengill, Matthew; Kho, Alvin T; Pollack, Henry J; Steen, Hanno; Levy, Ofer

    2016-06-01

    Adjuvants boost vaccine responses, enhancing protective immunity against infections that are most common among the very young. Many adjuvants activate innate immunity, some via Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs), whose activities varies with age. Accordingly, characterization of age-specific adjuvant-induced immune responses may inform rational adjuvant design targeting vulnerable populations. In this study, we employed proteomics to characterize the adjuvant-induced changes of secretomes from human newborn and adult monocytes in response to Alum, the most commonly used adjuvant in licensed vaccines; Monophosphoryl Lipid A (MPLA), a TLR4-activating adjuvant component of a licensed Human Papilloma Virus vaccine; and R848 an imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 agonist that is a candidate adjuvant for early life vaccines. Monocytes were incubated in vitro for 24 h with vehicle, Alum, MPLA, or R848 and supernatants collected for proteomic analysis employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) (data available via ProteomeXchange, ID PXD003534). 1894 non-redundant proteins were identified, of which ∼30 - 40% were common to all treatment conditions and ∼5% were treatment-specific. Adjuvant-stimulated secretome profiles, as identified by cluster analyses of over-represented proteins, varied with age and adjuvant type. Adjuvants, especially Alum, activated multiple innate immune pathways as assessed by functional enrichment analyses. Release of lactoferrin, pentraxin 3, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was confirmed in newborn and adult whole blood and blood monocytes stimulated with adjuvants alone or adjuvanted licensed vaccines with distinct clinical reactogenicity profiles. MPLA-induced adult monocyte secretome profiles correlated in silico with transcriptome profiles induced in adults immunized with the MPLA-adjuvanted RTS,S malaria vaccine (Mosquirix™). Overall, adjuvants such as Alum, MPLA and R848 give rise to distinct and age-specific monocyte secretome profiles

  13. Age-specific response of a migratory bird to an experimental alteration of its habitat.

    PubMed

    Haché, Samuel; Villard, Marc-André

    2010-07-01

    1. Recruitment, i.e. the influx of new breeding individuals into a population, is an important demographic parameter, especially in species with a short life span. Few studies have measured this parameter in solitary-breeding animal populations even though it may yield critical information on habitat suitability and functional connectivity. 2. Using a before-after, control-impact pairs (BACIP) experimental design, we measured: (i) the return rate and apparent survival rate of individually marked territorial males of a neotropical migrant bird species, the Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla Linnaeus and (ii) the age-specific recruitment rate. Study plots (n = 10) were paired: one was treated through single-tree selection harvesting (30-40% basal area removal) and the other acted as a control. We hypothesized that experienced males would out-compete inexperienced ones and tend to avoid settling in lower-quality, treated stands. 3. In the first year post-harvest, the mean density of territorial males was significantly lower in treated plots (-41%) than in controls and the difference remained relatively stable thereafter. This lower density mainly reflected a lower recruitment rate compared to controls (17.9 vs. 49.0% of males present), itself driven by a lower recruitment rate of experienced males (2.8 vs. 22.8%). Return rate was similar between controls and treated plots in the first year post-harvest (59 vs. 55%, respectively) but it decreased in treated plots during the second (-15.8% relative to controls) and third (-12.7%) year post-harvest. The trend was even stronger when considering only experienced males. The treatment was followed by a major expansion in mean territory size in treated plots (+49% relative to controls, 3rd year post-treatment). 4. Neither apparent survival rate nor recruitment rate varied as predicted. There was a strong year effect but no treatment effect on apparent survival rate, whereas male recruitment patterns were both year- and age-specific

  14. Developmental time and age-specific life tables for Lygus lineolaris (Heteroptera: Miridae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Developmental times and survivorship of tarnished plant bug (TPB) nymphs, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), and longevity and reproduction of adult tarnished plant bug adults reared on green beans were studied at multiple constant temperatures. The developmental time for each life stage and th...

  15. Oxytocin is an age-specific circulating hormone that is necessary for muscle maintenance and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyayula, Pavan; Chen, Robert Y.; Chooljian, Marc S.; Li, Ju; Kung, Sunny; Jiang, Kevin P.; Conboy, Irina M.

    2014-01-01

    The regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle declines with age. Previous studies suggest that this process can be reversed by exposure to young circulation, but systemic age-specific factors responsible for this phenomenon are largely unknown. Here we report that oxytocin- a hormone best known for its role in lactation, parturition, and social behaviors - is required for proper muscle tissue regeneration and homeostasis, and that plasma levels of oxytocin decline with age. Inhibition of oxytocin signaling in young animals reduces muscle regeneration, whereas systemic administration of oxytocin rapidly improves muscle regeneration by enhancing aged muscle stem cell activation/proliferation throughactivation of the MAPK/ERK signalling pathway. We further show that the genetic lack of oxytocin does not cause a developmental defect in muscle, but instead leads to premature sarcopenia. Considering that oxytocin is an FDA approved drug, this work reveals a potential novel and safe way to combat or prevent skeletal muscle aging. PMID:24915299

  16. Oxytocin is an age-specific circulating hormone that is necessary for muscle maintenance and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Elabd, Christian; Cousin, Wendy; Upadhyayula, Pavan; Chen, Robert Y; Chooljian, Marc S; Li, Ju; Kung, Sunny; Jiang, Kevin P; Conboy, Irina M

    2014-01-01

    The regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle declines with age. Previous studies suggest that this process can be reversed by exposure to young circulation; however, systemic age-specific factors responsible for this phenomenon are largely unknown. Here we report that oxytocin--a hormone best known for its role in lactation, parturition and social behaviours--is required for proper muscle tissue regeneration and homeostasis, and that plasma levels of oxytocin decline with age. Inhibition of oxytocin signalling in young animals reduces muscle regeneration, whereas systemic administration of oxytocin rapidly improves muscle regeneration by enhancing aged muscle stem cell activation/proliferation through activation of the MAPK/ERK signalling pathway. We further show that the genetic lack of oxytocin does not cause a developmental defect in muscle but instead leads to premature sarcopenia. Considering that oxytocin is an FDA-approved drug, this work reveals a potential novel and safe way to combat or prevent skeletal muscle ageing. PMID:24915299

  17. Age-specific inhalation radiation dose commitment factors for selected radionuclides

    SciTech Connect

    Strenge, D.L.; Peloquin, R.A.; Baker, D.A.

    1982-08-01

    Inhalation dose commitment factors are presented for selected radionuclides for exposure of individuals in four age groups: infant, child, teen and adult. Radionuclides considered are /sup 35/S, /sup 36/Cl, /sup 45/Ca, /sup 67/Ga, /sup 75/Se, /sup 85/Sr, /sup 109/Cd, /sup 113/Sn, /sup 125/I, /sup 133/Ba, /sup 170/Tm, /sup 169/Yb, /sup 182/Ta, /sup 192/Ir, /sup 198/Au, /sup 201/Tl, /sup 204/Tl, and /sup 236/Pu. The calculational method is based on the human metabolic model of ICRP as defined in Publication 2 (ICRP 1959) and as used in previous age-specific dose factor calculations by Hoenes and Soldat (1977). Dose commitment factors are presented for the following organs of reference: total body, bone, liver, kidney, thyroid, lung and lower large intestine.

  18. Measuring skill acquisition and retention with an ATM simulator: the need for age-specific training.

    PubMed

    Mead, S; Fisk, A D

    1998-09-01

    The present study focused on the type of information presented during training and its effects on initial and retention performance of older and younger adults interacting with computerized, new technology. The effects of emphasizing concepts versus actions during training on performance immediately after training and after a 1-month retention interval were examined. Younger and older adults completed either action or concept training for operating a virtual automatic teller machine (ATM). Overall, action training was associated with faster and more accurate performance immediately after training and better retention performance for older adults. For older adults, value of type of training interacted with type of task component. These findings are applicable to the development of age-specific training materials for computerized tasks. PMID:9849109

  19. An Atypical Age-Specific Pattern of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Peru: A Threat for Andean Populations

    PubMed Central

    Loli, Sebastian; Moura, Julien; Zimic, Mirko; Deharo, Eric; Ruiz, Eloy

    2013-01-01

    Background In South America, the highest incidence of primary liver cancer is observed in Peru. However, national estimations on hepatocellular carcinoma incidence and mortality are approximated using aggregated data from surrounding countries. Thus, there is a lack of tangible information from Peru that impairs an accurate description of the local incidence, presentation, and outcomes of hepatocellular carcinoma. The present study attempts to fill this gap and assesses the clinical epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in this country. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted by analysing the medical charts of 1,541 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma admitted between 1997 and 2010 at the Peruvian national institute for cancer. The medical records including liver function, serologic status, and tumor pathology and stage were monitored. Statistical analyses were performed in order to characterize tumor presentation according to demographic features, risk factors, and regional origin. Results Surprisingly, the age distribution of the patient population displayed bimodality corresponding to two distinct age-based subpopulations. While an older group was in keeping with the age range observed for hepatocellular carcinoma around the world, a younger population displayed an abnormally juvenile mean age of 25.5 years old. In addition, each subpopulation displayed age-specific pathophysiological and clinical characteristics. Conclusions The analysis suggests two different age-specific natural histories of hepatocellular carcinoma in the Peruvian patient population. This otherwise unusual tumor process that is ongoing in younger patients leads to the hypothesis that there may be a Peru-endemic risk factor driving hepatocarcinogenesis in the local population. PMID:23840771

  20. Trimodal age-specific incidence patterns for Burkitt lymphoma in the United States, 1973-2005.

    PubMed

    Mbulaiteye, Sam M; Anderson, William F; Bhatia, Kishor; Rosenberg, Philip S; Linet, Martha S; Devesa, Susan S

    2010-04-01

    Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a unique B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with 3 established clinical-epidemiological variants: endemic, sporadic and AIDS-related BL. BL variants show characteristic dysregulation of MYC gene, but the causes of MYC dysregulation or BL arising at different ages are poorly understood. Therefore, we examined population-based BL incidence patterns in the United States to determine age-related risk. BL case and population data were obtained from the NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Databases (1973-2005). Standard cross-sectional age-standardized and age-specific incidence rates were stratified by sex and race and supplemented with age-period-cohort models. We analyzed 3,058 BL cases diagnosed during 1,160,300,297 person-years of observation. Age-standardized incidence rates rose 6.8% per year (95% CI 4.5-9.1) for males and 7.1% (95% CI 3.2-11.1) for females during the study period. The rate among males was 3.2 times that among females, and among Whites 1.3 times that among Blacks. Male-to-female incidence rate ratios did not differ by race, but were 4.2 for pediatric (0-19 years), 4.1 for adult (20-59 years) and 2.0 for geriatric (> or = 60 years) BL. Cross-sectional age-specific rates showed 2 separate peaks among males and females, near ages 10 and 75 years, and a 3rd peak near age 40 years among males. The tri/bimodal incidence pattern was present in sensitivity analyses excluding registries with many HIV/AIDS cases and in period-specific, cohort-specific analyses. To our knowledge, tri/bimodal incidence patterns have not previously been reported for BL. Trimodal/bimodal BL suggests heterogeneity in etiology or biology of BL diagnosed at different ages in males and females. PMID:19810101

  1. Reproductive Health is in Your Hands: the national media campaign in Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Valente, T W; Saba, W P

    1997-01-01

    To strengthen awareness of the National Reproductive Health Program, the Bolivian Government launched a mass media campaign aimed at low- and middle-income males and females 18-35 years of age. Specific objectives of the campaign were to increase positive attitudes toward reproductive health, knowledge of at least one benefit of reproductive health and where to obtain these services, knowledge of where to obtain family planning services, partner communication about reproductive health, and use of reproductive health services at health centers. To facilitate understanding of family planning decision making in Bolivia, 16 focus groups were conducted and all campaign materials were pretested. The campaign included 11 television spots, 44 radio spots, leaflets and posters, videos for clinic waiting rooms, and audiotapes for use on city buses. A survey conducted immediately after the communication campaign of 2354 men and women from seven urban areas indicated 85% had been exposed to the campaign; family planning was the most frequently remembered message. A positive attitude toward reproductive health increased from 86% at baseline to 91% after the campaign. The percentage of women 18-35 years old who reported speaking to someone other than their partner about reproductive health in the past 6 months increased from 71% to 82%, while the percentage of male respondents who stated they definitely intended to use or continue to use contraception in the future rose from 25% to 60%. Family planning use among those most exposed to the campaign increased from 5.4% to 8.7%. Given the success of this campaign, the challenge is to meet the increased demand for quality services. PMID:12347727

  2. The relationship of seminal transforming growth factor-β1 and interleukin-18 with reproductive success in women exposed to seminal plasma during IVF/ICSI treatment.

    PubMed

    Nikolaeva, Marina A; Babayan, Alina A; Stepanova, Elena O; Smolnikova, Veronika Y; Kalinina, Elena A; Fernández, Nelson; Krechetova, Lubov V; Vanko, Ludmila V; Sukhikh, Gennady T

    2016-09-01

    It has been proposed that the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 present in seminal plasma (SP) triggers a female immune response favorable for implantation. We hypothesize that seminal interleukin (IL)-18, a cytokine that can potentially cause implantation failure, interferes with the beneficial effect of TGF-β1. This study aims to determine whether the levels of seminal TGF-β1 and IL-18 are associated with reproductive outcomes in patients exposed to SP during in vitro fertilization (IVF) or IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). A prospective study, which included 71 couples undergoing IVF/ICSI was carried out. Female patients were exposed to their partners' SP via timed intercourse before the day of ovum pick-up (OPU) and also subjected to intravaginal SP application just after OPU. Quantitative measurements of total TGF-β1 (active plus latent) as well as IL-18 were determined by FlowCytomix™ technology in the SP to be used for intravaginal applications. Comparison of SP cytokine profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant groups revealed that pregnancy was correlated with a lower concentration of IL-18 (P=0.018) and lower content per ejaculate for both of IL-18 (P=0.0003) and TGF-β1 (P=0.047). The ratio of TGF-β1-to-IL-18 concentration was significantly higher in the pregnant than in the non-pregnant group (P=0.026). This study supports the notion that two key cytokines TGF-β1 and IL-18, both present in SP are associated with reproductive outcomes in female patients exposed to SP during IVF/ICSI treatment. PMID:27423966

  3. Comparing the Reproductive Success of Yakima River Hatchery and Wild-Origin Spring Chinook; Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project Monitoring and Evaluation Report 4 of 7, 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroder, S.L.; Knudsen, C.M.; Watson, B.D.

    2004-05-01

    In September of 2003, twenty-nine hatchery and twenty-eight wild spring chinook adults were placed into the observation stream located at the Cle Elum Supplementation Research Facility. In, addition 20 precocious males, 7 hatchery and 13 wild, were simultaneously released into the structure. As in previous years, the fish had small amounts of fin material removed prior to being introduced into the stream so that microsatellite DNA based pedigree analyses could be performed on their subsequent progeny. The entire 127 m long by 7.9 m wide stream was made available to this group of fish. Continuous behavioral observations were made while the females prepared nests and spawned. Moreover, standard measurements of adult longevity, spawning participation, water velocity, redd sizes, gravel composition, water temperature and flow were taken. Fry produced from these fish started to emigrate from the stream in early January 2004. They were trapped and sub-sampled for later microsatellite DNA analyses. In mid May of 2004 fry emergence from the channel was complete and residual fish were captured by seine and electro-fishing so that the entire juvenile population could be proportionately sampled. Audiotape records of the behavior of wild and hatchery adults spawning in the observation stream in 2001 were transcribed into continuous ethograms. Courting, agonistic, and location data were extracted from these chronological records and analyzed to characterize the reproductive behavior of both hatchery and wild fish. In addition, a ''gold standard'' pedigree analysis was completed on the fry originating from the adults placed into the observation stream in 2001. Behavioral and morphological data collected on hatchery and wild males were linked to the results of the pedigree analysis to ascertain what factors affected their reproductive success (RS) or capacity to produce fry. Individual RS values were calculated for each male placed into the observation stream and the coefficient

  4. An age-specific kinetic model of lead metabolism in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Leggett, R W

    1993-01-01

    Although considerable progress has been made in recent years in reducing human exposures to lead, the potential for high intake of this contaminant still exists in millions of homes and in many occupational settings. Moreover, there is growing evidence that levels of lead intake considered inconsequential just a few years ago can result in subtle, adverse health effects, particularly in children. Consequently, there have been increased efforts by health protection agencies to develop credible, versatile methods for relating levels of lead in environmental media to levels in blood and tissues of exposed humans of all ages. In a parallel effort motivated largely by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is assembling a set of age-specific biokinetic models for calculating radiation doses from environmentally important radionuclides, including radioisotopes of lead. This paper describes a new age-specific biokinetic model for lead originally developed for the ICRP but expanded to include additional features that are useful for consideration of lead as a chemical toxin. The model is developed within a generic, physiologically motivated framework designed to address a class of calciumlike elements. This framework provides a useful setting in which to synthesize experimental, occupational, and environmental data on lead and exploit common physiological properties of lead and the alkaline earth elements. The modular design is intended to allow researchers to modify specific parameter values or model components to address special problems in lead toxicology or to incorporate new information. Transport of lead between compartments is assumed to follow linear, first-order kinetics provided the concentration in red blood cells remains below a nonlinear threshold level, but a nonlinear relation between plasma lead and red blood cell lead is modeled for concentrations above that level. The model is shown to be consistent

  5. Behavioural differences between male and female carpenter bees in nectar robbing and its effect on reproductive success in Glechoma longituba (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y-W; Zhao, J-M; Yang, C-F; Gituru, W R

    2011-01-01

    Male and female nectar robbers may show significantly different behaviour on host plants and thus have different impacts on reproductive fitness of the plants. A 4-year study in natural populations of Glechoma longituba has shown that male carpenter bees (Xylocopa sinensis) are responsible for most of the nectar robbing from these flowers, while female bees account for little nectar robbing, demonstrating distinct behavioural differentiation between male and female bees in visiting flowers. The smaller male bee spends less time visiting a single flower than the larger female bee, consequently, the male bee is capable of visiting more flowers per unit time and has a higher foraging efficiency. Moreover, the robbing behaviour of female carpenter bees is more destructive and affects flower structures (ovules and nectaries) and floral life-span more than that of the male bee. According to the energy trade-off hypothesis, the net energy gain for male bees during nectar robbing greatly surpasses energy payout (17.72 versus 2.43 J), while the female bee net energy gain is barely adequate to meet energy payout per unit time (3.78 versus 2.39 J). The differences in net energy gain for male and female bees per unit time in nectar robbing are the likely cause of observed behavioural differences between the sexes. The differences in food resource preference between male and female bees constitute an optimal resource allocation pattern that enables the visitors to utilise floral resources more efficiently. PMID:21134084

  6. Human reproductive issues in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santy, Patricia A.; Jennings, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Age-Specific Lipid and Fatty Acid Profiles of Atlantic Salmon Juveniles in the Varzuga River.

    PubMed

    Murzina, Svetlana A; Nefedova, Zinaida A; Pekkoeva, Svetlana N; Veselov, Alexey E; Efremov, Denis A; Nemova, Nina N

    2016-01-01

    The age-specific lipid and fatty acid profiles of juvenile Atlantic salmon at different ages (0+, 1+, and 2+ years) after hatching from nests located in the mainstream of a large Arctic River, the Varzuga River, and resettling to the favorable Sobachji shoal in autumn before overwinter are herein presented. The contemporary methods of the lipid analysis were used: thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography. The results show that the stability of the regulation of important functions in developing organisms is maintained through structural alterations in lipids. These alterations can be considered as a sequence of the modifications and changes in the ratios of certain lipid classes and fatty acids constituents. In general, changes in the lipids and fatty acids (FAs) maintained the physiological limits and controls through the adaptive systems of the organism. The mechanisms of juvenile fish biochemical adaptation to the environmental conditions in the studied biotope include the modification of the energy metabolism and anabolism, and here belongs to the energy characteristics of metabolic processes. PMID:27376274

  8. Gender- and Age-Specific REE and REE/FFM Distributions in Healthy Chinese Adults.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Yu; Yang, Xue; Na, Li-Xin; Li, Ying; Sun, Chang-Hao

    2016-01-01

    Basic data on the resting energy expenditure (REE) of healthy populations are currently rare, especially for developing countries. The aims of the present study were to describe gender- and age-specific REE distributions and to evaluate the relationships among glycolipid metabolism, eating behaviors, and REE in healthy Chinese adults. This cross-sectional survey included 540 subjects (343 women and 197 men, 20-79 years old). REE was measured by indirect calorimetry and expressed as kcal/day/kg total body weight. The data were presented as the means and percentiles for REE and the REE to fat-free mass (FFM) ratio; differences were described by gender and age. Partial correlation analysis was used to analyze the correlations between REE, tertiles of REE/FFM, and glycolipid metabolism and eating behaviors. In this study, we confirmed a decline in REE with age in women (p = 0.000) and men (p = 0.000), and we found that men have a higher REE (p = 0.000) and lower REE/FFM (p = 0.021) than women. Furthermore, we observed no associations among glycolipid metabolism, eating behaviors, and REE in healthy Chinese adults. In conclusion, the results presented here may be useful to clinicians and nutritionists for comparing healthy and ill subjects and identifying changes in REE that are related to aging, malnutrition, and chronic diseases. PMID:27598192

  9. Development of age-specific Japanese head phantoms for dose evaluation in paediatric head CT examinations.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi-Kawaura, C; Fujii, K; Akahane, K; Yamauchi, M; Narai, K; Aoyama, T; Katsu, T; Obara, S; Imai, K; Ikeda, M

    2015-02-01

    In this study, the authors developed age-specific physical head phantoms simulating the physique of Japanese children for dose evaluation in paediatric head computed tomography (CT) examinations. Anatomical structures at 99 places in 0-, 0.5-, 1- and 3-y-old Japanese patients were measured using DICOM viewer software from CT images, and the head phantom of each age was designed. For trial manufacture, a 3-y-old head phantom consisting of acrylic resin and gypsum was produced by machine processing. Radiation doses for the head phantom were measured with radiophotoluminescence glass dosemeters and Si-pin photodiode dosemeters. To investigate whether the phantom shape was suitable for dose evaluation, organ doses in the same scan protocol were compared between the 3-y-old head and commercially available anthropomorphic phantoms having approximately the same head size. The doses of organs in both phantoms were equivalent. The authors' designed paediatric head phantom will be useful for dose evaluation in paediatric head CT examinations. PMID:24821932

  10. Age-specific incidence of neutralization antibodies of Herpes simplex virus.

    PubMed Central

    Terzin, A. L.; Masic, M. G.

    1976-01-01

    Sera of 1255 individuals from Novi Sad, varying in age from less than 1 month to 69 years, have been tested for neutralization antibodies to Herpes implex virus type 1. The eight newborns tested and 97% of the 507 adults were positive, with titres ranging from 1/4 to 1/256. The titres in newborns were significantly lower than the titres in adults. After birth the maternal antibodies declined rapidly and 94% of infants at the age of greater than 6 months and less than 2 years were negative. After the first year infants in Novi Sad start to acquire herpes-neutralizing antibodies actively, reaching a 50% incidence of positives between the 2nd and 3rd year of age. Age-specific incidence rates of herpes positives found in Novi Sad have been compared with those reported from Edinburgh, Freiburg i. Br. and Louisiana. Possible influences of several circumstances upon the incidence rate of positives detected by the neutralization test are discussed. PMID:185287

  11. Age-specific patterns of genetic variance in Drosophila melanogaster. I. Mortality

    SciTech Connect

    Promislow, D.E.L.; Tatar, M.; Curtsinger, J.W.

    1996-06-01

    Peter Medawar proposed that senescence arises from an age-related decline in the force of selection, which allows late-acting deleterious mutations to accumulate. Subsequent workers have suggested that mutation accumulation could produce an age-related increase in additive genetic variance (V{sub A}) for fitness traits, as recently found in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we report results from a genetic analysis of mortality in 65,134 D. melanogaster. Additive genetic variance for female mortality rates increases from 0.007 in the first week of life to 0.325 by the third week, and then declines to 0.002 by the seventh week. Males show a similar pattern, though total variance is lower than in females. In contrast to a predicted divergence in mortality curves, mortality curves of different genotypes are roughly parallel. Using a three-parameter model, we find significant V{sub A} for the slope and constant term of the curve describing age-specific mortality rates, and also for the rate at which mortality decelerates late in life. These results fail to support a prediction derived from Medawar`s {open_quotes}mutation accumulation{close_quotes} theory for the evolution of senescence. However, our results could be consistent with alternative interpretations of evolutionary models of aging. 65 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  12. Age-Specific Lipid and Fatty Acid Profiles of Atlantic Salmon Juveniles in the Varzuga River

    PubMed Central

    Murzina, Svetlana A.; Nefedova, Zinaida A.; Pekkoeva, Svetlana N.; Veselov, Alexey E.; Efremov, Denis A.; Nemova, Nina N.

    2016-01-01

    The age-specific lipid and fatty acid profiles of juvenile Atlantic salmon at different ages (0+, 1+, and 2+ years) after hatching from nests located in the mainstream of a large Arctic River, the Varzuga River, and resettling to the favorable Sobachji shoal in autumn before overwinter are herein presented. The contemporary methods of the lipid analysis were used: thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography. The results show that the stability of the regulation of important functions in developing organisms is maintained through structural alterations in lipids. These alterations can be considered as a sequence of the modifications and changes in the ratios of certain lipid classes and fatty acids constituents. In general, changes in the lipids and fatty acids (FAs) maintained the physiological limits and controls through the adaptive systems of the organism. The mechanisms of juvenile fish biochemical adaptation to the environmental conditions in the studied biotope include the modification of the energy metabolism and anabolism, and here belongs to the energy characteristics of metabolic processes. PMID:27376274

  13. Age-specific survival of reintroduced swift fox in Badlands National Park and surrounding lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sasmal, Indrani; Klaver, Robert W.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Schroeder, Greg M.

    2016-01-01

    In 2003, a reintroduction program was initiated at Badlands National Park (BNP), South Dakota, USA, with swift foxes (Vulpes velox) translocated from Colorado and Wyoming, USA, as part of a restoration effort to recover declining swift fox populations throughout its historical range. Estimates of age-specific survival are necessary to evaluate the potential for population growth of reintroduced populations. We used 7 years (2003–2009) of capture–recapture data of 243 pups, 29 yearlings, and 69 adult swift foxes at BNP and the surrounding area to construct Cormack–Jolly–Seber model estimates of apparent survival within a capture–mark–recapture framework using Program MARK. The best model for estimating recapture probabilities included no differences among age classes, greater recapture probabilities during early years of the monitoring effort than later years, and variation among spring, winter, and summer. Our top ranked survival model indicated pup survival differed from that of yearlings and adults and varied by month and year. The apparent annual survival probability of pups (0.47, SE = 0.10) in our study area was greater than the apparent annual survival probability of yearlings and adults (0.27, SE = 0.08). Our results indicate low survival probabilities for a reintroduced population of swift foxes in the BNP and surrounding areas. Management of reintroduced populations and future reintroductions of swift foxes should consider the effects of relative low annual survival on population demography.

  14. On the use of age-specific effective dose coefficients in radiation protection of the public

    SciTech Connect

    Kocher, D.C.; Eckerman, K.F.

    1998-11-01

    Current radiation protection standards for the public include a limit on effective dose in any year for individuals in critical groups. This paper considers the question of how the annual dose limit should be applied in controlling routine exposures of populations consisting of individuals of all ages. The authors assume that the fundamental objective of radiation protection is limitation of lifetime risk and, therefore, that standards for controlling routine exposures of the public should provide a reasonable correspondence with lifetime risk, taking into account the age dependence of intakes and doses and the variety of radionuclides and exposure pathways of concern. Using new calculations of the per capita (population-averaged) risk of cancer mortality per unit activity inhaled or ingested in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s Federal Guidance Report No. 13, the authors show that applying a limit on annual effective dose only to adults, which was the usual practice in radiation protection of the public before the development of age-specific effective dose coefficients, provides a considerably better correspondence with lifetime risk than applying the annual dose limit to the critical group of any age.

  15. Integrating reproductive health services into HIV care: strategies for successful implementation in a low-resource HIV clinic in Lilongwe, Malawi

    PubMed Central

    Phiri, Sam; Feldacker, Caryl; Chaweza, Thomas; Mlundira, Linly; Tweya, Hannock; Speight, Colin; Samala, Bernadette; Kachale, Fannie; Umpierrez, Denise; Haddad, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Background Lighthouse Trust operates two public HIV testing, treatment and care clinics in Lilongwe, Malawi, caring for over 26 000 people living with HIV, 23 000 of whom are on antiretroviral treatment (ART). In August 2010, Lighthouse Trust piloted a step-wise integration of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services into routine HIV care at its Lighthouse clinic site. The objectives were to increase uptake of family planning (FP), promote long-term reversible contraceptive methods, and increase access, screening and treatment for cervical cancer using visual inspection with acetic acid. Methods and results Patients found integrated SRH/ART services acceptable; service availability appeared to increase uptake. Between August 2010 and May 2014, over 6000 women at Lighthouse received FP education messages. Of 859 women who initiated FP, 55% chose depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, 19% chose an intrauterine contraceptive device, 14% chose oral contraceptive pills, and 12% chose an implant. By May 2014, 21% of eligible female patients received cervical cancer screening: 11% (166 women) had abnormal cervical findings during screening for cervical cancer and underwent further treatment. Conclusions Several lessons were learned in overcoming initial concerns about integration. First, our integrated services required minimal additional resources over those needed for provision of HIV care alone. Second, patient flow improved during implementation, reducing a barrier for clients seeking multiple services. Lastly, analysis of routine data showed that the proportion of women using some form of modern contraception was 45% higher at Lighthouse than at Lighthouse's sister clinic where services were not integrated (42% vs 29%), providing further evidence for promotion of SRH/ART integration. PMID:25902815

  16. Virginia Opossums, Minimum Reproduction Age and Predators in the Penna Aging Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Altevolmer, A. K.

    Age-specific predators are introduced into the Penna model of biological aging. It is shown that populations with a variable minimum reproduction age find a stable state with an earlier onset of reproduction, if older ages are eaten by the predators. This behavior agrees with the demographic data of the Virgina opossum.

  17. Effects of the bioaccumulative polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardant congener BDE-47 on growth, development, and reproductive success in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Currier, Heidi A; Letcher, Robert J; Williams, Tony D; Elliott, John E

    2015-02-01

    This study investigated the effects of the polybrominated diphenyl ether congener, 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) on the growth and development, and subsequent breeding success of exposed zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Using oral dosing procedures and treatments adjusted by weight, we treated newly hatched chicks daily for the first 20-days-post-hatch (dph) with varying treatments of BDE-47 (0, 5, 50, and 500 ng/g bw/day). Weight and tarsal measurements were monitored from hatch to 90 dph, but no differences were observed between treatment groups at any age. Treated females that reached sexual maturity were mated with untreated males; however, again no treatment effects were observed on breeding success. Analysis of tissue samples at 21 dph did indicate that debromination of BDE-47 had occurred resulting in BDE-28 and BDE-17 metabolites. PMID:25283367

  18. Avian reproductive physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.F.

    1995-01-01

    Knowledge of the many physiological factors associated with egg production , fertility, incubation, and brooding in nondomestic birds is limited. Science knows even less about reproduction in most of the 238 endangered or threatened birds. This discussion uses studies of nondomestic and, when necessary, domestic birds to describe physiological control of reproduction. Studies of the few nondomestic avian species show large variation in physiological control of reproduction. Aviculturists, in order to successfully propagate an endangered bird, must understand the bird's reproductive peculiarities. First, investigators can do studies with carefully chosen surrogate species, but eventually they need to confirm the results in the target endangered bird. Studies of reproduction in nondomestic birds increased in the last decade. Still, scientists need to do more comparative studies to understand the mechanisms that control reproduction in birds. New technologies are making it possible to study reproductive physiology of nondomestic species in less limiting ways. These technologies include telemetry to collect information without inducing stress on captives (Howey et al., 1987; Klugman, 1987), new tests for most of the humoral factors associated with reproduction, and the skill to collect small samples and manipulate birds without disrupting the physiological mechanisms (Bercovitz et al., 1985). Managers are using knowledge from these studies to improve propagation in zoological parks, private and public propagation facilities, and research institutions. Researchers need to study the control of ovulation, egg formation, and oviposition in the species of nondomestic birds that lay very few eggs in a season, hold eggs in the oviduct for longer intervals, or differ in other ways from the more thoroughly studied domestic birds. Other techniques that would enhance propagation for nondomestlc birds include tissue culture of cloned embryonic cells, cryopreservation of embryos

  19. Molecular mechanism of age-specific hepatic lipid accumulation in PPARalpha (+/-):LDLR (+/-) mice, an obese mouse model.

    PubMed

    Li, Yufeng; Sugiyama, Eiko; Yokoyama, Shin; Jiang, Lingling; Tanaka, Naoki; Aoyama, Toshifumi

    2008-04-01

    This study aimed to clarify the molecular mechanisms of age-specific hepatic lipid accumulation accompanying hyperinsulinemia in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) (+/-):low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) (+/-) mouse line. The hepatic fat content, protein amounts, and mRNA levels of genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism were analyzed in 25-, 50-, 75- and 100-week-old mice. Severe fatty liver was confirmed only in 50- and 75-week-old mice. The hepatic expression of proteins that function in lipid transport and catabolism did not differ among the groups. In contrast, the mRNA levels and protein amounts of lipogenic enzymes, including acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase-1, fatty acid synthase, and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, enhanced in the mice with fatty liver. Elevated mRNA and protein levels of lipoprotein lipase and fatty acid translocase, which are involved in hepatic lipid uptake, were also detected in mice with fatty liver. Moreover, both protein and mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1), a transcription factor regulating lipid synthesis, had age-specific patterns similar to those of the proteins described above. Therefore, the age-specific fatty liver found in the PPARalpha (+/-):LDLR (+/-) mouse line is probably caused by age-specific expression of SREBP-1 and its downstream lipogenic genes, coordinated by the increased uptake of lipids. All of these factors might be affected by age-specific changes in serum insulin concentration. PMID:18335269

  20. Do age-specific survival patterns of wild boar fit current evolutionary theories of senescence?

    PubMed

    Gamelon, Marlène; Focardi, Stefano; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Gimenez, Olivier; Bonenfant, Christophe; Franzetti, Barbara; Choquet, Rémi; Ronchi, Francesca; Baubet, Eric; Lemaître, Jean-François

    2014-12-01

    Actuarial senescence is widespread in age-structured populations. In growing populations, the progressive decline of Hamiltonian forces of selection with age leads to decreasing survival. As actuarial senescence is overcompensated by a high fertility, actuarial senescence should be more intense in species with high reproductive effort, a theoretical prediction that has not been yet explicitly tested across species. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) females have an unusual life-history strategy among large mammals by associating both early and high reproductive effort with potentially long lifespan. Therefore, wild boar females should show stronger actuarial senescence than similar-sized related mammals. Moreover, being polygynous and much larger than females, males should display higher senescence rates than females. Using a long-term monitoring (18 years) of a wild boar population, we tested these predictions. We provided clear evidence of actuarial senescence in both sexes. Wild boar females had earlier but not stronger actuarial senescence than similar-sized ungulates. Both sexes displayed similar senescence rates. Our study indicates that the timing of senescence, not the rate, is associated with the magnitude of fertility in ungulates. This demonstrates the importance of including the timing of senescence in addition to its rate to understand variation in senescence patterns in wild populations. PMID:25180915

  1. Prevalence of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus in Tehran: An Age-Specific Serological Study

    PubMed Central

    Vahabpour, Rouhollah; Aghasadeghi, Mohammad Reza; Salehi-Vaziri, Mostafa; Mohajel, Nasir; Keyvani, Hossein; Nasimi, Maryam; Esghaei, Maryam; Monavari, Seyed Hamidreza

    2016-01-01

    Background Several new types of polyomavirus have been discovered in recent years mainly because of the recent state-of-the-art detection technologies. Among the polyomaviruses, Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) has attracted the most attention because of its possible role in the etiology of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but lethal form of skin cancer. Objectives This study aimed to determine age-specific seroprevalence of MCPyV in Tehran. Patients and Methods In this cross-sectional study, we collected 440 serum samples from healthy individuals 2 to 78 years of age who visited the Pasteur Institute’s clinic in Tehran, Iran, using a convenience sampling strategy. We developed a virus-like particle-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that uses VP1, the major capsid protein of MCPyV, to detect and quantitate serum antibodies to MCPyV. We compared the prevalence of MCPyV between males and females and across eight age groups. Results A total of 255 (57.9%) of the serum samples were MCPyV positive. The seroprevalence in children under 10 years of age was 25%. The seroprevalence increased to 56% over the next decade of life (10 - 19 years of age). The seroprevalence rate in males and females was 56.1% and 59.7% respectively, and a binary logistic regression showed no significant difference between males and females (P = 0.77). However, the prevalence of MCPyV increased with age (P = 0.012). Conclusions Our results suggest that human exposure to MCPyV occurs throughout life. The MCPyV antibody levels remained high among older adults in our population, consistent with reports from other populations. PMID:27437129

  2. The ICRP age-specific biokinetic model for lead: validations, empirical comparisons, and explorations.

    PubMed Central

    Pounds, J G; Leggett, R W

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this manuscript is to provide a description of the International Commission for Radiation Protection (ICRP) model and a comparison to other models (the integrated exposure uptake biokinetic [IEUBK] and O'Flaherty models), including the software used with the models, and a comparison of the model predictions for selected situations. The ICRP biokinetic model for Pb is a multicompartmental model for Pb uptake and disposition in children and in adults. The model describes deposition and retention of absorbed Pb in numerous tissues, removal from tissues to plasma, and movement along various routes of excretion. Long-term skeletal behavior of Pb is described in terms of age-specific rates of restructuring of compact and trabecular bone. The ICRP model is more flexible and has wider applicability than the IEUBK model. The major disadvantages are that application of the computer model requires some basic computer skills, and the user must convert the Pb concentrations in food, air, soil, dust, paint, or other media to the amount of Pb ingested or inhaled per day. Direct comparisons between the ICRP model and the IEUBK model are provided by modeling blood Pb levels using the IEUBK v0.99d default Pb uptakes and intake values. The model is used to simulate occupational exposure cases and a controlled Pb inhalation experiment in adult humans. Finally, use of the model to explore situations with limited data is illustrated by simulating the kinetics and disposition of Pb during acute Pb poisoning and chelation therapy in a child. PMID:9860909

  3. Spatially adapted augmentation of age-specific atlas-based segmentation using patch-based priors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mengyuan; Seshamani, Sharmishtaa; Harrylock, Lisa; Kitsch, Averi; Miller, Steven; Chau, Van; Poskitt, Kenneth; Rousseau, Francois; Studholme, Colin

    2014-03-01

    One of the most common approaches to MRI brain tissue segmentation is to employ an atlas prior to initialize an Expectation- Maximization (EM) image labeling scheme using a statistical model of MRI intensities. This prior is commonly derived from a set of manually segmented training data from the population of interest. However, in cases where subject anatomy varies significantly from the prior anatomical average model (for example in the case where extreme developmental abnormalities or brain injuries occur), the prior tissue map does not provide adequate information about the observed MRI intensities to ensure the EM algorithm converges to an anatomically accurate labeling of the MRI. In this paper, we present a novel approach for automatic segmentation of such cases. This approach augments the atlas-based EM segmentation by exploring methods to build a hybrid tissue segmentation scheme that seeks to learn where an atlas prior fails (due to inadequate representation of anatomical variation in the statistical atlas) and utilize an alternative prior derived from a patch driven search of the atlas data. We describe a framework for incorporating this patch-based augmentation of EM (PBAEM) into a 4D age-specific atlas-based segmentation of developing brain anatomy. The proposed approach was evaluated on a set of MRI brain scans of premature neonates with ages ranging from 27.29 to 46.43 gestational weeks (GWs). Results indicated superior performance compared to the conventional atlas-based segmentation method, providing improved segmentation accuracy for gray matter, white matter, ventricles and sulcal CSF regions.

  4. The effects of quantitative fecundity in the haploid stage on reproductive success and diploid fitness in the aquatic peat moss Sphagnum macrophyllum.

    PubMed

    Johnson, M G; Shaw, A J

    2016-06-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how mating patterns affect the fitness of offspring. However, in animals and seed plants it is virtually impossible to investigate the effects of specific gamete genotypes. In bryophytes, haploid gametophytes grow via clonal propagation and produce millions of genetically identical gametes throughout a population. The main goal of this research was to test whether gamete identity has an effect on the fitness of their diploid offspring in a population of the aquatic peat moss Sphagnum macrophyllum. We observed a heavily male-biased sex ratio in gametophyte plants (ramets) and in multilocus microsatellite genotypes (genets). There was a steeper relationship between mating success (number of different haploid mates) and fecundity (number of diploid offspring) for male genets compared with female genets. At the sporophyte level, we observed a weak effect of inbreeding on offspring fitness, but no effect of brood size (number of sporophytes per maternal ramet). Instead, the identities of the haploid male and haploid female parents were significant contributors to variance in fitness of sporophyte offspring in the population. Our results suggest that intrasexual gametophyte/gamete competition may play a role in determining mating success in this population. PMID:26905464

  5. Dinosaur Reproduction and Parenting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, John R.

    Non-avian dinosaur reproductive and parenting behaviors were mostly similar to those of extant archosaurs. Non-avian dinosaurs were probably sexually dimorphic and some may have engaged in hierarchical rituals. Non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodontidae, Oviraptorosauria) had two active oviducts, each of which produced single eggs on a daily or greater time scale. The eggs of non-coelurosaurian dinosaurs (e.g. Ornithischia, Sauropoda) were incubated in soils, whereas the eggs of non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodon, Oviraptor) were incubated with a combination of soil and direct parental contact. Parental attention to the young was variable, ranging from protection from predators to possible parental feeding of nest-bound hatchlings. Semi-altricial hadrosaur hatchlings exited their respective nests near the time of their first linear doubling. Some reproductive behaviors, once thought exclusive to Aves, arose first in non-avian dinosaurs. The success of the Dinosauria may be related to reproductive strategies.

  6. Age-specificity of black-capped chickadee survival rates: Analysis of capture-recapture data